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Religious Freedom
Monday, 07 October 2019 05:45

Fired for using the wrong pronoun

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Two cases have been highlight overseas recently where a Christian employee has been fired for declining to use the “preferred pronoun” of a person who identifies as a different gender to their biological sex. The cases illustrate that religious freedom, and free speech generally, in the workplace can be under challenge in circumstances involving “gender identity” issues. It is not clear how such cases would be resolved in Australia.

Friday, 20 September 2019 10:50

UN LGBT Czar takes aim against religions

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A UN expert charged with promoting LGBT rights around the world called on governments to take action against religions that don’t embrace LGBT rights.

In his latest report to the General Assembly, Victor Madrigal-Borloz said, “States should adopt decisive action when religious authorities, leaders or agents infringe on the rights of LGBT persons through violence and discrimination, including hate speech.”

Monday, 09 September 2019 10:06

'Let's just get rid of Christianity altogether'

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Be warned: This appalling new bill will spell the end of freedom in Victoria.

It is not uncommon to find popular assertions , in relation to the legal treatment of transgender persons, that the law requires that a person who asserts they are of a different gender to their biological sex, be allowed to use bathrooms set aside for their chosen gender, or that they have a “right” to be addressed by the pronoun corresponding to that gender. In this post I want to point out that it seems quite arguable that the law in most of Australia does not have this effect.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 21:07

Is it time to ban the Bible?

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The head of Rugby Australia considers the Bible – or parts of it at least – to be so problematic that it cannot be quoted from, even by an employee on his own time. That is now a sackable offence. You can permanently lose your entire career for daring to cite the Word of God.

An important decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal has ruled that a social work student, Felix Ngole, should not have been dismissed from his course on the basis of comments he made on social media sharing the Bible’s view on homosexuality.

Monday, 24 June 2019 10:38

Folau, the Left and double standards

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Go Fund Me have pulled the campaign to raise money for Israel Folau's legal defence - all in name of tolerance.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 11:12

Religious Freedom Campaign from the ICS

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Many organisations around Australia are attempting to pressure the Morrison government into legislating to protect religious freedom. Of special concern is the attempt by the Greens and the ALP to remove 'religious exemptions' in anti-discrimination law. The ICS (Institute for Civil Society) has released a video and briefing paper to provide resources so that we can become more informed and also reach out to politicians. 

Friday, 14 June 2019 10:28

Did Qantas fire Israel Folau?

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Did Qantas fire Israel Folau? Are SJW corporations running the nation’s public policy now? What can we do to make them stick to their knitting? Dr Jeremy Sammut has written a book answering just that question.

In a previous post I commented on the events surrounding celebrity rugby player Israel Folau’s posting on social media of a meme stating that various groups of sinners, including “homosexuals”, were destined for hell unless they repented and put their trust in Jesus Christ. He was immediately threatened with dismissal by his employer, Rugby Australia (“RA”), a threat subsequently implemented through an internal tribunal finding that he was guilty of a high level breach of the RA “code of conduct”.

Friday, 17 May 2019 22:05

Scott Morrison on Religious Freedom

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In many regards, it may be true that there is litle difference between the major parties. But Scott Morrison is at least ostensibly in favour of religious freedom.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 20:11

Religious Freedom and the Federal Election

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Australia goes to the polls in a Federal election on May 18, 2019. It seems worthwhile to note, for those interested, some recent information about the views of the major political parties on religious freedom, and to report an important study of public opinion on the topic.

It’s wonderful news that all of a sudden Rugby Union Australia believe in God, Heaven & Hell. Many of us had been under the distinct impression they were largely indifferent to Christian theology & doctrine. All that was cleared up marvelously though when they judged the record try scorer of all time, Israel Folau, to be more immoral than the philandering, drunken cokeheads which litter the various Australian football codes.

Monday, 15 April 2019 21:16

Folau's Foolish Wisdom

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Israel Folau has lost his job (or come very close to it) for quoting Scripture on social media. That statement should make us think long and hard about the state of religious freedom in Australia. The football star has exposed a huge divide that exists among the Australian public by preaching basic Christian doctrine, but his comments are a challenge to all of us to defend the Truth, no matter what the cost.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has now (Feb 14, 2019) tabled its Report on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018, a Private Senator’s Bill introduced last year by Senator Wong with the support of the ALP.

There is no discrimination by Christian Schools against gay kids.

No kid has ever been expelled for being gay & no school wants to. Yet if you were to believe Labor’s Senator Penny Wong, she claims to be fighting against such discrimination. Dr Greg Walsh, senior law lecturer at the University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney joins me to discuss her proposed legislation, the arguments for and against it, and what he thinks the Parliament should do instead.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 22:41

Ruddock Report response (part 3)

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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.    

Saturday, 15 December 2018 07:13

Ruddock Report summary and responses (Part 2)

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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!

Friday, 14 December 2018 07:55

The Ruddock Report has Landed! (Part 1)

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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.

Friday, 07 December 2018 19:04

SDA amendments referred to another enquiry

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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.

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.

Monday, 03 December 2018 07:18

Government amendments to religious schools bill

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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.

Friday, 30 November 2018 06:56

ALP Bill on religious schools and students

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[Senator Wong, leader of the Opposition in the Senate, has introduced a Private Senator’s Bill aimed at removing the power of religious schools to discriminate against same sex attracted students. Unfortunately, the amendments do much more than stop schools expelling students on the basis of their internal sexual orientation (a goal all sides of politics agree on.) They will have a serious impact on the ability of such schools, and other religious bodies, to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs. A more nuanced approach is needed.  

Saturday, 24 November 2018 10:26

The Labor/Greens Ongoing War on Christianity

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With the crucial Victorian state election just hours away, the two major hard-left political parties in Australia have told us yet again how much they hate Christianity and how much they want to see it silenced altogether. While Victorian Labor and the Greens will be unleashing yet more damage and devastation if re-elected, the federal parties also continue their war on Christianity. Consider several recent items which demonstrate all this. The first concerns the Greens with more anti-Christian bigotry. They have come up with yet another bill to further clamp down on free speech and religious expression. The Institute for Civil Society offers this frightening headline: “Greens’ 2018 Schools Bill to Regulate Sermons?”

Monday, 19 November 2018 15:22

12 More Consequences of Redefining Marriage

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Just over a year ago, during Australia's debate about changing the millenia-old meaning of marriage, I wrote an article called, "55 Consequences of Redefining Marriage". Unlike most of my articles, which are read by only a few hundred people, this one has been read by over 12,000, with several thousand shares. This is evidence of just how concerned ordinary people are about homosexual unions being called 'marriage' and the massive repercussions that has for everyone. That article was a simple list of 55 examples of discriminatory laws, legal challenges, policies and persecutions taken from 13 countries where same-sex 'marriage' has been legalised. Now, twelve months on from that day when Australians learned that the majority of their conferes had voted to redefine marriage, it seems like a good time to revisit the topic. How many of those consequences have come to pass in this country? Were our fears unfounded?

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