A friend sat watching the Australian Senate debating the contentious anti-discrimination bill before our Parliament today.
It’s been the most rushed piece of legislation that is completely at odds with the gravity of the consequences of its enactment.
The furphy around the legislation as it pertained to schools, was that it was presented as a bill ensuring that gay students would not be discriminated against by faith-based schools. This was a shameful smokescreen put out by activists and a certain media type that sees its role as championing progressive culture at the cost of, you know, truth.
Ongoing discrimination towards gay students by religious schools is NEVER going to happen, doesn’t happen, and if and when it does, there’s been a huge backlash, and often from religious schools themselves. Take it from me, I know, I’m on the board of a faith-based education system. If it happened in our system I would be the first to complain.
It’s always been about the Sexular Culture trying to worm its way into yet another institution hitherto untapped. Trying to white ant the ethical makeup of teaching staff within a school, and silence any dissent. That’s been a clear agenda by many an activist. Clear, repeated and reported. The Sexular Culture is like the Alien in the famous Ridley Scott movie, it just keeps banging at the cage trying to get out, so insatiable is its appetite for fresh meat.
But here’s the interesting thing from today.
My friend noted that when the Greens leader, Senator Richard di Natale stood up to speak on the bill, he said nothing,…nothing… about religion at all. The words/terms “religious”, “religious” “religious freedoms”, did not pass his lips once.
It’s as if the issue of religious freedom that has hung like a heavy pall over this debate, and all in the light of the unreleased Ruddock Report, has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. It’s as if there was no religious framework to discuss at all. And that’s simply astonishing coming from the federal leader of one of our minor parties, that purports to be the champion of many minority faith communities.
My friend Facebooked this to me from the Senate:
Di Natale speech – not one word about religious freedom. Not a word. Ending discrimination which has no place in modern Australia.
Given the shenanigans in the Greens these past few weeks over sexual abuse claims and cover ups it’s not surprising that there are certain topics di Natale does not mention.
Sexual abuse does not have a place in modern Australia. Or it should not have. But religion? Still has a HUGE place, including among the very voters that the Greens crawl over cut glass to ingratiate themselves with.
But let’s not just blame di Natale for saying nothing. He’s secular after all. Why should he give a rip about religious alternate ethical communities? I mean, I’m sure when you’re as “woke” as a secular progressive in a modern city there wouldn’t be too many evangelicals, Jews or Muslims at your dinner parties come Saturday night, right? Huge swathes of our well educated thinkers have no contact whatsoever with an orthodox Christian.
But here’s what’s been interesting the past few weeks. The Christians from the Left who champion the Greens as the closest thing to Jesus that politics can get, have stayed stubbornly quiet on this issue as well. Not a blog post. Not a tweet. Not an instagram. Not a banner outside a parliament.
I’m not sure why. Is it because they are afraid to lose their gig on The Project, or QandA or not get to write that article for the ABC Religious page scolding the major parties for something or other?
But surely that could not be the case? Surely it could not be that they would prefer the bowl of stew of the approval of people, or more to the point, the right kind of people?
For when their brothers and sisters who have been working behind the scenes, calling on MPs to think of the consequences of this for faith communities of all persuasions, were working their hardest, did those more progressive Christians, many of whom have a voice in the media-land, lend their already well-established platform to the cause? They did not.
And if you’re one of them, feel free to respond and state your case. I’d be interested to hear it. Hey, I’d even be interested to publish it on this site if you want to explain this, so far, unexplained silence.
I’ve found it interesting that the many a conservative evangelical, including myself, have spoken out against the draconian and cruel manner in which asylum seekers have been treated by successive governments in this country.
In fact I know of a lot of work being done by evangelicals on the ground in this area. In this critical moment those who are more conservative have been more than willing to go against the secular conservative grain because of the gospel. There is a breakaway from secular conservative politics on this one among many, many evangelicals.
But it has not swung the other way. Those Christians who are more progressive in their politics in general, have stayed silent and refused to share one voice with orthodox religious communities on this one.
And it’s to their shame that they haven’t. I expect nothing from Greens leader Richard di Natale. I expect more from my more progressive Christian brothers and sisters.
The good news is that, as of today, it looks like government amendments, supported by cross-benchers, will hold any legislation off until next year. That means there’s time for those Christians who have championed progressive agendas for so long and so publicly to make amends to their more conservative Christian brothers and sisters.
Over to you.