None so intolerant

Wednesday 29 July 2009 7:34 AM

Peter Costello is right (Opinion, 29/7) - not a statement I've commonly made. "According to these (state government) lawyers, a religious conscience leads to prejudice." This surely is the fundamental absurdity of the entire so-called "anti-discrimination" proposition currently levelled at the religious school sector. When in the history of this nation have Christian schools proven to be training grounds for young sociopaths? Where is the practical evidence that children educated at such schools turn into intolerant adults? With no evidence on offer, we face the real possibility of legislated social change on the basis of unsubstantiated theory. Did someone mention blind ideological prejudice?

More might be said. For instance, there's the crafted use of charged language. What was once freedom of choice - a pillar of liberal democracy - is now cast as "discrimination" if exercised by the wrong crowd. If applicants for a position are screened according to their commitment to a company's culture and values, that's good management. If a religious body does the same, that's prejudice.

The inanity might be highlighted by some parallel propositions:

  1. Let's call it "discrimination" when a major political party declines to endorse a candidate of contrary political persuasion.
  2. Let's call it "prejudice" when the ADF refuses to grant field command to a confessing pacifist.

None so intolerant as tolerance crusaders.