Illawarra offshore wind zone declaration good news for…

Friends of the Earth Australia Media Release Today the federal government officially declared…

Why bet on a loser? Australia’s dangerous gamble…

By Michael Williss A fresh warning that the US will lose a war…

The Potential Labor Landslide...

I once wrote that the Liberals would be releasing their policies closer…

"Hungary is our Israel”: Tony Abbott and Orbán’s…

It was announced in late in 2023 that Tony Abbott was to…

Mongrels

By Bert Hetebry We are the mongrels Underneath the table, Fighting for the leavings Tearing us…

Diamonds and Cold Dust: Slaughter at Nuseirat

The ashes had barely settled on a Rafah tent camp incinerated by…

The EU Elections: The March of the Right

The EU elections over June 6 to June 9 have presented a…

Peter Dutton gutless and weak in not reducing…

Climate advocacy project Solutions for Climate Australia stated it was deeply disturbed…

«
»
Facebook

Safe Schools, Unsafe Politicians

By Ad astra

Now we see it, the Christian-Right Liberal reactionaries digging their cruel claws into PM Turnbull over the ‘Safe Schools’ program, one specifically designed to help kids understand that different individuals have different feelings about their sexuality, and that all of us ought to understand, respect, and accept these differences.

‘Safe Schools’ is aimed at helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex (LGBTI) school students. According to its website, the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ offers “… resources and support to equip staff and students with ‘skills, practical ideas and greater confidence’ to create a safe and inclusive environment for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.”

One end point of the program is to lessen the bullying which differences in sexual identity and sexual preferences too often engender. Bullying and ridicule of those whose sexual orientation does not match their gender have superseded the bullying and ridicule heaped upon kids with red hair or freckles or short stature that we once saw when we were young. This pernicious social transformation has resulted in distress, depression and sometimes suicide. ‘Safe Schools’ was developed as an antidote; its website explains that it is: “… aimed at creating safe and supportive school environments for these same-sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse people by reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools”

Do the reactionaries see it that way? No, they see it as an assault on their ‘Christian’ beliefs. As they see it, God has ordained that there should be men and women with clearly defined and different sexual attributes. Men should be attracted to women and vice versa. No in-between position is allowable. ‘Safe Schools’ accepts the reality of a variety of different sexual orientations that do not match gender. The reactionaries do not, and never will. There is right and wrong, and they believe they are right – God and the Bible say so.

Prominent among the objectors are the usual suspects: Cory Bernardi and Eric Abetz, as 2353NM mentioned in Karma is a bugger.

Bernardi told the ABC that the program was seeing children “… being bullied and intimidated into complying with a radical program”, and called on the Government to withdraw funding for the program. For starters, he demanded an enquiry into the program. “’It’s not about gender, it’s not about sexuality,’ he said. ’It makes everyone fall into line with a political agenda. Our schools should be places of learning, not indoctrination.’

PM Turnbull has gone along with Bernardi and other Liberal agitators and has requested an investigation into the Safe Schools program. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, will carry out the enquiry.

Appearing on The Drum Abetz acknowledged that everyone supports stamping out bullying and protecting students, but insisted that the Safe Schools program went far beyond this. He told John Barron “… trying to lock young people into the Safe Schools program’s particular views about gender and sexuality is ‘unhelpful and unhealthy’, and that a clear distinction between boys and girls, ‘especially at primary school’, is something that should be protected.

“[There are] circumstances where this program suggests that if a boy feels like being a girl, he should be allowed to use the girls’ toilet facilities, which might be good for him, but what about all the girls that are then submitted to a boy being in their change rooms or in their toilets?”

Abetz also argued that many members of the community did not support the Safe Schools program: “It is a program of social engineering where parents, when they get to understand what it is, rebel against it and in fact vote for their schools not to be involved.”

Now ghost-from-the-past Tony Abbott has chimed in with: “It’s not an anti-bullying program, it’s a social engineering program. Its funding should be terminated.

Writing in The Guardian, Shalailah Medhora writes that of the 495 schools in the program, only one school has quit the Safe Schools program after parents’ objections. Another example of Abetz’ overblown rhetoric.

Bernard Keane of Crikey hit the nail on the head in his article: The rise and rise of Malcolm Abbott and the sex-obsessed right with these words:

“This is simple cultural warfare by the extreme right within the Liberals, and it’s no surprise to see the likes of Andrew Nikolic and Andrew Hastie involved.

“Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews nailed it when he said: “I don’t think these extreme Liberals are actually offended by the structure of the program, or the teachers who lead it. I just think they’re offended by the kids who need it.”

Keane continued:

“These are politicians who are obsessed with sex – specifically, people who might be sexually different to their own white middle-aged heterosexual male selves. Obsessed enough that it’s all they want to talk about in their party room meeting, bandying about terms like ‘cultural Marxism’ because they read it in the paper the other day. Not merely does the idea of alternative forms of sexuality offend them, it terrifies them, because it’s yet another symbol of a world that no longer grants automatic ascendancy to men like them.

“Safe Schools is one more reminder that the planet no longer revolves around them. That its purpose is to protect kids, to prevent them from being bullied, is of no moment; these men were never the ones bullied at school for being different. They’ve always enjoyed privilege, entitlement, status.

“Turnbull might think that giving them an inquiry is the smart play – the inquiry will be controlled by the civil and sensible Education Minister Simon Birmingham. The inquiry will find no, or minor, concerns; further complaints can be addressed by noting the program has been reviewed and all’s well.

“Except, the review also legitimises this kind of cultural war, a war in which LGBTI kids are collateral damage, just like domestic violence victims are collateral damage in the culture war waged by the likes of Mark Latham and Miranda Devine against their mythical ‘middle class feminist’ enemy. And reviews are never enough for the far right – their concerns validated, they will push into more areas. For middle-aged white reactionary males, there’s always something about the 21st century to be outraged by. In fact, they’ve barely finished getting upset about the late 20th century.

“Turnbull might merely be playing for time – to hold out until the election, then once he has secured victory, move to positions that more closely match his own principles. But if there’s one truth we’ve learnt from recent years and especially from Tony Abbott, it’s that it’s awfully hard to change your style once you’re in power. Abbott could never shed his relentless negativity once he became prime minister. If Malcolm Turnbull thinks he can veer back to the middle after pandering to the right, it might be much harder than he thinks.”

The response of these reactionary Liberals to the Safe Schools program points to an entrenched way of thinking about sexuality. We saw it just a short time ago during the sexual equality debate. We saw similar delaying tactics. Abbott’s insistence that this matter could not be resolved by a parliamentary debate, and instead must be put to a plebiscite of the people after the next election, was simply obfuscation writ large. His hope was that this delay would kill the idea of sexual equality and its awful sequel – same sex marriage! There was the hope too that the delay would force a public debate, which would allow the Australian Christian Lobby to spread its biased propaganda, propagate its nasty attitudes, and strike fear into those unprepared for the distasteful diatribe that would surely follow. A taste of what the ACL will do and say comes from its director, Lyle Shelton, who is already mouthing off about the Safe Schools program, which he describes as “radical sex experimentation”. He has a petition to the Queensland government with almost 11,000 signatures asking for the cessation of the program. If you want to see how this man operates, and how divisive he is in this debate and the one on sexual equality, take a look at the February 29 edition of Q&A, where he proclaimed: “… gay people are stealing babies”!

Now the outspoken radical George Christiansen, in a speech to the House last week, shocked parliamentarians by likening the Safe Schools program to ‘grooming’ undertaken by sexual predators: “If someone proposed exposing a child to this material, the parents would probably call the police, because it would sound a lot like grooming work a sexual predator might undertake …”. Such men seem unconstrained in their language and vitriol.

Writing in Daily Life, in Safe Schools is important, because LGBTQI students shouldn’t need to justify their right to exist, Maeve Marsden notes: “It should come as a surprise to no one that the Prime Minister is…interested in placating the right-wing factions of his party…it is utterly predictable that he would throw the rights of LGBTQI kids to enjoy a safe school environment and better mental health outcomes under the bus.”

In her article in The Age: Safe Schools program: why zealots are trying to drag us back to the dark ages, Jill Stark reveals the disturbing statistics that made the program necessary:

“It was set up in Victoria in 2010 in response to requests from teachers to help them support a growing number of LGBTI students who were wrestling with their identity. It has the backing of beyondblue, the Australian Secondary Principals Association, the Australian Education Union and the Australian Council of State School Organisations.

“Adding to teachers’ concerns were alarming statistics from La Trobe University’s 2010 Writing Themselves In study which revealed 75 per cent of LGBTI young people had experienced physical or verbal homophobic bullying. Eighty per cent said the abuse happened at school. These students are up to six times more likely to attempt suicide and self-harm than their peers.”

Jill Stark backs up her statistics with a real-life example in her article in The Age: Go kill yourself, faggot’: Gay teen says Somerville Secondary ignored bullying. 15-year-old Nathan Whitmore, who attempted suicide after being terrorised at school for two years and beaten with a skateboard says he was bullied for being gay and told: ‘You’re a gay faggot who everyone hates, just go kill yourself and get it over with, everyone would be happy and better off’. He claims his school failed to protect him and he is planning legal action against the Victorian Education Department, arguing that his pleas for help were ignored for two years.

Writing in the AIMN in Turnbull sells out young people to the deranged, to save himself, Jennifer Wilson says: “Turnbull’s support of those who would cause suffering to the young, based entirely on religious ideology, must be greatly discouraging to young people as well as to those adults who want to make acceptance of difference commonplace. Turnbull has made a Mephistophelean covenant with religious extremists. If there is such a thing as a soul, he has likely sold his in an exchange that benefits himself to the detriment of the young.”

There are some stark realities about these issues of sexuality and the reactions to LGBTI matters that need to be accepted.

The Christian Lobby, and the likes of Bernardi, Abetz, Christensen, et al will never be persuaded from their views; indeed they cannot change them. Their views and attitudes are hard wired into their brains; they probably have been since their upbringing as small children. Facts, figures and logical reasoning cannot change them. Argument and reasoning are useless.

As a political strategy, there seems to be just a few things that can be done:

  • Use facts and reasoning to persuade those voters frightened by the rhetoric of the radicals that their facts are wrong, their conclusions flawed, their demands unreasonable and unnecessary, and that the need for the Safe School program is backed by hard evidence and sound professional opinion. The radicals are inconvincible, but the public can be convinced.Use political force to counter the radicals. They understand counting and votes. Don’t concede an inch, as Turnbull has foolishly done, because, as Keane points out, no matter how positive the outcomes of an investigation turn out to be, the radicals will never accept them. They will not go away. They will wage a war of attrition. Brute force is the only response they understand.

What we need is not just Safe Schools; we need Safe Politicians. It is a national disgrace that in our federal parliament we have such a motley collection of Unsafe Politicians: radical, heartless reactionaries who believe they are absolutely right and their opponents always wrong, ever ready to intimidate those whose opinions differ from theirs, primed to bully them into submission, and if they don’t succumb, to cast them cruelly into outer darkness, where they believe they belong, along with the LGBTI school students these Unsafe Politicians refuse to support.

Writing in the AIMN in Turnbull sells out young people to the deranged, to save himself, Jennifer Wilson says: “Turnbull’s support of those who would cause suffering to the young, based entirely on religious ideology, must be greatly discouraging to young people as well as to those adults who want to make acceptance of difference commonplace. Turnbull has made a Mephistophelean covenant with religious extremists. If there is such a thing as a soul, he has likely sold his in an exchange that benefits himself to the detriment of the young.”

There are some stark realities about these issues of sexuality and the reactions to LGBTI matters that need to be accepted.

The Christian Lobby, and the likes of Bernardi, Abetz, Christensen, et al will never be persuaded from their views; indeed they cannot change them. Their views and attitudes are hard wired into their brains; they probably have been since their upbringing as small children. Facts, figures and logical reasoning cannot change them. Argument and reasoning are useless.

As a political strategy, there seems to be just a few things that can be done:

  • Use facts and reasoning to persuade those voters frightened by the rhetoric of the radicals that their facts are wrong, their conclusions flawed, their demands unreasonable and unnecessary, and that the need for the Safe School program is backed by hard evidence and sound professional opinion. The radicals are inconvincible, but the public can be convinced.
  • Use political force to counter the radicals. They understand counting and votes. Don’t concede an inch, as Turnbull has foolishly done, because, as Keane points out, no matter how positive the outcomes of an investigation turn out to be, the radicals will never accept them. They will not go away. They will wage a war of attrition. Brute force is the only response they understand.

What we need is not just Safe Schools; we need Safe Politicians. It is a national disgrace that in our federal parliament we have such a motley collection of Unsafe Politicians: radical, heartless reactionaries who believe they are absolutely right and their opponents always wrong, ever ready to intimidate those whose opinions differ from theirs, primed to bully them into submission, and if they don’t succumb, to cast them cruelly into outer darkness, where they believe they belong, along with the LGBTI school students these Unsafe Politicians refuse to support.

What do you think? What are your views about this contentious matter?

We look forward to reading your views and your comments.

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

For Facebook users, The Political Sword has a Facebook page:
Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Donate Button

34 comments

Login here Register here
  1. Carol Taylor

    One thing that the righteous Right does not seem to understand is that it is not about sex, it is about bullying and the right of every child to be safe in the school environment. However, as seems to be a consistent theme with these types, you place the s-e-x word in front of them and a response of hot and bother-ment with a lavish dose of indignation is the automatic response. And yes, they would rather see “poofters” bashed than there might be any hint that those of different sexual orientation should be treated with respect.

  2. Backyard Bob

    Now we see it, the Christian-Right Liberal reactionaries digging their cruel claws into PM Turnbull over the ‘Safe Schools’ program, one specifically designed to help kids understand that different individuals have different feelings about their sexuality, and that all of us ought to understand, respect, and accept these differences.

    Expressed in those terms, Xians have every right to feel affronted. In those precise linguistic terms it is quite morally tyrannous.

    all of us ought to understand, respect, and accept these differences

    I think not. For families and children whose religious beliefs compel them to view such things as immoral, or in some fashion inconsistent with their view of “God’s message”, such wordage is obviously confrontational.
    “Understand”? Sure. “respect and accept”? No; simply, no.

    Not a single one of us respects and accepts that which we perceive as morally and socially deleterious. None of us. We “accept” such things – as far as it goes – as a consequence of the principles and nature of democratic, civilized society to which we generally subscribe. The wording ought be about respecting the rights of such people in a democratic, pluralistic society. Nothing more. Not a thing more. Any moral implications ought not exist.

    Just as we rightly demand that religious people not impose their moral codes upon us, nor should we seek to impose ours upon them. The word to be used here is “tolerate” We cannot demand more than tolerance of those who we do no more than tolerate.

    Caveat: this all rests on how the words “respect and accept” are being employed.

  3. Peter F

    “whose religious beliefs compel them” . . . . . You have highlighted the problem when you use ‘compel’ – which apparently leaves no room for thought or question.

  4. Carol Taylor

    Backyard Bob, then this type of Christian should be honest, that it’s not about the welfare of children but all about themselves and their own beliefs..that all others are ‘abominations’.

  5. Kaye Lee

    ByB,

    Whilst I understand your sentiment, sometimes you have to take a stand. I don’t just have a different opinion to homophobes, I want to unequivocally state that they are wrong. I no longer want to tolerate their intolerance. I do not want to be understanding about their unjustified fears. The untold damage done by the church through their weird views about sex has to stop. Demanding celibacy in a male only world has led to the priesthood, who should be our pastoral carers, attracting the wrong sort of people. Damaged individuals have been allowed to rape children rather than tarnish these meglomaniacs reputations.

    I have no tolerance for their opinions because they are wrong and they need to be told. You are probably right that I will change no-one’s minds by saying this but I will fervently campaign for such people to be removed from parliament. Their religious beliefs have no place in secular government.

    Bernardi and Christensen were fed their lines by the ACL, All of a sudden we have all these people worried about toilets. The misinformation campaign alone is enough to cause far stronger words than Ad astra has used.

  6. Kaye Lee

    No doubt white landowners in South Africa (most of whom were of Dutch descent) thought they had a moral right to their minority rule denying the black population the rights they enjoyed. They were wrong. Pure and simple. Same here. Stuff their moral codes. There is nothing moral about their view at all.

  7. John Fraser

    <

    Must be so galling for the Prime Minister of Australia to have to sit there and listen to the crap ACL put out about children needing 2 opposing gender parents to bring them up to be good citizens.

    Someone tell these idiots that Turnbull was bought up by his father.

  8. Kaye Lee

    There are many politicians who were brought up in families where the biological mum and dad were not together, Bill Shorten included, just as for many people in the population. Others have seen their own marriages dissolve.

    There were 46,500 divorces in 2014. That’s almost 100,000 people no longer married to each other. The median age at divorce for males was 45.2 years of age and the median age of females was 42.5 years of age which would suggest there were many children involved. Demonising children who are not living with their biological parents is despicable. Bernardi and Abetz, I am looking at you! Shelton (ACL) is just a little man making money from being a lobbyist. I have no interest in anything that man says.

    https://signposts02.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/jesus-had-2-dads.jpg

  9. Backyard Bob

    Kaye Lee,

    I have no time for religion; I’m a co-founder of an atheist organisation, but I also have no time for secular tyranny and ignorance. Two wrongs do not make a right, as they say. It’s possible to accommodate differing views if the language is couched correctly. That’s really the crux of the point I was making.

    There is nothing moral about their view at all.

    See, this is an example of what I’m talking about. It’s a philosophically vacuous statement. It is, quite simply, wrong. Btw, choosing the worst possible examples of something to make a point is a composition fallacy. Don’t make me go there 😉

    Essentially I know what you’re saying and I’m with you, but I think we can say it, and indeed must say it, better.

  10. bpsouper

    Interesting: Bonding is a wonderful instrument for creating relationships…if this is what you are wanting to convey why be so cryptic….the real philosophy of faith is,in my most respectful opinion, better served by the use of plain language.

  11. Backyard Bob

    Peter F,

    “whose religious beliefs compel them” . . . . . You have highlighted the problem when you use ‘compel’ – which apparently leaves no room for thought or question.

    It’s a fair enough observation, to which I would only add that it isn’t the sole province of the “religious”. You don’t have to have religious beliefs to be religiously inclined, psychologically.

  12. Backyard Bob

    Unsafe Politicians: radical, heartless reactionaries who believe they are absolutely right and their opponents always wrong, ever ready to intimidate those whose opinions differ from theirs, primed to bully them into submission, and if they don’t succumb, to cast them cruelly into outer darkness, where they believe they belong

    There’s something awfully familiar and evocative about that group of words. But I’m probably noting that in the wrong thread ….

  13. silkworm

    Backyard Bob, I perceive you as morally and socially deleterious, and I do not accept or respect you.

  14. Backyard Bob

    Silkworm,

    Ok, fine with me. Sadly, given that your punctuation and syntax was faultless, I’m unable to return the sentiment.

  15. silkworm

    Abbott, Abetz, Bernardi and “Fat Boy” Christensen confront Truffles over the Safe Schools anti-bullying programme.

  16. randalstella

    Evening all,
    Hope you are behaving yourselves. Good.
    Yes BYB, It’s funny, I had the same feeling.
    Where was that now?
    I don’t remember it as all that religious. Not formally anyhow.

    Important changes to the Senate voting system today. Good.

    silkworm,
    I don’t understand why you would think that comment worth making.
    Not very nice. I know you can do better, don’t you? Good.

  17. Backyard Bob

    I would have thought today’s developments in the senate voting debate might have reinvigorated the thread about it. Maybe people are digesting it.

  18. randalstella

    I would expect the faithful from the Kill the Greens and Spill Their Blood brethren are having a strategy meeting.

  19. RosemaryJ36

    Many religious people brought up as (or converted to be) Christians believe that the Bible provides them with the foundation for their path to salvation. In my opinion they overlook the fact that Christ himself is reported as having provided an up-date on the 10 commandments, replacing them with two commandments and illustrating the term “neighbour” with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
    What I feel they also overlook is that nothing about our way of life is set in stone. We live in a vastly different world 2000+ years after that up-date and scientific knowledge equips us to answer some of many questions which were unanswered at that time.
    Homosexuality was regarded in the Old Testament as an abomination because people at that time saw human beings as being either male or female and sexual activity between them as resulting in having children.
    We now know that children can be born with a much wider variety of sexual orientations and this is fact – not a life-style choice.
    So we have to rethink our attitudes – just as we have adjusted to driving cars, flying round the world, having running water in our houses and proper sanitation, not to mention mobile phones, computers and household appliances.
    In relation to some issues, those opposing the Safe School Project are effectively Luddites who refuse to acknowledge that what we now know requires us to change our opinions and attitudes as they are now out of date.

  20. Matthew Oborne

    The slippery slope Bernardi talks about is something we should all be concerned with.
    What slippery slope are we on.

    In America there are places where getting an abortion is getting so difficult the Christian right loons have almost won.
    What next, This obsession with sexuality females and godly values.

    I would ask Brickyard Bob would he respect a group who wish to go back to the days where women could work but only their husbands fathers or brothers could collect the money for her Labour?

    These arguments are that argument.

    A society that is stuck with regressives constantly trying to find avenues to attack the rights of people they think of as lesser, the LBQTI community, women, anyone really other than white men, preferably the wealthy ones.

    The first Born son.

    having a sensible debate, or opening the door to review of a progressive initiative that addresses a very real issue when the motive is to shut it down isnt something society should even consider.

    Getting sucked into the two sides of every story, a balance of views is just what they want, This is not a coin toss this saves lives the other side is no debate it is an attempt to wipe out a program that reduces harm for our Kids.

    They have no side, they have no point, their opinion is not valid their opinion will cost Childrens lives. It is up to sane sensible people to stop this counter revolution that is determined to unwind progression they see as going against their god but many of them just wish to re entrench their position of favour.

    I wouldnt give the time of day to someone who wanted to remove the rights of aboriginals to vote, or remove them from their lands or decide that living on their lands means we dont have responsibility, of women having sovereignty over their own bodies or a womans right to earn a wage, own property, vote, yet that is the same door that is being cracked open.

    So no Bob giving these regressives a hearing is obscene, they want full control over womens bodies and their lives they want people back in the closet.

    This isnt a debate.
    it is a counter revolution against a progressive society.

  21. Adrianne Haddow

    Excellent posts re the Christian right and their attempts to direct society to their liking.

    Why do the Australian Christians need a lobby group, and what are they lobbying for, if not to impose their world view on our society?
    They would have us return to the days when the best minds of an age were imprisoned for their sexual preferences, as happened with Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing.

    Why are there so many of these people in the parliament of a secular country, and why are their voices permitted to be so loud?
    Why do their views impact so heavily on our education system and civil laws?
    Their belief in a mythical sky father its no more valid, to the governance of a modern society, than our indigenous peoples’ belief in their creator god or the Rainbow Serpent.

    The influence of these people should be opposed and challenged.
    If they do not wish their children exposed to a program such as the Safe Schools, send them to a private religious school where their views may count for something.
    Otherwise, let the rest of us, and our children, get on with building a tolerant, diverse and respectful society.

  22. astra5

    Folks
    I thank you all for your contribution to the debate on this divisive issue. I enjoyed reading what you had to say.

    As several of you have responded to Backyard Bob, I feel no need to add to your well reasoned comments.

    The matter will continue to attract attention until Simon Birmingham’s investigation of it, at Malcolm Turnbull’s request, is completed, and even if it endorses the continuation of the Safe Schools program, I fear its opponents, emboldened by the fact that it was subject to investigation at all, will persist with their carping. They will never give up because they believe absolutely that they are right. Their beliefs are hard wired into their brains, and are thereby unchangeable.

  23. jimhaz

    You folk do not understand what Backyard Bob was getting at. Sometimes we need to look in the mirror. It is well known that the more polarised you are left or right the more dictatorial and adversarial you tend to become.

    Of course, I’m a hypocrite on this point as I have trouble taming anger and being careful about word choices. Don’t care about diplomatic finesse …due to the following statement in the article.

    [The Christian Lobby, and the likes of Bernardi, Abetz, Christensen, et al will never be persuaded from their views; indeed they cannot change them. Their views and attitudes are hard wired into their brains; they probably have been since their upbringing as small children]
    What I find amusing about that crowd is that they have no idea that they have been social engineered themselves by religions, and other predatory folks, effects on society over the centuries. Religions like to create sin and guilt, as that tends to create a strongly conformist group they can control and abuse more easily.

    We know it is indoctrination because people like myself who were bought up during the clearly homophobic 60-70’s can change those indoctrinated viewpoints and lose all/most/much fear of differing sexualities. Philosophical and science based knowledge and the freedom to think more objectively, diminishes the established views.

    [This pernicious social transformation has resulted in distress, depression and sometimes suicide]

    It should also be noted that straight people would be better off not feeling any angst about other forms of non-harmful sexuality. In other words everyone can benefit from being freed from reacting negatively.

  24. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz,

    I fully understand what ByB was saying and I agree with both of you about the dangers of being too adversarial but, for me, this is an issue where it is time for the gloves to come off.

  25. Backyard Bob

    Hey, I’m a gloves off kinda guy, I just don’t want my side of the argument to look as hysterical and contemptuous of reason as the other mob.

    I’m pretty happy, really, for the likes of Abbott, Bernardi and Christensen to shoot their mounts off because for me it signifies their internal fear of their growing irrelevance to contemporary Australian society. I’d be far more concerned if they weren’t complaining.

  26. Backyard Bob

    Wow, ten minutes on Youtube watching George Christensen is not a good way to spend ten minutes of your life.

  27. guest

    That the Judaeo/Christian believers have been vilfiying LGBTQI people for thousands of years is of great concern, especially because in other parts of their moral mantras they speak of doing good and being loving towards our neighbours. If the Judaeo/Christian lobby prevails, then it means that they continue to vilify LGBTQi people and allow others to do so as well.

    It could be contended that the important word in the argument is ‘understanding’. It is clear that post-Freud our understanding of sexuality has been greatly expanded and understood. To deny that new understanding is to be blinkered and therefore to deny the possibility of ‘respect’ and ‘understanding’.

    Of course it is still possible to understand, and yet still oppose and vilify. Given he strong opposition of some Christian lobby groups, maintenance of the status quo with no attempt to prevent bullying is to allow the vilification which is itself a contradiction of Christian values.

    Some of those without sympathy will say that it has always been thus and therefore LBGTQI people should just get over it and stop being such wimps. is that the attitude we really want to prevail?

    Then there are those who claim being LBGTQI is just a matter of life choices. it is a notion based on a lack of understanding, based on ignorance, and means that LGBTQI people deserve to be vilified. It is a notion which presumes to justify the un-Christian attitude. It is an attitude which is not based on understanding. Bigotry is allowed.

    So we must allow that the Christian lobby and any anti-gay activists are allowed to have their opinions, but we must also think about the consequences of their opinion prevailing. It means that the bullying and vilification will continue as before. And this opinion is based also on ignorance of LGBTQI means, but also of what the Safe Schools program is about. Many posters have suggested that the program is an attempt to convert children to an LGBTQI lifestyle. They fail to see that it is an attempt to protect children from bullying of all kinds, not just bullying based on anti-gay sentiments. In the program, it is but a few lessons leading to understanding of what lGBTQI means. That is, it is removing ignorance as an excuse for vilification. Beside that, no doubt LGBTQI people will be counselled individually as well as any other students might receive individual counselling about other matters.

    I am not an expert in these matters, but I hope I have presented how I see the discussion with some understanding and some respect, but not a lot of tolerance for a do-nothing attitude.

  28. astra5

    Guest
    Thank you for your thoughtful observations.

    In the end, the usefulness of the Safe Schools program will be determined by the outcomes. This morning on ABC 774 Melbourne radio there was an encouraging account from one school about the success of the program. It is to be hoped that Simon Birmingham, who has been assigned the responsibility of ‘investigating’ the program, will furnish a positive report so that the program can continue.

  29. astra5

    Kaye Lee
    Kevin Donnelly was hand-picked by Pyne to do the review of the school curriculum, knowing full well what he would write. What he wrote back then sounds just like what Lyle Shelton of the ACL is saying now. No doubt he’ll be drawn into the debate. I’m pinning hope on Simon Birmingham’s level headed approach; I wait anxiously for the report of his ‘investigation’.

  30. Kaye Lee

    I agree that Simon Birmingham seems a tad more sensible than our other ministers but my fear is, rather than his common sense prevailing, he will be reined in and forced to spew party rhetoric.

  31. Neil Aitchison

    There have been media articles saying how the “Safe Schools” program teaches children about sex and sexuality, and right along side them, there are other articles saying how “child-on-child” sex abuse is rife….the obvious connection is that when children learn about adult-only sex issues, they are too young and immature to handle the information responsibly thereby leading the children to have “play sex” (that’s what the children call it) or doing “pretend sex” (their words) to make out that what they are doing isn’t real sex when it actually is. The result is children getting sexually active at pre-teen ages with devastating results. Connecting the dots between irresponsible child “sex talk” and irresponsible child “sex action” is very easy. And where is abstaining from sex until you get married mentioned in all of this??….it’s never mentioned!….God’s sacred use of sex within marriage is COMPLETELY ignored. The result is widespread hurt by pre-marital, unprotected, (sometimes forced) child sex just to be cool or because they have sexual concepts introduced into their unprepared minds that spark a curiosity to experiment with it. The bully kids can rape other kids and get away with it because they say it is only “play/pretend” sex. Needless to say, the sex acts are in ALL shapes and forms…..PARENTS: please beware of what can happen to your children. This is the inevitable result of sexualizing our young people.

    Sometimes the truth hurts. Exposing “unSafe Schools” for what it is and exposing the same sex agenda is a good thing because it shows that our human desires (sin?) cannot override reality, but rather reality overrides our desires. For some people to try to undermine the family unit and create the illusion of “moral relativism” which destroys society (as my example above is just one example) is creating discussion and critical thinking. The more, the better. Is our biological sex determined by nature or nurture?….it’s obviously the former. Is our gender different to our sex?….nope!….it’s only the subjective, post-modernist person of the “progressive” gay mindset who thinks that redefining words can somehow change reality. Since when is “progress” always a good thing anyhow? It’s all just tricky word-smithing and targeting the naive young children of our society (without parental approval) because they are easy pickings. Make-believe “medical” reports just facilitate the illusion. The separation of “sex” (male/female biology) and “gender” is the latest attempt to trick people – because the biological make-up of a man and a woman is SOOOOO obvious, the same sex lobby has conceded that your biology (your anatomy) has either man parts or woman parts. QED. …..but now you can have “gender” which is the male/female/other that you “feel” you want to be – this is what the “unSafe Schools” program is ultimately teaching. So you can feel like you are a “man” (gender) in a woman’s body (sex) or a “woman” (gender) in a man’s body (sex)…..or you can be both “man and woman” (fluid gender) in a man or woman body (sex)…..or a “man” in a man or woman body but dressing in a woman way or visa versa…..or a “both gender” in a body that needs added hormones and body parts snipped off…..or a tuck and nip penis/breast body adaptation in a fluid-trans-intersex-hetro/homo gender. Can you imagine how totally screwed up in the head these poor children will be as they grow up through their teenage years and then have to actual “decide” what “gender” they feel like for the rest of their lives – that’s right…..once the physical anatomy has been changed in their young, immature years, their bodies cannot be reversed back when they wise up and make a mature decision to be heterosexual in a God-given way.

    It is inevitable now that schools will be polarised into “gay schools” and “non-gay schools” as the “gay schools” shout homophobia at anyone who does not want to be a homosexual (it will be a witch-hunt on all the time to “catch-out” the heterosexual and spew abuse at them just like Bill Shorten did to Cory Bernardi – no one wants to be on the run from the homo hit squad all day long) and the “non-gay schools” who are sick in the gut of having rampant hedonistic humanism/atheism shoved down our throats and so they want to live in peace by teaching their children the 3Rs and decency. The creators of the “Safe School” program obviously didn’t think through how their initiative will cause polarised “gay schools” and “non-gay schools” that will now eventuate – that is the path that we are now heading down. For schools/universities to support such a destructive program like “unSafe Schools”, it drags down their reputations and has me, for one, warning people not to send their children to such institutions – parents will vote with their feet (and their wallets) by not sending children to skewed schools/universities that are only into political activism and not into educating people.

    What a disgraceful joke!

    ….and there are gay-only groups that teach people how to have gay relationships, gay sex, etc….so much for homosexuality being “normal/natural” if you have to be taught it….and it is discrimination to make the group a gay-only group (oh….that’s right…..discrimination and abuse only works one way, the heterosexuals have to cop it).

    The Labor Leader, Mr Shorten, prompted and provoked a response from Senator Bernardi – Mr Shorten said “That would be the chap” first thereby prompting and provoking a response from Senator Bernardi. Many media articles fail to mention this but rather pretend that Mr Shorten was bullied for no reason and he used the Safe Schools program to deal with the “bully Bernardi”. No one should prompt or provoke hostility whether in the parliament or the play ground. If people think that what Mr Shorten did is acceptable and that the Safe Schools program encourages LGBTIQ (did I miss a letter?) children to similarly go around prompting and provoking hostility in schools and then crying “victim” when they get criticized, then the Safe Schools project is indeed as dangerous as Senator Bernardi says. The more that we are finding out about this “unSafe Schools” program, the more dangerous it becomes. Mis-reporting by people is causing a growing resentment and disgust against same sex marriage and if the media thinks that the Australian public are too stupid to see through skewed reporting, they are wrong. The same sex marriage lobby group keeps doing this sort of thing over-and-over again and it shows how devious and dishonest they are. The media should not be adopting the same devious and dishonest tactics in their reporting.

    The “unSafe Schools” program tells kids that gender is fluid and sexuality is not definable. It tells kids that Gender is how you feel. The program encourages kids to classify themselves while simultaneously denigrating such classification. It is a view of human sexuality and gender which is entirely constructed and removed from reality. It teaches kids that their personal feelings are paramount and that they should expect EVERYONE to affirm them. It makes kids who choose to be LGBTIQ hypersensitive and on the lookout for anything that might remotely be classified as bullying. The entire foundation of the programme is constructed on conjecture and dodgy use of statistics.

    Also, there is no homophobia…..just a different opinion. People who disagree with same sex relationships simply disagree, nothing more. Calling it homophobia is a cop out for not having a legitimate reason to have a same sex relationship and so to silence your critics, you use emotive name calling. The whole name calling stunt has worn out and people are not put off by being called homophobia, hate speecher or bigot because name calling is an acknowledgement that you have lost the argument. If equality is what the same sex marriage advocates want, then equality for all types of marriage would be allowed. To limit their marriage re-definition to only include “two consenting adults” is being unequal to the people wanting other forms of marriage – so it is quite a big lie to claim that SSM is “marriage equality”. If you want to save money on a “wasteful” plebiscite, then simply leave the Marriage Act as it is – no cost involved then!…..but the same sex lobby pushing for a change are creating the cost.

    The same sex lobby have used the Anti-discrimination Act to try and silence the Roman Catholic Church in Tasmania…..so already this bully tactic has been used. The Australian Christian Lobby are addressing this existing misuse of the Anti-discrimination Act and simply saying that such bully tactics should not be used by anyone (either the “yes” side or the “no” side) to silence people and stop free speech. The way that the media has made out the ACL are wanting favouritism or somehow circumventing the Anti-discrimination Act is further evidence of how devious and deceitful the SSM advocates are. The obvious outcome is that it will backfire and more and more people will be chased over to the “no’ side – that’s what happens when you lie too much for too long.

    There is no hatred, bigotry or discrimination to uphold the millennia-old understanding that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. At worst, it is just a difference of opinion, and at best, it is upholding history for a reason – opposite sex marriages are the only way that civilizations can thrive and be prosperous (you can have children to start with and then to structure ethics, honesty and decency). The family unit is vital to how society functions and when it is distorted or changed, so does society. Already, heterosexual children are told not to use the terms “boy, girl, him, her, mummy, daddy, etc” because these terms are gender specific and oppose the same-sex/transgender identification – so heterosexual people (from a very young age onwards) are impacted in thousands of ways by the same sex marriage re-definition. Plus all heterosexual marriages change from being recognised as “married to a member of the opposite sex for life” to “someone I am temporarily having sex with” which, for me, would be insulting if I was in anyway assumed to be married just for sex or to another man. So every time I say the words “I’m married”, my marriage is being damaged by the re-definition of marriage. My feelings are as valid as any homosexual’s feeling and should be equally considered seriously in the whole same sex marriage debate. Failure to do so shows that the same sex marriage issue is not about love and equality, but solely a political stunt to legalize rampant hedonism and a blatant attack on Christianity. If you want honesty, then there it is.

    The Rome Empire that had rampant hedonism and debauchery in the 1st-3rd centuries were not Christian (they killed Christians for sport in the “circuses” where lions would eat Christians) and the Emperor Constantine turned to Christianity as a way out of the horrors going on in the Roman society. So there is a perfect example of how we must also avoid the same horrors of rampant hedonism and debauchery by following the Christian teachings. In other words, we can be “saved from ourselves”. The ACL and Senator Cory Bernardi are highlighting the unfair and dishonest name-calling and dirty political tactics used by the same sex lobby group to silence their critics and shove their agenda down our throats. This will be highlighted a thousand times as the same sex lobby group continue with their dishonest bully tactics and prove the ACL to be true over-and-over-and-over again.

    Regards,

    Neil Aitchison
    http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/advertiser/index.html

  32. Kaye Lee

    Neil,

    You have serious hangups and are unbelievably ignorant about children. I assume you have had nothing to do with teenagers because you truly do not have a clue about them. Nor do you have a clue about the purpose of the Safe Schools program. I get it….you people think sex is rude and gay sex is unnatural. In fact you are so fixated on it that love has become irrelevant apparently. You think everyone should think like you about sex and feel a shit load of guilt because we all know guilt is good and smacking works. Children should ignore their feelings and never ever ask questions.

    I have never read a greater load of ill-informed garbage in my life. Actually, tell a lie. Any visit to George Christensen or Cory Bernardi’s online offereings and you will see similar destructive bullshit.

  33. randalstella

    One poster, BYB, raised the issue of whether extremely oppressive opinion could be nonetheless sincere.
    As much as it might seem preferable to reserve the concepts of genuineness for kinder and more equitable attitudes, I believe his challenge is correct.
    Odious opinion might include a lot of lies along the way to maintain its hold on argument, yet under it might be a devout wish to win for the sake of some higher principle than any ordinary notions of telling the truth and being fair. These bods might sincerely think they are in righteous war. War must seek to intimidate, so that others simply offer no opposing opinion.
    And sincerely they might take it as encouragement when others they oppose go on about allowing them their opinions. They might sincerely see that as weakness, a lack of principled resolve in their opponents. They might see it as their own true superiority, as they would not budge to allow their opponents such a right.
    This is no doubt authoritarianism. But I would not waste time on considering whether or not it is sincere. Bizarrely, it might be sincere through and through, even in the worst transgressions. That does not make bad opinion and bad actions any better. It might just make them more entrenched.
    I have seen what can only be unfeigned astonishment when corrupt officials have been challenged. The poofter and Abo-bashers – and killers – among police certainly boast about their exploits to their mates; but they also espouse a crusading hatred and abhorrence for their targets as – wait for it – moral degenerates, who deserve anything.
    Doubting their sincerity would be like bothering to argue the point with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page