MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for the next world.

It appears that Scott Morrison has now given up on this world and is planning to move on to the next.

He will put his plans to legislate for religion at the next election just as soon as he gets the word from above – or when the Law Reform Commission can figure out a way of making it coherent. But although the pesky details maybe unclear, the aim is evident: God botherers rule, okay.

Morrison and the theocratic conclave at The Australian want to call this a blow for religious freedom, or protection – as if believers were somehow under threat; but of course they are not. The predecessors of the crusaders screaming alarm may have – indeed, did – burn heretics at the stake, but in  modern Australia religion, and particularly Christianity, is not only protected but privileged.

There are occasional hate crimes, but mainly against Muslims and Jews, and it could be argued that they are often more about race than religion. But in any case they are crimes, and the criminals should be and usually are prosecuted.

Morrison wants far more – not freedom and protection, but positive discrimination – the right of those who espouse, or claim to espouse, religious views to break the laws that apply to all other Australians. It is spelt out in his manifesto: he intends to amend the Racial Discrimination to outlaw discrimination against any religion, or none – atheists will also be protected.

No one can object to that, although it seems something of a solution in search of a problem. But – and it is a very big but – there will be exceptions and exemptions for religious bodies.

And the LRC is to devise ways to enshrine discrimination – the word is explicit —  in the employment of staff on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status. More discrimination, not less.

And there is more: religious schools may discriminate against students on the same basis. So much for the promise that no gay children will ever be expelled. Apparently we need the provision just in case.

And in the meantime, gay children may be told by their teachers  that they must not marry and they are inherently unnatural, an abomination unto the Lord who will condemn them to burn in hell forever. And the teachers, and their bosses will be subsidised by the taxpayers to preach their doctrines of hate..

This is the payback for the decisive vote in favour of the same sex marriage plebiscite, which Morrison, among others, lauded as bringing Australian together. The losers in that debate – less than 40 percent, not the 70 percent Morrison keeps referring to as the majority – demanded their pound of flesh,  and Morrison is offering a motza.

The bakers and florists may have missed out, but the heavies are laughing all the way to their richly endowed places of worship. And even if Morrison loses next May, it will probably not alter things much: the heavily Catholicized Labor Party has no stomach for an ongoing brawl against the well armed and resourced warriors of the various churches.

So our supposedly secular society, the one in which the constitution forbids the  establishment of a religion, is to be rejigged as a haven and paymaster not for a religion, but for any and all religions.

This, apparently, is what Morrison regards as the basis of a free society. Others may say we are paying a hefty price.

Finally, apropos of absolutely nothing:

I do not love thee, Cardinal Pell

For child abusers burn in hell

And those who shelter them as well –

You’ll frizzle nicely, Cardinal Pell.

Seasons greetings.


Mungo MacCallum is a veteran political journalist and commentator. His books include Run Johnny Run, Poll Dancing, and Punch and Judy.

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5 Responses to MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for the next world.

  1. Jack Britten says:

    John Tons, far from an illusion. The Catholic vote kept Labor from power for 23 long years due to the hugely unlamented DLP!

  2. john tons says:

    We are paying the price for the unholy compact that Whitlam entered into to secure the Catholic Labor vote. Will Labor realise that the Catholic vote is largely illusory? Will they realise that the majority of voters prefer politics that differentiate render to Caesar that which is Caesars untrammelled by any religious considerations? One can only hope that this unseemly debate about religious freedom is allowed to die a natural death.

  3. Tom Kelly says:

    It would be interesting to see the reaction, if some gay and lesbian teachers announced they were setting up a school exclusively for gay and lesbian students to be taught only by gay and lesbian teachers. If any of the teachers or students turned straight they would be sacked/ expelled

  4. Tony Mitchell says:

    Spare a thought for the travails of the National Party’s Michael McCormack . His duties frequently include creating dubious explanations for the transgressions of his not-so-holy fellow-members “playing away from home”.
    Mr McCormack has a penchant for hiring Deputies who publicly claim Christian affiliation, which sometimes leads to embarrassment. Earlier in the year, he was called-upon to normalize Barnaby Joyce’s extraordinarily complex extra-marital activities – leading to possible conflict with his ministerial duties – not to mention his catholic faith. McCormack also had to defend the glib Brigit McKenzie who was caught shopping for investment properties on the sunny Gold Coast – the trip having questionable electoral content for the NSW Senator.

    Today, the much troubled McCormack has described as – “an unfortunate distraction” a report that coalition (National) Andrew Broad “accessed” young women while travelling overseas on government business. We learn that two weeks ago McCormack prudently counselled the errant Broad to go to the police. This, the Member has now belatedly done: Hey, it takes time to gather the facts. (There is however some suggestion of illegality involved in these Asian happenings – but surely belly-dancing is a harmless form of exercise). Mr McCormack has developed skills in these matters.

  5. Rosemary O'Grady says:

    I Thank God (sic) that Mungo made the Connect!
    I have begun to lose sleep again over the talent for misdirection in our Governments. e.g.: the appointment of Governor Hurley (NSW) as the next Governor-General to assume office after the next election – when the Appointor, presumably, shan’t be In-Office. Can this be Lawful? I ask myself – in the small hours – and do I want to expend time and spirit researching the executive powers of a dying Cabinet? I do Not. But 1:4 females in the G-G chair in recent years, oops, 1 – ever – seems like a stupid idea to me – no offence to Governor Hurley who looks like another nice safe soldier in the role.
    What I mean by ‘the Connect’ is this: It is not ‘religion’-litigation which needs our Urgent Attention, by which I mean Urgent & Attention – it is our judicial systems, if you’ll excuse the expression, and our Police – an invention of Sir Robert Peel in Good Queen Victoria’s day which seems to have come unstuck, long since, at least in Victoria, also Queensland and Western Australia and South Australia – that I know of…
    We are in poor civic circumstances in Australia and this situation has been building for decades. The Hayne Royal Commission (Banking; Financial Services) evidence has illustrated perfectly our corrupt mental practices, not-confined to bankers & like-operatives, but demonstrated by them as unexceptional in our common-society.
    People don’t like this.
    As for the ditty: I suspect it is about to enter the annals of Australia’s best verse : hearfelt and up-your-bum.

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