What a long night for an old Knight. Anthony Fisher was taking a well earned pint which allowed someone from the Australian Marriage organisation to speak a few words.: You can review the start here.....
In September, Australians are going to be asked a seemingly simple question. Something like ‘Should marriage be redefined to include same-sex marriage.’
But that’s not what we’re really being asked.You can read the full Marriage Amendment Bill here:
But here’s the bit they hope you won’t notice:“The term ‘same-sex marriage’ should be read to include a marriage of two people regardless of their sex or gender, where the union is not that of a man and a woman.”If you haven’t been subjected to the highly controversial Safe Schools Coalition program, you may not be aware that dangerous gender theory is being taught to our kids in schools. It’s the belief that ‘Sex’ is determined by your genitals but ‘Gender’ is determined by how you feel.This Marriage Bill seeks to enshrine Gender Theory into the Marriage Act.
You may think there are two genders but actually, there are around 112.Here are a few :Amaregender: a gender that changes depending on who you’re in love withBiogender: a gender that feels connected to nature in some wayCendgender: when your gender changes between one and its oppositeCondigender: a gender that is only felt during certain circumstancesDemiflux: the feeling of having multiple genders, some static and some fluctuatingEspigender: a gender that is related to being a spirit or exists on a higher or extradimensional planeGenderwitched: a gender in which one is intrigued or entranced by the idea of a particular gender, but is not certain that they are actually feeling it.
The Archbishop downed his pint and continued where he left off last evening. I will fill your tankards as he talks some more.Once gender is enshrined in law as mutually exclusive to 'Sex,' it opens the door to a range of legal issues. Since marriage was ‘degendered’ in the USA and Canada, ‘Misgendering’ is now considered ‘Psychological abuse’ and will potentially earn you jail time in California and it’s illegal in Canada too, where SSM has been legal for a decade.In London, the home of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen,’ this greeting is now considered offensive since marriage was redefined.‘Heteronormative’ terms are removed from Marriage Certificates, Birth Certificates, Drivers Licenses and more when ‘gender’ is enshrined in the Marriage Act.Terms like ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ are now ‘Hate Speech’ and you can forget forget terms like ‘Mother and ‘Father.’And Sexuality/Gender Theory are now compulsory in these countries. Because once Gender Theory is enshrined in Law, it must be taught as normal. It means handing your children over to schools to be indoctrinated to believe their gender is their choice, and to assist them in choosing their preferred gender and gender pronouns without your knowledge and consent.Redefining marriage isn’t quite as simple as it seems, and the repercussions are far greater than they may appear.But Aussies are smart. Smart enough to see through the Marxist Agenda playing out before us.In September, Vote ‘No’ to stop the ‘Gender Madness.’
3. "It is all about love"
Over the last few decades, there have been some very real advances in appreciation of romance and intimacy in marriage, in respect for the dignity of women and children, in the sharing of lives and responsibilities between spouses and in the theology and pastoral care of marriages. Yet, even as our understanding of relationships has been enriched in these ways, modernity has found itself in a mess about marriage.
In just a few decades, we have moved from a situation where almost everyone in the West got married and stayed married to one where most people of marriageable age are not married: they live singly or in a series of more temporary relationships. Eventually one of these relationships may settle into being a sort of de facto marriage.
At some point, perhaps when a couple are thinking of having children, they may decide to solemnize it. But after years of try-before-you-buy and habitual non-commitment, many find they cannot sustain actual marriages once entered.
Some try again - and fail again. Many eschew child-bearing altogether; some want children but in limited numbers, later in life, after achieving other goals. Many children now grow up without ever experiencing the love and care of a mother and father committed to each other and to them over the long haul; that makes them in turn less likely to aspire to and achieve stable marriage themselves.
We all know and love people who have suffered from family breakdown; every serious social scientist and thoughtful economist understands the costs of this. Theories abound about the whys and wherefores of all this, but the what is undeniable:
never before in history have we been so unsuccessful at marrying.
If we are not as good at entertaining and sustaining marriages as we were in the past, it is surely significantly because we are at least ambivalent about the defining dimensions of marriage as faithful, fruitful and final.
So too the notion of marriage as a sacred act has been abandoned by many.
And now another dimension, the sexual complementarity of marriage - the very thing which points beyond the union itself towards family life - is also being questioned. All that may be left at the end of this half-century-long unpicking of marriage will be an emotional-sexual bond that places the wishes of adults for long-lived intimacy above all else.
Some will say: no problem. Marriage in their eyes is merely a very flexible label for an institution with no intrinsic meaning; like Humpty Dumpty, they think a word like "marriage" means precisely whatever they want it to mean. Five of the nine judges in the recent United States Supreme Court case said as much: marriage is constantly evolving and merely a matter of self-identification and social convention.
Reflecting such a "marriage is what you make it" approach, there have been many experiments in recent years.
In 2004 the French President approved Christelle Demichel's "wedding" to her deceased boyfriend, a policeman killed two years earlier by a drunk driver. About ten posthumous marriages are now registered each year in France.
In the same year a former soldier, Erika La Tour, fell in love with the Eiffel Tower and, after a "wedding" ceremony, took Eiffel as her surname.
The French experiments continue: in 2013 the mayor of Saint-Jean-de-Fos conducted the "wedding" of a woman to a mediaeval bridge - the menacingly-named Pont du Diable in Ceret. But before leaping to conclusions about the French, take note that the "bride" - Jodi Rose - was an Australian!
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, in 2009 Amy Wolfe Weber announced that she was to "marry" a rollercoaster ride.
In 2012 a Seattle woman, Baylonia Aivaz, was "wed" to a building set for demolition; she called it a "gay marriage" because she believed the building had a feminine personality.
The following year Florida woman, Linda Ducharme, took a more masculine ferris wheel for her husband; the Catholic priest who performed the ceremony has since left the priesthood. This year Yasimin Eleby of Houston, having failed to find a husband by age 40, decided to "marry" herself in a ceremony conducted by three ministers of religion.
Lest you be tempted to think "only in America," I could point to cases of people purporting to marry themselves in Britain, China, Holland and Australia; or trying to wed dead people, buildings, vehicles and other inanimate objects, virtual ones or non-human creatures.
In 2010, for instance, a young Toowoomba man, Joseph Guiso, took part in an emotional wedding ceremony with his labrador in the presence of family and friends. In 2010 the Daily Telegraph reported that a Korean man had married his pillow.
It goes without saying that some of these people should be seeing a doctor rather than a wedding celebrant, and that there is much more to a marriage than a wedding ceremony. Clearly, lines can be drawn between marrying persons and marrying objects. But the hyper-emotionalised approach to marriage finds some of these developments hard to resist. In the United States, for instance, there is now a campaign for legalized polyamory. The National Geographic channel recently ran a sympathetic series on polygamy in America, Cambridge University Press in the United States published a book In Defense of Plural Marriage and only this week the New York Times ran a sympathetic op-ed piece entitled, "Is Polygamy Next?"
The "throuple" is fashionable at present: three people purporting to marry each other at once. In 2013 a lesbian threesome made international headlines: two had already married each other under the Massachusetts SSM law but now a third joined their union, solemnized by a minister of religion and regularised by a complex civil arrangement; with the help of artificial insemination their baby will have three mothers but no known father.
Earlier this year a Thai "gay" threesome made similar headlines after being married by a Buddhist priest: "Love is love, after all," they said.
Most recently, a bi-sexual severally-married Los Angeles throuple made headlines as they told of their bedroom antics and resulting children.
My point in raising these aberrations in contemporary conjugality is not to equate them with SSM - not at all. It is, rather, to point out that what most SSM advocates and most SSM opponents have in common is a view that these are not marriages. "All you need is love" really isn't enough. And if we agree on that, then we agree that we need some concept of what marriage is, what its ends, limits and scope are.
4. "It is all about the numbers"
The intensification of the campaign to redefine marriage to include SSMs has been due to a number of factors, including:
• populist factors - opinion polls suggesting between 60% and 72% of Australians favour change;Not that polls cannot be manipulated, of course.
• party political factors - the wedge politics within the major political parties has been as important as that between them;
• commercial factors - the decision by major corporates to throw big bucks at the campaign, as happened in Ireland;
• cultural factors - "Anglos" and a few Latin nations seem especially interested in SSM; and
• international factors - in particular, developments in Ireland and the United States.
It has been argued by SSM advocates that "conservative Catholic" Ireland's overwhelming vote in favour of SSM proves the tide of history has decisively turned and everyone should now get on board.
But hold on ... First, it is hard to recall when progressives last asserted that we should follow Ireland's legislative lead: would they also favour its rather restrictive abortion and divorce regimes?
Would we normally follow the polling result of a country whose total population is smaller than Sydney's?
Secondly, how "conservative" and "Catholic" Ireland really is today is a complex matter, as that country has experienced rapid secularization following entry into the European Union and the clergy abuse crisis;
the factors favouring social change in Ireland may make the "if it can happen in Ireland, it will happen everywhere" line dubious.
Thirdly, just how overwhelming was support for this measure in Ireland? While it's true that 62% of those who voted, voted in favour, what is rarely mentioned is that only 60% of voters turned out for the poll: whatever those low polling numbers indicate, barely more than a third - only 36% - of eligible voters actually voted for legalising SSM in that country. Fourthly, if even 100% of voters thought that only Catholics can marry or that Irish people can marry their whiskey bottles that surely wouldn't settle the matter: we would still have to ask What is marriage?At this point I asked him if someone else could say a few words while he recharged his glass. Our politicians say that 'dispensations' and 'protections' will be made for those who might be coerced, and 'religious' freedoms preserved. Donna Rachel Edmunds stepped up:-
Ireland Revokes Protections For Religious Freedom In Wake Of Gay Marriage VoteIreland has stripped away laws which protected the rights of people to freedom of religion when in conflict with gay rights.
The move comes just weeks after the first Irish gay weddings went ahead, following a referendum to allow gay marriage earlier this year.Following the landslide defeat for opponents of same sex marriage – the referendum was lost by 62 per cent in favour of gay marriage to 38 per cent against – Ireland’s Parliament has been busy with a slate of reforms designed to cement the rights of gay people within Irish law, Pink News has reported.
A 'Pride' that will cause everyone to fall.On Tuesday night the latest bastion against religious intolerance was swept away, as the Dáil voted unanimously to repeal Section 37 of the state’s Employment Equality Act. Section 37 granted specific exemptions for “religious, educational or medical institutions” when it came to gay rights, allowing them “to maintain the religious ethos of the institution”.Removing the section will mean that LGBT teachers will be free to talk to school pupils about their personal relationships, even in faith schools.Writing in favour of the repeal, Barry O’Rourke, a former junior school teacher commented “Asking people to completely shut off a part of their life is not a feasible solution. Changing legislation is. There are schools that have embraced diversity already but there are plenty who don’t, or at least felt they could not.”Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the Minister of State for Equality, spoke of his pride in finally bringing to Parliament the Bill which toppled the exemptions, telling the Irish Times: “I am proud of this Bill, having spent four years of my career bringing it to the eventuality it will become tonight.”
Mind you, the prohibition on teachers with a bent for sexual congress with students in the stationary cupboard has not been revoked as yet. It just needs time. Feminists are making headway.Sandra Irwin-Gowran, Director of Education Policy with the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, said: “We are delighted that this Bill has passed all stages in the Dáil tonight.“This Bill is the key piece of the legislative map that will allow LGBT people to be themselves, get married and have a family without a threat to their job if they work in a religious run institution.“To date Section 37.1 has served to create a chilling effect for many LGBT employees. The existing provisions posed a threat of discrimination which has served to silence thousands of teachers in our school.
The idea that Parliaments will reach compromises and actually protect the People from harm needs to be seen in this context. The Same Sex Marriage and Gay Rights legislations around the western world have been put forward by 'progressives' and rejected by sane folk time and time again, only to be put up time and time again, wearing people down. Then the protections are removed. Progressively.“We also note where further progress remains to be made for privately funded religious-run institutions, for trans people and for those of no religion.”The repeal follows the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act in September, which allows people the right to legally change their gender just by altering their passport, without the need to see a doctor; and the gay adoption bill, passed in April, which allows gay couples to adopt children. The latter received a standing ovation when passed.Nonetheless Ó Ríordáin has signalled that the repeal won’t be the last of Ireland’s reforms to accommodate the LGBT lifestyle.
Anyway, back to Anthony Fisher:
The United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which found a right to SSM hidden in the U.S. Constitution's due process and equal protection clauses, is also said to be a pointer for us. Again I wonder ... First, because instead of citizens or MPs making this law, an unelected elite of nine judges did so; that is not the way Australians, at least, like to decide such important matters. Indeed, the most recent polls suggest more Americans now oppose the court's decision than support it and that support for SSM has declined as a result of the Supreme Court's flouting of democracy. As Chief Justice Roberts put it in his dissenting opinion:
"This Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be ... Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage ... The majority's decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court's precedent ... As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?"
What is more, only the barest majority - five out of the nine judges - favoured overturning the definition of marriage in most American states. Of course, the Supreme Court majority might be more enlightened than the citizens and legislators of those states, but it has not always been so: that same court long defended slavery, minimal worker protection and racial segregation, and still supports the death penalty, negligible gun control and abortion on demand, even when a majority of citizens have inclined to a more enlightened view. The legal arguments in the majority judgment are in fact so weak that it embarrasses some SSM advocates.
We might also ask why the few countries favouring SSM, rather than the vast majority of nations not tilting in that direction, get all the airtime. Senator Eric Abetz recently observed that the Austrian legislature's overwhelming vote against SSM (110 MPs to 26) went more or less unreported in Australia, while prominence was given to the "YES" vote on Pitcairn Island - a country with a population of 48! Far from being some sort of outlier, Australia's current marriage law reflects international law and the laws of the overwhelming majority of nations (172 of the United Nations' 193 members).
5. "It does not affect me"As we saw above, it WILL affect you and me, all of us. But let the warnings be heard.
Some people would say: this does not really affect me. Governments can decide who is married civilly and Churches who is married religiously. Just as secular marriage does not endanger religious marriage, so SSM will not undermine opposite-sex marriage. It is really no big deal, so why don't believers just zip it?
Well, first, because Catholics and other Christians are not members of a cult, living in some closed-bracketed community quarantined from the rest of corrupt humanity. Our ability to live marriage well is itself much affected by whether there is a healthy marriage culture around us. As marriage has been unpicked in various ways over the past few decades, Catholics and other believers have not been immune to the effects.
What is more, our vocation is to be in and for the world, like leaven helping it rise up to God. As the Second Vatican Council famously said, "The joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of the people of this age are joys, hopes, griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ."
Because such things as marriage matter so much to ordinary people, they must matter to the Church.
At a time when so many people are so confused about marriage, when many are afraid or uninspired to marry at all, or find sustaining a marriage difficult, or grow up without ever knowing a stable marriage-based family, this would be the worst time for Christians to silent about marriage. With humility and compassion, never hatred or holier-than-thou-ness, we must propose true marriage not just for our sake but for everyone's.
For all the "no big deal" talk,
marriage is in fact "a big deal"
something very precious and worth preserving. When men and women get together in this particular way, even people with not much faith, they almost always surround it with ceremony because they know something-bigger-than-ordinary-life is going on here and want Someone-bigger-than-ordinary-people to bless it. They understand that there is a mystery at stake that is deeper and hopefully more enduring than passing emotions and fading passions.
By a strange natural and supernatural mathematics, the one plus one that makes two in an ordinary couple makes one in a married couple:
for individually men and women are sexually and reproductively incomplete; only by uniting "as one flesh" do they become complete in this respect. That one-flesh union consummates their promises and brings children into the world.
Of course, some marriages are infertile; most marital acts are so. Everyone has always known this too, but the point was that for every marriage that does bring a child into the world, that child has a Mum and a Dad. So one plus one equals two for a courting couple, but by vows and one-flesh union then makes one; then as a result of that one-flesh "marital" union uniquely suited for life-making, their one plus one may makes three and maybe four and more ...
Thirdly, I have argued that knowing what real marriage is, we will understand why it is not arbitrary or discriminatory to regulate and support it in various ways.
What is unjust and untruthful is to say in our laws that there is nothing distinctive about male and female, husband and wife, father and mother, or nothing important about bringing the two halves of humanity together in marriage.
It is unjust to children to say having a Mum and a Dad should not matter. It is discriminatory towards those already married or who would like in future truly to marry to redefine marriage in a way that reduces it to emotions and sex.
Advocates of SSM claim that those who favour opposite-sex marriage will be unaffected by this change and that any legislation will include religious "exemptions." Yet that already frames religious liberty as toleration by an enlightened majority of an eccentric minority.
What is more, some Greens MPs have opposed any such provisions for religious bodies or openly admitted that any exemptions will be temporary, just to get SSM laws across the line.
Everywhere SSM has been legalised people have been vilified, denied business or employment, even prosecuted for not cooperating in SSMs.
Ministers of religion may be protected, but that is a tiny proportion of believers. Christian colleges and wedding venues have been obliged to accommodate same-sex couples. Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to place children with same-sex couples or close. Christian employers have been required to extend spousal benefits to "same-sex spouses." Health professionals have been punished for denying artificial insemination (AI) or IVF to "same-sex spouses." Teachers have been required to teach and parents forced to put their children in classes that promote SSM and homosexual activity.
Further examples of harassment and discrimination in the name of this latest political correctness abound. Several of the judges in the recent United States Supreme Court case admitted religious liberty was seriously at risk.
Lest we imagine that the Australian SSM movement would be uniquely tolerant of those with a different view, consider the case of the Deputy Chief Psychiatrist of Victoria who in 2012 was forced to resign his position on that state's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. His crime: he had told a Senate Inquiry that children do better on average with a Mum and Dad rather than being in a single or same-sex parent family.
People hosting or speaking at an Australian Christian Lobby conference on marriage last year were subjected to such intimidation and vilification - including being labelled as Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis - that some speakers stayed away.
Recently the SSM lobby in Tasmania has threatened the Catholic Archbishop with an anti-discrimination suit merely for distributing the bishops' pastoral letter on the subject. Without doubt the legalisation of SSM would seriously threaten religious liberty in this country.
Fifthly, I think we should resist encroachments by government into the private sphere. We do not want politicians or bureaucrats telling us who we should love or how or for how long or who we should have sex with. The only friendship governments and bureaucrats properly get involved in is opposite-sex marriage because it is the nursery of the next generation and so dramatically affects the community's future.
Finally, most advocates of SSM say they simply want what others have got - stripped of unnecessary elements such as sexual-reproductive complementarity and orientation to children, and then re-mythologized as romance aspiring to longevity, celebrated with public ceremonial and given legal recognition. But I have here argued that to admit SSM would not be to broaden the group of those to whom marriage is open,
but rather to change altogether what it is we call marriage;
that this is not the further evolution of marriage but its further hollowing out - not liberation of that institution from the confines of religion and prejudice so much as deconstruction of that institution. Ironically, in trying to widen the pool of those who have access to it civilly, we actually deny everyone a chance at the real thing.A fine customer, Moira - she of the harp and fine voice - was listening attentively to all of this and could not contain herself any longer. She had been raised by gay pervert parents (soon she will have a book published about her pain) and knows all too well the dangers and damage that can be visited on a child by such 'accomodation.
Brave lady, and I set a fine, coolong, calming drink before her."Because we can disagree without "hatred." I am the child of three gays. I disagree with same sex marriage because I saw it destroy everyone involved. It is not so much marriage as a license for all sex all the time with everyone.Everybody loses, especially the children, who are given neither roots nor wings, and must raise themselves in the face of an atrocious example which fails to reflect reality.Some of us are too stubborn to be destroyed, but it is insane to subject children to routine debauchery and expect them to grow up to be good little spokespeople for gay rights. Some of us do as we are told: become gay for a time, worship our parents, and survive our own suicide attempts and self-destructive conduct, and others merely shut up, permanently, risking early death rather than speaking up.Did you know only 15% of us who grow up in a lesbian household graduate from high school?I did not. I took the equivalency and tested out in 11th grade. It was sheer stubbornness and fortunate test scores which drove me to go to college anyway."
Then back to Anthony.:-
Conclusion: Be not afraid
The push to redefine marriage in Australia is not the fait accompli some think it is and those who resist it are not all bigots without reasons to offer as some suggest.
Too much of the supposed "debate" over the issue so far in Australia has been slogans, emotional spin and almost unprecedented public bullying of opponents.
The real debate has hardly begun and we should resist being railroaded into this social change too quickly. That said, I must confess some admiration of the highly motivated and well organised minority who have so effectively used the media, corporations and law to press this change on the general public.
I only wish that the "silent majority" of Australians, who enjoy the benefits of real marriage, would stand up for that institution with a similar passion and effectiveness.
Some think the way to sure (sic) up all friendships is to treat them as marriages. Perhaps this is because modernity has forgotten how to love. That sounds odd in a culture saturated with love songs and talk of "making love." Yet the most common "How to?" and "What is?" questions asked of the Google search engines are "How to love?" and "What is love?" Modernity struggles with any kind of love that goes beyond feelings and intimacy: the cross-shaped, self-giving, Easter Day sort of loving rather than the heart-shaped, self-pleasing, Valentine's Day sort of loving.
I believe that the SSM debate highlights the crucial importance of recovering healthy non-marital friendships - self-giving, other-directed, generous and chaste.
We must learn again the arts of loving.
These habits of heart that are no monopoly of the married, but the truly married are models for the rest of us of persevering in loving despite radical differences, of commitment and self-sacrifice for the sake not just of personal or even mutual goals but of yet-to-be-met children and a yet-unknown future society.So many drinks to serve, I was rushed off my feet.
The Archbishop's words rang true and were a fine example of careful, loving, considered discussion. And my eye caught what lies beneath my bar top.
Long ago I followed my supplier's advice and 'sold my coat to buy a sword'.
Sometimes words are not enough when the enemy has the passion and effectiveness that Anthony Fisher admires.
My Supplier's Will be done.