How to Regain Religious Freedom in Australia

How to Regain Religious Freedom in Australia, by Janet Albrechtsen.

The demand by a handful of conservatives for something akin to a charter of religious rights is both myopic and misplaced. If they get their way, they will be cheered by every left-wing legal academic who has been pushing for a broad-ranging charter of rights for two decades. That alone should stop these misguided conservatives in their tracks.

In case it doesn’t, here are other reasons they are wrong. There is no quick fix to bolstering religious freedom in this country. It is a long game, not for the impatient, the imprudent or the faint-hearted. Religious freedom in Australia has been curtailed by myriad laws, introduced over decades by legislators who had little interest in protecting religious freedom and did not value free speech either. …

Future scenario 1:

In the first scenario, various Australian governments (even Labor governments after the party was punished by voters back in 2019 for ignoring people of faith) have worked assiduously to return fundamental rights to Australians by dismantling, section by section, laws that unreasonably limit religious freedom and freedom of expression. Legislators understood that their project to restore liberty would take time, just as the previous project by “progressives” took decades to distort our liberties.

Future scenario 2:

In the alternative scenario, the Morrison government legislated a religious charter of rights. And when it comes to power, the next Labor government passes a wide-ranging charter of rights converting all kinds of claims into rights. Crackpot cases clog up the Human Rights Commission, like the transgender woman complaining after a beautician refuses to wax her testicles. Turns out there is no human right to a sac wax. But still, we kick ourselves for not learning, all those years ago, from Canada’s mistakes.

Within 20 years, there is a transfer of power from parliament (meaning we, the people) to judges who determine the limits of our fundamental rights.

She’s right. It’s not more special protection laws that are going to fix this problem, but fewer laws.