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March of the Wankpuffins

Safe Schools Coalition Australia is a national coalition of schools dedicated to creating safe and inclusive learning environments for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, school staff and families. The aim of the program is to prevent bullying.

Hard to see what anyone could find problematic about that. Nobody wants kids bullied, right?

Wrong. The Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton is once again prophesying the falling of the sky, as is his wont whenever the issue of anything other than heteronormative sexuality and the traditional family unit is publicly raised. Safe schools is “prematurely sexualising our children” he declared, and a whole bunch of good Christian women pulled their kids out of schools.

Shelton is now being supported by Cory Bernardi, a man of such astounding ignorance that he yesterday expressed outrage that children “as young as eleven” are encouraged by the program to contemplate issues surrounding LGBTQI people, a group of which some eleven-year-olds may be part.

This, Bernardi trumpeted, is indoctrination. I find the allegation a bit rich, coming from a religious zealot who teaches children there is a universal imperative to believe in a sky fairy from birth.

We do not send children to school to be indoctrinated, bellowed Bernardi, a statement of such breathtaking hypocrisy it momentarily left me gasping on the kitchen bench like a dying cod.

Bernardi has obviously forgotten the outrageous school chaplaincy program, a venture that consumes millions of dollars in the pursuit of religious indoctrination of infants and upwards in secular schools.

Bernardi’s ignorance about the sexuality of eleven-year olds reminded me of Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen’s equally ignorant observation, made at the time of Scott Volkers’ alleged crimes against children, when she declared it was ridiculous to think a thirteen-year-old girl could have an orgasm when fingered by a male swimming coach, and besides, Ms Cunneen went on, girls that young and younger don’t even have breasts for men to fondle.

Ms Cunneen is apparently a special friend of the Reverend Fred Nile, Christian Democrat and religious zealot in the NSW Upper House, who may have the deciding vote on whether or not the ICAC is gutted when the current parliamentary committee concludes its investigation into that organisation’s efforts to investigate Ms Cunneen on the matter of her son’s girlfriend’s accident in Ms Cunneen’s car.

Yes. I know.

I don’t know what cylinder is not firing in the brains of these people, but I do wish they’d get it attended to instead of projecting their neuroses onto the entire community.

Prime Minister Turnbull, whom Paul Keating has described as “one of those red bungers you light on cracker night, all hiss and fizz then it burns out” or words to that effect, has now proclaimed an enquiry will be held into the Safe Schools Program.

The wankpuffins are on the march, friends. Gird your loins.

So to speak.

This article was first published on No Place For Sheep.



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  1. roaminruin

    Yes, Margaret Cunneen – a surprise late entry into the entertaining and bizarre world of the religiously inclined public figures. More to come on that front I hope. All very amusing.

  2. Kaye Lee

    BREAKING: Malcolm Turnbull is set to play the role of the Cowardly Lion in Parliament’s charity production, The Wizard of Oz. Peter Dutton will play the heartless Tinman, while Senator Cory Bernardi has turned down the brainless Scarecrow role after learning it involves wearing makeup: “One minute you’re prancing about in mascara and lipstick, the next you’re in an open relationship with two blokes having group sex with a horse on your local primary school oval. No thanks!”

  3. Shaun Newman

    the assembly of god cult faction within the LNP seems to be stuck in the 1950s when society was Mum and Dad and the three children all hetrosexual and well adjusted. These days things move much faster we are driven by commerce and some of us fall along the way. Some people are now LGBTI and they cannot adjust their chemical make up any more than dear ole’ Cory could have blonde hair naturally.

  4. Shaun Newman

    Kaye I’m not into horses either so I can see his point lol.

  5. guest

    Speaking on The Drum, Eric Abetz was more worried about where LGBTI children might go to the toilet. Jane Caro pointed out that schools are quite capable of sorting out that problem to the satisfaction of everybody.

    It seemed that for Abetz, if he did not see a solution, then there wasn’t one. He was more concerned about the majority of students who, he said, would be affected. It was as if the minority group did not matter, that to even raise the issue was wrong, that the issue was unmentionable and inappropriate, given the age of the children. What is it with people like Cunneen, Abetz, Bernardi and others that they know so little about the sexuality of young people? The idea that the whole exercise is mere “social engineering” (as was said about tidying up sexual behaviour in the army) is a preposterous head in the sand attitude.

    This despite the fact that the Coalition people say a great deal about the importance of the individual. Yet they seem to think that an age group of children should all be treated one size fits all; that the bulk of young people are more important than the minority because any changes will, ‘affect’ more young people.

    So, all Abetz’s talk about caring about bullying is for nought. He cannot see, apparently, that a good deal of the bullying that goes on in that age group is about real or apparent sexuality. He just does not want to know, or is unwilling to do anything about it.

    A good deal of his argument seems to rely on the questioning from parents and other adult groups. To question is understandable, but to decide on the basis that there are questions that the program should be abandoned is not reasonable. The program has been approved by the Education Minister and PM Turnbull, so is this just pique by a couple of Abbott supporters, or religious views bound up with the politics?

    And another thing. There is a great deal of talk about sussing out the possible radicalisation of young people. Just another task in the curriculum for teachers? We all know how McCarthyism in the USA split families, pitted people against each other and led to rancorous witch-hunts. It is a matter which, like Safe Schools, is more nuanced than some people realise.

  6. Rossleigh

    Interesting follow-up by Bernardi to the exchange which went:
    Bernardi: At least, I’m honest, Bill. You’re a fraud!
    Shorten: At least I’m not a homophobe.

    Later Bernardi says that “it’s disappointing someone seeking to be PM resorts to name calling when confronted with a different policy view”.
    “What I’m critical of is that those of a differing opinion, do not engage in the merits or the facts or otherwise of the debate,” he went on, “What they resort to is name calling.”

    So calling someone a “fraud” is quite ok and engaging in the “merits or the facts or the otherwise (?) of the debate”.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Meanwhile, over in the States, US Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz reckons that since Australia’s 1996 gun buyback program, “the rate of sexual assaults, the rate of rapes, went up significantly, because women were unable to defend themselves.”

    Donald Trump is polling at 41% and Cruz is his closest rival on 19%. No other Republican made double digits.

    Politics has become the domain of the crazies.

  8. OldWomBat

    The christian right is remarkably unchristian. They seem lost in the fantasy that if a man feels greater attraction to another man, or a woman feels a greater attraction to another woman then these self-same people will somehow immediately jump on the first christian to walk by and attract them, or their dog! Unfortunately their god is their own construct of their own fears and failings.

  9. AParent

    I am the parent of a teenage transgender child. I would be lying to you if I said this had been an easy thing to come to terms with but myself and his mother are doing our best to do so. This is who he is (our son) … this is HIM. For a bigot like Bernardi to try and push their ideological and bigoted agenda at the expense of my sons well being just makes me STEAM!!. How dare he !! Honestly, who the hell does he think he is?! As the article states, who could argue against the comfort and best interests of a child that is dealing with some enormous pressures otherwise? I don’t know where Bernardi came from (and those speaking for the ACL) but I just wish they would go back to where-ever that is and stop pushing their narrow mindedness and damaging thoughts on our children. I truly detest that man (and if I do say so myself, i’m a pretty easy going guy generally).
    BTW .. if this is your thoughts Bernardi, i’ll give you some respect if you give the same enthusiasm to getting religious indoctrination out of our public schools.
    PS … my son goes to a Catholic school and I was absolutely astounded at the support they have provided our family. They have organised meetings with our family to ensure us they are behind our son’s transition and have also organised education for his peers. I have to tell you I was stunned (but nicely so). In the words of the school principal “this is how God made ******* and his self-identity is as valid as anybody else”. So just as an aside, for all the institutional faults we have seen recently, please don’t tar the whole church as bigots and bullies … my recent experience is it certainly isn’t the case.

  10. Salstarat

    The thing that absolutely amazes me about a dumbed down, pig ignorant, bible thumping hypocrite such as Bernardi is how such a tiny little brain manages to remain stable in such a colossal big head! The highest altitude this woefully offensive moron could EVER reach is from the lowly depths of his single digit IQ right up to the stratospheric heights of his overblown, totally unjustified ego and deluded sense of importance.

  11. Kaye Lee


    How wonderful to hear about the support the school is showing to your son. I understand your struggle to come to terms with this – I have a friend who went through the same experience. It isn’t easy but it sounds like you are all coping well. Love is what matters, not how it is packaged. I wish your family well and hope your son’s journey brings him happiness. People like Bernardi and Christensen are to be pitied for their ignorance and fear and they should be removed from public life. We should not be paying for a platform for their hatred.

  12. keerti

    Meanwhile, over in the States, US Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz reckons that since Australia’s 1996 gun buyback program, “the rate of sexual assaults, the rate of rapes, went up significantly, because women were unable to defend themselves.”

    Donald Trump is polling at 41% and Cruz is his closest rival on 19%. No other Republican made double digits.

    hasn’t it always been!?

  13. keerti

    The domain of the crazies!

  14. gangey1959

    @Kaye Lee et al. I hate horses. A really good friend of mine told me once that when she rode her hores without a saddle at the right speed/canter/whatever the ‘pleasure-zone’ was fully engaged and fully operational for consideral periods of time. Enough said about sex and horses.
    I assume that “merits or the facts or the otherwise (?) of the debate” is just another term for Parliamentary Privilege. I do believe that that would enable anyone who felt like it to be able to debate his moronness (or is it moronity) with senator bernardi outside of Parliament without fear of any repercussion whatsoever. (BTW The picture of said senator (what a joke) looks like me in the middle of Box Hill surrounded by north of the equator bmw drivers. I don’t think either of us should be held up as shining examples of ‘safe schools programs’ representatives.) Mimd you, young cory looks more like a ‘I used to be abused at my christian school, and if it was good enough for me it’s good enough for everyone’ rather than someone who has just had a run-in with a 90 year old asian man with no English and a rickshaw license who is driving a bmw 5 series, 3 cushions to see above the dashboard, and 3 4 year olds in the back seat in the middle of peak hour little beijing.
    Next time, billy should just snot bernardi, and see what the fallout is from there. It can’t hurt his ratings.

    PS. Is bernardi actually aiming at being the pm himself one day? Or maybe the Pope? Or God?

  15. Sir ScotchMistery

    @Keerti – didn’t one of our “representatives” send a letter to well known Xtian and occasional preacher advising him that he was full of shit on that score?

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