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Letter to The Editor - Freedom of speech as a vital principle
To The Age It is not as hard as David Crowe thinks ("Morrison's leap of faith", 14/9) to settle the debate over religious freedom, but it will require subtle analyses and proposals from the government. For example, it is obvious that children in public primary schools should be able to put on Easter and Christmas plays, for this can be done in a way that does not unfairly treat children from non-religious families. Alternative drama opportunities in parallel time is surely the answer for them. At the present time many Christians appear justified in feeling that their religion is under unjust threat from aggressive secularists. Protections can be found that do not in turn unjustly discriminate against non-religious folk. Christian schools and charities are surely happy to employ those not of the faith, provided that such employees do not actively seek to weaken them from within, being content to campaign outside the workplace. Freedom of speech as a vital principle must be recognized as allowing "discrimination against others" in expressions of opinion; but this gives a benefit to everyone and protects us all from tyranny.
Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic