Respect and division: How Australians view religion

Monica Wilkie, Robert Forsyth
02 December 2019 | PP27
Respect and division: How Australians view religion

Religious tolerance is vital for a well-functioning secular democracy. The ability to tolerate even undesirable ideas ensures harmony.

In order to determine the attitudes of Australians towards religion, the Centre for Independent Studies commissioned YouGov Galaxy to poll more than 1000 Australians, with the data weighted by age, gender, and region, and also according to the religious affiliation question posed in the 2016 census.

Results show most Australians believe religion should be respected in a multicultural society. Further, they are tolerant of public expressions of religious beliefs, and think people’s religious views should not be ridiculed.

These attitudes indicate Australians are tolerant of religion, and view religious freedom as solely as an individual’s freedom to privately hold beliefs. This is further supported by their responses to the question on employment. A majority (64%) do not think an organisation should be allowed to refuse to employ someone on religious grounds.

Restricting religious organisations ability to employ people according to their faith risks eroding the very character of those institutions.

These results indicate there is an opportunity to better protect religious freedom in Australia.

Latest Publications

The Economic Challenge of Covid-19
Robert Carling
08 July 2020 | PP32

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the Australian economy was under-performing its potential and in need of reinvigoration. Economic growth in per capita terms had slowed to a crawl and business investment and productivity growth were depressed. Policy changes that were previously desirable have now been rendered crucial by the pandemic. The shock to the economic system since March has…

READ MORE
Lower Company Tax to Resuscitate the Economy
Jeff Bennett, Michael Potter, Tony Makin
06 July 2020 | PP31

In response to the economic contraction of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal and state governments have dramatically expanded the scope and scale of state involvement in the economy. This massive spike in government spending continues to be funded by increased government borrowing that has put Australia on a path to having about a trillion dollars’ worth of public debt, mostly…

READ MORE
A Fiscal Vaccine for COVID-19
Tony Makin
10 June 2020 | PP30

The fiscal response to the Covid-19 crisis ensures that the federal and state governments will experience large budget deficits and escalating public debt for the foreseeable future. Federal government debt could for instance conceivably double to over $1 trillion within a few years in the absence of substantial budget repair. Many economic questions arise about Australia’s policy response to the…

READ MORE
State Finances after the Pandemic
Robert Carling
28 May 2020 | PP29

The strength of Australia’s government finances is an important dimension of economic performance as it helps set the foundations for the delivery of public services, the flexibility governments need to respond to unexpected events and a stable fiscal environment for private sector investment. This strength is being severely tested by the fiscal consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. States and territories…

READ MORE
Pain without gain: Why school closures are bad policy
Blaise Joseph, Glenn Fahey
24 May 2020 | PP28

The decision by state and territory governments to strongly advise parents to keep their children at home and essentially close schools went against the health, economic, and educational evidence. There was little health benefit, while there were substantial economic and educational costs. Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, New South Wales, and Queensland are in a group with the longest government school…

READ MORE