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Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 in Announcements, Books, Politics, Religion | 0 comments

Sean Faircloth’s Australia/New Zealand tour

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ll be speaking on a panel with Sean Faircloth and others at Macquarie University on 21 March. This is part of a tour of Australia and New Zealand by Sean Faircloth, who is a former Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, author of Attack of the Theocrats!, and currently Director of Strategy and Policy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation in the US.

As most of my readers would be aware, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science supports scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world, and works to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering.

Sean’s tour is being sponsored by the Rationalist Society of Australia, in conjunction with the WA Humanists and the NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists. You can find details of all his appearances on the website of the Rationalist Society of Australia.

They will include a key event at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 24 March. This will also involve British philosopher AC Grayling; Pru Goward, who is Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister for Women in the NSW government; and high-profile Catholic priest and human rights lawyer Frank Brennan. The topic is “Church and State: Can We Untangle Religion and Politics?”

The purpose of the tour is to promote the idea of secularism in the sense of government neutrality with respect to religion. (Like me), Sean argues for a society in which everyone is free to follow their own religious beliefs (as long as practices associated with these beliefs do not cause ordinary worldly harms), but the government does not privilege any particular religion or religious beliefs generally.

In a press statement provided to me by Meredith Doig, President of the Rationalist Society, Dr Doig urges people to support a campaign for returning Australia to its secular roots and to attend one of Sean Faircloth’s presentations. That’s a message I can get behind completely.

Do get along to one of these events if you can. I look forward to the panel at Macquarie University on the 21st, and the big event at the Opera House sounds spectacular if you’re in Sydney that evening.