God Wills Discrimination
In a throwback to the days of burning books (and people), Australia is debating the “second draft religious discrimination bill”.
In essence, the bill seeks to ‘right the wrong’ that is many decades of religious people having to hide their discriminatory views. As a result, being religious now gives you a free pass to break several discrimination and hate speech laws that are currently in place.
Should the bill go through, religious people will be allowed to discriminate, spread what would otherwise be labelled as hate speech and all sorts of other things if god wills it. The only caveat is that “statements must be made in good faith”.
In case you were wondering what discrimination in good faith looks like, an explanatory memorandum from the Australian government has outlined the possible implications of the bill:
In religious schools, children who lose their faith can be punished or expelled (It is somewhat telling that depriving children of education is seen as the cure for atheism).
Students with a disability can be labelled sinners who are going through a trial imposed by god, and when a single mother drops off her child she too can be harassed by teaching staff about her life choices.
Meanwhile at work, the irreligious can be slandered on social media, not hired and working women can be advised to “submit to their husband, and work only inside the home”.
Even at the doctor’s office, the godless won’t be getting any breaks. Doctors and pharmacists can now promote gay conversion therapy, refuse to offer contraception and convince any suicidal patients that a rosy future lies ahead in the kingdom of heaven.
Sadly, the privilege of shouting at disabled children and single mothers is not reserved for the irreligious. Which if anything shows that a law made by and for the religious explicitly states it’s impossible to be religious without the ability to be openly sexist and hateful.
But, there is more as the bill has opened the entire pandora’s box of old testament cruelty. What the pious Australians didn’t realise, is that with a bit of casual sexism also comes the wrath of old-testament god. As a result, most of Australia is now covered in wildfires with temperatures soaring up to an unthinkable 50 degrees Celsius.
Still, if the bill goes through, many bible-waving Australians can now enjoy a bit of long lost religious exceptionalism. That is, before the seas part and the locusts arrive.