chapter  3
12 Pages

Arguing against a religious character to the Australian Constitution

ByLuke Beck

The legislative powers of the Federal Parliament established by the Australian Constitution were to be granted in the same way as the powers of the United States Congress. The Australian Seventh Day Adventists' legal reasoning was misconceived. The Seventh Day Adventists had not demonstrated that the religious words of the preamble would give rise to implied power to pass laws on the subject of religion. The campaign for constitutional recognition of God seemed familiar to the Seventh Day Adventists. The New South Wales Council of Churches' resolution to pursue constitutional recognition of God 'sounds like the familiar harpings of the National Reform Association and other like organisations in America', said the Bible Echo of 22 February 1897. Whatever the Council of Churches knew about the American movement, it is not difficult to understand why the Seventh Day Adventists thought the Council of Churches was inspired by the American events.