Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 5 September 2021, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.
Don’t forget that the Weekend Wrap, which aims to help secular-minded Australians keep abreast of the latest news on current issues, is also published on our Facebook page!
At the National Level
Coalition MPs have urged Scott Morrison to increase funding to the government's school chaplaincy program to help address concerns that activism against climate change is causing mental health problems for Australian children. (The Guardian)
The government has used its numbers to prevent protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people recommended by the Respect@Work Report being added to Australia’s workplace protection laws. (Out in Perth)
Catholic health workers in hospitals and aged care have asked for clear safeguards against "discrimination" and "undue burdens" for staff who claim a "conscientious objection" to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination. (The Australian; Paywalled)
Around the Country
WA: Senator Pat Dodson has condemned fringe Christian groups for promoting anti-vaccination propaganda in remote Western Australia, saying people who spread fear and misinformation around coronavirus vaccines are "evil". (The Guardian)
QLD: Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has issued a letter urging Catholics, their families and friends to sign a petition to the Queensland Parliament demanding MPs reject proposed euthanasia and assisted suicide laws. (The Catholic Leader)
QLD: A group of Catholics staged a morning rally outside parliament in Brisbane this week to voice their opposition to VAD, with one protester comparing the introduction of assisted dying laws to Nazi Germany. (The Catholic Leader)
SA: Southern Vales Christian College in Adelaide have said they will continue not to hire staff that identify as LGBTQIA+, saying that, “Our beliefs are such that we do not accept that homosexuality is appropriate”. (Star Observer)
VIC: Victoria will become the first state in Australia to make the public display of Nazi symbols illegal. The state is also set to extend anti-vilification protections beyond race and religion to cover areas such as sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and HIV/AIDS status. (Australian Jewish News)
SA: The ACL lodged their opposition at the SA Legislative Council Select Committee on the decriminalisation of prostitution in SA. They report that SAPOL also opposed a reduction in regulation in the industry. (ACL)
Commentary and Analysis
Tim Costello warns of the "Ezekiel Declaration", signatories to which "are subtly undermining vaccination and dressing up the national push by our Government towards 80% vaccination before a Freedom Day as coercion." (Eternity News)
John Sandeman writes that the "Ezekiel Declaration" has gained the support of the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) Martyn Iles, but has also attracted pushback from conservative evangelicals. (Eternity News)
Events and Advisories
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.