I strongly suggest that, when and if the government presents a bill in relation to religious protection, any religions named will include all branches of Judaism, Christianity (in all its multiple sects) Islam (also with many sects), possibly Buddhism(?), and Hinduism.
These are probably regarded as the world’s major religions.
I have put a question mark against Buddhism, as it does not involve a ‘faith’, to believe in one or more gods, and is essentially promoting a way of life and a road to Nirvana, after multiple reincarnations. It has much to recommend it but, as with most, if not all, ethical teachings, it is ignored when convenient to do so!
The other four, named above, all have their holy books on which their followers rely for guidance in life.
I suggest that this almost certainly dictates that those who most closely follow the teachings, recorded in the religious writings peculiar to their faith, will be conservative.
After all – in a world filled with technological inventions and medical revelations, mankind clearly has access nowadays to knowledge unavailable when these various religions were developed.
Those who follow progressive policies, while building on the past, take care to include information more recently developed. Those who believe that all they need to guide their lives was already known millennia ago, are necessarily less open to being influenced by new knowledge.
It has become apparent in recent times that those of ‘faith’ turn a blind eye to modern knowledge when it suits them, and in the process, they harm others – which is completely contrary to the leader they claim to follow. Why should they be protected?
Not all Islamic sects require their followers to accept Sharia Law – which a quick search of the Bible will reveal was essentially followed by the Jews at the time that Jesus Christ (who was, of course, a Jew) is recorded as preaching to his followers. The processes of divorce are different for several other faiths and do not necessarily accord with Australian legal proceedings.
Apart from opening a can of worms, likely to increase rather than eliminate discrimination, this attempt by the government to protect prejudiced bigots is totally inappropriate.
The message attributed to Christ, in simplifying the Ten Commandments to two, was: ‘Love thy neighbour’ which was then eloquently exemplified in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Many of our politicians claim to belong to one of the Christian sects. Few of them appear to be following the directions indicated by Christ.
What we need is a basic and universal set of ethics, which can be taught in all schools, an acceptance that the laws of Australia take precedence over any other cultural rules and regulations and a recommendation that all religious practises will be tolerated, providing they do not promote behaviour which is directly or indirectly harmful to others or against our laws.
Australia is a secular country, but there are some in power who seem hellbent on ignoring that fact.
Why are so many Parliamentary sessions opened with the Lord’s Prayer? Recognition of the Peoples on whose Country the Parliament sits would be much more appropriate.
Why are so many of our public holidays associated with Christianity, with all other religions’ festivals ignored?
I do not recall anyone, other than those who lay claim to being Christian, who is asking for religious protection. In which case the Government is running very close to breaching s116 in pushing for this legislation.
The Colonies may have been founded by a nation which recognised Christianity as its established religion, but those who wrote the Constitution (which, incidentally, is well overdue for a total re-write to bring it into the modern world) fell over backwards to ensure that the Commonwealth of Australia could never adopt a national religion!
Rational thinking, of course, is not universally applied. After all, as we now celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, conspiracy theories abound, claiming that we have been duped about an event which never happened! And ‘faith’ necessarily excludes rational thought, since it so often depends on proof, which is unattainable!
I think we now all realise that the Coalition did not expect to be elected, had no policy platform apart from tax cuts, and had prepared itself to be in opposition, enabling them to follow Tony Abbott’s example of attacking Labor.
Time for Scott Morrison to put his mind to the issues important to the people of Australia – 60% or more of whom have made it very clear that they want action on the climate emergency – now!
And – as urgent – the government must immediately sort out the future of the desperate refugees on Manus and Nauru! Now that would be a very ethical (not to mention Christian) thing to do!
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