HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS AND EXEMPTIONS: should there be any (of either)?
The federal government plans consolidating four separate anti-discrimination laws — the Racial Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, Disability Discrimination and Age Discrimination acts — plus the Australian Human Rights Commission Act (1986).
Exemptions for religious organisations wanting employees in sympathy with the beliefs of the employer look like being reduced or withdrawn altogether.
The government has been lobbied by multiple of sectional-interest groups.
For example, the National Association of Community Legal Centres submitted: “The consolidation bill should not provide for religious exemptions in relation to the protected attributes of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Or if there are exemptions they “should not be applicable to organisations or services in receipt of public funding”.
If churches are happy to live off government money, why complain when the government insists they live by the government’s miserable amoral principles?
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The priest announces one Sunday, “Dear friends, I have good news. Our investigations show that we have enough money for a new school, a new St Vincent de Paul shop, a new hospital, a new youth centre . . . .”
Step two: “Yes, we do have the money for those projects, but at this stage it is still in your pockets . . . .”
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Saint Mary MacKillop had it right in the 1800s.
Her priority was not to seek government funding — but to ensure that her schools received NO government funding.
The original Rule of her Order said that their schools “may never receive aid in the way of fixed salaries from any Protestant government and that, should any Catholic body or Board desire to fix certain salaries upon the schools, they be not allowed to receive such.”
Part of being a believer is putting your money where your mouth is.