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Wednesday, 03 October 2018 05:19

C.S. Lewis on Equality

Great thinkers and writers often think and write about many great things – and a great many things. The noted Christian apologist and academic C. S. Lewis was one such person. Although he had his area of specialisation – English literature – he was conversant in, and wrote about, a myriad of subjects. Thus he could write about theology, he could pen children’s stories, he could engage in the debates of the day, and he could deal with many of the great thinkers both past and present. He also wrote on philosophical, historical and political themes.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 22:38

Signs of the Times

I think one of the issues with the recent revision of marriage is that many people found it hard to understand how the meaning of words can change change so quickly.

Words are seemingly increasingly fluid today - much like gender is regarded in certain circles. ‘Equality’ and ‘marriage’ were the two key words to undergo revision in 2017 in Australia, and it is no mistake that Yes groups connected these words in simple slogans with the overall aim of promoting ‘love’ to help stimulate revision.

Love is Love?

For example, take the University of Sydney advertising campaign in 2017 that was presumably linked in to the marriage debate: “Unlearn Love”.

The meaning could be taken several ways, but I am sure that the university was not saying that the love of two men is not love. I believe they were saying that married love is not what you always thought it was, and that now the new idea is to challenge the status quo and develop new ideas and ways of expression.

I always find it helpful in this new era of re-defining words to ask people when they say anyone can be married to ask them what marriage is and gently probe their response. Usually most people have a restriction on who can marry (not-with standing that most pro Yes Marriage voters would not have even been aware of the restrictions in Section 23 of the Marriage Act).

There is also a lack of definition when one probes the meaning of the word ‘love’ today. Perhaps defining ‘love’ is now too difficult or exclusionary? It is much easier to say, ‘Love is love’, and to sing about it than think about what it means. Perhaps those of us in the church could help the wider society learn more about the types of love mentioned in the bible? We need to be reminded of some of the hard sayings of Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5: 43-44)

   

Marriage and Gender

Newtown in inner-city Sydney was one of the few local areas that had a significant number of local businesses and groups involved in publicly supporting the Yes vote. Among hundreds of signs and slogans in Newtown, this sign about gender was the clearest in its revisionist context. The move away from the understanding of marriage as a natural biological union from which children are produced and nurtured centres marriage on a form of romantic love where individual fulfilment is the key to that love. Sameness is promoted rather than complementarity. It reminds me of the part in Seinfeld where Jerry in contemplating marriage realised what he was looking for all along – himself.

Ridicule of Belief

I am wondering if understanding of, or even basic awareness of the deepness of belief for people of faith could become increasingly rare in wider society? I know that Newtown is a rarefied context, but is the issue broader?

On the day of the marriage survey announcement a mural was proudly unveiled on the back of the Botany View Hotel in Newtown, Sydney.

Presumably the designer Scott Marsh had in mind an exemption from the Additional Safeguards Act that was in place during the marriage survey up until and including 15 November 2017, namely that part that mentioned “a communication communicated solely for genuine satirical, academic or artistic purposes; or” (Division 1, Subdivision A, Section 6, 4 (b) Marriage Law Survey Additional Safeguards Act 2017) as Marsh chose to celebrate the day by denigrating two prominent Catholic figures as well as the Catholic faith. Tony Abbot was illustrated wearing a bridal dress and tiara along with an allusion to performing a sexual act with the straw in the bottle of wine, as well as being depicted placing his hand down the pants of a buffed up Cardinal George Pell who was depicted as a lifeguard wearing a rainbow swimsuit. Not unexpectedly, this mural prompted considerable reaction. Within 24 hours the mural had been splashed with white paint and then later painted over with black paint, with some wording left (The Happy Ending). Groups representing differing viewpoints converged, including (mainly Maronite) Christians who wanted to pray and witness to their faith. This development led to a local police presence, albeit to ‘keep the peace’ between the different groups. In the days following people added to the black canvas with a wide range of insults, swearwords as well as blasphemous comments and praiseworthy comments about Jesus. This whole saga continued for several weeks, with regular blackening out, though by February 2018 the graffiti language decreased markedly as activists presumably have moved onto to other causes.

One intriguing aspect from some of my discussions around the area was that while people were very upset at the perceived ‘vandalism’ of the mural, some could not understand that the mural had been offensive in the first place.

 

True Rainbows

I have been able to capture some lovely images of natural rainbows in Newtown. One was in 2009, and one in February 2018. These rainbows always provide a measure of hope and help me to continue to reflect on a holy and living God, our creator and redeemer.

Published in Marriage
Sunday, 17 December 2017 21:45

Same-Sex Marriage: Good for the IVF Industry

What do you call a couple with an over-abundance of eggs and a conspicuous absence of sperm? Well, you or I might call this couple 'lesbians', but to the IVF industry, there's a more marketing-savvy term. Their category is 'socially infertile', and it's a growing market for artificial reproductive  technology. IVF providers are just leaping at the chance to provide gay couples with designer babies. In fact, Sydney company, IVF Australia, is so enamoured of homosexual couples, that it has sponsored the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras since 2012.  

Published in IVF & Surrogacy

How many articles must one pen to alert us to the fact that the West is now but a shadow of its former self? It is so far down the mental and moral sewer that one wonders if it is any longer redeemable. And leading the way here is the utterly bizarre freak show known as the transgender revolution. Everything it touches it destroys. Anyone foolish enough to run with this gender bender apocalypse will find their mind turning to mush. They will quickly find themselves with feet planted firmly in mid-air. The mind boggles just to witness this dark cloud of madness sweeping away everything in its path.

Saturday, 23 September 2017 17:50

55 Consequences of Redefining Marriage

In his essay in the Public Discourse, law professor Bradley Miller suggests studying the effects of redefining marriage using three criteria:

Anyone interested in assessing the impact of same-sex marriage on public life should investigate the outcomes in three spheres: first, human rights (including impacts on freedom of speech, parental rights in public education, and the autonomy of religious institutions); second, further developments in what sorts of relationships political society will be willing to recognize as a marriage (e.g., polygamy); and third, the social practice of marriage.

We're going to take a trip around the world to look at the consequences for Christians where same-sex marriage has been legalised. And it's not only Christians who have suffered after this legislation was passed, but also atheists, agnostics, Jews and even gays themselves. The following list is only 55 of those consequences from 13 of the countries that have redefined marriage. [Note regarding citations: Several consecutive examples have a common source; the link for this is given after the last example.]  

Canada

Canada legalised same-sex marriage in 2002. Now:

  • civil celebrants sacked for refusing to perform same-sex weddings
  • writing a letter to the editor supporting traditional marriage is now considered hate speech
  • professional governing bodies can be sued for discrimination
  • for promoting traditional marriage over same sex marriage
  • parents have lost authority over their children's education
  • religious schools must tolerate groups who promote homosexuality. [Source]
  • legal action is underway to secure marriage for polygamists.[Source]
  • most cases of bestiality now legal [Source]
  • Definitely no evidence of an increase in stability. [Source]
  • Children can be removed from heterosexual parents who don't support same-sex marriage [Source]
  • pop music, (eg a Dire Straits classic) can be banned for containing words the offend homosexuals [Source]

 

Britain:

Britain legalised same sex marriage in 2013 via parliamentary vote. Now:

  • 'heteronormative' pronouns and words are prohibited in many places,
  • churches are under pressure to no longer refuse to perform same-sex marriages (protections were given at the time legislation went through),
  • Christians and other parents who oppose same-sex marriage may no longer adopt children,
  • seven faith schools are close to being shut down for failing to teach that same-sex marriage is equivalent to traditional marriage
  • no opt-out for students in sexualised school lessons, which begin at age 3. (Source)
  • Christian relationship counsellors must counsel same-sex couples [Source]
  • magistrates unable to opt-out of same-sex adoption cases [Source]
  • social media criticism of same-sex marriage can lead to demotion/pay cut [Source]
  • criticism of 'Pride' marches potentially constitutes a hate-crime [Source]
  • Promoting Easter church services warrants enquiry into homosexual 'offence' [Source]
  • Suggesting that homosexuals can change orientation warrants police enquiry [Source]
  • Employees can be dismissed for supporting traditional view of marriage [Source]
  • Clergy can be fined and sent to re-education for exercising employment rights [Source]
  • polygamy is becoming more popular in the UK [Source]

Ireland

Ireland legalised same-sex marriage in 2015 by referendum. Now:

  • small businesses can't refuse to service same-sex weddings [Source]
  • The door has been opened for recognising polygamous marriages [Source]

Scotland

Scotland legalised same-sex marriage in 2014. Now:

  • Christians are persecuted for preaching against homosexuality [Source]
  • Clergy who oppose homosexuality committing an unofficial hate-crime [Source]

 

USA

The Supreme Court of the United States legalised same-sex marriage in 2015. Now:

  • florists can't refuse to supply same-sex weddings [Source] 
  • Bakers can't refuse their services. [Source]
  • employees can be fired for expressing their opposition to same-sex marriage
  • lawyers can fail their bar test for not supporting same-sex marriage
  • Catholic adoption agencies have closed rather than serve same-sex couples
  • parents unable to opt children out of sexualised school classes [Source]
  • Calls for polygamy to be made legal [Source]
  • Calls for 'machinism' (a relationship between a human and a computer) to be made legal [Source]
  • Gay 'pride' events have become more numerous and obscene
  • gay domestic violence has increased greatly [Source]

 

Denmark

Denmark legalised same-sex marriage in 2012. Now:

  • Churches are being forced to perform same-sex weddings (protections were initially offered.) [Source]

Belgium

Belgium legalised same sex marriage in 2003. Now:

  • Clergy are persecuted for criticising homosexuality [Source]

 

Sweden

Sweden legalised same-sex marriage in 2009. Now:

  • no priest in the Swedish Church can refuse to perform a sane-sex wedding [Source]
  • preaching against homosexuality is a hate-crime [Source]
  • It is a crime to question the homosexual agenda within the school system [Source]
  • Christian groups who investigate the harms of homosexuality are persecuted [Source]

 

Spain 

Spain legalised same-sex marriage in 2005. Now:

  • On birth certificates, 'mother' and 'father' have been replaced by 'progenitor A' or 'B' [Source]
  • Clergy are persecuted for criticising homosexuality, IVF for gay couples etc [Source]

Germany

Germany legalised same-sex marriage in 2017. Now:

  • the media now links terrorism with 'homophobia' [Source]

 

Columbia 

Columbia legalised same-sex marriage in 2016. Now:
  • There is a push for legal recognition of polygamy [Source]

France

Legalised same sex marriage in 2013. Now:

  • criticising same-sex relationships is a hate-crime [Source]

 

Netherlands

The Netherlands legalised same-sex marriage in 2000. Now:

  • Celebrants are forced to perform ceremonies in some areas [Source]
  • Same-sex couples have equal rights to adopt [Source]
  • Businesses can be forced to provide services that promote homosexuality [Source]
  • Persecution of clergy who fail to support homosexuality [Source]
  • heterosexual marriage rates fell after same-sex marriage was legalised [Source]

 

13 Countries, 55 Consequences of Redefining Marriage

The examples above represent only some of the cases of persecution and discrimination that have occurred and are occurring where marriage has been redefined. In addition to these examples, there are reports to suggest that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will have an enormous impact on heterosexuals in other ways, and particularly on men. [Read more here] As Christians, we  know that the push to redefine marriage is part of a broader attack on the family, one with its roots in Marxism. In fact, Marx himself declared war on the family and Christianity, when he said:

Thus, for instance, after the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must then itself be destroyed in theory and in practice.

We simply cannot trust Yes campaigners and politicians who tell us that same-sex marriage is 'all about love'. We know full well that redefining marriage is only the tip of the iceberg and that discrimination against marriage traditionalists is certain to ensue. It's not about love, it's all about the consequences. Please vote no.  

 

In accordance with s 6(5) of the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Act 2017, this communication was authorised by Kathy Clubb of Melbourne, Vic.  

Published in Marriage