The NSW Teachers Federation, has attacked Special Religious Education in school time. I’m concerned that SRE is now under threat and they will try and sideline it out of the school. Will you commit to supporting Special Religious Education arrangements including keeping SRE within class time?


Last year Labor and the Coalition pledged bi-partisan support to the provision of Special Religious Education in Schools.
But, more recently, the NSW Teachers Federation, has attacked Special Religious Education in school time. 

BACKGROUND

Successive governments since early settlement have acknowledged the unique and positive contribution to ethics and human flourishing that religion provides by allowing the study of scripture in schools, this is something which now extends to all faiths, acknowledging the changing religious makeup of our various states and territories.
 
Special Religious Education in our State’s public schools provides many benefits to students. It is effective at teaching ethics about right and wrong, it is good for student’s mental health. It also allows students to explore deeper questions of faith and belief in a safe environment. SRE is not limited to Christians and any faith which registers can participate. Other faiths already engaging include Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist. Parents choose whether their child attends SRE classes, and there are alternative options of Special Ethics Education or No Religion.

It is important that all parties going into this election show their support of existing SRE arrangements which places the lessons within school hours.

What is the party’s policy on the right of religious schools to retain faith-based exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation in relation to staffing, enrolment and policy matters?

Australian Conservatives (NSW)

We support the ability of religious schools, universities and other religious educational institutions to maintain their protections under anti-discrimination legislation in relation to staff, enrolment and policy matters.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

The Christian Democratic Party believes that our right to religious freedom deserves to be protected in New South Wales. Ministers, Churches, schools, charities, faith-based organisation such as aged care facilities, and chaplains must be able to continue living out their faith and belief in the public sphere.
On Thursday 24 May 2018, The Rev. The Hon. Fred Nile MLC introduced the ‘Anti-Discrimination (Religious Freedoms) Bill 2018’ which aims to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of a person’s religious beliefs or religious activities; to prohibit public authorities and officials from subjecting faith-based entities to detrimental treatment on the ground of faith; does not prohibit chaplains from doing their work.
The Christian Democratic Party believes religious schools have the right to retain faith-based exemptions form anti-discrimination legislation relating to staffing, enrolment and policy matters. We will continue to represent these schools.

Greens

We do not support discrimination of this kind. The Greens will be campaigning to remove exceptions that allow for private educational institutions, religious organisations and small businesses to legally discriminate.
In the meantime, religious school that discriminate against teachers and students based on their sexuality or gender identity should not receive a cent of public funds.

Labor Party (NSW Branch)

A Daley Labor Government will conduct a full review of the ‘NSW Anti Discrimination Act’.

Liberal Party of Australia New South Wales Division

The health and welfare of our State’s children is the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s priority. No child should be made to feel inferior, or inadequate.
The Commonwealth Government has announced that the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) will conduct an inquiry into religious exemptions in anti-discrimination law, including those relating to educational institutions.
The NSW Government will carefully consider any ALRC recommendations, once they become available.

One Nation Party

The exemptions should be retained.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (NSW) Incorporated

The party recognises and supports the importance of employing staff in religious schools that share the belief systems of that school.

Animal Justice Party

While the Animal Justice Party does not currently hold specific policies relating to this topic, the party does maintain ‘equality’ and ‘rationality’ as two of the key values our policies are based upon. Therefore, the party would support the exemption being properly reviewed, in that we can see fairness in the diocese’s preference to prioritise the employment of teaching staff and the enrolment of students of the Catholic religion, however, we would be concerned about any policies that exempt the diocese from anti-discrimination on the grounds of gender, disability, race, marital status, pregnancy or sexuality.

What is the party’s position on the right of parents of children in government schools to exempt their children from any classes that are inconsistent with their moral or religious beliefs?

Australian Conservatives (NSW)

We support the ability of parents to exempt their children from classes that are inconsistent with their moral and religious beliefs.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

The Christian Democratic Party believes parents should have the right to withhold their children from classes that encourage the sexualisation of children. Safe Schools type programs, under the guise of anti-bullying, delivered to school-aged children are not supported by the Christian Democratic Party.

Greens

The Greens do not believe it is the right of parents to teach their children to fear LGBTIQ people. Instead, we believe all young people have the right to feel safe and included while they are at school.

Labor Party (NSW Branch)

NSW Labor supports the curriculum review currently underway and will await its outcomes and recommendations. In the first instance, we encourage parents to work with the school community and raise their concerns about school matters with the school executive as soon as they arise.

Liberal Party of Australia New South Wales Division

The NSW Liberals & Nationals strongly believe in parental choice when it comes to the education of young people across NSW.
Different schools may suit different social and religious beliefs. Children in government schools are expected to attend core subject classes so that they may meet the requirements of the curriculum.
Where parents have concerns with the subject matter within a particular classroom they are encouraged to raise these concerns with the Principal.

One Nation Party

We believe parents should have the right to exempt their children from classes pushing gender fluidity theory and other dangerous post-modernist material.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (NSW) Incorporated

The party is a party that supports individual freedom, we believe the parent and student should always have the freedom to opt out of activities outside of the formal curriculum that are not conducive to their personal beliefs.

Animal Justice Party

The AJP recognises Australia as being a multicultural and multifaith country and that those within it have the right to their own belief systems. Therefore, it would be rational for parents to exempt their children from classes that are against their moral or religious beliefs.

What is the party’s position on the amendment of the ‘Anti-Discrimination Act 1977’ to include ‘religious belief or activity’ as a protected attribute?

Australian Conservatives (NSW)

We support laws that make it unlawful for someone to discriminate against a person on the basis of their religion. We are against general laws that leave the nature of the protection up to the discretion of court as such bodies are often insufficiently supportive of religious liberty. We support Parliament introducing detailed legislation that provides strong and unambiguous protections for religious liberty.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

As previously stated, The Christian Democratic Party believes that our right to religious freedom deserves to be protected in New South Wales. Ministers, Churches, schools, charities, faith-based organisation such as aged care facilities, and chaplains must be able to continue living out their faith and belief in the public sphere.

On Thursday 24 May 2018, The Rev. The Hon. Fred Nile MLC introduced the Anti-Discrimination (Religious Freedoms) Bill 2018 which aims to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of a person’s religious beliefs or religious activities; to prohibit public authorities and officials from subjecting faith-based entities to detrimental treatment on the ground of faith; does not prohibit chaplains from doing their work.

The Christian Democratic Party believes in the right to religious freedoms and it should be protected.

Greens

This is a matter the Greens continue to consult with stakeholders on.

Labor Party (NSW Branch)

A Daley Labor Government will conduct a full review of the ‘NSW Anti Discrimination Act’.

Liberal Party of Australia New South Wales Division

The Commonwealth Government has accepted the recommendation of the Expert Panel report into religious freedom chaired by the Honourable Philip Ruddock to introduce legislation rendering it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of a person’s ‘religious belief or activity’.
The NSW Government will carefully consider any Commonwealth Government legislative reforms, once they become available. Consistency between state and Commonwealth legislation is
desirable.

One Nation Party

It is sometimes said there are two types of Christians: those who suffer for their religion and those who enjoy it. Today, many Christians are suffering from the reality or fear of Leftist vilification. They are being subject to a campaign of revenge, with gay-Left activists trying to get even for past grievances (real and imagined).

New anti-discrimination laws are needed to overcome this problem, protecting traditional ‘majority’ groups as much as perceived ‘minorities’. Religious freedom should be protected in two significant ways. The first is to outlaw discrimination against people of faith (the Margaret Court case) and attempts to limit their freedom of speech (the Israel Folau case).

The second protection is to ensure government laws do not force people of valid religious faith to do things they regard as morally wrong. In public debate, this is often referred to as the case of the Christian baker asked to prepare a cake for a same-sex wedding celebration.

History tells us that when governments have the power to make people do things they regard to be morally wrong, we move one step closer to a police state. Hence no one should be required to participate in gay marriage activities if, by their religious convictions, gay marriage is sinful.

This was a damning flaw in the 2017 Federal same sex-marriage statute. State anti-discrimination laws effectively coerce Christian service providers (such as bakers, dressmakers etc) to participate in gay marriage, for fear of being prosecuted. Religious freedom laws are needed to overcome this persecution.

The key challenge for lawmakers is to carefully define the reach of religious freedom. These provisions can go too far – in the case of Islam, enshrining Sharia Law. No reasonable person, for instance, would want to give full freedom and legislative protection to the way in which the Koran authorises domestic violence.

Nor should religious freedom laws protect a Christian priest for failing to report acts of child sexual abuse. Valid religious faith must be protected, but in a manner consistent with the values and standards of Western civilisation (of which Christianity itself is an important pillar).

Unfortunately, the Turnbull/Morrison Government mismanaged the politics of the Ruddock Review into religious freedom, allowing it to morph into a debate about gay rights, not Christian rights. One Nation will overcome this shortcoming in NSW, with new legislative protections of religious freedom.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (NSW) Incorporated

The party supports religious freedom and believes the practising of religion should be protected.

Animal Justice Party

The AJP strongly upholds equality as a key value, and therefore would support ‘religious belief or activity’ to be included in the anti-discrimination act 1977, with particular exceptions. For instance, the party would support a Catholic school to preference candidates for a position who share the same faith, where that employee is expected to provide pastoral care.

What is the party’s position on the introduction of a Charter of Rights in NSW?

Australian Conservatives (NSW)

The protection of human rights is not enhanced through the adoption of a ‘Charter of Rights’. The experience in other jurisdictions indicates that a ‘Charter of Rights’ frequently produces results that undermine religious liberty and other important human rights.

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

The Christian Democratic Party strongly supports one set of laws that applies equally to all Australians, irrespective of gender, age, religion, ethnicity or faith.

The Christian Democratic Party opposes any formal recognition of Islamic sharia law or other cultural or religious based legal systems.

The standard of law should remain solidly grounded and consistent with those on which our national identity and culture were founded upon, whilst ensuring equality for all.

Although we are founded upon Christian principles, morals and values, we fully support the freedom of choice in regards to religion or the choice to reject spiritual faith of any kind.

The Christian Democratic Party supports the rights of churches, institutions, schools and individuals to uphold their Christian beliefs in the public sphere without fear of bullying or litigation.

Greens

We strongly support the creation of a bill of rights in NSW to ensure that human rights, as well as the social and environmental rights of all people, can be protected. NSW has some of the weakest anti-discrimination laws in the country, so it is crucial that the Act is updated to provide strong protections to provide adequate protection to everyone, including preventing discrimination on the basis of sex characteristics.

Labor Party (NSW Branch)

NSW Labor has not supported a Charter of Rights.

A Daley Labor Government will conduct a review of the impact of current legislation on the rights of citizens.

Liberal Party of Australia New South Wales Division

The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is committed to protecting the human rights of all people in our community. The formulation of a Charter of Rights necessarily involves contentious choices about which rights should be included, and the relative strengths of those rights in inevitable cases of conflict.

A November 2018 report by the NSW Legislation Review Committee held that any consideration of a NSW bill of rights would need to be subject to a wider community debate.

One Nation Party

We believe parents should have the right to exempt their children from classes pushing gender fluidity theory and other dangerous post-modernist material.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (NSW) Incorporated

The party supports in principle a charter of rights but would reserve its final decision once seeing proposals of its make-up.

Animal Justice Party

The AJP would support a charter of rights for both humans and non-human animals, both locally and internationally, as we apply our values to all sentient beings, and the environment.

 

 

Source: https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/your-nsw-election-guide-religious-freedom/