A betrayal of the faith

John McIntyre; 29/9/09

I am perplexed! On Sunday, The Age reported that Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls had, after extensive lobbying from conservative church leaders, pre-empted a parliamentary committee report on exemptions to the Equal Opportunity Act. Hulls announced a compromise that will allow church groups to continue to discriminate, albeit in a more limited way. This will, I imagine, also flow on to the national debate under way in regards to the introduction of a national Human Rights Charter. Such a response is arguably at odds with the essence of what the founder of the Christian faith lived, taught and died for. How bizarre that the followers of Jesus Christ would oppose, and ask for exemptions from, a legal instrument that has at its heart a declaration of the dignity and value of every human life and the basic rights of every person. Jesus of all people, would champion an affirmation of fundamental human rights, which especially benefits marginalised groups in society and those least able to protect themselves. But it is even more perplexing than that. In Victoria, the churches are arguing for the continued right to be exempted from obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act that would require them to uphold universally recognised human rights in matters of employment by church organisations.

See: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-betrayal-of-the-faith-20090928-g95o.html; O Glorious Prejudice; 29/9/09; http://www.theage.com.au/blogs/godless-gross/o-glorious-prejudice/20090928-g8rd.html