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Pages tagged "religious freedom"
MR: ACL calls on Australian government to pressure Pakistan on religious freedom
· August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Australian government to place pressure on Pakistan to change its outrageous blasphemy laws.
The call comes with the news that an 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl was arrested and now faces a possible death sentence after being accused of burning a Koran.
ACL urges Foreign Minister Bob Carr to make representations to the Pakistani Ambassador in Canberra for the girl to be released from prison and placed in child protection.
ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Australian government should insist that Pakistan allow religious freedom and compel its government to change its inhumane blasphemy laws.
“Every effort must be made to save the life of this young child and remove the death penalty for any blasphemy law in Pakistan,” Mr Wallace said.
“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and our government must do everything it can to pressure the Pakistani government to meet its international human rights obligations,” Mr Wallace said.
This year’s ACL National Conference, running from the 5
of October, focuses on the issue of religious freedom, and its important value in every society.
Lyle Shelton on The Political Spot
· August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
The ACT Parliament plans to introduce an amendment to the
adding religion as a protected attribute under the Act. ACL's Daniel Simon spoke with Chief-of-Staff Lyle Shelton about the proposed religious vilification laws.
MR: Lack of consultation means vilification laws should be put on hold
· August 19, 2012 10:00 AM
For Release: Sunday August 19, 2012
The ACT's proposed religious vilification laws should be put on hold until consultation was held with religious communities, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said it was extremely disappointing that such controversial laws were being rushed into the Assembly this week when there had been no consultation at all with Canberra's Christian constituency.
Similar laws in Victoria were extremely controversial and led to protracted and expensive legal action which proved counterproductive to social cohesion, Mr Wallace said.
"These same laws were deemed completely unnecessary by the former New South Wales Labor Government which rejected them out of hand.
“While no right thinking person supports vilification of anyone, creating a big legal stick to wield if groups felt vilified would end up suppressing free speech,” Mr Wallace said.
"In a society such as ours which determines its values through the contest of ideas, there needs to be the freedom to engage in robust debate without fear of a legal process being initiated by someone who feels offended.
"The ACT, like the rest of Australia, has defamation laws and these should apply when free speech crosses the line and causes injury."
Mr Wallace said it was wrong that offensive posters had been circulated targeting Canberra's Muslim community but vilification laws were not the way to address this.
MR: ACL welcomes PM speaking at ACL conference
· August 14, 2012 10:00 AM
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby is privileged to have the Prime Minister speak at its National Conference but has expressed disappointment at the ongoing campaign of demonisation from the homosexual lobby of anyone who does not line up with its agenda.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace rejected suggestions that the Prime Minister should not participate in the conference on Saturday the 6th of October and said it was natural that she would want to speak to Australia’s Christian constituency, which is a large one by any political standards.
“The Prime Minister’s engagement is part of the political process and Australian Christians represented in the community should have a right to expect that the PM would want to address them,” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Wallace said the ACL has a habit of alternately inviting one of the leaders of the major parties as a political guest for each National Conference.
“The theme of this year’s conference is on Religious Freedom in a Secular Democracy and we look forward to hearing from the Prime Minister on this important value in society,” he said.
Mr Wallace rejected the assertion that people are extremist because they believe in marriage between a man and a woman.
“Today’s attack on ACL by gay activists is typical of the relentless demonisation of anyone from Gloria Jean’s to the Salvation Army and Chick-fil-A in the United States who support or are perceived to support marriage remaining between a man and a woman.”
Mr Wallace also rejected suggestions that the ACL has not advocated for eradication of poverty or homelessness.
“The ACL is on the record for supporting mandatory pre-commitment technology for pokie machines, refugee reform and meeting the millennium development goals which help address these issues in public policy,” he said.
MR: ACT religious vilification laws to stifle religious freedom
· August 14, 2012 10:00 AM
Tuesday, 14th August, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern at the ACT Government’s intent in introducing religious vilification legislation in the Assembly.
ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said religious vilification legislation was an overreaction to an isolated incident that would stifle religious freedom rather than enhance it.
“The experience of the ‘two Dannies’ case under Victorian religious vilification legislation shows that rather than protecting religious freedom, such laws have a detrimental effect on the ability of people to act in accordance with their conscience,” Mr Wallace said.
“The Victorian experience showed that religious vilification laws diminish social cohesion and lead to expensive and acrimonious legal processes.
“Religious vilification legislation also had a suppressing effect on free speech, with the threat of legal action and tribunal hearings causing people to step back from important public discussion,” he said.
“We hold very strong reservations for religious freedom and free speech under the proposed ACT legislation.”
Mr Wallace said that ACL supported the freedom of people of all faiths and none to express their views in the public square without the threat of legal action, which is necessary for the proper functioning of a democracy.
Mr Wallace said the government should at least wait until the ACT Law Reform Advisory Council had reviewed the Discrimination Act, including a thorough public consultation process, before moving on such a contentious policy issue.
ACL National Conference 2012
· August 13, 2012 10:00 AM
ACL’s 2012 National Conferencewas held on Friday evening 5 October and all day Saturday 6 October in Canberra.
The conference theme was -
Building a Nation of Character: Religious Freedom in a Secular Democracy
The featured speakers included:
political editor for
(Friday dinner speaker)
Jim Wallace AM
, Managing Director, Australian Christian Lobby,
Professor Greg Craven
, Vice-Chancellor, Australian Catholic University,
The Hon Kevin Andrews MP
, Liberal Member for Menzies (Vic),
The Hon Robert McClelland MP
, Labor Member for Barton (NSW),
, charities lawyer, Moores Legal, and
, expert in worldview, author and education consultant.
Religious freedom restored in Victoria
· June 16, 2011 10:00 AM
The recent passing of the Equal Opportunity Amendment Bill is good news for protecting religious freedom in Victoria.
Under the Bill, Victorian faith-based groups will again be able to employ like-minded staff in their organisations without having to prove that Christian faith is an ‘inherent requirement’.
The passing of the amendment is the fulfilment of an election promise.
Limits were placed on religious freedom when a change to the Equal Opportunity law was instigated after the Victorian Charter of Rights was introduced four years ago. The Greens used the Charter in 2008 as a lever to overturn this important protection for religious freedom.
It is the same freedom that political parties enjoy in discriminating in favour of staff who share their ethos.
However, the Greens did not want Christian schools, churches and charities to have the same freedom.
Never mind that Australia has signed up to UN conventions guaranteeing freedom of religion, including the right of parents to educate their children according to their religious beliefs.
Acceding to a Greens motion targeted at religious schools, the then Attorney General Rob Hulls ordered separate reviews of protections for religious freedom – the exceptions and exemptions under the Equal Opportunity Act.
“With the introduction of the Human Rights Charter, it is timely to review these exceptions and exemptions to ensure they are compatible with the Charter,” Mr Hulls said at the time.
The use of the Charter of Rights to undermine religious freedom is further reason why the Victorian Government’s current review of the Charter should recommend its repeal.
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