Flat White

Welcome to our new authoritarian ‘tolerance’

19 September 2017

7:26 AM

19 September 2017

7:26 AM

If you ever wondered what life would look like under a Rainbow Regime, then just consider the following.

Two years ago, in late August 2015, I witnessed a ‘straw in the wind.’ I received an email that included the flyer below. It announced that all students at Burwood Girls High School in the inner-west of Sydney were required to attend a special film, Gayby Baby.

Attendance was compulsory and students were informed that they would need to be specially dressed for the occasion, eat unusual food, and assemble under a rainbow flag. The flyer was sent to all parents at the school.

Now that you’ve seen it for yourself, note the following:

  • All classes were going to be cancelled for two periods (including year twelves who were preparing for the HSC).
  • All students were instructed to watch a certain movie with a clear LGBTIQ agenda.
  • Every student was told to ditch their school uniform for the day and come clothed in one particular colour – purple – which included shoes, hats, scarves, tops, jumpers, pants, socks, jewellery, skirts.
  • They were also told that they would then eat the same coloured food – I hope no one was gluten .intolerant.
  • And to top it off, they were to all have a fashion parade under the rainbow flag.

Now aside from the fact that the picture itself is a little creepy – who puts half-naked children on the front of their advertising material – what I came to realise is that this was a proverbial ‘straw in the wind.’ This is where the nation I grew up in and loved would end up if the homosexual political juggernaut continued to crash its way through our culture.

However, the thing that really stood out to everyone who received it was not necessarily what the flyer said, but what it didn’t say. i.e. there was going to be no ‘opt out.’ The students in the whole school were simply told what they would do. Shades of Orwell’s 1984? It couldn’t have been more comprehensive. Everything from watching a certain film, wearing certain clothing, eating certain food, participating in a parade, and finally pledging allegiance to a rainbow flag. Short of getting them to all engage in ‘orgy porgy,’ a Brave New World had finally arrived.

To be clear, our objection was not principally against the movie, Gayby Baby, but the implications for free speech and associated political coercion within the school.

Even more concerning though was the fact that the Principal, Mia Kumar, had breached the NSW Department of Education’s own guidelines which states:

1.1.1. Schools are neutral grounds for rational discourse and objective study. They are not arenas for opposing political views or ideologies.

1.1.2. Discussion of controversial issues is acceptable only when it clearly serves the educative purpose and is consistent with curriculum objectives. Such discussion is not intended to advance the interest of any group, political or otherwise.

A few days later I went into NSW Parliament House to speak with Adrian Piccoli – the education minister at the time – to raise this specific aspect with him. He refused to meet with me even though I had just recently retired as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of NSW & ACT. Instead, he over-reacted and banned the film. It was dumb politically because not only was it not what we were asking for but it gave a pretty mediocre film a whole lot of free publicity.

Now I’ve taught Special Religious Education in NSW State schools for almost twenty years – never at Burwood Girls High School though as Fairfax media outlets have reported. But just imagine the uproar if I had had classes cancelled for all students and made everyone watch a movie like, The Ten Commandments and required the girls to dress in robes and sandals, eat manna and quail and carry around a set of stone tablets. It would probably would have been the last class I ever taught!

Benjamin Law makes the objection that “Burwood Girls High didn’t receive a single complaint from Burwood students or families.” But that’s not the real truth. You see, a number of parents who had daughters at the school contacted both me and my colleagues asking for assistance because they were too frightened of raising it themselves. Indeed, their children begged them not to say anything due to the negative repercussions they would have to endure from their fellow students and some of their teachers.

What’s more, the media correctly reported that Craig Laundy, the Federal MP for the area was “inundated with calls from parents and community representatives.” And so, on Monday the August 24 (before the story broke), a public meeting was called by concerned parents with children at the school as well as local community members. A formal letter of concern was written and personally delivered to the school. I also personally contacted the school as well, asking to meet with the Principal, Mia Kumar, but was told that she was ‘unavailable.’

The Telegraph then very generously published an op-ed piece that I wrote, “What Actually Happened”, simply outlining the series of events. It obviously wasn’t very catchy because while the content was included unedited, the title was changed to, “Purple has become the colour of thought control.” Not only was it a sexier title, but seeing that a group of homosexual members of the NSW police force had turned up at Burwood Girls in their bespoke purple uniforms I realised that the heading was especially apt. (The subtext of that brazen but successful little police stunt was clear; “Don’t resist the gay agenda, kids, or we will come and get you!”)

As I was ploughing my way through Benjamin Law’s 20,000-word plus LGBTIQ manifesto I was somewhat bemused to read his conclusion that, “Mark Powell seemed to endow queers with X-Men-like superpowers.” Huh? It seems that Mr Law has clearly only read the title and then filled in the rest of the article with his own imagination.

The scariest thing of all though was that we hadn’t discovered the true nature of this, until then unheard of, program called Safe Schools. Now if there was ever an oxymoron this would have to be it. Because while it was being promoted as an anti-bullying campaign, clearly it was not. It was really all about the sexual social engineering of vulnerable children.

What my experience at Burwood Girls demonstrated then was that this was a ‘straw in the wind.’ A portent of what was to come. But what we didn’t realise was that the program of social engineering was more extreme, threatening and far-reaching than any of us could have imagined.

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield. 

Cartoon: Ben R Davis.

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