Scott Morrison's imploding act

 

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Posted last year

  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I appreciate Radioman's level headed comments.

It should be noted that political parties have tax exemptions and can discriminate who is and isn't in the party.

I find it ironic that 'diversity' is held in high regard today, but then many of these same people demand or pressure religious schools and organisations 'assimilate' to sexual and moral ethics contrary to that religion's teachings.

I don't care if people speak their minds or opinions about different faiths etc, but we should never go down the path of forced re-education of people of faith by Governments (like China).

At the end of the day it's probably a good thing if Govt subsidies/funding of independent schools ends so they can be left alone without strings attached.

Similarly I'm glad that churches in Australia don't receive Government funds like they do in much of Europe.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Radioman, any sort of charity is the worst lurk out for stuffing your own pockets full of cash. The problem is that politicians seem to think that charities and churches should be beyond the scope of investigation for illegal/discriminatory practices so they tend to get away with anything and everything; they don't really even have to provide any sort of a benefit to the community.

Gillard's very mild proposal of a Charities Commission to audit churches and charities was scrapped by Tony Abbott who viewed it as an imposition on the rights of churches to do whatever the hell they wanted without any oversight. Unfortunately it remains the same now - my objection is that (as you point out above) churches are not taxed - at all - and they receive some very generous grants from the taxpayer to continue their work in marginalising and discriminating because their Invisible Sky Fairy told them to.

It's the twenty-first century - at the very least they should have taxpayer concessions and grants completely stopped if they want to practice their Invisible Sky Fairy bigotry.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I don't care whether it is done under the guise of a religion.

I don't care if you or your organization feels it is a way of exercising your freedom.

Discrimination should never be acceptable, and it certainly should never be sanctioned by the government. This is an absolute disgrace, pure and simple.

Your right to exercise your freedom of religion, should never impact another persons rights.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I find it ironic that 'diversity' is held in high regard today, but then many of these same people demand or pressure religious schools and organisations 'assimilate' to sexual and moral ethics contrary to that religion's teachings.
Carnot
I don't care that they discriminate against gays as their Invisible Sky Fairy commands them to - but the secular taxpayer should have no part in helping them to do it. Therefore we badly need a Charities Commission that can police whether or not churches and charities are sticking to the rule (ie no discrimination against the law) and if they aren't then they get their tax-exempt status revoked. Simple. They're still allowed to do what they want but not with the support of the Commonwealth taxpayer.

We could potentially save billions from taxing people like the Exclusive Brethren and the Jehovah's Witnesses (who will have no intention of complying with anti-discrimination laws) - but other organisations like the Catholic Church I can see weakening and adhering to the law for no other reason than they need the money.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I find it ironic that 'diversity' is held in high regard today, but then many of these same people demand or pressure religious schools and organisations 'assimilate' to sexual and moral ethics contrary to that religion's teachings.
I don't care that they discriminate against gays as their Invisible Sky Fairy commands them to - but the secular taxpayer should have no part in helping them to do it. Therefore we badly need a Charities Commission that can police whether or not churches and charities are sticking to the rule (ie no discrimination against the law) and if they aren't then they get their tax-exempt status revoked. Simple. They're still allowed to do what they want but not with the support of the Commonwealth taxpayer.

We could potentially save billions from taxing people like the Exclusive Brethren and the Jehovah's Witnesses (who will have no intention of complying with anti-discrimination laws) - but other organisations like the Catholic Church I can see weakening and adhering to the law for no other reason than they need the money.
don_dunstan
Gee Don. I totally agree with you on this one. In fact only public schools should receive government funding. It's all bit like me not finding the public transport on offer to my liking and then demand the govern subsidize a limo to take me to work and back. If you want sky fairy or private education for your precious one then pay for it.

I recently read an interesting article on the student outcomes between private and public schools and there were none. The study did find that students attending private schools were far more likely to pick up more prestigious jobs and further study was being undertaken why this was so. Well I can save them the trouble as the students in say GPS have better contacts and thus pick up better paying jobs.

For that reason I really object to my tax dollars going private schools so that the students have access to a better old boys network
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

with respect to the above comments , I do not think that the issues of religious tolerance , religious institutions charitable works , tolerance of diversity are black and white issues , but are actually rather complex and depend on a variety of factors and individual circumstances ; and I will try and illustrate the potential conundrums below .

These comments should be seen as a broad view , and there doubtless are other related issues which I am unaware of , or that I have not covered here.

1 / Mainstream Christian Churches such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican , Non Conformist ( Baptist, Congregational , Methodist , Wesleyan , Uniting ) and some of the Evangelical Churches encourage their congregations to participate in , or support charitable works which are non discriminatory in their application . They also generally allow non members to visit their churches and / or invite non members to attend their services. On this basis I do not have a problem with their charitable status , subject to my previous comments about the governance of their status. In my view these organisations are generally fulfilling both roles satisfactorily . ( The issue of criminal behaviour of some of their members notwithstanding, and such behaviour should be subject to the laws that apply to us all. )

2 / There are some Christian organisations who restrict both access to their churches, and the distribution of their charitable activities to their members only. I also do not have a problem with this either, subject to the condition that as they are no longer a charitable organisation of general application , they are therefore not entitled to charitable status, and are also not entitled to tax relief or subsidies of any kind.

3 / Religious schools potentially also fall into a number of categories.

( A ) There are some religious schools which are run separately from , but are subject to complying with the "owning" Church.

( B ) there are some religious schools which are a stand alone entity, and are no longer subject to the former "owning" or "sponsoring" Church. ( This generally applies to the most expensive Independent schools such as MLC etc.. )

Both ( A ) & ( B ) "Church" schools are required to take in non Church member students as a condition of their Government funding.

( C ) There are some Church schools which only take Church member students and are not open to non member Church students
( the Plymouth Brethren being a case in point ) , and these schools also receive Government funding.

While I personally think that only Government schools should get Government funding , and all Independent and Church schools should be entirely self funded , the political reality is that Commonwealth Government funding of non Government schools has existed since since 1964 ( 54 years ) , so that is highly unlikely to change any time soon.

On that basis , I think that Commonwealth Government funding of Church and Independent Schools ( A & B ) which have a non discriminatory policy to school enrolments is ok , but I do not think it is ok for the Commonwealth Government to fund any non Government school ( C ) which has a discriminatory student enrolment policy , as this is contrary to the spirit , if not the letter , of a non discrimination policy.

4 / The other problem that needs to be considered is that in the last 30 years or so, State Governments have deliberately not built Government schools in some residential areas , relying entirely on Church based or Independent schools to meet the local educational demand . In these instances, many parents have no choice as to where to send their children, as no Government school is available to enrol their children in. In the main, these areas are generally serviced by Catholic schools that are open to all students.

( You could run the argument that this deliberate policy of non provision of Government schools is de facto support for religious schools , and therefore contrary to the Australian Constitution , however, I am under the impression that the High Court has ruled that State Governments are exempt from that Section of the Constitution. )

5 / And now we come to the issues of diversity and inclusion . Not everyone is comfortable with diversity and inclusion , and this may not have an obvious religious bias , but could just be that some forms of diversity and inclusion are threatening to some people. This is a very difficult issue to both discuss, and can easily degenerate into accusations of prejudice and discrimination , where in some cases it can be a form of fear , and not of discrimination.

For example, State Schools have to take all comers ( something Independent Schools have ways of avoiding , such as a "waiting list" ), so , as part of inclusion, State Schools take in students who have some form of disability. Take the case of the disability student that becomes temporarily violent towards another student/s. Those on the receiving end can become quite frightened of going back to school as a result . (This does happen.) So what choices are open to the parents of a child too frightened of a disabled student to go back to that school ? Especially if there are no alternate school nearby ? This is a problem that parents of State Schools have no control over , but which Independent Schools can control due to the "waiting list".

6 / Now what about single gender schools ? Are single gender schools inherently discriminatory ? Are they less diverse ? Does this mean that only co educational schools are non discriminatory ? What about those students who thrive in a single gender school, yet fail in a co educational school ? ( An issue faced by a work colleague , whose wife and he realised that one of their sons might do better at an all boys school, which, it later transpired, was correct in this particular case. ) What do we do about transgender or fluid gender students ? ( I will ignore the point that chromosonally you are either female or male, with female being the default gender in humans. )

7 / My above comments probably also have application to non Christian institutions as well, but I have very little personal knowledge of those.

For your consideration,

Regards, Radioman.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Morrison has done a complete 180 degree turn on this whole gay students thing and has now said that he will enact legislation to ensure that they can't discriminate. Not the best solution to be telling religious people what to do, there's going to be a lot of people lecturing about how upset their Invisible Sky Fairy is with the horror of having to accept openly gay children into their cosseted and protected school environments.

I'm with Andrew Bolt on this one, what they should have actually done was told schools that discriminate that they can't have any entitlement to Commonwealth funding - easy fixed. Do what you like, just not with secular taxpayer money.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Private schools of any kind will not be clamped down on funding wise on discrimination because the govt spends alot less funding the kids education in private schools than govt schools, many of which are already underfunded. It would have to be pretty extreme for them to get involved.

I have no issue (generally) with schools having discrimination on religious grounds because if nothing else it stops parents doing something stupid like sending a Jewish kid to an Islamic school (to use an extreme case). Sending knowingly gas kids to schools who's core philosophy does not support homosexuality is going to do nothing for the child or the cause for acceptance of homosexuality in the community.

the other point private schools have lots of other discrimination in their enrollment, not all of it written down (because its probably illegal), so where do you start?
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Private schools of any kind will not be clamped down on funding wise on discrimination because the govt spends alot less funding the kids education in private schools than govt schools, many of which are already underfunded. It would have to be pretty extreme for them to get involved.

I have no issue (generally) with schools having discrimination on religious grounds because if nothing else it stops parents doing something stupid like sending a Jewish kid to an Islamic school (to use an extreme case). Sending knowingly gas kids to schools who's core philosophy does not support homosexuality is going to do nothing for the child or the cause for acceptance of homosexuality in the community.

the other point private schools have lots of other discrimination in their enrollment, not all of it written down (because its probably illegal), so where do you start?
RTT_Rules
Private schools can adopt all sorts of capricious rules regarding their version of fairies in the sky but shouldn't expect government funding to support such discrimination.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
As i said before, it costs the govt alot less to fund a child's education in a private school than a govt school. The govt will do nothing of substance to risk having mass switching from from private to govt.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

I find it ironic that 'diversity' is held in high regard today, but then many of these same people demand or pressure religious schools and organisations 'assimilate' to sexual and moral ethics contrary to that religion's teachings.
I don't care that they discriminate against gays as their Invisible Sky Fairy commands them to - but the secular taxpayer should have no part in helping them to do it. Therefore we badly need a Charities Commission that can police whether or not churches and charities are sticking to the rule (ie no discrimination against the law) and if they aren't then they get their tax-exempt status revoked. Simple. They're still allowed to do what they want but not with the support of the Commonwealth taxpayer.

We could potentially save billions from taxing people like the Exclusive Brethren and the Jehovah's Witnesses (who will have no intention of complying with anti-discrimination laws) - but other organisations like the Catholic Church I can see weakening and adhering to the law for no other reason than they need the money.
don_dunstan
I totally agree with you Don. Religious schools can do what they like as long as they don't receive Government funding for what amounts to Discrimination. I do not know why parents would want send their Gay kids to a hostile environment anyway.

Michael
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...Religious schools can do what they like
mejhammers1
Why? In 21st Century Australia, discrimination against an individual based on criteria including sexuality is no longer acceptable and our laws are catching up. After all no one is above 'The Law'.
...I do not know why parents would want send their Gay kids to a hostile environment anyway. Michael
mejhammers1
You have to wonder about a 'Religious' school that creates a hostile environment in the first place. Surely they shouldn’t be allowed to teach kids who live in this Australian society.
Again it’s a reminder to those who deride other cultures and religions as backward that enlightenment is relative.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

@Groundrelay My argument was not whether or not they should discriminate, they should not. My argument is that if they want to go down that route then they can do it sans taxpayers money. I do not want fund schools that discriminate on the flimsy grounds of religious freedom.

Then we can gloat when many of these disgusting bigoted establishments go under and funding can be directed to schools most in need. Governent schools.

Michael
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

@RTTRules the point is that Private schools should get none. Nevertheless if they persist in such bigoted discrimination then funding should be stripped, it's that simple.

Michael
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

As i said before, it costs the govt alot less to fund a child's education in a private school than a govt school. The govt will do nothing of substance to risk having mass switching from from private to govt.
RTT_Rules
I wonder if they'll come a time when some private schools will simply tell the government - "OK, if you to impose your secular values on our schools that are not aligned with our ethos, then go right ahead and either buy the school and run it, or leave us alone"?

I have no doubt a future ALP Govt (more than likely given the opinion polls) will end up having to make that choice....
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Private schools of any kind will not be clamped down on funding wise on discrimination because the govt spends alot less funding the kids education in private schools than govt schools, many of which are already underfunded. It would have to be pretty extreme for them to get involved.
RTT_Rules
It may surprise you find out that the Commonwealth spends a lot less money on state school provision than it does on private and religious schools. Howard increased the funding quite a bit particularly to top tier private schools, where do you think they got the money for the equestrian centres, Olympic swimming pools and rifle ranges? It's the various state governments that pick up most of the tab when your kids go to a state school - not the Commonwealth.
I have no issue (generally) with schools having discrimination on religious grounds because if nothing else it stops parents doing something stupid like sending a Jewish kid to an Islamic school (to use an extreme case).
RTT_Rules

Your analogy is silly and redundant: there's a Catholic girls school down the road from me and there's dozens of Muslim girls going there; Catholic schools are more than happy to accept kids from other religions but they recoil in horror at an openly-gay child? Go figure.

The schools who DO in practice discriminate are the Exclusive Brethren and they won't accept any outsiders though officially they have to accept all-comers because their government funding demands it.

Anyway, I go back to my original point: Why is the taxpayer helping to sustain and perpetuate the Invisible Sky Fairy delusion?
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

in relation to the Exclusive Brethren ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Brethren ) , or another Government subsidised educational or charitable institution . I do not think it appropriate that subsidised organisations can discriminate in the provision of their subsidised services.

The Exclusive Brethren are exclusive in other ways, the Howard Government passed amendments to various Acts that specifically relate to exempting the Brethren from a variety of laws ( including Labour , Child protection , and Education ) that apply to everyone else . I personally find this to be an outrageous betrayal of all Australians who are not Brethren.

Another example being a Commonwealth Grant to a Brethren school to build a School and Community Library ( as in open to non Brethren members of the community in which the school is located ) which in practice is not available to anyone except the school members "due to all books being out on loan" . I have never heard of a library that has permanently lent out every single book .
( Would be happy to be proven wrong on this ! ) ( Broadcast on ABC TV. )

There is also the examples of individual senior ( and wealthy ) Brethren senior members funding political ads in favour of the Howard Government , and after enquiries , the person / s authorising the ads being untraceable ( though not the financiers ) . ( Broadcast on ABC TV .)

My objection in the latter case is that Brethren are Religious Conscientious Objectors to any form of voting ( which is quite legal ) and therefore you effectively have a person or persons who are exempted from Compulsory Voting on religious grounds, ( and who also prohibit their members from voting ) , yet funding an advertising campaign in support of a particular political party.

From my perspective , I have no objection for provisions being made to an exemption to vote on Religious Conscientious Objection , however, by extension , an exemption from voting is also an exemption from actively campaigning in political discourse , you cannot logically have one and not the other.

I would also point out that other religious sects also enjoy Voting exemption on Religious Conscientious Objection grounds , notably the Jehovah's Witnesses , but they do not run political campaigns , nor do they get sect specific legal exemptions.

On a different, but related matter, DonDunstan made comments above to the effect that some "religious" and some "charities" are a cover for fraud. Unfortunately , I agree with DonDunston , that this is the case , one that comes to mind is a Seeing Eye Dog Foundation ( now shut down ) which managed to train one dog in 50 years . Like DonDunston , I agree that a Charities Commission should require the publication of audited accounts , and that Charities should be required to demonstrate that they are complying in an ongoing manner with their charitable status, or be shut down.

( Tax exemption is a form of public subsidy for a particular purpose , and therefore , indirectly , you and me are paying for this , and therefore we , through Parliament , have a right to insist that such indirect subsidies are accounted for. )

I also have an issue with how "charities" are defined. From my perspective a charity is an organisation that raises funds and / or provides welfare services , or the provision of research funding for medical services or medical research. In other words, the provision of goods and services to help those in some need that is not currently met by other means.

Therefore, this excludes historical or other such charities , which , whilst important activities and deserving of not for profit status , this is not , in my view , a charitable pursuit . I also have a problem with charities being GST exempt ( though I am open to reconsidering this ) as I think this is an unfair advantage over an adjacent small business which is still required to collect and process GST payments , despite the fact that the charity and the nearby business may be selling similar products.

I should also point out that I am a member of a historical railway society that has charitable status.

Regards, Radioman.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I think it's fair to say that the way the Exclusive Brethren have behaved at times can make it harder for other organisations.  Disclaimer - I know quite a few people who left the Exclusives over the years.  They have become a bit of a Cult since the 1960s but there are also many 'salt-of-the-earth' people still in it.

Options for Governments:

The Federal and State Governments could simply remove subsidies or funding for schools that don't comply with secular values, but those conservative schools can still operate.  The problem then is that it financially favours liberal schools in comparison with conservative ones.

The other approach would be a hard-line aggressive stance that maintains funding for private schools but forcefully closes conservative schools.  A very Statist approach that won't go down well.

Or it stops funding all private schools and lets them decide (not the Government) how they are run.  (The small-Govt, separation of Church and State approach)

Or it pulls the pin on funding all private schools and shuts down all that don't comply with imposed secular values.  (The send-the-country-broke Socialist solution)
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
"I should also point out that I am a member of a historical railway society that has charitable status."    
Radioman


Inclusive Railthren ?
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
Classic lines today from the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in relation to who to vote for on Saturday in Wentworth, "With the Liberal Party, you know what you're going to get, with the Labor Party, you never know what you're going to get, and with the independents, you certainly don't know what you're going to get" - Ah good old Scomo, always good for a laugh LaughingLaughing

Kind Regards
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I would also point out that other religious sects also enjoy Voting exemption on Religious Conscientious Objection grounds , notably the Jehovah's Witnesses , but they do not run political campaigns , nor do they get sect specific legal exemptions.
Radioman
We had a long discussion on this board recently, I knew for a fact that JW's were on the electoral role because the law says that you have to be enrolled to vote - and I know them well enough that they'd follow that law. I assumed that they simply left their ballot papers blank as you're allowed to do once crossed off for the election but apparently since then I've learned that what the majority do is nominate "religious objection" when their please explain comes from the Electoral Commission. That's all they have to do.
On a different, but related matter, DonDunstan made comments above to the effect that some "religious" and some "charities" are a cover for fraud. Unfortunately , I agree with DonDunston , that this is the case , one that comes to mind is a Seeing Eye Dog Foundation ( now shut down ) which managed to train one dog in 50 years . Like DonDunston , I agree that a Charities Commission should require the publication of audited accounts , and that Charities should be required to demonstrate that they are complying in an ongoing manner with their charitable status, or be shut down.
Radioman
There's heaps of them out there, Radioman, I should know I've worked for some in the past. I worked for a fairly large national charity years ago when I was living in Melbourne and at one stage I was privy to all sorts of information about the lurks and perks the management team were paying themselves - their basic salaries were in the six figures and then they got a top shelf car, private health insurance and all sorts of other goodies on top of that. None of those people were particularly good at their jobs either, all they ever did was network and schmooze with the government to get more money out of them and try and generate grants from the private sector but I guess that in itself involves a some degree of skill.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I would also point out that other religious sects also enjoy Voting exemption on Religious Conscientious Objection grounds , notably the Jehovah's Witnesses , but they do not run political campaigns , nor do they get sect specific legal exemptions.
We had a long discussion on this board recently, I knew for a fact that JW's were on the electoral role because the law says that you have to be enrolled to vote - and I know them well enough that they'd follow that law. I assumed that they simply left their ballot papers blank as you're allowed to do once crossed off for the election but apparently since then I've learned that what the majority do is nominate "religious objection" when their please explain comes from the Electoral Commission. That's all they have to do.
don_dunstan
Does anyone know anyone who was actually fined for not voting?

Of the few times I haven't, I never even been chased.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
So I hear the Government stuffed up big time today, they voted on a Pauline Hanson motion in the Senate last night, without reading the finer details of it, It's been all resolved now, but what an embarrassment for the Sco-mo lead team! - Just to emphasize what I'm talking about - https://www.9news.com.au/2018/10/16/09/55/pauline-hanson-okay-to-be-white-motion-mathias-cormann-coalition-support-blunder

kind regards
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
This is sure to send the anti-Semites apopletic:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-16/australia-could-move-embassy-to-jerusalem/10379602
Carnot

And because of this stupid idea which serves no other purpose than to appease the USA Indonesia have now threatened Australia with a trade embargo.

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