I have just emailed this to my Federal member who is a practising Catholic:
“I was born in the UK and my maternal grandfather was a Minister in the Church of Christ – very like the Baptist Church.
For a variety of reasons, we ended up attending a low church C of E, and my secondary education was in a C of E Grammar School, where the school’s charter required us to study the scriptures, while in senior years we studied Comparative Religion.
I am now an agnostic but my moral values are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
I think that it is morally wrong for the Christian churches to insist that the Bible is ‘the truth’ when it is actually based on mankind’s flawed knowledge, and much more of ‘the truth’ has been – and is being – revealed by scientific research.
Just think about the sun going round the earth! Or the creation of the world in 7 days! And – yes – there are many who believe that is true!
In my view, differences between and within various religions are responsible for a great deal of unnecessary friction – Catholic vs Protestant, Shi’a vs Sunni on top of Muslim vs Christian etc.
I think religion should remain a private matter and, where modern science has proved the bible’s ‘truth’ to be false, this must be officially accepted.
Members of the LGBTIQ community continue to be vilified by so-called Christians – AND Muslims – while – through no fault of their own – their ‘difference’ from the dichotomous norm was established before they were born.
The ignorance and bigotry of many who claim to believe in a god, yet who totally fail to live according to the teachings enshrined in their holy works, does major damage to a cohesive society.
I think the idea of providing additional protection to those who wish to follow a religion is, IMHO, a grave error.
Australia is a secular country but the right to follow a religion is guaranteed by the Constitution.
The proposed Bill is, I believe, both unnecessary and more likely to cause harm than good.
Certainly the LGBTIQ – faced with the fact that the ‘beliefs’ of the religious ignore the truth of the determination of sexual orientation – are right to fear that more zealots like Israel Folau and those of his cult, will damage their lives.
Maybe there is one or more gods – we will never know in this life. Those who believe in an afterlife will duly find out whether their belief is well-founded.
But in this life, “Do as you would be done by” and following the advice given in the parable of the Good Samaritan (note particularly Jesus Christ’s condemnation of the priest and the Levi for their failure to help the stranger, with its less than subtle rebuke for NOT practising what they preach) provide excellent guidance for lives which do not hurt others.
I do not think the proposed legislation is necessary and it is more likely to cause harm than protect anyone.
I do not deny you the right to follow your beliefs but express concern that faith can enshrine error and ignorance.”
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