By Jim Hayes
In a bizarre effort to turn reality upside down, the Ruddock so-called inquiry into religious freedom has recommended allowing private schools, to turn away gay students who are gay or have a different sexual orientation, has become the talk around this country. Closely associated is the call to also allow these schools to get rid of gay teachers and adopt discriminatory employment practices.
The term so-called is justifiably used, because this inquiry was never meant to have anything to do about protecting people from exercising their religion. It has always been about imposing the will of some, to discriminate against those they consider not their type of people and force privilege for some at the expense of others.
People have fought for generations to improve the lot for all. It has been tough. But society ultimately progressed towards greater fairness and inclusiveness. Certain elements now want to turn the wheel back. They manipulate the insecurity of some, to distort it and create the monster of bigotry. The decisive victory over marriage equality last year, raised the determination of some to raise their counter crusade to a new level.
It is suggested that being inclusive locks out the faithful. It is never explained how this can happen. Inclusiveness means respecting the beliefs and differences of others. It is based on the acceptance that although each of us have certain rights, we also all have responsibilities to the wider community.
Calling for allowing discrimination, as a necessity for the right of people to apply their faith is false. All faiths talk about compassion towards fellow human beings. Where has this gone?
Its perpetrators are not calling for freedom of speech and religion, but the exclusive right to ram their demands down the throats of others. They are calling for the right to be custodians of all truth. They want other voices silenced, and anyone who doesn’t fit into their world view, to be punished for it.
This is what exposes the truth behind it. A political agenda of those who would divide our community by promoting prejudice, to impose a new order that consolidates the power of a few over the many.
It is no different than manufacturing that asylum seekers arriving by boat deserve to be punished and that Muslims are a threat. Setting up scapegoats to blame and hate, promotes and normalises inhumanity, and creates a platform for those who would take us down a dark road.
The good thing is that the proposal is already causing a backlash. Much of the Australian community is horrified and wants it stopped. it is even causing significant division within the government’s ranks. Labor and the Greens are calling for an amendment to the law, which will make it even harder for schools to carry out this form of discrimination. Scott Morrison has been forced to back off for now.
Action to allow gay teachers to be sacked may still be carried out. This must be stopped as well.