Freedom for religion, once a no-brainer in Australia, is coming under increasing pressure from the tiny but influential homosexual lobby.

This week we have seen a Victorian Christian youth camp fined $5000 for exercising their Christian convictions in not allowing a group which promotes homosexuality to young people use its facility.

Intolerance towards a Christian worldview now comes with a monetary fine in Australia.

It is hoped this will not be the end of the matter and that an appeal will be lodged.

But the point is this. If freedom of religion was being respected in Victoria, the time and considerable expense fighting legal battles like this would be unnecessary.

Recently, a Christian television program, Believers Voice of Victory, was taken off air by Channel 10 because of comments made some months ago about homosexuality. ACL understands this was because of a single complaint. Not thousands of complaints, just one.

Despite Channel 10’s breaches of the Broadcasting Code of Conduct and the numerous complaints generated about Californication (not to mention the show’s vilification of Christianity – the main character had sex with a nun in a church), it remained on air.

(Please write to Mr Nick Falloon, Executive Chairman, Network Ten, GPO Box 10, Sydney NSW 2001 – Ph 02 9650 1111, fax 02 9650 1111).

This week the Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a consultation process aimed at finding ways to protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual identity.

This is a process that could lead to legislation further reducing freedom of speech and freedom of religion. You might want to consider getting involved before it is too late.

While fair minded people, and certainly Christians, do not condone hate speech of any kind, it is important that religions be allowed to promote their teachings. Groups which disagree with religious teachings and practice should be tolerant enough to respect this in a free society.

Sadly it seems tolerance is becoming a one way street.