Weekend Wrap for 12 June 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 12 June 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Do you have any news items, campaigns, petitions, webinars or other event notices that could be added to our weekly Wrap? Let us know at wrap@nsl.org.au.

At the National Level

A senior palliative care doctor has warned that terminally ill people will be afraid to enter palliative care in the wake of Voluntary Assisted Dying laws across the country. Maria Cigolini, Clinical Director of Palliative Medicine at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, said a lot of people already shun palliative care out of fear that such units facilitate euthanasia. “This will enhance that disinformation and fear of authority, especially in migrant groups and homeless people,” she said. (7 Jun 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

A re-draft of the National History Curriculum has seen the restoration of some Christian content not present in earlier drafts. Eternity News looks at "why Christianity went missing, what brought it back, and have we arrived at a balanced result." (7 Jun 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus on Wednesday said that Anthony Albanese's Labor government would bring a new religious discrimination bill before Parliament during this term of the Parliament. Labor policy documents have stated that new legislation would “prevent discrimination against people of faith, including anti-vilification protections; act to protect all students from discrimination on any grounds; and protect teachers from discrimination at work, whilst maintaining the right of religious schools to preference people of their faith in the selection of staff.” (8 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

Faith leaders have urged the new Labor government to move quickly to introduce legislation outlawing religious discrimination rather than let the issue languish until the last minute as it did under Scott Morrison. (9 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

The Rationalist Society of Australia has urged the new Labor government to consider establishing a Parliamentary Science Office that could provide scientific advice for all members of the parliament. (11 Jun 2022)
Read more at the RSA

The new Australian Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi has vowed to fight racism and Islamophobia. The Pakistani-born deputy leader of the Greens says she will be using her role to "speak up against racism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination in our society". (11 Jun 2022)
Read more at SBS News

Around the Country

QLD: Queensland must scrap a harmful law that allows employers to discriminate against transgender and gender diverse people when working with children, advocacy groups say. (6 Jun 2022)
Read more at Q News

ACT: New territories minister Kristy McBain is pushing for debate on lifting the ban on the ACT and NT making their own voluntary assisted dying laws to "proceed as quickly as possible", although she can't guarantee a vote when parliament returns next month. (7 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Canberra Times

NSW: Palliative care will receive a $743 million boost in this year's state budget. The money will spent over five years to increase the number of beds and improve access to new treatment. This follows on from the Premier speaking during last year's voluntary assisted dying debate about the need to improve palliative services in the state. (9 Jun 2022)
Read more at ABC News

TAS: Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban conversion practices in his state. The Liberal premier said his Liberal government would be acting on the recommendations of a report from the Tasmanian Law Reform Commission which made 16 recommendations for legislative change. (9 Jun 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

VIC: The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has been ordered to pay $1.9 million in damages to a former altar boy who was sexually abused by Victorian priest Desmond Gannon. The victim brought the case against Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli, claiming the city’s Catholic Archdiocese was negligent and vicariously liable for the abuse. In defence, the church argued that the archbishop and the archdiocese were not the same and the archdiocese was an “undefined thing to which liability could not attach”. (9 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

TAS: Gay conversion survivor warns unless Tasmania bans it outright, 'treatment' could take off. (10 Jun 2022)
Read more at ABC News

NSW: The NSW government will set up a specialist council to advise on safety concerns around churches and mosques and engage with multi-faith communities after the pandemic underscored the importance of closing cultural divides in Sydney. (10 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Commentary and Analysis

Rodney CroomeHot Button Dutton: LNP’s culture war against inclusive schools: "The Federal Opposition under Peter Dutton is about to launch a full-scale anti-LGBTIQA+ culture war against school inclusion. I predicted this before the election. Because contemporary far-right anti-LGBTIQA+ culture wars go in cycles. They start with attacks on discrimination protections in the name of a fake threat to ‘religious freedom’. They then move to attacks on transgender rights based on false claims about ‘women’s safety’. Or attacks on inclusive schools under the misleading banner of ‘parental rights’." (5 Jun 2022)
Read more at Q News

Kaye LeeAs the world turned to shit, the Coalition turned to religion: "With all that’s going on in the world – a pointless war, a global pandemic, rampant global heating leading to increasingly severe and compounding natural disasters, superpowers competing over our region, soaring cost of living, rising inflation, unaffordable housing, poverty, social unrest – the last government spent its dying days fighting for a religious discrimination bill we didn’t need and arguing over trans women playing sport." (8 Jun 2022)
Read more at the AIMN

Monica DoumitThe plan to crush freedom of faith in the ACT: "The ACT is set to crush the rights of churches in ways not seen since Christians lived under eastern European totalitarian regimes. And it’s all being done in the name of ‘human rights’ and diversity." (8 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

David HardakerHillsong thanks Crikey for our service, and promises ‘no more secrets’: "Pastor Phil [Dooley] used his online pulpit-turned-performance space to push one big post-Houston message: there would be “no more secrets”. This may be a reference to the 10-year secret of Houston’s flirty text messages with a female Hillsong employee that occurred in 2012. ... Or maybe it’s the payouts that were kept secret. Or perhaps the non-disclosure agreements that Hillsong’s global board has enforced on US pastors. Or perhaps it’s the darkest secrets of all: the past of Houston’s father, Frank, as a serial paedophile. Where to end? Whatever the case, it’s all over. No more secrets. Hallelujah." (8 Jun 2022)
Read more at Crikey

Liam GetreuHow Australia’s new leaders really see Israel and the Palestinians: "In the recent election, aided by a febrile Murdoch press, the right-wing campaign to smear Australia’s opposition as ‘antisemitic’ and ‘anti-Israel’ reached fever pitch. With Labor now in power, it’s time to set the record straight." (8 June 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Jane CaroWhy God has no place in public schools: "It is this inclusivity that demands public schools be secular, because prioritising any faith is an enrolment barrier. If you accept every child, you must create a community that is welcoming to every child. It is because of the core inclusivity of public schools that having chaplains in such schools – however nice and well-meaning – is an anathema. Worse, it is an insult. It represents the arrogance of those of a certain faith – in Australia’s case, Christianity – who regard any value that does not directly reflect their own world view as automatically inferior and suspect." (10 Jun 2022)
Read more at Rationale Magazine

Greg LockhartAnglicans, ANZAC and the nation: "There has been a change in the way we understand the ANZAC tradition. Since 1945, the literature on ANZAC has led us to think of its ‘classical’ and ‘stoic’ sources as a ‘secular’ national religion. Darren Mitchell’s important Sydney University PhD Thesis ‘Anzac Rituals’ (2020) more reasonably demonstrates its British imperial religious ethos." (10 Jun 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Mike SeccombeCollapse of the modern Liberal Party: "Katherine Deves ... was selected over the objections of local party members, at the behest of Scott Morrison, and was carefully kept away from media and public scrutiny for most of the campaign. Deves finally broke cover on that Wednesday street walk. With her was former prime minister John Howard. This raises the question of why Howard was sent out on the street with Deves, three days out from polling. The only plausible answer is that it was to ensure continued focus on the trans issue – actually a non-issue, given its irrelevance to the lives of most Australians. Howard was there to do what he always does better than anyone else in the party: foment division by escalating the culture wars." (11 Jun 2022)
Read more at The Saturday Paper

Alastair LawrieThe worst of times: "As the dust settles on the recent federal election, and the new Albanese Labor Government settles into office, I wanted to take this short(ish) opportunity to reflect on the term of Parliament just ended, and especially its impact on LGBTIQ Australians." (11 Jun 2022)
Read more at alastairlawrie.net

Events and Campaigns

At the next RSA webinar on 22 June, former Navy Principal Chaplain Collin Acton will present on the need for the ADF to transition its religious-based model of pastoral support to a new secular wellbeing capability. To attend, register here.

National LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Just.Equal Australia are hoping to learn more about how LGBTQIA+ Australians and allies voted in the recent federal election. Participate in the survey here.

Sally Goldner is running a petition on an open letter to three key people in the new Labor government calling for speedy action on federal LGBTIQA+ reforms. View the petition here.

The Australian Education Union is running a campaign calling for “every school, every child” to receive fair education funding. Support the campaign here.

Funding for public schools has been cut in the latest budget but funding for school chaplains has been assured. A change.org petition is currently calling on the federal government to fund youth workers rather faith-based chaplains in our public schools.

Minister for Human Rights, Tara Cheyne, is running a petition calling on the Australian government to restore the right of Territories to pass laws on VAD. She also recommends people email the Commonwealth Attorney-General with their views, at attorney@ag.gov.au.

Dying With Dignity NSW has a tool that makes it easy for people to contact their federal MPs and senators to request help in repealing the "Andrews Bill", the 1997 legislation which denies the Territories the right to pass legislation on Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The Human Rights for NSW alliance has launched a campaign calling for NSW to pass a Human Rights Act.

That's it for another week!

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