The Consequence: A Conclusion Without Any Arguments
The questions you may confront in this ongoing public debate are many and varied. This is one:
Q: Why are you opposed to “marriage equality”?
Of course, this question may arise in different contexts. Children may ask it of their parents. Actually, it’s possible that parents ask it of their children. To provide a brief answer will not be easy. What about this as an answer that keeps the discussion going:
A:In brief: the “marriage equality” movement is seeking a conclusion that will no longer have any arguments.
Q: Can you explain that view, further?
A: I’ll try. Currently the Marriage Act and its administration does not prevent people from publicly saying that the definition of marriage as given by the Act is wrong. I am yet to hear whether genuine freedom to live a life in dissent from the law will be preserved after the Act is changed to redefine marriage to comply with the “marriage equality” demand.
That explains in a nutshell the fears of many who say “No!”
Nurturing Justice is not attempting to suggest that the political argument that hitherto supported the Act’s definition of marriage is the last word on the matter (i.e. as “both sides” appeared to argue when they complied with a a Liberal-Christian civil religious understanding of marriage in their bi-partisan amendment of the Marriage Act which was passed in 2004). Our point here is that the public argument about marriage must remain open and so we are focusing attention upon the way the “marriage equality” movement closes down discussion of those opposed to its proposal. Instances of this “closing down” can be seen on all sides: it’s not just the Liberal-Coalition that manifests this so-dangerously-close-to-state-absolutism tendency here; the Labor Party leads the way with its commitment to same-sex marriage as a precondition for those standing as their parliamentary candidates post-2019. Seek it out. Look at what is coming down the line straight toward us! Get out of the way in principle, now.
This political movement – perhaps as much here as elsewhere o/s, although that remains to be fully examined – has not been prepared to disclose its view on the right to dissent from the dogmatically presupposed basis of its proposed amendment – and it thus also fails to give a full disclosure of what it proposes should be the comprehensive public policy consequences of such a change in definition.
Under the current law and its administration the human right to dissent from this part of our law, as it is formulated in the Act and administered in the application of public policy, is protected. The irony is that the “marriage equality” movement is loudest testimony to that. But by the demand that marriage be considered a human right, a “down-stream” consequence in the administration of the law is repeatedly foreshadowed by what the various spokespersons say about this proposed new definition. That they in the main do not reckon with that foreshadowing implies a public-legal blindness. And such blindness must have an impact upon any new legal understanding of dissent from the law. For these “marriage equality” advocates, the new definition of marriage must have a necessary impact upon the right to dissent from the law because the change as proposed seeks to overcome a what is claimed to be a deprivation if not violation of civil rights. Thus the law as it now stands is “accused” of being productive of “homophobia”. Therefore by definition the defence of the current definition of marriage in the Marriage Act must be an implicit violation of human rights and thus by definition to dissent from “marriage equality” is to argue against human rights and to be party to “homophobia”. This then is the “marriage equality” (dissenting) view and that blindness about dissent is not about to be changed consequent to the proposed change in the Marriage Act.
But nevertheless the right to dissent from that view is now well and truly in the balance!
This is the crisis we face. This is the legal and law-making problem as it now stands. And this is why Nurturing Justice strongly urges readers to desist from participation in the ABS survey. Make your view clear without getting embroiled in that confused and confusing device that has arisen from the decades-long failures of our two major “sides” in Parliament.
The law as it now stands, and is administered, has not stood in the way, nor prevented, the public argument of “marriage equality” dissent that the law as it stands is wrong. Civil unions can be held and can even be held as expressions of lawful dissent from the current Marriage Act. Nothing prevents these celebrations from being demonstrations of dissent.
And so, the “marriage equality” movement has repeatedly failed to explain how the proposed legislation amending the definition of lawful marriage will then stand in relation to the self-same civil right to dissent. If the definition of marriage is as the “marriage equality” movement demands, and is replaced by a definition that complies with the political view that marriage is a human right, the creature of the State, that individuals may enter upon giving fulfilling certain stipulated conditions, then the public and political view that this amended law is wrong, and unjust to marriage, will not only have to suffer the accusation of “homophobia” from defenders of the law but will be considered a dissent that is in violation of human rights.
There is also a profound wedging process at work here. I had wondered how it was, given the Leader of the Opposition’s vitriol at the Prime Minister when the latter announced the ABS survey, why it was that Labor seems to want to participate in its public debate. Then I recalled that from 2019 any Labor Party candidate across the country will be required, as a matter of the party’s electoral platform, to support same-sex marriage. In other words … no, I’ll leave that for readers to make their judgment. Then it will be a matter of a conclusion without any arguments.
We began by saying that questions about this political debate will also be asked by children of parents. Let’s be frank: justice is certainly not being done to the place of sexual intercourse within marriage. And will parents who teach their children that they have come into this life as a consequence of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman – productive of the closest biotic union we can experience – be the next who stand accused of “homophobia” because of their parental explanation of the God-given wonder of sexual intercourse, or procreation, or conception? We are entering a new era of politics and a Christian political option will need a clear and comprehensive conception concerning all things political and that also means all things biotic.
If any reader is unconvinced about the blatant bias in public reporting of the “marriage equality” polemic, they might ponder the manner in which ABC recently reported on the launching of the “Coalition for Marriage”. Not only was the article’s photographs another instance of ABC “flying the flag”, but to read the article is simply to read the journalist’s attempt to turn an attempt to give a serious alternative in the public debate about “marriage equality” into yet another piece of “marriage equality” propaganda – as if readers did not already know, and hadn’t been repeatedly flailed with the mantra: “Oh yes but there are so many Christians who have other views than that.” So why not give a separate article to the views of the Christian minister who is reported by them to have gone close to ridiculing some of his brothers and sisters in the faith? There’s the rub. If the ABC did that it might have to give space to the criticism of the view that this Reverend fellow is actually advocating, and feature an explanation of how Biblical teaching repudiates “wind-vane” Christianity. Is the ABC going to be that balanced?
Not only this Reverend gent but also ourselves might do well, at this point, to hear what the Apostle John reported of Jesus teaching that so upset those who wanted to align themselves with him. Take John’s Gospel 12:39-43 for starters:
“While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said [such] things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
The dialectics of propaganda in this debate are subtle and clearly many are not really wanting a debate – they want a conclusion without any arguments. And thus we also conclude that that is what the “marriage equality” movement is straining towards.