Tag Archives: Gay

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

20 Feb

God hates fags.com 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.


Advertisements

What gay activists and Melinda Tankard Reist have in common

7 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

Bearman via flickr

 

Whether it’s the petition by Christian activist for women and girls Melinda Tankard Reist, aimed at banning rapper KanYe West’s latest video, or the efforts by some gay rights activists to close down the e-journal On Line Opinion, the price of freedom of speech and expression for those who care about it certainly is eternal vigilance.

The author of the offending OLO article expressing anti gay marriage views, (some of them written by gays) is Bill Muehlenberg, spokesman for the Family Council of Victoira, and a religious ethicist.

Some gay activists, enraged at his article and subsequent forum commentary, have successfully lobbied the ANZ bank and IBM to withdraw advertising from OLO, leaving the popular blog about politics and society in a critical financial state.

Tough if you’ve loved reading and writing for OLO,folks. Some gay activists are trying to take it away from you. Rather than addressing the commentary that offends them, they’re just pulling the plug on the whole deal, and who cares if anybody else suffers, and if many other serious issues don’t have a airing in the future?

And this regardless of the fact that there are more articles in OLO that support their position than against (including two written by me), and that the forums are also full of supportive commentary that confronts the prejudices and ignorance of discriminatory comments.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

These two apparently disparate causes, “family “values and pro gay marriage,  have at least one thing in common: they want to silence those who disagree with them, and they want to ban that with which they disagree.

They want to tell all the other adults on the planet what it’s acceptable for them to read, watch, discuss and write about. They want you to see everything through their eyes, that is, if they tell you something is offensive, you have to share their perception. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem that way to you. Or even if it does seem that way and you don’t choose censorship as a means of addressing the offense.

You don’t have a choice anymore, because they’ve made it for you.

This is going to be difficult for humanity. The perceptions of a Melinda Tankard Reist and the perceptions of pro gay marriage activists are not always in sync.

The ANZ bank has apparently capitulated to the threat of the removal of the pink dollar from their business, as has IBM.

I doubt that the petition against KanYe West will have the same success. I don’t see the music industry capitulating anytime soon. I’m glad about that, because no matter what I think of his music video, I don’t have the right to tell other adults they can’t watch it.

If you should feel moved to express your opinion to the ANZ bank, here is the link to their complaints form. You don’t have to be a customer.http://www.anz.com/common/forms/default.asp?intID=174

What is always under threat is freedom of speech and expression. It comes at times from the most unexpected quarters. Who would have foreseen this attack on OLO?

Is this a rite of passage for some gay activists? They now have the economic power and influence to bring about the financial destruction of one of the most popular online journals in this country? Does this mean the marginalized  have arrived at the centre?

What better way to demonstrate their arrival. Censorship. A tool of the hegemony.

Oh, brave new world, that has such people in it!

%d bloggers like this: