Tuesday 26th of September 2023

making it more colourful...


The Federal Government has overhauled its proposed religious discrimination laws in an effort to win over faith leaders who rebuked the Coalition's earlier attempts.

Key points:
  • The Government has made 11 changes to its proposed religious discrimination laws
  • The Coalition was forced to review its proposal after broad criticism of the first draft
  • The changes allow hospitals and aged care providers to hire people on the basis of faith


Attorney-General Christian Porter outlined 11 changes to the draft bill, which the Government opted against introducing to Parliament last month after facing criticism from religious and groups advocating for racial and sexual equality, and for those with disabilities.

As flagged, the new bill will allow religious bodies — such as hospitals and aged care providers — to continue to hire people on the basis of their religion.

The other changes include defining the word "vilify" as inciting "hatred or violence" and exemptions to allow religious camps and conference centres to take faith into account when deciding to provide accommodation.

The Coalition has also changed health practitioner laws, which narrows the health professions to medicine, midwifery, nursing, pharmacy and psychology. 

These workers could object to carrying out procedures that were against their faith but they could not object to treating a patient based on that patient's faith.

That would allow a Catholic hospital to refuse to perform an abortion or IVF treatment, but not to decline treatment to a non-Catholic.

"The people who have suggested changes can see whether, to their best assessment, the drafting that we have now adopted meets their needs and represents their concerns," the Attorney-General told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Ahead of the final sitting week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison ditched the Government's first attempt to introduce a Religious Discrimination Bill, which had been an election promise.

The first draft attracted more than 6,000 submissions and the Opposition dubbed it "friendless".


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is this the king of shoddy advertising at the pulpit?



Yes it is!... Not even Turdy Abbott would have dared!... Now I'm the one who's going to spew...

f%$@k right off mate? he's not my mate...

empty seats

It’s baffling enough that we have a Hillsong-ass Prime Minister born and raised in Sydney’s toffish eastern suburbs that has seen it fit to graft himself onto the Shire like a tick on the thigh of a staffy. But that he seemingly discovered ordinary people like sport only around six months ago and has been carrying on like he was born wearing footy boots ever since is something else entirely.


It’s galling enough that he’s faffed about destroyed communities spewing store-bought empathy through the kind of taut-skinned facial expressions that make it patently clear he views every action in terms of votes gained or lost.

But that he’s now doling out empty platitudes on social media about “our” boys and “our” firefighters is the drizzling shits.

It’s the kind of puddle-deep moral fortitude that got us into this mess in the first place; a generation of windsor knotted cowards more concerned with cupping the balls of dying industry than doing anything that might so much as pebble the boat, let alone rock it. All that political stagnation and festering culminating in a leader being the highest flying midge; an inept dork who’d fart blood into his y-fronts if someone told him that’s what an apprenticeship was.

Fuck off with this, Mr Prime Minister. With all of it. Fuck right off mate.



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In regard to the religious discrimination bill,  one cannot help recognising a soft swindle, a sting, a con, a swifty, with the new bill. The first spew did not satisfy the religious mobs. But if you know how the game is played, this was THE PLAN. 


Imagine for a second, developers taking a council to the "land and environment" court for refusing to let them build something that is not within the local codes, knowingly... The council has to present its criteria for refusal while the developers present "amended" plans... The new plans are actually flaunting the code far more than the old ones, with extra storeys, a bigger footprint and smaller gardens... By then, the council does not have any recourse to further challenge THE (new) PLAN. Snookered?... This is what we have seen with this religious discrimination bill... A smart snooker performed by Scum Dogshitson on us. This new bill should be opposed and destroyed with a flame thrower from HELL.





fuck faith... especially "in good faith"...

Statements of religious belief

Protection received: statements of religious belief will not be found to breach other federal, state and territory discrimination laws.


  • A Christian may say that unrepentant sinners will go to hell, an example cited in the EM which mirrors the facts of Israel Folau’s case

  • A doctor may tell a transgender patient of their religious belief that God made men and women in his image and that gender is therefore binary (EM)

  • A single mother who, when dropping her child off at daycare, may be told by a worker that she is sinful for denying her child a father (Public Interest Advocacy Centre)

  • A woman may be told by a manager that women should submit to their husbands or that women should not be employed outside the home (PIAC)

  • A student with disability may be told by a teacher their disability is a trial imposed by God (PIAC)

  • A person of a minority faith may be told by a retail assistant from another religion that they are a “heathen destined for eternal damnation” (PIAC).

Caveats – statements must be made in good faith; not be malicious or harass, vilify or incite hatred against a person or group; not advocate for the commission of a serious criminal offence.


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For Gus — an anti-theist (non-theist, atheist, realist, anti-faith, existentialist, humanist, scientist) — there is no such thing as "in good faith"... ESPECIALLY "DISCRIMINATION IN GOOD FAITH". Gus is not malicious or harassing, nor vilifying nor inciting hatred against a person or group; not does he advocate for committing a serious criminal offence in "bad faith"... Gus reserves the right to argue against religious beliefs in good faith...

God would be an idiot to let this law pass... but He (god is a male) works in mysterious ways...


And we're idiots...

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The Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales has accepted a complaint from a gay rights activist who has accused former rugby star Israel Folau of “homosexuality vilification”.

Campaigner Garry Burns wrote to the board’s president in early December complaining about Folau’s infamous April Instagram post in which he warned hell awaits homosexuals.

Burns also complained about the rugby player’s comments seen in a video sermon linking severe droughts and unprecedented bushfires to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in late 2017.


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It's obvious that religious dudes will go to hell for vilifying homosexuals and other people they don't like (in "good faith"). Atheists, like Gus, don't have the same privilege. Whatever they say, good or bad, they go to oblivion in the end. Tada.

the sum-total of scumishmashson's failures...

John Wren takes a look back at the performance of our country's leaders over the year and grades them accordingly.

IT'S THE END of another tumultuous year in politics. Here are my ratings of cabinet members for 2020:

Stuart Robert — 1/10: Stuart is PM Scott Morrison’s former housemate and co-religionist, so it was no surprise he got a guernsey back in Cabinet after the May election, despite his past record of unexplained financial irregularities. As a Pentecostal, Robert believes disabilities are trials sent by God to test the recipient. He also no doubt believes in faith-healing and the power of prayer to cure the disabled. Putting such a man in charge of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is a sick joke.

David Littleproud — 1/10: A Water Minister who has overseen the rivers run dry, the near-collapse of the Murray Darling Basin Scheme and towns running out of drinking water, because The Nationals, led by Littleproud, changed the rules to give water priority to irrigators rather than townsfolk.

Ken Wyatt — 2/10: Why an Indigenous Australian would have anything to do with The Liberals is a mystery to me. Wyatt proved he was a Lib, though, when caught out playing the game of mates earlier this month signing off on a $2 million indigenous eye clinic run by a Liberal Party crony Bill Glasson, an unsolicited bid that ignored tenders provided by actual Indigenous providers.

Anne Ruston — 2/10: As Social Services Minister, Anne famously blotted her copybook when she claimed increasing Newstart would only give more money to drug dealers. She has also vigorously defended the Robodebt scheme, that has since been shown to be illegal. “Inept” would be a kind description of Ruston.

Sussan Ley — 2/10: Another rehabilitated Cabinet member. Ley is the Environment Minister who has done absolutely nothing to battle the coal-powered environment destroyers of her own party. While the nation burns, today she signed off on oil drilling exploration in the pristine Great Australian Bight. She seems to have forgotten all about her previous fixation with ending live exports. We haven’t forgotten her perfidy though.

Angus Taylor — 0/10: This man is unfit to be in public office, let alone in Cabinet. We can only surmise Morrison hasn’t gotten rid of him because Taylor has compromising pictures. Read about Taylor’s litany of sins here.

Matt Canavan — 1/10: Poor Matt suffers from “coalaphillia”. He is little more than a coal lobbyist who has somehow found himself in the Senate. Matt sees the world in only two shades — coal-black and everything else. You’re either on coal’s side or you’re a dirty inner-city latte-sipping Marxist. He is on the wrong side of history.

Karen Andrews — 5/10: Karen scored relatively highly as she has done so little. When one takes no initiative, one can’t be held accountable for the results of that initiative. It must be challenging being the Science Minister in a government chock-full of science-deniers. Poor Karen.

Michaelia Cash — 2/10: Dumped from her last portfolio due to scandal after scandal, she now presides over a tertiary education sector on its knees. While she continues to drive the Government’s privatisation of vocational education agenda, apprentice numbers have plummeted and our skills shortage continues to worsen.

Dan Tehan — 3/10: Poor Dan. An Education Minister in an anti-education government. True to form, he leapt onto the traditional conservative “back to basics” education approach. Under seven years of the Coalition Government, Australia’s school education performance has dropped significantly against world standards. No improvement is likely under the hapless Tehan.

Paul Fletcher — 3/10: One wonders what Fletcher must have done in a past life to get lumbered with the NBN catastrophe. Fascist governments have a disdain for the Arts and intellectualism — true to form, the word “Arts” was removed from the title of his portfolio responsibilities. This demonstrates exactly what he and the Government think of art and culture.

Greg Hunt — 2/10: The expletive-prone Hunt has made his career of late by claiming responsibility for various new PBS listings of pharmaceuticals. He’s made numerous announcements, but bear in mind he just implements recommendations from an independent panel. It’s not really up to him. He’s just a highl- paid rubber stamp. Hunt is also overseeing the rapidly collapsing private health industry. Poor bastard.

Alan Tudge — 2/10: Nobody really knows what Tudge does. We know what he used to do, though. He was one of the main drivers behind the Government’s now-stopped illegal Robodebt scheme. He’s keeping his head down now after that debacle.

Linda Reynolds — 5/10: Lucky Linda has one of the Government’s prime portfolios. Conservative governments love to spend money on things that go bang. They also provide plenty of photo ops in glamorous locations. Linda still has significant work to do on how the Government cares for our military veterans.

Christian Porter — 2/10: Fortunately, Porter failed to get his heinous union-busting bill through the Senate. He petulantly sent it straight back again. He has also been drafting the utterly regressive and unrequired religious freedom bill. It has been suggested that it is so on the nose it could bring the PM down. This would be Machiavellian in the extreme as Porter thinks he might be in with a sniff if or when Morrison finally goes down. Watch this space.

Simon Birmingham — 4/10: Birmo is meant to be in charge of trade. He doesn’t seem to be doing very much. It’s only a matter of time before many of Australia’s trading partners start penalising Australia for its inaction on reducing carbon emissions. Birmo is fundamentally unsuited to lead the negotiations when that happens. Australia needs better. Much better than Birmo.

Mathias Cormann — 1/10: The famously innumerate Cormann is Australia’s Finance Minister. He has been in the role since 2013 and Joe Hockey’s disastrous Budget. He has been part and parcel of every shambolic Budget since. Under his watch, our national debt has more than doubled (yet he still routinely lies that he is paying down “Labor’s debt”). His latest budget (with Josh Frydenberg) has Australia futilely seeking a Budget at the cost of the whole economy. If he does pull it off, a Pyrrhic victory will be an understatement.

Bridget McKenzie — 1/10: Australia’s Agriculture Minister who is overseeing the do-nothing approach to saving farmers whose livelihood has been destroyed by climate change. I say “do-nothing” because one of her tactics is to offer loans to farmers that they’ll never be able to pay back, thus making bad situations much worse. She was heckled in Parliament from the gallery this week. The only positive is that her incompetence has perhaps seen many traditional welded-on Nationals voters suddenly question her coal-loving party’s raison d’etre.

Josh Frydenberg — 0/10: Josh is facing a high court challenge to his s44 eligibility. Hopefully, that will rid us of his presence. He, along with Cormann, is driving the economy off a precipice in the futile search for a surplus. He might deliver a wafer-thin surplus, but at what cost? Soaring unemployment, massive debt and destroyed environment. If I was Josh, I’d pull the pin and run for the hills. His incompetence will be remembered as long as Joe Hockey’s.

Michael McCormack — 0/10: It’s hard to believe the best the Nationals could put up after Barnaby Joyce’s escapades is an Elvis impersonator from Wagga Wagga. That pretty much shows the depth of their talent puddle. As I write this, he is actually acting PM as Morrison is MIA allegedly on vacation in Hawaii. Dog help us.

Scott Morrison — 0/10: Morrison won an election based on lies that were amplified by the Murdoch media and preference flows from Clive Palmer's $70 million war-chest. Morrison is a devout Pentecostal; this shapes his entire thinking. He has failed to act on climate change, he has failed to show any leadership in the bushfires crisis in NSW and Queensland. He plays the game of mates with impunity. He turns a blind eye to overt corruption in his own ranks. He is the main force driving the religious freedom bill that, if passed, will enshrine the right of zealots to discriminate against the LGBGT community, women, or anything their faith demands. While the fires rage and a national disaster unfolds, he went on an unannounced overseas holiday, allegedly in Hawaii. Hopeless. Absolutely hopeless.

It’s a tragedy this year’s report card is so dreadful, but this is the Cabinet Australia elected.



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hypocritical scomology...

Faithful Morrison says one thing but does another


by John Hewson


It is important our politicians have and operate with principles, values and beliefs, but consistency of words and deeds is fundamental if they are to be believed and trusted. Australians have become wary of politicians who spruik morals, principles and religion but then fail conspicuously to live what they claim to believe.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a couple of speeches in the past month in which he has focused on his faith and beliefs – to a conference of Christian Churches and to the United Israel Appeal Dinner last week - but his declarations on human dignity at those events sit at odds with his own behaviour.

At the United Israel dinner in Randwick he described human dignity as “foundational to our freedom” and “the essence of morality”. He declared that “acting to morally enhance the freedom of others ultimately serves to enhance our own freedom” and that we must protect against “the growing tendency to commodify human beings through identity politics”.

Yet compare this with his scathing attack on Australia Post boss Christine Holgate, his inadequate response to the Brittany Higgins rape allegations and other reports of bad behaviour in parliament, his efforts to take the Brereton report into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan off the radar and delay a formal response to it, and his government’s decision to ban Australians returning from India and threaten them with jail and fines if they tried to come home.


From the start of his political career, Morrison was happy to benefit to the detriment of others. He lost preselection to Lebanese Christian Michael Towke 82-8 but was later installed as the candidate for the 2007 election after Towke was de-selected following a vicious and defamatory campaign of leaks and smears (in which Morrison is not suggested to have been involved, and all of which has since been disproven). When Towke initially won preselection for Cook, it was considered inappropriate by some within the party that such a prize Liberal seat could be represented by a Lebanese politician only 18 months after the Cronulla race riots and revenge raids.

Morrison claims that “seeing the inherent dignity of all human beings ... makes us more capable of love and compassion, of selflessness and forgiveness,” yet the Coalition government has lost so much of this sentiment in so many areas of public policy.

It resists complete and effective recognition of First Australians in the Constitution, with a voice to Parliament, a treaty, and by eliminating their continuing economic and social disadvantage. It set JobSeeker far below the poverty line and the minimum wage, at at time when 2 million Australians are unemployed or unable to get the work they desire. And it sustains a system that still significantly discriminates against women in terms of opportunity and reward.

It skews tax cuts and benefits heavily in favour of higher income earners, further compounding inequality. It is responsible for intergenerational theft, through an inadequate response to climate change and the build-up of national debt, pushing responsibilities to future generations.


Personally, Morrison has voted against: same sex marriage; increasing Aboriginal land rights; higher aged pensions; more funding for higher education; better gambling restrictions and consumer protections; and improved access to government data. He has also voted in favour of intervention in the Northern Territory and cuts to ABC funding, to mention but a few.

So much of Morrison’s ideal about the value of individuals, as the base of community and the strength of our society, is directly undermined by the politics that his party plays and protects -unfair preselection processes; campaign funding; the undue influence of lobbyists; the lack of truth in political advertising and restraints on false or misleading political conduct; sports and other conspicuous rorts; and the failure to set up a National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission.

It is not surprising that Australians so easily lose trust in and feel disenchanted and disenfranchised by our politicians, politics, and government processes when abuses and excesses are seen as more important than delivering good and responsible government, through meeting challenges and solving problems in our national interest.

Morrison also emphasises, very Kennedy-esque, the danger of being focussed on entitlements over responsibilities, yet his government has gone to great lengths to ignore its well-established responsibilities in quarantine, aged care and vaccine acquisition and rollout, blaming the states where possible, and more or less leaving them to carry the can.


Finally, Morrison emphasises his faith, the value of prayer, miracles, and how God has led him to the office of Prime Minister and guides him in his work. This is not to be mocked. But equally, and importantly, God cannot be used as an excuse for inactivity, on key issues. God would expect that we use our talents and opportunities to do the best we can, not so much for ourselves, but for the greater good.



John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford school of public policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.


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hillthong abuse...

Scandal-plagued megachurch Hillsong is being crucified for failing to mention Jesus in a Christmas email and instead dedicating the greeting to clarify details about a pastor’s child abuse. 

“It’s the only Christmas email I have ever seen that doesn’t mention Jesus. It’s quite bizarre,” longtime Hillsong critic and Australian pastor Bob Cotton told The Post of the internal email, which was shared with him via a current Hillsong member. The letter, signed by the international institution’s board, was sent to church members on Monday, the source told him. 

“Dear church,” it begins. “It’s certainly been a year to remember, but the great news is that Christmas, the most joyous time of the year, is almost upon us.” The email then proceeds to dismiss recent reports of members being abused, subjected to “slave labor,” homophobia and a general lack of empathy as “primarily gossip.”

Despite reportedly admitting that at least some of the allegations are true, the holiday letter says “we ignore [the allegations] in the knowledge that we know the truth and God is in control.” 

The rest of the email is dedicated to bringing “some clarity” to an ongoing investigation into Hillsong founder and current senior pastor Brian Houston’s failure to report “his father’s abuse of children.” The late Pentecostal pastor and pedophile Frank Houston confessed to sexually abusing a boy in 2004 and was accused of abusing up to eight others. (Frank founded the Sydney Christian Life Centre which, in 1999, merged with a church pastored by Brian to become Hillsong.)



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The wife of former Hillsong megachurch pastor Carl Lentz has broken her vow of silence six months after the pair was fired from the megachurch due to his infidelity

“I have looked at these palm trees everyday for the past few months & there are many symbolic meanings to these amazing trees,” Laura Lentz, 40, begins the meandering Instagram caption on a shot of palm trees and a sunny sky, posted on May 5 — the couple’s 18th wedding anniversary. “a few that have resonated with me during this season of my life: they are strong, can weather the biggest storms, they always grow upwards.”

The lengthy post goes on to explain that Lentz took a break from Instagram, where she has over 312,000 followers and last posted in October, because social media “was not good for my soul.”

Meanwhile, Carl, 42, who has over 663,000 followers on Instagram, has not posted since he announced his departure from Hillsong on Nov. 5. 

Before returning on Wednesday, Lentz said she “blocked & deleted more people & comments than i can count.” 

She also declares that “trolls are cowards” and that “SOME ‘Christians’ are anything but kind, gracious, or loving.” Despite such toxic individuals, she continues, she cannot be stopped from “growing upwards & getting stronger.” 


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bulge in his pants...


Hillsong East Coast has expressed disappointment over the recent resignation of Darnell Barrett, creative director of Hillsong Church Montclair in New Jersey, who claims he accidentally sent explicit photos to a former church volunteer and confessed to being unfaithful to his wife. 

“Darnell Barrett, the creative oversight for Hillsong East Coast’s Montclair location (New York), resigned on Tuesday (April 27, 2021). Hillsong accepted his resignation and agreed that he could not continue as part of our team. We were disappointed to learn about choices he made that were unacceptable for any Hillsong staff member,” the church said in a statement

“We recognize that there are countless Hillsong Church staff members and volunteers who carry their responsibilities with trustworthiness, integrity, and excellence. They represent the heart of Hillsong Church, and we thank them for the work they do. We also take seriously our responsibility to ensure that our staff is equally committed to creating a safe and Christ-centered environment where all people feel welcome.” 

Barrett, a 32-year-old father and U.S. Navy veteran, confirmed his resignation to The DailyMail last week after acknowledging that he shared lewd workout photos of himself wearing nothing but tights that showed a bulge in his pants in a message that was also sent to a former volunteer on Instagram last month.


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Please note that god does not exist. All religions are based on learned ignorance...


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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

still a dog's breakfast...

Coalition waters down religious discrimination bill by scrapping Folau clause

Moderates and conservatives still threatening to cross floor over compromise draft legislation after Michaelia Cash briefs government MPs


The Coalition has radically revised its proposed religious discrimination bill, scrapping the so-called Folau clause and removing the ability for health providers to refuse treatment on the basis of “conscientious objection”.

The revised bill – which has been signed off by cabinet and was briefed to government MPs on Monday – still includes a controversial “statement of belief” clause which would override other commonwealth, state and territory anti-discrimination laws.


It is also understood to retain a clause that allows faith-based institutions, such as religious schools, to positively discriminate against people who do not share their faith, something the prime minister, Scott Morrison, has said is necessary to maintain their “distinctive faith-based ethos”.

Guardian Australia understands the attorney general, Michaelia Cash, has briefed MPs on the proposed changes to the bill, agreeing to drop the divisive Folau clause, which would have protected employers from claims of indirect discrimination if they sanctioned employees for misconduct for expressing religious beliefs.

However, a similar clause relating to professional or qualifying bodies remains in the bill, which would protect someone from being disqualified based on their religious expression.


Moderate MP Katie Allen and conservative MP George Christensen both told Cash at the meeting they reserved their right to cross the floor on the legislation, with Allen concerned it could still enable discrimination, and Christensen concerned it did not go far enough.

Other moderate MPs, including Warren Entsch and Trent Zimmerman, are also understood to be reserving their right to cross the floor.

Entsch said he had not yet seen the revised legislation but was confident Cash had made “significant changes”.

“I am sure there is still going to be some criticism on both sides, but I know she has done some very good work there in making some significant changes,” Entsch said. He said the “proof of the pudding is in the eating” and he would wait to see the legislation before deciding his position.

The Australian Christian Lobby had been pushing for the inclusion of the Folau clause for employers, which refers to the controversial sacking of rugby player Israel Folau after he wrote on social media that hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters”.

Christian groups have also been agitating for faith-based institutions to be able to discriminate against someone based on their religious beliefs, with schools wanting the ability to have a hiring preference without falling foul of anti-discrimination laws.

The ability of the new “statement of belief” clause to override state anti-discrimination laws has angered equality advocates, particularly in Tasmaniawhere laws prevent speech that offends, insults or humiliates people based on protected characteristics.

In September 2019, the Tasmanian independent senator, Jacqui Lambie, said she saw no case for the Coalition’s bill as Tasmanians already enjoyed religious freedom and did not want their discrimination laws changed.


In October this year, the Australian Christian Lobby’s managing director, Martyn Iles, said the bill would contain “a Folau clause” that was “not perfect but it’s not bad”, signalling the ACL would reluctantly support it because “it does make a few key offerings that make a difference in this country”.

Labor has reserved its position on the religious discrimination legislation until it sees a final version of the bill. Chris Bowen, a senior right faction frontbencher, criticised an earlier version of the bill as “friendless” in November 2019.

Since then the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, has said only that he doesn’t support discrimination based on religion but won’t support measures that “increase discrimination in other areas”.

On Tuesday, the National Catholic Education Commission, headed by former Labor senator Jacinta Collins, called for the federal legislation to be finalised “as quickly as possible” to ensure religious schools’ ability to set their own ethos was protected against state legislation, including proposed reforms to Victoria’s equal opportunity laws.


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FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The federal government’s long-awaited religious discrimination bill is likely to be finally introduced into Parliament next week, potentially setting up a fiery final sitting fortnight of the year.

But three years after first proposing the legislation, meant to extend more freedoms and protections from discrimination for people to exercise their religious beliefs, Prime Minister Scott Morrison finds himself in a parliamentary quagmire.

While the final legislation has not yet been seen, both critics and supporters of the broad concept appear to oppose much of the bill’s draft and reported conditions.


Religious groups and conservative politicians say the bill is too weak to protect their interests; human rights organisations representing minority and equality groups, plus moderate and progressive politicians, say the bill goes too far.

Coalition MPs have reserved their rights to cross the floor and vote against it, while crossbench senators are not in favour, in what promises to be a frenetic last two weeks of Parliament for the year.

Where did the religious discrimination bill come from?

The legislation was announced in December 2018, following recommendations from former attorney-general Philip Ruddock’s review into religious freedoms in Australia – which was borne out of concerns raised by faith groups following the passage of the marriage equality plebiscite in 2017.

Religious organisations had concerns about freedom of faith where it intersected with employment, commerce, health and education; citing standard examples as doctors conscientiously objecting to performing abortions, religious schools hiring or firing gay teachers, or same-sex couples ordering a wedding cake.

Mr Morrison, announcing the proposal alongside then-attorney general Christian Porter, said he believed there was “no more fundamental liberty” than freedom of religion.

“They’re not about protecting any individual religion … It’s about protecting Australians and an Australian’s right to believe in what they want to believe,” he said.

What’s in the religious discrimination bill?

The bill has had two separate exposure drafts released, but no final legislation.

The third version was reportedly reviewed by federal cabinet and discussed with Attorney-General Michaelia Cash at a backbench committee meeting this week, but no final text has been released publicly.


Previous versions of the bill included a controversial condition that would have blocked employers from taking action against workers who made controversial “statements of belief”, if based on their religion.

This was referred to as the ‘Folau clause’, named after footballer Israel Folau, who had his lucrative rugby contract torn up after posting a graphic on social media claiming that “sinners” like gay people would go to hell.


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the birds and the bees...



FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW!!!!!!!!@@@@@@#######¡¡¡¡¡!!!!

another volte-face...

“I will be taking action to ensure amendments are introduced as soon as practicable to make it clear that no student of a non-state school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality,” he said that month.

The promise was made on a Friday afternoon when the Prime Minister was fighting for the government’s survival in the Wentworth by-election while conservative Liberals insisted it was fair enough for a religious school to expel a gay student.


The Labor leader at the time, Bill Shorten, was on the warpath after The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed a leaked copy of a confidential government review that called for protections for people who suffered discrimination on the grounds of their faith.

With all sides at odds over religious freedom and gay rights, the government took a battering just two months after Morrison gained the leadership. The Liberals lost Wentworth, one of their political jewels.

Morrison and Shorten almost reached a deal in Parliament to protect LGBTQI students from being expelled – an important symbolic and practical change to help young people at a vulnerable point in their lives.

Both leaders said they wanted a solution, but politics and policy got in the way after the draft bill was put to Parliament.

The first part of the bill removed the ability of a school to discriminate against a student on the basis of sexual orientation. This amended the exemption for schools on this point in the Sex Discrimination Act.


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the birds and the bees...



FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW!!!!!!!!@@@@@@#######¡¡¡¡¡!!!!





What a can of worms has been opened by the proposal legislation concerning discrimination in the workplace (“Religion bill lays out battlefield for fight on ‘statement of faith’,” November 24). The law can prohibit many things but it can’t legislate kindness, tolerance and compassion when dealing with our fellow workmates. Oh, that it could. 

Diane Dennis, Epping



If the proposed religious discrimination bill does not apply “if a statement is malicious or something that a reasonable person would consider a threat, or would intimidate, harass or vilify a person or group”, then why do we need a new bill of legislation? Anti-discrimination laws already cover this and any statement that passes this test is not going to raise an issue anyway. So if the status quo works, why complicate things? 

Larry Woldenberg, Forest Lodge



The great irony of the government’s religious discrimination bill is that it does exactly the opposite of what its name suggests. The bill is ostensibly designed to protect religious organisations from discrimination and allow them to speak and support their faith, which they can currently do. The new bill will allow religious organisations to discriminate against people on the basis that the person’s beliefs do not match the religious organisation’s beliefs. It provides a solution to a problem that does not exist and creates problems that also do not exist. 

Ross Hudson, Mount Martha (Vic)



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the birds and the bees...



FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW!!!!!!!!@@@@@@#######¡¡¡¡¡!!!!


godly worms...


Last week the Prime Minister made some notable remarks when he introduced the Religious Discrimination Bill into Parliament. The hotly contested bill enhances the rights of “religious bodies” to discriminate against outsiders, heathens and basically anyone with a sex life worth boasting about.

To get some historical perspective on Scott Morrison’s framing of the bill, which has simmered for three years on the legislative backburner, we might consider Andrew Bolt’s column in the Herald Sun published online last Wednesday. (Forgive me, high priests of the woke Twitterverse: for I have sinned and read Bolt!)

Not for the first time, he criticised Morrison for shirking from the culture wars. Morrison has “said nothing on free speech, identity politics or ... cancel culture”, Bolt wrote.

Lo and behold, the following day, while introducing the bill into the lower house, Morrison said: “Australians shouldn’t have to worry about looking over their shoulder, fearful of offending an anonymous person on Twitter, cowardly sitting there abusing and harassing them for their faith, or transgressing against political or social zeitgeists.” So, free speech: check!


He described the draft act as a foil to “cancel culture” – check! – by protecting people of faith from those who seek to “marginalise and coerce and silence” them. In an age of “identity politics” – and that’s a trifecta! – people are often “identified by our gender, our age, our sexuality, our race, our ethnicity”.

And Morrison went on to say that in relation to these attributes we’re rightly protected against discrimination, but human beings are also “soul and spirit”, and these elements also deserve protection.

“A Sikh should not be discriminated against because of the turban they wear, nor a Maronite because of the cross around their neck, nor a Muslim employee who keeps that prayer mat in the bottom drawer at the desk at work, nor a Hindu couple who was seeking to rent a property, nor a Jewish school seeking to employ someone of their faith”.

I’m not sure this is precisely the cultural warfare Bolt had in mind, this multi-culti mash-up with more racial and ethnic identities than you could shake a curry leaf at. It’s as if ScoMo’s own soul and spirit was momentarily possessed by an SBS community service ad. Christ – as in the man himself, made only the briefest cameo, dangling round the neck of “a Maronite”. You could have blinked and missed it!

This is the same PM who in the aftermath of his 2019 election win pledged to “burn for the Australian people” – which seemed a weird turn of phrase to everyone but Pentecostals.

But while it’s not my job to worry about such things, to the extent Labor tends to rely on the votes of Maronites and Muslims in key Sydney electorates, the party should consider itself diabolically wedged. The government will, of course, introduce laws protecting gay students from expulsion – later. As in: after the Australian Law Reform Commission turns it over, around the time of the second coming, an eternity after the next election, later.

The government has its priorities, after all. What’s the soul and spirit of a few vulnerable kids compared to the inalienable and urgent rights of religious institutions that already enjoy privileged tax status, bountiful taxpayer funding for their schools, and a megaphone in the public square from which they cry victim?

Schools will be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of religion in hiring as long as they publish a policy explaining their “ethos”. In other words, the institutions have a green light for bigotry, provided they’re out-and-proud about it. We might even conclude they’re allowed to “cancel” job applicants so as to maintain their safe spaces and, as the bill has it, “avoid injury” to “religious susceptibilities”.


Last week the head of the National Catholic Education Commission, Jacinta Collins, told The Guardian about the problem of “lawfare” whereby teachers may claim they are being discriminated against based on “inherent characteristics” such as sexuality when “it’s actually about something else such as exposure of pornography in class”.

Classroom material has obviously evolved since my time!

All this said, I’m cheering for the bill. For as a person of fervent faith and belief, I surely come out a winner. As the late and great contrarian Christopher Hitchens liked to say, the Enlightenment is my faith.

And the bill explicitly protects a “statement of belief”. And a statement constitutes “a statement of belief” if the statement “is of a belief held by a person who does not hold a religious belief”. (Yes, I’m quoting verbatim.)


This arguably means I could say whatever I like in this column and not get sacked, as long as I make the statement in good faith.


For instance, I might say – while clasping my hands in quiet devotion – that it’s my respectful belief the bill shamelessly panders to the prurient and the patriarchal, to theologies that stopped evolving sometime around the early Middle Ages, to institutions that affect modernity while clinging to wild superstition and revering texts as pornographic as anything taught in classrooms, all while enjoying significant tax concessions and bountiful government funding for their schools.

And not only would I likely be protected from sacking for this good-faith statement of belief, I’d even qualify for the position of Religious Discrimination Commissioner given one of the bill’s objectives is to “promote the recognition and acceptance within the community of the principle that people of all religious beliefs, including people with no religious belief, have the same fundamental rights in relation to those beliefs”.

In fact, herewith is my job application.


Julie Szego is a regular columnist [SMH].


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