Yesterday I wrote about the Prime Minister – Julia Gillard, being the keynote speaker at the upcoming Australian Christian Lobby Annual Conference. At the end of the post I listed other blogs and media outlets that have covered the story.
To be clear. I think it’s wrong of the PM to address the ACL. To me its counter intuitive and seems to be at odds with her atheism. That’s just what I think. I also think the PM is a free agent and able to do as she pleases, and I would not stop her from doing that. Nor do I think the ACL should be told to shut up. As nice as that would be.
Despite Australia having no protections to free speech as such, I see it as vitally important. The ACL have an outrageous and outdated opinion about marriage and families that doesn’t reflect the reality of the real world. Once you strip away all the reasons for their objection you’re left with the key reason for their objection.
The bible says that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination. It calls for gay people to be killed. It does. Go read it.
Apparently in 2012 it’s ok for people to still hold those views. In Australia we don’t do the killing bit any more, but Christians believe it’s their right to tell me how to live based on their holy text. Mind you, I reject that text outright. As far as I can tell it holds no authority nor should it. This is clearly demonstrated by secular laws that are passed without regards to religious doctrine. (Think about slavery, death for adultery, divorce)
The ACL claim free speech to be able to say what they want. Well, that works both ways. I have the right to disagree with them, and I’m quite prepared to say so. I also think the ACL is not representative of Christians at all. They are a small organisation that makes a lot of noise. It’s funded by a few people. Doug Pollard did an excellent series of articles following the money – visit his site and search for ACL.
Yesterdays revelations that Gillard is speaking at the ACL attracted a lot of criticisms from gay people and the gay press. Jim Wallace at the ACL has responded to that criticism – I’d like to look at that.
The Australian Christian Lobby is privileged to have the Prime Minister speak at its National Conference but has expressed disappointment at the ongoing campaign of demonisation from the homosexual lobby of anyone who does not line up with its agenda.
Demonisation is such a strong word, and speaking personally I find the way that the ACL expresses it’s opposition to my life as demonising. Wallace, the ACL and the Prime Minister are being criticised. That’s fair. As it’s also fair to criticise the ACL’s agenda.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace rejected suggestions that the Prime Minister should not participate in the conference on Saturday the 6th of October and said it was natural that she would want to speak to Australia’s Christian constituency, which is a large one by any political standards.
The ACL does not represent the Australian Christian constituency, it represent a very small band of ultra orthodox Christians. While overall there are a lot of people who profess to be Christians, very few of them would agree with the ACL. It’s disingenuous of the ACL to overstate its reach.
“The Prime Minister’s engagement is part of the political process and Australian Christians represented in the community should have a right to expect that the PM would want to address them,” Mr Wallace said.
Sure, that’s right. To be fair, the PM should also have headed along to the Global Atheist Convention to give the keynote speech, but she didn’t. Atheists are also a sizeable constituency that should have been addressed by the PM. Check out the media release from David Nicholls at Atheist Foundation of Australia . The release is called ‘Pandering to Stupidity’:
It is deplorable that the Labor Party should be pandering to any religion at all, especially to such an anachronistic and fundamentalist branch of Christianity, one that has no relevance in a modern and enlightened society.
Back to Wallace from the ACL:
Mr Wallace also rejected suggestions that the ACL has not advocated for eradication of poverty or homelessness.
“The ACL is on the record for supporting mandatory pre-commitment technology for pokie machines, refugee reform and meeting the millennium development goals which help address these issues in public policy,” he said.
Yes, it’s true the ACL does advocate those things, but it’s obsessed with trying to prevent marriage equality for everyone. This was well and truly highlighted in this blog back in June.
Overwhelmingly, the ACL was preoccupied with gay people. It’s not quite half of their total output, at 44%, but considering that Jesus had exactly zero to say about homosexuality, it doesn’t look very good, no matter how the ACL might try to rationalise this discrepancy.
The ACL is a public lobby group. They are out there with their opinions. As hard as Wallace and his state directors mince their words so that they don’t say anything negative about ‘the gays’ the reality is that they are demonising us.
The ACL is entitled to do what it does, I disagree with them and will continue to strike out against their insanity. But I would never dream of silencing them, as appealing as that is.
In a democracy that’s how it works. But pushing out a press release such as this latest one from the ACL is akin to being like a toddler, putting your thumb in your mouth, stamping your widdle feet and crying “It’s not fair! The Gays are picking on me!”