New Concerns over Victoria’s Proposed Banning of Conversion Practices

As a Victorian, I have a moral obligation to report to authorities personal knowledge of alleged child abuse. As a pastor of a church, I have both a moral and legal duty to report knowledge of or suspicions of child abuse. Mandatory reporting is a social good. Even without the legal requirement, one’s natural concerns for a child’s wellbeing would automate contacting the police.

In Victoria, under new laws being proposed by the Andrews Government, I can be imprisoned for 12-18 months, for speaking up against the psychological and physical trauma inflicted upon children by gender warriors and dangerous medicos who work to change a child’s gender or sex.

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Last year the Victorian Government revealed plans to ban conversion practices. While the original issue was gay conversion therapy, the scope has been broadened to include any and all sexualities, including transgenderism. In November, I exposed the biased and flawed reports upon which the Government is basing its definition. I also noted at the time that the proposed definition of conversion therapy is so broad that it includes normal Church preaching from the Bible where topics of sexuality are mentioned. Indeed, a Christian wedding could also fall foul for Christian Churches define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. In what would be an extraordinary attack on Christianity, an Australian State Government is arguing that Classical Christian teaching is harmful and can be banned.

Earlier in January, retired Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Stuart Lindsay, wrote an article where he alerts Victorians to another serious implication of Government’s planned laws. With the apt title, Sound an Alarm: Gender Activism Is About To Silence Us, Judge Lindsay explains how,

“the Victorian government intends to pass a law very soon that may see ordinary citizens imprisoned if they speak up against the chemical, psychological and physical mutilation of confused adolescents.” 

And,

“The discussion paper and the reports it relies on, together with Ms. Hennessey’s public utterances about them, make it clear that Victoria intends to make plain what is latent or ambiguous in Queensland’s proposed legislation. It is not just the individual transsexual or homosexual who needs protection from conversion; no, the criminality can arise outside of any therapeutic context. It is society that needs to be protected so the mere utterance of heterodox views about affirmation of gender or sexual “choice” must be extirpated.”

“This is what is about to happen: talking about or writing about or counselling against or promoting caution about affirmation as the sole medically permitted response to any putative decision by an individual to transition to their non-natal sex, or even discussing the practice of affirmation generally in a non-supportive way, is about to made illegal. It will at the very least be subject to civil penalty proceedings (in which case, see you in the Tribunal, facing up against publicly funded gender radicals).  Much more likely are serious criminal penalties. I mean prison sentences”

The irony is not difficult to see. Indeed, it is not so much ironic as it is moronic and downright dangerous for anyone with a conscience and who still believes in science and commonsense. According to Premier Daniel Andrews and Attorney General Jill Hennessey, praying for individuals who are struggling with their sexuality is immoral, and preaching Biblical sexual ethics is also wrong. But telling a boy that they are really a girl and putting them in a dress, and changing their name, and beginning medical procedures and filling them with drugs to alter their biology and physical appearance is considered a moral imperative. Of course, the issue is becoming more insidious as a growing number of psychologists and doctors express concerns over how children with gender dysphoria are being treated.

I am quickly writing this and putting it into the public space before Parliament sits and I find writing my memoirs from a prison cell.

Judge Lindsay notes the real agenda behind the Government’s move, as I have also noted in the past. It is grievous to say but it has little to do with the wellbeing of children, and much to do with implementing cultural Marxism. Before this is dismissed as one of those tiresome and hyperbolic caricatures,  Roz Ward, (who is the architect of Safe Schools and academic at La Trobe University), has openly admitted that this is the case. 

To close, allow me to repeat what I wrote lastNovember,

As it stands, the Government’s proposal is nothing short of forced conversion. Without significant revisions, this looks like an attempt to control and redefine what religious organisations believe and teach about human sexuality and flourishing.

Victoria is witnessing a fundamental clash of worldviews, one supports a healthy pluralism in our society and the other believes in conforming to a narrow and uncompromising agenda.

The Government’s current position on conversion practice is about pressuring religious groups to change their views on sexuality. If the definitions were limited to those rare, extreme, and dangerous practices that some peoples have been subjected, there is warrant for discussion. What we are seeing thus far from the Government is unnecessary and contravenes those basic distinctions between Church and State.

Christians don’t believe in forced conversions. We believe in persuading others of a message that is good and attractive. Christianity is by definition a conversion religion. No one is born a Christian. People become Christians as they are convinced by the truthfulness and goodness of Christianity’s message, the Gospel of Jesus of Christ.

Christianity posits conversion as a result of personal conviction and choice, whereas the Government’s position seems to be, convert by coercion. Indeed, placing this conversation on conversion under the “Department of Justice and Community Safety” is probably not meant to be prophetic, but the irony is certainly not be missed.

All Victorians should be concerned by the Government’s plan to ban conversion practices. Let me reiterate, the Government is indicating more than simply banning practices that have proven harmful to some individuals, they are proposing to force-convert religious organisations and churches to the theological convictions of the new secular sexual milieu.

In the future, will Churches and religious organisations in Victoria have freedom to preach, teach, and counsel and pray in line with their religious convictions? Without significant revisions to the proposed definition, the answer is probably no

Indeed, as Judge Lindsay has now revealed, a prison term may also be in the offering for those evil Christians and dreadful medical professionals who dare speak out against the new ‘normal’.

 

 


Note: this is not a personal or political attack on Daniel Andrews. Earlier this month I praised him for his work during the bushfire crisis

5 thoughts on “New Concerns over Victoria’s Proposed Banning of Conversion Practices

  1. Well Murray, I will happily share a cell with you on this, if that is what it comes to. May the Lord give us strength and wisdom in the face of these moronic and downright dangerous legislative games.
    Acts 5:29 refers.
    Question: When was this legislative agenda spelled out in full detail by Mr Andrews and his “team” at the last State election? Answer: It wasn’t because the Labor Party itself is so bent on winning it cannot marshall the political courage in its own ranks to explain its “inclusive diversity” (AKA – internal ideological disputes on crucial matters of conscience) to electors because it will be electorally damaging and so goes into the election with a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, waiting until it has the reins of parliamentary power in its grasp before it tries to decide on its policies … sending out a discussion paper in its attempt to weasle its way to its new “progressive” policy with a thin veneer of consultative legitimacy … was it this kind of dishonest kite-flying on this same issue (public disclosure of legislative intention) that got Labor defeated in the “unlosable” Federal election?
    The question is: with all their juristic brilliance why didn’t the Prime Minister’s Panel (chaired by a former federal Attorney General to boot) anticipate these legislative restrictions on Religious Freedom? The panel’s bias toward a neoliberal corporatist view of “religious freedom” ignored the need to safeguard the freedom of belief of perhaps 30% of the population who need to be respected for declaring, even if it were a thoroughly bogus survey, their belief that marriage is exclusively between a husband and a wife.
    Keep up the good work. The end is not yet but perhaps the conduct of the State Labor Government gives strong support to the view that the Labor Party as a political party is actually dead. Their problem, and ours too, is that they are not facing up to it as they dish up such deadly parliamentary “stuff”.

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  2. The Attorney General the Hon Christian Porter is receiving submissions on Draft 2 of the Religious Freedom Bill until tomorrow evening. As it stands, the draft legislation does not unequivocally allow the Commonwealth Law to override State Law, potentially opening the way for States to remove religious freedoms that are protected federally. In the draft bill religious activity is defined as ‘lawful’ religious activity.’ Proper limitations should exclude ‘criminal’ activity, but not ‘unlawful’ activity. States could take advantage of that, as it seems would happen in Victoria. I think the International human rights documents that Australia is a signatory to, should be implemented through Commonwealth legislation … and binding on the states and Territories, don’t you? See ICCPR Article 18.
    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/commission-general/international-covenant-civil-and-political-rights-human-rights-your
    I’m not a legal bod … just a concerned Christian. And we’re not trying to save our own skins. God’s definition of reality is good for us all.

    Thanks for keeping us informed, Murray.

    Rosemary Albert

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  3. Indeed this is not just lobbying for “Christian” causes. Well said, Rosemary. There is merit in the accusation that the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s proposed legislation is a feint drawing attention away from the previous Attorney-General’s failure to ensure justice was safeguarded in the December 2017 Marriage Act. But more than that. It is a political attempt to draw attention away from the treachery of the Liberal and National Parties in their resolute walking away from the rights of those who believe that marriage is a husband-wife union – as qualified above: exclusively so. Judged in terms of a public justice for all norm, that Act is a serious failure and yet it is what provides the State Government with grounds for enforcing an anthropological theory upon our polity, leaving those who do not subscribe to it on the wrong side of the law.

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    • Do you think we (some of us at least), should join a political party and take part in selecting candidates? We can only vote for the candidates already selected. We are members of a democracy. Should we be considering our responsibilities as Christian citizens of a democracy?
      Rosemary Albert

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      • Good set of questions Rosemary. Murray is already stimulating via his blog consideration of these in a pertinent, sharp, biblically-directed way. Maybe your two questions should be discussed at length by Christians citizens so concerned face-to-face and regularly. Iin quick potentially superficial answers to your questions: 1. Some of “us” probably have already done so. I would say such joining should not attempted except to a party that is thoroughly transparent in its public dealings and one committed to reforming how political parties support just representation. 2. Yes indeed. We Christian citizens need to educate ourselves about our creation-based, gospel-(re-)directed responsibilities for public governance as part of love of neighbour (Romans 13).

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