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 people of faith. 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 want to use the legislative power of the state to force everyone to comply with that view.
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 practice the core commitments and values of a person’s faith, and it should be the state’s role 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.
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.
[Photo by Elisabeth Wales