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Welcome
Thursday, 04 July 2019 07:01

Bye Bye Bernardi

Senator Cory Bernardi has had the wind knocked out of his sails by successive electoral defeats for his party. Hindsight is 20:20, and he should never have left the Liberal Party. The Australian Conservatives had all the potential in the world to bring a genuine conservative revolution to Australian politics, but not as a party in its own right.

Published in Catholic
Thursday, 28 March 2019 12:48

What IS EMILY’s List?

Dave Pellowe interviews Teeshan Johnson, the Executive Director of Cherish Life Qld, about this insidious organisation that has an invisible hand in every Parliament in Australia. What extreme agendas do EMILY’s List members have for Australia’s future? What have they already achieved without the general public knowing who was behind it?

Published in Abortion
Monday, 31 December 2018 15:33

Our Top 10 Articles of 2018

Well, it's that time of year when we look back over the last 12 months and thank God for His blessings and protection. It's also customary to examine our lives - our achievements and failures - to see what can be improved upon in the coming year. I'll certainly be spending some time in the next couple of weeks considering what improvements can be made to the website and its content. Below are the articles that you liked best and shared the most widely during 2018.

Published in The Freedoms Project
Wednesday, 19 December 2018 22:41

Ruddock Report response (part 3)

In my former posts (here and here), O Friend of Law and Religion, I have dealt with all that the Ruddock Report covered in recommendations 1-12 and 15, along with the official Government Response to those recommendations. In this post I aim to cover recommendations 13-14 and 16-20. These deal with important issues of the law of blasphemy and religious free speech, along with State discrimination laws, collection of data, education on religious freedom, the role of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and the exercise of leadership in the area by the Commonwealth.    

Published in Religious Freedom
Saturday, 15 December 2018 07:13

Ruddock Report summary and responses (Part 2)

Following my previous post giving comments on Recommendations 1, 5-8 and 15 of the Ruddock Report and the Government Response, I will comment here on another set of recommendations (Recs 2-4, 9-12) and the likely outcome. Comments on recommendations 13-14, and 16-20, will (hopefully) be made in Part 3!

Published in Religious Freedom
Friday, 14 December 2018 07:55

The Ruddock Report has Landed! (Part 1)

The long-awaited Religious Freedom Review: Report of the Expert Panel (chaired by the Hon Philip Ruddock) has now been released publicly, along with the formal Government Response. After the prior leaking of its 20 recommendations there were no major surprises as to the final conclusion, but there is much interesting background to the recommendations (and in one or two cases the full Report seems to have a significant impact on how one should read the language of the recommendations.) It is also important to see the announced intentions of the LNP Government as to how they will respond. In this first post in response to the full Report I will comment mainly on recommendations 1 & 5-8 and recommendation 15, with the other recommendations to be left for part 2 or later.

Published in Religious Freedom
Friday, 07 December 2018 19:04

SDA amendments referred to another enquiry

A brief note about the Sex Discrimination Act amendments which have the subject of a number of recent posts. The House of Representatives has now adjourned for the year without a Government Bill being introduced to make any changes concerning religious schools and discrimination. So no binding changes will be made this year. On 6 December the Senate referred the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 February 2019. Submissions to the Committee can be made at the website linked here, and must be provided by 11 January 2019: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/Sexdiscrimination.

Published in Religious Freedom
Thursday, 06 December 2018 09:13

The Exclusion Zone contagion is spreading

Queensland

Exclusion-zones went into force yesterday in Queensland, along with the state's new act that moved abortion into the health code. Queensland is the fourth Australian state to enact the zones - this includes New South Wales, where abortion is still technically illegal; both territories also have the so-called 'Safe-Access' zones. Pro-lifers who wish to pray outside abortion mills and offer help to the women entering them will now have to stand 150m away from the entrance or risk huge fines and potential incarceration.

Published in Abortion

A number of Christian and other religious organisations are deeply concerned about the proposals in the ALP-sponsored private Bill due to be debated in the Senate on Monday Dec 3. As I have discussed in previous comments (here and here) the Bill, which started out as an agreed measure to stop religious schools from expelling gay students on the basis of their “orientation” alone, has a number of other serious consequences for religious freedom, not only for schools but for churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organisations (such as, for example, University student ministries.) The Bill amends the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to remove some clauses which have previously provided protection for Christian organisations to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Published in Religious Freedom

For those following the debates about proposed amendments to discrimination laws removing religious freedom from faith-based schools, the LNP Government has now tabled a number of amendments to the ALP Bill released earlier this week. While these amendments are a move in the right direction, there are still some serious concerns about their effect on religious schools and their ability to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs. The Government amendments can be seen on this page as separate documents. I will aim to briefly outline the effect of the amendments. I will assume readers are familiar with the ALP Bill discussed in my previous blog.

Published in Religious Freedom
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