GAY MARRIAGE HAS GIVEN OUR SOCIETY LITTLE TO CELEBRATE

Great article in The Australian Saturday 19th November 2022 by Angela Shanahan

COLUMNIST: Angela Shanahan is a Canberra-based freelance journalist and mother of nine children. She has written regularly for The Australian for over 20 years.

This week marked the fifth anniversary of Australia supporting same-sex marriage in a postal vote. Now we are being reassured by same-sex marriage advocates that “society has not fallen apart”.

Think again. If the punitive ­coercion suffered by people who did not support gay marriage ­during the period preceding the vote didn’t convince you that this was not just about marriage, but about the gradual imposition of a radical agenda on the whole of ­society, then look what has happened since.

If the dissolution of society as we know it was an exaggeration, a furious expression of frustrated Christians angry at seeing the social verities of the past falling away, people might start looking at their local school and see what sorts of things are being taught to their children. The notion that our sexual identity is fluid and not fixed is now accepted in most government schools, and challenging that view is impossible.

It has already been raised as a problem if a religious anti-discrimination bill is ever passed, and activists are now fixated on making it harder to challenge the trans agenda even in private and systemic Catholic schools. In Canada, despite assurances and a preamble to the law, Catholic schools are having a very difficult time teaching Catholic precepts on marriage and sexuality, and in the US many individuals and groups are being punished for what amounts to thought crime, prompting a conservative backlash.

The real problem with the Marriage Equality fight was the fight itself. It was never a civilised discussion in a civilised environment. It was bare-knuckle and nasty from the Yes side, from daubing vile slogans on church walls to ridiculing and denouncing people on social media. I know, I went through it. And it goes on.

It has spread beyond marriage, to the trans agenda. I recently wrote a column about a woman who started an app for women and girls called Giggle. This woman was threatened with a human rights action over the very nature of the people for whom her app was intended, women, by a transsexual person who thought they should not be discriminated against because they identified as a woman. These are the two great mantras of the new society” “Discrimination” and “Identity”. It will only get worse.

Go back to the case of Israel Folau. Freedom of expression was not available to Folau who as a believing Mormon did not support same-sex marriage. Not only did he lose his job as Australia’s star rugby player but other players who supported him and did not support SSM were told not to say anything. Meanwhile, those who supported the Yes vote were allowed to speak out. Rugby Australia undermined their freedom of expression about conscientiously held views, becoming, in effect, the arbiters of their conscience.

An even graver case was Archbishop Julian Porteous who, as a preliminary salvo to the same-sex marriage vote, was dragged before the Human Rights board in Tasmania for disseminating a booklet outlining Catholic teaching on marriage to Catholic students. The complainant was not protesting about the church’s ban on remarriage after divorce or any of the teachings about marriage and fertility tied to the vows which married Catholics must make. No, this was an opener in the battle for same-sex marriage. The agenda of the Equality movement was not about equality at all: it was about trying to muzzle the view that the family, based on a generative relationship, is the bedrock of society which has been common to all societies of all religious persuasions since time immemorial.

Meanwhile, the trans agenda has inserted itself into the centre of right think. Who says society as we know it hasn’t declined?

Consequently, the number of cases of well-meaning ordinary people being denounced on social media, or to the human rights apparatuses and even pushed out of positions for stating quite ordinary views on marriage, the family, and sexual identity is increasing, and freedom of expression – and particularly of religious expression – is being undermined.

Andrew Thorburn is an ordinary man who happened to be at a church nine years before when his minister expressed moral views not in line with the Equality mantra. Thorburn is chair of the City on a Hill Church, which Essendon football club pronounced has views in “direct contradiction to our values as a club”. So, a football club, assuming a prior moral authority to the church, forced his resignation as the club’s CEO.

Not surprisingly, it was this case that awakened the general public to the danger that now awaits anyone. Not only could someone dig up a sermon a pastor gave nine years before and still hold you to account, but how long before, Torquemada-like, you are taken to the inquisitors of the board of the company for which you work, or the school where you teach, or any governing body?

It is well known that in most echelons of the public service various topics of conversation, especially those dealing with sex and family issues, are off the table. The endorsement of Thorburn’s removal by the AFL and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews highlights the frightening seriousness of this. It has made a mockery of the idea that we have equality of expression, and that the real fault line is freedom of religion.

AMAZING PRAYER AND ADMISSION BY JORDAN PETERSON

“God lift me from the intolerable burden of my ignorance, arrogance, willful blindness, bitterness, and resentment. And I pray that others rise above the same faults and temptations.

I watched Fox News release this message: There are terrible things afoot under the surface of our society, and the perpetrators are coming for you and coming for us. And then I watched the Democrats respond in panic and anger, saying: There are terrible things afoot under the surface of our society, and the perpetrators are coming for you and coming for us.

Are there terrible things afoot, bubbling under the surface? Is something coming for you? And for us? Ask yourself how true that is of yourself and your own life. Have you addressed all that? Are you concerning yourself with the dust in your enemy’s eyes, instead of attending to the filth that obscures your own sight? Do we want accusation, suspicion, discord, derision, and hatred? Or the peace and prosperity and happiness that beckons to us at this moment like never before? Who’s the enemy here? Is it the basket of deplorables? Is it the freaks and the queers? Is it the plumbers and carpenters and tradesmen and managers who work honestly and diligently during the day and the soldiers who stalwartly defend the borders and protect us? Is it the artists and visionaries whose expressions of unbridled creativity entertain and rejuvenate us and who continually offer to us an unending panoply of technological miracle? Is it the institutions that guide and protect us that so many lived and died to erect and establish which for all their faults have served us so well?

Do we want revenge or justice? Do we want contempt or mercy? Do we want war—or peace? And what are you aiming at in your heart of hearts? I see even the best of men degenerating into the exchange of blows. I see even the best of men identifying the enemy in our neighbours and friends. I see even the best of men falling prey to cowardice and self-righteous anger. It needs to stop. I need to stop. You need to stop. Before it’s too late. Who is the enemy here? The snake in your heart? The lies on your tongue? The arrogance of your intellect? The cowardice of our refusal to see? The enemy is that which divides to sow discord. The enemy is the pride and fear that stops us from lending a hand across the divide. The enemy is the great and eternal adversary of mankind. And if we demonize our brothers, our comrades-in-arms, do we not precisely call that dread spirit forth? Have we not yet learned? courage, trust, truth, love, even unto your enemy. Which is you? God forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. May what is the highest guide our vision. May what is highest open our ears. May what is the highest guide our tongues. And may we pray fearful of the hell we could so easily and carelessly create. Deliver us from evil. Shine a light into the corners of our dark hearts. For thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, forever and ever, Amen.