Editorial: Is this what religious freedom looks like?

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Ryan Williams from Lancashire England posted this photo of himself to Facebook last night. “I never thought in my life that I would get beaten up for being GAY!” he said. We don’t know the circumstances of the violent physical attack on this young man. It certainly bears the hallmarks of a gay bashing. What we do know is the connection between the hate speech defended by those who cry for ‘religious freedom’ and attacks such as this. We know because it’s there among the over 20,000 comments on his post.

“It will heal. Hell is forever,” says James Smith.

“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” parrots Lamar Banks.

Cris Hernandez tells us “God comes to judge us at the end.”

While Alan Fittro instructs, “Read your bible sometime.”

Joseph Bindom blames Sodom and Gomorrah, of course.

Over and over, religious commenters ignore the violence inflicted on a fellow human being to school him in their personal religious beliefs as justification for his beating.

Sadly, these are just a few examples. We could post hundreds, perhaps thousands.

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Threats against Ryan Williams

Still others threaten more punishment.

“Where are you located? I want to also beat you!” threatens Alale J Jordan.

“Stop bitchn ya pussy,” says Lindsay Barrett who thought gay bashing insufficient punishment.

“In other countries, U would off gotten Stoned, chopped up, or killed For loving cock.”

Jozlyn Wright posts a meme of an avenging Jesus bearing an automatic weapon.

“No more Mr Nice Jesus.”

Once again, there were many other posts in a similar vein, threatening Ryan Williams with all sorts of violence.

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Religious Responsibility

Christians who want religious freedom legislation, not to protect themselves from genuine persecution, but to allow themselves to persecute LGBTIQ people, need to think about religious responsibility.

Words have consequences.

And where is this persecution you speak of?

Very obviously, some people think it okay to maim or kill LGBTIQ people on behalf of Christianity.

But when did we last hear of an LGBTIQ person beating up or murdering a Christian on behalf of sexuality or identity?

Come to think of it, when did LGBTIQ people last organise to imprison or otherwise punish people for their religious beliefs?

When did LGBTIQ people last organise to burn Christians at the stake?

Was there ever a war where LGBTIQ people invaded a country to force their beliefs on the inhabitants?

Did some country ever insist all citizens become LGBTIQ or face either exile or death?

Perhaps it escaped my attention that LGBTIQ people at one stage organised to prevent Christians marrying in their faith?

Anti-LGBTIQ Christians seem slow to understand that LGBTIQ people remember organised religion did all this and more.

We can not trust you with more ‘religious freedom’ to attack us, because you are yet to demonstrate any religious responsibility.

The only ‘religious persecution’ seen of late in Australia consisted of a very wealthy man denied the opportunity to continue in his extremely well renumerated job because he failed to live up to the possibly onerous conditions of his employment.

Here is the news.

Big pay packets generally come with big conditions.

Christians, in general, suffer no consequences in employment in Australia for their faith.

However, the same is not true of LGBTIQ people.

Already, some Christian institutions can lawfully deny employment to LGBTIQ Australians.

Now, some Christians ask for even more opportunity to discriminate under cover of ‘religious freedom’.

As we said earlier, we don’t know yet what happened to Ryan Williams and the circumstance of the alleged gay bashing.

But we see the result of religious freedom without religious responsibility.

It is never freedom when you only want it for yourself.

And here’s one last comment from Ryan William’s post.


A few days after the attack, police declared it a hate crime.

In September, police announced an arrest of a man over the attack on Ryan.


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