They’re gonna count the Aussies
It’s a census, by design—
First they’ll write it up in English
Then translate it into ‘Strine
It’s been five years since they’ve done it
So it’s time to ask once more
Coming up, the ninth of August
That’s what Aussies have in store.
And they’ll ask them their religion—
Question nineteen, if you search—
And this tells them how much money
They can send off to the church
And it’s not just any money—
It’s your taxes they collect!
So it’s yours—your hard-earned money—
And that matters, I suspect.
Who decides if you are Christian?
Who decides if you are not?
Were you born into a culture,
Or, more aptly, were you not?
Do you believe that you are Christian?
Do you hold the Nicene Creed?
If you don’t, why does it matter?
That’s the question: why, indeed?
As my Australian readers know better than I do, this is a Census year, and this August they will be surveyed. The Atheist Foundation of Australia wants to make sure that people know the purpose behind one perhaps seemingly innocent question–question 19, which asks their religion. (Please do explore that link; there are a lot of questions answered there, making a good case for marking “no religion” even if you, a non-believer, have usually identified as a member of a particular religion for traditional, cultural, or social reasons.)
I know I have my share of readers down under (actually, perhaps more than my share; I may have someone else’s share as well), but my tentacle-print is still quite small; I encourage one and all to spread the word over the next couple of months (not my verse; it’s crap–but the linked page, and perhaps the one I will talk about in the next paragraph). It’s nice when you can make a real difference in the world.
If you want to help the effort to spread this campaign a bit more directly, you can also support (and/or urge the support of others) the indiegogo campaign, here, to fund media buy-ins.
The bottom line is, why does the government (via the Census) care what religion you are, if the government is secular? The answer, as it so often is in government… is money. Your tax money, to be specific, which… y’know, that first link (and here it is again) has a whole section on “why does it matter?” The thing is… it does.