The Question of 'No Religion' on the Census

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There's been a considerable amount of discussion in the news and social media highlighting the issue of the 'no religion' option on the upcoming census. This week in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Rev'd Dr Michael Jensen wrote a terrific piece encouraging people to not discount their religious identity on census night. He writes:

The Atheist Foundation of Australia is sponsoring a campaign to increase the numbers of people ticking "no religion" in the census on August 9. To do this, it is trying to convince Australians who ordinarily identify with a religion that they actually shouldn't. I am all for the census being an honest and true reflection of the state of the nation. I do not want to inflate the figures so as to give an artificial indication of the influence of religious institutions in Australia.

Some of the arguments that the foundation has put forward are convincing. For example, having Christian "values" doesn't make you "Christian". And the AFA want people to stop writing "Jedi Knight" or "Pastafarian" because these answers don't count towards the "No Religion" total. No argument from me on either of these. But the campaign is guilty of laughable overreach on two counts...

Read the full article here.