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More Anti-Christian Bigotry in Victoria

Sep 5, 2016

Things are growing darker by the day in the People’s Republik of Victoria. I have documented a number of very ominous developments here under the radical leftist reign of Labor Premier Dan Andrews. He seems obsessed with wiping out Christianity and religious freedom while he implements every hard-core minority group agenda around.

His latest attack of faith and freedom comes in the form of the Equal Opportunity Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill 2016. It is a frightening proposal which everyone concerned about freedom and religious freedom should know about.

The full details of the proposed changes can be found here:
www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubPDocs.nsf/ee665e366dcb6cb0ca256da400837f6b/eeedcc0c543212d6ca25801f00183a74!OpenDocument

andrews, danHere are the relevant bits which are of real concern:

A Bill for an Act to amend the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to modify the religious exceptions in relation to the employment of a person by religious bodies and schools….
EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM
581013
BILL LA INTRODUCTION 30/8/2016
Clause Notes
Clause 1 sets out the purpose of the Bill, which is to amend the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 to modify the religious exceptions in relation to the employment of a person by a religious body or school. In particular, the Bill reinstates an “inherent requirements test” for a religious body or school that may seek to rely on a religious defence to discriminate in the area of employment.
Clause 2 provides for the Bill to come into operation on a day or days to be proclaimed, or otherwise on 1 March 2017.

All this may not seem like too much of a big deal but it actually is. A bit of history is required here to understand just what is going on. Almost two years ago when this idea was first floated I wrote it up, so let me repeat part of what I wrote back then:

The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 was brought into the Victorian Parliament by the Labor Party. It greatly threatened religious freedom of organisations, groups, schools and so on. It was bad enough that an amendment to it appeared in 2011 when the Liberals were in power.
The then Baillieu Government brought in the changes to protect religious freedom, viewing the 2010 legislation as being “a far-reaching attack on the freedom of faith based organisations”. Numerous religious groups welcomed the changes. For example, Independent Schools Victoria said that religious schools “ought to be able to choose staff they believe are the most appropriate for their school.”
But now Labor wants to undo these changes, and take away religious freedoms of ordinary Victorians. According to their official Platform, Labor will “Reverse the Coalition Government’s amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act, including the reinstatement of ‘bona fide occupational requirement’ limitation on the religious exemptions and powers for the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to deal with systemic discrimination on their own motion.”

So this is an ongoing fight, and it centres on religious schools having autonomy and freedom, and not being forced to contravene their own beliefs to keep the activist State happy. Back in 2009 when the original bill was being debated, many groups expressed their concerns about the draconian anti-Christian bigotry on display here.

Rev Dr Mark Durie put in a great submission back then which I quoted from at the time. He said in part:

Churches employ many staff who are not clergy, but whose function is regarded as integral to the religious vocation and life of the Christian community. In a congregational context, roles such as receptionist, playgroup coordinator or caretaker are not simply ‘secular’ functions devoid of spiritual content. They are understood as involving the exercise of what are regarded as charismata ‘spiritual gifts’ (such as hospitality and helps: see Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4), and are to be conducted as an act of service to God, and as a witness of faith to the community. It would prove impossible to impose secular morality – include secular sexual ethics – upon churches’ processes for choosing employees or volunteers in such contexts by limiting exemptions to clergy or some narrow secularist conception of ‘core’ functions.
There are serious difficulties with demanding that religious groups justify to secular judges what constitutes ‘reasonable’ religious practices, and what does or does not accord with religious doctrines. To do so would require Tribunals and Courts to make wide?reaching and complex determinations on which religious beliefs and practices are reasonable or authorized by the state.

So we are now back where we started, with the secular left Andrews’ government again wanting to strip us of religious freedom, and turn all churches and religious instruction into the grey conformity of Statist group think. But religious freedom is far too important to lose without a fight.

To see just how bad these proposed changes are, simply consider this basic fact: Dan Andrews and his Labor colleagues would find it unthinkable if they were forced to employ dedicated Liberal or National Party members in the name of “equal opportunity” or “anti-discrimination”.

They would balk at the idea that in the name of fairness and equality they must hire those whose political views are diametrically opposed to their own. Yet that is exactly what Andrews is trying to do in the religious arena. Why the double standards Dan? If you would never accept this in the sphere of politics, why are you demanding it in the realm of religion?

And other important questions must be raised here. If this bill goes through, will Andrews insist that Muslim schools employ Christians, Jews, atheists, transvestites, pork-eaters, alcoholics, dog-lovers and homosexuals? If not, why not? After all, the law should apply equally to everyone, right Dan?

Indeed, will Dictator Dan force all Islamic schools and madrassas to provide non-halal foods and alcohol for their non-Muslim staff and employees? Surely to insist that an infidel be forced to eat only Islamic-approved food is the height of discrimination and inequality, right Dan? We sure don’t want that happening.

The questions keep on coming. Will Andrews mandate that all homosexual organisations hire Christians or Muslims or heterosexual pride group members? If not, why not? If Christian organisations will be forced to employ those whose sexual practices contravene their beliefs and values, why should homosexual organisations not be forced to do similar things?

Education expert Kevin Donnelly recently had a great piece on the proposed changes and is well worth quoting from. He wrote:

If passed by parliament, the Equal Opportunity Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill 2016 will mortally weaken that freedom by opening religious schools and bodies to litigation and penalties if they discriminate against someone because of religious beliefs or activities, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, or gender identity.
The attack on religious freedom will mean Catholic and independent schools, which enrol more than 36 per cent of students and are increasingly popular with parents, will lose the right they have to decide whom they employ. Faith-based schools are not like secular, government schools. Catholic schools, for example, by their very nature are required to follow the teachings of the Church and to imbue the curriculum and a school’s ethos with the word of God. As noted in a paper written by the Catholic Bishops Conference: “All those who choose to work in a religious organisation have a significant responsibility to maintain the religious integrity of the organisation.” Nobody forces individuals to work in religious bodies or schools but, as the bishops argue, it is vital that “those who choose to work in them do not compromise or injure by word or action those religious and moral principles from which the agencies derive their foundational beliefs”.
Forcing Christian schools to employ an atheist who does not believe in God and who denigrates the Bible and denies the resurrection of Christ strikes at the very heart of why such schools exist in the first place. Given that Christian, Jewish and Islamic religions all define marriage as involving a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation, it would also be wrong to force such schools to employ an LGBTI activist who was publicly campaigning for same-sex marriage.

He closes with these words:

Freedom of religion is one of the basic tenets of Western, liberal democracies and it is guaranteed by state and international covenants and agreements. Such agreements also protect the right of parents to choose a school that ensures the “religious and moral education of their children is in conformity with their own convictions”.
Parents seeking a religious education for their children have every right to expect that the teachers employed, the curriculum, and the broader school environment accord with the moral and ethical teachings of their particular faith.

Yes exactly right. Everyone concerned about freedom – whether religious or not – needs to resolutely oppose this bill. Freedom is of a piece, and when religious freedoms are stripped away today, then non-religious freedoms will be targeted tomorrow.

It is time to stand up for freedom.

billmuehlenberg.com/2014/11/08/labors-anti-christian-agenda/
billmuehlenberg.com/2009/05/25/silencing-parachurch-ministries-and-other-christian-activities/
www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrews-governments-bid-to-change-equal-opportunity-act-puts-religious-freedom-at-risk/news-story/3d7dadd7606ee87ec8ed76fa5b2f9865

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24 Responses to More Anti-Christian Bigotry in Victoria

  • In the early 2000s I applied for a job in the print and mailroom of the Victorian ALP head office. I wasn’t an ALP member, nor was I prepared to become one. That was part of the reason why I didn’t get the job. Is there a double standard here?

    Why would anyone want to work for an organization whose values they don’t share? You wouldn’t be a good fit for them. It seems to me that it’s not being discriminatory, it’s commonsense.

  • It is time to stand up for freedom? OK let’s do it. Find 10 people, I’ll provide the PA system, we can go to Parliament or some other useful place (like the Age office or Herald sun) and we can BLAST them with our grievances at a kilowatt! Perhaps St Pauls would be a good location!

  • Thanks Hugh. Yes that is one way to take a stand – many others come to mind:
    -lobbying individual MPs is key;
    -letters to the editor;
    -talk back radio;
    -delegations to churches;
    -spread the word far and wide; etc etc.

    There are all sorts of things we can and should do. So we all need to engage one way or another. The worse thing here is more apathy and silence from the sheeple.

  • Also helping with groups like Marriage Alliance will help. I’ve just volunteered and hope to hand out pamphlets soon.

  • Yes there are plenty of things we can do Jeremy.

  • Surely the thing to focus on is getting rid of this terrible Labor Government at the next election. They have also changed the rules for Special Religious Instruction and they have made life as difficult as possible for student chaplains and student wellbeing workers. They won’t stop until they are stopped.

  • Thanks John. Yes that would obviously be a major part of this battle, and another front to work on. However, while the Libs would be better on many of these issues than Labor, they are far from a panacea. The Lib Opposition Leader Matthew Guy is pro-homosexual marriage and weak on abortion for example. At the moment there are still various onside Libs, but the party as a whole continues to slowly drift leftwards unfortunately.

  • Dictator Dan is totally out of control – he must go. Surely his own party can see that. Why don’t they just get rid of him internally and replace him? Otherwise, the Labor Party is done-for at the next election, and so they should be – actually, with or without Dan. This social engineering is getting right out of hand and beyond a joke. If we don’t stand up against it now, what next? But is it a case of tweedle dum and tweedle dee? Swapping parties every four years is not going to stop the inexorable steam-roller of social engineering. Something else is required – wide-ranging public community protests? – but is anybody really interested – does anybody really care enough to stand up and be counted? Like many I find it difficult to speak out as I just get clobbered (silenced) by the abuse, bullying and intimidation of the ‘useful idiots’ of the left 🙁 Thanks Bill for drawing our attention to these dire times.

  • I’ve been saying for some time that Daniel Andrews is driven by a steadily downhill evil agenda, and he wants to take as many as he can with him. As Christians we need to pray urgently for protection for our Independent Christian Schools in particular. Andrews knows full well that these schools have refused to adopt the ‘Safe Schools’ program, and so he’s now attacking them from a different angle. Makes you realize that Jesus’ directive to be “as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves” could well be applied to Christians in this instance.

  • It seems to me that what Dan Andrews is proposing is a world without borders, barriers, boundaries, categories or clearly identified differences that would make someone stand out from the crowd, as in North Korea. Consensus of opinion of society is in fact carefully orchestrated by the elite to give the impression of democracy but is in fact carefully controlled so that every thought, feeling, , blink and sneeze is legislated for.
    As for equality, the gays do not want equality. They do not want to assimilate with the rest of society. What they demand is that we become as polysexually anarchic and dysfunctional as they are . And of course individual conscience is surrendered at the outset. These tyrants need squashing like cockroaches before they squash us. In their world there is no tolerance, no live and let live. Their’s is a zero sum game in which the winner takes and the loser leaves with nothing.

    David Skinner UK

  • Just waiting for Cory Bernardi to take the next step. He’s already registered his Australian Conservatives Group, which already has 50,000 supporters (including me). It will be a solution to filling the Conservative gap that resulted when Turnbull moved to the left.

  • Suffering as a Christian

    12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

    “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?”
    19 Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.

  • The only thing I can see happening here is the odd nasty vindictive gay activist that will deliberately stir the pot and send even more frivolous lawsuits before the various courts and tribunals. Of course these will do nothing but gain notoriety and bankrupt Churches, Schools and businesses that actually make a positive contribution to society. What happened to the cry “churches won’t be forced to do…….”. This is already being prepared and Gay Marriage isn’t even legal. Nothing these guys say can be trusted and must be opposed.

  • The irony is that he sends his son to a strict Catholic College. Why doesn’t he enrol his son at a public secondary school running the ‘Safe Schools’ program? Go figure… I think it raises serious questions about his credibility and conviction.

  • Thank you Bill for directing us to what we need to fight for.

    You can write to your member of Parliament on this issue via the ACL website link:
    http://www.acl.org.au/attack_on_christian_schools

    The page provides handy points and it will automatically send to the relevant members of parliament once you input your address.

  • It was clear from the very onset this premier was a liar – just look back at his election campaign. He is a socialist – bully and dictator. If he not sacked we have further problems until the next election and the damage he can do between now and then will be insurmountable.

  • Bill, here is the text of my letter to MPs via the ACL website. Please note the last paragraph:

    “I am writing to urge that the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Bill 2016 be voted down, particularly as it seeks to remove a reasonable exemption for religious organisations to employ persons who will uphold their essential ethos.

    This question of an “inherent requirements test” for the employment of academic, administrative and support staff, has been re-introduced after having been first legislated in 2010 by the ALP government, then reversed in 2011 by the Coalition government.

    It deliberately re-opens the way for attacks by agents provocateur seeking to undermine the distinctives of faith-based churches, their schools and their agencies which uphold clearly defined values favouring family life and heterosexual, monogamous marriage.

    However, whilst it purports to remove unfair discrimination, the application of this test is highly discriminatory, since it will not apply to political parties, commercial organisations, clubs or government schools. As indicated in the title, it exclusively remove religious exceptions to the operation of existing anti-discrimination provisions.

    Finally the last clause of the Bill orders its repeal on 1 March 2018. This means that the provisions are intended to remain in operation for less than two years. To what end? Does the government believe that the inherent requirements “problem” which it seeks to “solve” will disappear at the end of February 2018? This is wasteful and provocative legislation which the Parliament should never countenance.”

  • It seems that lately I keep coming back to that passage in 2 Chronicles 20, where Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, defeats the armies of Moab and Ammon. Correction: God responds to the praises of His people by causing the enemy to self-destruct!

    I believe there is a tremendously powerful spiritual lesson here. It is better to keep our eyes on God rather than on the enemy. He responds powerfully to the praises of His people. They didn’t even need to go into physical battle, but just kept their eyes on God and sang His praises. He did the rest.

    It started with a prayer: Acknowledging God’s power; reminding God of His promises, and His past actions on their behalf; setting out their present predicament and their total reliance upon God; and, finally, listening to God’s directive via Jahaziel, a priest: “Don’t be discouraged. This battle is not yours but God’s. You will not have to fight (with physical weapons). Stand firm and God himself will deliver you.”

    So instead of attacking the enemy, they started to praise God for what He would do. And then they started to thank Him in advance for the outcome! And what happened? The two enemy armies ended up destroying one another without the men of Judah lifting a finger in battle.

    I believe there is a powerful key here. It is useless to give all our attention to what the enemy is doing through Daniel Andrews and others like him. We must keep our eyes on God, and start to thank Him for the outcome. We are already seeing the start of this: Andrews is making increasingly foolish choices, some with disastrous results. And I believe this will continue until one of two things happen: he is removed from office…. OR he repents and does a complete turnaround.

  • Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Greetings Minister Bill. The whole matter that is before us all, is in the heavenly court. Nothing goes unnoticed by God, Whether good or evil, all is exposed to God. We educated Christians who know his word, we are aware of the times that we are living in. With the way society is heading, it indicates to us, the state of the hearts of all people. People whether great or small, no one is exempt, no not one person will evade the judgement of God. God judgment is correct, it is right for God to judge! This is why judgment will start with the Church. The time is approaching that the sheep and the goats will be separated. Those who choose to believe the lie, and reject God’s truths, those who have for a long time been resistant to God and God’s will. Unless they repent will suffer for their ways of error. The Holy Scriptures are correct, and one cannot change the word of God to suit their lifestyle. One cannot justify their sinful nature! We who choose to accept God’s word, and his saving grace, must submit to his word, and the WORD is REPENT! When one lines up against the word, who must change? God or his word? Or is it us that has to change ” Repent? ” Repentance is not just saying sorry! This is worldly sorrow which gives birth to death. If one wants life, one must find godly sorrow! Godly sorrow produces fruit. Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptised of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. One will only escape, if they repent! If one lines not up with the WORD OF GOD! Then whom will they align themselves with? I would encourage all those who profess the Lord Jesus Christ, to align themselves with God’s word. Live in the truth! God be with you all, kind regards Ross.

  • Daniel Andrews is an abomination who is seeking to engineer society to his narrow, socialistic world view. Also he is prepared to allow the slaughter of thousands of native water birds to maintain support of the Shooters and Fishers Party. He is without principle, empathy or a broad view of the world that a good leader should have.

  • Thanks Peter. Yes Andrews is the epitome of the socialist social engineer. But I worry far more about the slaughter of 20,000 unborn babies every year which he allows, champions, and boasts about.

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