RELIGIOUS FREEDOM & CHRISTIAN HERITAGE
CDP recognises that the early settlers who came to Australia were Christian men and women and that the Commonwealth of Australia was established on Christian principles, as evidenced by the preamble of our Australian Constitution (“humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God”) and the symbolism of the four crosses on our Australian flag.
CDP believes that successive Federal, State and Local governments across Australia have a responsibility to uphold the Christian principles at the root of our national heritage.
CDP supports the retention of Christian prayers at the outset of each daily parliamentary session.
CDP believes that governments have a duty to allow the Church to continue to preach the Gospel unhindered.
Although religion is sometimes misused to channel violence or hatred in our communities, CDP is opposed to laws that prevent or hinder anyone from living peaceably in accordance with his religious beliefs (for instance, antidiscrimination laws should not be used to force a Christian into renting accommodation to a homosexual couple).
CDP supports the right of Christian schools to continue to teach Christian doctrine in their curriculum (for example Creation) and to freely choose the staff they wish to employ. CDP believes these important privileges are critical to retaining and protecting the Christian ethos upon which these schools were founded.
CDP supports Christian religious education in State schools whilst acknowledging the right of parents to opt out.
CDP believes that the adherents of other religions are entitled to freedom of worship and expression provided that they also accept that Christian beliefs and practices can continue to be upheld freely. Adherents of non Christian religions should recognise that in case of conflict between their tradition and Christian traditions, the Christian practice prevails out of respect for Australia’s well established Christian heritage. For example, CDP supports the observance of Christmas and Easter by State schools and local governments.
CDP opposes any formal legal recognition of sharia law or aboriginal tribal law and supports one single body of laws for all Australians, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.
MEDIA, INTERNET AND CENSORSHIP
Media, including television, films and the internet, play an increasingly influential role in the formation of public opinion and taste. Children, including teenagers, are especially vulnerable to media influence. Aggressive and pornographic media is now making inroads into mainstream advertising and merchandising.
Society has a moral duty to limit what can be conveyed by the media in order to protect children and the whole community from what is harmful, especially violent and pornographic content.
Pornography demeans women and corrupts men. It contributes to the dissolution of families and devastates the lives of children who are exposed to it. There is no place for pornography in any medium. This is especially the case with hardcore pornography CDP believes that the X-rated classification for films should be abolished and Commonwealth legislation introduced to prohibit the production and sale of these films in the ACT and the Northern Territory.
CDP affirms that mandatory filtering at Internet service provider level should be introduced to exclude all material which would be classified X or refused classification. The scheme should also provide a family friendly internet service with no material that would be rated MA15+ or higher. CDP supports increased police resources to Internet monitoring in order to detect child sex offenders.
CDP considers that the classification scheme for films and computer games should be revised to ensure that there is a G classification which parents can completely rely on as indicating that the material is suitable for children of all ages
CDP believes that the R18+ classification should exclude any depiction of actual sex or any implied depictions of sex with children. The highest classification for computer games should remain as MA15+.
CDP affirms that public broadcasters have an obligation to ensure balanced reporting on all issues and steps to enforce this requirement should be taken.
All holders of television and radio licenses enjoy a privilege which carries responsibilities.
As industry self-regulation is not working, CDP supports the introduction of a new scheme with greater enforcement powers.
Reality television is just one genre where there has been flagrant abuse.
CDP believes that the standards for television and radio content should be rigorously enforced with significant penalties for breaches, including loss of license, imposed by the appropriate authority.
CDP affirms also that standards for television and radio should take account of the potential that exists to influence children, and therefore reflect and support the values of Australian families.
CDP considers that the banning of tobacco advertising is an illustration of the recognized impact of TV and radio content on children’s values, beliefs and behaviour.