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Analysis - Australia


Labor and The Greens are coming after Christians with legislation aimed at their rights

Anthony Albanese Christian persecution religious discrimination act

Having the freedom to select your child’s educational institution, whether it be a school or university, profoundly influences their holistic development. Additionally, it provides parents with reassurance, knowing that they have some control over shielding their child from the pervasive influence of LGBTQ, or any other Marxist ideology.

For Christians in particular, this is not only a moral concern, but a religious one.

When it was announced recently that there would be changes made to legislation which would prevent schools, universities and churches from employing people on the basis of their aligned faith and values, a lot of people started taking to social media to voice their concerns.

The Australian Law Reform Commission recently issued its final report on faith-based schools, which was made public on March 21st. Supported by the Albanese government through draft legislation, the report argues for the repeal of section 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act. This section presently permits religious schools to employ people who meet their religious criteria, based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or relationship status.

The proposed change suggests the introduction of a new Religious Discrimination Act. This new act would ostensibly allow religious institutions to prioritise hiring teachers based on their faith. However, it aims to remove their exemptions from discriminating against LGBTQ individuals and their supporters.

Advocacy groups for LGBTQ rights are urging the government to implement the recommendations outlined in the ALRC’s report.

According to Dr Joanna Howe of the University of Adelaide and member of The Australian Christian Lobby, these proposed changes to the legislation are not designed to protect people of faith, but attack their ability to speak, employ and live in a way their religious decrees demand:

“If you are a person of faith and live in Australia, you need to know that Labor and the Greens are planning measures that may well amount to a full blown Anti-Christian persecution. Yesterday (March 26th) Anthony Albanese told the Labor party room that he was prepared to do a deal with the Greens, to get a religious vilification bill through the senate. Let’s be clear, this isn’t about protecting people of faith from discrimination. This bill should be called the ‘religious persecution bill’, because it will be used as a weapon against Christians, so they can no longer practice their faith and participate in institutions.”

In an article published in The Australian, Anthony Fisher, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, also came out and cautioned that Australians are gradually losing their ability to “gather, speak freely, pray together, and undertake works of service for others”, and urged political leaders to unite in safeguarding religious freedoms.

As one of the country’s foremost Catholic figures, Archbishop Fisher highlights the escalating assault on the role of religious institutions in Australian society, and the growing concern among religious individuals in Australia who face the threat of losing their jobs for upholding traditional Christian views.

He argues that this trend deliberately diminishes their capacity to contribute to society. Archbishop Fisher points out the simultaneous erosion of religious institutions such as schools and hospitals. He further criticises the imposition of what he terms as a “radical curriculum and policies” regarding sexuality and gender, which are being pushed onto all schools by certain ideologues.

Over the last month, Anthony Albanese has gone to X to wish Hindus a happy Holi (a Hindu festival of colours) as well as Ramadan (the Islamic fasting month) but only mentioned Easter three days into the holiday.

It also wouldn’t take a lot to convince the Greens to vote in favour of this bill with Labor as they have already advocated for these measures in the past. The Greens and Equality Australia, which advocates for the LGBTQ community, have urged the government to fully enact the recommendations outlined in the Australian Law Reform Commission report. This seems like their way of making everybody feel welcome except for Christians in Australia.

Back in 2022, Anthony Albanese spoke about a potential draft for religious discrimination on his website, where he claimed:

“We don’t want to see anyone treated unfairly. We are a diverse nation and we need to respect every Australian for who they are. Sadly, discrimination on the basis of faith is all too real. It might be a Muslim woman or a Sikh man being vilified on the streets because of what they are wearing. It might be a group of Jewish or Christian students being attacked because of their faith. Labor is committed to ending this vilification and discrimination.”

His intentions seem to have shifted since the time of writing that notice, or perhaps he never intended to help Christians with the proposed bill, which so far is only in drafting with the consultation of LGBTQ groups, and is yet to be voted on.

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