“Separation of church and state, does not mean the inoculation of the influence of faith on the state.”
Which begs the question, what does the separation of church and state mean?
Well, according to the Liberals it’s a rather fluid thing. For example, when Christian churches criticise Coalition policies, then they should just butt out because they should be dealign with spiritual matters. And as for those Imams, well, if they don’t like the way things are, then they should just bugger off. However, it’s entirely appropriate for churches and other religious organizations to be commenting on anything where they agree with current government policy.
I guess the strange thing for me is this idea that civil celebrants should be able to refuse to marry gay couples. Apart from the obvious point that, if a civil celebrant were to simply express the view to a gay couple that it was against their religious beliefs, it’s hard to imagine that a gay couple would want to be married by that person. I mean, you’d hardly want someone snidely asking, “If any one knows any just cause or impediment why these two should not be joined together, let him declare it… Anyone? Anyone? Ok, going once, going twice… I mean, have a think about it, we’ve got time” on your wedding day.
But even without declaring their opposition, it’s hard to imagine a civil celebrant being forced to conduct a cerermony against their will. One has to book a civll celebrant. If he or she says, that the day is unsuitable, it’s not like you have a right to see their diary and go through it until you can say, “Ah ha. You have a free space on December 25th. We demand to marry then, because even though it’ll be impossible to book a place for the reception, the most important thing is that we book a civil celebrant who has religious objections to our special day. Not only that but we’re inviting Tony Abbott and demanding that he come and bring George Pell as his date.”
Of course, it is important to see that the people’s rights are protected. And this is a great thing. It’s quite an epiphany for the Liberals: acknowledging that just because a side lost the vote, that doesn’t mean we should ignore them. Does this mean an end to we won the election so Labor and The Greens should just shut up and let everything through the Senate? Let’s see how this applies to the Bennelong by-election. If more than forty percent of people vote against John Alexander, does this mean that he should take that on board and vote against the government forty percent of the time. Of course, this presupposes John Alexander actually wins which, given the accident prone nature of Turnbull’s Terriers, is no certainty ten days out with a week of Parliament to sit.
On a side note, I must say that I liked Malcolm Turnbull’s demand that Shorten remove Dastyari from the Senate. Now, if he’d demanded that he kick him out of the Labor Party, he may have had an arguable case, but political leaders can’t kick someone out Parliament whenever it suits them. I mean, why didn’t Malcolm kick Cory Bernardi out when he left the party after he dumped them within days of being re-elected? However, what Turnbull actually asked Bill to do can only mean one of two things: He was playing politics and trying to make Shorten look weak, or Malcolm has no idea how things actually work.
Actually, you’re right. It means both of those things.
Anyway, amongst all the celebrations, I can’t help but notice that the marriage equality legislation hasn’t actually been passed yet. I mean, I know that it’s being debated. And I know that Malcolm has promised that it will be done by Christmas. Ho ho ho…But I can’t help but feel that there’s a danger in placing too much faith in Malcolm being able to follow through on anything. After all, he is suggesting that he’s going to vote to religious freedoms even though he thinks it’s unnecessary. You have to admire a man with that sort of conviction. If just one amendment gets through, the whole thing will have to go back to the Senate.
Mm, I was going to write about Milo Yiannopoulos and wonder why people are protesting him. I mean, I know why people are protesting him, but I can’t help but feel that protesting him is only giving him the publicity he desparately seeks. Without all the protests, he’d just be another typical pathetic attention-seeker who’d had a book deal cancelled because of his support for paedophilia. While in Australia, he’s complained that our indigenous population never invented the wheel, which is a strange criticism given that he didn’t either. Just your average right-winger really.
However, then I realised the irony about writing a whole article complaining about all the attention he’s been given.