( I’ve just changed the caption on this image. When I put it up last evening I thought at first blush that was Jim Wallace. Never noticed before how similar they look. LOL. Apologies.)
Jim Wallace, head of the Australian Christian Lobby, claims in this article that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has reassured him that the privileges currently enjoyed by religious organisations that allow them exemption from anti discrimination laws will be maintained.
It’s timely to recall that the day after Ms Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, she made a point in her first speech after assuming office of inexplicably announcing that she would not make any changes to the Marriage Act. It’s likely that nobody much cared at that particular moment, reeling as we were from the shock of completely unanticipated events. Was this also an assurance to the ACL, an assurance that gay marriage would not be legalised on her watch?
The article states: The Government says those exemptions apply where the conduct conforms to the doctrines of the religion or is necessary to avoid offending the religious sensitivities of adherents.
On this evening’s ABC PM program, Labor Senator Doug Cameron complained somewhat bitterly that this matter had not been discussed in Caucus, and the PM has offered these reassurances to Mr Wallace without proper consultation. Senator Cameron feels strongly that the way to deal with this situation is for religious organisations to be as answerable to anti discrimination legislation as everyone else, when they are being funded from the public purse. Apparently this is the case in the UK, and it works well.
This image gives an insight into the kind of minds and belief systems to which Ms Gillard has astoundingly chosen to pander.
If a religion has to harm others in order to maintain its integrity, there is something seriously awry with that religion.
As for “offending the religious sensitivities of adherents,” what is so exceptional about religious sensitivity that it must be exempted from laws that the rest of us must observe?
I’m told that Ms Gillard owes a significant debt to some Christians in the ALP who allegedly backed her ascension to the top job. Part of her repayment plan, apparently, is to maintain the illusion of exceptionalism these Christians nurture for themselves and their belief system.
We are faced with the choice between a devout catholic PM in Tony Abbott, and an atheist PM in Julia Gillard. However, given Ms Gillard’s unrelenting commitment to religious sensitivities and values, as opposed to basic human rights, one has to pity the voters who put their faith in the separation of church and state for the paucity of choice available to them.