26 September 2006



Abbott, Costello, Downer, Howard join the ranks


 Justice Lionel Keith Murphy was the lone supporter of Separation of Church and State and Public Education on the Australian High Court Bench when he died on 21 October 1986.

DOGS urge any person or groups celebrating the contribution of Lionel Murphy to Australian fundamental values and institutions to acknowledge his support of Separation of Church and State and Public Education. Lionel Murphy was the sole dissenting voice in support of separation of church and state in the 1981 DOGS Section 116 decision .  See

In 2006 separation of Church and State is given verbal support by Health Minister Abbott; Treasurer, Costello; Foreign Minister Downer; and Prime Minister Howard - to name a few.

DOGS could not persuade Barwick CJ, Gibbs J., Mason J., Stephen J., Aickin J., and Wilson J. to support the separation of church and state which was enshrined by the Founding Fathers in Section 116 of our Constitution.  With the encouragement and incitement of the Roman Catholic Church ( lay and religious) and supported by the wealthy non-Catholic religious school, the six majority judges trashed Section 116 by making nonsense of it and reading it down and out of the Constitutions. What is even worse, they turned what was a shield into a potential sword.


Justice Lionel Keith Murphy was the sole dissenting judge in support of Separation of Church and State in his High Court decision and his continued support of the secular state and its major underpinning, the secular public education system. He would have been delighted to have seen the present conservative political supporters of separation of church and state and their verbal support of a secular state.

If he was alive today, Lionel would be applauding some of Peter Costello's September 23, 2006 statements made to the Australian Christian Lobby. We quote

"Separating the State from Religion allows religious our time it is the freedom of all kinds of religion under a secular state prescribed by the Australian Constitution...

Now I have argued that separation of Church and State is good for both... I support the concept of a secular state for our country...

Our system of government including the establishment of a secular state with the freedom of religion for all."

Bravo Mr. Costello! Now, to quote Justice Lionel Murphy, where is your action word? We suggest you keep going and Stop State Aid to Church Schools!

In later News Releases we will consider Justice Murphy's High Court decision and related matters. We will also consider his support for the public education system.

If readers wish to peruse an extensive lecture on Lionel Murphy we refer them to Press Release 24 "Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture, Monash University Gippsland 26 October 2000.



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Last modified:Tuesday, 26 September 2006