In polite company, I tend to avoid discussing politics or religion, and whilst writing around educational matters, often requires me to comment on the former, I've managed to steer clear of the latter. Until now.
In response to the federal government announcement that it intends to consolidate the five separate human rights policies into a single Act, Christian Schools Australia (CSA) argue that they must be able to retain the right to discriminate against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender (GLBT) teachers, or those heterosexual teachers who live with a partner out of wedlock.
To date, the government has granted exemptions for religious schools to discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation and marital status with respect to staff and students. With the government's announcement, the CSA are worried that its schools stand to lose that right.
The group's chief executive officer,Stephen O'Doherty, said exemptions relating to sexual orientation and gender identity should remain in place. "We currently have the ability to employ people who have Christian beliefs and whose lifestyles are consistent with those beliefs."
He goes on, "We are seeking exemptions to be able to employ staff who are Christian and hold certain beliefs. For instance, many Christians believe that being an active homosexual or living with a partner out of wedlock is not part of the Christian faith."
All this from an association that claims on its website to, "[serve]the diverse needs of a large network of member schools." (My italics.)
Presumably then, schools in the CSA do not hire women, as Timothy 2:11 states:
"I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent."
Or do they pick and choose which Christian beliefs best suit their argument?
I'm not a scholar of religion. I am not anti-Christian, or anti any belief system.
I'm in favour of people having the right to worship who, what, when or how they like. So long as that in doing so, it does not impinge on anyone else's rights or wellbeing.
In what is reportedly the first systematic review and analysis of suicidality and depressive symptoms in sexual minority youth, Dr Michael Marshal PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania conducted an analysis of nineteen studies that included a total of 122,995 participants.
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