Tuesday night we will all be sitting in our lounge rooms, offices or dining rooms filling in the form that comes every few years and gives the Bureau of Statistics all of the information the Government requires to ensure our facilities and infrastructure match our needs.
In the past few weeks I have received e-mails and messages from various groups asking for different inputs in the 'Religion' question.
One asked me to put 'No Religion' if I do not attend church regularly, even if I was Baptised or Christened, as ticking 'Christian' would be hypocritical otherwise. The fear for this group is that statistics currently inflate the Christian numbers in this country and have led to the implementation of the Chaplaincy program in State Schools and it is seen that this program should be replaced with qualified Councillors instead of having people in those positions with a religious bent.
The next one has asked me repeatedly to make sure I DO tick 'Christian' on the Census as the fear is that Muslims will tick 'Muslim' in their millions and suddenly Mosques will pop up all over the place as a result.
Both interesting theories.....both misguided.
The Government does not build places of worship so the theory that Mosques will be built on every corner is a fallacy and a bigoted one at that. It wouldn't even be an issue if these same people didn't believe that all Muslims are terrorists and beat and rape their wives (I'm not kidding, one used those exact words).
Why encourage hatred of a religion, especially one which is already suffering enough at the hands of a few extreme examples. Christianity is as much responsible for death, murder and mayhem in this world but the IRA, the Norwegian nutcase, burned and shot at abortion clinics, grave side aggressive protesting and European history over the past century appear to be easy swept aside when something 'different' comes along. A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist....whichever religion they lay claim to. An extremist of any type will find a way to excuse their behaviour and religion is the very best of scapegoats. Always has been, always will be.
The simple facts are these. The Census is designed to give the Government as much information about the people who live in this country as possible. This information is useful to the Government and various other organisations to give us a better lifestyle and access to better facilities and programs.
In order to do that effectively there is only one way to fill in your form on Tuesday night. Honestly. If you do not identify with any particular religion.....tick 'No Religion'. If you do, tick whichever one applies. Simple.
I will be ticking 'No Religion' tomorrow night. I was not Baptised, nor was I Christened. My parents are not religious and I was raised by Darwinists. While I believe in spirituality there is no option for Agnostic (although I firmly believe there should be) so it would be foolish and a complete lie if I stated otherwise.
I want better facilities. I want this Government to deliver what this community really needs. In the most honest, real way possible. Fill out your form with truth and fact and with a little luck, we'll all get what we need.