Robert Martin

Submission number: 
Date of submission: 
3rd January 2018

Expanding religious freedoms is a slippery slope. It is always something that people only think of their own religious beliefs when they are pushing for exceptions to things like discrimination laws.

A Catholic Doctor might want to have the right to not prescribe birth control, or not give medical care to someone who had an abortion. However that right would also mean a Muslim Doctor could refuse to treat someone who eats pigs, or a woman without a proper headscarf.

An Anglican might want the right to not bake cakes for atheists or gay people, but that also means that I as an atheist should be able to not provide services to a Catholic, because I object to their religion’s role in child abuse, or a Baptist because I object to their raising children with beliefs I find objectionable.

Christian families might want to be informed and able to withdraw their children if gay marriage is discussed, but why then couldn’t a far right Christian racist pull their children out of school if ever multiculturalism is discussed.

Bottom line is religious beliefs should inform personal behaviour, but not be forced on other people who don’t hold those same beliefs. Giving special privilege to some religious beliefs and not others is not ok. And none of us want all religious beliefs to inform our society’s values and laws.