14. Jul, 2021

Religious Freedom finally muzzled in Western Australia

We have all variously heard and read about the contemporary, and decidedly illiberal, ‘cancel culture’ prevalent in our society; perhaps we might know someone who has been cancelled and denigrated or perhaps, been part of a group thus treated. It is a particularly pernicious disease in an open-society, a disease however most of us merely dismiss with the obligatory shaking of the head and much tut-tutting as we get on with our lives.

I opened my e.mail this morning to receive the news from the Australian Christian Lobby, an organisation I support, that the ruling one-party state of Western Australia, supposedly a free, tolerant and integral component of Australia’s federal democracy has, in effect, cancelled Christianity. 

I cite in-Toto:

            "Hi John. You won’t believe this. The Albany Entertainment Centre has cancelled us. Why? Because our views are not the WA state government’s views 

Apparently the WA government won’t allow venues to host people who disagree with them. Welcome to China!

We asked for a copy of the policy on which they relied to make the decision. They said it was an “internal working document.”

When pressed, the Minister’s office sent us a copy of a short “policy” which consisted mostly of anti-ACL talking points. The tracking information showed it was last edited on the very day it was sent to us.

If the centre was run for a religious or political purpose that was incompatible with ACL, I’d totally understand. I’m not expecting the Pride Centre or an Islamic School to rent us their lecture room.

But this is a public venue supported by taxpayer funds. Albany ratepayers top up their coffers by about $400,000 every year. Yet they decline legitimate, paying customers.

The truth is, what they have done is illegal. Such a venue is not permitted under WA law to discriminate on the basis of political or religious conviction in the provision of goods, services or facilities (Equal Opportunity Act 1984, s 62).

That is, unless they exist for a political or religious purpose. And they do not.

So, WA friends, we’ll be in touch in the next few days to let you know how you can respond. I know many of you will want to make your voice heard. Keep an eye on your inbox!" 

 

This is most disgraceful state of affairs. Quite naturally I do not expect everyone to agree with my view of the world or to like the friends I choose to keep. But I do expect our society to allow me my weltanschaung, to be able to express my views freely and, equally, to associate freely with my friends when and where I chose to do so.

Most of you are doubtless long-tired of my continuing prognostications about the decline of our society, its values and its freedoms. Too bad about that. Remember Niemöller: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out...”

When will you remind your political masters and their politicised [including the blue uniformed gun-toting] apparatchiks that they are, in fact, your servants! You can continue to sit on your jacksies and take it or you can do something about it?  

Your call sport!

*****