Abandoning God can have dire consequences


Australian legal traditions cannot claim historic depth in the United States. Nevertheless, it was built on a solid religious foundation.

The island nation, starting with the first British fleet to depart for Australia in 1787, when Captain Arthur Phillip was instructed to enforce the legitimate adherence to Christianity and take the necessary steps to celebrate public worship. Has a remarkable influence on Christianity.

Of course, this does not mean that people of other religions were not welcomed, or that the people living there were obliged to belong to a Christian religion, or in fact, any religion. However, Governor Philip “highly appreciated the role of religion, especially Christianity, as the foundation of an orderly civilized society.”

The role of Christianity in Australian history is irrefutable, but when these important facts are mentioned, they are often criticized, insulted and put aside. After all, Australia’s religious composition has changed significantly over the last 50 years, and a recent 2021 census shows that Australian religion is declining like never before.

For the first time, we recognize that less than half of Australians are Christians. In fact, less than 44% of the population now claims to be Christians, down from 52% five years ago and 61% in 2011. When the first census was conducted in 1911, 96% of Australians self-identified as Christians.

The departure from this religion has been steadily declining since the 1960s, but has accelerated rapidly over the last decade. A 1961 census identified only 0.7% of Australians as non-religious. But now, almost 40% of Australians say they have no religious beliefs. Based on current trends, by the time the next census is conducted in 2026, the number of non-religious people will exceed the number of Christians.

Epoch Times Photo
“The Founding of Australia. Captain Arthur Phillip RN Sydney Cove, January 26, 1788”, painted by Algernon Talmage in 1939. (Public domain / Wikimedia Commons)

Why religion is beneficial to society

Given the growing number of Australians who say they have no religious beliefs, now is the time to explain the specific human and social interests of religion and the potential for Australia to become a non-religious society. It’s a good time to recognize the disadvantages.

Rodney Stark is one of the world’s leading authorities in sociology of religion. For many years, the candidate for this Pulitzer Prize was a professor of sociology at the University of Washington. He has authored over 150 academic papers and 32 books, including widely used sociology textbooks.

To go beyond the hustle and bustle of “cultural war” and focus on the facts, Stark wrote in his book “American Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, including Atheists”Aspired to measure the impact of religious beliefs on society.

Comparing less religious and non-religious people, Stark concludes that religious people are:

  • It is much less likely to commit a crime at any age.
  • It is much more likely to contribute to even secular charities, volunteer in socially beneficial programs, and actively participate in civic activities.
  • Enjoy excellent mental health. They are happy, have less neurosis, and are much less likely to commit suicide.
  • Life expectancy is more than 7 years longer than non-religious people, and enjoy excellent physical health.
  • Marriage satisfaction is high and the chances of abusing a spouse or child are significantly reduced.
  • You will get better grades on a standardized academic test and you will be much less likely to drop out of school. This is especially true for ethnic minorities.
  • You are much less likely to be exposed to unemployment and welfare.

What is lost in the decline of Christianity

Therefore, Australians need to carefully consider how much they can lose as a society by weakening their religion. Values ​​come to us by tracing their historical past, and as we try to cut off all the links to that past, we have a lifeline on which those values ​​are essentially dependent. There is a danger of cutting.

For example, when the majority of Australians embraced Christianity, there was a general consensus on basic moral issues. Our law reflected Christian moral principles that demanded equality before the law and the protection of inviolable rights to life, freedom and property. The mission of political leaders was basically to uphold these objective principles used to support our legal system and protect us from arbitrary governments.

However, Australia is now witnessing growing hostility to anything that may be remotely related to Christianity. According to Michael Quinlan“Australia’s modern attitude towards Christianity and the examples provided are striving to free Australia from its Christian roots at a very accelerated pace,” said Notre Dame Law School professor and dean. It shows that it is. “

Epoch Times Photo
On July 22, 2020, a man wearing a face mask walks in front of the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. (SaeedKhan / AFP via Getty Images)

This probably explains the horrifying and obedient attitude of most Australians during a pandemic. This problem may be explained by the remarkable decline of faith in God and the practice of religion.

Undoubtedly, the decline of Christianity has led to the establishment of a secular state, including the more loyal acceptance of the government as the Almighty Guardian of the community. Thus, all the explanations given by the Government’s Chief Health Officer are what the advisory politician imposes on an enthusiastic level of obedient population, without further doubt and fully accepted. ..

There is no human accountability without God

I also mentioned how many of my fellow citizens have a completely distorted view of the government, or what the government can do for them. Such people now expect almost everything to come from the state. They worship blindly at the altar of the Almighty State and expect their “benevolent” rulers to act as their ultimate savior and guardian.

Such people have an unwavering belief in the government. They sincerely believe that a powerful nation is the ultimate provider of all good things. If necessary, call it a form of idolatry.

There is little doubt in my mind that the diminishing importance of religion is also associated with the corresponding belief that dependence on “science” solves illnesses and social problems for all. This is a contradiction. Because at the heart of all science is the belief that the universe is orderly, and that most of the towering figures of modern scientific methods are not only deists, but in fact theists.

As John C. Lennox, a professor of mathematics at Oxford University, pointed out, “Their beliefs in God are often the main inspiration for it, rather than hindering their science, and they say so. I didn’t hesitate. “

As you can see, accepting the non-religious view of human nature and leaving religion has inevitable consequences. When religion is more comprehensively eradicated from Australian culture and society, it would be very difficult to ignore the lack of ultimate human accountability without faith in God.

Or, as the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky stated in The Brothers Karamazov, “If God does not exist, everything is forgiven.”

This can have disastrous consequences and I am deeply afraid of Australia’s future.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

August Zimmermann


August Zimmermann is a professor and director of legal affairs at the Sheridan Institute for Higher Education in Perth. He is also Chairman of the Western Australia (WA) Law Theory Association, Editor-in-Chief of Western Australian Law Scholars, and a member of the WA Law Reform Commission from 2012 to 2017. Notre Dame Australia has authored numerous books such as “Direito Constitucional Brasileiro”, “Western Legal Theory” and “Christian Foundations of the Common Law”.