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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Proposed religious freedom changes (sf Racial Discrimination Act)

    Religious Discrimination Bill Has Many Problems And Could Be A Risk To Religious Freedom
    Morgan Begg, IPA, 29 August 2019

    “The federal government’s plan to prohibit religious discrimination is a welcome start, but more work is needed to avoid counter-productive and unintended consequences which may limit rather than strengthen religious freedom,” said Morgan Begg, Research Fellow at the free-market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

    Attorney-General Christian Porter this morning released the exposure draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019, which will expand federal anti-discrimination laws to prohibit “unfair” treatment of people of faith.

    “Religious freedom is a natural human right which all Australians enjoy, it is not a gift from government. The only way to restore religious freedom in Australia is to repeal laws which impinge upon the free exercise of speech, association, and religion.”

    The draft bill also proposes to override state anti-discrimination laws, which make a statement of belief unlawful.

    The draft bill will also expand the role for the Australian Human Rights Commission, including through the addition of a Freedom of Religion Commissioner.

    “The Australian Human Rights Commission has proven itself to be illiberal and anti-democratic when deciding what is and isn’t acceptable speech. It should be abolished, not expanded,” said Mr Begg.

    “The Australian Human Rights Commission must not have any role in defining what a legitimate religious belief or action is or is not.”

    “State and federal governments all have a responsibility to restore religious freedom, and that means repealing laws which restrict freedom of speech and association, such as through repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and abolishing the Australian Human Rights Commission.”
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  2. #2
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    I think it's great that the Morrison government is making the RDA and the AHRC so much stronger by introducing what is effectively a Bill of Rights.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I've split this to a new thread as I think it deserves one free of being constrained by previous discussion about racial vilification laws.

    I haven't studied the proposals in detail but I have looked closely at the proposal to override Section 17(1) of the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act in a way that would make "insulting" and "offending" someone on the basis of its long list of attributes (including sexuality, gender, race etc) no longer illegal if the comments in question were a non-malicious expression of a religious belief or a non-religious belief about religion.

    It seems to me that the impact of those changes as things stand is relatively minor, but would be massively unfair if the Tasmanian Act were amended to make religion a protected attribute. The former Labor/Green government, extremely incompetently, tried to make religious and political views protected attributes in 2012 but this was killed off in the Upper House.

    If religion was protected by the Tasmanian clause and the new federal clause was added then that would mean that, for instance, a Christian saying that atheists or Muslims would burn in Hell would be fine, but an atheist couldn't say, for instance, that Islam was a violent religion or that Christianity was a child abuse sect. The reason is that atheists would only be protected while making criticisms that arose directly from having no religion - for instance things like "it's impossible to know if there's a God" or "praying is a waste of time".
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  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    If religion was protected by the Tasmanian clause and the new federal clause was added then that would mean that, for instance, a Christian saying that atheists or Muslims would burn in Hell would be fine, but an atheist couldn't say, for instance, that Islam was a violent religion or that Christianity was a child abuse sect.
    Neither of these should be punishable by the state.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  5. #5
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    Sydney Anglicans making the obvious point about the new bill: "The flaw had “very significant implications”, making it unlawful for Anglican Youthworks to recruit only Christians as outdoor educators, to reject an application for the First Church of Satan to hold a black mass at one of its campsites, or for a Christian residential university college to give any preference to Christian students."

    Banning discrimination on religious grounds is a great idea, but what do you do when there is a clash between religious beliefs?

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