The Phoney War is Over

The days of free speech in Australia have come to an end. From today, public speech comes with a cost.

For several decades Australia has experienced a pseudo-peace. Since the 1960s the sexual revolution has been gaining momentum and slowly dynamiting deeply held views about God, humanity, sex, and family. We have noted these changes, and sometimes with protest, but mostly we just get on with life and pretend that things are not so bad. The last 3 years has seen an acceleration in social and moral change, and just maybe we are rubbing the sleep from our eyes and beginning to wonder, what’s going on? Gender is fluid, and it’s compulsory for my kids to be taught this in school? Marriage can be for 2 people of the same gender?

For several years I have tried to speak to all kind of issues in the public square, with a measure of success and also with some mistakes. Today, I’m calling it, the days of free speech have come to an end. The end though won’t be the end because the appetite of the sexual revolution is insatiable, and we are fools if we think that the conquest will end should Australia adopt same-sex marriage. Changing the law will simply escalate the efforts of those who would love to see Christianity pushed into Southern Ocean.

The catalyst for this cultural epitaph was a video produced by the Bible Society. Understand what people are so angrily protesting about:

The video does not present a hate filled preacher spitting out vitriol.

The video does not present a Christian leader carefully and winsomely articulating the Bible’s view on marriage.

The video shows a gay man who supports same-sex marriage and a heterosexual man who does not, and they are engaging in a respectful conversation about marriage while enjoying a beer.

What is so reprehensible about this video? Nothing, of course, but in the eyes of the self-determined moral judges of our age, this video debunks the myth they have spun, that civil speech and questioning same sex marriage cannot go together. From Canberra to Spring St, from SBS to The Age, we have been told that unless we support same sex marriage without qualification, we are bigots and homophobes. The problem is, this video dismantles that myth. But instead of engaging with it, there has been outrage because there is no forgiveness for those who dare denude the same-sex marriage narrative. 

The Hastie/Wilson conversation (and there are many other examples that could be mentioned) reminds us that there are still people of good will, Australians of different persuasions who believe in giving everyone a say on these important topics. What we are seeing however, are vocal and powerful people overreaching and drowning out these discussions.

To be fair, some people have also argued that the same-sex marriage is a human right, and to even question marriage change is therefore undermining their rights. I can see the point of view, but this is also a myth and needs challenging: marriage is not a human right…for anyone. It is a gift and a privilege but not a right. More than that, the onus lays with marriage change advocates to demonstrate the logic of their definition for marriage. How can any reasonable society redefine its societal foundation without first having reasoned, rigorous, and respectful discourse?

Let the reader understand, anyone, any organisation or person who allies themselves with civil discourse will not be immune for public shaming. Add God or the Bible to the mix, and the response will be even stronger.

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It’s also important for us to realise from today that opponents to free speech are not prepared to end with name calling. Despite not being a sponsor of the video, Cooper’s Brewery has been branded homophobic and could well suffer financial loss as a result. The lesson is, if you associate too closely with Christians and they happen to say anything about marriage, be prepared to take a financial hit.

It is somewhat ironic, and indeed Biblical, that this watershed day centres on an organisation that exists to bring the word of God to Australians. It’s not totally unlike when Hamlet mistakingly kills Polonius with his sword.

Waving his sword around, Hamlet shouts, ‘How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!’ He then plunges his sword into a wall carpet and kills Polonius who is hiding behind.His mother cries, ‘what hast thou done?’ , to which Hamlet responds, ‘dunno’.

I wonder, have we understood our actions and the consequences that will flow from them?

I’ve had Christian friends suggest to me today, if only the Bible Society had stayed away from same-sex marriage, as though that would keep everybody happy. Respectfully, do we not realise that that is in itself a concession, and is simply buying into the rhetoric of those who wish to outlaw dissenting speech and belief from society?

In some formal sense, free speech will exist tomorrow morning, but  in practice, a cacophonous minority have succeeded in shouting down reasoned and respectful speech. I remember one year ago referring to freedom of speech as the gordian knot of our time; well, today the sword has been taken out of its sheath and cut right through the ropes.

Free speech is gone and what we have left is costly speech. To speak truth will cost. To suggest an alternative narrative, will have you branded as bigot, and more.

Again understand, this is not about what is right and fair, or about what is reasonable and respectful, it is about conforming to the program of what Stephen McAlpine has termed, the sexual fundamentalists.

What now?

For many Australians life will go on as usual, until the shrapnel finally crashes through their own lounge-room window.

The self-determined moral elite will celebrate with a pint  of anything-but-Coopers-Beer. 

Today may well mark the end of cost-free speech in this country, but it doesn’t mark the end of the Gospel and the relevance of the Church. The reality is, we could lose all our political and civic freedoms, and yet we will not cease to love Christ and to love and serve our neighbours.

What I am praying is that sleepy Christians will wake up, alert Christians will be humble, and compromising Christians will repent.

“Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Revelation 3:2-3)

Christians in this country have to often and wrongly believed that we can have our Christianity and  it won’t cost us anything. Sure, we recite those verses that talk about talking up our cross, and we nod in agreement, but our lives betray this flimsy assent to Jesus. We have believed the prophets of our time who calmly reassure us that there is peace, when in fact there is no peace. We work and play and make love, and believe the world is ok. We have turned to our false prophets who keep scratching where we itch and assuring us that all is well. But the phoney war has ended, and too many of us have been caught unprepared. We love our hedonistic lifestyle, and I fear many will be unable to let it go in order to follow Christ into this new Australia.

We need to wake up.

This is no time to leave behind Biblical convictions and godly character. We must resist any temptation to run away or to change teams. The one thing we can no longer afford to do is keep pretending everything is ok: I’ve got my family, and my job, and Church is there when I need it. She’ll be right, ain’t right!

If we (I’m speaking to Christians here) are serious about staying true to that which we have become persuaded of, namely the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we can no longer afford to live in isolation from other Christians. Christians without a Church don’t survive. We need one another for encouragement, support, care, correction, and courage. Roll out of bed and commit to a local church. Forget about the materialist and ultimately self-centred Aussie dream, drop the beach days every other weekend, and instead commit  to learning from and supporting your brothers and sisters in Christ.

We also need to listen to the Bible more closely than we have ever done before. Take for example, the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes have been misrepresented a fair bit lately. They are not cushy and likeable sentiments, they are vital words teaching us how to live in a fallen world.

Indeed the Beatitudes give us perhaps the greatest template for speaking and living in an environment that is eager for us to disappear. It is worth every moment to read and consider the Beatitudes. Be encouraged, be challenged, be rebuked, be changed:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

    for they will be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful,

    for they will be shown mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

    for they will see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

    for they will be called children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


If you have read this article, I’d also encourage you to read this follow up piece (published March 15th) – https://murraycampbell.net/2017/03/15/in-the-coopers-wash-up-lets-revisit-the-beatitudes/

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26 thoughts on “The Phoney War is Over

  1. Thank you Murray for this well reasoned writing. I am encouraged by your reasoned thinking, as well as being challenged by it. Blessings, brother.

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  2. Thank you for your insightful article.

    Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
    Galatians 6:8‭-‬10 NIV
    http://bible.com/111/gal.6.8-10.NIV

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  3. Thank you for this thoughtful piece, Murray Campbell.

    We will never give up, in our battle to maintain freedom in Australia.

    It is possible to co-exist peacefully, respectfully and happily with others – including others who hold different views.

    All good societies are built on this understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, come on, Sophie, there is no “respect” in calling for the law to discriminate against LGBTI people, no matter how politely you phrase it. (Which, incidentally, you don’t.)

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  4. Pingback: The Hair of the Dog that Bit The Bible Society | Stephen McAlpine

  5. “What is so reprehensible about this video? Nothing, of course”

    Oh, really? Look, if you don’t understand what people are objecting to, maybe don’t phrase this as a rhetorical question with no answer.

    What is reprehensible about the video is that it pretends that there is a legitimate, civil case to be made for the law to discriminate against LGBTI people. There is no such legitimate, civil case.

    THERE IS NO “POLITE” WAY TO ARGUE FOR FELLOW AUSTRALIANS TO BE TREATED AS SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS UNDER THE LAW.

    To illustrate – how about we have a “polite, civil” debate about whether the law should stop christians marrying. With the law denying christians the right to marry while we debate it. How civil do you think you’d be if people were politely suggesting your marriages were a threat to children? How civil would be if the law was calling for you to be denied the basic rights other citizens enjoy?

    Marriage equality isn’t even about marriage – it’s about equality before the law. Whether or not marriage is a good thing, or should be privileged over other relationship types – there is *no basis for the law discriminating against people on the grounds of gender*.

    If the law lets a bloke marry Jennifer, but would prevent a woman from doing the same thing, then that is an indefensibly discriminatory law that cannot stand.

    And as Sophie York’s band of lying hatemongers above keep demonstrating, the only way they can think to try to defend this discrimination is by spreading vicious lies about harming children. I think you’ll find a great many Australians would think Sophie York and her mindless bigotry a far worse threat to children than being raised by an LGBTI couple. And yet nobody is debating Sophie’s right to marry.

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    • Maybe gay couples ARE second class citizens? It’s a hypothetical and I’m not committed to this statement, but a gay couple is not the same as a heterosexual couple, genetics preclude them from being identical to each other. In a similar sense, a marriage isn’t the same as a casual sex Tinder date either. Laura, you appear to have decided that everyone has the same rights and opportunities. They don’t. Right or wrong, life is different for all of us. Same sex Marriage is not marriage equality, it is same sex marriage. I can only assume you still want to maintain most of the marriage act, which intentionally restricts marriage even for heterosexuals. Even so, the institution of marriage has been severely undermined to the point where I am confused about why it is even an issue. Sexual fidelity doesn’t have much bearing on marriage, it’s almost like advocates are battling for the scorched earth where marriage was once found.
      Quite a perplexing issue. One that is not made clearer by ignoring the fact that choosing a genetically incompatible partner, as gays do, will result in a failure to reproduce. I am happy to let right and wrong and opinion go to the wicketkeeper on this, but we do no favours by encouraging some people to ignore the consequences of their choices.

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      • Thanks for confirming the contempt for LGBTI people at the heart of opposition to marriage equality, and demonstrating precisely why there’s no “civil, polite” way to debate this. Because at its core, opposition to equality before the law for LGBTI people is based on seeing them as somehow “lesser” people.

        The law presently discriminates against LGBTI people on the grounds of their sexuality/gender. It says a man may marry a woman, but prevents a woman from doing the same thing. There is no basis for the law to do this.

        Every single anti-equality argument is fallacious and flawed. eg
        “That’s the definition! It says one man and one woman for life!” – Oh, really? Then how come the law allows divorce?
        “Gay people can’t have kids” – so what? Nor can post-menopausal women, and they can still marry.
        “We don’t want our priests forced to perform marriage ceremonies for gay people” – muslims can marry now, so can atheists, how often is a christian priest forced to conduct a wedding ceremony for them? This is a nonsense fear.

        The real fears you have are that it’ll make it harder for you to harm LGBTI people in public, by discriminating against them in the public sphere (“sorry, this shop is only for straight people”) or to harm LGBTI kids by indoctrinating them that their identity is wrong. That’s your real fear. That marriage equality will undermine your ability to harm LGBTI people.

        Which is of course one reason why it is so important.

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      • @Laura
        Thanks for confirming the Christianphobic nature of your ilk.

        ” Because at its core, opposition to equality before the law for LGBTI people is based on seeing them as somehow “lesser” people.”
        I don’t know about ‘lesser’ but homosexuality is definitely different than heterosexuality.

        ” It says a man may marry a woman, but prevents a woman from doing the same thing.”
        That’s because a man-woman union is by definition different from any homosexual relationship. Among the main difference, a man-woman relationship can result in children. In fact, all people have to come from a father and a mother. Even children generated via IVF still require male and female ‘donors’. In other words it still affirms heterosexuality. By contrast, homosexuality can’t generate people. And this in turn has implications for the very existence of people.

        ” Oh, really? Then how come the law allows divorce?”
        What’s this suppose to imply? You support divorce for presumably homosexuals? In that case why bother with ‘marriage’?

        “Gay people can’t have kids”
        Very true, they are completely unable to have kids. By contrast every children (and by extension, every people that exists) comes from a mother and a father. And children are most naturally raised by their biological father and mother, preferably in a bonded, stable family unit. Hence marriage (between man and woman) and family.

        ” muslims can marry now, so can atheists,”
        I think you’ll find that their understanding of marriage (particularly for Muslims) is it is a male-female matter.

        “..how often is a christian priest forced to conduct a wedding ceremony for them? This is a nonsense fear”
        Tell that to Tasmanian Archbishop Julian Porteous, who was nearly dragged into a tribunal for…teaching the traditional Catholic understanding of marriage to his fellow Catholics. So Catholics are not allowed to be Catholics…

        “..by discriminating against them in the public sphere (“sorry, this shop is only for straight people”)..”
        Funny, it is the LGBTI people that are most discriminatory to anyone who doesn’t follow their ways, as the recent Coopers Brewery fiasco showed.
        Apart from that, certain LGBTI businesses have banned women and heterosexuals from entering their premises:
        http://www.samesame.com.au/news/822/Gay-Bar-Wins-Right-To-Out-Straights
        http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/collingwoods-sircuit-bar-wins-right-to-ban-women/news-story/bf38fde91ab317cef97da9f99da9af39
        If they can get away with that, then people who do not support homosexuality are equally entitled to refuse homosexuals. Or do you not believe in ‘equality’ now.

        “..harm LGBTI kids by indoctrinating them that their identity is wrong.”
        By many measures, it is the LGBTI lifestyle that is inherently unhealthy:
        http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/hiv-diagnoses-hit-20year-high-20140716-ztqqr.html
        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-17/hiv-rates-in-australia-remain-at-20-year-high/5602706
        http://www.philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay689903_20140719_HIV_Diagnoses_Down_in_U_S___Except_for_Young_Gay_Males__CDC.html
        So why would you want to encourage something so destructive? Trying to destroy human society itself?

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    • Sorry, but I didn’t read anything in this post that sounded like it was coming from “lying hatemongers” or involved “vicious lies to children”. You are giving credence to this man’s argument by your agressive, shouty language. My take on this is that it’s not about selectively witholding the right to marriage from one group or another, It’s about redefining the nature of marriage so that it now includes humans of the same sex. To force someone to comply with your belief or face consequences is an attack on freedom of belief and speech. What is hatespeech? It seems that it is when someone verbalises an opinion that you find unpalatable.

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    • Hi Laura,

      I believe you are conflating a civil union and marriage, there is an important difference which you are missing.

      The difference is pretty simple: In a civil union (as the name suggests) a couple is joined by a judge, a celebrant, a JoP or a ship captain; in other words an individual empowered by the state to conduct a secular ceremony and confer full legal rights between them.

      In a marriage, by contrast, the couple are joined by a priest, a rabbi, a minister or some other individual with spiritual authority to conduct a religious ceremony.

      Govt may pass legislation to allow Jennifer to join in civil union with anyone she wishes. But they cannot pass any bill that would affect marriage without violating section 116 of the constitution.

      Bigotry doesn’t come into it, most Australians believe in the separation of powers between church and state. I don’t think many would stand for an erosion of that principle.

      My personal view is that government has not the power to either allow or deny a homosexual couple from getting married, that falls to the faith of the individuals in question. I am not certain, but I have heard that some religions (Wiccans, Buddhists) permit it and if they conducted their ceremony under one of those faiths and pushed the case to the supreme court then they would win, again under 116.

      Fortunately for religious freedom, the same right that would allow *random sheila* to marry Jennifer also allows *random clergyman* to decline to conduct the ceremony without prosecution under the anti-discrimination act. After all, that is what this whole debate is about from the radical left – not out of compassion for homosexuals but rather the desire to prosecute people of faith.

      Regards,
      Al

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  6. i agree with this article on the whole. however it isn’t new that free speech is costly.

    some things to consider:
    1. I found the video to be very respectful on this issue which is rare. So in that case the reaction was a bit much, but expected, after all the very same free speech that Murray and most uphold is being exercised in the boycott. However what is lacking is actually a bit of understanding and grace from the other side. Christians may have been terrible in the past, but that is no excuse for non-constructive conversation. This video is a counter example and shines as an example of what the public debate could look a bit more like on these issues.

    2. The issue of rights. Often people argue that marriage is a fundamental human right that Murray and others like myself are denying. As the video itself gives, the main argument is not preservation of civil legislation affirmed in both the marriage act of 1961 and family law well before 2004 on a common census that marriage was by definition between a man and a woman. This may be considered discrimination in the negative sense by some who view it as a simply a committed relationship between two people, with all the legal benefits. Firstly the changing of definition, will that actually achieve equality? Is equality really the greatest good? What the video explains very well, is that the most common and understood experience and meaning and purpose behind marriage that isn’t bound simply to Western culture has the distinction and includes both genders. I think it is certainly a unique union that celebrates the diversity that exists in the human race by acknowledging the biological, relational and functional differences between men and women. (There are several issues in the public sphere that certainly highlight this distinction certainly in the mind of certain activist groups)

    3. Without commenting on whether same sex couples should raise children, historically marriage has been involved/concerned with sexual intimacy but more importantly reproduction and the establishment of the family. It is rationally logical to therefore defend its position as the main way in which children can be raised, in generality.

    3. Marriage, as it currently is applied to in law, reflects the understanding of marriage that has strong cultural and symbolic significance for people of various cultures and various religions, including FN people’s and of course Christians. It is a common belief that is shared by those of faith and those of not, and those of a different culture and those like myself who are of Australian descent. As an international nation, and culture and recognising that a majority of countries have this understanding, it isn’t illogical to argue that it is a position that can be respectfully held.

    4. The amount of dissent and retort to the more conservative position, once you sift past the rhetoric of anti-gay or marriage equality terms which act more as marketing funnels than actually helping and respecting opinions held in good judgement and conscious, and already seek to shut down and stifle rational discussion of this. This isn’t new, and Christians have certainly needed to learn to better response with sensitivity to the other issues that should be addressed within the legal system, such as the legal benefits that should realistically be applied in generality between a committed relationship as it is certainly not the place of the government to either comment nor discriminate on the personal decisions and sexual lifestyle choices often BUT not necessarily informed by their sexual preference. Nor should with an institution that predates law, as it is indeed is from natural law to some measure, but rather keep it at as the unique union it is.

    5. Marriage may seem discriminatory if it is assumed that it is a right for all people; however the exclusive nature of marriage in terms of both genders, has been well established and whether it can be considered as a more general right in terms of significance that marriage has played is contested and those on both sides need to seek understanding that there are different ethical, moral and “rights” that are forming people’s basis in general for their position.

    6. I think to sum up what i think marriage equality means is this, is the legal enshrinement and recognition of committed relationships of a homosexual nature. This is where the whole love is love argument comes in. Firstly does the government need to change the definition to actually be able to legitimise their relationships. Well it is tricky. I know for Christians they are just as concerned about their marriage between recognised under God as covenant of promises, but will seek to live in compliance with the law as well. Just some loose threads of course.

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    • there is a not that is supposed to be there in (2) but could be misunderstood. The main point of the video was the institution of marriage as it should be called predates the legislation which upholds its definition.

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  7. The Church has allowed the sanctity of marriage to be eroded by the feminist agenda to the point that some churches now avail their member of the legal favours the disparity offers, considering the outcome an expression of God’s will. Until the Church begins to have a united understanding that the sanctity of marriage is an outworking of our response to Christ’s unwavering commitment to His bride, these fringe issues will continue to overbear marriage itself.

    Of course, stand against altering marriage by definition from without but firstly let’s stand consolidated for a serious acceptance of marriage from within.

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  8. You couldn’t be more wrong – freedom of speech has been a long and well held fallacious belief (much like many elements of Christianity), and whilst it may be cast in legislation in this country (and Coopers suffered no legal or political ramifications for their affiliations here, you do realise?), there has always been a moral cost to speech. It is just that now the price is no longer being exclusively paid by downtrodden minority peoples, who have lived their lives and collective experiences under a cloud of judgement and fear, perpetuated arbitrarily by people like yourself who are afraid to abandon the traditional limitations reserved for those who fail to live up to greater society’s hyper-critical standards of normativism. If you don’t understand this, then you cannot possibly be a true Christian, as the challenging aspects of Christ’s message that encourage us to engage with those living at the fringes and disengage with exclusionism are obviously totally lost on you.

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    • Minorities lived their lives under a cloud of fear and judgement?! Feeling a bit oppressed much?!
      You are describing an active police state focused on the subjugation of minorities and this does not describe any nation I can think of except the authoritarian regimes that ‘the West’ has stood against.
      The decision to use such imagery and language on a Christian blog is misguided. I’m left trying to reconcile how Aboriginals are like the Canaanites or African Americans are like the non Christians in Revelation. The imagery you chose has context and you’ve hacked it to pieces to embrace some untrue and misguided politics.

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      • So, you are unaware then that being homosexual was a crime in all states of Australia until the late 20th century? That Aboriginal people were not even regarded as human under Australian constitutional law until 1967? And that policing is not the domain merely of the state, in matters of social normativity – that it is more likely to happen through societal exclusionism and acts of violence at the behest of people who believe themselves to be acting in alignment with general attitudes? Keep going with your reconciliation, you might understand it one day.

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  9. Hi Murray,

    Thank you for writing this article, it articulates so many of the feelings I have on the topic. Living and working for Gospel in Japan means I do not have the time (nor is it my role at the moment) to give time to these issues back home but I am thankful that the Lord is using people like you to biblically, prayerfully and faithfully engage with these vital issues.

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  10. I agree with Alan. “Secular” unions are as equally covered *at law* as are “Spiritual” unions.
    Any law recognizing same-sex marriage (eg Marriage Act 1961 Cth) which *requires* any ministers of religion to celebrate such marriages, would be currently unlawful under Section 116 of the Constitution, and easily struck down. Section 116 prevents the Federal Parliament from enacting any law that “interfere[s] improperly with religious freedom.”
    https://lawandreligionaustralia.blog/2016/08/30/is-denying-same-sex-marriage-unconstitutional/
    Constitution s 116: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s116.html
    Anyone still pointing fingers at “inequality” are either unfamiliar with (or deliberately ignore) the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
    The Commonwealth *Family Law Act* was amended by Julia Gillard in 2008 (see Part VIIIAB) to legislate for “de facto” couples (including same-sex couples), aligning full legal equality in every way all provisions as defined in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) s 5, etc. These included all property settlements, spousal maintenance, superannuation splitting, and financial agreements provisions.
    See Family Law Act ss 90RA – 90WA: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fla1975114/
    Upon that basis, the only conclusion left is that we are witnessing an overt ideological attack by secular / atheist adherents — specifically against “religion”.

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  11. Good on you too Murray for trying in these very hot potato issues. These powerful groups what there agenda on the rest of society. Like the old saying if we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything. Why should a minority rule over a majority in these issues. When we as Christians condem ourselves for not loving those not like ourselves. As far as l know this video was trying to have a reasonable debate about the topic. Seems like your not even allowed to do that any more.

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  12. I think you may have missed the point of what was actually happening with the Bible Society (and Coopers) entered the Marriage Equality debate.

    The reaction I believe is because people in Australia are over the debate, the majority of Australian (significantly) and a majority of Christians, poll after poll are saying they want the secular law changed. There will not be any imposition on the Churches as Ministers will still have the right not to marry anyone as they currently do today (most people forget that).

    The ACL has done the Christian perspective a lot of harm as they are effectively an anti-LGBTIQ group (look at the number of press releases on LGBTIQ matters versus other matters of injustice), and actually making it almost impossible for reasoned Christian discussion to emerge, because their strategy is not to debate marriage equality (I assume because they can not put forward a rational argument) so they try to bring in erroneous and unrelated points, however they fall flat, because many of the argument – what about the children, there are already LGBTIQ family kids and studies are showing they are doing as well if not better than their peers.

    The real issue from my perspective and why so many people reacted, was that the Bible Society had a Christian and an Atheist speaking. The subtle message here is that the Christian represented all Christians, which is clearly not the case, and in fact as we understand more about the culture, history and context of the Biblical times, the anti homosexual position is breaking down at rapid speed.

    If the Bible Society wanted to add value to the debate, it would have been far more useful and enlightening for the community if they had had two Christians with alternative positions to discuss their positions.

    Cooper just got caught up in the mess.

    Then unfortunately Minister Dutton has completely put his foot in it late last week lambasting the CEO’s who wrote to the PM on getting the issue of marriage equality solved. Essentially he was saying they didn’t have any right to speak! What is interesting, is that when you look at business research, say from Credit Suisse, one of their longitudinal studies identifies that companies with a positive LGBITQ Diversity program outperform their peer companies, so it is actually in the company and their shareholders best interest to support LGBTIQ Diversity, and therefor marriage equality. Regrettably he went on to personally attack one of the CEO, Alan Joyce from Qantas who is gay – this become borderline (or may be actual) homophobia.

    The Sydney Anglican and Catholic Churches made fools of themselves at the Senate Enquiry into the proposed act, when they claimed that people needed the religious right not to serve people in secular tasks because they might be considered “integral, direct and intimate”, and of course there is no Biblical basis for this, so they are creating Pharisaic Laws, just like Jesus came to get rid of.

    There was so much false and misleading information given to the Senate Enquiry by a number of Christian organisations, that it has called into question their credibility.

    So when Christian groups/people get called out for misleading information, get called out for attacking companies when it is in their best interest, get called out for diverting from the discussion at hand, get called out for absolute naivety in entering a discussion last (Bible Society), the response from some of these Christians is to cry foul and claim that free speech is over.

    Free speech comes with obligations and comes with the right from those opposite to express their view. If a position can not sustain a robust argument, it most likely means the logos is not there.

    Free speech is a live and well, it is just that when others are expressing their free speech some people are saying it is not fair. Then who is actually reducing the effectiveness of free speech?

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  13. The methodology of those studies that purport to show positive outcomes for children raised by same sex parents, compared to those raised by same sex parents is problematic. Research samples were obtained by advertising in gay magazines. The participants were told that they were participating in a study that was designed to show positive outcomes for children of same sex parents. This meant that the results were also skewed by favourable self reporting.

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  14. The statement that “The days of free speech in Australia have come to an end.” seems a little over the top. But maybe that is because you are censoring comments you don’t agree with here.

    Like

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