Why Australia Needs Religious Freedom Law More Than More


Many recent Australians who have succumbed to public health reprimands and have been banned for fear of transmission appear to be content to sacrifice their freedom for security. But the Freedom Beacon continues to shine, hoping it will still burn brightly.

Almost forgotten as COVID-19 overwhelmed the country last year, the Morrison government’s first promise to protect religious freedom as a result of the same-sex marriage campaign awakens again. I did.

Attorney General Michaelia Cash has announced that he will bring in a revised version of the pandemic-postponed Religious discrimination bill To Congress by the end of the year.

The new proposal can be as controversial as the one originally proposed by Cash’s predecessor Christian Porter. Critics of the bill will almost certainly argue that protecting religious freedom is equivalent to supporting “hate speech” and prejudice.

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Senator Michaelia Cash attended the Education and Employment Commission of the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, on March 25, 2021. (Sam Mooy / Getty Images)

But instead of creating a license to pursue social unacceptability, the enactment of legal protection of basic rights to religious freedom has already been successful and the ability of citizens of diverse multiethnic societies to live together. Will strengthen.

Currently, our anti-discrimination legislation generally provides exemptions only for faith-based organizations. The proposed religious discrimination bill will reinforce this by creating specific rights that allow those organizations to act in accordance with their religious beliefs.

What brought this country to the point where law was needed to exercise its basic human rights to religious freedom? One factor is the increasing reach of identity politics. This emphasizes, not improves, the differences between people.

The emphasis on differences makes it difficult for citizens of secular multicultural societies to challenge new legitimacy of gender, human sexuality, and family. Instead, the opposition is weaponized and developed as a “harm” to keep the debate out.

Religious critics jumped at the 2016 census figures, where 30% of Australians do not claim religious affiliation. What they consistently overlook is that religion continues to be an important part of Australian society, with more than 60 percent of Australians retaining religious affiliation.

Laws that protect basic human rights to religious freedom, without the intolerance shown by those who have decided to silence and embarrass religious believers who dare to express their beliefs in public. Australia wouldn’t need it.

For example, few would be surprised if a group of environmentalists choose not to hire advocates of coal and other fossil fuel confessions. Still, when the religious school asks its staff to sympathize with the beliefs of the faith in question, the weapons are thrown out in horror.

Indeed, expressing sympathy for religious views on social issues can lead to criticism and a boycott call. This happened in 2017 when Cooper’s Brewery sponsored an online debate between supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage.

The legalization of euthanasia raises the following set of issues for advocates of religious freedom: Faith-based medical or geriatric care facilities may find freedom to refuse control of euthanasia on premises that has been removed by law enshrining the so-called “right to die.”

This is already the case in Queensland, where the new assisted suicide (VAD) scheme does not give faith-based health care providers the right to conscientious objection to military service. Patients who are difficult to move or who are near death can request VAD wherever they are.

Australia decided to protect religious freedom long ago when it ratified the two major treaties that provided protection, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1966. Showed its commitment.

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On October 23, 2020, a man can be seen praying outside St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. (Lisa Marie Williams / Getty Images)

Ratification of such a treaty does not make its provisions part of Australian law and does not create legally enforceable rights. However, it entails legal and moral obligations to act consistently with the Convention and uphold those provisions.

The right to religious freedom is not absolute. It must always be balanced with the rights of other citizens. Nor can religious practice be justified simply because it is motivated by faith. For example, Australian law prohibits female genital mutilation and child marriage.

No matter how much the proponents of such practices preach the pie, they are always illegal and those who practice them are in a position to be convicted. But this is quite different from maintaining the freedom to order one’s life according to a particular religious doctrine or belief.

The relentless onslaught of progressive secularism also makes it even more difficult for religious Australians to practice their faith openly and publicly. As a result, we have come to the point that religious discrimination bills are not only welcomed. It has become indispensable.

Tolerant tyrants only blame themselves for cursing their religious neighbors, and the Morrison government, which promised to act for it, is now a new way to protect the freedom of all Australians. I showed my determination.

Peter Kurti is Director of Cultural, Prosperity and Civil Society Programs at the Independent Research Center in Sydney, Australia. He is also a part-time associate professor at the University of Notre Dame in Australia and a fellow of the Royal Arts Association.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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