How to “lovingly” expel a homosexual student, or, God is in the house.

20 Feb

God hates via flickr


Brigadier Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby believes that a church school should have the right to expel any openly gay student.

“But I would expect any church that found itself in that situation to do that in the most loving way…I think it’s a loving response,” he says.

It’s legal for religious institutions in NSW to expel homosexual students, and Attorney-General John Hatzistergos, supports that law. While there are churches that oppose it, Jim Wallace gives it his whole-hearted support.

It’s difficult to know where to begin addressing the offensiveness of Wallace’s comments, but perhaps from a human rights point of view, it is most shocking in its reduction of the identity of a young human being solely to their sexual preference.

Nothing else about these students has any apparent value for Wallace, other than their sexuality. The intrinsic worth of the student is reduced to his or her sexual orientation. If the young person is brilliant, gifted, a high achiever – and gay, the Christian school should expel him or her, according to the well known Christian, Wallace.

“Lovingly,” of course.

Would this be another version of “tough love” perhaps?

How does one “lovingly” expel a young person from their school community because of their sexual orientation? Please explain.

Reducing a human being to one aspect of their character is a dehumanising tool used in all propaganda. When we can’t see another’s humanity, we’re far more likely to treat them badly.  It requires a leap of the imagination to make an identification with people who’ve been reduced to stereotypes, and many of us don’t want to/can’t be bothered with that imaginative exercise.

Propaganda ensures that certain lives (homosexual in this case) are not considered lives at all in the fullest sense. Reduced to the issue of sexual preference, and on the sole grounds that they are not heterosexual, gay students are punished by expulsion from their community, their lives stigmatized as deviant by their churches.

Failure to see young people as individuals in their own right leads to serious repercussions for them, and for society. Homophobic religious imperatives are determining the course of some students’ lives, with the support of politicians whose first concern is not the welfare of young people, but winning the religious vote.

Belief systems with discriminatory attitudes are putting young people at risk, and governments are supporting the process. This is described by Hatzistergos as maintaining “…the sometimes delicate balance between protecting individuals from unlawful discrimination while allowing people to practice their beliefs.”

Since he admits homophobia is “unlawful discrimination,” Hatzistergos’ position is that what the rest of the community has declared illegal is acceptable if it occurs within a belief system.  That church schools are granted permission to behave illegally makes a mockery of anti discrimination laws.

If a behaviour is illegal, it is illegal.

Religions in this country should be abiding by the laws of this country.

Around Australia, churches are exempt from anti discrimination legislation that prevents others from dismissing gay, lesbian, and trans gendered people, solely because of their sexual orientation.

Culturally salient beliefs normalize these problematic practices. One of these beliefs is that religious freedom trumps the anti discrimination culture.

But only some religious freedom, otherwise we’d be condoning genital mutilation and the polygamous and forced marriages of ten year old girls.

We’re selective about which religious freedoms we uphold.

Religious beliefs are fluid. Values change, often quite radically. There’s disagreement within religious circles about the expulsion of gay students.  It isn’t the government’s role to legalise these vacillating values, or to give legal validity to one point of view within the churches at the expense of another.

As our law declares discrimination illegal, the government’s role is to support and validate the country’s law.

Religions in this country should abide by the laws of this country. We require this of non Judeo Christians, especially those most recently arrived here. State and federal governments must require it of all religions in Australia, and particularly of all schools.

GOD IS IN THE HOUSE,  Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave, by Ben Houdijk via flickr


Homos roaming the streets in packs,
queer bashers with tyre-jacks
Lesbian counter-attacks
That stuff is for the big cities
Our town is very pretty
We have a pretty little square
We have a woman for a mayor
Our policy is firm but fair
Now that God is in the house
God is in the house
Any day now he’ll come out
God is in the house.

6 Responses to “How to “lovingly” expel a homosexual student, or, God is in the house.”

  1. Mikey Bear February 20, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    It would take a very courageous student, confident in their sexual orientation (not “preference”) to stand up at a Christian school and declare their homosexuality and welcome expulsion.

    This brazen and heartless (fuck it, it’s about as loving as Hitler was to the Jews) attitude by the Christian warriors of god is designed to suppress any expression of non-heterosexual behaviour, deprive the students that freedom to explore their sexuality and railroad them down a stifled, homogeneous path of sexual intolerance and uniformity.

    It’s cruel, dangerous and should be illegal. Wallace has no comprehension of the alarming youth suicide rates, fuelled by his loving Christian attitudes.



  2. PAUL WALTER February 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Yes, Mikey Bear, its the equivalent to the Roman church and and Habsburgs rejecting, prior to investigation,( or in spite of it ) the scientific theories of Copernicus and Galileo, because it was too much hard work rolling back preconceived notions and adjusting the underlying ideological framework of the time to reality. But the adjustment did come, but from the Protestant north and it spelt the end of both catholic hegemony and the Habsburg epoch.
    The universe revolved around earth and the more godlike of its children as a sort of “manifest destiny”based on “natural law”and it was the job of ordinary people to “fit in”, but the old regime fell on its rejection of the truth before its own eyes, in the scientific demolition through technology of its preordained world.
    Fast forward to our era and we find the western hegemony under pressure for the same reasons. The old guard just can’t reconcile its theories with reality,
    So what’s left when you’ve driven gays, indigenes, blue collars, refugee victims of illogical wars, women and others, just about anybody whos view is not onside with or favourable to, the ruling ideology .
    The sort of view that produced the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, the 2007 GFM, The inability to understand Palestinians, Egyptians, Iranians and just about all of the rest of the third world and a society where members no longer recognise their neighbours as neighbours, or are encouraged to do so.
    If we are irrationally fleeing engagement with reality, what fate awaits us, when we can longe then differentiate shit from clay, to paraphrase the old song?


    • Jennifer Wilson February 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

      What’s left is hegemonic masculinity and its female consorts, who expertly divide and conquer the rest of humanity.
      In control of markets, banking and media, their job is made easy by the collusion of the middle classes, whose aspiration is to become, or failing that, to emulate, the power and the practices of the ruling class.
      Without this collusion, masters of the universe would not survive.
      The construction of desires by the markets, together with the measure of human worth by the quality and quantity of possessions, ensures continuing enslavement.


  3. Luke January 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Well said.


  4. hudsongodfrey January 20, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    One of the thinks I’m struck by having recently read Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature (why violence has declined), is that if it wasn’t for some quite marked social progress over time we’d still be allowing people to be broken on the wheel. If you’d read the lurid version of what that entails then if you’re anything like me then you’d probably lose sleep over it! The idea that this is nothing new and has constantly to be challenged seems uncontroversial to me. The only part that gets controversial is the matter of how people go about it.

    Mao and Stalin tried to Ban religion and in Putin’s Russia today they locked up Pussy Riot, so clearly that didn’t work.

    I think we have to reach the point where the majority of people come to be persuaded to heft the weight of condemnation from without against these institutions who have so often directed their righteous indignation at all of us. Its only then that they’ll be shamed by moral arguments that expose their hypocrisy.


    • Hypocritophobe January 21, 2013 at 12:08 am #

      Religion (in the context at hand) is a farce to control the weak, to enrich the parasitic control freaks at the top.Ironically most are closet (sometimes overt) hedonists.
      (They fail due to the human{ego!} component)

      Whilst we can hope that everyone would suddenly wake up to it one day,it’s unlikely.Highly unlikely. So we just have to keep smashing our heads up against their wall of bullshit as vocally and publicly as we can.
      And that’s why it is ultra important, that laws which allow the rort to continue are torn down and those who enable them(currently Gillard) are despatched emphatically to political history.
      Or we TOTALLY lose the right to moan about it, AND we condemn further generations to unjust outcomes.


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