Friday, April 22, 2005

Bracks Government's Religious Vilification Disaster

One of the greatest disasters of the Bracks' government has been the Racial & Religious Tolerance Act, which by placing onerous restrictions on religious speech, is destroying the freedom of Victorians to engage in religious discussion and debate.

The Alpha Course has been taken by 5 million people in 150 countries around the world, and it's materials have been translated into 50 different languages.

When a convicted sex offender and practicing witch complained about the course being offered in Ararat Jail, the Equal Opportunity Commission at first rejected the complaint as lacking substance. However now, Robin Fletcher has gone straight to the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal, causing onerous expense and legal trouble for the Victorian distributor, the Salvation Army, and Corrections Victoria.

Even if this complaint is thrown out by the court, (as it should be) it will have generated a nuisance level which will discourage churches, media outlets and public institutions from allowing religious debates and education. It is just another one of the ways in which Bracks is making life harder for all Victorians.

A prison inmate has taken CMC Australasia (Australian distributors of the Alpha Course), the Salvation Army (the prison chaplain who delivered the course was from the Salvation Army) and Corrections Victoria (for allowing Alpha into the prison) to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, alleging religious vilification.

The prisoner voluntarily attended an Alpha Course run in the prison and took exception to verses from Deuteronomy and Leviticus regarding witchcraft. The prisoner is a Wiccan (practices witchcraft) and is serving his sentence for paedophilia. His defence in his trial was that his activities were part of his religion. He has called for Alpha to be banned from prisons and throughout Victoria generally.

Alpha has applied to have the case summarily dismissed, but even this will most likely involve significant legal expenses . . .

Some who support the legislation claim that Christians should not worry because frivolous claims would not be allowed. This recent case shatters that idea.
- Robert Law

Check out Alpha Australia.


At 2:01 PM, Blogger Rachel Croucher said...

Um, it's a voluntary course isn't it? Just like a bad television show, change the channel if you don't like it.

More taxpayers money well spent!

At 6:59 PM, Blogger JP said...

My understanding is that the complainant actually requested extra materials from the people running the course. In hindsight it looks like he just wanted more material over which to complain.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger JP said...

Saltshakers have posted the information they have gleaned from court records about the complaints made against the Alpha Course in Ararat Jail.

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Rachel Croucher said...

I think the key word here is voluntary. His claims are the epitome of absurd.

Maybe he is just pissed off that the Alpha teachings do not condone the sexual abuse of children?

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Rachel Croucher said...

the motivation revealed,


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