Can it Be, A Pulse of Resistance from the Churches?! By Peter West
The Christian churches did not put up much resistance to the same sex plebiscite, did they? Well, there will be exemptions, not to worry, we will be ok. But now, these religious leaders are worried that things may not be going as promised:
“Religious leaders are demanding Scott Morrison provide them with extra safeguards after the government unveiled proposed laws shielding religious -institutions from discrimination claims and protecting workers who express their beliefs from being sacked. Attorney-General Christian Porter came under attack from religious groups yesterday over a “lack of consultation” and concerns that the draft religious freedom bill would not deliver an effective legal defence in faith-based -discrimination cases. Releasing the draft legislation at the Great Synagogue in Sydney yesterday, Mr Porter said the proposed act would not create a “positive right to freedom of religion”. Instead it would “make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of religious belief or activity in key areas of public life”. He indicated he would work “constructively with interested parties” before the bill enters parliament in October after Catholic and other Christian groups boycotted his speech yesterday. Some senior religious leaders expressed concern over what they described as “holes” in the proposed legislation, pointing to the fact the bill would not override laws in state jurisdictions or prevent some religious doctors from being compelled to refer on patients to receive abortions. While the government has included an “Israel Folau” provision in its legislation, aimed at preventing staff at large companies from being dismissed for expressing religious views outside the workplace, religious leaders warned the protection was too limited. Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles, who has been closely associated with the rugby union star’s case, said: “There is no robust protection for people such as Israel Folau or (Catholic Archbishop of Hobart) Julian Porteous. To suppress rugby players’ freedom of religious expression, Rugby Australia would merely have to say, as they did in Israel Folau’s case, that it was seeking to avoid ‘unjustifiable financial hardship’ for a sacking to be justified.”
It will serve then right if the exemptions are paper tigers. There is a time to fight, and a time to lose.