We've developed a culture of vilifying people who do or say the "wrong" thing. The media feeds on and recirculates the outrage until it becomes a many-headed hydra, bigger and scarier and more hateful than the prejudice from which it was spawned. And the media storm seems to attract more followers to the xenophobic cause than it turns away.
Many Australians inherit a cultural affinity with Christianity. Many of us have attended Christian schools, baptised our kids, been married in church-run ceremonies, or attended church for life's big moments. But cultural heritage is unaccompanied by belief in the tenets of the religion, or by regular participation and membership.
There's a subtle but crucial difference between respecting the beliefs of others, and respecting their right to hold those beliefs. It's the latter which is important. The former is cultural relativism -- something apparently abhorred by Cory Bernardi.
Jesus was quite clear on the question of tax, famously advising the Jews to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. Fast forward to contemporary Australia and there's precious little rendering going on.