‘GEELONG ATHEISTS’ is a community group for the more than 52,000 Geelong residents, who stated in the 2011 Census they had ‘no religion’, who wish to share their interests and concerns with like-minded people. Atheists, agnostics, rationalists, humanists and non-believers in religious dogmas are welcome to join the group.
- To work for the transformation of society to achieve a community that is free of religious privilege and free of government legislation that fails to uphold the separation of church and state. To work for a society free from religious bigotry and religion-inspired violence, racism, sex discrimination, homophobia, economic class exploitation, denial of the rights of the aged and any other form of oppression and discrimination.
- To deal with issues relevant to Geelong by means of enquiry, public debate, lobbying and using the local media.
- To provide a forum for atheists and like-minded people to discuss issues and to enrich our understanding of atheist philosophies.
- To forge links with other atheist and similar groups in Australia and overseas.
- The Federal Government’s National Schools Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program which in 2014 supports primary and secondary chaplains and welfare workers in 20 Geelong government schools with $600,000 of taxpayers money.
The privileged position of a theologically narrow Protestant organisation known as Access Ministries, which provides untrained volunteer teachers to provide Special Religious Instruction in many of Geelong’s government primary schools.These two examples of evangelical Christianity’s inroad into public education raise several concerns. Is Australia’s constitutional separation of church and state being compromised? And should taxpayers’ money be used to promote this kind of sectarian religion in government schools?
- Church properties in Geelong are not subject to Council rates. What arguments exist today to continue this 19th century privileged support of religious bodies?
- Council meetings generally begin with a prayer to a deity whose existence is unproved and is not believed in by a significant number of Geelong ratepayers.
- Some elected representatives in local, state and federal politics who act in accordance with their religious allegiances, beliefs and prejudices in opposition to what we believe to be the general well-being of society (e.g their opposition to contraception, sex education, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and employment of homosexuals, divorced people, etc. in taxpayer- funded religious institutions.)
If this all sounds rather negative, we should emphasise that we do commend religious groups in their campaigns for increased foreign aid to the underprivileged, for world peace, for climate change abatement, for aid to the homeless and destitute people in our community and other worthwhile projects which religious people are involved in. We acknowledge the positive as well as the negative role of religion in society. We respect religious peoples’ right to hold beliefs in the supernatural, but are always ready to promote a rational (non-religious) view of the universe and our place in it.
Welcome to Geelong Atheists.
If you believe that you are atheist, agnostic, rationalist or humanist then the Geelong Atheist group is for you. You may also be comfortable in our group if you are a skeptic or a freethinker, but would probably not fit in if you are a theist, deist, pantheist, or panentheist.
If you believe you may be moving towards atheism or its fellow-travellers, then you are also welcome to join Geelong Atheists and find out more about the non-religious life.
The Geelong Atheists Monthly Meetups have been discontinued, until further notice, however we encourage anyone interested to join our group online.
For venue and details of meeting phone Trish on 03 4222 7706 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org