Political commentators and leaders of the Labor party agree that freedom of expression and freedom of religious belief played an important part in the outcome of the recent Australian federal election. The elected Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, had earlier written to the head of Christian Schools Australia saying that, “I believe there is no more fundamental right than the right to decide what you believe, or do not believe.”
When Scott Morrison declared that everyone should have the choice to believe or not believe in what they hear from the pulpit or smart phone, he was making it clear that everyone is entitled to be offended by those exercising their democratic right of free speech. He was declaiming that one should not be discriminated against for religious belief in the same way that one should not be subjected to discrimination because of one’s gender or sexuality.
Scott Morrison is now charged with the unenviable task of legislating a ‘freedom of religion act’ that necessarily will involve the repeal of the existing section 18C of the Anti-Discrimination Act in circumstances where the federal parliament has earlier legitimized acts of morality in conflict with biblical texts held sacred to Christian belief. Providing a legislative framework for such protections as envisaged necessarily entails a requirement for definitions that were formerly encompassed in abstract concepts in our Australian Constitution. Such definitions will require to spell out what conduct is permitted to offend and what conduct is not.
Australian Wallaby great, Israel Folau, had his contract of employment with Rugby Australia terminated for voicing his commitment to the deity of his belief by texting a message extracted from texts held sacred to Christianity. He did not preach its religious message from a pulpit to the prayerful in pews found within hearing range of the confines of a traditional place of worship. He preached its religious message according to the practice of social media to a global community of billions — in like manner to those advertising their products and services on the internet.
Author, Claude Reinier has the minister in a future world confederation of member states address the problem that Scott Morrison’s government is now facing. As with Australia’s newly appointed Attorney General, Christian Porter, he has dismissed a suggested new protection against religious discrimination in the workplace. Find out why the attorney may have reached such conclusion by reading how our claimed original progenitors in the ‘prayerful workplace’ of the Garden of Eden handled such requirement in The Pope on Trial, Part 1, The Fight to Save Hell.