Atheism is the acceptance that there is no credible scientific or factually reliable evidence for the existence of a god, gods or the supernatural.
Religious Freedom Review, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Parliament House, Canberra.
Submission: Copies to all members of the Review Panel and PMC Secretariat:
To whom it may concern,
The Australian Law Reform Commission interim report 127 has previously made the finding that there is no restriction on religious freedom, defining it as:
“Freedom of religion is infringed when a law prevents individuals from practising their religion or requires them to engage in conduct which is prohibited by their religion. Alternatively, the freedom will also be infringed when a law mandates a particular religious practice.” (4.38, p.104).
It is therefore of concern to us that there appears to be an effort by legislation to grant special exemptions to religious groups from laws that apply to all other members of the community.
Therefore, the Atheist Foundation of Australia argues that such calls should be rejected, and existing exemptions be removed, particularly if they contravene United Nations Human Rights.
A review of the ALRC report makes it clear that there is no sound argument to increase the level of protections offered to religions in Australia, and in fact good grounds for removing some existing exemptions from anti discrimination laws.
Calls for religious believers to be allowed to express their religious beliefs by refusing to supply goods and services to certain members of the public should be rejected out of hand and revealed in their true light as discriminatory behavior. For example, a focus of these calls recently has been on bakers of cakes for same-sex weddings. There is no credible basis to support a claim that discrimination against same-sex marriage should be allowed, and no logical difference between this and allowing a religious baker to refuse to serve a Muslim, a Jewish person or a dark skinned woman, an adulterer or a disobedient child – all of whom fit into categories of persons excoriated in the bible or by religious tradition.