The buzz-phrase ‘Separation of Church and State’ found its roots in the United States, it has never been a traditional part of Australian church-state relations. The White, European settlers of Australia of all Christian stripes pioneered our states and federal government to defend our Christian heritage, not only is Christian practice an implicit part of our common-law legal system, but our Christian commonwealth is also enshrined in our constitution and beyond that the most well-established legal rules and practices given by our founders.
Firstly European Christianity with its attachment to the commandments of God saw to the institution of what we would call ‘basic principles’; the right to property ( Exodus 20:15 ), the right to a work-free Sunday ( Exodus 20:9 ), the right to a day in court by judges, elders and jury ( Deuteronomy 19:15-21 ), the jury being of 12 jurors just as Christ had 12 apostles. The list goes on, it absolutely cannot be denied that in the very bones of Australian legal, cultural and political institution finds its basis in the Christian worldview.
Secondly Australia, unlike many other nations – in its strong religious fervor lobbied extensively to have our Christian outlook added to the constitution in which the prelude reads: “WHEREAS the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established” This absolutely and firmly argues that Australia’s Federal union exists only at the blessing of our Almighty God, this is a shot right to the heart of any professed ‘secularist’ who believes Australia was founded on anything less than Religiosity.
The argument might be made, “Well, that doesn’t specify Christ or the Christian God.” No; it doesn’t – but we know by the history of Australian law that our founders had envisioned the protection of the Christian church. The common law says clearly that ” Blasphemy is an indictable misdemeanor at common law: R v. Ramsay 15 Cox, C.C. 231. See also the Blasphemy Act 9 and 10 Wm. III Ch 32.” in which blasphemy is defined as “to publish words concerning the Christian religion, which are so scurrilous and offensive as to pass the limits of decent controversy and to be calculated to outrage the feelings of any sympathiser with or believer in Christianity.” The law of Australia, inherited by our British ancestry, deeply rooted in the Christian faith – has historically been explicit in its defense of Christianity, it’s enshrinement of its principles: As it was, our very first Prime Minister Edmund Barton who spoke on the floor of Parliament and said:
“We were struggling among ourselves for supremacy in a world which we thought of as destined to belong to the Aryan races and to the Christian faith ; to the letters and arts and charm of social manners which we have inherited from the best times of the past. We shall wake to find ourselves elbowed and hustled, and perhaps even thrust aside by peoples whom we looked down upon as servile, and thought of as bound always to minister to our needs. The solitary consolation will be that the changes have been inevitable; Is that not something to guard against ?”
Conclusively we must understand; Australia has never been a secular state, The maximum extent of its secularism was to prevent a single church to take control of the Government, as Section 116 of the constitution reads: “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.” This clause never prevented the prohibition of blasphemy? As it too was noted in the Crimes Act of 1900 s(574 ) ; Blasphemy is still punishable for those whose purpose of argument is “scoffing or reviling” or “violating public decency”
Conclusively we must understand the myth of ‘Australian secularism’ is just that: a falsehood, rooted in the ignorance of Australians of their own history and legal system. Australia is undoubtedly founded in strong Christian roots, by its European heritage we live and breathe in a Christian system without knowing it, Our Government operates only at the mercy and blessing of our Christian God who was defended from blasphemy and revile by both by common law and the crimes act of Australia.