The Global Atheist Convention 2010 in Melbourne, Australia is expected to be the largest gathering of atheists, rationalists, humanists, sceptics, free thinkers, etc. ever run in Australia and possibly in the world (it is projected to attract over two thousand people).
The Atheist Foundation of Australia, which is running the convention, applied for government funding months ago, but has not yet received a response. Compare how governments support religions and large religious conventions. Here in Australia, exemptions or concessions apply to religious organisations in relation to income tax, fringe benefits tax, GST, payroll tax, land tax, stamp duties, car registration fees and municipal rates. Consider the millions of government dollars that will help fund the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne this coming December and the $120m the World Youth [i.e. Catholic Youth] Day in Sydney cost Australian tax payers (and let’s not even start on the civil liberty restrictions associated with World Youth Day…).
It’s time our parliamentary representatives actually represented all citizens and supported the Global Atheist Convention. Alternatively, they could stop using tax-payers' dollars to subsidise religion. At the moment there is an unacceptable double standard.
Please help by spreading the word – raise this issue on blogs, in conversation and anywhere else the politicians might hear you.
Footnote: I have (somewhat freely) adapted this wording from here. I don't necessarily agree with every sentiment expressed there, so I've rewritten it somewhat and cut it down, but I think the above is the gist of it that many of us could agree with.