Ukraine’s Tank Problem

It seems to be a case of little provision for so much…

When culture war games trend lethal

The right-wing ecosphere throws an idiot ball into the civic discourse with…

The year ahead

Most people turn away from politics over the holiday period when the…

Cutting Your Power Bills In Half And Other…

A few years ago there was a scam where people were promised…

Values Based Capitalism: The Imperative of Defining Commitment…

By Denis Bright Editorial insiders at The Weekend Australian (28-29 January 2023)…

A walk in the forest

Bayerischer Wald can be just as hard to get to than it…

An Emergent Premier Chris Minns - Uniting Sydney…

By Denis Bright After more than a decade in Opposition, NSW Labor is…

Forget Australia Day And Celebrate: Rum Rebellion Day…

After pointing out for a number of years that January 26th isn't…


They don’t want freedom – they want dominion

According to the Universal Declaration of Rights:

“The freedom to observe and practise religious faith protects the inherent dignity of individuals, acknowledging the autonomy of individuals to make decisions about the way they live their lives.”

Yet many religious people want to deny that individual autonomy to others. They don’t just want the right to practise their beliefs – they want to impose them on everyone through law.

The 17th century philosopher, John Locke, wrote about the importance of tolerating other religious beliefs:

“The Toleration of those that differ from others in Matters of Religion, is so agreeable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to the genuine Reason of Mankind, that it seems monstrous for Men to be so blind, as not to perceive the Necessity and Advantage of it, in so clear a light.”

Thomas Jefferson, writing about religious freedom in 1781, said:

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

During the debate about marriage equality, the religious extremists made ridiculous claims that the marriage act would be defiled in some way if extended to same sex couples – that their own marriages would become worthless. Apparently, marriage must remain an exclusive club reserved for people like them.

The same sort of hysteria surrounded the Safe Schools program. Apparently, if young people hear anything about homosexuality or gender diversity they will immediately be forced to give it a go – which might explain why so many religious people don’t want their children having any form of sex education so when young girls get their periods for the first time they can think they are dying?

The parade of religious men wanting to condemn as criminals women who terminate a pregnancy is gobsmacking. It is an agonising decision for any woman to make but one that she must have the right to make. After all, Tony Abbott lectured us that “this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold….needs to be moderated”, and contraception doesn’t always work. But these men think a woman is obliged to give up her life should sperm meet egg.

When I was at uni in the 70s, on a poster proclaiming “Abortion is murder”, someone had scrawled “Does that make miscarriage manslaughter?”.

Graffiti was an art form in those days. On another poster calling for “Free Vasectomies Now”, someone wrote “I didn’t know he was in gaol”. Perhaps if women insisted that all men must have a vasectomy after fathering two children, they might decide that allowing us some say over our own bodies might be OK after all.

Whilst Scott Morrison commits resources to address the tragedy of youth suicide, men aged over 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia, more than double that of teenagers. The opposition to assisted dying is forcing our elderly to take their own lives, sometimes in terribly tragic ways. They deserve better choices.

And that is what it is all about – personal choice.

Scott Morrison met with religious leaders to discuss progress in the government’s plans to introduce a Religious Discrimination Bill later this year but it seems to be more about protecting their right to discriminate than protecting them from discrimination.

I will absolutely defend the right of anyone to not enter into a homosexual relationship, to not have an abortion regardless of their health, circumstances or how capable they are of caring for a(nother) child, to not choose to end their lives regardless of how much suffering they are enduring, and to engage in archaic worship rituals with men wearing funny clothes.

They already have that freedom with or without my blessing or support.

But it isn’t freedom they want – it is dominion over others’ right to choose.

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button


 406 total views,  4 views today


Login here Register here
  1. Phil Pryor

    Never ever listen to a religious superstitious fool, from the pope or some ayatollah, or some rabbi or any priestly loudmouth, for there is no god, though there are many of stone, ivory, dreams, imagination. When a god can put in a personal appearance before a high court, give dna samples, be printed, photographed, recorded, interviewed and finally charged with thousands of crimes, we should listen. Otherwise, the repetition of religious demands is all lies, fraud, a bid to dominate, to insist on some unfair supremacy, and that stinks. THE LIARS AND SUPREMACISTS ABOUND, DEMANDING A SUPERIOR POSITION AND THEY ARE LIARS OF THE LOWEST KIND, DESCENDANTS OF OLD ROTTEN SUPERSTITION WITH NO PLACE IN A MODERN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY.

  2. Kerri

    As I have commented before, I do not wish to live in a Pentecostal Caliphate!
    NETFLIX has a very informative series “The Family” about religious control of US politics.
    With such revelations as “if you are poor God wants you to be poor”
    And the head of The Family or The Fellowship, Doug Coe’s grooming of young men with political potential.
    Theme there is the belief that God’s man in the Whitehouse isn’t always a sheep but sometimes a wolf!
    Lower members of the sect spend their days sweeping leaves and cleaning toilets while the senior members meet with political elite and pray and discuss with them. They don’t follow the bible but a book labelled “JESUS”
    “Jesus” is certainly what I thought watching these men bent on domination.
    And yes, like all Christian based cults the women are merely vessels.
    If any of this sounds familiar to you I suggest you watch or do some research into The Family/Fellowship.

  3. Win Jeavons

    Jesus explicitly rejected power and dominion, in the story of his temptations. Included was any rejection of magical signs, displayed only to win followers. The best religion follows this pattern. Where power is pursued Jesus is not ! I am sure this warning was included in the final canon because there were seekers after power and dominion even then .

  4. HumeAndTwain

    “The best religion”?? I don’t think one exists … “Freedom of Religion” should be always preceded by the phrase “Freedom FROM Religion” ….

  5. HumeAndTwain

    Kaye, another clear-sighted and spot-on observation piece.

  6. New England Cocky

    Heheheheh … just watch the declining interest when private schools are removed from government education budgets and told to return to self funding, a la pre-1960s. No money for worldly pleasures is followed by no interest in religious teachings.

    The health of women is women’s business alone just as the health of men is men’s business alone.

    Religious nutters have been responsible of most wars that consume the excess population (especially males) created by lack of birth control in all nations. Remember the Ancient Egyptians had a ritual whereby the followers or households of the Pharaohs were buried with them in the pyramids.

  7. Kaye Lee


    I have been thinking about private school funding. I agree we should not give the organisations any money but, to allow parents the right to choose, we could perhaps allow them a tax deduction of up to, say, $5,000 for school fees if they produce a receipt. That puts the agency back into the hands of the individual and neuters the Catholic and Independent school funding lobbyists.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Lyle Shelton is a real treasure. His tweet from Aug 7….

    “Australians will come to regret the day they voted to de-gender marriage. It has opened the Pandora’s box 📦 we said it would. So much for love is love. Now your daughter can be in a toilet with a man (waxed balls & all) identifying as a woman.”

    This guy has serious sexual anxiety.

  9. pierre wilkinson

    religious freedom is
    “hey, that is against my religion so I cannot do that”
    “hey, that is against my religion, so YOU cannot do that”
    and well said NEC,
    no man should tell a woman what to do with her body, and vice versa
    love your writings Kaye Lee, spot on as always

  10. Miriam English

    I’ve been warning as many religious people as I can, that the “religious freedom” laws ought to be very worrying to them. The whole reason for the division between government and religion is to prevent a religion from controlling everything, because who do religious people hate most of all? Other religious people.

    I know the soon-to-be “religious freedom” laws are intended as payback against LGBT+ people for winning marriage equality, but blind Freddy can see that the next targets will be Jewish people, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other kinds of Christianity that are not part of the loony Hillsong cult.

    Christians make the big mistake of thinking that they are safe because they are in the group that will be protected, but they’ve forgotten about the vicious fighting between Catholics and Protestants, and the nasty quarrels between various kinds of Protestants, not to mention the way other Christians piled on in hating Jehovah’s Witnesses and similar fringe Christians. One of my ancestors, Sir Frank Colclough, was knighted by the Queen and given land and an abbey for service to the crown in killing vast numbers of Catholics. Those Christians he killed certainly were not protected from other Christians.

    The Orwellian-named “religious freedom” laws will be a terrible mistake.

    It was pointed out to me recently that perhaps the “religious freedom” laws are not just motivated by a desire to hurt LGBT+ people. It was suggested that it may be partly in reaction to the recent exposure of all the crimes and other misdeeds by the churches, and they resent not being able to keep such evils quiet. That may be so, but I think the payback against LGBT+ people is more likely… along with the abiding desire to have an excuse to install theocracy.

    Morrison and his fellow Hillsong cultists are Dominionists. Their ultimate design is to bring about a theocracy… one based upon their own peculiar fundamentalist readings of the Bible.

  11. Phil

    Not only should the religious be shunned they should be offended.

    I like the ones that come door knocking to proselytise their nonsense. I like to tell them can you wait a minute I am just in the middle of having sexual intercourse with my German Sheppard she will be well pissed off if I leave her now. It’s amazing they can’t be shocked, the more you ridicule them the more they bang on about being saved.

    I can’t win, when I try to pretend to take them serious my wife comes up behind me pinching me on the arse to make me laugh. A young couple rolled up at my place they must have been about seventeen, I told her look my love I have shoes older than you. Nah they can’t be told.

  12. Matters Not


    allow parents the right to choose

    Perhaps. But what limits should be set? Is any (overt) curriculum acceptable? Will we ‘fund’ (directly or indirectly) that 2 plus 2 equals 5? (An alternative fact?) If not – then why not?

    What about: The earth was created 6 000 years ago? Or a real life example sometimes posed to potential examiners – Germany was defeated in 1945 because God intervened. What mark out of 10 would you give for such an answer? In History? In comparative religious studies? None, 5 or 10? And on what basis would you advance for your decision – because it could be appealed?

    Or should parents’ right to choose be inalienable? Even if it’s illegal? Does morality enter the equation at any point? Then whose morality – the teacher, the parent, the metaphorical State? Whose?

    And so it goes – on and on …

  13. Miriam English

    Matters Not, you make an interesting point. What I like most is that you are able to make it. Under a theocracy such questions become impossible. I like being able to disagree agreeably with you on some topics. It would be an intolerable situation to be unable to disagree with you.

    As to the specific points you make, I like the idea of using the kind of moving goalposts that science gives us. We may very well think and teach that, for instance, the continents are “rock solid” and unmovable, until someone comes along and shows evidence that they are otherwise.

    Opinions (especially those of ancient superstitious goat-herders) should never take precedence, even if they are those of the parents’. A parent or teacher should not be allowed to damage their child by teaching them that the Earth is flat, or that skin color confers superiority, or that blood transfusions are wrong, or that vaccines are wrong, or that the Earth is younger than the earliest cave paintings. Lies should not be respected, even though people should be. Even nutty conspiracy theorists should be told in as friendly a way as possible why they are wrong and that they should desist from indoctrinating children with such toxic garbage.

    And how do we work out what should and shouldn’t be taught? We should turn to that steadily growing body of knowledge revealed by science. It is not infallible (as is shown by the case of continental drift), but has a far better record than any other source.

  14. Miriam English

    Phil, when Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking at my door, I try to always give them a polite and reasonable discussion. One of my favorite things is to greet them as atheists. When they say “Oh, we’re not atheists” I point out that they disbelieve in the millions of other gods believed in by other people. Then I add that I’m only a tiny bit more atheist than them, in that I disbelieve in just one more god than they do.

    Another approach I tried recently is when I asked two JW women if they believed that just 144,000 people will be chosen to go to heaven. Of course they enthusiastically agreed (it is a core JW belief), I gently pointed out that unfortunately it won’t be them or their husbands because Revelations 14:3-5 clearly says the 144,000 chosen will be only virgin men who have not been defiled by women. (I resisted adding that this means they would most likely be gay men.) I implored them to actually read their Bibles instead of letting others tell them what to believe.

    I like to use the Bible as a resource to fight Christianity, though I try to do so in a non-antagonistic way. I can’t remember who said that more religious people turned atheist by reading the Bible than by any other book.

    The internet is an almost boundless source of information on the inconsistencies of Christianity and other religions.

    The internet is where religion goes to die.

  15. Miriam English

    Phil, one of the reasons I try to be as friendly and pleasant as possible to religious people is that I doubt anybody was ever persuaded by someone telling them they’re an idiot. Another reason is that most religious people are actually good people who are just trying to do what is right. It’s kinda not their fault that they’ve become infected by such a dangerous meme. If I can get them to honestly think, then religion’s grip over that person’s mind can be released. I’ve had many religious people marvel that an atheist like me can be such a good person. I try to explain that it isn’t that I’m unusual, but that most people are good, including most atheists.

    By offending and shunning religious people you just push them back into the arms of those who are delighted to keep their minds closed. You help create the enemy you despise.

    Pity them, sure, but don’t hate them.

  16. Miriam English

    I just remembered one tactic you can use if you don’t have time to talk to religious people who’ve come to your house to convert you. Give a sincere apology that you don’t have the time just now to talk, but if they give you their address you’ll visit them later to talk more. Of course they never will. Hopefully this will make them understand the equivalence between them showing up at your place unannounced and you coming to theirs.

  17. Matters Not


    like the idea of using the kind of moving goalposts that science gives us

    But that raises serious issues for some (including some teachers and parents). In particular, those who believe in Truth with a capital T (that goes beyond Mathematics and Logic and their assumptions.)

    parent or teacher should not be allowed to damage their child by teaching them that …

    While most will agree with that, nevertheless there will be many who will argue that a child will be damaged (perhaps for eternity) if they are denied access to Truth that is found in religious texts. etc.

    Seems to me there is a (pragmatic) answer. And it lies in the credential to be awarded (or not). If a parent(s) or a child wants to believe that 2 plus 2 equals 5 (for example) or that it was God’s intervention that saw the defeat of Germany in WW II, then the desired credential should NOT be awarded because the internal logic of the discipline has been violated.

    Particular credentials are awarded because a student has demonstrated an understanding (and application) of what the subject/discipline is all about. It may not be your Truth but as far as what this course is about, that’s what gets you a particular stamp on your forehead etc. Using the credential argument, one might be able to limit the excesses that flows from magical thinking which is the basis for so much religious thinking.

    Any thoughts?

  18. Kaye Lee


    Schools have to go through an accreditation process demonstrating that they teach the curriculum. Their students are required to take part in standardised tests.

    As far as what should they be allowed to teach, even in state schools we must take into account parents wishes. I taught some Plymouth Brethren kids. They weren’t allowed to use computers or watch videos or take part in science lessons about evolution or astronomy and they objected to certain English texts so were given alternate texts to study. We bent over backwards to accommodate them but we never lied to them.

  19. Matters Not


    but we never lied to them.

    But perhaps we do lie (effectively) by awarding them a credential when there’s been certain components that weren’t studied. Or at least, not understood, albeit, via omission. Does the credential itself become a sham, an untruth etc?

    What I’m trying to explore is the limits of parents’ rights, particularly when particular adults’ ‘expertise’ is characterised by rank ignorance etc.

  20. Kaye Lee

    I understand and it is an area worthy of discussion. It’s kind of like voters’ rights too in a way. We let ill-informed people help decide who will make the laws that will govern all of us.

    The government is considering giving religious schools not only exemption from discrimination laws, but also the right to teach students that the law of the land is evil re same sex marriage. But kids aren’t that easily fooled.

    One slight handbrake on their madness is their desire to get good test results so they need to cover the curriculum. Anyone wanting to argue the earth is 6,000 years old, or that vaccines are bad, would have a lot of trouble making their case.

    We teach our students to question and analyse, to compare and contrast, to be critical. The more we do that, the sooner the lies will die.

    Then again, the success of Trump, Johnson and Morrison might reinforce that lying is a great idea. Who knows?

  21. Josephus

    I also use the I ‘m a happy atheist tactic, or point out that of all the J Witnesses alive today, few will be saved, or , better, that their quota has surely long been used up by the faithful dead.

    The supposed moral superiority argument of theists and therefore wickedness of atheists was subtly refuted in the late 1600s and early 1700s by Pierre Bayle, an exiled Huguenot (likely a deist or sceptic), whose Historical Dictionary was larded with many historical counter-examples. Made the Churches apopleptic.
    After Voltaire died in 1788 telling the swarming priests ‘Let me die in peace,’ the churchmen made up terrible deathbed scenes. Bogeyman tales for children.

    In Saudi and Iran atheism is punishable by death. I once met an atheist ex refugee form Iran, who told me sadly how stupid people here think refugees are Moslem fanatics. If they were fanatics, wouldn’t they prefer to stay at home, among their brethren?

  22. RosemaryJ36

    Are so many straight men afraid of homosexuals because of a fear being anally raped – despite in many cases enjoying anal intercourse with a woman? Well, come and join the women who have been regularly raped in many modes by ‘straight’ men over the centuries!

  23. Phil

    Phil, when Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking at my door, I try to always give them a polite and reasonable discussion. One of my favorite things is to greet them as atheists. When they say “Oh, we’re not atheists” I point out that they disbelieve in the millions of other gods believed in by other people. Then I add that I’m only a tiny bit more atheist than them, in that I disbelieve in just one more god than they do..

    I have used that logic before, in my own experience it doesn’t work. Btw, I don’t hate them, I feel sorry for them. Being a fellow easily amused, I find the religious kooks a source of amusement.

  24. johno

    Re the visiting bible bashers. Now I just have a polite chat, tell them that the bush is my church and they leave. All good.

  25. Kaye Lee

    I really like Miriam’s idea of saying I don’t have time now but if you’d like to give me your home address I’ll pop over one evening unannounced and we can have a chat. The really bad bit here is they always bring children with them and I feel so sorry for the kids I don’t say what I want to.

  26. wam

    There should be freedom of religion provided the tenets of the religion are freely available for open discussion. No confession secrets, no hidden laws for women, no special school curricula.for children no hidden prejudices.

    Oh miriam thanks, you have solved the mystery of where god gets his virgins for the muslim suicide bombers.
    ps the 7dayers pay big money to the church to be allowed to do missionary work. I always give them cool water and show them a moebius strip. no beginning or end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: