A Plighted, Blighted Troth

gay dummies IIMuch ink has already been spilled on events in the House of Representatives last week — the week  “love won”.  Christopher “Black Handed ” Pyne, positioning himself somewhat jesuitically between JS Mill and the Society of Jesus’ hip and trendy Australian frontman Frank Brennan, led the charge to enshrine a secular state stripped of its core underpinnings of freedom for minorities and the Judeo-Christian worldview.

Incidentally, the Minister for Extraordinarily Expensive Submarines also identifies as “an observant Catholic”.  One can only wonder what he has been observing.  But I digress.

Amid ridiculous scenes of pink euphoria, flag waving, hugs across the aisle and that Wilsonian proposal to a blushing swain in the gallery, the Australian parliament collectively gave the middle finger to an institution which existed prior to the state and which, for thousands of years, has served to bind men to women, create and nurture families, and form the bedrock of communities.

There is a strangeness about all this.

Only a few short years ago, virtually no one thought about the 260,000-odd thousand same-sex couples in Australia and the tiny minority of that minority wanting to be “married”.  Back in the day, much of the gay lobby famously opposed marriage as a creaky bourgeois institution best interred for gays and straights alike. Marriage appalled them.

Of course, everyone knows this isn’t and never was about the colouring-book lurve between Tims and Ryans and their right to wed.  It is about cultural change.  It is about normalising homosexuality, yes, and more.  You can’t have gay marriage as the end game if there are still Christians (and Muslims, but let’s not mention them!) who still won’t accept homosexuality as normal.  That is why the caravan won’t stop here and why its ultimate destination is clear as day, even among those clouds of celebratory glitter.

If the strategy is “making gay OK”, then the marriage bit is but one step.  There is still work to do, as at least one gay activists immediately made clear. The latest herald hot from the rainbow barricades to advise that marriage equality is nice but nowhere near enough equality is Monash University professor Paula Gerber. She has this to say (emphasis added)

[The gay marriage] debate is over. But it doesn’t mean we have equality and its very important to remember that.

There are still a number of provisions in our laws that need to be fixed before the LGBTI community has full equality — and I think the most important one is to remove these religious exemptions from anti-discrimination…

If you are into leather chaps and poppers and fancy renting the local parish hall for a gay bacchanal but find your request rejected, Professor Gerber might be just the person to recommend a learned friend who can launch a pro bono blitz of lawfare against the hapless and “intolerant” Father Pat. As for Catholic hospitals, the smart ones will be lawyering-up with great haste.

Another aspect of the strangeness is the implication that it is only religious people, arguing on religious grounds, who oppose gay marriage. This is, and always has been, rubbish.  Religious people can have non-religious grounds for opposing same-sex marriage.  Non-religious people can have non-religious reasons for opposing it. Libertarians can oppose it not because they wish to make gays miserable but because they do not see the state as having any legitimate in blessing unions, gay or straight.

We all know many Australians voted ‘yes’ in the belief there would be protections for freedom of speech and belief, just as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised (mind you, it is not the only pledge he has disavowed). There was no public funding of the Yes and No cases, as per a real referendum. Plus, there was bullying of No supporters that undoubtedly affected advocates’ capacity to put their argument. Clearly, voters’ knowledge was imperfect, not least a cognisance of what they were actually voting for.

The plebiscite question itself was worded in a way that, well, didn’t allow the No case to put its best foot forward.  Imagine an alternate wording — an accurate wording — along these lines: “Do you support same-sex marriage legalisation as also bestowing the right of endorsed and officially sanctioned homosexual advocacy in classrooms?”  I wonder how the numbers might have stacked up had the question been more than a nebulous endorsement of “love”.

There is not the remotest argument for saying, even if we know a majority of Australians have a particular view on a policy matter, parliament must pass legislation in accordance with that view.  If a majority of Australians favour the death penalty, should that view be automatically accorded status in law?  If a majority of Australians think the age of sexual consent should be raised to 21 or dropped to 12, the latter option undoubtedly favoured in certain culturally enriched suburbs, should either of those views be legislated?  If a majority of Australians supported legalised bestiality ….  If a majority of Australians wanted to give Tasmania to New Zealand …

Governments providing leadership on nuanced, complex issues is nothing new.  Governments often say “no, wait” to the demands of the masses, or indeed, as was the case here, to the demands of a small minority that somehow persuaded a majority of those who voted. Representative democracy, with all its patent shortcomings, is built on the concept of reasoned leadership.

Many years ago (the 1840s), Charles McKay wrote a book on the madness of crowds.  There has been a tendency evident throughout history for many people, perhaps a plurality, to believe crazy things. Society doesn’t take the view that governments must act on extraordinary popular delusions, which explains why there hasn’t been a good witch-burning for some time. False views are often sincerely held.  They might be the result of misinformation.  They might be believed thanks to the efforts of those who peddle false news.  They might, in particular, be believed by an ill-educated millennial generation with no knowledge of many things and a fervency for the great causes their teachers extol and impart, most notably the primacy of relativism.

Democratic theory as far back as the Greeks has struggled with the idea of “the majority”, what it means, and whether and how majority views are accorded weight in the political system and across the community.  The legislation guided through parliament by the Black Handers has done untold damage to the body politic and our system of checks on majority tyranny.

The cynical might assume several things here, knowing Mr Turnbull as we do.  He wanted this.  The Liberal gay mafia, who seem numerically over-represented among the wets wanted it.  The peculiar, borderline-creepy support cast within and outside parliament wanted it (see under Entsch, W).  Roz Ward wanted it. Just don’t pretend the parliament had to do this. Two attempts were made to get a formal plebiscite through the Senate and each failed. Malcolm Turnbull initially said that was it, that the gay-marriage posse had shot its bolt and there would be no more talk of changing the Marriage Act at least until after the next election.

Then came that tape of Christopher Pyne telling supporters how moves were afoot to get a gay marriage up anyway, and suddenly it was back on the agenda. What does this tell us? One of two things: (a) Malcolm Turnbull used Pyne as his surrogate and was complicit in reviving the gay-marriage push when it was dead, buried and cremated, or (b) he is incapable of exerting party room discipline, even on the wets who sharpened his knife and helped plunge it into his predecessor.

One can only wonder what would have happened if the No case had somehow won. The efforts to circumvent the result and push ahead regardless would have been jaw-dropping in their brazen determination.

14 thoughts on “A Plighted, Blighted Troth

  • Jody says:

    My husband reports reading an item in today’s “Australian” that reports scientists in the UK think they’ve located the chromosome responsible for homosexuality. As Jordan Peterson says, “if it’s socially constructed why the hell would anyone want it?”

  • Jody says:

    This will interest readers here. Try and complete the quiz at the end of the item. It was never more pertinent than today, though the link itself is showing its age:


  • lloveday says:

    “Do you support same-sex marriage legalisation as also bestowing the right of endorsed and officially sanctioned homosexual advocacy in classrooms?”
    I think “…the obligation of endorsed and officially sanctioned…” might be even closer to the mark; “right” suggests it may be an option, a take it or leave it situation.

  • lloveday says:

    “If a majority of Australians favour the death penalty…”.
    Most Roy Morgan polls, and many others, have shown a majority of Australians favour the death penalty. Support was particularly strong after the Bali bombings, when PM Howard refused to say he thought the 3 perpetrators should not be executed.
    There have been very few polls since because governments and the media “don’t want to know”. Do a straw poll next time a pretty blond-haired blue-eyed girl is raped, tortured and killed. A wise lawyer friend of mine said when I asked him what he would think fit punishment for someone who did that to his daughter said “I hope society would not do what I would”; all my other friends would have the perpetrator hanged, drawn and quartered, or worse.

  • Keith Kennelly says:

    The article you cited Jody is itself an example of group think.

    There are many exaggerations and distortions, not to mention the omissions that justified the major western powers, including the UN investigation into WMD, attack on Iraq.

    This article you cite is essentially the view propagated by the left wing groupthink among our media.

    The principles applied in the article can equally be applied to the views of the writer of the article as they could be to the groupthink justifications surrounding both the hatred of Bush and Abbott.

    That’s intellectual assessment Jody, not the intellectually shallow reasoning of the puerile cut and paste of ‘the elites’ of today.

    Really Jody this is what Ian continually does in his particular rendition of the tenets of climate warming religion.

    Do you see the similarity?

    • Jody says:

      It came from a group of psychologists, a profession from which my sister is a retired clinical practitioner. We both heartily agree upon the readily identifiable traits of groupthink. And a person alone against others cannot, by definition, be a group thinker. He would be contributing to “The conversation” or “The Guardian” for that to be the case.

      • Keith Kennelly says:

        Please Jody

        The definition of the term Groupthink was correctly credited to Irving Janis.

        Now while there is a very brief outline of the major symptoms of group think, the vast body of the article sympathised with left wing views on … everything

        There was no indication of who authored the article you linked too. It could have been the work of … well ,,, anybody.

        • Jody says:

          Oh dear me; no good introducing alternative ideas here!! Did you complete the difficult quiz and get it all right? You can store it in your memory under “ways of thinking”.

          • Keith Kennelly says:

            Look Jody

            You said plainly the article linked too was prepared by a group of psychologists. There is absolutely no reference to who wrote the rubbish contained in your linked article

            You then quote your concurrence, about groupthink, with your sister a former psychologist as evidence presumably to hat you your sister and Janis all agree about group think.

            Then you go on about people who cannot be group thinkers.

            And you recommend this as a ‘new way of thinking’.

            I’d this what you taught your students?

            Cos the relevance and flimsiness of the thinking sure as hell confuses the hell out me?

      • Homer Sapien says:

        Psychologists who deemed homosexuality “normal?”

        • Keith Kennelly says:

          There are two types of homosexuals.

          Men who prefer sex with other men. Quite ‘normal’ and features mostly quietly disposed individuals at ease with their sexually alit.

          Men who deny they are men and at times espouse belief they are actually women.
          Characterised by abnormal displays of sexuality and confusion about themselves.

          Psychologists suggest this group deny their obvious sexuality and are dysfunctional because of that denial.

          The first group get up in the morning look in the mirror and know they are men, albeit men who prefer sex with other men.

          The second group get up at in the morning look in the mirror and deny What they see.
          Their day is off on the wrong foot immediately and diesnt improve.

          I’ve many friends and an odd relation among the first group.

          I avoid the second group. Too much is false about them.

  • Warty says:

    ‘There was bullying of No supporters’ or for syntactical clarity: ‘there wasn’t any bullying of supporters’. But joking aside Liberal Party preselection processes has given us a Labor Party with North Shore accents (I’m not sure what the Melbourne equivalent is).
    The article begins with a conundrum: whether Turnbull was using the black hand gang as a sort of super surrogate, or that he may indeed have lost control of the party, and there seems to be evidence enough that he is not in control. But he is at the same time ideologically closer to a Pyne, a Paine and a Dean Smith than he is to an Andrew Hastie or a Peter Dutton (he’d blow a foofey valve, as my grandmother used to say, if I included a Tony Abbott in the comparison).
    Personally, I’ve moved on from the gay marriage thing, not because it doesn’t get up my nossie, but because of what it represents, or at least what lies behind it, and the impending sense of cultural collapse it points to. ‘This is now more important to me.
    We have often talked about the march of Cultural Marxism through the institutions and if the last parliamentary sitting of the year doesn’t illustrate that then you may as well start calling me Agatha or Doreen. In other words we have a major problem on our hands when a gay conservative tells us that two or three generations of straight white male conservatives have done nothing to stop the rot, that ultimately it’s our fault. I agree we haven’t managed to stop it, but I’m loath to take the blame, thank you very much Milo.
    What I would say is that the ‘enemy’ may be presently euphoric,, but he (or it) is now clearly visible, and we have had a taste of his weaponry, we are beginning to get a fetch of what he is capable of in terms of lawfare and other big brother manoeuvrings. What he may not be fully cognisant of is that he has forced the conservatives into the role of the new insurgency. Things have gone full circle and the old establishment conservatives of the 60s and 70s have changed places with the anarchists and the Trots, who now seek to impose conformity.
    Perhaps the internet will enable us to establish the requisite networks. A willingness to study, to blog and sacrifice our time will perhaps lay the groundswell for a sufficiently powerful or charismatic leader to rise up and take the fight to the establishment . . . perhaps an Australian Trump.

  • kingkate@hotmail.com says:

    In the lead up to the SSM vote there was simply a lack of any sort of meaningful debate within the media, or by government leaders. The Australian was as bad as the SMH. Journalists everywhere toed the line.

    This is extraordinary because SSM…need it be spelled out…is an irrational concept.

    We have all these tests for primary school students, and yet if there was an intelligence/education test for journalists and commentators – most of whom have been to university – the majority would fail based on their support of SSM. Peter Van Olsen who supposedly has a degree in philosophy obviously has not bothered to read Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. If he had he may have understood the essence of things. SSM ignores the essence of marriage.

    However I suspect that Newscorp and Fairfax employees were forced to write articles in favor of SSM. That almost 100% wrote in support including the sports commentator, the lifestyle editor, etc. You have to wonder how much editorial independence there is at the two main papers. I don’t listen or go near the ABC but I imagine working there and having rational views would be a painful experience.

    This is not something that Australia has seen before where the debate on such an important issue has been so curtailed. Even in The Australian, readers’ commentary below different articles was censored. That is it was rare that comments containing the word sodomy were published. So too comments pointing out that it is an unhealthy lifestyle. Some readers got around this by alluding to the act.

    How can Christians or rational people for that matter, voice their beliefs that not only is changing the definition of marriage impossible but that the act sodomy is unnatural.

    There is a widespread madness. People in senior positions in government, corporates and the media who are halfwits. Frank Brennan saying that SSM is for the common good and speaking as if he is some sort of Catholic intellectual. He is a halfwit. A PM that is proud to have supported SSM. Another halfwit.

    This is unfortunately the truth.

  • padraic says:

    The whole thing is pathetic. They should have taken the refusal by the Greens and Labor not to support in the Senate a plebiscite on SSM and used it against the Labor Green Alliance at the next election by painting them as homophobic – cynical I know but effective. If they had done that we would not have the charade we see today or at least deferred the evil hour. But once it was passed it was my earnest hope that now the gays have got what they wanted they will get married and lead a quiet life in the suburbs like the rest of us and we won’t be subjected to the annual grotesquerie in Sydney’s Oxford Street. As a boring and irrelevant historical aside – Oxford Street in Sydney in the late 1800s used to be the major shopping area where my great-grandmother used to do her shopping. But the centre of shopping in Sydney is constantly changing – it used to be around Central Railway at another stage then up on Brickfield Hill and so on.

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