November 2nd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Murray-Darling Basin Plan based on debunked science

CANBERRA OBSERVED What does it take to knock down GetUp?

TECHNOLOGY Beijing's push to dominate world supply of electronics components

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Hong Kong protestors speak candidly to NCC, as Xi threat calls Tiananmen to mind

LIFE ISSUES Of foetuses and fallacies

LIFE ISSUES To hold the hand ... an answer to euthanasia

LIFE ISSUES Melbourne and Brisbane on the march

QUEENSLAND AFA/NCC forum addresses euthanasia legislation

THE ENVIRONMENT Fresh visit to the Great Barrier Reef in its death throes

COLD WAR HISTORY Was the Vietnam War worth fighting?

HUMOUR England United, and all that ... but with Hume?

MUSIC Usage and abusage: Words what got rhythm

CINEMA AND CULTURE The mirror of villainy

BOOK REVIEW Eclectic example of genre of decline

BOOK REVIEW Brief battle a model for combined arms

LETTERS

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ABC survey finds majority agree there is unfair discrimination against religious Australians

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
ABC survey finds majority agree there is unfair discrimination against religious Australians




News Weekly, November 2, 2019

Our taxpayer-funded national broadcaster, the ABC, has recently launched another intriguing survey about Australians’ attitudes, concerns and beliefs. There are two questions that provide some insight into the topic of unjust discrimination against religious Australians.

Similar in scope to “Vote Compass”, the survey, “Australia Talks”, has collected some statistics worthy of mention. It is unclear whether the results published have been weighted for age, location and sex in order to ensure accurate representation of a cross-section of Australians. However, at 52,000 respondents, assuming measures have been taken to prevent fraudulent or repeat responses, the data should be reliable due to the sample size alone.

On religion, one question asks whether “religion is important to you”. The results are that 50 per cent claim religion is “not important at all”; 20 per cent that it is “not very important” (that is, a little important); 16 per cent answer religion is “somewhat important”; and 13 per cent says it is “very important”.

On the surface, this means 30 per cent of Aussies believe religion has some significance in their lives.

Yet, when asked a little later if Australians are being discriminated against on the basis of religion, a whopping 71 per cent believe this is happening at least occasionally, 41 per cent, occasionally, and 30 per cent, often.

Now obviously the 30 per cent of Aussies who personally find religion at least somewhat important could have, out of self-interest, claimed they are being discriminated against; but that would give a result of only 30 per cent in the second question.

So, where does the extra 41 per cent (at minimum) come from?

This 41 per cent of non-religious Australians showing concern over discrimination against religious people is a clear signal for the Federal Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter ought to take their time to consult adequately on the issue of freedoms. After all, the basic right to pursue happiness and live with integrity based on philosophical or religious beliefs and practices is paramount, whether you are religious or not.

Some recent changes to state and federal laws effectively weaponise rights laws – laws originally written to avoid unjust discrimination against minority groups in the workplace – in such a way as to make it easy to bring vexatious claims, at no cost, against unwitting conservative or religious Australians on controversial issues.

An infamous example, was when a political candidate for the Greens raised a formal complaint in Tasmania against a religious leader for explaining the Christian meaning of marriage in a booklet to parents that use his religious school. While the complaint was eventually withdrawn, the commissioner upheld that the pastor had a case to answer.

Allowing activists, with vexatious cases, to start formal proceedings against religious Australians at considerable distress and cost to the respondent is unfair and, we would argue, un-Australian.

There is plenty to discover from the large survey. Stay tuned for more.

The survey can be viewed here. (It seems necessary to take the survey in order to views the results.)




























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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm