Lindsay Gordon

Submission number: 
23
Date of submission: 
19th December 2017

The only true way to have "freedom" is to have a secular society.

In so doing this respects the beliefs of ALL. It does not give benefits and recognition to religions without giving recognition and benefits to those whose belief is that there is no God or any form of deity.

Religions constantly have bickering and conflicts between themselves and others alike because they try to compel people to believe and accept and adopt their views and "values" alike.

There is nothing in religions which can benefit society in a nation as culturally diversified as ours. It is time Australia followed the example of some of the Scandinavian countries and have a secular society broad-based tolerance to all.

Many religions have their own "customs", doctrines and cultural ways of life some of which are exploitative of the weak and vulnerable.

For instance, rituals and "cultural doctrines" such as subjugation of women, circumcision, female genital mutilation, marriage of children and other exploitative and in some cases illegal practices are carried on in the subculture of the religions notwithstanding that a particular practice may be illegal under Australian law.

Religions often seek to influence the law and lawmaking in ways which give a slant and an attempt to legitimise inappropriate behaviours and habits.

Religions at the moment have more freedom particularly in the form of tax concessions that any other people or corporations have and that is unfair.

For instance, they can raise money through tax deductible donations for their general purposes where generally speaking they are equivalent to large corporations often engaging in profit-making activities. This then makes it very difficult for other businesses to compete against such extraordinary benefits. The tax-exempt status of religious organisations should be removed.