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Turnbull sells out young people to the deranged, to save himself

One of the (many) problems I see with religious ideology is that it offers people whose intelligence and experiential curiosity is limited by cowardice and fear, a socially legitimised avoidance of the challenges of thinking differently.

This is what we’re witnessing in the current outburst of venomous denial expressed by Cory Bernardi, George Christiansen, Lyle Shelton and their fellow travellers towards the Safe Schools program.

This is an extremist group resistant to any change in what they perceive as the traditional order of things. They use nostalgic reification of “tradition,” underpinned by religious ideology, to legitimise what is nothing more than personal emotion and private insecurity.

This isn’t to say only religious people are closed to difference, or that all religious people are closed, and religion isn’t the only ideology that closes minds and hearts. However, in this instance, which is focused on human sexuality and its many expressions, the religious appear to be dominant in their vicious objection to there being any expression other than the one they endorse.

Not one of them is able to take personal responsibility and say, for example, I am frightened of sexual difference and its expression and this why the Safe Schools program causes me such discomfort. Instead, they resort to what they claim has been “traditional” for “millennia” and/or the will of a transcendental exteriority they define as a Christian god.

These are frightened, cornered people, and frightened, cornered people are no less dangerous than any other frightened, cornered animal.

As Nietzsche observed “…systems of morals are only a sign-language of the emotions.” This isn’t a difficult concept to test: what upsets us humans are inclined to declare in some way immoral, while what brings pleasure and ease is intellectually defined as morally good. But as Hamlet observes before Nietzsche “… there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Bernardi, Shelton, et al have embraced the man-made doctrine that any sexual feelings and expressions other than those their peer group considers right and good are aberrations that they have set about attempting to destroy, regardless of the consequences of that destructive rampage for their fellow human beings. They do this in the name of some god. They are, quite frankly, deranged.

They are now supported in this endeavour by our government, as Prime Minister Turnbull endorses their demands for an inquiry into a program designed to alleviate the suffering of children and young people who do not express their sexual feelings in ways the religious consider moral. That our government should agree to the demands of religious extremists rather than wholeheartedly support acceptance of differences in youthful sexual expression is appalling.

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. Surely it must be clear by now to even the most optimistic that Turnbull is no improvement on Abbott, indeed, there’s probably an argument to be made that he is at best, little different and possibly worse.

Turnbull will continue to capitulate to the demands of the extremists in his party, to the detriment of the country and the majority of us living in it. He is a man without courage, and his ideology is personal ambition, and he is blinded by these factors as much as is any other ideological extremist.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.



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  1. Lee

    Not one of them is able to come out of the closet either. Perhaps we need a Safe Parliament program for them.

  2. Peter Stanton

    What appears to be a growth in activism by the christian lobby is an fact a desperate last stand by a group whose influence is rapidly declining. There was a time when anyone in public life could not speak out against the bias and oppression practiced by christians in fear of being ostracized.. The exposure of the evils practiced within christian sects has emboldened none believers to speak out and they have discovered that they are not the minority any more.

  3. kerri

    And he will spout that after the election, thing will be so much better.
    There are no factions in the LNP!
    There are no faceless men in the Liberal Party!

  4. Mick

    And what do we get from mainstream media. An echo chamber for their voices. Bullock gets air time. Christensen gets air time. Bernardi. Simpkins. There should be a torrent of articles countering their filth. But it is dribs and drabs compared to the share they have picked up.

  5. Zathras

    When it comes to intolerance and personal prejudice religion is usually used an an excuse rather than a reason.

    Zealots like Bernardi have surrendered their personal responsibility to “a higher power” yet demand everybody else defer their power of choice to him.

    If he was a Muslim, he’d certainly be a terrorist.

    “I don’t follow tradition. Neither did my father or his father before him.”

  6. Kaye Lee

    TONY ABBOTT: “At university the need to defend Catholicism in a hostile environment had led me to an extremely naturalistic defence of traditional beliefs and disciplines. Abortion was wrong, because it violated instinctive respect for life; contraception, because it was usually part of a “me now” mentality. The Mass was a chance quietly to restore one’s energies; confession enabled embarrassing problems to be discussed safely before they became crippling.

    Lack of sensual intimacy is something that priests have always had to handle. In my case, this had become a heavy burden because I was not naturally drawn to the life of the priesthood and because the modern Church — by minimising its mystique and spiritual elan — had eroded any other basis for its undertaking.”

  7. John Oliver

    As a full blown Atheist I struggle to understand religious zealots. I know that their god espouses tolerance, understanding and love and it is written in their holy book that they should behave in that manner. How can they claim to be proponents of their particular religion if they actively work against the tenets set out for them by ‘God’. They go bat shit when Muslims go against the word of Allah even though they do not accept Islam as a religion.These imbeciles are hypocrites and liars and cowards. They will be sorely disappointed at the time of Rapture as all of us left behind would have a great time pointing out that they have also been left behind. And we might do a bit of torturing, but we will wait and see 😉

  8. Kaye Lee

    GEORGE CHRISTENSEN: “Come hell or high water, the perverted Safe Schools program will be defunded. Why? Because it’s very much a propaganda tool being used in the schools to not just break down stereotypes about gay and lesbian people — that would be fine — but it’s ­almost become a promotion tool for the gay and lesbian lifestyle and the whole notion that you don’t have a gender that you should conform to.”

    George is now providing links to the sites he objected to after they were removed from the online Safe Schools resources. He doesn’t know a win when he sees one. He just wants to continue having a hissy fit rather than achieve anything. Should we warn children not to visit George’s facebook page?

    I would also like to know what “conforming to my gender” entails. I have a feeling I don’t match up to George’s gender expectations.

  9. roaminruin

    The last paragraph sums it up nicely.
    Malcolm is the lipstick on the LNP pig – the Bernardis, the Abetzes et al are the pig.

    What irks me is a tendency that is emerging to suggest Turnbull is as bad if not worse than Abbott. Come on people. Malcolm is an ineffectual disappointment. But Abbott was the whole hog!

  10. Felicitas

    Tony Abbott: “Abortion was wrong, because it violated instinctive respect for life; contraception, because it was usually part of a “me now” mentality.” – a very curious thing to say in view of his lack of producing the numbers of children associated with good Catholic practice. Was Margie taking the Pill without his knowledge or does withdrawal work well for him? (And isn’t that a sin too?)

    The problem with all this ‘traditionalist’ mindset is that it frightens people and refuses non-traditionalists a platform to repudiate the traditionalist claims. Whilst I have no problem with learning from the past, I do have large reservations about living there. Perhaps our ‘leaders’ should be forced to take a course on living in the 21st century before being permitted to take office.

  11. Lee

    “Abortion was wrong, because it violated instinctive respect for life; contraception, because it was usually part of a “me now” mentality. ”

    War violates respect for life, but that’s ok. Sex outside of marriage without the use of contraception is also ok. So is abandoning your girlfriend and the child you believe to be yours because you’re not ready to take responsibility for your actions. If that isn’t part of the “me now” mentality, I don’t know what is. The truth is, Abbott doesn’t like abortion and contraception because it gives a woman control over her own body. I’m so over those hypocrites.

  12. Lee

    “Malcolm is the lipstick on the LNP pig – the Bernardis, the Abetzes et al are the pig.”

    Pigs are nice animals. Please don’t insult pigs. Malcolm is the glitter on the LNP turd.

  13. Mick

    Please don’t insult turds. Turnbull is a photo-shopped tree on an LNP scorched earth.

  14. Pappinbarra Fox

    Please don’t insult trees. Malcolm is the dag on the rotting putrescence of rotting conspicuous consumptive pus.

  15. Rrama

    Zealots are simply people who interpret the word of their god and seek to please the deity.
    Many, like Coulson and Brooks or the aussie murdoch editors wildly tumbling over each other to vilify Gillard, worship mammon.
    Most zealots kneel to various impotent gods. Obeying the instructions, as interpreted by ignorant men with a gender problem.
    40 years ago, I supervised homework at a boarding school and one ‘effeminate’ Aboriginal boy was constantly bullied.
    The sadness in his eyes was haunting. I spoke to the Principal and I never saw the boy again. On inquiry, “He was sent home for ‘inappropriate behaviour’.
    Overt ‘poofter’ bashing may be rarer and condemned, even by paticipating men but covert is alive and well supported.

    ps It would be no surprise to hear that I was not invited to supervise homework in the next term.

  16. paul walter

    Dr. Wilson was perhaps painstakingly meticulous in employing the term “religious ideology”. Normal people indeed do look up the skies on starry nights and wonder at origins, value and meaning.

    To share a beautiful night is great, but the hard right are reactionary modernists who have reached the stage where change, all change, is frightening and threatening. They come not to share enjoyment but blindly lash out. They would be pathetic if they were not so destructive.

  17. David (other)

    Turnbull responded to the obscene homophobic abuse by the tea party No 1 card carrier Bernardi and the non human Christensen, with utterances that bring to mind the very apt description of another Tory by Paul Keating, that perfectly fits the Puppet Turnbull “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up”
    PM what a weak creep you are sir.

  18. Kaye Lee

    While much of the “debate” about the Safe Schools program from its critics has been unpleasant and bordering on the homophobic, the remarks yesterday in Parliament by north Queensland MP George Christensen, comparing the program to “grooming work that a sexual predator might undertake” require action from the Prime Minister.

    Safe Schools is an important program aimed at countering bullying of LGBTI students. Students have the right to a safe environment at school, and they have a right not be demonised for their sexuality. Without a program like Safe Schools, there would be more suicides, more bullying of LGBTI kids, more mental trauma, more broken minds and bodies. The fact that far-right groups like the Australian Christian Lobby, media outlets like The Australian and politicians like Christensen, Cory Bernardi and others appear not to care about this tragic cost speaks volumes for their obsession with sex-based culture wars over young lives.

    But Christensen goes further in directly linking LGBTI people with paedophiles, an old lie that is particularly odious coming from supposed Christians, given that some Christian churches in recent decades have acted as our biggest institutional paedophile rings.

    These kinds of comments, in perpetuating such hateful myths, can only hurt LGBTI people and encourage an environment in which they are vilified and harassed. Christensen has a perfect right to voice such garbage. But the Prime Minister also has the right to speak — and a responsibility to lead, not only his own MPs, but the nation. Malcolm Turnbull should have immediately rebuked Christensen. His failure to do so confirms that in gaining Prime Minister Turnbull we have lost one of our best politicians.

    Christensen deserves censure

  19. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee and Abbott’s statement of: “ minimising its mystique and spiritual elan — had eroded any other basis for its undertaking.” I have in the past wondered about this statement by Tony and interpreted it as meaning that unless Abbott could have moral superiority by maximising its ‘mystique’, then even the church itself was inferior to himself.

    As far as Bernardi and Christensen and the ramifications of their hate campaign – they do not care – it’s all about power and control, about their own egos, about having to be right all of the time.

  20. Kaye Lee


    He also said “Looking back, it seems that I was seeking a spiritual and human excellence to which the Church is no longer sure she aspires. My feeble attempts to recall her to her duty — as I saw it — betrayed a fathomless disappointment at the collapse of a cherished ideal. l felt “had” by a seminary that so stressed ”empathy” with sinners and “dialogue” with the Church’s enemies that the priesthood seemed to have lost its point.”

    Zis is KAOS, Zere vill be no empathy here!

  21. Jennifer Wilson

    PW I am always meticulous. Well….almost always. Well, maybe not…

    I do think there’s a difference between religion and spirituality. The latter prompts me to wonder at the heavens and a grain of sand, the former I understand as a man-made hierarchy based on fantasy, projection, and desire for control. The two are entirely incompatible, but frequently used interchangeably. I’m not overly fond of the “spiritual” word, but I don’t know another that is as appropriate. Metaphysical? But that has all sorts of other connotations…

  22. Jennifer Wilson

    Of course when Abbott talks about respect for life he means white middle class male life, with the occasional woman of calibre thrown in to manage his life for him.

  23. margcal

    》 I would also like to know what “conforming to my gender” entails. I have a feeling I don’t match up to George’s gender expectations

    It’s all about the ironing, Kaye Lee, it’s the ironing.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Oops. My husband irons his own shirts and trousers.. I KNEW there was something strange about him!

  25. Matters Not

    There’s some responses here which I should leave well alone. But what with Jennifer’s man-made hierarchy and Kaye’s teaser re the ironing but no mention of the wearing and his alleged strangeness and so on, the mind boggles.

    Just joking. 🙂 And this from someone who has always done the ironing but only rarely ‘worn’ the pants.

    And I should mention that Neil has again had a good week. As usual.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Matters Not,

    You are obviously gender confused too. We all need some advice from George as to how we should really be.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Matters Not, I’ve given up with Neil. He’s been in moderation for ages but I or any of the other moderators have better things to do than spend all day checking his comments. He’s now out of moderation. It’s up to him if he wants it to stay that way.

    It also saves me from having people jump down my throat telling me that I have no right to ban him blah blah blah or that by moderating him I’m denying him the right to free speech blah blah blah. Abuse him and people tell me were being to harsh on him and that he isn’t shown due respect blah blah blah.

    Your advice has always been the best: let him say what he wants . . . but just ignore him.

  28. Wally

    Before Catholics have any more to say on how our society should operate they need to make changes that will ensure young people are no longer the prey of priests. Maybe changes to the churches attitude toward homosexuals would allow homosexuals with in the church to come out and live the life they desire. Celibacy has failed, it is time for the church to admit its failings, change the system and move forward.

    People talk about Muslim extremist but Christians allow the catholic church to continue in a manner that is extreme by any modern standard. If they are pulled into line other religions will follow suit.

  29. paul walter

    Matters not, that signifier of Jennifer’s was a bit “floaty”. Perhaps, she meant human-created hierarchy, a more gender non-specific term, because, as she says herself, she is usually meticulous as to such things.

    Jennifer, I see what you get at as to hierarchies and chains of being.

    God or no god, existence itself is a curiosity to me also, like countless molecules in a grain of sand, to a beach, through to uncountable quadrllions of miles separating stars and galaxies and whole galaxy clusters. It totally defeats me but I’m alive and each day brings forth its own wonders and disasters.

    Spirituality, or an endowment of spirit, to me, is what my footy side shows coming from behind to win a close match. It seems to be the force we can some times muster, adhering to our sense of appropriateness in personal conduct to acheive things and it is also the force that motivates people to fight for the lives of kids and whole societies. I don’t know if it is metaphysical or merely a biological reaction and I don’t much seems to me a thing of exquisite beauty to behold and I have been privileged to witness it in action in the conduct of others, including yourself.

    Ironing be beggared, btw. When is culture going to grow out sucjh crude and primitive traits?

  30. astra5

    A fine piece Jennifer.

    You have hit the nail on the head when you write: “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.”

    How astonishing, how disappointing it is that the Turnbull in whom so many had high expectations has descended to this. Politics under Abbott was awful; the question is: “are we any better off under Turnbull?”

  31. Deanna Jones

    Nobody has a “gender to conform to” George. It is a made up thing, made up by the same men who made up your ‘god’ in order to oppress people. Gender is a set of practices that you are supposed to do based on your biological sex.

  32. Pilot

    As a Christian I take my lessons from the New Testament, not the Old Testament, a book of threats and full of bigotry. No where within my lessons have I read anything that gives me the right to abuse or accuse anyone of anything. It teaches me to be tolerant and to look for the good in everyone and accept them for who they are. It teaches me to help everyone, to respect all, to love others as I love my God.

    So, saying that, I believe our current crop of parliamentarians are so full of “it”, their eyes are blinded by their own bullsh*t, they aren’t christians, they are zealots, fascists and bigots. They are so far removed from christianity, they’re bloody atheists, and bad atheists at that. Atheists don’t spend their time abusing and accusing anyone that hasn’t fired a few shots at them.

    I stand for our children, regardless of race, colour, creed, political or sexual orientation. Enough is enough!!! These vicious cowards should be called out and thrown out!! My personal view of Bernardi is one that cannot be printed here, but it is far, far worse than my opinion of Abbott and Turnbull, a pair of real no-hopers, duds and , should have been caught in condoms and discarded, their parents’ wasted f*cks……

  33. David (other)

    @astra5,,I believe you know the answer to your question, as do the once doubters of the Labor party they were once doubting, with reason. We have seen and heard enough evidence Turnbull is now existing as PM at the behest of the Tory conservative right.
    As we approach the election I can visualise more of the ‘Abbott disciples’ coming out. Like the utterly despicable Nicolic (what were you thinking good folk of Bass), I understand why the puppet PM gave this bombastic,arrogant man from the backbench the powerful position of Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. Fear! fear of this nutter Abbott devotee and his mates.
    There are more, Cash, O’Dwyer, who would know what goes on with Brandis. others who have yet to appear, but they will take heart as the polls reverse and they believe Abbott is their saviour. God help them.
    For some it is already too late, their seats are history, my fervent hope Pyne is among them

  34. David (other)

    Pilot wow!!! “Abbott and Turnbull, a pair of real no-hopers, duds and , should have been caught in condoms and discarded, their parents’ wasted f*cks……”
    What is this book of which you speak, perchance It teaches such a fine turn of phrase as well ? 🙂

  35. Arthur Baker

    Please don’t insult dags. I’m a dag. I started eating Uncle Toby’s “Natural Style Muesli”, but it didn’t help me acquire any natural style, according to my wife, who says I’m just as much of a dag as I always was. It’s a heavy cross to bear.

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