The federal religious discrimination bill apparently has the support of a group of Queensland Satanists, who look forward to their new freedoms under the law.
The Noosa Temple of Satan’s submission to the government about the bill has gone viral, drawing attention to the risks of legally enshrining the right to discriminate.
“Satanism has a message so powerful that we do not need laws to protect it,” the tongue-in-cheek submission reads.
“Simply put, Noosa Satanists feel the proposed religious discrimination bill is completely unnecessary and a waste of this federal government’s time.
“Having said that, should this parliament vote to enact this legislation, then Satanists across Australia will aggressively use this law to ensure that we can access all the privileges it guarantees.”
The Sunshine Coast group have vowed to use their potential new freedoms to preach in the streets and install Satanist chaplains in schools, with the government’s support.
“Satan has great plans for the future of Noosa and Australia, and we intend to use every avenue available to us to reach our goals,” the submission continues.
The religious discrimination bill would allow discrimination against LGBTIQ people and other marginalised groups on the grounds of religion.
Women, Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ people, people of minority faiths, and other groups could face discrimination and abuse without legal recourse.
LGBTIQ activist Robin Bristow said the Noosa Temple of Satan, founded last year, is concerned with social issues including personal freedoms, euthanasia, and abortion.
It is part of Satanic Australia, whose members “revere Satan as a metaphorical figure who symbolises rebellion against tyrannical or arbitrary authority: personal sovereignty and rational scepticism”.
“Unlike other religions that rely on thoughts and prayers, Satanists are very active in our charity work,” said the Temple in a statement.
The group’s first charity activity is the Blood for Satan donation drive.
Speaking more seriously, the Temple of Satan warned that the religious discrimination bill would “open the gates of Hell onto the streets of Australia” if passed, and urged people in the community to write their own submissions about the bill.
Other activist groups have similarly called for action to defeat the bill, with PFLAG+ setting up a new website making it easy for people to contact key politicians.