Tell Federal MPs: "Hands off our Schools!"

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Last week, we launched a new campaign asking our federal MPs to stand up for the rights of faith-based schools – and the rights of parents who choose these schools for their children.

The response from AFC supporters so far has been encouraging, with tens of thousands of emails already sent via our online webform.

This is a good start, but it’s crucial we maintain the pressure on our representatives.

The last few days have seen a strange impasse reached in Canberra. The Federal Government has apparently prepared legislation to remove faith-based schools’ ability to discriminate against gay students.

Labor, meanwhile, has not yet committed to supporting the legislation, either because they disagree with some of the provisions, or because the bill will not also remove schools’ rights over hiring and firing staff, or both.

To be honest, this disagreement is welcome because it allows more time for people concerned about freedom of religion and belief to have their say.

But this possibly brief window is only helpful if we make full use of it!

If you haven't already done so, please click here to tell your local federal MP and senators: “Hands off our schools!”

According to polling conducted during last year’s same-sex “marriage” plebiscite, 62% of voters wanted parliament to provide legal guarantees for freedom of conscience, belief and religion if same-sex “marriage” was legislated. In contrast, only 18% disagreed.

This is the message that needs to be urgently heard in Canberra – and this information is included in the message to MPs from this campaign.

As our Director, Damian Wyld, told Vision Radio last week, what we need is positive reinforcement of our key freedoms, not more tinkering with anti-discrimination legislation that grants us a handful of “exemptions” like crumbs from a table.

And, as Damian also said, while this issue might seem restricted to schools and religion, it is so much broader. ALL our freedoms are at stake in the war on “discrimination” – and we are all ultimately affected. So, it’s time to draw a line in the sand.

CLICK HERE to tell your local federal MP and senators: “Hands off our schools!”

It’s crucial that we stand together on behalf of faith-based schools, and, ultimately, on behalf of our freedom of religion and belief.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

The Australian Family Coalition



P.S. Along with taking action, please click the button below to share this campaign on social media:

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BREAKING NEWS IN FREEDOMS CAMPAIGN






Dear........

We’ve contacted you a few times recently regarding the rights of parents and faith-based schools, but I’ve got some really important news to share.

It seems assured that the Parliament will remove faith-based schools’ rights to “discriminate” against students based on their sexuality – as though it were actually a widespread issue.

Labor, the Greens and others are pushing even further. They want to scrap the right of faith-based schools to hire and fire in accordance with their beliefs.

But here’s the really interesting bit. In the last few days, the Government’s proposed changes regarding students have been leaked – and it’s not exactly bad news.

The AFC’s recent campaign to MPs, entitled “Hands off our Schools”, has stressed that anti-discrimination laws have it all wrong. We need to stop talking about some supposed desire to “discriminate” against children and instead speak positively about the right of students and parents to choose schools that reflect their own beliefs and values.

Amazingly, the Government’s leaked changes would seem to permit just that.

They would amend the federal Sex Discrimination Act to remove the ability of schools to discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation, and would replace with a new ability – the right of schools to impose a: “condition, requirement or practice… in good faith in order to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion or creed.”

The school should also have: “regard to the best interest of the student”.

While this proposed new system may not be perfect (indeed, individual cases could well end up before courts or anti-discrimination bodies) it’s a significant improvement over much of the hyped political rhetoric of late.

It’s also a clear sign that your efforts are making an impact. In the past 8 days alone, over 30,000 emails have been sent to parliamentarians across the country. That level of community concern cannot be ignored.

This is why I need to urgently ask for your help.

The immediate issue may concern schools only, but the flow-own effect to other religious institutions – to say nothing of our own individual freedoms more broadly – would be considerable.

We can’t afford to rest now. Even though sympathetic MPs are clearly listening, we need to reinforce them with weight of numbers – and we need to convince other MPs to get on board.

Our campaign is making a real impact, but running it and reaching more like-minded people comes with costs.

Will you help continue the campaign for freedom by making a donation today?
In the past week, I’ve had several AFC supporters contact me, wondering whether our emails and calls to politicians make a noticeable difference. Given what the Government now seems to be planning, I’d say they’re definitely listening!

But they need shoring up – and they’re not the only parties in the Parliament.

Consider the response of Labor’s shadow attorney-general, Mark Dreyfus, to the Government’s plan. He didn’t even pretend to hide his feelings, stating that: “The Government has stuffed this up.”

We can’t let attitudes like this squash the right of parents to choose how their children will be educated.

We can’t allow schools to get steamrolled today, leaving charities and even churches themselves as the next targets.

We must maintain our efforts now.

Please click HERE to help us reach MPs in even greater numbers.
Earlier this year, we were able to have the Attorney-General, Christian Porter, presented with over 14,000 signatories in favour of religious freedom at very short notice.

How amazing would it be if even half of that number were to contact their local federal MP and state or territory senators in just the next few days and weeks?

Working together, we’ve done it before. I’m sure that, with your help, we can do it again.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best wishes,



Damian Wyld
Director
Australian Family Coalition


P.S. This issue is likely to remain in the news for the foreseeable future – but we don’t want our rights and freedoms to be used as a political football.

Please click here to help take this campaign far and wide!

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DIRECTOR'S UPDATE

Dear ...........

We wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this email from Damian Wyld a few days ago.

AFC supporters nationally have sent 50,000 emails to federal MPs in the last few weeks, but we need your help to encourage more people to get involved.

Please see Damian’s email below for more information on how you can help.

Kind regards,

The AFC Team






Dear friend,

Exactly one year ago today, the result of the marriage postal vote was announced.

Sitting in a function room in Sydney, I could sense the emotion of the “No” campaign team and volunteers around me as the “Yes” win was announced.

We were, of course, very disappointed by the result – and equally anxious about the future. We knew the very real consequences that would follow if marriage was legally redefined.

Throughout the campaign we were mocked for suggesting that changing marriage would affect society at large, but fast forward 12 months and we’ve been proven right.

Perhaps nowhere are the consequences clearer right now than the battle over schools’ and parents’ rights regarding children’s education.

In a cunningly orchestrated move, the Ruddock review – which was meant to protect religious freedom – was leaked in a move designed to manufacture a crisis that needed fixing.

Faith-based schools have no track record of expelling same-sex attracted students, but it’s a convenient narrative that assists Labor and the Greens to also move against schools’ rights over employment.

I can’t emphasise enough that, regardless of whether you have any connection to a faith-based school, this is a challenge we must all rise to meet.

Let’s be perfectly clear: we are not seeking a right to “discriminate”. We are advocating for faith-based schools’ rights to maintain, live by and impart their values and ethos.

What’s all too clear is that if we allow politicians to strip these rights away, charities and churches will be next. And why stop there? Religious freedom is only one aspect of our liberties, with freedom of speech and other rights also at risk.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a torrent of emails to federal MPs through the AFC online campaign platform. I’m happy to report that we’re now passing the milestone of 50,000 emails sent!

This is a fantastic achievement in a short space of time – and all emails are targeted directly at the sender’s local MP and senators – but we need to do more. That’s why I need to ask for your help.

Will you help us reach MANY more Australians to be a voice for freedom by donating today?
I spoke with a senator recently who confirmed that our campaign is making an impact.

Imagine what we could do with better resourcing. Unlike “progressive” groups like GetUp!, we don’t receive funding from unions or foreign activist organisations. We are solely funded by supporters like you.

If every person reading this email were to chip in, even modestly, we’d have a war chest to campaign for freedom.

Your donation of $25, $50, $100 or more would make a HUGE difference to our campaign right now.
As I’ve said before, I know there are many demands on your finances, but we won’t get a second chance on an issue like this.

Our schools matter, our children’s and grandchildren’s education matters, and our freedom matters.

Please help us amplify the voices of many concerned Australians by CLICKING HERE to give to the campaign today.
Much has happened in the 12 months since the marriage vote, but our determination remains as strong as ever. With your help, we can keep making a difference.

Thank you for your support.

Best wishes,



Damian Wyld
Director
Australian Family Coalition



P.S. Moves are already afoot to legislate over schools’ rights in the federal parliament. We really need to step up the campaign today, so chipping in to help would be incredibly timely if you are able. Here’s the link again:

https://www.austfamily.com.au/hands_off_our_schools_thankyou
 
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