There’s a lot of excitement in Australia at the moment over tonight’s census. Many fear that our growing Muslim population will cause the government to cater overly to their religion and culture. I’ve seen a number of posts on facebook urging non-Muslims to declare themselves as Christian rather than entering a joke answer.
I can understand the importance of providing accurate data, but I don’t understand the fear. It’s not even just the usual stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists. Now we’re even worried that the government will ban Christian traditions in schools. Perhaps that’s valid. A Japanese friend once told me that her daughter’s kindergarten class didn’t make christmas decorations because not everyone in the class was Christian.
I don’t know whether the fear of our government taking a similar stance is justified, but I’d be disappointed if it was. We should be celebrating our multiculturalism, not removing all traces of our identity. I’ll welcome the celebrations of Hannukah and Ramadan and whatever else can be shared in our schools, but I hope that immigrants will accept that we have a Christian history that we are proud of.
I’ll be declaring myself an atheist tonight.
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