Freedom of religion means different things to different people.
Balancing Australians’ rights to freely practice the religion they believe in while protecting other Aussies with essential anti-discrimination policies is no easy feat. And as the federal election recently highlighted, getting the balance wrong can see voters turn against you.
Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen believes many Australians of faith don’t think Labor cares about them, admitting this is part of his motivation to leave the race for the party’s next leader.
Bowen admits Labor is disconnected from people of faith
As the Australian Associated Press reports, Bowen’s thoughts stem from the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) describing the coalition’s win as a win for religious freedom.
‘The policy difference between the two major parties on religious freedom was very clear,’ ACL managing director Martyn Iles said.
One area of difference rests in the issue of faith-based schools, where the Coalition supports the teaching and maintaining of rules consistent with the faith of the institution, but Labor only accepts ‘reasonable’ practices to be taught.
PS: The politically correct brigade in Australia wants to stifle anything you say if they deem it ‘dangerous’, or even if it just hurts someone’s feelings. This free report reveals more.
As such, Bowen told reporters in Sydney:
‘I have noticed as I have been around during the election campaign and even in the days since … how often it has been raised with me that people of faith no longer feel that progressive politics cares about them.
‘These are people with a social conscience, who want to be included in the progressive movement.
‘We need to tackle this urgently. I think this is an issue from the federal election that we haven’t yet focused on.’
Labor MP Anthony Chisholm disagrees, believing the party’s loss was more a failure of ‘economic reassurance and ensuring Queenslanders understand that we will be responsible economic managers.’
Yeah, there’s that as well.
Shorten’s homophobic campaign play
During the weeks of campaigning, ex-Labor leader Bill Shorten politicised Morrison’s faith by attacking the Prime Minister’s ‘delayed’ response to controversial rugby player Israel Folau.
Shorten twisted Morrison’s initial silence towards questions about Folau’s behaviour as an admittance that he agrees with Folau in that homosexuals should go to hell.
Shorten has since denied such pushing of the truth, instead believing Morrison should have made it clear from the get-go that he didn’t believe gay people are hell-bound.
Because that’s something that needs clarifying, not the definition of ‘reasonable’ practices, apparently.
In a haphazard backtrack, Shorten told ABC’s 7:30 program:
‘I do respect the right to religious freedom. I do respect freedom of speech.
‘But I also respect that just as religion is part of someone’s identity, so is their sexuality.’
So what does it mean when these two things collide then?
Free report: Australia’s right to free speech is under attack! Discover how a select group of Australians want to stifle your fundamental right to speak your mind — and what you can do help turn the tide. Download it for free here.