Weekend Wrap for 1 May 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 1 May 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Do you have any news items, campaigns, petitions, webinars or other event notices that could be added to our weekly Wrap? Let us know at wrap@nsl.org.au.

At the National Level

Controversial Liberal candidate Katherine Deves, picked up by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to contest the once blue-ribbon seat of Warringah, has broken her silence over offensive social media posts referencing the transgender community and Nazism, and says she has received death threats over her comments. (24 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

The New South Wales police say they are not aware of any threats made against the Liberal party’s controversial candidate in Warringah, Katherine Deves, after an interview in which she said she had received “death threats” over comments about transgender people that she made online. (25 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

The gap in religious affiliation between senior military officers and new recruits is preventing the Australian Defence Force (ADF) from making necessary reforms to modernise its chaplaincy capability, says the former head of chaplaincy for the Navy. (26 Apr 2022)
Read more at the RSA

The Morrison government has directed an extra $10bn to private schools since 2018 while public schools are underfunded by at least $6.5bn every year, according to a new report. (28 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Public schools are falling $6.5bn short of the funding they need every year, while many private schools are over-funded. Political reporter Paul Karp explains to Jane Lee why this hasn’t been a focus in this election campaign, and what this will mean for education spending after the election. (28 Apr 2022)
Listen to this audio item at The Guardian

New polling commissioned by Equality Australia has shown that the Liberal party’s support for embattled Warringah candidate Katherine Deves may have had a negative effect on other seats the government is hoping to hold on to at the federal election. (28 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Three Australian residents have accused Scientology of child trafficking, covering up multiple sexual assaults, forced labour and other abuses in a significant legal claim lodged in a Florida court overnight. Scientology is recognised as a religion in Australia and receives tax and other benefits accordingly. (29 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Around the Country

VIC: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has shared his view on the debate over transgender people that has dominated the federal election campaign, saying it’s down to "desperate people who are in to wedge politics." (24 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

QLD: Queensland’s education minister says her government has no plans to make changes to the Religious Instruction (RI) program despite some church groups using their access to public school classrooms to “harvest” children “for the Lord”. (24 Apr 2022)
Read more at the RSA

QLD: Having exclusively Christian prayers at the opening of Gold Coast council meetings is a direct breach of the council’s own ‘inclusion and diversity’ statement and must be removed, says the Rationalist Society of Australia. (28 Apr 2022)
Read more at the RSA

QLD: The Noosa Temple of Satan report that their Supreme Court judgement regarding public school Religious Instruction access equality has been delayed until Wednesday 4th May. (29 Apr 2022)
Read more on Twitter

QLD: Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate blames 'the Evil One' for his wife Ruth's medical episode as his appointed spiritual advisor Sue Baynes causes council divide. (30 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Gold Coast Bulletin (paywalled)

Commentary and Analysis

Stan Grant on 'another round of culture wars': "Today it is transgender sport. Earlier in the year it was religious freedom. Then, like now, a genuine issue about contested rights and how to live respectfully and fully with our differences was waylaid by a focus on bigotry and discrimination." (24 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

River Clarke, WA Greens' second senate candidate: "It’s time for politics to reflect the true diversity of Australia. The current government has been a disappointment, run by people out of touch with regular folk. This election gives our community the chance to regain hope and demand real change." (27 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Lucy Hamilton - The Risk of the Religious Right: "Christian Libertarianism: "It arguably took one presidential term in America for the nation to move from a modern nation with a loud Religious Right, to one where in 9 states a woman enduring a miscarriage will fear arrest for the charge that she caused it." (29 Apr 2022)
Read more at the AIMN

Ann Wason Moore: It’s a devilishly tricky subject: If a Christian God is allowed in our schools and we’re spruiking religious freedom, should Satan be allowed in as well? (30 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Gold Coast Bulletin (paywalled)

Events and Campaigns

The Australian Education Union is running a campaign calling for “every school, every child” to receive fair education funding. Support the campaign here.

Funding for public schools has been cut in the latest budget but funding for school chaplains has been assured. A change.org petition is currently calling on the federal government to fund youth workers rather faith-based chaplains in our public schools.

Minister for Human Rights, Tara Cheyne, is running a petition calling on the Australian government to restore the right of Territories to pass laws on VAD. She also recommends people email the Commonwealth Attorney-General with their views, at attorney@ag.gov.au.

Dying With Dignity NSW has a tool that makes it easy for people to contact their federal MPs and senators to request help in repealing the "Andrews Bill", the 1997 legislation which denies the Territories the right to pass legislation on Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The Human Rights for NSW alliance has launched a campaign calling for NSW to pass a Human Rights Act.

That's it for another week!

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