Flat White

We demand free speech on gay marriage

31 March 2017

8:51 PM

31 March 2017

8:51 PM

Lies are spoken often and freely in public policy debates. But they seldom bear the scrutiny which inevitably comes their way. So it is with the debate on marriage.

We are politely told by obliging and erudite members of the same-sex marriage campaign that no threats whatsoever would face Australian Christians and/or conservatives should the definition of marriage change under Australian law. Bullshit. Nothing is so dear to the hearts of these campaigners as the eradication of opposing views and the oppression of those who might express them.

This is ‘extermination mentality’. It is not simply a by-product of amisdirected movement. For the LGBT lobby it has become their core
objective. Everything else, including marriage redefinition, is of peripheral interest. The reasoning behind the plebiscite’s ultimate failure was not a genuine belief that Australians carry some hidden and unslakable homophobic tendancies, or that we as a nation are somehow naturally incapable of nuanced debate, (and it certainly wasn’t because the Left in Australia has had a road-to-Damascus-moment and and now believe that expenditure needs to be reigned in). It was because, under the status quo, we might well have seen Christians pluck up the courage to voice their views and go unpunished.

Over the last few weeks we have seen play out in Australia the very worst of hatred, bigotry, and cowardice. Forced resignations, companies cowering to bullies, and bullies feeling empowered because they have once again gotten their way. It is the most curious element in all of this is that hatred in 2017 comes from those people who masquerade as the most tolerant and loving members of our community.

Of course the word ‘tolerance’ itself has been corrupted. It has been claimed by groups who, we must acknowledge, once had genuine grievances. But there was not enough attention paid to consequences, and this allowed for the word to take on new and surprising meanings. Now we see that “tolerance” has been warped and twisted into a program of retribution. The word no longer means to allow for that with which you disagree. It means accepting and agreeing with whatever you are told to accept and agree with. It means enforcing an homogenised world view on all those who cross your path. It means the death of pluralism and civilised society.

‘Extermination mentality’ has been helped big time by carelessly written legislation. State by state, and at a commonwealth level, poorly thought through laws have been pushed through parliaments. The sort of legislation which makes it a criminal act to offend someone! It can only serve to reaffirm that quip from Edmund Burke when he said that ‘bad laws are the worse sort of tyranny’. And tyranny it is when a person can be hauled before a commission for saying something with which any member of an ever more fragile public might find offensive.

Do we really think that our system is just when so many God fearing people are harassed, intimidated, and publically humiliated simply because their understanding of the world has led them to some unpopular conclusions? Can we honestly defend a regime under which faith must be tested against law? Christians today are the predictable casualties in the war on freedom and the free expression of ideas.

We know that extermination mentality attacks what it does not understand.

It is a completely outlandish idea, as far as recalcitrant snowflakes are concerned, that a person might be able to disagree in love. A Christian might ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’, but through a warped prism of ideological confusion, all the LBGT lobby will hear is hate speech.

Social Justice Warriors will attack the Judeo-Christian faith without once stopping to consider the many extraordinary things which these ancient beliefs have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the evolution of Western civilisation. Free speech, capitalism, welfare, worker’s rights, democracy, charity, the rule of law, humanism, definable ethics, and science. All in their own way Christian inventions. Whether we enjoy the fact or not, we encounter the fruits of the Lord every day.

There is no dignity in bashing Jesus in Australia. It is His Church which educates thousands upon thousands of Australian students, cares for thousands upon thousands of our sick, elderly and vulnerable, midwifes thousands of women through pregnancy, gives hope and life to millions of Australian faithful, and fights in the gutters and dark places of our world where people have been forgotten by everyone else and who desperately rely on the succour of Christ.

For policy makers a simple truth rings out clear. No longer can we continue to rationalise ignoring the humble request that is made by Christians. All our secular nation is called to do is to allow the expression of faith to continue unobstructed; to allow people to be Christians without having their products boycotted, or having them publicly shamed and forced from their jobs.

The fight for free speech starts by getting the criminalisation of hurt feelings out of our laws: whether it’s abolishing section 17(1) of Tasmania’s anti discrimination act, or amending section 18C of the Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act, there is an absolute necessity to act. There was hesitation from some members of the Coalition on embracing the proposed amendments to 18C. I have no reason to doubt Barnaby Joyce when he said that people don’t care about free speech in Australia. Indeed, if it weren’t for their apathy we wouldn’t be in such a sorry state today. But in response to Mr Joyce I would ask if he knows of any other developed, Western nation where an Archbishop can be subject to the threat of the law simply because he dared teach his own pastoral flock.

That’s what happened in Tasmania with Archbishop Julian Porteous. Few people came to his defense. It was deafening silence from those in power, and a serious failure of our laws to uphold the principle of justice.

We know that the Senate has refused to act for free speech. People like Sen. Jaquie Lambie (who certainly enjoys her own freedom to say whatever she likes) have come out in defence of the cruel laws which inhibit open discussion on important issues. Too many people wear the scars of legislation as it stands. Australians, surely the most admirable members of the most multicultural sovereign state in the history of mankind, need to have the freedom to speak at peace about the unique issues that we face.

We deserve better than weaponised, thought policing, hate promoting, destruction mentality laws. We absolutly deserve better than our fear mongering Senate. Somehow, we must find a way to ive up to the principles of our liberal democracy.

Otherwise, God help us.

Blake Young is the Vice President of the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation

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