In a fiery opinion piece published in The Australian today, Archbishop Glenn Davies said recent verbal attacks on Christians showed how people with a “minority view” were trying to swamp public debate with an “introspective, authoritarian denial of free speech.”
“What kind of diversity is so monochrome that it does not allow differing expressions of opinion in the debate?” he asked.
The archbishop was referring to the cases Mark Allaby, an IBM managing partner, and Steve Chavura, a Macquarie University lecturer, who were both on the board Lachlan Macquarie Institute, an organisation that ‘helps Christians develop into public leaders ‘through internships and courses.
Gay rights activists have targeted Allaby’s and Chavura’s employers – IBM and Macquarie University publicly support various equality programs – in an attempt to force the men from their jobs, arguing that their employment was incompatible with the companies’ support of the same-sex marriage campaign.
This follows a move by Coopers Brewery to distance itself from a video that featured Liberal MPs debating marriage equality. The South Australian brewer had sponsored the video alongside the Bible Society, but backed down after a number of pubs took the beer off tap in protest.
In his comment in The Australian today, Davies said that these attacks were examples of the “narrow-minded, freedom-restricting carping” that the same-sex marriage debate had descended to.
Davies argued instead that “true diversity” meant living in a country in which he was free to express his religious beliefs and others were free to contradict his views, all without fear of persecution or intimidation.
“That is true freedom of speech and freedom of religion of which we ought to be justly proud and that I would happily defend with my life,” he wrote.
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