Federal Secular Index

Welcome to the Iron Fist Velvet Glove Secular Index for Federal Politicians.

We take the view that many religious doctrines are harmful to our society and a person who has strong religious beliefs is more likely to oppose progressive reform of our laws. For that reason, it is important to know the nature of religious belief held by our political leaders. This index is an attempt to summarise that information.

Do you think it is unfair to question the religious belief of our political leaders? Check out this article by former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally.

We have listed our understanding of the particular faith followed by our Federal politicians and a rating of their commitment to secular values. We have no problem with politicians who are extremely pious provided they do not seek to impose their religion on other people or seek special privileges or advantages for their religion.

The index rates commitment to secular values.

0 – A person who actively argues against secular values and has demonstrated a shameless desire to use government resources to promote their particular religion and who would cross the floor and vote against party policy if such policy contravened their religious conviction.

3- A person who believes religions are valuable, that they should be supported and encouraged by government and would strongly oppose removing privileges but is not necessarily a loud advocate or organiser for religions.

5 – Neutral. We have been unable to find evidence of secular values.

8 – A person who would probably vote for secular reforms but does not publicly argue in favour of such reforms.

10 – A person who may or may not be extremely religious but who recognises that religion is a private matter which should receive no assistance from government and who actively advocates for the removal of special religious privileges.

If the index score is blank it means we haven’t scored this politician yet. You can help by sending us an email with information and links.

Alternatively, leave a comment below with your suggested score and information.

It would be great if you include links to articles which support your suggested score.

If there is limited public information about a particular politician or if you just like to do a thorough job you could also send the politician a questionnaire. Here is a link to a suggested questionnaire.



NameReligionSecular IndexPartyStateParliamentChamberNotesLinks
Hon Tony AbbottCatholic0LiberalNSWFederalH of RepsThe mad monk. A solid score of 0. A true enemy of secularism.More details
Hon Anthony AlbaneseCatholic (non-practising)5LaborNSWFederalH of RepsAnthony has often said that he was raised with three great faiths: The Catholic Church, The South Sydney Football Club and Labor.More details
John Alexander OAMUnknown5LiberalNSWFederalH of RepsNo public information. Questionnaire was sent 19 August 2017
Anne AlyMuslim3LaborWAFederalH of RepsDescribes herself as a secular Muslim.
Seems to be pro-secular but no public comments on specific secular policies other than wanting S.18c amended to include religion which would be a disaster for secularism.
More details
Hon Karen AndrewsBelieves in God5LNPcQldFederalH of RepsNo information available other than she believes in GodBelieves in God
Hon Kevin AndrewsCatholic0LiberalVicFederalH of RepsA member of the Cameron prayer group. For religious reasons he introduced a private members bill to defeat Assisted Dying legislation in the Northern Territory.More details
Adam BandtNon believer5GreensVicFederalH of RepsWe couldn't find any pro or anti secular statements from him.Do Australian MP's believe in God?
Julia BanksUnknown5LiberalVicFederalH of RepsNo relevant public information available. Questionnaire sent 26 August 2017.
Hon Sharon BirdUnknown5LaborNSWFederalH of RepsNo relevant public information available. Questionnaire sent 26 August 2017.
Hon Julie BishopChristian2LiberalWAFederalH of RepsA very cautious supporter of Marriage Equality who is very concerned that "religious freedom " is protected.
A strong supporter of Scripture Classes who threatened to reduce funding for State governments if they watered down RI lessons to a more secular version.
More details
Hon Chris BowenAtheist5LaborNSWFederalH of RepsAn atheist but no other informationOne of the few openly declared atheists in parliament
Andrew BroadA strong Christian3NationalVicFederalH of RepsWas initially listed as a 5 but the same sex marriage debate flushed out his desire for religious privilegesMore details
Russell BroadbentAlmost certainly Christian3LiberalVicFederalH of RepsA big supporter of The Lord's Prayer being said at the start of parliament. He is critical of the secular movement.An ABC interview
Gai BrodtmannUnknown6LaborACTFederalH of RepsNot sure whether or not she professes a faith but she understands she separation of Church and State. She says you don’t need religion to have a solid framework of strong moral values.
“I believe religion is a personal matter and I respect every person’s right to religious freedom. Everyone is informed and guided in different ways. I have my own set of values that guide me that have been informed by my life experience,”
Source link
Scott BuchholzUnknown4LNPcQldFederalH of RepsIs against same sex marriageSource link
Hon Tony BurkeCatholic4LaborNSWFederalH of RepsTony Burke is a Catholic. For him, that means going to church each week, sitting towards the back, and leaving quietly.More details
Linda BurneyUnknown5LaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Mark ButlerUnknown4LaborSAFederalH of RepsProtective of Chaplaincy programme.More details
Terri ButlerNon believer6LaborQldFederalH of RepsDifficult to evaluate, she is a secular humanist and supports a lot of secular policies such as science funding, same-sex marriage and assisted dying.
Although she is not religious she appears to have fallen into the trap of progressive authoritarianism
More details
Hon Anthony ByrneUnknown5LaborVicFederalH of RepsOpposed same sex marriage for unknown reasons
Dr Jim ChalmersUnknown8LaborQldFederalH of RepsSSM ‘Yes’ Voter – Facebook post 8:30am 27-10-27 (Ditto Twitter)
Defended Bill Shorten’s efforts against changes to Section 18c labelling the changes as an ‘obsession of the far right of the Liberal Party – The Australian 17-11-2016
More details
Nick ChampionUnknown5LaborSAFederalH of Reps
Hon Darren ChesterUnknown5NationalVicFederalH of Reps
Lisa ChestersUnknown5LaborVicFederalH of Reps
George ChristensenGreek Orthodox3LNPdQldFederalH of RepsWhen he was 21 years old, Christensen briefly attended a seminary in Melbourne with the intention to become a Catholic priest. However, when his father "pointedly objected," Christensen gave it up. Later, in 2014, he converted to worship in the Antiochian Orthodox ChurchMore details
Hon Steve CioboUnknown5LNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Hon Jason ClareUnknown5LaborNSWFederalH of Reps74% of his electorate voted No but he voted Yes to SSM
Sharon ClaydonUnknown5LaborNSWFederalH of Reps
David ColemanUnknown5LiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Julie CollinsUnknown5LaborTasFederalH of Reps
Pat ConroyUnknown6LaborNSWFederalH of RepsThe point I am making here is that many people who adhere to a religious faith also support marriage equality. But, even if they do not, we cannot make laws in this country and in this chamber based on religious beliefs. We have moved a long way from having a union of religion and the Crown. We have moved a long way from having an official state religion that dictates the morals and laws of this country. Any way of using religious beliefs to prevent marriage equality, I fear, impinges on and blurs the line in the separation of church and state.
Mark CoultonUnknown5NationalNSWFederalH of Reps
Chris CrewtherUnknown5LiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Michael DanbyJewish5LaborVicFederalH of Reps
Milton DickUnknown5LaborQldFederalH of Reps
Hon Mark Dreyfus QCJewish5LaborVicFederalH of Reps
Damian DrumUnknown5NationalVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Peter DuttonUnknown3LNPcQldFederalH of RepsNot a Bible basher but lines up with conservative views.More details
Hon Justine ElliotUnknown5LaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Kate EllisUnknown5LaborSAFederalH of Reps
Hon Warren EntschUnknown6LNPcQldFederalH of RepsArgued strongly against cake baker exemptions
Trevor EvansUnknown5LNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Jason FalinskiUnknown5LiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon David FeeneyUnknown5LaborVicFederalH of RepsCitizenship?
Hon Joel FitzgibbonUnknown5LaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Paul FletcherChristian3LiberalNSWFederalH of Repsseemed to reluctantly accept the plebiscite decision and had an unhealthy interest in research grants about theology and wanted a mandatory internet pornography filter
Nicolle FlintLiberalSAFederalH of Reps
Mike FreelanderLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Josh FrydenbergLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Andrew GeeNationalNSWFederalH of Reps
Steve GeorganasLaborSAFederalH of Reps
Andrew GilesLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Dr David GillespieUnknown4NationalNSWFederalH of RepsAbstained from marriage equality vote probably because of religious freedom beliefs
Ian GoodenoughLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Luke GoslingLaborNTFederalH of Reps
Tim HammondLaborWAFederalH of Reps
Ross HartLaborTasFederalH of Reps
Hon Luke HartsuykerNationalNSWFederalH of Reps
Andrew HastieAnglican2LiberalWAFederalH of RepsUltra conservative Christian fundamentalist who probably believes in creationism.
Hon Alex HawkeChristian2LiberalNSWFederalH of RepsA religious conservative power broker who works diligently to oust moderate liberals.More details
Chris HayesLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Sarah HendersonLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Julian HillLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Kevin HoganNationalNSWFederalH of Reps
Luke HowarthLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Hon Greg HuntLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Emma HusarLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Ed HusicLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Steve IronsLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Stephen JonesLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Barnaby JoyceCatholic1NationalNSWFederalH of RepsHe hates extremist atheists.More details
Hon Bob KatterCatholic (Maronite Christian)0Katter's Australian PartyQldFederalH of RepsMr Katter said Christian churches were being ridiculed and he was sick of sitting back and copping it by the humanists and the Darwinians.
“Let’s face our enemy squarely; the humanists and the Darwinians.
More details
Justine KeayLaborTasFederalH of Reps
Hon Michael KeenanLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Craig KellyLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Dr Mike Kelly AMLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Matt KeoghLaborWAFederalH of Reps
Peter KhalilLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Catherine KingLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Madeleine KingLaborWAFederalH of Reps
Susan LambLaborQldFederalH of Reps
Andrew LamingLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Michelle LandryUnknown5LNPdQldFederalH of RepsNot much to report except she is against the Burqa but that may be just xenophobia rather than secular concernsMore details
Hon Craig LaundyLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Julian LeeserLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Dr Andrew LeighLaborACTFederalH of Reps
Hon Sussan LeyLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
David LittleproudUnknown3LNPdQldFederalH of RepsVoted against marriage equality due to religious freedom concerns
Hon Jenny MacklinLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Nola MarinoLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Hon Richard MarlesLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Emma McBrideLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Michael McCormackNationalNSWFederalH of Reps
Cathy McGowan AOIndependentVicFederalH of Reps
John McVeighLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Brian MitchellLaborTasFederalH of Reps
Rob MitchellLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Scott MorrisonPentecostal2LiberalNSWFederalH of RepsA religious nutter who has pushed hard for special religious privileges. A true enemy of secularism.More details
Ben MortonLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Hon Shayne NeumannLaborQldFederalH of Reps
Llew O'BrienLNPdQldFederalH of Reps
Ted O'BrienLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Hon Brendan O'ConnorLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Ken O'DowdLNPdQldFederalH of Reps
Hon Kelly O'DwyerLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Clare O'NeilLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Cathy O'TooleLaborQldFederalH of Reps
Julie OwensLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Tony PasinLiberalSAFederalH of Reps
Graham PerrettLaborQldFederalH of Reps
Hon Keith PittCatholic3LNPdQldFederalH of RepsMr Pitt said he was raised in the Catholic faith and would support the proposed amendments for religious freedoms, which ultimately failed.
Hon Tanya PlibersekLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Christian PorterLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Hon Jane PrenticeLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Melissa PriceLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Hon Christopher PyneLiberalSAFederalH of Reps
Rowan RamseyLiberalSAFederalH of Reps
Hon Amanda RishworthLaborSAFederalH of Reps
Hon Stuart RobertPentecostal6LNPcQldFederalH of RepsA religious nutter who has supported diversity in the military and the right for military personnel to march in uniform in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Possibly only secular when it comes to the military.More details
Michelle RowlandLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Joanne RyanLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Rebekha SharkieNick Xenophon TeamSAFederalH of Reps
Hon Bill ShortenLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Tony SmithLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Warren SnowdonLaborNTFederalH of Reps
Anne StanleyLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Ann SudmalisLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Michael SukkarMaronite Christian3LiberalVicFederalH of RepsConservative son of immigrant Lebanese Maronite ChristiansMore details
Hon Wayne SwanLaborQldFederalH of Reps
Meryl SwansonLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Angus TaylorLiberalNSWFederalH of RepsHe believes religious freedom will be threatened by marriage equality
Hon Dan TehanLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Susan TemplemanLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Matt ThistlethwaiteLaborNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon Alan TudgeLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Malcolm TurnbullCatholic. Raised Presbyterian, Turnbull converted to Roman Catholicism "by mid-2002"4LiberalNSWFederalH of RepsMalcolm Turnbull has revealed he will support at least two amendments to the Senate’s same-sex marriage bill to guarantee that charities will not be affected and to allow civil celebrants to refuse to solemnise weddings.More details
Maria VamvakinouLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Bert van ManenLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Ross VastaLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Andrew WallaceLNPcQldFederalH of Reps
Tim WattsLaborVicFederalH of Reps
Lucy WicksLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Andrew WilkieIndependentTasFederalH of Reps
Josh WilsonLaborWAFederalH of Reps
Rick WilsonUnknown3LiberalWAFederalH of RepsAbstained from SSM vote because he wanted religious freedom exemptions.
Tim WilsonLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Jason WoodLiberalVicFederalH of Reps
Hon Ken Wyatt AMLiberalWAFederalH of Reps
Tony ZappiaLaborSAFederalH of Reps
Trent ZimmermanLiberalNSWFederalH of Reps
Hon. Eric AbetzChristian Reformed Church0LiberalTasFederalSenateOn separation of Church and State he quotes Ronald Reagan on his blog “And I know that you will agree with me that standing up for Australia also means standing up for the God, who has so blessed our land. I believe this country hungers for a spiritual revival. I believe it longs to see traditional values reflected in public policy again. To those who argue the separation of Church and State as a reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: separation of Church and State was not to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was to protect religious values from government tyranny.”More details
Cory BernardiCatholic0Australian ConservativesSAFederalSenateA very outspoken conservative who has no regard for secular values.
Catryna BilykUnknown5LaborTasFederalSenate
Hon. Simon BirminghamAtheist6LiberalSAFederalSenatePrepared to take on overfunding of religious schools
Hon. George BrandisUnknown4LNPcQldFederalSenatePanders to religious freedom arguments
Carol BrownUnknown5LaborTasFederalSenate“The religious freedom arguments and proposed amendments are nothing more than last ditch attempts to delay what people now need to accept is inevitable and the will of the Australian people,” Senator Brown said.
Brian BurstonUnknown but probably Catholic4One NationNSWFederalSenateVoted against SSM for unknown reasons
David BushbyUnknown5LiberalTasFederalSenate
Hon. Doug CameronAtheist8LaborNSWFederalSenateMore details
Hon. Matthew CanavanCatholic1LNPcQldFederalSenateA hardcore Catholic and disciple of Tony Abbott who bemoans the rise of secularism.More details
Hon Kim CarrUnknown6LaborVicFederalSenateThe minister for education and training,Christopher Pyne, is proposing to extend government funding to the teaching of theology. Critics of this proposal, including Labor Senator Kim Carr, are concerned that this compromises the separation of church and state. Click here
Hon. Michaelia CashUnknown3LiberalWAFederalSenateShe spoke at an ACL conference and voted for special religious exemptions in the Marriage Act debate.
Anthony ChisholmUnknown5LaborQldFederalSenateALP state secretary Anthony Chisholm said if religious beliefs influenced the (Liberal) Party and its policies, then it demanded public explanation. ... Labor's Anthony Chisholm said there were reports the preachers had been harassing people and telling schoolies on the Gold Coast they would go to hell for being drunk, being Muslim and having sex outside of marriage.
Hon. Jacinta CollinsCatholic2LaborVicFederalSenateAnti-abortion. Anti-euthanasia. Anti-gay marriage. A cardboard cut-out Catholic dramatically elevated into Labor's leadership team after the second coming of Kevin Rudd.More details
Hon. Mathias CormannRoman Catholic3LiberalWAFederalSenateA conservative Catholic but not as bad as some others although he pushed for special religious privileges as part of Marriage Act amendments
Sam DastyariMuslim (non-practising)5LaborNSWFederalSenateWas absent for SSM vote
Lucy GichuhiChristian3Was Family First but now IndependentSAFederalSenateVoted against SSM for religious reasons.She said her Christian faith was the backbone of her political beliefs.

"I believe I'm here for a reason and a purpose and that reason can only come from God. That is my key belief," she said.
Richard Di NataleUnknown9GreensVicFederalSenateNeeds to do more to promote secularismMore details
Pat DodsonCatholic (was ordained a priest)5LaborWAFederalSenateUnknown position on SSM and absent when the vote took place.
Jonathon DuniamChristian3LiberalTasFederalSenateA Christian who is proudly the ideological love child of Eric Abetz
Hon. Don FarrellCatholic2LaborSAFederalSenateA staunch Catholic, part of the Shop Assistants Union, his father was DLP and he is a powerful advocate of conservative ideas in the labor PartyMore details
David FawcettChristian (Baptist?)2LiberalSAFederalSenateTeamed up with James Paterson to try to win amendments to the same sex marriage legislation to allow special religious privileges. A big believer in "Religious Freedom" who will cause big problems in the future for secularism.More details
Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-WellsCatholic ?3LiberalNSWFederalSenateVoted against SSM for religious freedom reasonsConcetta Fierravanti-Wells has become perhaps the Liberal Party’s most vocal spokesperson for conservative multicultural views.
Hon. Mitch FifieldUnknown3LiberalVicFederalSenateVoted for special religious exemptions in the Marriage Act debate
Alex GallacherUnknown5LaborSAFederalSenateAbsent for SSM voteVery little information about this long time union official.
Katy GallagherUnknown5LaborAustralian Capital TerritoryFederalSenateWas absent for SSM vote but seemed in favour of it.
Peter Georgiou[e]Unknown4One NationWAFederalSenateHe was disappointed however some basic and simple measures to protect religious and conscientious views were rejected.
Stirling GriffUnknown5XenophonSAFederalSenate
Pauline HansonUnknown3One NationQldFederalSenateIs against SSM and in favour of amendments to allow civil celebrants to refuse SSM.“I notice in the morning every day when we stand up to say the Lord’s Prayer in this place that the majority of those on the opposite side don’t even say the Lord’s Prayer,” said One Nation’s Pauline Hanson.
“So their regard for religion is non-existent.
Sarah Hanson-YoungUnknown5GreensSAFederalSenate
Derryn HinchAtheist5JusticeVicFederalSenateIs probably quite secular but hasn't said or done much to prove it.
Jane HumeUnknown5LiberalVicFederalSenate
Chris KetterCatholic3LaborQldFederalSenateVoted against same sex marriage for religious freedom reasons. He is linked to the conservative Shop Assistants Union.
Kimberley Kitching [d]Unknown5LaborVicFederalSenate
David LeyonhjelmUnknown4Liberal DemocratsNSWFederalSenateHas pushed for special religious exemptions as part of marriage equality but his motivation appears to be libertarianMore details
Sue LinesUnknown5LaborWAFederalSenate
Jenny McAllisterUnknown5LaborNSWFederalSenate
Malarndirri McCarthyCatholic5LaborNorthern TerritoryFederalSenate I am thankful for Christ in my life and for each and every sunrise.”
Hon. Ian MacdonaldUnknown5LNPcQldFederalSenateInitially opposed same sex marriage for unknown reasons
James McGrathUnknown4LNPcQldFederalSenateAbstained from the vote for SSM for unknown reasons.A right wing extreme Libertarian from Toowoomba.
Bridget McKenzieChristian3NationalVicFederalSenateVehemently opposed to gay marriage seemingly on religious grounds and voted for amendments which would give special privileges to religions.
Nick McKimUnknown9GreensTasFederalSenateHas spoken out strongly in favour of secularismMore details
Gavin MarshallUnknown5LaborVicFederalSenateAbsent overseas for SSM vote
Claire MooreUnknown5LaborQldFederalSenate
Deborah O'NeillCatholic3LaborNSWFederalSenateOn SSM she abstained and she says she has been guided by her conscience. “I believe in the traditional definition of marriage..."
Barry O'SullivanUnknown4LNPcQldFederalSenateVoted against SSM but reasons unknown
James PatersonUnknown3LiberalVicFederalSenateDrafted his own bill which would allow service providers to deny service for gay weddings and favoured special religious exemptions.His motivations are probably more libertarian rather than religious.
Hon. Marise PayneUnknown5LiberalNSWFederalSenate
Helen PolleyCatholic3LaborTasFederalSenateVoted against same sex marriage for religious freedom reasons. She is linked to the conservative Shop Assistants Union.
Louise PrattUnknown5LaborWAFederalSenateSpoke against Chaplains in schools but for LGBTQ reasons, not secular reasons.
Linda ReynoldsUnknown5LiberalWAFederalSenate
Lee RhiannonAtheist10GreensNSWFederalSenateShe gave a great speech in 2017 calling for secular changes. We can't think of a better secular speech in recent times. A shame she does not get more publicity for her secular views.More details
Janet RiceUnknown5GreensVicFederalSenateNovember 27, 2017. Greens Senator Janet Rice says that civil celebrants should not be able to descriminate when it comes to performing at a same sex marriage ceremony. Rice says that the religous protections should not be carried across to those who are solomnising secular marriages.
Hon. Anne RustonUnknown5LiberalSAFederalSenate
Hon. Scott RyanUnknown3LiberalVicFederalSenateAdvocates that school chaplains shoudl be religious
Hon. Nigel ScullionUnknown5Country Liberal [j]Northern TerritoryFederalSenate
Zed SeseljaCatholic2LiberalAustralian Capital TerritoryFederalSenateA Catholic lawyer who used his maiden speech to defend traditional marriage.He says religious freedom will be threatened by marriage equality
A conservative supporter of Tony Abbott
Rachel SiewertUnknown6GreensWAFederalSenate“How disgusting to prioritise a ‘fundamental part of freedom of religion’ over ensuring the safety of children”
Hon. Lisa Singh[k]Unknown5LaborTasFederalSenate
Hon. Arthur SinodinosGreek Orthodox5LiberalNSWFederalSenate
Dean SmithUnknown5LiberalWAFederalSenateFought hard for marriage equality but his bill was severely flawed on secular groundsSome allowance is made that a non-secular Bill was possibly a necessary compromise to get the law passed.
Glenn SterleUnknown5LaborWAFederalSenateAbsent for SSM vote.
Anne UrquhartUnknown5LaborTasFederalSenate
Murray WattUnknown5LaborQldFederalSenate
Peter Whish-WilsonUnknown5GreensTasFederalSenate
John WilliamsChristian3NationalNSWFederalSenateJohn Williams wants the Lord's Prayer to be part of the school system. Voted against SSM for religious freedom reasons.More details
Hon. Penny WongUnknown6LaborSAFederalSenate“Religious freedom means being free to worship and to follow your faith without suffering persecution or discrimination for your beliefs. It does not mean imposing your beliefs on everyone else.”Is prepared to confront religious privilege regarding SSM but not on other issues
Slade BrockmanUnknown3LiberalWAFederalSenateVoted against SSM for religious freedom reasons
Andrew BartlettAtheist5GreensQldFederalSenate
Rex PatrickUnknown5XenophonSAFederalSenate
Jordan Steele-JohnUnknown5GreensWAFederalSenate
Fraser AnningChristian3One NationQldFederalSenateVoted against SSM for religious reasons


23 comments on “Federal Secular Index
  1. Matt Ellis says:

    I’ll do the research on every federal politician from WA, both Senators and House of Reps.

  2. Dean says:

    Quite simply, you have just lost an opportunity to do this well. You should have never announced this. You should have sent a questionaire to any Politician that you didnt know about already and asked them a series of questions.

    • The Iron Fist says:

      I don’t agree with you Dean but can I put you down to do Chris Bowen, Andrew Broad, Russell Broadbent, Gai Brodtman, Scott Buchholtz, Tony Burke, Linda Burney, Mark Butler, Terri Butler and Anthony Byrne?

  3. Janelle says:

    Great initiative. I can’t help at the moment as I’m busy with uni work but after about mid-September I’ll help out if you’re still going.

    This site can help your research on how pollies voted on different issues:

    You can search by the politician or by issue. Here is the vote for:
    – National School Chaplaincy program: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/policies/61
    – Stem Cell Research: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/policies/22

  4. The Iron Fist says:

    Hi Everyone. This site may help your investigations. http://www.openaustralia.org.au/

  5. Landon Hardbottom says:

    A list of sites to assist in the search, such as the one The Iron Fist has listed above would be helpful and encourage more participation. I’ll start at the “Zs” and see if I can make some progress there but tracking down this type of information isn’t something I’ve done before.

  6. Selena says:

    I looked at Jacquie Lambie.
    I scored her a 1.
    Opposes marriage equality for religious reasons.
    Refused a tour of a mosque for religious reasons.
    Actively opposes Islam but not for secular reasons.

  7. The Iron Fist says:

    If there is limited public information about a particular politician or if you just like to do a thorough job you could also send the politician a questionnaire. I have amended the page to include a link to a suggested questionnaire.

  8. The Iron Fist says:

    Roberta has offered to do
    Hon Chris Bowen
    Andrew Broad
    Russell Broadbent
    Gai Brodtmann
    Scott Buchholz
    Hon Tony Burke
    Linda Burney
    Hon Mark Butler
    Terri Butler
    Hon Anthony Byrne

  9. Pele says:

    Malcolm Fucking Roberts.
    No mention of religious affiliation found, but he did go on ‘church and state’ show https://churchandstate.com.au/climate-change/
    RE abortion,
    He thinks there’s not enough ‘balanced’ information available, that women are misinformed, and that ‘Abortion violates the sanctity of life’

  10. Janelle Carter says:

    I give Eric Abetz a zero. He’s more of a religious zealot than Tony Abbott.

    Religion: Christian – a member of the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (an extremely conservative denomination in the Calvinist tradition). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Abetz

    Religious Activism: Abetz “has been variously associated with conservative groups, including the Association of Christian Parent Controlled Schools, Salt Shakers, Focus on the Family, Lyons Forum, Endeavour Forum, Family Council of Victoria, Fatherhood Foundation, Australian Christian Lobby, Australian Family Association and Right to Life Australia” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Abetz

    Voting record: Abetz has voted exactly as you would expect a fundamentalist Christian to vote:

    Voted very strongly against increasing availability of abortion drugs: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/tasmania/eric_abetz/policies/31

    Voted very strongly against stem-cell research: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/tasmania/eric_abetz/policies/22

    Voted very strongly against a national redress scheme for institutional abuse survivors: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/tasmania/eric_abetz/policies/125

    Voted very strongly against extending government benefits to same-sex couples: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/tasmania/eric_abetz/policies/29

    Voted moderately for funding the national school chaplaincy program: https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/tasmania/eric_abetz/policies/61

    Quotes on various issues:

    On imposing his religious view on the rest of us: “In case I need to declare I identify as a Christian. That forms the basis of my world view which in turn provides me with a moral code which in turn informs my approach to law making.” https://abetz.com.au/speeches/the-foundations-of-successful-conservative-policy-the-wise-and-foolish-builders

    On Parliamentary prayers: He has strongly argued against the Green party’s attempts to remove the Lord’s prayer from the daily opening of Federal Parliament saying “The latest Green attack as part of their ongoing attempt to rewrite our history and deny our heritage,” and pointed out that Australia’s freedom and wealth have been built on our religious underpinnings, making us the envy of the world.”

    On separation of Church and State he quotes Ronald Reagan on his blog “And I know that you will agree with me that standing up for Australia also means standing up for the God, who has so blessed our land. I believe this country hungers for a spiritual revival. I believe it longs to see traditional values reflected in public policy again. To those who argue the separation of Church and State as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: separation of Church and State was not to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was to protect religious values from government tyranny.” https://abetz.com.au/speeches/address-to-the-australian-christian-lobby-conference-brisbane

    On Same-sex marriage: He’s said he won’t be bound by the same-sex marriage poll and will vote according to his conscience: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jan/27/eric-abetz-coalition-mps-will-not-be-bound-by-plebiscite-on-marriage-equality

    On Australia: He believes that “Our rich Judeo-Christian heritage as a nation should be celebrated and taught as the foundation of our nation’s greatness” and “Our society and its well-being – the envy of the world – is firmly rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage.” https://abetz.com.au/speeches/the-foundations-of-successful-conservative-policy-the-wise-and-foolish-builders

    On abortion: “I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.” http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/media-bias-and-religion-its-not-about-faith-or-politics-but-how-extremely-they-are-expressed/news-story/347407eae2e89501998da4fe5e9061b9

    On claiming there is anti-Christian bias in the media: “If you have a Christian, conservative point of view to offer, the media will have this negative-sentiment override which will simply be critical of any views that you may seek to express …” http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/media-bias-and-religion-its-not-about-faith-or-politics-but-how-extremely-they-are-expressed/news-story/347407eae2e89501998da4fe5e9061b9

  11. Janelle Carter says:

    Terri Butler Member for Griffith was much harder to evaluate, she is a secular humanist and supports a lot of secular policies such as science funding, same-sex marriage and assisted dying.
    Although she is not religious she appears to have fallen into the trap of progressive authoritarianism – wanting to enforce equality and speech codes in law. She is the Shadow Assistant minister for equality and supports policies such as gender quotas and opposes the reform of 18C. I find these incompatible with principles of fairness (we should be a meritocracy) and liberalism (freedom of speech is the bedrock of our democracy). Strictly speaking though these views don’t impact her ‘secular’ credentials. This underscores for me that secularism alone is not enough – we also need politicians committed to liberalism and justice.

    Anyway, Butler would get a 7 for her championing of secular policies however due to her support for QLD’s religious vilification laws she is getting a 6. The vilification laws make it unlawful to incite hatred, serious contempt and even “severe ridicule” of a person or group on the basis of their religion. It is easy to see how these could come to act as defacto blasphemy laws if interpreted widely by the courts.

    Religion: She claimed in parliament to be “a secular humanist”: http://www.openaustralia.org.au/debates/?id=2016-11-09.113.1&s=secular#g123.8

    Views on Secular topics:
    On science funding: In her maiden speech spoke strongly in favour of science funding “Australia should be a nation that respects science, rigour and expertise, and knowledge, skills, experience and evidence, because in elevating and celebrating these things lies Australia’s future—our ability to compete and to cooperate. We owe it to every Australian to fund scientific research not just when it is perceived to have immediate financial benefit, because the nature of scientific research is that we do not know what it will lead to; we do not know what innovations will occur in the future with scientific research… more broadly, we must promote science and reason. We must resist anti-intellectualism.”

    On Same-Sex Marriage: Has been a strong supporter of marriage equality since entering parliament and co-sponsored a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015. She also strongly opposed a same-sex marriage plebiscite but on her Facebook page she makes it clear she will be voting ‘yes’ in the postal vote. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/queensland-mps-lead-marriage-equality-charge-20150907-gjh2w7.html

    On Abortion: She successfully lobbied the government to cancel the visa of American anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman, who had previously called for the execution of abortion doctors.

    On voluntary assisted-dying: In principle, subject to seeing the details of the bill, she supports legalisation of voluntary assisted dying. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1p7HrrY-BB4 (at approx. 9 minute mark)

    Leftist-authoritarian views:

    She supports QLDs religious vilification laws (defacto blasphemy laws): http://www.terributlermp.com/our_community_must_stand_together_against_religious_vilification

    She strongly believes in gender quotas and affirmative action in politics and business: http://www.theleft.org.au/50_is_equal

    On Free Speech: She opposed changes to 18C of the Racial Discrimination act. She was sued by one of the QUT students involved in the Cindy Prior case over comments she made on Q&A accusing them of using the ‘N word’.

  12. Janelle Carter says:

    I’ll also do Derryn Hinch and my local MP Julie Owens.
    Hinch should get a good rating, I know he’s opposed to chaplains, wants to remove the Lord’s prayer from the opening of parliament, and thinks churches should pay tax.

  13. Adam says:

    DR Jim Chalmers MP – Member for Rankin

    Rating of 8
    There was not a lot of evidence to suggest that Jim was anything but secular in his political views .
    His personal life is somewhat candid and without glimpse into any form of faith following.
    Would be a 10 if I was able to find anything from Jim stating that he did not follow a faith.
    Pro –
    SSM ‘Yes’ Voter – Facebook post 8:30am 27-10-27 (Ditto Twitter)
    Defended Bill Shorten’s efforts against changes to Section 18c labelling the changes as an ‘obsession of the far right of the Liberal Party – The Australian 17-11-2016

    On the fence –
    Active participant at local functions to recognise upstanding citizens within his electorate which are hosted by religious bodies but interpret these activities as him wanting to engage with the large cultural demographic of his electorate.

  14. Brett Jones says:

    Hi there

    I have started on my local member, Michelle Landry, LNP member for Capricornia. I have not been able to find any mention of her stance on secularism and if she is even religious. She came out against burqas in public, but only stated safety and feminist principles. In that article she did reflect some knowledge of old testament ideals of modesty, but no stance on her own religiosity.

    She voted for the plebiscite, however she seems to vote in the party line. At the moment, I am thinking she may be between a 5 to 7, however I have sent her the survey and hope for a response.


    • The Iron Fist says:

      Thanks Brett!

    • The Iron Fist says:

      I have put her down as a 5

    • Brett Jones says:

      An update. A Landry representative got back to me and said they were all too busy to do the survey. They did say though “Please note however that as the Federal Member for Capricornia, Ms Landry’s personal views will not always determine how she will vote in parliament – as the representative of the electorate she will always vote based on the majority opinion of the constituents she is representing.” From what I have seen on her voting record, she tows the party line. However, as she is elected she has a good argument that she is representing the majority of her constituents, as they voted LNP. So, yoou get what you ask for.

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