Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Friday, 16 August 2019

Galaxy Poll showed 2 out of 3 people believe religious organisations and individuals should not be allowed to discriminate against those who don’t hold the same views


Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Media Release 13 August 2019: 


 Religious Discrimination – What Australia Really Thinks 

The results of a Galaxy Poll, commissioned by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG+) have been released today. 

Mr Morrison needs to consider the opinion of the “Quiet Australians” before he forges ahead with a Religious Discrimination Act, Commission or Commissioner. 

The issues of religious freedom for some are in reality discrimination for others. 

Very few are against religious freedom. But as the Poll shows many are against discrimination. Additionally, Christians in Australia are not persecuted but the legislation is being put in place just as a precaution because marriage equality became a reality in this country in 2017. 

Of those who were polled 51% identified as being religious and 49% identified as having no religion

The Poll shows 63% do not agree that the religious organisations should have the right to discriminate against LGBTIQ people. The same percentage applied when asked if religious organisations should have the right to discriminate against unmarried mothers, divorcees and couples in de facto relationships. (33% identified as Christian)

The Poll also showed that 62% believe religious organisations and individuals should not be discriminated against just because of their faith. 

Additionally, the Poll showed that 68% (2 out of 3) people believe, religious organisations and individuals should not be allowed to discriminate against those who don’t hold the same views. 

The Poll showed that 48% Christians do not agree with discrimination of LGBTIQ people and others who do not comply with the religious organisations ethos, while 13% do agree with discrimination.


Ends

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

A law firm specialising in freedom of religion, speech and conscience lays out the far-right's wish list concerning religious freedom legislation?


Make no mistake, what is in play here is an ideologically-driven push back against the 2017 amendment to the Marriage Act 1961 and, an attempt to regain the power to legally discriminate against the LGBTI community.

All three examples given by the Australian Christian Lobby in the following article involves individuals who have allegedly either actively discriminated against a transgender person or made statements to the effect that homosexuality was heretical, blasphemous and evil.

OUT in Perth, 8 August 2019:

The head of the Human Rights Law Alliance has laid out what he expects the government will allow in its religious focused anti-discrimination legislation.

In a recent presentation in Perth for the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), John Steenhof the Managing Director of the organisation, listed a range of examples where he felt people’s religious freedom had been compromised.

One of the examples Steenhof notes is the case of a pharmacists who he says ended up resigning from their job because they felt an equal opportunity commission was going to force them to fill the prescriptions of people who are transgender. 

“Just yesterday I was speaking to a pharmacist who’s quit her job because she’s been threatened with a discrimination claim for refusing a female hormones prescription at her pharmacy for a biological male.” Steenhof said. 

The Human Rights Law Alliance is a non-profit legal organisation that is closely aligned with the Australian Christian Lobby. Steenhof’s predecessor Martyn Iles is now the head of the ACL. 

In a presentation at the ACL’s ‘Not Ashamed’ state conference Steenhof said there are a number of threats to religious freedom in Australia including disciplinary boards, workplace contracts, vague code of conducts and discrimination claims.

Steenhof also cited the example of Bernard Gaynor, a conservative commentator who supports public displays of homosexuality being made illegal. Steenhof said Gaynor had been targeted through New South Wales vilification laws despite him living in Queensland, and the case of Tasmanian Archbishop Julian Porteous.

In his presentation Steenhof said it appeared the government was not interested in bringing in a religious freedom law, something he said Christians would welcome, but could be dangerous as it may “leave the door open towards the progression of towards a bill of rights act.” 

Steenhof said while he had not seen the legislation the government was proposing he was concerned that a religious discrimination act could be problematic if it was not well worded. 

“We want robust and clear definition of religious freedom and how that translates into action that will be protected. 

We want protection for religious organisations, Christians not only individually, but in community…Christian schools, Christian charities, all of these organisation require protections.” 

“We need protections for charities that would hold to man-woman marriage, we need rights of parents – that’s a massive issue that needs to be address and projections.

We need to address the low bar on vilification laws which allows people to pursue Christians when they feel just a little bit hurt or offended.” Steenhof said. 

In July the National LGBTI Health Alliance (the Alliance), the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) called for stakeholders to commit to a “to do no harm” pledge during the discussions regarding the introduction of a federal Religious Discrimination Act. 

They argue that evidence shows that the structural discrimination enshrined in our nation’s laws exacerbate the impacts of minority stress on LGBTI people, including increased anxiety, depression, suicidality and substance use. 

Nicky Bath, Executive Director said that calls for religious freedom should not be used a licence to discriminate against LGBTI people. 

“The Alliance recognises that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and is an essential part of a liberal, democratic society. We support measures that protect people from discrimination on the basis of their religious beliefs or activity, or their secular beliefs or activity. However, legislation for religious freedom should not be used as a license to discriminate against LGBTI people.” Bath said. 

Recent research has highlighted how legislative processes and public debates relating to the rights of stigmatised, minority populations adversely effects our communities’ already poorer mental health, with an increase in psychological distress being evident among LGBTI people during the same-sex marriage postal survey. 

“We are calling upon all Members of Parliament, media, religious organisations and individuals to engage in a respectful debate and reporting around legislating for a Religious Discrimination Act to ensure that the right to practice one’s faith and the right to be free from discrimination are appropriately balanced in a coherent legal framework and do not further marginalise or harm our communities’ health and wellbeing”, Bath said. 

“We also call on the Morrison Government to consult with LGBTI people, organisations and communities to hear directly how this legislation and the ongoing public debates impact negatively on our mental and physical health.” 

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia also says there is no need for pharmacists to be given an exemption from discrimination laws, and treating people equally is a big part of their code of conduct. 

“PSA recognises that equality is a health issue, and is a right for all Australians, irrespective of age, culture, religion, sexuality or gender identity.” a spokesperson told OUTinPerth. 

“This is reflected in PSA’s Code of Ethics for Pharmacists, which states that pharmacists have an obligation to respect the dignity and autonomy of the patient, recognise and respect patients’ diversity, cultural knowledge and skills, gender, beliefs, values, characteristics and lived experience – and not discriminate on any grounds, and provide care in a compassionate, professional, timely, and culturally safe and responsive manner.”


Friday, 14 June 2019

Parents with LGBTIQ children call on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison "to do as he promised which was to govern for all of the people which surely must include the LGBTIQ people"




Media Release
10th June, 2019

Religious Freedom is not an issue - Religious Privilege is a huge concern

After Marriage Equality was achieved, the right wing of the Government decided Christian rights were at risk. A Religious Review was held due to concerns about the rights of Christians.

Mr Ruddock, a conservative and Att. General who was the architect of rewording the “marriage act” to read as “man and woman” to exclude same sex couples, was the Chairperson.

Eventually, after much delay the Review showed there was very little concern for Christians.

However, the government’s paranoia about LGBTIQ people is a great concern to LGBTIQ people and their loved ones.  

Because:
Welfare groups, aged care and hospitals are predominantly run by Religious bodies
Teachers working at Christian schools may be retrenched and students expelled
Businesses owned by Christian individuals or organisations 

May all be given the right to refuse service or care, just because their clients, customers or staff involved are LGBTIQ. 

Additionally, there is the concern of the promotion of hate speech. Christians may not believe their words are harmful, or may not care but the impact of what is said or written can be devastating for the LGBTIQ person and their loved ones. Again any freedom, including freedom of speech should never be used as a tool for abuse. 

The ratio of Christians suffering poor mental health or suicide from hate speech is minimal. However, the negative impact of hate speech, homophobia and transphobia against LGBTIQ people is extremely high.

So, as National Spokesperson for parents with LGBTIQ children, I am calling on Mr Morrison and his team to do as he promised which was to govern for all of the people which surely must include the LGBTIQ people. They pay taxes, contribute to society and vote.
           
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays+ also made a January 2018 submission to Religious Freedoms Review.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Tweet of the Week



Saturday, 27 April 2019

Quotes of the Week


The ABC's Vote Compass has been harvesting the opinions of Australians for three elections now……The vast majority of respondents — 78 per cent — think that the decision to remove Malcolm Turnbull in August last year was the wrong call. That conclusion is drawn from 153,354 responses to Vote Compass between April 10 and April 16……Among One Nation voters, 59 per cent approved of Mr Turnbull's removal, while 41 per cent disapproved.   [Journalist  Annabelle Crabb writing for ABC News online, 19 Aptil 2019]


“Pentecostalism is in fact the perfect faith for a conviction politician without convictions.”  [Writer & historian James Boyce writing in The Monthly, Februart 2019]

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Quote of the Week



"They were openly saying that they would cooperate, but I think you could almost say that the way that they classed their cooperation would be similar to a protester lying on the ground in the middle of the street not resisting the police, but the police would have to pick that person up and drag them off the street. I think that that's the level of cooperation that the Catholic Church gave us."  [Former Detective Sergeant Doug Smith, speaking of Victoria Police Taskforce SANO's investigation into Cardinal George Pell, quoted in ABC News online, 4 March 2019]

Friday, 1 March 2019

What will it take to shame religious institutions into joining the national redress scheme for people who suffered institutional child sexual abuse?


Readers living in the Clarence Valley will notice that the Anglican Diocese of Grafton named as perpetrating abuse* by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has not yet joined the national compensation scheme which would allow victims who suffered at the hands of the diocese to seek full redress.

Readers further afield will notice that a large number of Protestant and Catholic institutions are dragging their feet with regard to this redress scheme.
https://www.scribd.com/document/400681740/Institutions-That-Are-Not-Yet-Participating-in-the-Redress-Scheme-For-People-Who-Have-Experienced-Institutional-Child-Sexual-Abuse

* This is the same Anglican Diocese of Grafton which Clarence Valley Council openly supports by inviting it to offer up a prayer of its choice at the beginning of council monthly meetings.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Proposed Religious Discrimination Act looks a lot like PM Scott Morrison appealing to his 'base' ahead of the May 2019 federal election


On 13 December 2018 Australia's 'interim' Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, announced that his government intended to protect religious freedom in Australia and to protect the rights of Australians to be themselves by way of a new piece of legislation titled the Religious Discrimination Act.

Not a line of this legislation appears to have been put down on paper to date even though it is apparently expected to come before the Australian Parliament in the seven days or so it will sit before the May 2019 federal election.

One would have thought that religious freedom and diversity of faith was thriving in Australia given over 127 different formal manifestations of religious faith/spirituality exist in its cities, towns and villages without ongoing overt community discord or institutionalised discrimination.

Even former Liberal Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock concedes the Religious Freedom Review he led found little evidence that discrimination is occurring in Australia. That lack of hard evidence at population levels mean that government cannot reliably assert that religious discrimination as a form of harm is an existing problem requiring the 'solutions' it is proposing - such as Prime Minister Morrison's idea of a religious freedom commissioner to handle religious discrimination complaints, even though it was not recommended by the review

As religious faith holds no interest or importance for up to 15 million of the est. 24.6 million Australians alive today, I'm sure a good many voters are wondering what the fuss is all about and why Morrison is intent on protecting against nebulous future enemies which do not yet exist and whose probability appears to exist in his mind and nowhere else

After all, the Australian Constitution bars the creation of a state religion as well as barring laws prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, organised religions receive tax exempt status, education in faith-based primary & high schools is funded by the federal government and, discrimination in employment or occupation on the basis of religion is already unlawful under federal legislation. 

One has to suspect that the real intention of this new Religious Discrimination Act is to justify and codify discrimination by organised religions against individuals and groups in the wider secular society.

BACKGROUND



*61% of Australians say religious faith/spirituality plays no part/little part in their decision making;
*21% don’t believe there is any God/spirit/life force;
*a further 14% used to believe in God but don’t anymore;
*38% never pray or meditate;
*47% never attend a religious service; and
* only 18 % of Australians regularly attend religious services.


Monday, 15 October 2018

Australian Politics 2018: Liberal and Nationals hard right agenda revealed


It appears the rigid hard-right core of the Liberal and National parties, whose face for public consumption is Prime Minister Scott Morrison, thought that Australian voters would find it acceptable that the only people that religious institutions of any denomination would not be able to discriminate against will be heterosexual individuals and those born with absent or ambiguous secondary sexual characteristics.

Everyone else would apparently be fair game for every rabid bigot across the land.

Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender citizens and their children are not to be afforded the full protection of human rights and anti-discrimination law in this New World Order.

It doesn't get any clearer than the main thrust of the twenty recommendations set out  below.

However, now the cat is out of the bag Morrison is backtracking slightly. Just hours after arguing schools should be run consistent with their religious principles and that no existing exemption should be repealed, Scott Morrison told Sky News that he was "not comfortable" with private schools expelling gay students on the basis of their sexuality. 

Rejecting new enrolment applications by gay students was something he was careful not to directly address.

It should be noted that "not comfortable' leaves a lot of wiggle room to look the other way as state and federal legislation is either amended or new Commonwealth legislation created which would allow this blatant discrimination to lawfully occur.


Recommendation 1
Those jurisdictions that retain exceptions or exemptions in their anti-discrimination laws for religious bodies with respect to race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status should review them, having regard to community expectations.

Recommendation 2
Commonwealth, state and territory governments should have regard to the Siracusa Principles on the Limitation and Derogation Provisions in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when drafting laws that would limit the right to freedom of religion.

Recommendation 3
Commonwealth, state and territory governments should consider the use of objects, purposes or other interpretive clauses in anti-discrimination legislation to reflect the equal status in international law of all human rights, including freedom of religion.

Recommendation 4
The Commonwealth should amend section 11 of the Charities Act 2013 to clarify that advocacy of a ‘traditional’ view of marriage would not, of itself, amount to a ‘disqualifying purpose’.

Recommendation 5
The Commonwealth should amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to provide that religious schools can discriminate in relation to the employment of staff, and the engagement of contractors, on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status provided that:
The discrimination is founded in the precepts of the religion.
The school has a publicly available policy outlining its position in relation to the matter and explaining how the policy will be enforced.
The school provides a copy of the policy in writing to employees and contractors and prospective employees and contractors.

Recommendation 6
Jurisdictions should abolish any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws that provide for discrimination by religious schools in employment on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status. Further, jurisdictions should ensure that any exceptions for religious schools do not permit discrimination against an existing employee solely on the basis that the employee has entered into a marriage.

Recommendation 7
The Commonwealth should amend the Sex Discrimination Act to provide that religious schools may discriminate in relation to students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status provided that:
The discrimination is founded in the precepts of the religion.
The school has a publicly available policy outlining its position in relation to the matter.
The school provides a copy of the policy in writing to prospective students and their parents at the time of enrolment and to existing students and their parents at any time the policy is updated.
The school has regard to the best interests of the child as the primary consideration in its conduct.

Recommendation 8
Jurisdictions should abolish any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws that provide for discrimination by religious schools with respect to students on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status.

Recommendation 9
State and territory education departments should maintain clear policies as to when and how a parent or guardian may request that a child be removed from a class that contains instruction on religious or moral matters and ensure that these policies are applied consistently. These policies should:
Include a requirement to provide sufficient, relevant information about such classes to enable parents or guardians to consider whether their content may be inconsistent with the parents’ or guardians’ religious beliefs
Give due consideration to the rights of the child, including to receive information about sexual health, and their progressive capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Recommendation 10
The Commonwealth Attorney-General should consider the guidance material on the Attorney-General’s Department’s website relating to authorised celebrants to ensure that it uses plain English to explain clearly and precisely the operation of the Marriage Act 1961. The updated guidance should include:
A clear description of the religious protections available to different classes of authorised celebrants, and
Advice that the term ‘minister of religion’ is used to cover authorised celebrants from religious bodies which would not ordinarily use the term ‘minister’, including non-Christian religions.

Recommendation 11
The Commonwealth Attorney-General should consider whether the Code of Practice set out in Schedule 2 of the Marriage Regulations 2017 is appropriately adapted to the needs of smaller and emerging religious bodies.

Recommendation 12
The Commonwealth should progress legislative amendments to make it clear that religious schools are not required to make available their facilities, or to provide goods or services, for any marriage, provided that the refusal:
Conforms to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of the religion of the body
Is necessary to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion.

Recommendation 13
Those jurisdictions that have not abolished statutory or common law offences of blasphemy should do so.

Recommendation 14
References to blasphemy in the Shipping Registration Regulations 1981, and in state and territory primary and secondary legislation, should be repealed or replaced with terms applicable not only to religion.

Recommendation 15
The Commonwealth should amend the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, or enact a Religious Discrimination Act, to render it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’, including on the basis that a person does not hold any religious belief. In doing so, consideration should be given to providing for appropriate exceptions and exemptions, including for religious bodies, religious schools and charities.

Recommendation 16
New South Wales and South Australia should amend their anti-discrimination laws to render it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’ including on the basis that a person does not hold any religious belief. In doing so, consideration should be given to providing for the appropriate exceptions and exemptions, including for religious bodies, religious schools and charities.

Recommendation 17
The Commonwealth should commission the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative information on the experience of freedom of religion in Australia at the community level, including:
Incidents of physical violence, including threats of violence, linked to a person’s faith
Harassment, intimidation or verbal abuse directed at those of faith
Forms of discrimination based on religion and suffered by those of faith
Unreasonable restrictions on the ability of people to express, manifest or change their faith
Restrictions on the ability of people to educate their children in a manner consistent with their faith
The experience of freedom of religion impacting on other human rights
The extent to which religious diversity (as distinct from cultural diversity)
is accepted and promoted in Australian society

Recommendation 18
The Commonwealth should support the development of a religious engagement and public education program about human rights and religion in Australia, the importance of the right to freedom of religion and belief, and the current protections for religious freedom in Australian and international law. As a first step, the panel recommends that the Attorney-General should ask the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to inquire into and report on how best to enhance engagement, education and awareness about these issues.

Recommendation 19
The Australian Human Rights Commission should take a leading role in the protection of freedom of religion, including through enhancing engagement, understanding and dialogue. This should occur within the existing commissioner model and not necessarily through the creation of a new position.

Recommendation 20
The Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Attorney-General should take leadership of the issues identified in this report with respect to the Commonwealth, and work with the states and territories to ensure its implementation. While the panel hopes it would not be necessary, consideration should be given to further Commonwealth legislative solutions if required.

Because Scott Morrison made no secret of his dislike of same-sex marriage and his intention to make new laws protecting so-called religious 'freedoms'. he is now going to have a fight on his hands every single day until the next federal election - these recommendations have made that a certainty.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Religious Freedom Review Report: a curate's egg in the hands of an Australian prime minister who doesn't understand the definition of secular or why there is a separation between Church and State


"Australia is not a secular country — it is a free country. This is a nation where you have the freedom to follow any belief system you choose.”  [Scott Morrison, 2007]

“Secular [adj] of or pertaining to the world or things not religious, sacred or spiritual; temporal, worldly.” [Patrick Hanks & Simeon Potter, Encyclopedic World Dictionary, 1971]

On 22 November 2017 then Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion.

The Panel’s Religious Freedom Review Report was delivered on 18 May 2018, accompanied by a statement that the report was now in the hands of the Prime Minister any government response was a matter for him.

The prime minister of the day is now the Liberal MP for Cook - a nakedly ambitious man who uses his public profession of Christian Pentecostal faith as a political tool.

Until this week the national electorate had no idea what the report might contain. It remained a closely guarded secret.

Which leads one to wonder if the leak which came Fairfax Media’s way is in fact Morrison preparing voters for what at best is highly likely to be proposed legislation which attempts to extend the exemptions religious institutions enjoy when it come to obeying human rights and anti-discrimination law and at worst an attempt to insert church into the heart of state.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 2018:

Religious schools would be guaranteed the right to turn away gay students and teachers under changes to federal anti-discrimination laws recommended by the government’s long-awaited review into religious freedom.

However the report, which is still being debated by cabinet despite being handed to the Coalition four months ago, dismisses the notion religious freedom in Australia is in “imminent peril”, and warns against any radical push to let businesses refuse goods and services such as a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The review was commissioned in the wake of last year’s same-sex marriage victory to appease conservative MPs who feared the change would restrict people’s ability to practise their religion freely.

The contents of the report - seen by Fairfax Media - are unlikely to placate conservatives and religious leaders, and will trigger concern within the LGBTI community about the treatment of gay students and teachers.

The report calls for the federal Sex Discrimination Act to be amended to allow religious schools to discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status - something some but not all states already allow.
“There is a wide variety of religious schools in Australia and ... to some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance,” the report noted.

“To the extent that this can be done in the context of appropriate safeguards for the rights and mental health of the child, the panel accepts their right to select, or preference, students who uphold the religious convictions of that school community.”

Any change to the law should only apply to new enrolments, the report said. The school would have to have a publicly available policy outlining its position, and should regard the best interests of the child as the “primary consideration of its conduct”.

The panel also agreed that faith-based schools should have some discretion to discriminate in the hiring of teachers on the basis of religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status…..

The panel did not accept that businesses should be allowed to refuse services on religious grounds, warning this would “unnecessarily encroach on other human rights” and “may cause significant harm to vulnerable groups”.

The review also found civil celebrants should not be entitled to refuse to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies if they became celebrants after it was was legalised.
The review does not recommend any changes to the Marriage Act. Nor does it recommend a dedicated Religious Freedom Act - championed by several major Christian churches - which would have enshrined religious organisations’ exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.

“Specifically protecting freedom of religion would be out of step with the treatment of other rights,” the report found.

However it did recommend the government amend the Racial Discrimination Act or create a new Religious Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s religious belief or lack thereof.

The panel said it had heard a broad range of concerns about people’s ability to “manifest their faith publicly without suffering discrimination”.

This included wearing religious symbols and dress at school or work, communicating views based on religious understandings, obtaining goods and services and engaging in public life without fear of discrimination.

The report also recommends federal legislation “to make it clear” that religious schools cannot be forced to lease their facilities for a same-sex marriage, as long as the refusal is made in the name of religious doctrine.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison last month told Fairfax Media new religious freedom laws were needed to safeguard personal liberty in a changing society.

“Just because things haven’t been a problem in the past doesn’t mean they won’t be a problem in the future,” he said.

While the panel accepted the right of religious school to discriminate against students on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, it could see no justification for a school to discriminate on the basis of race, disability, pregnancy or intersex status.

“Schools should be places of learning, not breeding grounds of prejudice. This looks and feels like a vindictive attempt to punish LGBTI people for achieving marriage equality."  [just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome, 2018]

As is usual for this prime minister, Morrison fronted the media with half-truths and misdirection about the Religious Freedom Review Reportimplying that the contentious matters within the report were already uniformly codified in law across all the states.

This is far from the truth.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Sometime Australian Prime Minister & MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, is the protector of religious freedom? Don't make me laugh


This was Australia’s most recent Liberal prime minister quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald on 17 September 2018:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will enact "preventative regulation and legislation" to shield freedom of religion from future enemies, giving his strongest hints to date about the government's intentions regarding "religious freedom" laws.

What a load of codswallop, manure, dung, heifers dust, cowpats, meadow cocktails – what ABSOLUTE BULLSH*T!

The Liberal Member for Cook Scott Morrison already knows that the Australian Constitution without qualification guarantees religious freedom in this country at federal level:

Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion
                   The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth. [my yellow highlighting]

As the Australian Constitution is the highest source in the land on this issue, one can only suspect that:

a) Scott Morrison has never read the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (as amended up to 1977); or

b) Scott Morrison is shamelessly pandering to his far-right, ideologically blind & bigoted supporter base, in the hope of being re-elected in 2019.

He appears to forget that Australia has also ratified a number of UN resolutions which directly or indirectly protect religious freedom and these have been upheld by the courts.

While he ignores the fact that Tasmania has had a religious freedom provision written into its state constitution since 1934 and Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory as well as the ACT have passed legislation prohibiting direct and indirect discrimination on the ground of religion. Only South Australia appears to have no legislation specifically covering religious freedom to date.

Morrison also forgets that whatever legislation he forces through this parliament, or whatever regulations he imposes, can all be undone in the first instance by subsequent federal parliaments and in the second instance by the minister of the day.

If he really wants to genuinely strengthen existing religious freedoms he would call a referendum to change the Australian Constitution.

Even a callow first-year-in-parliament politician knows that when state law is in conflict with federal law it is federal law which usually prevails and, if either is in conflict with the Constitution it will be the Constitution which prevails.

Having well and truly politicised his own faith Morrison may in fact be creating his own "future enemies" - he has all but guaranteed that someone will take his legislation and regulations to the High Court of Australia - where every word, phrase and punctuation mark will be studied closely.