Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, has today raised concerns about alarming recommendations from the Religious Freedom Review that has been released by Fairfax Media.
“The only way to sufficiently protect religious freedom is to remove laws that currently place restrictions on religious thought and practice,” said Morgan Begg, Research Fellow and author of the Institute of Public Affairs’ submission to the Religious Freedom Review.
“It is disappointing that the panel has recommended the passage of new laws. Adding new restrictions through religious anti-discrimination laws is a significant threat to the freedom of conscience of all Australians.
“It is also disappointing that faith-based schools have been specifically targeted in the review.
“This approach to faith based schools creates a de facto government licensing of religion. It places the decision about permissible religious expression and doctrine in the hands of the state.
“Freedom, whether exercised for a religious purpose or not, should only be limited where the exercise of that freedom impacts another person’s freedom or peaceful use and enjoyment of their own property.
“Religious freedom is inseparable from freedom of speech. The panel should be commended for recommending the repeal of blasphemy laws. However, all laws which restrict speech should be repealed, including section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975,” said Mr Begg.
The IPA’s Report into Religious Liberty in Australia is available here.