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Do unto others…

LGBTQI+ students and teachers to be sacrificed on the cross. Image Tree Faerie

Eve Jeffery

According to the Christian bible, the prophet Jesus tells us we must love one another. There’s no addendum stating that the love can be retracted if the recipient turns out to be LGBTQI+, that is, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and other gender and sexual preferences.

Apparently a new document has superseded the ancient text – a report that suggests Jesus’ love has conditions attached.

On 22 November 2017, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, announced the appointment of an Expert Panel to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion.

In May this year, the then PM received the final report from the Religious Freedom Review Expert Panel examining whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion. ‘I would like to thank the Chair, the Hon. Philip Ruddock, and other members of the Panel for their work in exploring this important issue in such a comprehensive and respectful way,’ the PM said at the time.

‘I look forward to considering the report in detail and will consult with members of the Government before releasing it to the public and responding to its findings.

‘I have asked the Attorney-General, the Hon. Christian Porter MP, to lead the Government’s deliberation and response to the report.’ – but there was no mention of how long that deliberation could take.

Since then we have a new PM and the document has been kept under wraps, but over the last few days, details of the report have been leaked and the contents are very un-Christian.

The power to expel and fire

The Ruddock review recommendations plan to allow religious schools to expel LGBTIQ+ students and fire LGBTIQ+ teachers.

Senator Janet Rice is the Greens LGBTIQ+ spokesperson. She says that last year in the marriage equality postal survey, Australians voted for equality for LGBTIQ+ Australians, not for more discrimination. ‘The Ruddock review recommendations to change our laws to allow religious schools to expel students on the basis of who they are or who they love at a time when they are already vulnerable is unacceptable,’ she said yesterday. ‘The Greens support the right of people to practice religion, but that should not come at the expense of the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people.’

On delivery of the report the Panel made a statement. ‘This Report is the culmination of a nationwide consultation process, including a public submission process and face-to-face meetings in every State and Territory.

‘The Report reflects the input that the Panel received throughout the life of this process, research undertaken and the individual expertise of the Panel members. 

‘The Panel cannot discuss details of the Report at this time. Its release, and any possible Government response, are matters for the Prime Minister.’

Well this week our PM is Scott Morrison, a flagrant Christian with an election he wants won and a marriage equality axe to grind.

An Echonetdaily reader responds

‘When I think of the word crucifixion, these days the name that springs to mind is is not Jesus Christ but Matthew Shepard.

‘Matthew was a slight, good looking gay American student from the University of Wyoming who, on the night of October 6, 1998, was beaten, tortured, tied to a fence and left to die in near freezing temperatures in remote countryside near Laramie.

‘Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially cleansed by his tears. He died six days later in a Colorado hospital aged just 21.

‘Tomorrow will be 20 years since his death.

‘There is no way of knowing whether the two men who beat and tortured him before leaving him to die considered themselves Christian. But they grew up in a society that calls itself Christian and they hated him because of who he was.

Rates of depression, victimisation and suicide are already exceptionally high

‘That hatred of the LGBT psyche was – and still is – ingrained in most religious sects, including most so-called “modern” Christian churches.

‘Having recently fought – and comprehensively lost – the battle to crush marriage equality in Australia, “our” churches decided they wanted their pound of flesh. And, with the Ruddock review, they appear to have got it: the right to tell young LGBTIQ people they are wrong, sinful, inferior, to be despised and – if not physically excommunicated – denied the right to study at the school of their choice.

‘It is to be seen what affect this would have on LGBTIQ young people but their rates of depression, victimisation and suicide are already exceptionally high.

‘Do the churches really want this on their conscience? Or are they prepared to put their dogma above their humanity?

‘Many of the so-called leaders of these churches have been dragged before the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, and in a number of cases charged with crimes and jailed for their horrific sexual offences against children. Others committed the slightly lesser crime of looking on and doing nothing.

‘Exactly how these men – for they are almost all male – consider they have a shred of moral authority left is beyond imagining, let alone the right to judge children and teenagers for who they are.

‘That they believe they have the right to make such demands in a modern, democratic society, where taxpayers fund their schools, is inconceivable.

‘That this government is even contemplating giving in to their hysterical demands is unconscionable.

‘The Ruddock Review should be damned to hell (if there is one).’

Laws should protect people from discrimination

Is it ok to blatantly teach our children that not only do LGBTQI+ people not belong, but that it’s ok to be rid of them?

Senator Rice says that our laws should protect LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination, not enshrine the right to discriminate against them.

‘Scott Morrison’s recent anti-LGBTIQ+ comments have ignited fear in our community that the government is planning to wind back the laws which protect LGBTIQ+ people from discrimination.
‘Scott Morrison must immediately release the review for the public and commit to ensuring LGBTIQ+ people will not face further discrimination.’

Spaking of Sco-Mo, many are questioning the timing of a possible release. With the by-election for the Australian House of Representatives seat of Wentworth less than ten days away, the leak may have a very deleterious effect on the outcome considering that Wentworth has a large gay community. It would be in the government’s interest to delay the release of the report until a later date – say Christmas Eve when everyone was distracted by reindeer projected onto Uluru for example.

Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma is apparently opposed to discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation or anything else for that matter – but did a prospective MP ever say something, then once the seat was safe, do a 180?

For the LGBTQI+ community it’s just another relentless day of defending their human rights…

 

John 13:34–35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


15 responses to “Do unto others…”

  1. Len Heggarty says:

    According to Greek philosopher Socrates 470-399 BC the father of western philosophy, morality and ethics, humans treat others in a regard as they would like to be treated and that regard cannot be retracted if the recipient turns out to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,or intersex in gender. It is immoral and unethical to do so. This regard is not connected to religion but connected to human rights. To connect it to religion is to transgress the morality of human consciousness.

    • Vince Kean says:

      Really “Morality of human consciousness”! Is that the morality of the slave trade, the morality of Pol Pot, the morality of the Final Solution; the morality of Aztec human sacrifices? In truth the morality you are talking about came to us from religious teachers in different faiths and it has been a long hard road getting it accepted by the Human Consciousness you thoughtlessly laud. The moralities I mentioned all came from Human consciousness, often the only voices raised against them were from religious believers. God help us if we are to be abandoned to the “Morality of Human Consciousness’.

  2. Gordon Haynes says:

    The churches pay no tax on their billions, so they have absolutely no right to discriminate against anyone. Time to tax the bastards to bankruptcy. (Oh, I forgot: the reparations from child sexual abuse are bankrupting them anyhow. They are busy selling their real estate while they scramble for 21st-century relevance.)

  3. James says:

    Eve,

    You need to reread your Bible. All the foundational texts of the big monotheisms have sanctions against homosexuality. where do you think all these conflicts come from?

  4. Lyn Dickinson says:

    My wholehearted thanks to Greens Senator Janet Rice for speaking out on behalf or our LGBTQI+ brothers and sisters. It is not religious freedom if the law dictates who can and can’t practice their religion. It is blatant discrimination against a vulnerable sector of our community. It appears that this report was called to appease those who voted no in the marriage equality referendum. The overwhelming majority voted yes, so it would be in the Government’s best interests to shelve this report, or they will pay the price at the next election.

  5. Eve, I reckon the current pollies & churches have unleashed their
    Witches & Warlocks because the dark ages are where they feel
    most comfortable. The mongrels have never believed in Equality,
    Human Rights or Freedom. Socrates [naturally] would have nix
    to do with such plotters, liars, abusers & users. More so, I believe
    he’d ethically fully support LGBTIQ+ people. The Aussie PM is
    using lateral violence – again. Don’t be spooked by it. Vote him &
    his kind out.

  6. Was this yet another big waste of taxpayers money to fund the panel to look into religious beliefs about alternate preferences? I am sick of hearing about this religious argument. In reality what does it have to do with religion anyway? Your preferences are personal & not for anyone to say “you cannot be like that” It is time we all got on with each other as friends instead of condemning them because their sex is different from mainstream. There is plenty of room in this world to believe in whatever you like & if someone thinks different to me I don’t care. It is not going to affect my life. In fact my son who is 45 has this year told me he has trans gendered. I do not have a problem with that, I saw a troubled man for many years because he could not work out what was wrong. He sought help thinking it might be medical but never found an answer. Until one day he did, realising he should be female & not male. I now have a very happy daughter. I applaud her for fronting her problem & I support her because now I see a very happy. person. I wish everyone could live with their neighbours in harmony instead of looking for things to condemn them for. There is enough hatred in this world & it is time it stopped.

  7. David Norris says:

    Christian fundamentalists believe that a talking snake spoke to Adam and Eve and convinced them to eat an apple against the will of God. Subsequently God became angry and placed a curse upon humanity, making humans imperfect. Christian fundamentalists believe this is why some people are LGBTQI+. Based on this premise, God created LGBTQI+ people and then has condemned them to hell for being who they are. This seems extremely unjust, but then Christian fundamentalists would say ‘who am I to judge God’? They also believe that coal was put under the ground by God when he created Earth, they do not believe in climate change and evolution. They don’t believe they need to take care of the environment because its destruction is part of God’s plan, and that they will rise up into the sky and go to heaven when the planet falls apart. Isn’t it time we stopped giving religious organisations handouts and tax breaks? Is Scott Morrison a Christian fundamentalist?

  8. Barbara Bryce says:

    The whole issue of gender and sexual preference is only relevant when it comes to procreation which is not necessary in the world now that we have too many people to feed and will soon have no suitable air to breath and water to drink. Get your priorities in order Christians. LGBTI people aren’t lepers to be ostracized get into the 21st century.

  9. Gordon Haynes says:

    “The right to expel gay children from school isn’t about freedom; it’s about cruelty”: David Marr in The Guardian (11/10/18) tells it without holding back – and very well, too.

  10. Marion says:

    It is not ours to judge. That’s God’s job. Christians are followers of Jesus Christ who “modernised” bible thinking. He reduced the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament to two – love God and love your neighbour. That covers all the Commandments because if you love God and your neighbour you will not hurt them. Most Christians try to follow this rule each day. Many of us fall often but we have to get up and keep trying once again. The majority of Christian schools do not discriminate against sexually different people but the ignorant critics make a lot of noise without correct knowledge. Everyone has fear will to live their lives the way theythink best. Do not judge.

    • Gabriel says:

      Disappointing, Eve. Yet another example of that all-too-accepted intolerance, judgement and misunderstanding that is rife in our society – otherwise known as ‘Christianphobia’. Anyone who had read David Marr’s similar article in the Herald (as mentioned by another commentator) would know that ALL the Christian schools and head honchos of Christian hierarchies that he interviewed said they would NOT expel gay students. Which is of course how most true Christians stand on this issue. But it seems so easy to point the finger of blame at Christians these days without anyone batting an eyelid. To poke fun at them. To ridicule them. To abuse them. Oh, dear me – just what gay people have been railing against! Yet let’s turn it on people of faith. The double standard is abhorrent! And speaking of people of faith, it is in fact those of non-Christian faith that are lobbying hardest for these religious freedoms. But oh no, we couldn’t mention that could we? For fear of being labelled an Islamaphobe. Wake up people!

    • Gabriel Matthew says:

      Hi Richard, I apologise if I was somewhat strident in my initial post and if that has upset you. It’s just that I have become increasingly irritated by what I regard as unfair and unbalanced reporting that takes a
      ‘whack’, as you say, JUST at Christians. Nowhere do I support or advocate past atrocities committed by any society on homosexuals. But to single out Christians is just blatantly unfair and discriminatory – and it is often done with a great deal of vehemence, tarring ALL ‘Christians’ with the same brush. I would have thought that a group that is advocating AGAINST such things would see the double standard in that.

      We may yes, live in a secular society, but we also live in a rich and diverse society that seeks to embrace a number of ‘tribes’ with differing values, opinions and lifestyles. That is democracy. Yet we all discriminate at some level every day. We all make choices on how we live and choose not to be like some others, and choose to belong with others. Yes, perhaps the time has come for a more appropriate path for religious schools and the like, to not to have their freedoms enshrined in law, but to simply require that all staff and students agree to abide by their values and code of morality and condust. Then it would squarely be up to the individual to choose whether or not they work with that institution. Indeed, why would anyone WANT to work with an institution if they didn’t agree with them on their core principles?

      You also make mention of some ‘sins’ – a list that I could add to at length, with a whole raft of things that are now accepted as the ‘norm’ for many people and that most responsible and mature adults (as well as psychological professionals) would agree are causing untold damage to our young people – drugs, alcohol, pornography, excessive partying, multiple sexual partners with lack of boundaries and emotional maturity to make those decisions, I might even mention the 70,000 abortions in Australia each year (feminists – where is the CHOICE in that? And churches, yes, stop just protesting – offer that CHOICE – support and assistance for women to choose to have a child. That is Pro-CHOICE.)…. And of course the escalating rates of suicide, depression and anxiety in young people of all sexualities. Perhaps there is even cause to dig a little deeper in the high rates amongst LGBTQI+ groups – is it a struggle with their sexuality that is causing that, or because young people are making poor choices because of the ‘normalisation’ of certain ways of being, which are in no way exclusive to the LGBTQI+ community but which could be leading to psychological distress and anguish? (This is pure speculation, of course, but I believe we should be able to have a considered discussion of these issues.) And yes, I do believe churches should embrace homosexuals just as they do with any other individual, with love and kindness and compassion. And as I pointed out, most Christian institutions do exactly that. However, reporting such as this just feeds the Christianphobia that is becoming “acceptable” in our society, where it becomes so easy to forget all the good that Christian people do in this world. I believe we should tread very carefully when we go down this path…

      And, maybe, just maybe, the world would actually be a better place if we all lived and embraced all those Christian values and morals and threw out some of those ‘sins’ of the world, rather than having a ‘whack’ at those who don’t agree with us? Eh, what do ya reckon? Peace be with you.

  11. Richard says:

    Just to respond to Gabriel’s comment – David Marr has repeatedly quoted members of Christian hierarchy advocating a host of of religious ‘freedoms’ they sought – see some of them below. The other thing you don’t get Gabriel is that virulent and hurtful prejudice is experienced LGTQI on a daily basis – some Christians get the occasional well deserved whack for homophobia – no comparison.

    I wasn’t going to comment further, smartarse Morrison rejected his immediate foolish comments (“it’s the law!” said 10 times) but now, the conversation has changed to teachers AND David Marr has reminded us of a longer list of potential future victims of various religious institutions – as advocated by their religious leaders.

    How about:- gay adults, defacto relationships, transgender, remarriage without annulment, single parents, IVF, “open” adultery (OK if hidden?), abortion and being “unchaste”, the catch all sin.
    You can, apparently save yourself by being seen to wrestle with these sins. Pheww!

    Notably paedophilia is unmentioned. Is that unchaste, but not reportable eg from the confessional now and protected and hidden in the past. Even Hospitals are unaffected, “the intrinsic point of a Christian hospital, the bishop explained, is not to cure people but to do that in accordance with the teachings of Christ”.

    We live in a secular society and observe its secular laws, we are not a Christian Vatican or Muslim Caliphate.

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