02 January 2018
Religious freedoms ‘must be defended’, says senior Australian politician
'It all starts when you allow religious freedoms [to be eroded], mockery to be made of your faith or your religious festivals'
One of Australia’s most senior politicians, Scott Morrison – the Treasurer or equivalent of Chancellor of the Exchequer - has declared that he will fight back against discrimination and mockery of Christians and other religious groups in 2018.
Mr Morrison, an evangelical Christian from Sydney, also promised to play a leading role in the debate about enshrining further protections for religious freedom in law.
The Australian Government announced a review of protections for religious freedom, led by former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, in November after the national postal survey indicated strong public support for same-sex marriage. An attempt by some MPs to include further safeguards to protect opponents of same-sex marriage failed. Critics said the proposals could lead to discrimination.
In an interview with Fairfax Media published in The Canberra Times on 22 December, Mr Morrison said that “it all starts when you allow religious freedoms [to be eroded], mockery to be made of your faith or your religious festivals – it always starts innocently and it's always said it is just a joke – just like most discrimination does”.
“And I'm just gonna call that out. Where I think people are being offensive to religion in this country – whichever religion that might be, but particularly the one I and many other Christians subscribe to – well, we will just call it out and we will demand the same respect that people should provide to all religions.”
PICTURE: Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers a speech in Sydney on Monday, October 30, 2017 ©PA
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