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Kevin Donnelly: The real goal is banning Faith

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Make no mistake, the debate surrounding whether religious schools should have the right to decide who they enrol and who they employ is simply the most recent illustration of the cultural-left’s campaign to destroy religious freedom, banish Christianity from public life and to radically change society.

And one of the most powerful and successful strategies used by the cultural-left seeking to remake society in its Marxist image is to embark on the long march where, instead of a revolution, change occurs incrementally and the final destination is hidden.

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The cultural-left’s gender and sexuality Safe Schools campaign provides a striking example. While marketed as an attempt to respect gender diversity and difference and to stop bullying the real rationale, as admitted by one of its designers, is to indoctrinate students with a Marxist inspired view of gender.

Roz Ward argues “only Marxism provides the theory and practice of genuine human liberation” and the “Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity, not about stopping bullying”.

Changing the marriage act last year to include gays and lesbians provides another example. As admitted by Aubrey Perry in a comment piece published in the Fairfax Press the same-sex marriage campaign was simply the first step in removing religion from our way of life.

Perry revealed this Marxist inspired secular agenda when she argued “This survey offers us a conscious opportunity to make a firm stand in support of a secular government and to reject discrimination or favouritism based on religion. It’s our opportunity to say that religion has no part in the shaping of our laws”.

Ignored, as argued by Augusto Zimmerman that Christianity underpins our political and legal systems and that parliaments around Australia begin with the Lord’s Prayer.

One only needs to look at the responses to the leaked Ruddock Report’s recommendations about religious freedom to realise the full significance of what the cultural-left is seeking to achieve.

Religious schools currently have the right to discriminate in terms of who they enrol and who they employ and that right is now threatened. Journalists and commentators at the ABC and in the Fairfax press are leading the campaign to deny schools the right to manage themselves according to their religious convictions.

And once religious schools lose the right to remain true to their faith, expect that the next step will be to force such schools to implement a radical gender and sexuality curriculum like the Marxist inspired Safe Schools program.

A program the Victorian government, while removing religious education from the school curriculum, has asked government schools to implement.

Central to such programs is the argument that even though 98 per cent of Australians are happy to be female or male there is nothing natural or normal in being heterosexual and that boys have the right to self-identify as girls and girls to self-identify as boys.

LGBTQI activists also argue that boys who self-identify as girls have the right to wear a girl’s uniform, change in the girls’ changing room and be involved in girls’ sports. Based on events in the UK where religious schools are being penalised for not teaching the government mandated LGBTQI curriculum, also expect faith based Australian schools to suffer.

A second strategy employed by those seeking to destroy religion, especially Christianity, is to couch the debate in terms of whether faith based schools, hospitals, age care homes and other facilities should be exempted from anti-discrimination laws.

Instead of treating religious freedom as an inherent right that must be protected, like freedom of speech and freedom of conscience, it is treated as secondary to other rights like the right to be a LGBTQI person and be employed in a religious school.

As argued by associate professor Neil Foster from the University of Newcastle, instead of being considered an inherent right in Australia “religious freedom is buried in clauses to discrimination acts and is not given proper recognition as a fundamental human right”. Unlike overseas where the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights endorses the right faith-based schools have to act according to their religious beliefs when it argues parents have the right “to ensure the religious and moral education of their children (is) in conformity with their own convictions”.

The Convention Against Discrimination in Education also argues that governments must protect the freedom parents have “to ensure that religious and moral education of the children is in conformity with their own convictions”. To force faith based schools to act against the religious convictions of parents enrolling their children is to deny an inherent human right.

As argued by Cardinal George Pell “Christians believe that everyone should be free from unjust discrimination, but anti-discrimination laws which do not respect fundamental human rights, such as freedom of religion and conscience, are unjust laws”.

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