For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 15 Sep 2013.
penalised or dismissed from their jobs, excluded from providing services to children and counselling, and dragged through human rights, employment and anti-discrimination tribunals simply for holding to, or merely expressing, their religious and conscientious convictions about issues such as abortion, marriage and sexuality.
In this situation, religious freedom issues arise not from violent persecution but from the determination of government authorities, courts and tribunals to enforce a particular world view, especially in two closely related areas: relationships, family and sexuality, on the one hand, and abortion and reproductive technology, on the other.
If we share a commitment to a free society and respect for the rights of others, we have a common interest in preserving religious freedom, and all that it entails, according to conscience.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.