Little upside for Malcolm Turnbull in debate over religious freedom

One would think the last thing Malcolm Turnbull needs is a new round of the culture wars this one over whether extra protections are needed for religion just as he’s coming up to next year’s election.

canadian goose jacket But that seems likely when the Government canada goose outlet eu finally releases the Ruddock report on canada goose uk religious freedom. canadian goose jacket

canada goose coats on sale The review was set up essentially to salve the hurt of those in Coalition canada goose outlet ranks on the losing side of the same sex marriage debate. Unfortunately in politics, short term gestures can come back as longer term canada goose outlet factory distractions. canada goose coats on sale

cheap Canada Goose The Government won’t be putting out the report canada goose outlet niagara falls before the July 28 byelections, and that tells us something. There are concerns about how this issue the detailed carriage of which is with Attorney General Christian Porter will play in the public domain. cheap Canada Goose

An early shot in the battleWe don’t know canada goose outlet mall what former Howard government minister Philip Ruddock and his panel have found in particular what they’ve recommended about legislation to protect religious freedom.

Canada Goose Outlet But Cabinet minister Dan Tehan has fired an early shot in the battle with his St Thomas More lecture, delivered in late June and run in The Australian last Saturday. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose clearance sale Mr Tehan targeted two fronts: what he called “the creeping encroachment from the state on religious belief” and the “the use of political correctness to marginalise and silence the religious canada goose outlet reviews perspective”. A modern problem, he said, is “where religious freedom rubs against laws written to protect other rights”. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose black friday sale He’s concerned about what he sees as inadequacies in canada goose parka outlet uk the present state and federal legal framework; he urges a Religious Discrimination Act to protect against discrimination on religious grounds and ensure other laws, such as state sex discrimination acts, don’t restrict religious freedom more than is required. canada goose black friday sale

In this debate, the onus is surely on the advocates of change to establish that present protections aren’t adequate. Mr Tehan’s evidence (such as a complaint against Catholic anti same sex marriage literature that was withdrawn) seems slight. Liberal senator James Paterson, who supports legislation, also was light on convincing canada goose kensington parka uk examples when interviewed this week.

Canada Goose Jackets ‘Minority fundamentalism’ But it is the second part of Mr Tehan’s argument that is more disturbing. Canada Goose Jackets

“The reality for Australians today is that there is another threat to religious freedom and it does not come from the canada goose outlet store near me application of various laws,” he said. “Rather, it comes from what former prime minister John Howard describes as ‘minority fundamentalism’ which he calls, ‘the assumption that long held custom, practices and beliefs represent or implies an attack canada goose outlet in usa on those who do not support it’.”

Mr Tehan said: “We have woken up in a nightmare where the value of your contribution to a debate depends on what you claim canada goose outlet las vegas to be a victim canada goose outlet washington dc of.

Canada Goose online “When the forces of political correctness continually marginalise and dismiss contributions to debate informed by a reasonable religious belief it sends a very clear message: you are not welcome here, your views are not welcome here, and your religion is not welcome here’.” Canada Goose online

He gives the examples of the boycott of Coopers Brewery after its involvement with the Bible Society in the same sex marriage canada goose jacket outlet sale debate and the backlash against rugby union’s Israel Folau after he denounced homosexuality.

buy canada goose jacket cheap “There is more disrespect directed canada goose outlet black friday sale at people who share their faith publicly,” Mr Tehan maintains. buy canada goose jacket cheap

It’s not suppression if you lose the fightBut what are we looking at here? We can condemn retaliation against a business that has engaged in some well motivated political act, but canada goose outlet michigan we’d surely not want to curb the right of people to protest in this way (provided it’s done peacefully).

buy canada goose jacket And in talking about “political correctness” let us remember this can come in very different stripes, from the right as well as the left, and can be subjective. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose store When young canada goose outlet online store review Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel Magied posted canada goose outlet uk sale her “LEST. WE. FORGET. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine )” she was pilloried not just criticised robustly for expressing a provocative and canada goose outlet montreal disrespectful view. Her most ferocious attackers, including high profile Liberals, approached her post from what some might characterise as their own school of “political correctness”. canada goose store

canada goose coats Mr Tehan fears the decline in the proportion of Australians who profess themselves Christians. Citing census figures, he said that while “Christianity remains canada goose jacket outlet store the most common religion, practiced canada goose outlet store quebec by 52 per cent of the population”, the proportion is falling, especially among the young. The trend will lead to the day when “the Australians who are part of any religion will become a minority. canada goose coats

“In preparation for that day, we need to consider how we will defend religious rights in this country from political canada goose outlet nyc correctness”. He exhorts people of faith to stand up for their views, but this is not enough. “Given the changing nature of the law in Australia, and including the flow towards increasing secularism, we need a Religious Discrimination Act.”

canada goose clearance Of course believers should fight for their causes. But a fall in Christian adherence does not make a case for a new law to protect a religious minority who often might have split opinions anyway. canada goose clearance

Canada Goose sale The legalisation of same sex marriage was an exercise in democracy in our secular society; the canada goose outlet in canada plebiscite’s result reflected how views had changed canada goose outlet 80 off over a few years. Canada Goose sale

Canada Goose Parka Church voices in opposition were not suppressed they just lost the argument canada goose sale uk and so failed to garner the numbers. Canada Goose Parka

There is no credible reason to believe the opportunity for religious views to be put on various issues will be stifled in the future. It may be that they will be rejected, but that is completely different.

The risk of unintended consequencesFrom the Government’s point of view, there is little upside in the coming debate.

Talk of a Religious Discrimination Act would trigger canada goose jacket outlet uk calls for a wider bill of rights somewhere the Government won’t be going.

And there is always a risk with such legislation of unintended consequences witness the fallout around canada goose outlet buffalo some terms in the Racial Discrimination Act’s canada goose outlet authentic section 18C.

canada goose deals The strong proponents within the Coalition of this new protection are coming from a Christian point of view. But protection for religion would extend across faiths, potentially canada goose outlet store toronto raising issues about practices of some non Christian religions that, while not contravening Australian law, mightn’t fit so well with Australian values. Do we canada goose outlet phone number want to get into that mire? canada goose deals

It’s hard to see the religion canada goose outlet price issue being a vote changer for Mr Turnbull. The Liberals might hope to wedge Labor, but the ALP has proved skilful at dodging wedges. There could be a greater danger of it dividing Coalition MPs.