There is currently a debate about freedom in Australia.
During the same sex marriage debate last year, it became apparent that our country has no adequate protection for freedom of speech, religious freedom and parental rights. Now that same-sex marriage has been legalised, legislative reform is urgently required to protect Australians who hold and express a traditional view of marriage, and to protect parental rights to withdraw children from the gender and sexual ideological education currently being taught in many Australian schools.
We have recently seen a case of a rugby player, Israel Folau, being targeted by activists, calling for his resignation and for companies to withdraw sponsorship from Rugby Australia, because these activists did not believe that Israel Folau had the right or freedom to express his religious views on marriage and sexuality publically.
Israel Folau是一名基督徒橄榄球运动员 Israel Folau is a Christian Rugby player.
As most of you may be aware, the Ruddock Review into Religious Freedom that was commissioned by the Prime Minister last year was submitted to the government on 18th May. The review received a record number of 16500 submissions, prompting a delay of this report from March to May. The content of the report will be made public in a few weeks’ time and we will keep you updated on the situation.
Notably, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard made a submission to the Ruddock Review calling for the Federal government to cut all funding for any school that won't let parents pull their children out of sex or gender-related classes.
Mr Howard suggests that Federal funding should be used to ensure that parental preferences are respected by both public and private schools.
In the NSW parliament, there has also been a recent move by the Christian Democratic Party's Reverend Fred Nile to introduce a legislation to protect religious freedom. Rev Nile introduced an amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Act today (24th May) to prohibit discrimination on the ground of a person's religious beliefs or religious activities, and to prohibit public authorities and officials from subjecting faith-based institutions to detrimental treatment on the ground of faith. The aim of this amendment is to protect the right to religious freedom of ministers, churches, schools, charities, faith-based organisations (such as aged-care facilities), and chaplains, to enable them to continue living out their faith and belief in the public sphere.
There is a petition that you can sign to support this legislation. As the NSW parliament only accepts petitions that are signed with a pen and paper (i.e. hard copy) you will need to download the petition here and send it in by mail:
You will need to fill in your name, address and signature and send it back to the address on the petition paper. (email address is optional)
It is important that we express our strong support for freedom of speech, religious freedom and parental rights to our political representatives in both our Federal and State parliaments.
Please consider taking some time to send an email, make a telephone call or arrange a meeting with our State and Federal Members of Parliament to explain your concerns, and urge them to support these initiatives to ensure the freedom of the Australian people into the future.
You can read ACF's submission to the Ruddock review here. https://www.acfam.org.au/the_australian_chinese_perspective_on_religious_freedom