Former High Court justice Kirby’s nasty and hostile opinion letter warns religious freedom will let people publish opinions which are… nasty and hostile.
“Religious freedom bill ‘will sustain nastiness and hostility’, Michael Kirby warns”… or at least, that’s what the headline in The Guardian article warns.
Allow me to interpret that for you.
“The God-given social liberty to disagree, debate, articulate and act in accordance with individual convictions (a.k.a religious freedom) will sometimes be used by people who aren’t very happy and they may say some things a nicer person wouldn’t.”
What former High Court justice Michael Kirby is really saying is he doesn’t trust citizens with freedom – liberal democracy – because they might use it ‘wrong’.
What is wrong?
That is precisely the question. Who gets to define what a wrong opinion or belief is? The government? Justices, judges, discrimination tribunals and lawyers? And once granted the power to censor opinions, can they be trusted implicitly to never abuse that power to entrench their own? No, of course not. Don’t be ridiculous.
Kirby’s ironic opinion letter to a law journal in which he takes several swings at Christians asserted the freedom principle of “the right to swing my arm ends when I hit another’s chin” is “being dismantled to give a free go to the religious arm swingers”.
No, it’s not. Not a single religious person wants the legal right to punch someone. That’s Antifa. Of course, Kirby is conflating objective harm (like a bruise) with a subjective claim of harm (like a bruised ego) resulting from robust debate.
The fight against religious freedom is the fight for a continuing and expanding inquisition into all who publicly dissent from the state’s mandated beliefs.
You may believe in God, but you must not believe He designed marriage.
You must believe unrepentant, practising homosexuals have nothing to repent of and go to Heaven.
You must believe biological sex is a myth and can be changed with a scalpel.
You must believe it’s a mother’s right to kill the children she’s conceived.
In the anointed elites’ vision of a radical secular state, you can theoretically believe anything, although that freedom has a few conditions. You mustn’t explain your beliefs to anybody, nor let your beliefs influence your public opinions or professional decisions in any meaningful way. If you feel you really must express your religious identity beyond the inches between your ears, you must contain such outbursts of unapproved beliefs to designated zones on the designated day (Sunday church).
It is the height of intellectual cowardice to pre-emptively censor one’s critics. That is the real objective of opponents of religious freedom protections. The socially-destructive loss of academic rigour and democratic debate yields only a temporary bliss from the resulting ignorance.
An illusion that all is ordered and as it should be is easy to achieve when all one has done is extinguish the light of religious freedom.