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Marriage equality vote and freedom of religion

I was watching a politician telling the public that a “no vote” was essential for freedom of religion. I was wondering whether the politician was truly ignorant or merely preying on the ignorance of the electorate because in fact if freedom of religion was your primary concern it would dictate a yes vote.

There are four essential concepts to “freedom of religion”. Firstly, you must free to practice your religion. Secondly, other people must be free to practice their religion. Third, there must be freedom to have no religion.

Finally, these freedoms are not absolute they are subject to other freedoms [for example you may believe you have to kill anyone that leaves your religion but try it and you’ll be tried for murder]

Freedom of religion means that a Jain is free to be a vegetarian yet Woollies sells steak which I am free to barbecue. Forcing a Jain to eat meat would be an issue of freedom of religion Jains preventing others from eating meat is a denial of freedom of religion of others.

At the moment, a Roman Catholic priest is free to marry a sabbath breaking taker of the name of god in vain murderer and free to not marry a person who divorced a child abuser. A Roman Catholic priest cannot deny a divorcee the right to marriage but he is not forced to marry a divorcee nor can he prevent others from performing a marriage.

In the event of a yes vote those religious groups that accept marriage equality will now be free to perform a gay marriage, gay atheists will be free to marry and those who believe marriage is only between opposite genders will be free not to marry same sex couples.

So if that politician was not intentionally exploiting ignorance to further a sectarian agenda it shows a profound ignorance of the Constitution of Australia and raises the question of fitness for office.

Dion Durston

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