Statements by Senators – Australian Law Reform Commission, 27 March 2023

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:48): Christian schools educate almost one-third of Australian schoolchildren, but, thanks to the Australian Law Reform Commission, Christian schools are under threat. The ALRC wants to force religious schools, colleges and universities to teach secular ideas on sex and gender. The ALRC wants to make religious schools abandon beliefs about human sexuality that have been around for thousands of years. In place of those sacred beliefs, they want to turn Christian schools into a mouthpiece for their own woke fads that weren’t even in fashion five years ago. They want to convert Christian schools into hypocrisy factories full of people who say one thing but do another. They have Christian schools in their crosshairs, but, make no mistake, their discrimination will hurt Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and other religious schools.

The ALRC has decided that religion is just some afterthought for religious schools, but the secular has triumphed over the sacred. What a joke. Imagine forcing the Labor Party to hire staff who openly oppose Labor’s platform. Imagine forcing the Liberal Party to hire Adam Bandt. Imagine forcing the Greens to hire a staunch patriot and staunch conservative like me. It doesn’t work. We would never tolerate this kind of compulsion in political parties, so why force it on our nation’s religious schools? Let’s look at the facts. Religious schools exist to foster communities of faith. Their purpose isn’t just to educate but to show students how faith speaks to every facet of life, including sexuality. For religious schools, religion is not an afterthought. A Christian school’s ethos is not just for sprinkles on top of a secular education. Their beliefs are their heartbeat; it’s the very reason these schools exist. Everyone in this place should reject the ALRC’s woke bigotry.