This can refer to reducing ties between a government and a state religionreplacing laws based on scripture such as HalakhaDominionismand Sharia law with civil laws, and eliminating discrimination on the basis of religion.
Messenger Australia is often described as a secular country. What does it mean to be secular? Is permitting halal certificationthe wearing of Islamic headscarvesreligious chaplains in state schools or political lobbying by religious organisations inconsistent with a secular Australia?
Three forms of secularism In his book A Secular AgeCanadian philosopher Charles Taylor identified three different forms of secularism.
First, secularism can mean the complete removal of God and religion from the public sphere. France has this version of secularism. Children attending government-funded schools in France are prohibited from wearing overt religious symbols — as are public officials. This form of secularism does not necessarily mean a decrease in religious belief by the population.
Instead, religion is simply removed to the private sphere. The state can be secular while its population is religious. In this version, there is a measurable reduction in religious belief and practice. This may occur even where the state still supports religion.
Taylor argues this has already taken place in much of Western Europe. For example, in the United Kingdom a significant proportion of the population identify with having no religion, despite the Church of England still being the established church.
In this version the people are atheist while the state may be religious. Religion is not removed from the public sphere; rather it is just once voice among many, include those with no religion.
As a result, a state may have a relatively high level of interaction with religion and still be considered secular so long as the state does not endorse one religion to the exclusion of other points of view.
Countries that conform with this form of secularism may also be described as religiously plural. Ultimately, whether or not you consider Australia to be secular will depend on the definition of secularism you use.
Section of the Australian Constitution provides that: The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
As a result, the federal government cannot establish a state church. However, the state does interact with religion. For example, the federal government funds schools run by religious organisations and recognises marriages conducted by religious celebrants."Secularism and State Policies toward Religion is a very well-written, well-organized, well-argued and easy-to-read book on an important and difficult topic: it is a comparative in-depth analysis of three different regimes of secularism."4/5(3).
Separation of religion from state. The separation of religion and state is the foundation of secularism.
It ensures religious groups don't interfere in affairs of state, and the state doesn't interfere in religious affairs. A secular state is an idea pertaining to secularity, whereby a state is or purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana" makes Sri Lanka an ambiguous state with respect to secularism.
Separation of religion from state. The separation of religion and state is the foundation of secularism. It ensures religious groups don't interfere in affairs of state, . Put it simply, secularism is the exclusion of religious influence from governing the state.
A secular state is a state in which religion has no influence in legislating the state affairs. This version of secularism is sometimes described as a strict separation of church and state, or in France as laïcité.
This form of secularism does not necessarily mean a decrease in religious.