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.
God is over mankind and all of us are under God’s authority. Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation and human beings were given authority over all other aspects of that creation. These two facts of reality are unassailable– in virtue of this we, as free agents, are burdened with hierarchy. And, being burdened with it, we are burdened with “moral responsibility” and “inescapable accountability”.
The structures of the biological family and of God’s spiritual family, the Church, are also hierarchical. To advance this truth today will obviously put one in the crosshairs of many who resent hierarchy in both arenas. However, the Church’s purpose is not to be the culture, it is to subvert the culture and call it to repentance.
The Triune God Is the Source of Hierarchy
Jesus subordination to the Father discloses something transcendent to us: the eternal subordination of the second Person of the Trinity to the First:
““Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19
“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” John 6:57
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18
These and several other passages, especially in John’s Gospel, reveal that there is subordination within the Trinity itself. This is why hierarchy can never cease to exist. Because there is a hierarchical relationship within the very Godhead, in the Son’s eternal subordination to the Father, and because the creation proclaims the glory of God, there can therefore never be a creation without hierarchy.
The problem, therefore, is not with hierarchy. The problem is what we as sinful creatures do with the authoritative roles that exist within hierarchies. That is the problem that requires our attention. All other attempts to eliminate hierarchy, authority, or subordination are but fool’s errands. They are quixotic undertakings that can never be realized and that only lead to our own misery as we continue to tilt at windmills.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.“
And so while bad hierarchies or bad people who fill authoritative roles within a hierarchy may corrupt our understanding of it, it is not “hierarchy£ itself that is the problem. In fact, it is part of the solution to our modern malaise, our current malady of “tyranny of the masses.”
Unfortunately, for a culture saturated with Critical Theory in its various manifestations, just the mention of hierarchy, often construed as “subordination,” will engender a kind of primal rage– one that goes so far as to abandon the neutrality of law itself. Mari Matsuda, one of the founding mothers of Critical Legal Theory, explains the need to dismantle hierarchy and the means by which it might be done:
“Through our sometimes painful work in coalition we are beginning to form a theory of subordination; a theory that describes it, explains it; and gives us the tools to end it. As lawyers working in coalition, we are developing a theory of law taking sides, rather than law as value-neutral.” Matsuda, Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition
For Matsuda, any structure of authority in the culture is a threat to autonomy. It is “subordination” to an authority other than the self, and subordination of any form to an external authority is treated as an intrinsic evil. The means to end “subordination” for Matsuda is to turn the law itself into a tool of political activism; to make the law “take sides.”
In this vision of the law, lady justice (or “person justice”) has the blindfold removed. Now the all-seeing eye of justice can impose justice where justice has been neglected. But this imposed justice cannot tolerate inequality of any kind, and so hierarchy in all its forms and manifestations must go–to include hierarchy in the family. As is with any Marxist-inspired mode of thought, however, the injustice that might have to occur in the process of righting previous injustices is given little to no consideration.
Jesus, unlike modern, Ivy league-trained lawyers, has a very different view of hierarchy and authority. On the one hand, he commends those who recognize their place in hierarchical structures, praising them in fact for their faith:
“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” Matthew 8:5-13
The centurion’s grasp of his place, both as a man under authority and one in authority, is held up by Christ as a model for others. Of course what stands out in this account is that the man in authority, the centurion, comes to Jesus on behalf of his servant–out of genuine concern, out of love, for the one under his authority.
This is servant leadership. It is the same kind of servant leadership that Jesus Himself exemplifies in paradigmatic form as the Creator of the universe who comes into His own creation to serve it:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.Mark 10:45
Michigan-based Bethany Christian Services announced Monday it will begin placing children in LGBTQ families nationwide.
Bethany, one of the country’s largest adoption and foster care agencies, started offering services to gay couples in 2019 after a legal settlement. The new policy approved by the organization’s board does not include the phrase “LGBTQ,” but says it will “implement a nationwide policy of inclusivity in order to serve all families across Bethany’s core service lines.”
CBN News received the following emailed statement from Bethany: “For the past 75 years, Bethany Christian Services has never wavered from our mission of demonstrating the love and compassion of Jesus to children and families. We help families stay together, we reunify families who are separated, and we help vulnerable children find safe, stable homes when they cannot remain in their own.”
“Faith in Jesus is at the core of our mission. But we are not claiming a position on the various doctrinal issues about which Christians of mutual good faith may disagree. We acknowledge that discussions about doctrine are important, but our sole job is to determine if a family can provide a safe, stable environment for children. Unlike many other child and family welfare organizations, Bethany is committed to partnering with churches to find as many families for vulnerable children as possible, and we seek to place children with families that share our mission.”
Southern Baptist leader Al Mohler said, “We are now seeing a head-on collision between organizations like Bethany Christian services that had been very committed to a Christian understanding of marriage and the family and human sexuality and gender … and the government.” He said Bethany has surrendered the “Christian convictional part” in order to retain its partnership with the government. “Christians have to understand: If you’re redefining marriage, if you’re redefining parent and family, you are redefining civilization,” he said.
The Bible’s definition of family is clear, a father and mother is necessary, any other definition is contrary to God’s standard. We can now understand that the only way for this world to function as our maker intended is for Jesus to return as prophesied and to rule and reign with His saints. The following Scriptures make it clear we will rule the nations with a rod of iron. It will not be a democracy.
“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, andHe will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27
“Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:8-11
“For the nation and kingdom which will not serve You shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined.” Isaiah 60:12
A Children’s rights activist decried a California judge’s ruling allowing three men to be listed as the legal parents of two children born to surrogate mothers using donor eggs as being the consequence of laws that sacrifice the wellbeing of children to benefit the desires of adults.
The homosexual male “throuple” includes Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield and Jeremy Allen Hodges. The three-way relationship happened after Jenkins and Mayfield, who met nine years ago, invited Hodges to join the couple eight years ago.
The Children’s rights activist, Katy Faust, founder of children’s rights organization Them Before Us, and the author of a recent book of the same name, noted in a Monday interview with The Christian Post that much of the media is framing their coverage of these adult men as being victims of a system that did not make it effortless to acquire someone else’s children.
“Of course the real victims are the two motherless children who were intentionally separated from the woman who provided half of their genetic identity, the woman to whom they bonded during their first 9 1/2 months of life, and who will be starved of the daily maternal love that all children crave,” Faust said.
But people should not be surprised by the newest manifestation of “modern family,” she asserted, as it was “the inevitable result of centering all legal and cultural conversations about family around the desires of adults.
That slippery slope of ‘if the adults are happy the children will be happy’ which began with no-fault divorce, normalized single mothers by choice, insisted gender is irrelevant to parenting during the gay marriage debate, is now championing male throuples raising motherless children,” she added.
“Until we recognize that children have a natural and fundamental right to be known and loved by both their mother and father, you can expect more wild variations of the modern family, as children become the acceptable sacrifice on the pyre of adult desires.”
The Ninth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, the country’s equivalent of a constitution, was passed in Parliament last week by a margin of 134-45. The amendment, which was backed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, will amend Section L paragraph (1) of the Fundamental Law to read:
“Hungary protects the institution of marriage as the association between a man and a woman and the family as the basis for the survival of a nation. The foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man.”
“The main rule is that only married couples can adopt a child, that is, a man and woman who are married,” said Justice Minister Judit Varga, Reuters reported.
Varga, who sent the amendment to Parliament last month, said it will also work to provide “all children with an education based on the values of the Christian culture of Hungary and guarantees the undisturbed development of the child according to their gender at birth,” Hungary Today noted.
“The Fundamental Law of Hungary is a living framework that expresses the will of the nation, the form in which we want to live,” Varga wrote in the justification section of the bill. “However, the ‘modern’ set of ideas that make all traditional values, including the two sexes, relative is a growing concern.”
“The constant threat to the natural laws of the forms and content of human communities, to the concepts arising from the order of Creation that harmonize with them and ensure the survival of communities, and, in some cases, the attempt to formulate them with a content contrary to the original raises doubts as to whether the interests, rights and well-being of future generations can be protected along the lines of the values of the Fundamental Law,” Varga added.
The passage of the Ninth Amendment comes less than a year after Parliament voted in favor of a measure that defines gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.” Like the measure-preserving the traditional definition of sex, the Ninth Amendment faced strong pushback from LGBT advocacy groups.
Note the response from Amnesty Hungary
“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” said David Vig, director of Amnesty Hungary. “These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws — rushed through under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic — are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.”
The Bible says : “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. “(Proverbs 14:34)
SAME SEX MARRIAGE VIOLATES GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY.
Your belief system is foundational and fundamental to Your daily living and crucial and critical to Your destiny in life.
1. – It directs what You think and feel
2. – It controls what You say and do
3. – The quality (and the quantity) of Your life rests on it.
When the belief system gets CORRUPTED, the thinking will be COMPROMISED, the feelings will be CONFUSED and Life will be COMPLICATED.
The Bible clearly teaches us that the sanctity of marriage is solid, secure and safe .
1. SOLID – because this first and oldest institution in the history of mankind is ordained by Almighty God and He Himself performed the very first marriage.
2. SECURE – because this all-important union brings together the law of our land and the love of our Lord.
3. SAFE – because this holy invention is God’s idea and thus it will stand the test of time and succeed over the trends of life.
Ambushed by minority groups, the sanctity of marriage, is currently in serious danger of becoming a thing of the past, if the proponents of same-sex lifestyle and the opponents of common-sense marriage have their way.
Their hideous agenda, especially that of their leaders goes way beyond the desire for marriage, it seeks its demise. Their intention is to redefine our God-ordained institution and replace it with a man-made invention.
The “one man one woman to the exclusion of all others” definition of marriage is at a major crossroads once again.
The burning question on the lips of concerned citizens and conservative voters everywhere is: will common sense principles protect it from evil and preserve it for good, or, will same-sex lifestyle tear it apart and throw it away for good?
The aggressive homosexual activists are no longer satisfied for their homosexual community to be left alone in peace, to practise in private, the unnatural urges they feel and the sinful lusts they desire towards the same sex.
They now want to raise argument after argument to defend the indefensible and to normalise the abnormal.
They even try to rewrite the history books and rewire the human design in order to make the unnatural normal and the unnecessary needed.
Given the relentless attack on traditional marriage we’re currently experiencing, let us hold in honour the sanctity of marriage and regard it as precious and of great value as the scriptures tells us.
I voted NO to SSM and encourage you all (in Australia) to do the same, because the simple reality is that SAME SEX MARRIAGE violates God’s design for marriage and family.
Your vote at this postal plebiscite is your voice at Parliament House. Make sure that your Vote NO to SSM is heard loud and clear in Canberra’s political corridors of power. Together we can positively impact our Australian family and permanently safeguard the values of our Christian heritage.
And if you think your ONE vote does not matter, well think again – On 18 January 1961, in Zanzibar, (now part of Tanzania) Afro-Shirazi Party won by a single seat of the seat of Chake-Chake on Pemba Island had been gained by a single vote.
Our children and grandchildren deserve the best that we can offer them, and our Christian values are the best there is on offer. You cannot improve on God’s model. One day they will appreciate your vision and values and applaud the courage of your convictions. One day they will think of your life and legacy and thank God for your labour of love.
Love this article by Andrew Burrell about the Liberal member for Canning W.A., Andrew Hastie from The Weekend Australian Magazine, September 23rd, 2017. It is about a 15 min read.
“He’s been pilloried for his ‘natural law’ argument against gay marriage. But Andrew Hastie isn’t a man to be messed with.” says, Andrew Burrell.
“One of the things that is happening at the moment is that we are transitioning from a society that’s always had a Judaeo-Christian world view anchoring the social and moral consensus … to a society which has a progressive world view defined by little more than individual freedom,” he says.
Testimonies are powerful. It is interesting that Andrew’s father a Presbyterian Minister was a Creationist, believing in the Bible’s six day creation account. I agree, it is impossible to believe in evolution with death and suffering before Adam, and the Bible’s account of creation with a perfect creation prior to Adam and Eve’s SIN of disobeying God. However, Hastie has had to adopt a “cunning as serpents, innocent as doves” approach to the subject of Creation v Evolution.
“Andrew Hastie’s whole body was wracked with pain and his brain was addled. For three weeks, the young army officer had endured extreme physical agony and mental torture, with little food and no more than four hours of restless sleep a night. When he called his wife at the end of the ordeal, he couldn’t hold back the tears. “I was broken, I remember calling Ruth and just crying,” he recalls. “I had no emotional resources left.”
Andrew Hastie in Afghanistan. Pic: Conan Daley
Hastie — now a rising star of the Liberal Party and a conservative pin-up boy at the centre of an ideological firestorm over same-sex marriage — is recalling the brutal selection course he endured to gain entry into the Special Air Service Regiment, the Australian Army’s toughest fighting force. The SAS course, held in the remote West Australian bush in the middle of winter, is regarded as the most physically and psychologically challenging of its kind in the world. If you survive it, you can survive just about anything.
Of the 130 superbly fit men who began that course in July 2010, only 30 made it through. Another 15 dropped out during the subsequent 18-month reinforcement cycle — a boys’ own adventure-style program that included parachuting, climbing, diving, boating, combat shooting, high-speed driving and jungle training.
Hastie went on to become an SAS ground force commander, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and conducting anti-terrorism operations in the Middle East. The seeds of his ambition to serve were planted as a boy when his grandfather, Flight Lieutenant Norman Hastie, showed him the bullet wounds he received while rescuing two downed Australian airmen in the Pacific during World War II. Yet by 2015, at the age of 32, Hastie had had enough of the military. “I realised the limitations of nation-building at gunpoint,” he says of his experiences in Afghanistan, where he survived several roadside bombings. “I remember thinking, ‘This is crazy.’ I had real doubts about how much we could actually achieve there.”
During those long deployments, something else had taken hold in the soldier’s mind: a greater appreciation of the conditions that led to the flourishing of Australian society and a desire to help preserve his own country’s institutions and cultural heritage. Hastie, who joined the Liberal Party in 2013, had long harboured ambitions for a political career and held little fear of the vicissitudes. “I’ve often said that warrior politics are much fiercer than federal politics,” he says. When Don Randall, the long-serving Liberal MP for the federal seat of Canning, died suddenly in July 2015, Hastie grasped his opportunity. He resigned from the Perth-based SAS, giving up his protected identity status, and won preselection — with the backing of West Australian Liberal powerbroker Mathias Cormann — for the poll in Canning, a largely working-class electorate south of Perth. Yet this was no ordinary by-election. In Canberra, it was seen as the contest that would decide the fate of Tony Abbott, who was under mounting threat of a leadership spill from Malcolm Turnbull.
Sniffing blood, the national media swarmed into Canning to get a glimpse of the hitherto unknown Hastie. And it became obvious that the Liberals had unearthed a unique candidate. Here was the conservative politician from central casting: a churchgoing, squeaky-clean ex-soldier who spoke about protecting Australian values and Western liberal democratic traditions. He also had a fearlessness uncommon in a political newbie.
Hastie didn’t impress everyone, of course. Where some saw a man of conviction, others typecast him as a Bible-bashing young fogey with antiquated views on topics such as homosexuality. He was ripe for ridicule on social media, where he was also depicted as a warmonger or a brainless beefcake. “The first tweet I ever looked at about myself said, ‘Gee, Hastie looks as dumb as batshit’,” he smiles. He did, however, prove he had substance, quoting chunks of Edmund Burke and William Shakespeare to journalists, some of whom were taken aback at the thought that a military man might also be a deep thinker. He looked good on television, too, quickly earning the sobriquet “Tasty Hastie” and being nominated for the Crikey website’s 2015 sexiest politician of the year. “It’s like a committee of gay men were asked to design a parody of a straight man — muscled, wavy hair, nice eyes, dimpled smile, family man, army uniform, son of a preacher man,” wrote one reader in endorsing Hastie for the title. “Is it wrong that the Christian fundie thing just makes him even hotter to me?”
This curiosity about Hastie only intensified after Fairfax newspapers ran front-page stories during the by-election campaign about a soldier under his tactical command in Afghanistan who’d cut the hands off dead Taliban soldiers in the heat of battle in order that they might later be identified through biometric screening. The headline in The Sydney Morning Herald read: “Star Abbott recruit probed for chopping off hands of dead Taliban”. Hastie, who remains vexed that he was accused of being a “war criminal”, had been cleared of any wrongdoing and was elsewhere on the battlefield when the incident took place in 2013. The soldier who cut off the hands was cleared this month after a two-year investigation by the Australian Federal Police.
The Fairfax story wasn’t the end of what Hastie regarded as unfair media treatment during the campaign. At a press conference a few days later he was grilled over revelations that his father, a Presbyterian pastor, was a Creationist who had dismissed evolutionary theory in his writings. When one reporter asked Hastie if he believed God made the world in six days, he could no longer contain himself: “You’re not hearing me, mate,” he responded, his eyes flashing. “People are sick of this crap. People are sick of trying to drag petty issues into public policy discussions.”
Two years later, Hastie remains touchy on the subject. He claims he has been depicted in the media as a “religious nut job” and he’d rather not discuss theology at length. “I don’t want to shy away from it, but in an era of identity politics and cultural Marxism people are looking for every reason to delegitimise someone. So every view I hold henceforth will be seen through the prism of, ‘Oh, he’s just whacking us with a Bible’.”
All he’ll say on Creationism is this: “There’s a range of different views about the origins of the Earth and my view is that God is the first mover. I believe God exists, and if He does exist, then why would it be beyond Him to be the creator?”
Andrew William Hastie was born in Wangaratta in 1982, the second of four children. His mother Sue was a schoolteacher in the northeast Victorian city and father Peter was the local pastor. When he was five the family moved to Sydney and his dad became the minister at Ashfield Presbyterian Church. Hastie attended Scots College where he recalls happy years dominated by sport and strong results in English and history. After school he enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts course at the University of NSW, where he nurtured his interest in the world’s great thinkers. “The philosophy department at UNSW was very rigorous, and taught me how to think,” he says.
He made ends meet by working as a barista at Gloria Jean’s and selling treadmills at Rebel Sports. He recalls heavy drinking sessions with his mates on a Saturday night that were inevitably followed by a hangover in church the next morning — an anecdote he tells in response to questions about his wholesome reputation. He adds for effect: “Once, when I was 17, I was at Blueberries in North Sydney with a fake ID. I came out of the bar as an under-age and there were people from my father’s flock lining up to get in. That’s about as bad as I get. But I’m certainly not a teetotaller — it’s part of the Australian culture to have a beer.”
Hastie didn’t fit in at UNSW’s Kensington campus, where as a Liberal voter and a John Howard fan he encountered the political left for the first time. A crossroads came on the day after 9/11, when a horrified Hastie listened as students in his politics tutorial tried to pin the blame for the atrocity on the US. Almost immediately, he knew he had to serve his country. He transferred to the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, earning an honours degree in history, and later completed officer training at Duntroon before being posted to Darwin to serve in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
Steve Barton, a friend who served alongside Hastie on his first deployment to Afghanistan, recalls a man who seemed destined for bigger things. “He struck me as thoughtful and intelligent, curious in the world around him,” says Barton, who went on to be a Liberal Party staffer. “I think of myself as reasonably well-read but he sometimes puts me to shame with the breadth and the diligence with which he reads.”
Hastie’s questioning of the mission in Afghanistan was thrown into sharp relief one cloudless day in Oruzgan province in February 2013. It’s etched in his memory: the snow on the nearby mountains, the smell of firewood in the crisp air. The then 30-year-old SAS commander had called in US Apache helicopters to take out two Taliban fighters who, according to intercepts, were planning to fire rockets at the Australians. But the Apaches fired at the wrong target, killing two local Afghan boys — Toor Jan, seven, and his brother Odood, six — who were gathering firewood across the valley. Hastie and his men were cleared of any blame but he can’t forget the sight of those two small, broken bodies. “I still think about them,” he says. “I had a nightmare last night about it, so it stays with me personally. But I’m at peace with it. I had an opportunity to apologise to their brother and their uncle, and that was part of the healing process for me. War is a degrading process. There is always moral injury; the taking of human life takes its toll on people.”
Hastie has spoken to psychologists about the incident, and says the nightmares — which in the early days left him “shrouded in a black cloud” for several hours after waking — have become less frequent. At the hint of a tear, though, he changes tack and moves the conversation on. “Our society, in a way, we are too open with things. I don’t want to be another sob story in the media.”
Hastie is much happier talking about his life with Ruth, who he met on a study trip to the US in 2007. A whirlwind romance ensued between the churchgoers and Hastie knew “within a week” of meeting her that he wanted to get married. Two months later, he proposed on the steps of Sydney Opera House. “We have very similar world views,” says Ruth, who packed up her life in the US and moved to Australia to become a soldier’s wife. By 2010, the couple had moved to Perth for Hastie to begin the physical training for the SAS selection course. Keen to start a family, they had trouble conceiving and began considering adoption. It took them a year to be formally approved, only for Ruth to fall pregnant a month later with baby Jonathan. Hastie found out while serving overseas in 2014 — via a text message from Ruth containing a photo she’d snapped of her positive pregnancy test. It had taken them six and a half years to conceive. “It was difficult, but as Christians we trusted God’s timing,” says Ruth, who also gave birth to a daughter, Beatrice, in August this year.
The big question being asked of Andrew Hastie is: How far can he go? Canberra insiders rate him as ministerial material. Friends reckon he could go to the very top. “I absolutely think he can be PM,” says Craig Clark, a Perth plumber who became firm friends with Hastie after meeting him at church. “Most of the people who know him would agree. He wants to raise the discourse; he’s as far away from being a politician as you can be.” Others with a close eye on federal politics say the backbencher will have to play smarter in the corridors of power. “He’s not a creature of the party so he doesn’t really get all the machinations,” says a senior Liberal source.
In February, Hastie was thrilled to get a phone call from Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to become chairman of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security. It was the first tangible sign he is progressing up the food chain in Canberra. Yet while nobody doubts Hastie’s loyalty to the Turnbull Government, the fact is he also remains openly loyal to Tony Abbott, whom he first met on the Canning by-election campaign trail in 2015. The ideological warriors became friends. They are both monarchists and share similar views on big political issues such as climate change and asylum seekers — Hastie says he hates to see refugees in detention but it’s “necessary” to stop people smugglers and describes himself as a climate “realist” rather than a sceptic. He says he wants to protect the environment but believes people must always come first. “I approach the politics of climate change with this primary question: how do we secure reliable and affordable energy for all Australians?” he says. “Everything else is secondary to this duty of government.”
Many in the Turnbull camp still view Hastie with suspicion. “If Abbott was PM Hastie would be progressing up the ladder a lot faster,” says a senior Liberal. Hastie admits he was disappointed that Abbott was removed as prime minister a week before he won Canning in 2015 and he believes the electorate remains unhappy that a first-term prime minister was dumped by his own party. But he reveals that he has privately counselled Abbott to desist from making the sorts of public comments that are widely viewed as destabilising to Turnbull’s leadership. “It’s a sacred office, so creating mischief in the background to cause havoc for the elected leader of our country is against what I stand for. I’ve had conversations with [Abbott] and I’ve given fairly frank advice. We’ve had discussions where I’ve said, ‘You’ve overstepped the mark here.’ But I say that as a friend. He’s been a good friend of mine and that’s what you do.”
When asked about his own ambitions, Hastie is circumspect: “The best way to make a difference is as a minister. But the worst thing you can do is jump ahead of yourself. I always put myself in a position where I can be called upon to do a job. But I don’t wake up every morning, putting on my tie, thinking, ‘How am I going to be prime minister of this country?’”
In recent months, it’s been difficult to miss the backbencher in the media as he emerged as one of the most strident opponents of same-sex marriage. Hastie is regularly pilloried over his views on the subject. When he appeared on national television recently to argue that traditional marriage “is a meeting of body and mind, it begins with consent and is sealed by sexual intercourse”, he was met with a barrage of anger — some of it vulgar and intensely personal. “F..king hell, Andrew Hastie is legit the dumbest c..t I have ever come across,” wrote one Twitter user.
Hastie’s opponents say he’s seeking to impose his Christian moral code on society. But he insists he has never used religion to argue against same-sex marriage; his reasoning is based on “natural law” and his belief that marriage is linked to the welfare of children. “I ask the question: what is the character of marriage over time and across cultures?” he says. “It’s a union between a man and a woman — that’s the normative practice throughout history and culture. I make no mention of sexuality and no appeal to religious authority in making my arguments. Marriage has always been an institution that’s inherently ordered towards family life. Ruth and I struggled for six years with infertility before we had Jonathan, but just because a marriage doesn’t bear children doesn’t mean it’s any less of a marriage.” But surely same-sex couples can also be good parents? “I don’t for a second suggest they’d be bad parents,” Hastie says, adding that he and Labor frontbencher Penny Wong, who is gay, have shared photos of their children. “What I’m saying is that we all have a natural right to know our biological mother and father. And once we legislate marriage to make it genderless, we institutionalise motherlessness and fatherlessness.”’
At the centre of Hastie’s world view is the theological concept of Imago dei, which asserts that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. His belief in this doctrine led him to publicly attack cartoonist Larry Pickering over homophobic comments he made earlier this year. Hastie says gay people must be treated with respect, and he sees no inconsistency between this view and his stance on same-sex marriage.
As the voting process ramps up, Hastie finds himself at the cutting edge of the culture wars. He aims to tread carefully, hoping not to offend anyone — an impossible task in such a fraught debate. As the postal ballots were being sent out in mid-September he became involved in a war of words with gay rights advocate and writer Benjamin Law, who had tweeted: “Sometimes find myself wondering if I’d hate-f..k all the anti-gay MPs in parliament if it meant they got the homophobia out of their system.” One of Law’s followers responded: “Start with Hastie.” In retort, Hastie was quoted in The Australian: “Noting my skills acquired in my previous career, I’d like to see him try.”
Despite this, Hastie implores both sides of the debate to be respectful. “Everyone could benefit from working to understand where the other person is coming from,” he says. “A lot of people who are advocating for Yes, especially those who are gay themselves, feel like the No case is almost an attack on their identity, or a denial of their human rights — and I get that. I understand why there’s so much emotion involved.”
Hastie sees the marriage debate as tied up in the broader clash of “fundamental visions of the social order”. And he knows he may well be on the losing side of this particular battle.
Abandoning God’s design for marriage in not just bad for society it will bring God’s judgement on those nations that legislate for it.
The Bible clearly states that the beginning of wisdom is to fear God. It seems that even in churches there is no fear of God or they would not sanction gay marriage. The Bible is clear on the harsh penalties leaders face that go down that path.
This article is by Creation Ministries International’s Keaton Halley
How gay marriage harms people
Three reasons that abandoning God’s design for marriage is bad for society.
Even now that same-sex marriage has become widely accepted in many countries, Christians cannot surrender. We must continue to lovingly and graciously stand for the truth. Also, if we want to be effective, we must learn to articulate the reasons why gay marriage not only violates God’s moral standard, but actually harms society. Indeed, a faulty view of marriage will create many victims.
The Bible says that marriage is rooted in God’s creation of mankind (Matthew 19:4–8). In Genesis, we read how God made Eve out of Adam’s own flesh as a helper suited to him, and then the text says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Throughout Scripture, it is clear that marriage is a lifelong, exclusive covenant union of two people—a husband and a wife—which forms the foundation for the family. That is, marriage is oriented toward producing and raising children, if God so blesses (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15). God created us male and female to complement one another, and the production of children requires both a man and a woman. So there cannot be any such thing as gay marriage, because marriage requires husband and wife.
Let me mention just a few of the problems with gay marriage and gay adoption, in particular.
Same-sex marriage debases true marriage, and thereby weakens society
If we abandon the Bible’s teaching on marriage and just make up new definitions as we go, then why couldn’t marriage be redefined in other ways? Why couldn’t it be more than two people, for example? Why couldn’t it be a temporary rather than a lifelong commitment? There’s a logical slippery slope from same sex marriage to polygamy, temporary marriages, and other corrupt practices, because the same wrong thinking underlies these ideas—that people rather than the Creator have the authority to decide what marriage is. Sadly, once the definition of marriage is separated from the Creator’s design, it becomes so flexible that it begins to lose any significant meaning. Indeed, many homosexual activists have admitted that their real goal is to destroy the institution of marriage altogether. They realise that championing same-sex marriage works toward undermining the norms of marriage (like monogamy, permanence and exclusivity) and ultimately even the very concept of marriage itself.
But healthy societies are built on healthy families. The more we move away from the biblical teaching on marriage, the more we’ll have broken homes, because other arrangements simply do not work as well as God’s design. Logic indicates that the undermining of marriage will lead to an increase in cohabitation, divorce, single parenting, abortion, etc., and various studies help to confirm this. The weakening of marriage will place a burden on society as a whole, because others will have to step in with time, energy, and money to try to repair the damage. They will have to minister to hurting adults and help to raise the children of broken homes, and those children will be more likely to get into trouble, causing further problems. This leads to my next point.
Same-sex marriage harms children
What’s wrong with same-sex couples producing children through a surrogate or adopting children?
The fact that many children require adoption means they are already in a less-than-ideal situation. The ideal is that children would be raised by their own parents. Children long for and tend to be healthier when raised by their biological mother and father.
The next best thing, though, would be for children to be raised by a married, opposite-sex couple, as opposed to a single parent or a same-sex couple. Adoption by a same-sex couple would give children additional difficulties to overcome instead of giving them the best chance for success. This is because same-sex parenting would deny children the ability to have a parent of each gender (both a mom and a dad). This isn’t good, because men and women parent differently. They bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table, so children learn different lessons from mom than they do from dad, and vice versa.
Same-sex parenting would deny children the ability to have a parent of each gender (both a mom and a dad).
If a same-sex couple brought children into the world through a surrogate, that would be even worse, because they would be creating children with the intention up front of separating them from at least one of their biological parents. Studies show that children do better if they are raised by their actual parents rather than one parent and one step parent, but same-sex parenting necessarily involves a step parent.
In fact, numerous testimonies from people who spent their childhood in a same sex household bear out these truths. For example, Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her mother’s lesbian partner. Although Heather loves them both dearly, she writes about how the lack of a father in her home negatively affected her. She says, “My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost” (Truth Overruled, 2015, p. 170).
According to the champions of same-sex marriage, though, two parents of the same gender should be just as good as having one’s own mother and father. This simply isn’t true. Advocates of same-sex marriage are primarily concerned about the desires of adults, but they largely ignore the fact that, in the process, they trample on the best interests of children.
Same-sex marriage undermines religious freedom
It should not be surprising that, once gay marriage is declared legal, those who oppose it are seen as enemies of the law. This is why, especially since the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, those with moral and religious objections to same-sex marriage are increasingly being persecuted for simply following their deeply held religious convictions. See Gay Marriage—a big stick to beat the church with.
Religious adoption agencies are being forced to close if they will not place children into same-sex households. Christian schools are being threatened with loss of funding and accreditation if they do not allow their students to actively engage in homosexual practices. Professionals in the wedding industry and even pizza shops are being forced to participate in same-sex ceremonies, or face financial ruin. Even individuals like former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran and former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich are being hounded out of their careers for simply opposing gay marriage in their private lives. Kim Davis was sent to jail because her convictions would not allow her to sign a same-sex marriage license. And we’ve only seen the beginning of this tidal wave. All of the transgender lunacy we’re now facing is a result of this moral revolution as well.
Clearly, gay marriage advocates want more than the freedom to do as they please. The movement includes many bullies who want to force everyone to either join them or be destroyed. They talk a lot about love, but they don’t really understand it. True love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Amazingly, in the name of ‘love’, the freedom to think and act like a Christian is being taken away.
Christians, on the other hand, are called to love our enemies. So we must continue to show love even to those who persecute us. We do not return evil for evil, but neither do we capitulate to their demands. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). And, because it violates God’s expressed will, Christians must continue to oppose same-sex marriage.
This is another end times sign. When Jesus was asked by His disciples what it would it be like at His second coming, Jesus said it would be like the days of Lot. This is just one of the signs; a great falling away in His church (apostasy) would be another. Church denomination after another has capitulated with gay marriage and homosexual leaders in the church. Where does your church stand on the inerrancy of Scripture?
Trystan Reese is a trans man who is expecting a baby with his partner of seven years, Biff Chaplow.
Reese, who was assigned the female gender at birth and says he kept his “original parts,” adds that he never wanted to change his body.
“I think my body is awesome. I feel like it’s a gift to have been born with the body that I did, and I made the necessary changes so that I could keep living in it, both through hormones and through other body modifications,” he shared in a video posted to the couple’s Facebook page.
Reece is a female with all the right parts to have a child, moreover he thinks his body is awesome so why he would choose to take male hormones to take on the appearance of a male? It is odd, and from a Christian perspective not honouring to the God who made her and very confusing to the children they raise.
Contrast this pivotal resource of life with others, such as energy and finances, and a sharp distinction becomes obvious. While these other assets fluctuate, time constantly diminishes. No matter what one possesses, no matter the financial resources at your disposal, time cannot be purchased or stockpiled. One cannot gain access to additional time; you merely have the amount given to you.
So, if time is the most precious resource life offers, the question then becomes how do we use it wisely?
Spend time in prayer. For contemporary believers this seems to be one of the more taxing tasks the Christian life demands. For, prayer takes time, and time is short and the day is long but how else do you build a relationship with your Creator other than spend time in prayer and in HIS WORD. Moreover HE said, “And ALL THINGS, whatever you ask in prayer, believing you will receive” Matthew 21:22. If you want to be a person who changes the course of history, you will pray and seek God’s will for your life. He has a plan for your life don’t miss it.
Invest in building relationships. This certainly has the potential to multiply time. Think of a Christian parent’s relationship with their child, and the ripple effect this relationship can have for decades, if not centuries of time and on numerous other relationships. Their actions will not only have the potential to impact society for good but above all can have eternal significance.
Peter Kreeft, a Christian philosopher, offers an important understanding of time and prayer. He notes, “We have time and prayer backwards. We think time determines prayer, but prayer determines time.We think our lack of time is the cause of our lack of prayer, but our lack of prayer is the cause of our lack of time.” This understanding of the relationship of time to prayer is not a pithy saying to be taken lightly, but biblical insight into the significance of both. For the One who listens to the prayer knows about multiplication.
Matthew chapter 14 speaks to the ability of Christ to multiply scarce resources in order to maximize their potential. Yet, consider if the child had never offered his five loves and two fish. Christ’s ability to multiply would, at least in this instance, never been engaged.
Succinctly put, life in modern society is belligerently backwards. Modern life is arranged around tasks and duties which consume a large portion of the time given us each day. This utilitarian view of time has riddled modern society, families, and individuals with discontent, loneliness, and want of purpose.
How now should we live?
Remember The Lord’s Prayer – “Your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Invest your time in building God’s Kingdom on earth and you also build treasure in heaven which has ETERNAL value and significance. Don’t waste your time on building your Kingdom on earth, it is fleeting and ultimately brings no peace or joy.
Time is precious and limited, yet of eternal value.What makes it so is how you use it and whom you give it to. Begin now to start living eternally.