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June 27th 2016 print

Barend Vlaardingerbroek

Gay Deceivers

Few things are more certain than that we will see much more of the slick propaganda presenting same-sex marriage as a righteous push for "equality", its opponents as bigots and homophobes. What advocates cannot allow themselves to concede is that, legally, their case is a chimera

mask and faceWe — those of us who don’t approve of same-sex marriage (SSM) — are going to lose this argument in Australia as elsewhere. Guaranteed, because the way the issue is presented to the public is one of modern, progressive, rights-driven secularism versus outmoded, authoritarian religiously-driven conservatism. That there are people in the anti-SSM camp who do not conform to the latter image is not entirely unknown, but their voices are drowned out by the clamour emanating from the religious right. Besides, many of them button their lips because they would rather not be thought to be associated with that lot.

One of the fallacies promoted by the Christian right is that SSM is wrong because it contravenes the ‘one man, one woman’ model of marriage which they claim to be divinely ordained, and they assert that SSM is on the proverbial slippery slope to the legalisation of polygamy. In so doing, they conflate two distinct issues: the heteronormativity of marriage and monogamy/polygamy. What they don’t seem to understand is that polygamy is just another form of ‘hetero’ marriage.

Polygamy occurs in two forms: polygyny (one man, more than one wife) and polyandry (one woman, more than one husband). The former is by far the more common both historically and contemporarily, although the latter remains a customary practice among the rural classes of some parts of central Asia. Polygyny also is largely governed by customary law, although it is codified in Sharia law. Now consider prevailing attitudes towards homosexuality in polygynous societies (African, for instance) and have a look at what the Sharia says about homosexuality. Point made? Polygamy and homosexuality don’t mix!

Polygamy and SSM are actually legally incompatible as the viability of polygamy is dependent on a distinction being made between the partners’(as distinguished by sex) rights as defined by eligibility criteria and the marriage contract (of which there is a separate one for each spouse – polygamy is not a form of ‘group marriage’). Some of the people who use the polygamy argument against SSM appear to be confusing it with polyamory, which could (but does not have to) accommodate same-sex relationships. I could get really cheeky here and assert that monogamy appears to be on a slippery slope leading to SSM – all jurisdictions that have amended their marriage statutes to include same-sex couples are staunchly monogamous!

The SSM debate is about the heteronormativity of marriage. Marriage has been around for millennia as a means of legitimising offspring for purposes of inheritance and succession. This is reflected in international human rights law which stipulates the compound “right to marry and found a family”, and defines the family as the “natural base unit of society”. The verb “found” connotes “to bring into existence”, which only a ‘hetero’ couple can do. The UN Human Rights Committee attached to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights opined in General Comment No. 19 of 1990 that the right to “found a family” “implies, in principle, the possibility to procreate”. International law regards the male-female combination as inherently fertile (which does not mean that every single M-F couple need be fertile), and posits this inherent fertility to be the basis of marriage. Marriage is heteronormative by definition, and to ‘redefine’ it in such a manner as to enable SSM in effect means to de-define marriage. i.e. it ain’t ‘marriage’ any more.

As with all internally inconsistent law, absurdities arise in the application of SSM. This is superbly exemplified by the application of the consanguinity restrictions – e.g. a man cannot marry his sister, and so, mutatis mutandis, he cannot marry his brother. This is absurd because the purport of consanguinity restrictions is the prevention of in-breeding, and two males or two females can’t ‘breed’. Of course, it could be argued (as some do) that these restrictions should be waived for same-sex couples – but then ‘hetero’ and ‘homo’ couples would not be treated ‘equally’; and to apply ‘equal’ treatment by abandoning these restrictions altogether would amount to the legalisation of incest. We’ve got the mother of all catch-22s here!

The slogan ‘marriage equality’ and the concomitant prattle about ‘discrimination’ against homosexuals by not allowing SSM arise from a fundamental misunderstanding of what ‘equality’ and ‘discrimination’ mean. ‘Equality’ means applying the same rules to everyone, while ‘discrimination’ (in the negative sense) means treating people unfairly on the basis of some extraneous attribute. Let me use an analogy: a visually impaired person is prohibited from obtaining a licence to fly an aeroplane. Does this mean the visually impaired are not ‘equal’ or that they are hereby being ‘discriminated’ against? Answer: no, on both counts. Gaining a pilot’s licence depends on meeting certain standards pertaining to visual acuity which apply to all applicants, so they are being treated ‘equally’. Visual acuity is not an extraneous consideration with regard to what it takes to pilot an aeroplane, so they are not being ‘discriminated against’. I would apply exactly the same reasoning to a couple applying for a marriage licence. Marriage being heteronormative, one must be male and the other female (equality through the application of the same rule); the complementarity of the applicants’sexes  is not an extraneous factor in considering their application (so denying a same-sex couple a marriage licence is not discriminatory). QED.

Western law-makers are being badgered into amending marriage statutes to enable two men or two women to ‘marry’ by a vociferous social engineering lobby that runs a slick propaganda campaign and has done a superb job in presenting itself as enlightened avant-garde, an image strengthened by the dour, stodgy face of religious conservatism that opposes them. There are compelling, wholly secular reasons firmly grounded in law for asserting that SSM is a bad idea, some of which I have briefly laid before you. It is reasons such as these, and not the moral reasoning of yesteryear and a few misguided corollaries, that could present the SSM advocacy movement with formidable stumbling blocks . But will that happen? At this stage, the signs do not augur well. Rather, looking at the way the debate is panning out in Australia, I get a strong sense of déjà vu.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek BA, BSc, BEdSt, PGDipLaws, MAppSc, PhD is an Associate Professor of Education at the American University of Beirut. Feedback welcome at [email protected]

Comments [34]

  1. Eeyore says:

    I simply don’t care with one proviso, that the same-sex couples who choose to marry do not use their new right to force their beliefs on others.
    Religious institutions should not be forced to undertake weddings that they do not agree with, similarly not baking a cake for someone who wishes to marry is a decision rightfully in the hands of the business owner.
    The freedom to marry, like all freedom, comes with responsibility. Those who’s proclivities lead them down this path need to understand that their right to marry does not confer the right to make choices for others.

    • Rob Ellison says:

      I’m in favour of gay marriage. They should suffer like the rest of us.

      The UN declaration (eyebrows raised) potentially recognises any possible different form of family as determined by local custom. Founding a family certainly implies the possibility of procreation but again in the declaration it is clear that there is the possibility of procreation outside of marriage. These may then mix and match – according to the declaration and found a new family based on willy nilly procreation. In UN principle they can form a group marriage and all the children then become part of an extended family. People can and often do in some parts of the tropical Pacific farm out kids to brothers and sisters in an informal adoption process. The contention that marriage must be between a man and a woman based on an interpretable phrase in a commentary on the UN Declaration of Human Rights seems a very slender twig.

      In as far as marriage is a religious institution – Articles 18 and 27 might be more convincing. It implies a right to practice your religion as you and your community sees fit – and prohibits government from making laws to curtail that freedom except on grounds of public safety.

  2. Eeyore says:

    Sorry, the last sentence should have read “Those who’s proclivities lead them down this path need to understand that their right to marry does not confer the right to force acceptance of their life choices on others”.

  3. Mr Johnson says:

    Yes, well put, Barend. I’m afraid if, or when, we get to the plebiscite, the campaigning will be monumentally one-way. The Traditional Marriage campaigners will find their promotional work, their Ads, and even their conferences either boycotted, banned, or not given licence to run anyway. After all, as as we’ve already seen, a nay vote on SSM is pretty much a hate crime.

  4. Some inconsistencies which show that an understanding of what marriage is, and the consequences for the proposed changes, haven’t been fully considered.

    A couple in an ‘equality marriage’ with children, are likely to have unequal parental rights.
    https://aifs.gov.au/publications/families-policy-and-law/10-gay-and-lesbian-parenting-legislative-response

    If incest is the only reason for the ban on sibling marriage, then why is this ban extended to unrelated adopted children who lived as children in the one family household.

  5. Bran Dee says:

    It is a persuasive article by Barend. One noted the elitist arrogance of the resigning UK Prime Minister David Cameron who had SSM legalized without a plebiscite and claimed it was one of his significant achievements. How reluctant he had been to seek majority opinion, and when he did on the EU, the result blasted him out of office. New Zealand PM John Key would have been rebuffed on SSM as he was on changing the flag when his flag redesign option was put to the people. The Australian PM would be inclined to do the same for SSM but the Nationals will constrain him as a coalition requirement.
    Note the [Un]Safe Schools program in Victoria and the proselytizing zeal of the abnormal, here speaking statistically, who strive relentlessly to make the vast majority conform to the inclinations of a small minority. Legalizing SSM will likewise further embolden the same group who show little restraint or modesty in the Sydney G and L Mardi Gras march each year.

    • nfw says:

      I’m waiting for the Gay Imam and Goat Float in the Gay Mardi Gras. After all, certain sections of society take great delight in mocking nuns, who by-and-large devote their lives to helping others in such fields as teaching, nursing or aged care but they know won’t bite back. Yes a pink Imam (the new green) float with dancing goats and mock suicides from high rise buildings or cranes would do. We know they must be suicides because if they were just murders then there would be outcry from all the “progressives”, luvvies, dearies and lefties in general and as there isn’t, they mustn’t be. They wouldn’t want to be hypocrites in bed (sic) with Imams now would they?

      Anyway, let’s have a vote for the Gay Goat Float.

  6. Jody says:

    All this arguing by the Left and gay lobby AGAINST a plebiscite. The rejection of a democratic process can only have one agenda; making sure the ‘case’ doesn’t bear serious scrutiny and will assuredly pass muster in the parliament alone. One important element in missing in this; the voice of the many muslims who now live in Australia. Surely we owe it to them, through the democratic process of a plebiscite, a say in what they think about same sex marriage. The rest of us may think we live in a secular society but for muslims this is surely not the case. To deny muslims such a vote is discriminatory and smacks of religious intolerance on steroids because they do not have advocates in the parliament which will reflect the true muslim voice.

    You know it makes sense (smile)!

    • nfw says:

      Jody, while I understand and appreciate your great concern for this vulnerable and diverse section of the population which might be offended by SSM (I do love that SM part) we know they are “progressives” and any such angst which may be wrought by a few other “progressives” would soon be negated and smoothed over by special allowances in their fortnightly welfare payments.

      • Jody says:

        Muslims as progressives!! Absolutely priceless. A good laugh.

        No, I want to see them indicate their opinions of same sex marriage (SSM). I feel that’s important for true democracy. Really I do.

  7. Bill Martin says:

    An excellent, meticulously detailed article by Barend Vlaardingerbroek.

    Regarding the plebiscite, it sounds rather hollow when the pro-SSM lot oppose it for fear of nastiness during a campaign on the issue. Really? What might be said or written that has not already been said and written repeatedly? Unlikely as polls seem to indicate, does it not seem more likely that the proponents of SSM are afraid that it might actually be defeated?

    Jody’s comment is brilliant. Allow me to flash it out a little more. Those on the left of politics benefit greatly from the support of immigrant communities, especially the Muslims. They are also the keenest in their support of SSM. How are those sharply conflicting interests are to be reconciled?

    • Jody says:

      And precisely what is it about same sex marriage which makes people fear ‘hateful’ comments? Is there some characteristic about it which would lead people to make derogatory comments?

    • Lawrie Ayres says:

      The SSM Lot as you call them are part of the leftist clique and as such cannot bear dissension. They fear nastiness yet in recent times the nastiness has come only from the left itself; witness the anti-Trump protests, the anti-Jewish protests and any Conservative gathering. There are no anti-Hillary protests for example. And the most vile tweets are always generated by the left. The actions of the left have lead me to the conclusion that whatever they promote I will perforce have to negate, SSM and Recognise and of course anything to do with the Greens and ALP.

  8. Matt says:

    Excellent article. Lays bare the tangled web of deception.
    Yes, slippery slope to polygamy etc is a weak argument, both from a religious and also a secular standpoint. All the common arguments about children also don’t cut it very well, although Barend’s article is an unusually crisp and clear reasoning of that dimension. What we need more of, both from the religious and also the aligned non-religious, is to press the (now virtually outlawed) position that the whole idea that homosexual practice has any legitimacy at all has no sound basis whatsoever and all the arguments that justify legitimacy of homosexual practice are hollow. Forget about the subject of marriage. Never mind about SSM and polygamy. The problem is that the shallow reasoning which underpins the legitimacy of homosexual practice, and the demands that we must all accept it, inherently legitimises pedophilia and incest and a host of much else besides. Whether anyone is religious or not, the parallels should be quite clear. It is quite difficult to find daylight between the tenets of the legitimacy of homosexual practice and the arguments that will be mounted by pedophile and incest apologists.
    I have found that even quite conservative types who do actually reject any legitimacy of homosexual practice can be quite incensed at the suggestion of drawing parallels between homosexual practice and pedophilia. The problem is that the same people might one day find themselves fighting to prevent the repeal of pedophilia and incest laws, unrelated to the subject of marriage, and be wondering how on earth did we end up here. We would not be having a battle about marriage if the question of legitimacy of homosexual practice had never been conceded in the first place.

    • Rob Ellison says:

      Absolutely. We should throw them all off tall buildings. Failing that we should hold our breath until they go away.

    • Warty says:

      I’m afraid I have to agree with your statement ‘it is quite difficult to find daylight between the tenets of the legitimacy of homosexual practice and the arguments between homosexual practice and pedophilia’. If you can refer back to the 1950s, homosexuality was taboo, no question about it, even though people in all walks of life ‘did it’ on the quiet. A lot of work was done to undermine conservative attitudes about homosexuality to the point that we are thinking of the unthinkable in 2016. Now, think of the parallels with pedophilia. Taboo? you betcha. People in all walks of life get up to it? Yup, that too. Now, how do we move from the image of seedy looking handcuffed people being frogmarched to a paddy wagon in the Philippines, to the frightening (for me) image of two men kissing on national television? Persistence, I suppose. When your moral guidelines have been undermined (and Barend seems to argue against this) then anything is possible. Just to quote, Barend says: ‘One of the fallacies promoted by the Christian right is that SSM is wrong because it contravenes the ‘one man, one woman’ model of marriage which they claim to be divinely ordained . . .’. Forget the leads to polygamy bit, I haven’t heard that bit, but ‘divinely ordained’ seems a little facetious to me, but exchange that for ‘moral standpoint’ and moral standpoints do come from religious observance, whether Christian, Judaic or Muslim. Dethrone the church, or whatever, and then what is your reference? The law? I think not, because, one judge’s interpretation creates new precedent in accordance with the understanding of the society of the time.

    • Eeyore says:

      I think you protest too much.

  9. Warty says:

    In an attempt to clarify my own stance, on any thing, really, I don’t call myself a Christian, because I’m averse to wearing tags. I somehow begin to feel like an evangelical, masquerading under false pretences, whenever I mention the word ‘God’, preferring something a little less definitive, like ‘The Supreme’ or ‘The Absolute’, or ‘Adonai’, if I want to make it more personal, without being squirmy.
    So what the flamingo does this have to do with the whole SSM debate? Well, everything really. I have a horror of a man and a man, or a woman and a woman doing things that ought to remain exclusively within the realms of traditional marriage (regardless of what Rob Ellison thinks).
    Now, I don’t have to pick up my King James and angrily stab at the word ‘abomination’ and spit out my understanding of what that word meant in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. My abhorrence is built upon thousands of years, and I mean thousands, of Judaeo Christian civilisation that underpins everything we know and like about our culture, and I mean culture, not degradation; and I don’t for a moment have to ‘have a look at what Sharia says about homosexuality’ because it has nothing to do with my culture. In short this abhorrence is in my blood, in my father’s blood, my mother’s blood (may Adonai watch over their souls) their respective parents’ blood and so on (though the latter probably didn’t have to think too much about abominations).
    No, whether or not this confirms the social conditioning the ‘progressives’ think of when they coined that abominable word ‘heteronormative’, it overlooks the dedicated, systematic, trickle-charge, subtle, insidious campaign to undermine, not just traditional marriage, but the entire establishment.Perhaps you think this is just wild, wilful imagination on the part of a ‘wrinkly’? Believe me, a wrinkly I may be, but I WAS THERE. That’s right, having done my National Service, way back in 1969, I began to have my little doubts about ‘the establishment’, when I went to uni. Call it bad company, if you wish, but with all that youthful energy and very little wit, I began to behave with all the outrage of today’s Socialist Alternative, or Socialist Alliance; that outrage being directed against the authorities, the symbols of authority, and that primordial symbol of authority in particular: the church and, of course, marriage. I didn’t seem to matter that I’d already married some poor unsuspecting girl before my brain had gone into meltdown.
    Woodstock, the Moratorium, the Beatles, ‘Hair’ and all that Age of Aquarius utopian rubbish was the Big Bang of the progressive movement, and though it may seem to have morphed into something else, it did have a lasting impact. The universities, our schools and media, and even the church itself, has been infiltrated by a sort of updated Marxism, to the point that right seems wrong and wrong seems right.
    Fortunately I found my brain in a discarded hamburger wrapper, and a new wife breathed new life into it. Not one of these new fangled he/she wives, but a good old fashioned one. I suppose you could say I’ve developed a new appreciation for our Judaeo Christian heritage, even if I do refuse to tag myself as a Christian, or a Jew or Buddhist. My reasons for utterly rejecting SSM is all around me; in our wonderful Westminster System of government, in genuinely fine art and music, in nature, in moderation . . . in contemplation.

    • Eeyore says:

      So you don’t like something so others must stop it….is that what you are saying? because I am somewhat bemused.

      • Warty says:

        Ah, Monsieur Rob. I do confess I have a penchant for metaphor (and the Metaphysical poets too). It is not all that clear, but perhaps you are refering to the last couple of lines (and it’s typo) ‘my reasons for utterly rejecting SSM are all around me . . .’. In other words, the remnants of our culture not yet destroyed by the radical left (the Westminster system, fine art etc) are still there and can still point to the natural order of things. I have argued that the radical left, which sees itself as a progressive movement, in their hatred of anything to do with the ‘establishment’ have attempted to tear down the institutions that have taken countless generations to established, these generations were imbued with an understanding that man-made law, inspired artistic endeavour etc ultimately came from ‘The force that through the green fuse drives the flower drives my green age . . .’.
        Included amongst these institutions, as mentioned above, are the church and marriage and they very nearly have succeeded with these last two.
        My meagre contribution to this debate was merely to point out why I thought we had arrived at the impasse we are witnessing today. I said nothing about stopping ‘it’. How on earth did you arrive at that conclusion? Me thinks thou are too easily bemused.

  10. Turtle of WA says:

    How’s this argument?

    Of all couples currently married, there is perfect gender equality. Marriage is an institution firmly rooted in gender equality.

    SSM substitutes equality of type-of-couple for gender equality.

    The equality of gender provided by the institution of traditional marriage has a useful outcome: the management of parenting
    is, unlike in the workplace, one of perfect gender equality.

    • Turtle of WA says:

      Cont’d

      One type of equality is better than the other. Not all types of equality are equal. In the case of marriage, gender equality is better than same sex couple equality.

  11. Rob Ellison says:

    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

    Some 25% of girls are sexually abused and 12% of boys. Some 99% of perpetrators are male. There is no question of a child consenting or that it does great harm.

    The fundamental freedoms that are our true western heritage includes first and foremost personal freedom. You are free to act in ways that don’t harm others. There is little harm in consenting adults doing whatever in private. Freedom implies equal treatment before the law. This presumably includes marriage and a little kiss in public – despite the offence to Warty’s delicate sensibilities.

    The other freedoms include freedom of religion. Should government be making laws on marriage at all?

    • Warty says:

      This sound like a LBGT argument.

      • Rob Ellison says:

        It is liberal in the sense of the scientific enlightenment – which is the foundation of modern democracies.

          • Rob Ellison says:

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence

            “At a time when most movements that are thought to be progressive advocate further encroachments on individual liberty, those who cherish freedom are likely to expend their energies in opposition. In this they find themselves much of the time on the same side as those who habitually resist change. In matters of current politics today they generally have little choice but to support the conservative parties. But, though the position I have tried to define is also often described as “conservative,” it is very different from that to which this name has been traditionally attached. There is danger in the confused condition which brings the defenders of liberty and the true conservatives together in common opposition to developments which threaten their different ideals equally. It is therefore important to distinguish clearly the position taken here from that which has long been known—perhaps more appropriately—as conservatism…

            But, though I may dislike some of the measures concerned as much as they do and might vote against them, I know of no general principles to which I could appeal to persuade those of a different view that those measures are not permissible in the general kind of society which we both desire. To live and work successfully with others requires more than faithfulness to one’s concrete aims. It requires an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which, even on issues which to one are fundamental, others are allowed to pursue different ends.” F. A. Hayek – Why I am not a conservative

            Yeah – liberty is a gay thing.

  12. Warty says:

    Mr Ellison, liberal secular humanism, or secular humanist liberalism, which ever way you wish to put it, is ultimately opposed to the notion of moral boundaries, a key aspect of our Judaeo Christian heritage. Liberal secular humanism is, in essence, largely utopian and sees any boundary as an obstacle to ultimate freedom. The whole LBGT phenomenon is just one such boundary it seeks to unravel. Back in the 1950s and early 60s the social climate would not, could not present the appropriate chinks in the armour, and homosexuality was only able to flourish in subcultures like that of the Sydney Push, which was dedicated to subverting conventional morality.
    You have a penchant for introducing human rights arguments, even legalistic ones, to support your notions of liberal humanism. One proposition I have for you is that our liberal legal fraternity’s understanding of community sentiment lies in ignoring the unspoken views of the ‘silent majority’, including issues like homosexuality. I cannot throw figures at you and say that the silent majority trail the sentiments of civil rights lawyers, by ten, fifteen or twenty years; I don’t know if such a study has been done or can be done; but I can only say that ‘progressives’ lead the way in realm of social degradation.
    Commencing your argument with reference to the American Declaration of Independence is rather like an amateur poker player showing his hand well before necessary, as it adds nothing to your argument, but stamps you as an intractable. The Declaration is largely utopian. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal’? Clearly this is not backed up by evidence, unless you wish to nit pick over exactly what ‘created’ means. If it is conception, or even the moment of birth, then it is meaningless, because it is the precipitation of the new-born into a world of profound inequality that bears any meaning. The evidence is that some babies are born into poverty; some with debilitating deformity; others abandoned in garbage bins in the back alleys. Self evidently not everyone is born equal. One also needs to consider whether or not the United States of America (with states that are hardly united) ever succeeded in implementing, or was capable of implementing such a declaration, seeing that it is still riven by the most disturbing inequality. The question then arises . . . if they haven’t been able to manifest this declaration, and worst still, are entirely incapable, despite two centuries of hot air from their presidents, whether or not the declaration was anything other than an expression of utopianism.
    Part of your problem is that you think that ‘intellectual commitment’ rather than moral rectitude creates ‘a type of order . . .’ and I won’t complete your statement, because it is a recipe for anarchy. If I can refer to Cory Bernardi’s prophetic statement termed the ‘slippery slope’ argument, where he suggested legalisation of same sex marriage could lead to marriage between humans and their dogs or budgies or other loveable animals. Unfortunately he made that statement in 2012 and the poor bloke was sacked for it, but he would have been hailed as the new Moses, as opposed to the one falsely accused of saying that same sex marriage would lead to bestiality, had the Abbot government been able to tap into the findings of the Canadian Supreme Court on the 9th June 2016, where the judges ruled 7-1 that sex acts between humans and animals are to be judged legal, unless there is penetration. I won’t go into details about what the accused, known only as DLW inflicted on his 15 year old daughter, with the help of their family dog, but the judgement most certainly supports Cory’s slippery slope theory.
    Is the judgement of these liberal minded judges way in advance of the way the average Canadian would regard the man’s behaviour, well the answer is obvious, but what I do say is that their unfortunate judgement is likely to open pandora’s box with regards to future degradation.
    Your arguments promoting progressive liberalism are abhorrent to me, in that they lead to a moral destruction of the society I still wish to be part of. Your attempts to gain support from human rights legalism, or nomism, leaves me cold, for those are the very arguments I rail against.
    As a society, we need to bring back a moral compass, not a legalistic one.

  13. Rob Ellison says:

    The words in the US Declaration of Independence derive from John Locke. Locke may be accused of being a humanist – being a champion of reason, scientific empiricism and natural law. On the basis of natural law – bestowed by God – humanity has inalienable rights. In this we are equal. No one has the right to deprive another of life or liberty without just cause. Slavery is an abomination – and we may talk about the duplicity of the Founding Fathers here. People have the right to own the fruit of their labour. We are certainly aware that these rights are denied in many places by unjust and immoral laws. The role of a civilised state is to protect the rights of people.

    These are fundamental moral laws on which modern civilisation is shaped. Warty may throw around labels like confetti but it hardly amounts to rational or compelling argument against these laws of God. Quite simple but profound principles apply. Equality before the law is one and freedom of religion is another. It is the obverse of rejecting limits to action – it establishes the moral limits of human law. It rejects compulsion of others without just cause. Vague claims to a Judeo-Christian moral compass seem less just than a whim. Unless there is clear evidence of harm to others – people answer to God and not Warty.

    And I wish that I had never heard of the appalling Canadian person who was the basis of Warty’s argument. The guy is quite rightly in jail for a long time. It seems without a doubt that they will amend the particular law he was acquitted of post-haste. Judges don’t act in a vacuum. To think that they do stretches the idea of judicial activism to an unreasonable degree.

    Homosexuality is different in quality from either child or animal abuse. The difference is adult consent – and the adult attitude is to shrug your shoulders and not compel others. As the vast majority of the Australian public do. It has nothing to do with the irrelevancies proposed on gay marriage. The latter revolves around the issues of equality before the law and freedom of religion. Simple but profound principles based on God’s law.

    For both children and animals there is a duty of care for God’s creation – a law written in the heart. That’s why I have a great faith in humanity. No matter how often we are led astray by prejudice and soured ideologies we will as a species return to the heart.

  14. Rob Ellison says:

    “Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.” Albert Einstein

    And – incidentally – as for when creation happened it seems the scientific answer is that God is a four dimensional being and that it happened once and for all eternity. Every moment happening forever – heaven and hell. A modern theology might reinvent the Manichean battle of light and dark across all time and space in a perfectable universe.