This story is a satirical mirror of an absurd story about an LGBTIQAX+ activist feeling oppressed by a Christian Uber driver which was published on “10 daily15 Dec 2019. Very little has been changed except the group identities of the characters and their perspectives. Please make sure you read both stories to fully appreciate the contrasts to & hypocrisy of the original. [click here to read]

It was sometime after 8pm that I called for an Uber after a long day at work.

As I got into the car, the first thing I noticed was the big rainbow flag hanging from the rear-view mirror.

As a Caucasian Australian with a European name, it is almost inevitable that a driver will assume I’m Australian before starting friendly conversation.

And so, in a suit on my way home from the office, completely unmarked by any outward sign of difference, my driver assumed that his fellow white Australian would agree with his opposition to a biblical definition of marriage.

He didn’t know and I didn’t feel safe — trapped in that car for 25 minutes — saying anything about my traditional Christian beliefs. While my driver felt perfectly safe to express his post-Christian, homosexual (‘my husband and children…’), Australian identity, I hid my Christian one.

Some say that people feel unable to express their sexuality in today’s Australia — that we need to protect better homosexual rights. Some say that those of same-sex attraction are shuddering silently in fear of speaking their truths (as their voices are syndicated in media outlets across the country).

I understand the profound oppressiveness of feeling unable to express your true self.

I understood it for years, before I summoned the courage to speak my truth to the loving Green-voting parents who I feared disappointing.

And I understood it most clearly in that Uber. Trapped in a car, with a driver who knew where I lived, I kept silent and hoped that every traffic light would just turn green.

Nothing stings like injustice — the injustice of having your dignity stripped from you in the most mundane of activities. In that moment, it didn’t matter that I too was a taxpaying, adult Australian — because I was Christian, and as my driver reminded me, my equal citizenship is always subject to debate.

In the absence of any Religious Discrimination Bill, the various Human Rights and Anti Discrimination tribunals stand behind every driver who wants to say disrespectful things to a customer cloaked in the respectability of “equality” and “tolerance”.

They selectively criminalise certain statements of belief, claiming open Christianity in workplaces, schools and public commercial spaces denies dignity for women, people with disabilities, people of minority faith, gay Australians and others.

In other words, every single Australian discrimination law, protecting against discrimination on every single ground, enables religious bigotry dressed as justified concern.

The various tribunals cancel out protections for thousands of Australians who are the target of various and conflicting fundamentalist secular views. They arm a small yet loud minority of people who want to — and already — say disrespectful things to us in our workplaces, schools, shops, hospitals and on public transport. This is not the Australia my parents and I came to, or helped build.

Christian Australians know more than most the destructive impact of breaking us up into liberal and conservative, and further into pro ‘equality’ and anti ‘equality’.

We have felt the sting of injustice when our faiths were called ‘backward’, ‘oppressive’, and ‘breeding grounds for youth suicide’.

And we felt the sting of injustice when angry young people on a street in cities around Australia rioted and terrorised our private meetings because we believed what Christians have always believed since Jesus affirmed God’s design for marriage from the beginning.

So, of course, we know and treasure the freedoms that Australia provides for us all. But those freedoms are enjoyed by all of us because we recognise that we all have a responsibility to treat each other well, leave the judging to God (if you believe what He plainly says in His Word) and ensure we all can enjoy the cities — or a drive home after work — without someone taking away your dignity while the law looks on, protecting one but not the other.

That is why, if we are to have Anti Discrimination laws, they must be fair and balanced and protect all Australians, including people of faith or no faith, equally.

 

READ NEXT: “Lies, damned lies, and anti Religious Freedom propaganda”, a commentary on the article which inspired this one.

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