Letter in the Hobart Mercury, January 19 2022:
EVERYTHING HIS WAY
ARCHBISHOP Julian Porteous is all over the place on free speech. Last week he said Tasmania’s law against humiliating, intimidating and bullying behaviour needs to be overridden by Canberra so he can “feel comfortable” to “respectfully” express his religious views.
I don’t recall Jesus insisting on the right to humiliate people, so what does the Archbishop want to say that he can’t say now? One clue might be in the booklet he distributed against marriage equality that suggested same-sex marriage will “mess with kids”. This claim prompted a complaint that was subsequently dropped when the Archbishop refused to amend the disrespectful phrase, and the booklet is still distributed today.
The Archbishop has silenced members of his own church, including Father Frank Brennan whose invitation to speak in Hobart was revoked because he supported marriage equality.
It seems the Archbishop wants everything his own way: he wants to define what is “respectful”, he only wants free speech when he is talking, and he wants a special exemption from laws the rest of us have to abide by. We should not allow the law to be made by people who think they are above it.