Don’t Divide Us (DDU)
You might remember the #DontDivideUs campaign pursued by a coalition of eleven freethought bodies, representing thousands of pro-secular and non-religious Australians. It consists of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, Australian Skeptics, Australian Skeptics – Victoria branch, Go Gentle Australia, Humanists Australia, Humanists Victoria, National Secular Lobby, NSW Rationalist Association, Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools, Rationalist Society of Australia and Sydney Atheists.
Humanists Victoria made a submission to government on a precursor Religious Discrimination Bill in January 2020 and promptly joined the Don’t Divide Us coalition, contributing a sizable donation. Subsequent progress was reported here and here.
We have made our own submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, on 19 December 2021.
We give reasons why the new Religious Discrimination Bill is not good enough. It would actually entrench religious privilege. Humanists contend that religion is not an inherent attribute of a person. A person may change religious beliefs, just as one may change political world-views. As DDU says, no one religion can be more right than another, and someone’s religion deserves no more or less protection than a political world-view.
The Parliamentary website lists all the submissions received. Download our submission, No. 52. Those from kindred bodies are (in order of increasing wordage) Rationalist Society of Australia No. 42, DDU No. 108, National Secular Lobby No. 129, Humanists Australia No. 98.
The DDU team reports as follows.
|We have made our submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. We hope you have, too!
In the submission, we voice our opposition to the Religious Discrimination Bill and detail our key concerns.
“The Religious Discrimination Bill, in its current form, will create enormous division in Australian society. After two years of dealing with the pandemic and, before that, the trauma of widespread bushfires, Australians need healing and unity. This bill will unnecessarily divide Australians and allow discrimination along religious lines.”
|Don’t forget that a second, separate inquiry into the bill by a Senate committee is also currently receiving submissions. Submissions to that inquiry can be made up to 7 January.
Visit the Senate Committee’s website here for more information about how to make a submission.
Our campaign will be making a submission to the Senate inquiry closer to the deadline.
|Over the summer, we’ll be stepping up our advertising campaign on social media to raise awareness about how the Religious Discrimination Bill will have a detrimental impact on Australians.
To help us get our message out to as many Australians as possible, please consider making a donation to the campaign.
Donations can be made here.
Thanks for all your support!
We hope you have a safe and happy Christmas and peaceful start to the new year.
The #DontDivideUs Team