Media Release: Harmony not Hate this Christmas
- All Australians should be free to celebrate the Christmas season in a way that best reflects their personal beliefs.
- It is timely to debunk the myth that secular groups want to ban Christmas.
How are the millions of Australians who are non-religious going to spend this Christmas?
Whether you are atheist, agnostic, or just another "lapsed Catholic", the National Secular Lobby hopes everyone takes time this Christmas to overindulge in good food, spread wishes of good will, and enjoy some time with close family, distant relatives and friends.
“Despite the usual ‘political correctness gone mad’ silliness at this time of year, the National Secular Lobby and our ambassadors do wish everyone a Merry Christmas,” NSL president Peter Monk says.
"While some elements of the Christian lobby groups may want to perpetuate the myth that secular or atheist groups want to ban Christmas or are opposed to celebrating the festive season, nothing could be further from the truth.
"Our Christmas message is that all Australians should be free to celebrate the Christmas season in a way that best reflects their personal beliefs. That includes those who mark Christmas in a traditional way by attending a church service, as well as those – the majority, in fact -- who simply celebrate Christmas as a holiday festival that brings family and friends together to enjoy feasting, gifts and goodwill."
The NSL exists to uphold the basic democratic principle of separation of Church and State.
In a 2016 national Ipsos poll, 78% of people gave a positive response to the question: "How important do you think it is to separate personal religious beliefs from the business of government?"
"Separation of Church and State does not apply to individuals, whose religion (or lack thereof) is a personal and private choice. The NSL respects the Christian tradition and the people celebrating it," Mr Monk says.
"Our Christmas wish is that the Morrison government respects the principle of separation between Church and State, and acts accordingly in the way it legislates.
"We ask all Australians to consider that what makes us a strong and harmonious society is equal respect and rights before the law -- for all people, regardless of religious affiliation.
"In this spirit, we will continue to resist the introduction of further inequalities in access to employment, education and the provision of services.
"We hope this Christmas season is one of tolerance and inclusiveness and wish everyone a Merry Christmas."