When Good news is reported as Bad

You know there is something fundamentally wrong with the world (or perhaps just with the newspaper you are reading) when the media reports a “Good News” story as a “Bad News” story.

I refer to today’s Sunday Age story: Government bows to religious right which reports the joyful news that the religious communities in the State of Victoria have been successful in defending their religious freedom and basic human right not to employ (and in some cases to provide “services” to *) people who do not uphold their “ethos”.

I have reported before on the efforts that our community leaders went to to defend us against this threat to our religious liberty. It was a very well organised campaign that showed that the feeling on this subject in the community was not that of the Thought Police who are trying to rewrite our social mores for us by means of the law. In short, the Social Reformers were horrified that religious communities should be able to “discriminate” by employing staff (or providing services to clients) who shared and upheld their religious ethos. Today’s decision marks the failure of the psuh to stamp out this “injustice”.

And The Sunday Age isn’t going to take this lying down. Their “reporter” Melissa Fyfe allows a good deal of editorial bias and comment into what should be a news report. She writes

  • that the State’s religious communities will be allowed “to continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians, single mothers and people who hold different spiritual beliefs.”
  • that “church groups” will be allowed “to continue discriminating on the grounds of sex, sexuality, marital and parental status and gender identity.”
  • That “the decision has dismayed groups that argued that the review was a chance to eliminate entrenched discrimination in Victoria.”

So the exercise of religious freedom – the freedom to reject the mores that are being foisted upon us by the New Morality – is now to be condemned as “discrimination”.

And, according to Fyfe, “leading discrimination law expert Professor Margaret Thornton said that it was a win for fundamentalist religious groups.” So. The religious communities who reject the New Mores are all to be labelled “fundamentalist”!

Just for our information, who are these “fundamentalists”? Represented at the SARC hearings on August 5 were the following organisations:

Catholic Bishops of Victoria
Catholic Social Services
Anglican Church of Australia
Presbyterian Church of Victoria
Islamic Council of Victoria
Christian Schools Australia
Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria
B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission
Mt Evelyn Christian School
Australian Christian Lobby
Catholic Education Office
Association of Independent Schools of Victoria
Victorian Independent Education Union

When these are all condemned as “fundamentalist”, it is hard to see that any room at all is left in the rational, moderate camp. It seems, in fact, that we are all to be written off as “fundamentalist”, except for some significant mainstream Christian organisations who no longer espouse a recognisable Christian ethos in the realm of sexual- and bio-ethics.

[BTW, it is worth noting who the supporters of the change in our laws were. They included: the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Law Resource Centre, the Law Institute of Victoria, Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, ALSO Foundation, and Tansgender Victoria.]

(* It is my understanding that an example of such “services” would be the provision of ad0ption services to same sex parents.)

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13 Responses to When Good news is reported as Bad

  1. Tony Bartel says:

    My favourite quote from the article:

    “Religious groups have mounted a campaign to save their exemptions, which mean, for example, that conservative religious schools can refuse to hire single mothers or gays – even as cleaners.”

    So the real issue is the rights of single mothers and gays to clean the loos at a church school. Glad we cleared that one up.

  2. Schütz says:

    Well.. It is one of the great injustices in today’s world, you know…

  3. matthias says:

    Well now Schutz you need to challenge Melissa Fyfe by sending a letter with your comments precised and include all of the “fundamentalists” to THE SUNDAY AGE.
    You can bet the SundayHERALD SUN will take an opposing tack to Fyfe’s position.
    I think it is time for all Christians and those associated with the organisationsbaove to boycott THE AGE in general

  4. PM says:

    Don’t get complacent. If we don’t resist these totalitarian lumpenintellectuals we’ll end up with a new Iron Curtain. Boycotting their house organ would be a good start.

  5. Schütz says:

    Aawh, come on guys! If I didn’t subscribe to The Age, what would I have to complain about?

  6. Jeff Tan says:

    I’ve stopped reading The Age. It wasn’t good for my blood pressure, especially when letters defending the Catholic position have a nasty habit of not getting published (whereas screeds against the Catholic position are actually paid for — sans the word limit).

    But you go, David! Not only is it important that you have something to complain about, it is seriously important to read about how they’re misrepresenting Christ and (if published) to offer the truth that dispels the falsehoods.

    I’ll go back to reading The Age (and writing to them) when my stress levels improve. ;-)

  7. Kyle says:

    I think if Christ were around today, he would be dragged before the employment commissioner and charged with discrimination for choosing 12 apostles, all male and all Jewish.

    It was disappointing to read today this article by an Anglican bishop:


    This is not an issue about the dignity of the human person, but about the right of a religious organisation to employ people who support their faith. Would Jesus have chosen a disciple who was an unconverted pagan and hostile to Judaism? When Jesus called the tax-collectors, didn’t he first demand their repentence?

  8. Louise says:

    When these are all condemned as “fundamentalist”, it is hard to see that any room at all is left in the rational, moderate camp.

    I can easily believe there are rational, moderate people somewhere in Victoria, but wherever they are, they are not at The Age.

    There’s no way I would ever buy a copy.

    This story just shows you how out to lunch they are.

    Actually, it’s worse than that; it’s an Ideological Propaganda organ, as PM notes.

  9. Louise says:

    the Social Reformers were horrified that religious communities should be able to “discriminate” by employing staff (or providing services to clients) who shared and upheld their religious ethos. Today’s decision marks the failure of the psuh to stamp out this “injustice”.

    These same people would have no problem with The Greens being able to discriminate in favour of environmentalists to positions of employment, or of a vegetarian organisation discriminating in favour of vegetarians, or gays and lesbians in a gay and lesbian organisation etc.

  10. Louise says:

    Also, “fundamentalist” is just another term of abuse like “bigot” and “homophobe” etc.

    Ignore such terms at will. They all mean, “shut up!”

  11. Tom says:

    It’s a pretty impressive leap to make. If anyone does not agree with me, they are fundamentalist. I am right, so expressly and so utterly completely, that ANY deviation from how I think is to be considered irrational, baseless, and dangerous.

    I would like someone to demonstrate for me, in clear terms, why discrimination is bad. Honestly. A blanket ban on discrimination means not choosing anything, ever. If you choose a gay person to work in a school, you’re discriminating against straight people.

    Honestly, the only thing way I could see discrimination being bad is if it was indiscriminate discrimination. If I discriminated against people fairly (that is, I rejected everyone based on a sort of unlimited principle of discrimination) then discrimination would be bad. But nobody discriminates like that, except maybe the Devil.

    However, a moderated, rational kind of discrimination? That’s just sensible.

    It’s the most stupid, most idiotic social principle that the New Morality has managed to contrive.

    Tolerate everything! really means, think what I say.

    Discriminate against no-one! really means, do what I say.

    Of course, in order to utter these commands, there needs to be a person uttering them. There needs to be a person to make the ‘I’ in both of those sentences comprehensible. Never doubt that the New Morality has its generals that see themselves as the future Presidents of their own movements.

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