WHY do we need further protection?
Australia use to be the land of the fair go. Humble and colloquial, the fair go is our true identity for equality and justice.
It’s easy to sit back and ignore the damage that is being done to this identity. Like erosion, it’s not always immediately visible on the surface. But look a little closer and you can begin to see the cracks.
When workers are being sacked for expressing their religious views online and students being suspended for their beliefs, you have to ask yourself: do we have sufficient freedoms? At what point do we act?
We are not looking for a quick fix. Erosion needs prevention and that prevention is new protection, once and for all, to safeguard all aspects of religion or belief and provide greater protections for other freedoms such as freedom of speech, academic freedom and freedom of the press.
who WILL THIS HELP?
The new protection will help everyone, of any religion or belief or none. Our religious freedom came about as a result of brave people in the past standing up to authority. It is time to protect those hard-won rights permanently, for followers of all religions and none.
what will the new protection do?
It is important that we, as a society, recognize that all people can hold their worldview and beliefs without discrimination or persecution.
We want protection that establishes permanently freedom of thought, religion and expression, consistent with international agreements and covenants of human rights.
It must positively affirm the freedoms TO practice, share and change one’s beliefs without government interference or societal persecution.
It must also affirm freedom FROM being required to support a particular worldview or set of beliefs in order to hold a public sector job (except where that is a genuine occupational requirement such as chaplaincy posts); stand for election; work in teaching, healthcare and law; study at university; or give parental care to a child.
Choose Freedom. Choose Free Speech.