What We DoWho We AreGet InvolvedContact UsHome
Advocacy
Awareness
Events
Preamble & Objectives
Links

Preamble

Religious liberty is a fundamental human right, second only to the right to life. People generally are confronted with questions about the meaning of life and the source of ultimate values as an inescapable part of being human. These are religious questions, even though people come to different conclusions about them, including conclusions which may lead them to atheism or agnosticism.

Having the freedom to search for answers to these questions and to live publicly and privately in accordance with the answers they find, is an essential part of human fulfilment and happiness. It gives rise to other important freedoms, such as the rights to freedom of expression, thought and conscience. Religious liberty is not a second-order right. It is one of the foundations on which many of our other rights depend.

Daily, individuals wrestle with questions about life's purpose, their place in the cosmos, and the origins and destiny of the world. Typically they undertake this search not only alone, but with others, in community. Different faiths and organisations offer answers and teachings on the ultimate truths of existence, and encourage their members to live out what they have learnt in a variety of ways.

Religious groups and individuals also make important contributions to public discussions about values and the direction our society should take in areas such as human rights, social justice, family life, the treatment of refugees, industrial relations, and beginning and end of life questions.

Provided that the truth they profess, teach, propagate and represent respects the religious liberty of others, and does not call for violence, cause harm to public order or entail unlawful acts, then the religious liberty of individuals, churches and faith traditions should not be unreasonably or unjustly restricted.

We believe that a Religious Liberty Centre devoted to the protection of these rights in Australia is essential.

 

Objectives

The Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty has been established to defend religious freedom as one of the foundations of human rights and a strong, democratic and pluralistic society. It does not believe that every individual, group, cult, sect and organisation is right, or that their beliefs are equally valid or true. But it does believe that we all have a right to our own answers, even if others think they are wrong.

Religious liberty is not confined to churches or religious groups and associations. An agnostic or indeed an atheist may come to their particular positions after deep reflections about the fundamental truths of life.

Some erect icons or display symbols representative of their beliefs. People sometimes clothe themselves with garments, wear symbols, tattoos or adopt other methods of publicly displaying their belief.

Just as importantly, people live out their faith through co-operative action to provide services and support to others, typically in the form of helping the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged. Education, community gatherings for worship, and spiritual counselling are other important services these groups provide for the benefit of the wider community.

The Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty will develop public awareness of the importance of this absolute right to engage in the search for meaning and to live out the answers we come to publicly and privately. This is a fundamental right which every person has enshrined in numerous human rights documents, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In Australia the right to religious liberty is enshrined at the federal level in the Australian Constitution at section 116. The main legislative instrument giving protection to this right is the Commonwealth Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986. This Act emphasises that a person shall not, amongst other factors, be discriminated against on the grounds of religion. The Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty believes that the law should permit discrimination for what is good.

The Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty will uphold the right to religious liberty for individuals and religious organisations.

Where unjust or unreasonable restrictions have been imposed on those who wish to publicly manifest their faith and fundamental beliefs, the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty will assist with advice, advocacy and legal action where necessary.

The Centre will defend the rights of those who bring their religious values into the public square through participation in public debate. It will also defend the rights of religious organisations to provide services to others in a way that is consistent with their beliefs and values.

The Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty is committed to strengthening democratic life in Australia and to ensuring that genuine pluralism flourishes in our country.

 
  Site by Jetaim Enterprises Copyright 2007 · All rights reserved · Privacy policy