Without free speech there can be no search for truth. Without freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, we are not free.
Western democracy was founded in Christianity and in the family. It’s why Marx and Engels, the co-authors of the Communist Manifesto, were determined to undermine both. Marx and Engels knew religion was the enemy, and the family was the enemy. They did not like what families and people of faith people talked about around the dinner table. Sound familiar? They also knew the family and people of faith did not need the state.
There are some things people will not be dictated to or lectured about. One of those is their faith or their morals, particularly what they teach their children. They will certainly not be brow-beaten or cowed into submission by being called bigots or homophobes.
The left talks about equality and tolerance but the religious freedom debate is not really about equality and tolerance. It’s about discrimination against religious people. The left may call for tolerance but what they really want is for everyone to agree with and endorse – even celebrate, their view of the world. And they’re not interested in debate or argument, they simply want the legislative power of the state to force everyone to comply.
If being free means anything, it means citizens having the right to ensure that the religious and moral education of their children conforms with their own convictions – as outlined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Australia is a signatory. It means having freedom of conscience and the freedom to believe and practice the core commitments and values of a person’s faith and the state’s role should be to protect those rights.
There’s no doubt the left is out to undermine our freedoms. They’re coming for our churches, our schools, our faith-based organisations, our farms, our mines, our cars and, most of all, our children. They’re also coming for our old people with their euthanasia needles, for our about-to-be-born babies with their grotesque abortion laws, for our teenagers with their drug liberalisation laws, and they’re coming to indoctrinate our primary school children. They’re also coming for Christmas Day and Australia Day and Anzac Day and Remembrance Day. These people mean business.
In 2013, David Flint and Jai Martinkovits wrote a book called, ‘Give Us Back Our Country’. In the seven years since they wrote that book, it is fairly clear we are not getting our country back any time soon. If anything, more of our country and our freedoms have been taken. In a recent article Flint is no longer calling for our country to be ‘given back’, but rather we’re going to have to take it back.
People and faith-based organisations – schools, hospitals, aged care providers, charities, should not have to rely on exemptions from anti-discrimination laws to function in accordance with their faith. They should, for example, have the freedom to select people as they see fit. Political parties have that right because the political allegiance of a job applicant matters; in environmental groups, views about climate change are relevant; in women’s shelters, gender is important; saying you can only become a member of a chess club if you play chess is not discriminating against people who don’t play chess! In ethnic clubs and institutions, ethnicity is sensible and practical. We accept all these differences. And in faith-based organisations, faith matters. Forcing faith-based schools for example to become indistinguishable from secular schools regarding staffing is senseless. After all, no-one is forced to work for a faith-based organisation or send their children to a faith-based school where all the staff follow that particular faith.
Expressions of faith by a person or faith-based organisations must be declared lawful. Statutory exemptions are simply inadequate. Exemptions granted can just as easily be withdrawn – as they are right now. The right to religious freedom must be treated as a pre-eminent right and be recognised and protected. Human Rights Commissions should have no role to play. A Commonwealth law, by reference to its Objects clauses, must recognise religious freedom as pre-eminent, and override all state and territory anti-discrimination laws.
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