Andrew Wicks

About Andrew Wicks

Andrew Wicks is a country boy with a penchant for movies and sport. After a few years working in health, he decided he'd rather work with today's youth and studied arts and education in rural NSW. His main interests are religion, health and lairy shirts.

Morrison has made “religious freedom” a top priority – this makes no sense

According to Mathias Cormann, the top priority of Scott Morrison is protecting our right to choose a religion. This is a venture in folly, as we already possess that freedom. We should see this for what it is – a smokescreen.



Mathias Cormann has fronted the media this morning to redouble his cabinet’s desire. The top priority, religious freedom.

“I do believe it’s a pressing issue to protect Australia’s right to religious freedom,” Cormann stated, as SBS noted that “Prime Minister Scott Morrison intends to introduce a new Religious Discrimination Act by the end of this year.”

Cormann refused to add anything else to that topic, offering misdirection, stating that the “must pass” tax cuts are his focus this week, mentioning that “…the prime minister and others have made very clear that this is something that we will pursue through legislation by the end of this year…at the right time, the attorney-general will obviously explain all of the ins and outs of what we’re proposing to do.”

What we have here is the biggest nothing on the table. Something so opaque, something so needlessly destructive, something that will invariably draw our focus.

At its root, it’s fiction combined with nonsense. The fact that Scott Morrison fears a great atheist evil stopping the beliefs of the people is at odds with reality. We already possess freedom of religion in this country, probably best exampled by the Prime Minister, who is the leader of a secular state despite being a member of the Pentecostal Church, a religion that believes prayer is as equal as medical treatment, one that groups to speak in tongues. This, mind you, didn’t disqualify him from taking the top job. If that were the case, the need for religious freedom laws would be a legitimate issue.

As it stands in this country, we have no barrier between us and faith. In fact, the only true gripe our citizens have, are those of the Muslim faith, and the Islamophobes who wilfully picket against the construction of a mosque. But somehow, I believe those people will be left out, or not discussed.

What these laws are, is a smokescreen, one thrown out in the middle of this culture war that has been authored in Canberra.

What we need, truly, is movement on actions that matter. In no particular order, I list the things that need grave attention: Support for refugees, climate change, the wealth gap, homelessness, pensioners in poverty, the minimum wage, home affordability, the cost of education, welfare, aged care, our domestic violence epidemic, funding our mental health system, the institution of a political watchdog, the rights of privacy for the general citizen, protection of journalists and whistleblowers.

Pick one of those. Don’t hide behind this cross you’ve erected.



Share via