John Howard calls for religious schools to have anti-discrimination exemption

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The former Australian prime minister John Howard has reignited the religious freedom debate, arguing schools should be able to hire teachers based on whether they accept the beliefs the school is based on in the same way political parties favour staff who believe in a party’s ideals.

In a presentation to Christian organisation Family Voice Australia on Tuesday evening, Howard also called for “people in authority” to more actively oppose “woke culture” that is trying to “alter society” in Australia.

Howard, speaking on the topic of freedom of speech, said one issue that had arisen out of the same-sex marriage postal survey – for which he publicly advocated a no vote – that needed to be addressed was the rights for faith-based schools to teach the principles of their faith.