CANBERRA – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison published an open letter this week to “Australians of all faiths.” The catalyst for the letter is the parliamentary debate on freedom of religion versus discrimination against sexual orientation in religious schools and institutions.
A Missions Box report published on October 17, 2018, asked the question, “Australia: Can a Christian Govern Without Compromise?” Three months later, we are learning how Prime Minister Morrison, a devout follower of Christ, will lead his government to answer that question.
At question is a bill currently before parliament entitled, “Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018.” The bill, if passed would “Amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to remove the capacity of bodies established for religious purposes that provide education to directly discriminate against students on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.”
Simply stated, Bill 2018 would effectively “censor what can be taught in religious schools and dictate how these bodies teach their faiths.”
The legislators are discovering that “some religious teachings can be confronting and upsetting, but it is not for the state to rewrite the Bible.” I Thessalonians 5:21 establishes discrimination as a quality of faith for Christians. “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
One publication addressed the proposed Bill saying,
“A Christian school must be guaranteed the freedom to teach what Jesus taught, respectfully, reasonably and counterculturally — respectfully, because the dignity of all persons must be affirmed; reasonably, because a school has a fundamental educational purpose; and counterculturally, because many of the things Jesus taught will never appear in . . . political manifestos.”
Mr. Morrison’s letter firmly stated that his administration “cannot support the idea that the teachings and practices of temples, synagogues, churches, and mosques across Australia should suddenly expose those bodies to lawsuits under anti-discrimination legislation.”
Secular culture continues to move dangerously close to completely discriminating against people of faith. A recent Missions Box News article exposed China’s exploration of ways to govern religion with a five-year plan to Sinicize any faith that does not tally with Chinese practice. For more information, read “First Commandment Now Illegal in China.”
The Prime Minister closed his letter by promising that,
“In this new year, please rest assured that the Government will continue to defend the right of religious bodies to teach and act in accordance with their faith.”
To read more news on Religious Freedom on Missions Box, go here.
- My Christian Daily, Australian Prime Minster Writes An Open Letter On Religious Liberties
- Catholic Outlook, Religious freedom in schools
- Parliament of Australia, Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018
- G20 Argentina [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons