Home General News A desperate cry from the heart

A desperate cry from the heart

by ervte

The 2022 federal election has been decided and our nation has elected 31st Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. According to all experts, the ALP will rule on its own with 76 seats in the House of Representatives. The big talking point for political pundits is the rise of the Greens and the so-called ‘blue’ independents to whom voters turned en masse, expressing their displeasure with the two-party system. The ALP will rule with the lowest number of votes since 1919. But as senior ALP politician Tanya Plibersek said on election night, “A victory is a victory is a victory”. It is certain!

This discontent of the electorate was palpable and palpable and yet the major parties did not seem to sense it. When they did, they seemingly ignored it, hoping it would all go away and people would adopt previously held voice patterns. It’s a mistake both sides need to learn from, especially the LNP and its parched remnant.SEU WORSHIP - A Thousand Generations: Song Session - YouTube

If you were one of those disillusioned who dealt a severe blow to the government by electing someone outside the major parties, then waking up on Sunday morning must have felt so good.

Before Election Day, I had learned a hard and painful lesson: People of faith err in the belief that if we get the right people in the right places, change will happen. But as a person of faith, I went to bed on Saturday night and woke up the next morning with a constant frustration that my voice didn’t seem to be heard. I now know what it’s like to scream in the wind.

No one heard my call for ‘religious freedom’ to be enshrined in Australian federal law in some way.

No one heard my call for ‘religious freedom’ to be enshrined in Australian federal law in some way. Certainly, the LNP didn’t, and if they did, it was devastating to introduce the Religious Discrimination Act so late in parliament. The moderate and somewhat flawed Religious Discrimination Act was withdrawn from the Senate in February 2022 after five years of LNP false hopes permeating the souls of faith communities everywhere. This ancient and sacred human right, codified in December 1948 by the United Nations Universal Charter of Human Rights but not federally codified in Australia, remains a distant hope for people of faith.

The major parties barely mentioned the Religious Discrimination Act, rejected by the Greens and unmentioned by the Teals. Despite Australia’s anti-discrimination laws on age, gender, disability, and race, religion doesn’t seem to demand urgency in the federal parliament.

It appears that if the ALP introduces another religious discrimination bill, it will narrow the scope of the creed clause so that it only applies to allegations of religious discrimination. Will they entirely repeal Section 38(3) of the Sexual Discrimination Act? What about the suggestion that the ALP will introduce a religious anti-defamation clause, the impact of which is unclear as it has not been subject to public or parliamentary scrutiny?

Although I have been a pastor of a local church for 31 years, I hate being labeled a ‘conservative’ or part of the ‘religious right’. I find the labeling offensive. My faith in God is sincere and shapes who I am. My guiding philosophy is to ‘love my neighbor as I would like to be loved. Hopefully, I am tolerant of the opinions of others and intolerant of injustice and hatred in any form. As a result, I, and many other people of faith, serve our community in ways unseen and unheard of for those in power in Canberra.

Yet no one seems to hear my cries that I feel ‘left behind.

In the early 2nd century, the son of a Roman centurion, Tertullian, a Roman citizen, who had converted to Christianity, wrote: “…religious freedom was an essential part of human nature….everyone should worship according to [their] own beliefs.”

Election Day taught me that the frustrations of my outrageous cries could not be alleviated by voting for a particular candidate in an election. So pl, ease, will someone in this next parliament listen to me?

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