CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Freedom From Religion

Jan 25, 2009

American President Ronald Reagan once famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.” That is certainly true in the area of religion. Whenever the government starts sticking its nose in religious affairs, it generally ends up causing trouble – and lots of it.

The current government inquiry into freedom of religion is a good case in point. The inquiry being conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC – formerly the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) actually has been around a while. An earlier inquiry took place in the late 1990s. HREOC released a report in 1998 called “Article 18: Freedom of Religion and Belief” which made a number of recommendations.

The conservative years of the Howard Government saw the report languish, but with a new Labor government, the Commission has been reinvigorated to keep pushing its agenda. And although its current working document, “Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century” may appear somewhat benign, it is potentially a very real threat to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

It may seem like a tame document, but a careful reading of it reveals a number of genuine concerns. Indeed, the real agenda behind this seems to be to convince people that unbridled religion can be a dangerous thing, and that we need either a Bill of Rights to keep it in check, or more quasi-religious bodies (staffed by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, all funded by us taxpayers) to oversee things. The implication seems to be that religions in Australia are getting away with murder, and they must be severely curtailed.

Thus various exemptions now given to churches and religious bodies may be removed, and religious beliefs and practices may have to be coerced into conformity with modern secular humanism and amorality. Consider for example section “5: The interface of religious, political and cultural aspirations”. It asks, “Do you believe that there is equality of gender in faith communities?”

Along with it we have section “7:  Religion, cultural expression and human rights” which asks questions like these: “How is diverse sexuality perceived within faith communities?” “How can faith communities be inclusive of people of diverse sexualities?” “Should religious organisations (including religious schools, hospitals and other service delivery agencies) exclude people from employment because of their sexuality or their sex and gender identity?”

These sneaky questions harbour a host of nasty implications. What about those Christian denominations, for example that do not believe in the ordination of women pastors or leaders? Will they be forced to reverse their policies, because they would otherwise be discriminating and not promoting government notions of equality?

Of course real alarm bells over questions like these should be sounding: indeed, we know they all have to do with the promotion of minority agendas, especially homosexuality. Whenever we hear bureaucrats talk about gender in the same sentence as diversity, equality, orientation, discrimination and the like, we know what is intended. The main push of our government social engineers is to get everyone to embrace the homosexual agenda.

Is your church speaking out against homosexuality, as the Bible so clearly does? Do you prevent homosexuals from being pastors in your denomination? Do you insist that Christian schools should not have to hire homosexual teachers?

All of that could be challenged. Indeed, it already is being challenged, and will be even more so if a federal Bill of Rights goes through, and inquiries like this are used as an excuse to stamp out “inequality” by force if need be.

Or consider the issue of church and state relationships, or separation of church and state. The inquiry asks if people have any concerns about this. Of course the secularists are greatly concerned. They don’t want any public religious influence whatsoever. But these concepts are greatly confused.

While separation of church and state – rightly understood – can and should be promoted, there is no – and can be no – separation of religion and politics, or religion and the public arena. That is because religion is about worldviews, about the way people look at the world. Everyone has a worldview; therefore everyone is religious. Even the secularist and atheist have a worldview, and are thus religious. To argue that religion should have nothing to do with public life is to argue that no one should have anything to do with public life. This is simply impossible and nonsensical.

Everyone brings his or her beliefs and values to the public arena. When someone says murder should be illegal, that is bringing a worldview belief to the public arena. If someone writes an article or comment on a public website and seeks to argue that religion should have no place in public discussion, he is simply bringing his secularist worldview to the public arena.

And our Constitution, like the American Constitution, already deals with church and state issues. Both argue, not against the influence of religion on public life, but against the Government preferring one religion above another, or making one denomination the official religion.

Indeed, section 116 of the Commonwealth of Australian Constitution Act says this: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”

So this matter is already covered, and we do not need any more laws on the books, or any more meddling government bodies, thought police, and so on, moving in this direction. Leave things be already.

The discussion paper also moots a federal Religious Freedom Act. This may sound good, but a closer look suggests otherwise. The language makes it clear that perhaps generic, non-evangelical religions might benefit by something like this. But religions – especially biblical Christianity – which emphasise public truth claims and the importance of evangelism, will likely fare rather poorly here. For example, in the list of features in the proposed Act, nothing at all is said about the right of proclamation, of preaching, of conversion, of public declaration.

Given how our current religious vilification laws are being used to stifle and prevent these very things, one can imagine that a federal law like this will simply make matters much worse in this regard. We already have far too much government interference in religious freedom. This bit of bureaucratic foolishness will simply make the free expression of religion that much more difficult.

Much more can be said about the shortcomings of this Inquiry and the discussion paper. Others are concerned as well. Angela Shanahan, writing in the January 24-25 Weekend Australian also listed her many concerns about the venture. She asks why we even need such an inquiry. Are things so bad on the religious front that we need this tax-payer funded hullabaloo?

“Most Australians seem to be getting along pretty well in freedom of religion – or from religion – with a variety of beliefs that span the spectrum from deep and meaningful, full of tradition and philosophy and demanding practice, to Mystic Medusa. Everything would seem quite satisfactory in the religious freedom department, although a lot of us might think that religion itself could fare better. We live in a country where anyone can believe anything and can publicly demonstrate it: from having World Youth Day and wearing crosses, or a yarmulke or even a black veil and gauze over your eyes, unlike the citizens of the great proto-revolutionary French republic. Of course we don’t need this inquiry, so why are we having it?”

She also speaks to the church-state issue: “Here is a sample of those questions with my responses. Q. Is this section of the Constitution an adequate protection of freedom of religion and belief? A. Absolutely. It has worked well for more than 100 years. Q. How should the Australian Government protect freedom of religion and belief? A. By acting in accord with Section 116 of the constitution and not fraudulently extending its reach into relations between religions or their internal matters. And this beauty: Q. When considering the separation of religion and state, are there any issues that presently concern you? A. I am concerned by attempts by bodies such as the HRC to insert themselves into the religious sphere in violation of the clear intent of Section 116 of the Constitution.”

“So it goes until we get to the clincher: Q. Would a legislated national charter of rights add to these freedoms of religion and belief? A. No. It would be an unwarranted and dangerous interference into our liberties. So basically this new foray by our human rights watchdogs is designed not to protect religious freedom but to provide some phony evidence that we need a charter of rights that could just as easily have the effect of restraining and limiting our present religious freedom. Of course the one area where people really are worried about the implications of freedom of religion is Islamic fundamentalism and its links to terrorism. But threats to security have nothing to do with the HRC, rather they are already handled by the security services.”

Biblical Christianity is certainly not a threat in Australia. But other religions may well be: “Naturally the commission pretends it is ideologically even-handed. It asks: What are areas of concern regarding the freedom to practise and express faith and beliefs, within your faith community and other such communities? My ‘conservative’ answer, and I suspect that of most of my neighbours, would be: The threat of violence by some of the Islamic community against freedom of expression in the media for critics of Islam, or against comment perceived to be critical of Islam. Also the efforts of militant non-believers to exclude religion from the public square. Of course we don’t need an inquiry into freedom of religion to know this. We might need an inquiry into Islamic fundamentalists.”

And like so many of these government inquiries, most Australians will not even know about it, or care about it enough to put in a submission. But we know that all the usual suspects – the secularists, the homosexual activists, etc – will be putting in plenty of submissions. But hopefully a few folk interested in religious freedom will also get involved:

“The submissions to this inquiry are not a properly conducted survey. The inquiry is open to any interested member of the public, so you can bet that the majority of Australians, either those quite contented with our religious freedom or those not interested one way or the other because they are not religious, won’t bother to respond. No, only two classes of people will respond to this phony inquiry: those whose idea of religious freedom is no religion, who want no public religious expression and want to keep its values as far from the debate of the public square as possible, and another group that sees the potential danger, although like me they will probably get fed up halfway through answering the loaded, trivial questions.”

Yes, it is important for concerned Australians to once again get involved in this process. They seem to occur every other month, and so often in the past the majority of submissions which express concern over some issue or proposal are simply ignored anyway.

These inquiries, in other words, are often a foregone conclusion. The government bureaucrats and activist groups know what they want, and they put on the facade of holding fair and impartial inquiries, knowing full well they will get their predetermined outcomes anyway.

But we must nonetheless go through the motions, and hope that some sanity prevails. So I encourage all those concerned about this freedom of religion (really, freedom from religion) discussion to get involved and put in a submission, no matter how brief. The deadline is January 31 (notice how they invariably hold these inquiries over major holiday periods, when most people are either away or otherwise engaged, thereby resulting in just what they want: only the activist groups getting their submissions in, while the general public misses the boat altogether).

The website with all the details is here: www.hreoc.gov.au/frb/

or here:

www.humanrights.gov.au/frb/frb_2008.html

Please get involved. (Some people are having trouble with these live links. If nothing else, copy and paste the address into your browser address field and press the enter button.)

www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24953801-7583,00.html

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26 Responses to Freedom From Religion

  • Bill
    When I attempted to locate the page in question, a notice arrived on my screen, saying the page was removed, along with a convoluted instruction, on how to contact them.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Bill,

    You have given such an excellent assessment of the danger of this Australian Human Rights Document that looks benign on the surface.

    I have just completed my 22 page submission that I will email today. I included a quote from one of your previous articles in the submission.

    Since the AHRC is a representative of the Australian Government, why is the Commission intruding into the sphere of religious belief and activity in clear violation of section 116 of the Australian Constitution? This again points to an agenda by the AHRC that is contrary to the Constitution.

    Your posts have encouraged me to become more involved in this AHRC Discussion Paper and making a submission. Be encouraged, brother!

    In Christ,
    Spencer Gear

  • We have a classic example of this in the ACT, with our activist social engineer Jon Stanhope. He conducted a period of “public consultation” in which hundreds of submissions from the public were received regarding whether homosexual “couples” should be allowed to adopt children. By his own admission, 90% of the submissions said that it’s a bad idea, but we now have it as law in the ACT – it’s legal for homosexual “couples” to adopt children. In the movie (very good at that) Frost/Nixon, at the end, it was pointed out that one of the legacies of the Nixon era, is the fact that any scandal (involving cover-ups)since then, tends to automatically be suffixed “something-gate”. Jon Stanhope has so sullied the concept of public consultation, that our church is holding a time of congregational consultation on an issue, and to reassure us that it is fair dinkum, the word “genuine” must be added in front of the word “consultation.” These activist social engineers are shameless in their tactics, and are definitely sure that they know what is good for us, and then they are affronted when some Christian “rams his religion down their throat”. Does anyone see a rocky ride for Christians in the future, unless we wake up and defend what is left of our freedoms?

    Ian Brearley

  • The 1998 report recommends that the Federal Attorney General ‘encourage’ all States to remove all restrictions on witchcraft, sorcery and fortune-telling…!
    Michael Watts

  • Thanks Frank (and others who have pointed this out)

    I am not sure what the problem is. It seems when you click on the link it does not work, but if you copy and paste the link into your browser address field it does work. So keep trying!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill, I’ve been a lurker at your site for quite a while and I really appreciate the dedicated and insightful way in which you highlight these very important issues. We need more people like you to highlight the flawed morality and twisted secularism that currently strangles our political system, and indeed the majority of the Western world. The apathy of the Church in amongst all this truly is a cause for concern.

    Anyway, I’m just wondering if you have the email address to which submissions need to be submitted. I have just finished mine (and, might I add, am absolutely appalled by the sneaky and suggestive wording of the questions; they’ve certainly made it hard to appear objective and rational) and have searched the website high and low for an address but can’t seem to find one.

    Again, thank you for your fantastic website and dedication to these critically important issues. God bless you.

    Melanie Camp

  • Many thanks Melanie

    You can send it to: [email protected]

    And keep lurking!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks again guys for your comments about the link. I have played with a number of addresses and links, and it now finally seems to be working (I hope!).

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thank you Bill for bringing this to my attention it is a real concern that atheists or secularists are targeting the people who believe in everything that saves lives. As for we are against homosexuality and abortion and prostitution these things will destroy lives. I thought the practical things is to promote things that will protect lives. Plus it will bring a more peaceful country and the world.
    Anthea Loton

  • Thanks Bill for the ‘heads up’.
    I’m doing the survey immediately!

    Phil Manley, Brisbane

  • Below is some of my submission to the federal review of religious freedom and belief. I’ve only touched on what I consider to be the top level issues. Please feel free to borrow ideas from it for your own submissions, and remember they must be in by the end of the week.

    The Australian Constitution already provides the necessary safeguards to religious freedom and belief in Australia (at the federal level) and has worked well for over 100 years.

    No new legislation in this area is currently necessary or desirable. Neither is a charter of rights which will tend towards an erosion of democracy through an increase of judge made law.

    To address the proposed content of the report, it first will be necessary to briefly address the underlying issue; which is the proper source of government authority. Modern secular thinking holds that the government derives its authority from the people, but the real source of government authority is God, as recorded in His word to us: the Bible. This dependence was recognised by Australia’s founding fathers ‘humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God’ in the preamble to our constitution.

    God gives legitimacy to civil governments but does not give governments the authority to legislate in any and every area. To legislate outside the Biblical bounds is to enact repression. Two particular areas where the government does not have authority to legislate are touched on by the proposed content of the report.

    The first is that the civil government has no authority to override commands God has given to His church to censure its members or choose its leaders.

    The second area where the government does not have legitimate authority to interfere is with the church or individual Christians inviting others to accept forgiveness of their sins by the atoning death of Jesus Christ: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

    If the government was to step outside its proper bounds in the two areas mentioned above, it will severely curtail the religious freedoms of Bible believing Christians in Australia and will lead to great persecution. Many Christians will be financially ruined or imprisoned whilst the remainder will be driven underground. The long-term effect on society at large will be very unwelcome for all.

    In conclusion I call for the report to recommend no changes to federal legislation in the area of religious freedom and belief.

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  • Is this the enquiry that Frank Brennan – Jesuit lawyer – is heading up? As for Jon Stanhope, he has always struck me as being weak minded, leads from behind, and not an original thinker.
    Wayne Pelling

  • If the AHRC is acting in violation of section 116 of the constitution we shoud redirect the inquiry into their meddling and more importantly their tactics of impoverishing those who disagree with them, such as the two Danny Pastors.

    Karen Siegmann

  • Thanks Wayne
    No Brennan is the one looking into the Bill of Rights issue – another very bad government proposal.

    But it is interesting to see who the three researchers are for the Religious Freedom project. One is Gary Bouma, who describes himself this way: “Gary Bouma is Professor of Sociology at Monash University, associate priest of St Dunstan’s Anglican Church, Camberwell, and vice-chairman of The World Conference of Religions for Peace, Australia. He appeared as a witness for the Islamic Council of Victoria in their case against Catch The Fire Ministries.” So he even takes pride in admitting that he joined with Muslim activists as he opposed two Christian pastors!

    The other two are also into the interfaith/multicultural scene big time. Professor Desmond Cahill for example is a leader in “cross-cultural, interfaith and international education. He currently chairs the Religions for Peace (Australia), and represents Australia on the Asian Conference of Religion and Peace (ACRP).”

    I have written elsewhere how the interfaith movement is one of the biggest threats to biblical Christianity, and this government body is getting all its research and advice from these interfaith advocates. No wonder it is such a loaded inquiry, moving in all the wrong directions.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • What a waffly piece of bureaucratese. I concluded with :If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it!”

    See also Sir Humphrey Appleby explain to Bernard Woolley how pollsters can get the result they want (from Yes Prime Minister.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Hi Jonathan,

    In 1643 the English Parliament called the Westminster Assembly to prepare the Westminster Confession of Faith.
    In 2008 the Australian Parliament called the Australian Multicultural Foundation to prepare a report on Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century.
    Standards seem to have slipped in the last 350 years!

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  • The Australian Human Rights Commission has extended the deadline for submissions to its Freedom of religion and belief in the 21st century Discussion Paper until 28 February 2009.

    “In particular, we encourage responses that represent a diversity of views in order to ensure a comprehensive foundation from which the research team can develop the final report.”

    http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2009/3_09.html

    Looks like they have been getting too many conservative Christian responses for their liking. Please keep them coming.

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  • The more I observe the activities of secular humanists, as exemplified in witch hunts such as this, the more I recognise in them the links to their totalitarian ancestors: Nazis, Communists, et al.
    Dunstan Hartley

  • Heard Jim Wallace promoting the writing of submissions of the issue of “Freedom from Religion” on Rhema Radio Sunshine Coast. It is good to know others are spreading the word in reaching christians who will act. He mentioned that one could apply for an extension if their submission wasn’t ready by 31st January. It is good to know the deadline has been extended to 28th February. Maybe they had a big response to the offer of an extension. Prayer warriors also need to keep this important issue before the Lord.
    Dawn McGregor

  • I am assuming that when the constitutions of western countries were written, they were informed, by and large, by a Christian world view that incidentally promoted equality and tolerance etc. Indeed such equality and tolerance were only possible through a biblical acknowledgment of the biblical narrative of existence, morals and truth. What has happened since then is that materialism – Hegelianism -has taken control and relegated religion to a cultural phenomenon, whose sphere of activity has become severely restricted to customs, festivals and folk lore, whereby the freedom to give expression to one’s religion merely means being able to identify yourself by your manner of dress or the songs you sing etc.

    Unless we understand that the word religion, to the secularists, means something entirely different to our meaning of the word, we will be wrong footed. When therefore the government talks about not making one religion more important than another we should realise that the Christians have been herded together with Aztec moon worshippers, and Alaskan toe wrinklers, into a side room, marked “irrelevance and of no consequence,” so as to fight amongst ourselves as to who will say grace at a dinner function, or during the inaugural prayer at a swearing in ceremony.

    The materialist ideology, worldview, philosophy, call it what may will, has become monolithic throughout the west and allows of no other view with regard to the narrative of existence, morality or how we know what we know. Again, I repeat modern western governments do not regard ontological, moral or epistemological questions to be of any concern to us Christians. There is only one view.

    Naturally those wishing to discredit Christianity will deceitfully identify us with the fanaticism of Islam or blame homophobic hatred incidents on us that never existed in the first place. http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2006/gay_rights/gpa/advert.htm

    As for consultations, forget it; they are mere window dressing for demonstrating that the democratic process is alive and well. You only have to see who writes the consultation papers to realise this. Two years ago in the UK, the Sexual Orientation Regulations consultative paper, produced by the Womens Equality Unit from the Department of Trade and Industry was written by guess who? Angela Mason. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Mason

    David Skinner, UK

  • Mansel,

    I just finished mine and came back here to get the email address. I’ll hang on to it a little now so I can review what I’ve written.

    Tim Pearce, WA

  • Some suggested answers:

    1. What are areas of concern regarding the freedom to practice and express faith and beliefs, within your faith community and other such communities?

    Government busybodies sticking their noses in.

    The only problem is with certain Islamic fundamentalists supporting acts of terror, that Western women are “cat’s meat”, and that husbands have a right to beat their wives. But this is covered by existing laws, which just need to be enforced. Another problem is militant atheists trying to expunge Christianity from public life.

    4. How are federal and state and territory governments managing incitement to religious hatred, and the question of control and responsibility?

    There was pretty good religious harmony before the Victorian Government stuck its nose in. After that, instead of relying on debate and persuasion, groups tried to use the force of the courts to try to silence dissent (Two Dannys).

    2.1 The Constitution
    1. Is this section of the Constitution an adequate protection of freedom of religion and belief?

    Definitely. Australia has long been free of deadly interfaith strife, precisely because there was no government involvement. Don’t fix what isn’t broken!

    2. How should the Australian Government protect freedom of religion and belief?

    By acting in accord with Section 116 of the constitution and not fraudulently extending its reach into relations between religions or their internal matters. E.g. there should be no repeat of Victoria’s anti-vilification law that persecuted the two Dannys, and led to Judge Higgins pontificating on religious matters outside his competence.

    5. Would a legislated national Charter of Rights add to these freedoms of religion and belief?

    No. Our freedoms are fine as they are. We don’t need a new charter of rights that would just increase the power of government busybodies to interfere in religious freedom in the guise of “anti-vilification” and the like.

    Any actual incitements to violence are already covered under existing laws.

    2.2 Roles and responsibilities
    6. a) What are the roles, rights and responsibilities of religious, spiritual and civil society (including secular) organisations in implementing the commitment to freedom of religion and belief?

    The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and existing laws are adequate.

    b) How should this be managed?

    By real separation of church and state: i..e. there is no established state church like the Church of England, and likewise the State keeps out of church business.

    7. How can these organisations model a cooperative approach in responding to issues of freedom of religion and belief?

    No need, because there is already freedom of religion and belief, and conflicts between different belief systems are resolved by debate, discussion and persuasion.

    8. How well established and comprehensive is the commitment to interfaith understanding and inclusion in Australia at present and where should it go from here?

    Good. Leave it to the faith communities. They don’t need a bureaucracy to nanny them.

    10. How should we understand the changing role and face of religion, nationally and internationally?

    Leading question. Should be up to the religious communities.

    3 Religion and the State – practice and expression

    1. What are some consequences of the emergence of faith-based services as major government service delivery agencies?

    More efficiency, since the faith-based services know the people they serve: whether they need a helping hand or a kick in the pants. Bloated government bureaucracies often fail to help those who most need it but can’t handle the reams of forms, and conversely help others who should be working.

    2. How should government accommodate the needs of faith groups in addressing issues such as religion and education, faith schools, the building of places of worship, religious holy days, religious symbols and religious dress practices?

    Government should get out of the way.

    4 Security issues in the aftermath of September 11

    3. Consider and comment on the relationship between law and religious or faith based communities, and issues such as legal literacy, civil liberties, dissemination of law to new immigrant communities, and the role and conduct of judiciary, courts and police.

    As long as the religious communities are not breaking laws such as rape, murder, bashing, or inciting others to those crimes, the government has no role.

    4. a) Is there religious radicalism and political extremism in Australia?
    b) If so, what are the risks to Australia?

    Only in some sections of the Islamic community. Existing laws are adequate to deal with them.

    5 The interface of religious, political and cultural aspirations

    1. a) How would you describe the interface between religion and politics and cultural aspirations in contemporary Australia?

    Worsening because of increasing government busybody meddling.

    b) What issues does this include?

    Trial of the Two Dannys at great cost to them, but little cost to their accusers.

    2. How should government manage tensions that develop between aspirations?

    As long as there is no violence or threat of violence, the government should stay out of it.

    3. How do you perceive gender in faith communities?

    Most have both genders.

    6. Citizenship and Australian values have emerged as central issues, how do you balance integration and cultural preservation?

    Integration of immigrants should mean that they add to our culture, not that our culture should sacrifice itself. So by all means have other religious festivals, but don’t ban Christmas and Easter because it might “offend” immigrants.

    6 Technology and its implications

    4. Is your freedom to express your religion or beliefs hindered or helped by current media policies and practices, considering reporting, professional knowledge, ownership, and right of reply?

    The current media tend to be hostile to Christianity, especially the ABC. Their UK counterpart, the BBC, admitted it, e.g. (Yes, we are biased on religion and politics, admit BBC executives, By Paul Revoir, Daily Mail, 22 October 2006] “Senior figures admitted that the BBC is guilty of promoting Left-wing views and an anti-Christian sentiment. … During the meeting, hosted by Sue Lawley, executives admitted they would happily broadcast the image of a Bible being thrown away – but would not do the same for the Koran.”

    5. What impact do the media have on the free practice of religion in Australia and the balanced portrayal of religious beliefs and practice?

    They portray Christianity in a negative light that can’t help foster religious harmony. But the answer is not more laws, but privatizing the ABC.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • I particularly liked your statement regarding the media in general and the ABC in particular Jonathon. Did you put in a submission on the standards of the ABC, when called for recently?
    Dunstan Hartley

  • This time last year Christians, non Christians and even high profile homosexuals battled to maintain freedom of speech in Britain; something that has taken centuries to gain and the shedding of countless lives. Lord Waddington, in the House of Lords, only just managed to get an amendment passed which said:

    “for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred”.

    The labour government that is riddled with homosexuals, from Peter Mandelson and Angela Eagle downwards, was intent on getting rid of Lord Waddington’s free speech amendment and looks likely to do precisely that. How? Simply because the entire British population is distracted by the economic crisis and frankly because they have been deliberately kept in the dark concerning the issues around homosexuality. Indeed, I was publicly criticised, two years ago from the pulpit of a church, for attempting to distribute a leaflet that warned parents of the threat of the Sexual Orientation Regulations to them and their children.

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20090126/mps-debate-bill-which-threatens-free-speech/
    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20090127/ministers-determined-to-crush-free-speech-guard/
    http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/2008/eudirective/briefwinter08.pdf

    The lights are going out in Europe.

    David Skinner, UK

  • I tried to send my submission to [email protected] but it bounced because it is not a proper email address. What can be wrong?
    Tek Chong, Perth

  • Thanks Tek

    That is the correct address. I just tried it and it works, so perhaps the problem is at your end. Try again?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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