In episode 165 we called on our listeners to write letters to the editors of major Australian newspapers to let Scott Morrison know we reject his call for laws to allow even more religious privilege.
Here are some of the letters that were submitted and we have added a notation if they were published.
I refer to the recent statements by the Prime minister in relation to the issue of religious freedom.
It is clear that Mr Morrison is currently out testing the waters and gauging how much resistance he will receive from the electorate. There are two items to note. The first is that the Prime minister is acting entirely pre-emptively the fact that he is making these statements before the release of the Ruddock review makes this clear. The second point is that most of the states already allow religious schools to discriminate in their hiring and firing anyway.
If the Prime minister seriously wants us to accept that he is concerned about religious freedom he is seriously delusional. I think it far more honest if he sold this as laws that promote religious privilege, not religious freedom.
Not that urgent
The lack of atheists marching in the streets should not give Morrison any comfort in prosecuting his pro-religious discrimination agenda. Statistics show that most Australians are not religious, and come election time, are likely to take a dim view of any proposed measures designed to limit our freedom from religion.
Bronwyn Benn, Burwood
Published in The Age on the 24th of September
Dear Letters Editor,
Re: ScoMo equals slow-mo for progress
Our new Pentecostal PM ‘ScoMo’ insisted that his faith would not define his politics or his prime ministership, and yet, just weeks into the gig, he might as well have been talking in tongues. Already, he appears incapable of defining the word ‘secular’ and is preparing to push ahead with ‘religious freedom’ legislation (aka a slippery slope to blasphemy laws and rubber-stamping discriminatory practises by religious groups) even before the report of the Ruddock Inquiry has been publicly released.
The simple truth is that religions have lost no freedom in this secular nation. As long as it is within the law, all Australians have the right to practise their belief – or to hold no belief – privately, and even very publicly in our PM’s case. If anything, religions occupy a privileged position. They benefit from legislation that protects out-dated and harmful traditions at the expense of progress. Even when proselytising or taking the hard-earned from parishioners on a weekly basis is the sum of their objective (money being the root of all evil – except when the collection plate is passed around), religious organisations pay no tax.
Australia doesn’t need a PM whose contribution to fixing the world is to pray for change. We need real solutions based on real evidence and peer-reviewed research. Apparently, the PM’s church has been doomsaying that a ‘darkness’ will spread if ScoMo isn’t re-elected. I suggest the darkness will come if he is! After all, the world has already seen a time when religion was allowed undue influence on the state: we called it the Dark Ages. It’s time for our leaders to recognise that one-third of Australians are not religious and are thus immune to these fairy tales. I suggest that if ScoMo wishes to lead this nation anywhere other than down a dark alley, he stops fiddle-faddling about in the light of ‘God’ and emerges into the light of reason.
I hope this finds you well.
I am writing to voice my concern over Scott Morrison suggesting we need new laws to protect religious freedoms. I see no need for this and can only see this will only lead to discrimination on the grounds of “you can’t work here/ I am not serving you “because of your or my religion.
In a secular society, you can follow any faith as long as you don’t force your views on to others and it is illegal to discriminate against you. Nothing needs to change.
This issue is the sole issue that will decide my vote in the next federal election.
Sue. Published in The Sydney Morning Herald
To the Letters Editor
I am increasingly concerned for the future of our country if we allow Scott Morrison to continue on this crusade of religious privilege. One which he is trying to disguise as religious freedom. His recent interviews are clearly testing the public temperature on the issue and he is claiming to be protecting us from future issues of freedom of religion. What issues you ask? Well even he can’t answer that question when asked. I strongly support the right to worship as one sees fit without prejudice or interference but freedom of religion must include freedom from religion as well. Christianity is already heavily over represented in our government and we don’t need extra protections against an imagined future persecution. Our laws protect religious freedom very well as they are thanks very much.
Scott Morrison is a Dangerous Driver
Scott Morrison is preparing to drive the Liberal Party bus off the cliff on the issue of religious freedom. Malcolm Turnbull received the Ruddock report recommendations and promptly hid them in a drawer hoping everyone would forget about them. Unfortunately for us, Scott Morrison has found them and he thinks the recommendations are the answers to his prayers. The only problem is he is not sure if he can get away with them. So, over the past week he has been interviewed by Sky News, The 7:30 Report, 2GB and The New York Times and on every occasion has taken the chance to beat the drum on the need for securing religious bigotry in the name of religious freedom. Clearly, he is testing the waters and assessing public reaction to ideas such as Federal laws to allow private Christian schools to unfairly discriminate against sinful and immoral teachers. It is time for Liberal Party members to contact their local members and tell them this is not on. If the Liberal Party continues in this direction then Party members should tell the driver they want to get off.
Church and state
Scott Morrison seems obsessed with providing the religious more “religious freedom”. In schools they can already discriminate when hiring and firing. Why do religious groups need to be given even more special treatment? How are they being discriminated against at the moment? We need separation of church and state, freedom from religion and its superstitions, privileges and indoctrination. The behaviours of religious groups have been atrocious and now the Catholics don’t even want to report child sex abusers, why do we want to give these groups even more privileges? Our new(est) PM is highly religious, that’s fine so long as he doesn’t try and give his religion special deals other groups don’t enjoy.
Craig Sankey, Beaconsfield Published in The Age