Seeking the common good of all Tasmanians, we put forward these points of agreement, that –
All human life is precious and the sanctity of life should be upheld regardless of race, gender, age, religion or stage of development because every human being is endowed by our Creator with equal and inherent dignity.
Every person has the right to worship God individually and in a faith community. The worshipper has this liberty as a God-given freedom. It entails freedom of conscience, and freedom to speak, gather, worship and generally act in accordance with the beliefs of their faith community. Those with religious convictions share the common democratic liberties which guarantee the freedom to publish, express, or proclaim their views in order to help shape our democracy.
A family is a God-given privilege which establishes an invaluable legacy for those involved and for the benefit of society generally. It is best embodied in the birth and development of children within a stable, loving home built around the marriage of a mother and father, and supported by the wider community.
THE SALAMANCA DECLARATION
Civilised society is founded on qualities such as justice, fidelity, and fairness which protect human rights and our responsibilities to each other and to society generally. How a society treats its most vulnerable is a measure of how truly civilised it is. This especially applies to the elderly or frail, the young and pre-born. We affirm that human life commences from conception and that abortion is a fundamental violation of the most basic human right, the right to live. It is especially reprehensible when practised for purely social reasons. It is imperative that parents be given support to bring their baby to full term. We affirm that human life has innate value which is never diminished by circumstances or opinions. Euthanasia and the removal of care are also violations of this most basic human right. We therefore affirm our faith communities’ commitment to care for the terminally ill, including the provision of palliative care, whilst recognising the right of patients to refuse futile or overly burdensome treatment.
A civilised society has the maturity to embrace difference well. This liberty ensures that opinions, convictions, and ideas can be expressed, shared, challenged and defended without the threat of censure. Any attempt to use law to restrict this most foundational liberty is to undermine the very democracy which is being exercised. The phrase, “The separation of Church and State” is frequently used to justify dismissal of church criticism of public policy proposals. This phrase was originally understood to mean that the State had no jurisdiction over matters of religious belief or practice, but is now often misapplied to challenge the legitimate rights of believers to exercise their beliefs through full participation in political processes. In Tasmania, cooperation between Church and State has benefited society through church-run schools, hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, relief agencies, relationship counselling services, and children and youth services.
Because children represent the most wonderful legacy for any community or society, they deserve the best possible upbringing. While children can be raised in a variety of parenting arrangements, we know that they fare best when raised in a loving, low-conflict home by their married biological parents. This should be encouraged with appropriate privileges enshrined in legislation. This is why marriage between a man and woman deserves unique recognition by Government and best fulfils the motto of Tasmania: Ubertas et Fidelitas.
* The Tasmanian Motto (on our Coat of Arms) “UBERTAS ET FIDELITAS” – FERTILITY AND FAITHFULNESS.