Let a thousand atheist flowers bloom . . .

3 02 2008

The MySpace debacle ironically appears to be breathing new life into the formation of online atheist communities. At OzAtheist, Bruce plugged a new Adelaide-based atheist MySpace group. And (thanks to Protium for the hat-tip and the invite) I’d like plug a new Perth-based Atheists Meet-Up group.

Although I’m from Perth myself, the fact that I am based in Japan for the next year-and-a-half probably rules me out as a member, but if it is still operating when I get back home, I may consider attending. I say may, because I work in the education industry, and as you know, a large proportion of schools in Australia are in the independent sector. Which means they are allowed to discriminate against atheists. Wait . . . let me rephrase that. They’re partially taxpayer-funded, which means they are allowed to discriminate against me because of my atheism even though they benefit from my tax contributions. In any case, the reality of the situation is that, in a so-called liberal democracy, I have to keep mum about my lack of religious beliefs if I want to secure employment in many schools in the independent sector–even though my specialty, English teaching, has nothing to do with religion (at least, nothing to do with religious indoctrination). And the need to keep mum, unfortunately, may preclude me from joining communities such as the Perth Atheists Meet-Up.

But it won’t stop me from plugging it here, in the hope that other Perth-based readers may be encouraged to join.

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4 responses

3 02 2008
Miykael Poly

I find it disturbing that even is Australia one can lose employment because of atheism, is there any “safe” place from the religious?

3 02 2008
Matt

Private schools have pretty much free reign to fire and hire anyone for any reason they can think of. I am not even sure they are subject to the anti-discrimination council.

I have a friend who was recently hired by a private catholic school. If she does not live the christian way of life, including not living with a male (even a housemate) out of marriage, they will fire her.

Which is just plain insanity.

3 02 2008
Miykael Poly

it is religion, as one watches where the world is going. Islam starting to spread in europe, although slowly, but spreading none the less… And USA starting to become a christian nation, they are even trying to rewrite their history, to make it official. Scandinavia would be the last to “fall” to religion, but as part of europe they would fall some day.

This makes one wonder… Will there be any safe haven for rationality? Should the atheists start to consider forging a home and a haven from religion?

Just thinking out loud…

23 02 2008
Protium

Hi AV
Thanks for the plug. We have 27 members now with our first meeting next Sunday March 2nd. We have a member in the teaching area so it’ll be interesting to discuss it with her at the meetup. We also have the WA Secular Party member so it’s looking like an interesting group.

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