A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pastors reject apology order over Koran comments

In Australia they are a little bit ahead of us in the UK. Here's a taster of down-under religious "don't frighten the horses" legislation.

A Christian pastor found guilty of vilifying muslims says he is prepared to go to jail in protest over Victoria's racial tolerance laws. Two pastors involved with the Catch the Fire Ministries were last year found to have vilified Muslims at a Christian conference, and on a website, by suggesting the Koran promotes violence and terrorism. The tribunal says an apology is appropriate. It has ordered the pastors to publish a statement acknowledging their legal breach and has requested an undertaking the comments would not be repeated.

The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney says any attempt to introduce a religious vilification law in New South Wales could endanger free speech. Bishop Robert Forsyth says people should be allowed to conduct rigorous religious discourse. "But I don't want the law to enforce it because what will happen is what you are seeing in Victoria, is a person's deeply held conviction - sincerely held - will find themselves up before the courts for what is no more than just strong speech," he said. "And the effect will be to cower and prevent people from criticising us Christians, for example, or others. And I don't think the law should do that."

Hear, hear to that - and amen!! Are you listening, Paul Goggins!!




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