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Crucifying Freedom of Education

Lyle SheltonApril 9, 2024

Radical politicians have launched the biggest coordinated public attack on the rights of parents and religious freedom in Australia’s history.

If those behind this attack get their way, Christian and religious schools will be forced to employ role models for children who support whacky and harmful LGBTQIA+ ideologies.

Parents will be powerless against this and it will end authentic Christian and religious schooling in Australia.

Home schooling might provide a shelter but as I’ll explain, no one is safe from the march of the rainbow flag and the totalitarian politics it carries.


Trent Zimmerman with rainbow flag in Parliament.

Since same-sex marriage was introduced in 2017, parents and schools have been left vulnerable to relentless and unfair public demonisation from both LGBTQIA+ political activists and politicians from Labor, the Greens, the Teals and the Liberal party’s powerful left faction.


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus

The attack in March was launched by Labor’s Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus who tabled in Parliament an Australian Law Reform Commission report which recommended stripping religious schools of legal protections which allow them to be free to employ staff who share their ethos.

The title of the report: “Maximising the Realisation of Human Rights: Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws” is distinctly Orwellian.

That’s because rather than “maximising the realisation of human rights”, it trashes parents’ human rights to educate their children in the values of their religion – a key principle Australia has signed up to in international law which I’ll come to in a moment.

In this mad moment of history, if elites, like Dreyfus, tell us something is true, be sure the opposite is the case.

The Albanese Government, which through Dreyfus commissioned the ALRC report, wants schools to be forced to employ people who are opposed to their parent communities’ views on marriage and the science of gender.

The irony of crucifying Christian schools in the lead-up to Easter is lost on the Albanese Government.

Dreyfus is not merely what Stalin called a “useful idiot” for a nefarious cause, he is a genuine spear carrier gladly doing the bidding of same-sex marriage activists who, since the law change in 2017, have waged a relentless political campaign against Christian schools.

Dreyfus’s ALRC recommendations give no quarter to parents and school communities who want to shield their children from radical ideas like easily changing your gender with puberty blockers and surgery or that gender diversity no longer matters in marriage.

The ALRC report takes the false and pernicious view that religious schools are inherently harmful and that parents’ concerns for the moral and religious education of their children must be completely forfeited in the supposed pursuit of inclusivity and societal progression - to the back of the bus the parents go.

It’s more important to Dreyfus that a teacher in a Christian school who dresses in kink and attends a bestiality-themed fetish party at a weekend Pride Event, like that advertised by Sydney World Pride in 2023 and funded by the Liberal Party – I kid you not – that such a person must be allowed to keep his job at a Christian school.


Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2023

An advocate of radical LGBTQIA+ gender fluid ideology must be allowed to teach your children or grandchildren in a Christian school. The school community will be rendered powerless to do anything about this.

But the attacks on Christian and religious schools are not just coming from Canberra.

In what can only be seen as a coordinated attack by LGBTQIA+ political activists, the Queensland Labor Government recently introduced changes to its Anti-Discrimination Act which also strips schools of their ability to uphold a Christian ethos.

Pat Byrne and Terri Kelleher provide an excellent but chilling analysis of this draconian law. Have a read here.

Christian schools are now caught in a pincer movement from state and federal Labor, egged on by taxpayer-funded law reforms commissions that are pushing LGBTQIA+ politics.

But tolerance is not a virtue of the “love is love” political crowd.

Queensland Labor’s changes also attack free speech, ensuring that where there is a clash, like in Mark Dreyfus’ ALRC report, LGBTQIA+ ideology must prevail in law every time.

This has been brewing for years but it is now out in the open for all to see. They are not trying to hide it anymore.


Professor Patrick Parkinson

Politicians have now completely disregarded the work of some of the nation’s most eminent legal academics, like Professor Patrick Parkinson, who, for the past decade, has proposed ways to make reasonable accommodations so there can be tolerance for both LGBTQIA+ political aspirations and the preservation of the rights of parents, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Make no mistake, parents rights, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are being crushed in this country under the rainbow political flag.

Again, the Queensland Liberal National Party leadership is missing in action, leaving religious schools and individuals to fend for themselves against hostile LGBTQIA+ political activists backed by a media that is largely in their pocket.

Back in Canberra, Dreyfus and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese say they are about protecting both LGBTQIA+ rights and the right of schools to create a community of faith.

This is a disingenuous lie.

To teach differently to the new LGBTQIA+ orthodoxy or to create a school community which lives out mainstream values is to risk massive legal action in what Christian Schools Australia says will be a lawyers’ picnic.

Risk averse and worried about their assets, many Christian school board members will be wondering whether they should simply compromise with LGBTQIA+ views on marriage and children’s gender rather than protect their children from the harms of the ideology.

Pray that they hold the line – this is a day for Daniels with the courage to stand in the lion’s den, come what may.

In a blistering media release last week, Australia’s three Christian schools’ groups came out swinging against the ALRC’s report.

They said it was a “direct attack on faith and freedom of belief in Australia.”

Australian Association of Christian Schools executive officer Vanessa Cheng said:

“If these ALRC recommendations are adopted, it means the government can tell Christian schools who we can employ, what we can believe and teach.”

Christian Schools Australia Director of Public Policy Mark Spencer said:

“Hundreds of thousands of Australian parents choose to send their children to faith-based schools because they value this type of education. They enrol their children knowing that our teachers and staff are aligned with our beliefs and that students will be taught according to our beliefs. If these recommendations are adopted, parents would lose this right, and the government has no right to remove this choice.”

He said it was important that the government understands that:

“Christian schools are communities of faith, where Christian teachers and staff engage with students from a faith perspective both inside and outside the classroom and are expected to be available for Christian devotion, prayer and support. A staff member who doesn’t share and support our beliefs cannot effectively teach our beliefs or support students according to our beliefs.”

Dreyfus and Albanese say they can accommodate LGBTQIA+ demands and religious freedom, which is clearly a nonsense.

Dreyfus told Parliament:

“The government is seeking an enduring solution that strengthens protections for all of us – students, teachers, people of faith.”

This is disingenuous fantasy from an Attorney-General who has been well-briefed by Christian legal academics but who has chosen to side with LGBTQIA+ political activists.

Dreyfus, Albanese and the Queensland Premier Steven Miles pretend that Article 18.4 of the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the ICCPR) does not exist, even though Australia is a signatory.

It states:

“The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.”- UN’s ICCPR

That promise has been conveniently swept aside as it doesn’t suit the radical left’s agenda to control the education of your children.

The LGBTQIA+ political movement will not tolerate a solution which leaves parents and Christian schools free to teach mainstream views on marriage and gender.

And if anyone thinks they will stop with crushing Christian and religious schools, they are naïve. This is just the beginning of their culture war – churches are next.

But history shows there will always be dissidents when governments try to snuff out Christianity and its love for marriage and family.

This is a time for dissidents to live out a better vision of human flourishing – demonstrating the truth, goodness and beauty of marriage and family.

This is a call to arms. Now is the time to pick up the tools of democracy and get involved in politics.

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