Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Section 116

Section 116 of the Australian Constitution is the section which forbids the Commonwealth government from making laws about religion.
Despite that the Human Rights Commission is seeking views about the need for two things. One is a Bill of Rights. The other is a "Freedom of Religion Bill".
We need neither. The first will take away more rights than it gives simply because it will attempt to codify rights. Equal Opportunity Legislation has shown us the dangers of that. Far from provising Equal Opportunity it has been (ab)used by both sides in a search for an "equal in all things" doctrine - of the "as long as it is not in my backyard" type.
A Freedom of Religion Bill may hold even worse traps. We already have objections to Christmas which informs about the Nativity. We have demands for 'the traditional law of indigenous people' to run alongside "white man's law" and we have growing demands for the acknowledgment of Sharia law. The last is of particular concern, especially as there is a refusal to acknowledge that there may be any reciprocal requirements at all. As an Islamic acquaintance said to me recently,
"Of course all Muslims eventually hope to see Sharia law take precedence over everything else. It will happen. It is the will of Allah."
I think I prefer Christian notions of love for one another and tolerance but it seems that Islam cannot accept these. These very notions may prove to be the end of Christianity in the future unless we acknowledge the threat from statements such as the one above.

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