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Baffling Concerns for Religious Freedom

In the next week, we will hear a lot in the news about religious freedom.

The government has been taking submissions on the draft of its religious discrimination bill – and so there will be a string of these submissions made public.

The government could do worse than looking to a recent court ruling in America, which neatly encapsulates one of the main planks of religious freedom.

In the middle of the Bible belt, the University of Iowa blatantly discriminated against a student Christian group, by saying it couldn’t insist that its leaders be Christian. It kicked the group off campus.

A federal court has ruled University officials must pay out of their own pockets for discriminating against the group, calling the university’s conduct “incredibly baffling”.

It would be just as baffling if the university had insisted that loggers be allowed to run the green group or republicans be allowed to lead the Democrats society. That is not discrimination – it is just common sense.

I’m Russell Powell for the NSW Council of Churches

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