Again, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the religious right are banging on about freedom of religion. They can point to no restriction on any right to believe and practise religion, providing it does not interfere with others. What they really want is the right to discriminate and harass those they disagree with.
If a baker refuses to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, that is blatant discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and has nothing to do with religion.
It is notable that we heard nothing of protection of religious belief before the people of Australia voted to end discrimination of gay couples. What the religious right want is a back-door legal restoration of their freedom to harass at the expense of the freedom of their victims.
But those who want to use their religious beliefs to oppress others had better be careful what they wish for.
If people are able to interfere with others on the basis of religion, what is to stop a Muslim from legally killing an infidel who insults the prophet, which is clearly a tenet of his religion.
David Corbett, Albury
Don’t go disgracefully
There is only one positive to take away from the very distasteful antics of Serena Williams at the US Open final on the weekend.
Despite the fact she is the best female tennis player of all time, it turns out that she is in fact human like the rest of us. And she is guilty of the awfully human trait we all have where having done the wrong thing, we make the hole we have dug for ourselves so much deeper by refusing to back down. And blaming others.
This was not a fight on behalf of womankind. It was an unsporting outburst that did nothing for women or the game. In fact, it undermines genuine cases of sexism against women and there are of course, plenty of them. But she has hurt the cause, not helped it.
As Serena delivered her scathing tirade at umpire Carlos Ramos, I don’t think there was any doubt as to who was in the role of bully and who was in the role of victim. It’s a shame Williams could not see that once the heat of the moment had passed, and issue the appropriate apologies.
I understand her will to win is strong and has made her the champion that she is. But if this is the path that Serena Williams is going to take in her quest for even more Grand Slam success, perhaps it is time for her to consider retirement.
Robert McKenzie, Albury
Parties lose appeal
Is it any wonder that the people are turning away from the major parties, as shown by the Wagga voters in the weekend byelection.
Why would you vote for a candidate who is hamstrung by having to toe the line to protect their own position. Sussan Ley had spoken strongly and impressively about her desire to address the issue of cruel live exports. But her recent promotion by Scott Morrison now means she is not in a position to follow through, and not in a position to say much at all any more.
For players in both the Liberal and the Labor parties, doing the right thing is never as important as doing the right thing by your party. You really can’t blame voters from being disillusioned, and turning away from that sort of representation.