As a sop to the bigots who lost the same-sex marriage postal vote, then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull opened up the crypt of Liberal has-beens and asked liver-spotted cadaverous Philip Ruddock to review ‘religious freedom’. Now some of that report has been leaked and part of it recommended that the government amend the federal Sex Discrimination Act to allow religious schools to “discriminate in relation to students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status”. In order to obtain this right, the schools would need to provide a public policy statement declaring their position and give notice to parents, students and prospective students1.
When interviewed about the leak, Horizon Happy-Clapper Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that this was “not a change” because discrimination was allowed in existing law. He added: “We’re not proposing to change that law to take away existing arrangement that exists”. When queried with: “So you’re comfortable with a school expelling a student because they are gay or lesbian?”, Morrison looked like he had stepped in dog poo and simply replied: “It is existing law”2.
Given the propensity for Liberal Party members to open their gobs often without thinking about what they are about to say, it is unsurprising that Hillsong Happy-Clapper Alex Hawke3 did so. He mustn’t have heard that Cabinet was yet to consider the Ruddock report2 (it was presented to Turnbull in May). Hawke stated that he strongly supported new rules to discriminate against children, and as you would expect, played the religious victim card, warning that people of faith were under attack in Australia4. This is of course largely a lie. The only religious group under attack in Australia are muslims and they are under attack from the religious nutters in the Liberal Party and the racists in One Nation and their acolytes, especially when it is perceived that such an attack will be politically useful. It is their favourite political tool; the dog whistle5.
Morrison is usually a bit slow on the uptake, so he must have had someone in his ear explaining how having the coat of arms of a very expensive private school over the top of a ‘no gays’ sign might not be a good look. You can bet your bottom dollar that if any school was found to have expelled children for their gender identity or sexuality, that epithet or something similar would appear below their coat of arms very soon thereafter.
When interviewed subsequently, Morrison started to backpedal, saying that he didn’t think that a law allowing discrimination based on sexuality was a good law. However, he added that “religious schools should be able to run their schools based on their religious principles”. Then, like Hawke, Morrison played the religious victim card, when he said that as discrimination based on gender or race is prohibited, the “same sort of protections” should apply to discrimination based on religion1.
These happy-clappers do not seem to realise that they already have religious freedom; they can rabbit on about pretending to speak in languages they do not understand as much as they like. However, when they believe that their religious freedom also includes the ability to discriminate, then they need to be pilloried for it. As I have said numerous times, the religious have been telling people for millennia how to live their lives and anyone who didn’t toe the line in the past was at best ostracised, or at worst, barbecued. This recent manifestation of the lust for discrimination is symptomatic of their rage against their diminishing influence. Their attitudes are archaic and are at odds with most of the Australian population, which is rapidly becoming less religious as shown by the census6, and is more progressive as shown by the same-sex marriage vote7. They cannot barbecue people any more, nor can they indulge in social ostracism as they used to do, so they are left to play the victim. That is all they have left. Maybe they are concerned that they may be treated the way they treated others when they had the power to do so. They needn’t worry, atheists are better than that.