Contributed by Joe Montero
The move towards so-called freedom of religion legislation is not being driven to support Christians practicing their religious beliefs. The purpose is to promote an ideology that targets certain sections of the Australian community for attack.
Anyone valuing justice should not be sidetracked from this reality.
Key proponents of this legislation have themselves mixed it with complaints about the rise of Islam and the success of the marriage equality vote last year. some even combine this with a notion that society has somehow come under the control of leftists, who are destroying Christian civilisation. Among them, a few even talk about a New World Order having taken control and insist that Sharia law is taking over Australia.
An important part of this movement is the Australian Christian Lobby, which claims to speak for all Christians, but is really a Murdoch promoted political front.
Uniting these would be warriors, is a belief that there must be a roll back to a mythical Anglo Christian civilisation and authority.
They allege that Christians are being persecuted and that there is a need to do away with anti-discrimination law, as the first step on the road to changing this.
People of Christian faith do deserve to have their views respected. Vilifying them is wrong and feeds into the above narrative.
Having said this, it remains that just like anyone else, the right to be respected comes with the duty to respect others. Rights do not come without responsibilities.
The few protections against vilification and for protection against attack were fought for and won by those who have been the real victims. This has created greater equality than there had previously been.
The move towards a Religious discrimination Act is designed to weaken these protections and create an opportunity to remove them more thoroughly down the track.
An important mouthpiece of this push is News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt, who keeps on protesting that his voice is being silenced by the leftist elite controlling society. It is this power, he suggests, which is behind everything that is wrong with Australian society and the economy, and implies, that a crusade is necessary to correct this.
People like him tie all this to their opposition to multiculturalism. That is, they wage war against Australia’s racial, ethnic and cultural diversity, and seek to impose their narrow view on society.
A big effort has been made to infiltrate Christian circles and convince those within them that their insecurities about the breakup of family, lack of opportunity for the coming generation, and the decline in the influence of the faith, can only be reversed through a war to impose ‘Christian values.’
The implication is that it is alright to target other sections of the Australian community as enemies, and that even violence can be excused. Muslims, gay people, unbelievers and anyone branded a leftist are fair game.
If this should ever come to pass, it would mean a major loss of civil liberties for a great many Australians, including many of those practicing the Christian faith.
The architects of this push have become better organised, have a lot of money at their disposal and have made considerable inroads into the Coalition parties.
They have taken advantage of the furore around the public comments made by Israel Folau, about gay people and fornicators going to Hell and his removal from employment as a footballer. They are using the case to whip up passion and provide a justification for changing the law as early as this coming July.
It is important to resist this. Anti-discrimination law is a gain that needs to be protected. Australians need to work for a more inclusive and fairer society. This involves drawing a line against those who want to pull us all in the opposite direction.