Just days after writing a piece on how to speak and engage in public, today the Australian public has witnessed further examples of immature and dishonest debate.
Earlier today in the halls of Parliament there was a brief and unpleasant exchange between Bill Shorten and Cory Bernadi. Mr Bernadi called Mr Shorten a ‘fraud’, while Mr Shorten yelled out, ‘At least I’m not a homophobe, mate’.
In today’s The Age, Jill Stark has presented what is now an all to common false-antithesis: either we are progressive, enlightened and support gender theory, or we are conservative, culturally regressive bigots.
“We cannot let the march of equality be held to ransom by a powerful minority of religious zealots who dress up their bigotry as concern for children.”
“These are desperate acts from ideological crusaders who refuse to accept that the inequality they have built their privilege on is in its death throes.
But fear is a powerful emotion. If you can scare conservative voters into thinking the by-product of equality is a world in which their children will be forced into some sort of state-sanctioned gay induction camp, facts are no longer necessary.”
Is Stark right? Are our only options, be caring citizens who support Safe Schools or hate-filled degenerates who wish children harm? Of course not.
- There are many Australians who don’t identify with conservative politics and who reject current gender theory.
- There are many Australian Christians not aligning with the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), and who affirm the historic Biblical understanding of gender and sexuality.
- It is possible to be appalled and saddened by bullying in schools, and not support the Safe Schools program.
- It is possible to actively care for and support families who have children identifying as LGBTQIA, without introducing Safe Schools.
- It is possible for our schools to teach values such as respect and kindness amidst diversity without pushing specific and questionable gender theory. Many schools are doing an excellent job discouraging bullying without needing Safe Schools.
- It is possible to have legitimate concerns over Safe Schools and not be homophobic and all the other insidious and untrue name calling that Jill Stark and others are resorting too. There is a sad note of irony in how these anti-bullying advocates are among the most quick to disparage and heckle those who don’t support their social engineering project.
- It is possible parents don’t want their 11 and 12 year old children children being encouraged to explore sexuality in school.
- It is possible many parents would be concerned if our schools permitted male students to use female toilets and change rooms.
I know many many people in the community who fit all the above statements, although most remain quiet and anonymous because they fear retribution from the kind of journalism Jill Stark is scripting.
Finally, Jill Stark tries to reassure readers with this concluding remark,
“For the record, Safe Schools does not teach children how to be gay. It encourages young people to be themselves without fear of persecution or judgment, and fosters empathy for those who are different to them.
There is no “gay manual” because sexuality is not something that can be learned. Any suggestion to the contrary is a deliberate attempt to deny the very existence of LGBTI people.”
While I understand her logic, I can only assume Jill Stark hasn’t read all the material and that she has ignored the links on the Safe Schools website. Also, as a parent I am all to aware how what my children read and what they watch influences how they think and behave. It is simply benighted, or least naive, to conclude that Safe Schools will not impact the behaviour and thinking of children.
I am not interested in the politics of this debate, but I am speaking as a concerned parent, and as a person who is concerned by the continued untrue rhetoric certain journalists and politicians would have us believe about Australians who dare question current gender ideology.
3 thoughts on “‘Safe Schools’ and the Danger of Polemical Rhetoric”
Thank you for articulating my thoughts. As someone that has voiced concerns about this program I can relate to many of the issues you raise.
Great piece Murray. Spells out facts to the point. Keep it up. Leroy
Very well covered… Of the many concerns from many people from many backgrounds…
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