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Not For The Sensitive

14 January 2013

Are most Australians aware that religious institutions here (schools, hospitals, and charities for instance) are allowed to discriminate against homosexuals, people “living in sin”, adulterers (!) and a long list of others who are considered “undesirables” by some of these churches?  EVEN WHEN THEIR PAYROLL IS FUNDED BY PUBLIC MONEY.

I didn’t know this, and I’m pretty annoyed. 

As David Marr points out in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard,  wouldn’t be able to get a job as a cleaner in an Anglican hostel when she retires from Parliament (she’s living with a man she isn’t married to). 

There’s a new law going through Parliament which will continue to allow this if the employment of such a person would injure “the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion”.  As you’ve probably gathered in the past, I’m not particularly concerned about someone’s religious sensitivities but we’re all allowed to choose our own paths.  The law however shouldn’t be used to protect those sensitivities, nor should OUR money.  The law should be enshrining equal rights not rubber-stamping someone’s prejudices. 

Acts of Parliament can’t, and shouldn’t, cater for people’s “sensitivities”.   

 

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2 comments

  1. This offends MY sensitivities, which lean towards equality and fairness.


  2. I’m willing to let churches hire only people who adhere to their commandments, but they shouldn’t be getting any public funds at any time, nor should atheist advocacy groups. Any group getting public funding should have to have open books and hire according to whatever non-discrimination rules there are for hiring public servants, less any government-specific positive discrimination policies (which I think are wrong in the first place).

    I must, however, confess to having doubts about the effectiveness of any screening system for sins other than openly “living in sin” or something that had resulted in a criminal conviction. Just look at the Roman Catholic paedophile priest inquiries, when they were supposed to be setting the example (I presume). Would Roman Catholic organizations only be able to hire people in line for sainthood, or would it be sufficient to repent and confess on a regular basis?

    On the one hand, you probably wouldn’t apply for a job with an organization that thought you were worthless or evil because you were gay/female/liked cats, unless you were desperate. On the other hand, shouldn’t evangelical religions embrace the chance to convince sinners/members of other religions that they should switch, by example and calm persuasion?



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