Dear Australian Census Designers

Firstly, congrats on our first online census. That was awesome. I’ve heard there’s been some moaning but, humans + change = complaining, so no surprises there really! Being able to complete my submission on my phone after getting home from work filled me with respect for all the peeps involved.

There was just this one question, and maybe it’s a legacy issue, though I note you seem to have been able to squiffle with the professions category /categorisations problem this year – I await with interest the results of these changes by the way!

My problem is with the pesky issue of faith. Seriously, that question was all kinds of broken 😦

You do know that you can have “No Religion” AND ” believe in god(s) / be spiritual”; yeah?

And that; Atheism is specifically the lack of belief in god(s) and NOT a “belief framework’?

And should not, therefor, have been classed as “Beliefs-Other”?


What’s an atheist to do? Hmm? Lower the number of people recording as  ‘atheist’  in the census by claiming ‘No Religion’ (which is true, but not the whole story) or fight every screaming logic circuit in their wetware and type “atheism” in the “beliefs” section as suggested in the ‘help’ (implying they are part of some community that does not exist)?

Even when your an agnostic, your an agnostic-something. There is usually a particular faith tradition you’re uncertain about! We atheist types don’t tend to congregate based on our atheism. There is no atheist handshake or secret wink. We don’t have monthly meetings. We just tend to think that there is no evidence supporting the existence of a “higher being”. That’s it. We are not “a belief group” and there are many people who are spiritual / believe there is a “higher power” who are also not part of a “belief group”… And you missed us all, forced us into boxes we don’t fit in and/or actively resent.

i see what you were trying to do and applaud leading with “No Religion” but suggest that this is only part of the picture. If someone answers “no religion” and you want to know if they believe in spirituality / god(s) of any flavour – THAT NEEDS TO BE AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION!

How does the structure of the question in this years census shed light on anything other than your bog standard mainstream religious categories?

Not cool ABS, not cool. I am disappoint 😦img_0246