Praise Be The Ban Of Gay Students From Religious Schools
There is nothing I hold so dear as religious freedom.
Allowing others to live according to their most deeply held beliefs is the foundation of an enlightened and civilised society, and I won't stand for any attempt to infringe on religious freedoms.
So obviously I am completely in favour of religious schools sacking or expelling staff or students who do not stick to to their spiritual rules.
If a school bases itself on devout religious beliefs that mandate heterosexuality, it is only fair the school be allowed to include only heterosexuals within its walls.
As Leviticus states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
That seems straightforward enough: if anything, the schools are being slightly disobedient by not putting gay students and teachers to death.
They'll answer for their leniency on Judgment Day, I suppose. But the point is, the words are right there in black and white in the Bible, and you can call those words “archaic” or “bigoted” or “seriously, what kind of lunatic believes this stuff?” all you like. But many of our fellow Australians do believe it, and we have no more right to deny them their beliefs than we do to deny them their tax-free status.
In fact, the need for legal protections for discrimination on sincere religious grounds goes far beyond simple sexuality. A quick scan of the Bible reveals the urgent need for overhaul:
For example, see Leviticus 2:11: “No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire”.
It's quite clear it would be a serious violation of religious freedom if schools were blocked from expelling students caught making a meat offering that contains yeast or honey. After all, standards ought to be set.
Leviticus 4:27-35 also makes it quite clear that if a person sins through ignorance -- like for example, if a schoolteacher forgets to do a headcount and loses a child on a museum excursion -- they must kill a young unblemished female goat.
With that in mind, it’s only fair the Anti-Discrimination Act allows schools to sack a teacher who loses a student but refuses to kill a baby goat. If you’re going to let your staff get away with that kind of malarkey, you might as well let them eat a pig or a camel. Which obviously is also grounds for dismissal.
Some of us may find prohibitions on eating camels or offering yeast to God somewhat quaint, but so are Volkswagen Beetles, and we let people drive them. We are dealing here with fundamental freedoms, and a government that stands in the way of freedom is nothing but tyranny.
If a good, decent, Christian school wishes to ban homosexuality from its halls, it is no more our place to stop them than it is our place to stop them banning anyone from working on the 10th day of the seventh month. Maybe they'll expel any student caught having gay sex and/or working on the 10th day of the seventh month; perhaps they'll merely give them six strokes with the cane. The point is, it’s none of our business, and that fact must be enshrined in law.
Many people say the proposed exemptions from discrimination law are simple bigotry. But surely it's not bigoted to say a school has the right to turn away anyone who violates its rules by uncovering the nakedness of their father -- at least during school hours.
We, in our secular world, may say "what’s the big deal?" if a metalwork teacher wants to teach his class to make molten gods -- it’s not hurting anyone. But to many, it IS a big deal, and the government must not interfere with independent institutions’ right to implement anti-molten god rules.
To sum up, the government must make it clear in the Anti-Discrimination Act that religious institutions are exempt from the Act’s provisions, if they wish to discriminate against anyone who makes incorrect sacrifices, works on the wrong day, uncovers the nakedness of any of their family, makes molten gods, or eats pigs, camels, shellfish, eagles, vultures, bats, weasels, rabbits, mice, chameleons, snails, moles, grasshoppers, pelicans, tortoises, cats, dogs or lizards.
I would’ve also included anyone who wears clothes made of more than one kind of material, which is expressly forbidden in Leviticus 19:19 AND Deuteronomy 22:11; but obviously most schools already have strict uniform codes and I’m sure they’ve already ruled out poly-cotton blends.
Of course we don’t have to send our children to religious schools if we choose not to. If we would prefer our offspring be educated in establishments that allow rampant homosexuality, adultery, witchcraft, blood-eating, cursing your parents and not setting your Hebrew slave free after six years, that’s our choice. Just as it is every Australian believer’s choice to remain faithful to the tenets of their religion, and our government’s duty to safeguard their ability to do so.
I look forward to the amended -- and much, much longer -- Anti-Discrimination Act becoming law as soon as possible.