The Australian Senate has passed Nationals Senator Matthew Canavan’s motion calling on state governments to ease hypocritical restrictions on church attendance in time for Christmas.
The call comes after last month’s State of Origin saw almost 50,000 people packed into Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, lifted the capacity from 75 per cent to 100 per cent one week before the game, saying she wanted as many Queenslanders as possible cheering on her team.
Senator Canavan said, if sporting events, then churches.
“Footy and cricket can have thousands of people turn up, so I don’t see why churches shouldn’t be able to return to capacity,” he said.
“I can’t speak for other religions, but I do a lot more yelling at the footy than I do at mass.
“Sports are a ritual for Australians, but the freedom to express your religion is a fundamental right that should be restored before Christmas.”
On Twitter, the Senator said: “Senate just passed a motion calling on state governments to ease restrictions on Christmas this year. Let’s hope as many Australians as possible can worship the birth of Christ this year.”
Senate just passed a motion calling on state governments to ease restrictions on Christmas this year. Let’s hope as many Australians as possible can worship the birth of Christ this year. pic.twitter.com/JoDF45AQjU— Matthew Canavan (@mattjcan) December 10, 2020
The motion reads:
Senator Canavan to move on the next day of sitting, that Senate:
1. Notes that:
a. on 18 November 2020, State of Origin 3 was held at Suncorp Stadium with a capacity crowd in attendance;
b. Most state governments maintain restrictions on church attendance;
c. Some states prohibit singing at church, yet attendees at stadiums can cheer and shout for their teams;
d. The freedom to express one’s religious view is a fundamental right for all Australians;
e. Christmas Day is one of the most important days of the Christian calendar;
f. This year, during a time of uncertainty, Australians want more than ever the opportunity to come together to celebrate the birth of Christ;
2. Calls on all state governments to ease restrictions on church attendance, and other restrictions, before Christmas so they are no more restrictive than those pertaining to football games, and allow more Australians to express their religious rights this Christmas.