Weekend Wrap for 29 May 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 29 May 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

Angry Coalition MPs are blaming Scott Morrison’s personal unpopularity, the party’s election strategy, climate policy and the pre-selection of Katherine Deves in the Sydney seat of Warringah for triggering an electoral disaster. (22 May 2022)
Read more at The Age

Equality advocates have welcomed the results of yesterday’s election, laying out what they expect for the incoming Albanese Government. National LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Just.Equal Australia say the Labor victory puts Australia in a unique position to move forward on LGBTQIA+ rights, despite Labor’s stance on issues that matter to our communities. (22 May 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Prominent Tasmanian LGBTIQA+ rights campaigner Rodney Croome found triumph in the (then approaching) defeat of Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz, known for espousing his conservative and Christian views on a range of policy matters such as abortion, same-sex marriage and the monarchy. (23 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Warren Entsch ‘disappointed’ with Scott Morrison's handling of trans issues as Liberal post mortem continues. The election result has prompted deep introspection within the Liberal Party over what went wrong, including its handling of climate change policy, debate over trans issues and representation of women in the party. (24 May 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

The Liberals must prioritise fairness, protect minority groups and ditch the culture wars stoked under Scott Morrison’s leadership, Liberal senator Andrew Bragg says, warning that a move to the right would “guarantee political purgatory”. (24 May 2022)
Read more at The Age

Religious leaders from nine faith groups have signed a resolution demanding action on an Indigenous voice to parliament. The faith leaders have now all formally endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for a "voice" — a representative body that can help shape policy directed at First Nations people — to be enshrined in Australia's constitution. (27 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Around the Country

WA: The Liberal Party has lurched too far to the right in its embrace of religious “fundamentalists” and “will die as a party” without serious reform according to a WA Liberal veteran, as party stalwarts round on each other in the wake of a dismal federal election performance. (23 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

TAS: Tasmanian advocates have welcomed the election results in their state, hailing the end of the divisive legislation brought forward by the previous government. Equality Tasmania is celebrating the demise of the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill and Senator Claire Chandler’s bill allowing discrimination against transgender women in sport. (23 May 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

VIC: The Victorian Liberals have voted to expel controversial MP Bernie Finn from the party. The upper house MP has been a Liberal politician for nearly four decades, but has caused outrage within the party after a series of inflammatory social media posts. (24 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

SA: A club for pagans, witches and Satanists says its affiliation with the Adelaide University Union has been rejected because of a complaint that the club wanted to summon Satan to the University of Adelaide and that "occultists are always involved in criminal activity". (26 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

QLD: Parents from Citipointe Christian College, which sparked national uproar over its controversial enrolment contract, are lodging discrimination complaints with the Human Rights Commission. (26 May 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

QLD: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk will make her state the second to ban Nazi and other hate symbols to ensure extremists are “called out, confronted and condemned”. It’s understood there will be exceptions for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains for whom swastikas are religious symbols. (26 May 2022)
Read more at The New Daily

ACT: The ACT Government has released a draft bill outlining plans to end non-consenting medical interventions on intersex children. The legislation was developed after consultations with experts and lived experience participants, and ongoing advocacy from intersex and LGBTQIA+ organisations. (27 May 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Commentary and Analysis

Tim Costello – Was Morrison's Ballot-Box Rejection Due to His Faith?: "I do not believe Morrison’s faith won or lost him the election. However, it may well be that his behaviour was interpreted as an expression of his faith which caused even Christians to wonder. Morrison’s handling of the truth – with some MPs on his own side calling him toxic and a liar – was a factor many Christians found galling. In addition to his attitude toward women, there were issues with his dealing with refugees, Australian Aid, and climate change (creation care) that did not resonate with the understanding of the Christian faith many share." (24 May 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

Si Gladman – Liberal Party: Following the Christian right into electoral wilderness: "Christian right lobby groups now have the Liberal Party they want – a lot more conservative and no doubt a lot more favourable to their pet issues. Too bad that this party, once proudly a ‘broad church’ but now, perhaps, just a church, seems unelectable." (24 May 2022)
Read more at the RSA

Bilal Cleland – The Seven Mountains of control — a threat to democracy: "Whilst primarily an American phenomenon, this variety of Christianity exists in Australia with many high profile individuals, including leading conservative politicians and former Prime Minister Scott Morrison. According to Philip Almond, Emeritus Professor in the History of Religious Thought at the University of Queensland, it is impacting upon the response of the Australian Government to key issues." (25 May 2022)
Read more at Independent Australia

Meredith Doig – New parliament has an opportunity to shape a truly secular Australia: "At last weekend’s federal election, Australians overwhelmingly voted for evidence-based policy on issues such as climate change and for integrity in government. But they also rejected the coalition government’s pandering to religious fundamentalist lobbyists who want to privilege their version of religious ‘freedom’ at the expense of the rest of society. The Religious Discrimination Bill was a prime example of overreach, designed to appease vocal religious lobbyists from the from the hard right. Some moderate Liberal Party politicians have pointed to the Religious Discrimination Bill as symptomatic of the party’s problems." (25 May 2022)
Read more at the RSA

Catholic Weekly Editorial on the passing of VAD laws in NSW: "In the wake of euthanasia’s legalisation in NSW, Premier Dominic Perrottet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns equally face the most serious question of all: in a moment of mortal crisis and as a moral disaster loomed, were the men who style themselves the leaders of the state of sufficient calibre to meet the evil? Did they do enough? The almost certain answer is no." (25 May 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

John Sandeman – The Liberals, the Religious Right and the ACL, Where to Now?: "The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and many other conservative Christians wanted a more socially conservative Liberal Party – and by the end of the election night, one could say they achieved their aim. Making this observation is not to mock the ACL because the future structure of the right-hand half of our political spectrum has been in question for some time. The election results for the Liberals have moved a simmering pot to the front burner." (25 May 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

Adam Wesselinoff – Palliative care's future under euthanasia: "Palliative care clinicians in NSW are left feeling bruised and misrepresented in the wake of NSW’s voluntary assisted dying debate, and must now prepare to balance the desires of terminally ill patients with their own professional ideals – and personal consciences." (25 May 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Miles Pattenden – Roe vs Wade: The Bishops' dilemma: "If Roe vs Wade is overturned it will be fascinating to watch how the Church negotiates abortion’s return as a live issue in one of Catholicism’s most important spaces — and one of its frontlines in on-going conflicts between religion and secularism. Whether there are lessons for Australia remains to be seen, for our politics are very different to those of America. But what happens in America still tends to influence the rest of the Western world. And an organisation like the Catholic Church, which aspires to universal global leadership, cannot afford to ignore such potentially momentous developments." (26 May 2022)
Read more at Eureka Street

John Steenhof – Watch out, Christians: Fuelled by Greens, an Albanese Government doesn’t look set to stand by Christian agencies, schools. People of faith, especially Christians, wonder what implications the election will have for religious freedom in Australia. (27 May 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Antonios Kaldas – Why religious and minority communities find common cause with the Indigenous peoples of Australia: "It is time for immigrant communities, especially those who experienced discrimination in their own traditional homelands, to get whole-heartedly behind our Australian Indigenous cousins. Let’s do what Australia does best: come together to lead the world when it comes to compassion, common sense, and a fair go for all." (27 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Kaye Lee – The day Australia "woke" up: "For the last few years, a strange phenomenon has pervaded political discussion in Australia, mainly led by middle-aged, often religious, white men. The term 'woke' became the conservative pejorative of choice. Action on climate change was 'woke'. Protection of the rights of the rainbow community was 'woke'. Indigenous recognition was 'woke'. Addressing inequality, corruption, women's issues, multiculturalism, welfare – all 'woke'. In fact, anything that threatened the power and wealth of white Christian men was dismissed as 'woke'." (27 May 2022)
Read more at the AIMN

Rick Morton – Coalition loss: ‘The transphobe thing was an absolute disaster’: "In the final campaign of his prime ministership, Scott Morrison picked some fights and ran from others. The order in which he was willing to do so – against transgender people first, and later the superannuation industry – says more about the man’s character than perhaps anything else he did in office." (28 May 2022)
Read more at The Saturday Paper

Malcolm Knox – The left may think Australia has seen the light, but don’t expect the Christian right to retreat: "It might all sound so last-year, and it is fashionable to declare that the ACL, Advance Australia and their culture-war battlefronts have been swept into irrelevance. But if there is one unifying sentiment among the Christian soldiers, it is that defeat and the sense of being persecuted is galvanic. To feel rejected by voters, by the modern world, is for radical Christians a happy place. To swim against the current of Godless times is in some ways more comfortable than posing with the levers of power." (28 May 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Events and Campaigns

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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