Episode 177 – A Pandora’s Box of Religious Privilege

Episode 177 – A Pandora’s Box of Religious Privilege

The Ruddock Inquiry has opened up a Pandora’s box of religious privilege.

The debate about expelling gay students has now widened to include criticism of teaching anti-gay religious doctrine.

1:24 We Won A Podcast Award

It was a small field but a win is a win.

2:37 A Conscience Vote

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says a Bill to stop discrimination against gay students by religious schools should go to a conscience vote if the parties can’t agree. But he has complicated the deal by adding an amendment preserving the right of religious schools to teach religious doctrine. Legal advice says this swaps one form of discrimination against kids with another.

Sounds like the religious right wing lent on him.

As one reporter suggested, “We have now moved from who can be in schools to the teachings of religions and we are now on a collision course between the secular world and the religious world.” The sort of issue we are heading towards is “can a school teach that it is sinful to be gay?” Shorten squirmed on this issue.

The Fist hopes nothing is resolved and the ensuing shit fight exposes more people to the evils of religious privilege. He said something similar about the marriage equality plebiscite. The religious right should shut up and concede to keep remaining privileges but they can’t help themselves. If they had given in on gay marriage we would not be having this debate.

The religious right are so used to dealing with a stacked hand they have forgotten how to play poker.

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Although a conscience vote would do wonders for the IFVG secular index.

Amanda Stoker said “the concern about removing the protections, without including additional amendments for religious freedoms, was because of the threat of activist parents and activist children. Take for example the situation of a parent or child who wants to be an activist in a religious school. You’ve got a conservative Catholic school and you’ve got a child who wants to run a gay club within the school. That clearly contradicts with Catholic teaching and Catholic schools should have the right to say that’s not within the framework of the values we want for this school.”

The current exemption in S.38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act

(3)  Nothing in section 21 renders it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another person on the ground of the other person’s sexual orientationgender identitymarital or relationship status or pregnancy in connection with the provision of education or training by an educational institution that is conducted in accordance with the doctrines, tenets, beliefs or teachings of a particular religion or creed, if the first-mentioned person so discriminates in good faith in order to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion or creed.

So the current exemption would allow the school to expel a gay activist for being gay but not a gay activist who was not gay.

The Prime Minister offered to put forward a Bill as follows:

  • the repeal of s 38(3) of the SDA;
  • recognition of religious freedom as a grounds for a “reasonable” policy to combat a claim of “indirect discrimination”; and
  • a specific provision noting that teaching in schools in accordance with religious beliefs of the schools, could not be made the subject of a discrimination claim.

But that would seem to increase religious privilege to allow the sort of thing Amanda Stoker was talking about.

14:07 Meanwhile, The Queensland LNP Muddies the Meaning of Conscience Vote

At a meeting of state council in Bundaberg, Liberal National Party president Gary Spence lambasted three of its MPs — Tim Nicholls, Jann Stuckey and Steve Minnikin — for voting with Labor for abortion to be legalised in Queensland, even though they had been allowed a “conscience vote” on the issue by their own party room.
In effect, it was a “Clayton’s” conscience vote, designed to give the appearance the party was keeping to the convention of allowing MPs to exercise a vote independent of party direction but with the underlying threat to pre-selections by the organisational wing due in 2020.
The Queensland LNP are heading to the right but …
The conservatives have been in opposition in Queensland for 24 of the past 29 years, since the end of the “Joh era”, which ended with the defeat of the Nationals in 1989.

17:39 Legal Privilege Vs Confessional Privilege

Some of the most notorious criminals in Australia received letters on Monday telling them that their lawyer had acted as a police informant in what the High Court has described as an “atrocious” case of police misconduct that undermined the integrity of the justice system.

The Victorian government has called a royal commission into a police misconduct scandal that has potentially jeopardised at least 22 convictions including that of underworld figure Tony Mokbel.

So, how is lawyer-client confidentiality different to the sanctity of the confessional?

The difference is one is a conscious decision of society and the other isn’t. One enhances the overall administration of justice while the other obstructs justice with no offsetting benefit. And ultimately, the system gets a crack at the accused whereas paedophiles escape scrutiny altogether.

21:56 Student Protest

Should children protest or be allowed to protest?

Students protest lack of action on Climate change. But, in the USA, a group of young people can sue the federal government over its climate change policies, the Supreme Court said Friday. Since it was first filed in 2015, the government has requested several times that Juliana v. United States be dismissed.

Some good quotes reported by the Blot Report

  • I’ve seen smarter cabinets at Ikea
  • We’ll be less activist if you’ll be less shit
  • Civil disobedience requires no permission slip
  • Why should we go to school if you won’t listen to the educated
  • Sorry I can’t tidy my bedroom, I have to save the planet
  • This can’t wait till I’m bigger

From Pauline Hanson’s Facebook page:

She didn’t author it but said she agrees with the following:

How about this…

Tell your teachers to switch off the air-con.
Walk or ride to school.

Switch off your devices and read a book.

Make a sandwich instead of buying manufactured fast food.

No, none of this will happen because you are selfish, badly educated, virtue signalling little turds, inspired by the adults around you who crave a feeling of having a “noble cause” while they indulge themselves in Western luxury and unprecedented quality of life.”

Wake up, grow up and shut up until you are sure of the facts before protesting.

33:56  Encryption and Spy Checking

We are increasing spying capabilities by enforcing backdoor access to encryption data but the parliamentary committee cannot initiate an investigation into its misuse.

The prospect of any moves to rectify Australia’s deeply flawed intelligence oversight mechanisms has vanished after Labor yesterday joined with the Coalition to kill off a move by South Australian senator Rex Patrick to expand the powers of parliament’s intelligence committee.

Patrick’s bill to give the committee the power to conduct its own inquiries into operational matters, subject to a veto by the government for sensitive matters, was referred to the Senate’s Finance and Public Administration Committee in August for a short inquiry which attracted just six submissions and a public hearing lasting exactly 56 minutes. Yesterday, the committee issued a report with the major parties rejecting the bill.

Besides bedroom issues, the two parties are the same.

Remember the quote from Chris Hedges?: Well, of course, there’s a difference. It’s how you want corporate fascism delivered to you. Do you want it delivered by a Princeton educated, Goldman Sachs criminal or do you want it delivered by racist, nativist, Christian fascist? If only the Labor Party had Princeton educated Goldman Sachs criminals! The Liberals offer us the racist, nativist, Christian fascist but the Labor Party offers mere Labor Party hacks. Call me elitist, but when I ‘m screwed over, I like to be screwed over in style.

42:13 George HW Bush

The first Iraq war was another case of deliberate lying.

As Scott Peterson reported for The Christian Science Monitor in 2002, a key part of the first Bush administration’s case “was that an Iraqi juggernaut was also threatening to roll into Saudi Arabia. Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in mid-September [of 1990]  that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier.”But one reporter — Jean Heller of the St. Petersburg Times — wasn’t satisfied taking the administration’s claims at face value. She obtained two commercial satellite images of the area taken at the exact same time that American intelligence supposedly had found Saddam’s huge and menacing army and found nothing there but empty desert.She contacted the office of then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney “for evidence refuting the Times photos or analysis offering to hold the story if proven wrong.” But “the official response” was: “Trust us.”

But because Americans didn’t have an abundance of affection for Kuwait, a case had to be built that the Iraqi army was guilty of nothing less than Nazi-level atrocities. That’s where a hearing held by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in October 1990 played a major role in making the case for war. A young woman who gave only her first name, Nayira, testified that she had been a volunteer at Kuwait’s al-Adan hospital, where she had seen Iraqi troops rip scores of babies out of incubators, leaving them “to die on the cold floor.” Between tears, she described the incident as “horrifying.”Subsequent investigations by Amnesty International, a division of Human Rights Watch and independent journalists would show that the story was entirely bogus — a crucial piece of war propaganda the American media swallowed hook, line and sinker. Iraqi troops had looted Kuwaiti hospitals, but the gruesome image of babies dying on the floor was a fabrication. In 1992, John MacArthur revealed in The New York Times that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the US. Her testimony had been organized by a group called Citizens for a Free Kuwait, which was a front for the Kuwaiti government. Tom Regan reported that Citizens for a Free Kuwait hired Hill & Knowlton, a New York-based PR firm that had previously spun for the tobacco industry and a number of governments with ugly human rights records. The company was paid “$10.7 million to devise a campaign to win American support for the war.” It was a natural fit, wrote Regan. “Craig Fuller, the firm’s president and COO, had been then-President George Bush’s chief of staff when the senior Bush had served as vice president under Ronald Reagan.”

More black marks can be found here.

52:07  Marketing The Messiah

Cameron Reilly needs your help to finish his film.

The religious are always contributing. Time to step up Australian Secularists.

57:03  The Liberal Party Changes It’s Leadership Challenge Rules

What are the Labor Rules?

Upon his return to the top job in 2013, Mr Rudd introduced rules requiring 75 per cent of the caucus to agree to a spill in the event the party decides a sitting prime minister is not up to the job. The threshold drops to 60 per cent to force a change of an opposition leader.

Bill Shorten has been unchallenged as Labor’s leader since 2013, despite the same rules stating the leadership must be spilled after an election loss.
What are the new Liberal Rules?
Mr Morrison secured the endorsement of his party room at a late-night unscheduled meeting on Monday night for rules that state a Liberal prime minister in their first term cannot be removed unless there is a two-thirds majority of the party room for a change. The rules cannot be changed unless a two-thirds majority of the party room agrees.
So a late night super quick decision is fine when it suits but meanwhile banning discrimination against gay students requires more time.

59:13 The Liberal Party structure is inherently flawed and leaves it susceptible to parasites.

The leader is not bound by Party policy and Labor style factions are frowned upon and consequently are ineffective. eg the Craig Kelly affair:

The Kelly Affair is just another symptom of a broken Liberal Party.
A plan was hatched over the weekend to fix it all. Morrison’s powerbrokers decided the best way to handle a tough preselection fight was to cancel the preselection altogether. The NSW Liberal Party’s 23-member state executive would be asked to use its emergency powers to automatically endorse all sitting MPs, including Kelly.
The “moderates” folded.

In a late-night missive on Monday, Sally Betts — a close ally of the former prime minister — attacked Mr Zimmerman and Mr Kean for helping save Mr Kelly, a conservative backbencher who helped bring down the National Energy Guarantee and Mr Turnbull’s leadership.

“To say that the moderates are disappointed in you, as our supposed leader, is an understatement,” she wrote to the North Sydney MP.

“You supported Kelly – a thug, a bully, and a disgrace and you need to explain that to the moderates.

“You were happy to sell the moderates down the river and not even ask for anything for our vote … how many other deals are you going to do that disadvantage the moderates?

“And I am telling you that you have no authority to speak for me or anyone else ever again. I doubt if the majority of the moderates want you to speak for them either.”

1:01:10 The Australian is full of BS

The Australian Editorial 27 November 2018 – “Turnbull’s moderates blow up a centrist government” – say no more

Just before the Victoria election The Australian confidently predicted that the Coalition parties would win at least nine seats from Labor, including Premier Daniel Andrews’ seat of Mulgrave. How the paper could have been so utterly wrong is something it needs to explain. Meanwhile, one of its leading political journalists, the always pontificating Chris Kenny tweeted a prophecy: “Daniel Andrews is finished. Soft on crime. Paid a billion dollars not to build a tunnel. Siphoned taxpayers’ money to get elected.  A drovers (sic) dog could beat him.”

A clear majority of Australians has backed new laws to prevent individuals, schools and companies from being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs and practices, according to a new poll. Source: The Australian.

1:02:25 Things are no better in the UK

Since the 1990s governments have encouraged minority religious groups to set up their own faith schools, which are funded by the state but allowed to select pupils on the basis of their religion. A few opened under Tony Blair’s first Labour government in 1997-2001. Since 2010 faith groups have benefited from the Tories’ “free schools” programme, which lets a wide variety of organisations set them up. There are now 101 non-Christian religious state schools in England.

1:03:52 Is Australia Sexist?

In Australia, our society is built around the idea that everyone gets a fair go. In the era of #MeToo and with the global movement for gender equality growing, it’s time to ask ourselves: is that really the case? Is Australia Sexist? goes undercover to expose the truth of sexism in Australia in 2018. Hosted by Yumi Stynes, this new SBS documentary premieres 4 December, 8.40pm on SBS, and streaming on SBS On Demand.

Wolf Whistles etc are pretty creepy.

1:14:34 Iran with its policy of modest dress is even worse.

There is, however, one thing a woman can do to avoid sexual harassment. The magical wand to ward off men is simple: another man. “You absolutely don’t get the same kind of unwanted attention,” says Aisha. “It’s as if a man is a weapon to defend yourself. It’s a deterrence mechanism. It’s assumed he ‘owns’ you, as your relative, boyfriend or even just a neighbour, so no-one is allowed to bother or touch you.”

I’ve noticed it too: whenever I am escorted by a male, I suddenly become the invisible being I yearn to be. “Basically, a woman shouldn’t walk in the street without male protection,” rages Sahar. “If she walks alone, it means that she is looking ‘for it’. This is a society made by and for men.”

1:17:10 Is a Treaty a good idea?

From Robin Bristow: “Until a Treaty is signed an Acknowledgement of Country is an essential part of any official gathering. It is not a racist gesture but a simple recognition that we stand on stolen land.”

White Guilt – the secular version of “original sin”.

The UK is trying to get the clergy out of the House of Lords while Australians are trying to create a new ancestral privileged class who inherit special rights above the rest of us.

1:22:53  Aboriginal circumcision sounds painful

Meanwhile, Aboriginal circumcision sounds painful and dangerous and abusive but it gets a free pass due to cultural respect.

The community in question had this to say:

We, the Garrawa, Yanyula, Mara and Gurdanji people of Borroloola are deeply hurt and disappointed at the recent story told by the ABC about our Young Men’s Initiation Ceremony.

This ceremony has existed in our cultures for thousands of years and is very sacred! The sacredness of our ritual strictly forbids viewing and comment by the public. Open discussion in front of women and those who are uninitiated is a very serious infringement. In the past such an infringement would have met with dire consequences.

1:25:44 Jacinta tells a harrowing tale of life for aboriginal women.

Like most traditional cultures around the world, Warlpiri culture is deeply patriarchal; men are ­superior to women and more privileged, and the collective quashes the rights of the individual. These principles, thousands of years old, come together to oppress women now.

… and now indigenous Australians were not stone age hunter-gatherers.

1:32:55 Patreon

Captain Doomsday has signed up.

Don’t Cry for Julia Banks

I’m going to start a Neo-Liberal index.

I could live on 40 bucks a day knowing the government is supporting me with Newstart to look for employment,” Ms Banks replied in an interview on ABC Radio.


2 comments on “Episode 177 – A Pandora’s Box of Religious Privilege
  1. Robin Bristow says:

    Perhaps you should invite a First Australian on your podcast to discuss treaty and other issues? I would like to hear what they would say about your opinion that Welcome to Country is a racist practice. https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-australia-40024622

  2. Hey Robin, thanks for pushing back, again. I suspect most would disagree with me but some would agree. Obviously, not all “First Australians” think the same. If one agreed with me would that simply be a case of “no true Scotsman”? Those that agree with me would probably subscribe to the Martin Luther King philosophy (treat men by their character and not the colour of their skin). I would like to hear a solution to the inheritance conundrum I described and I don’t care whether it comes from a “First Australian” or someone else because I value ideas over identities. If you can find someone willing to speak about ideas without relying on identity then I offer an open invitation to that person to come onto the podcast. Cheers, Trevor

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