Gillard Gays & God (with a side of Wallace)

Kentucky Mountains: pic – activefree

Well whoop-de-doo, what a surprise. Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby, has whipped out a stonking piece of non-news: the PM has met with him  frequently and told him members of the Christaliban Theocratic Front can continue to sack homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, bearers of infants out of wedlock, and sundry other sinners on a whim. Provided it’s a holy whim.

The PM declined to say more in reply than: “We don’t comment on discussions with stakeholders.’  And that via ‘a spokesperson’.

I note the past tense. The PM ‘has met’ Wallace several times. Yes, but that was before all that ‘gay as toxic as smoking’ stuff, after which she stood him up, didn’t she Jimmy boy? Now the jilted suitor is looking on in alarm as the evidence mounts: the Australian people don’t want a bar of this ‘religious exemptions’ nonsense.

This ‘news’ is simply Jim having a huff and a puff and a wail “But you promised Julia, you promised!” He’s trying to box her in: something to which she does not take kindly, hence the rather terse rejoinder. Via a spokesperson. I reckon she’s actually having second thoughts, weather-vane that she is, and unlike the Iron Lady, the Copper Concubine may shortly be for turning.

Pillars of the Wallace argument against gay were crumbling all week. The Europeans have decided that the right to practise your religion is a personal, not a general right, and is thus trumped on all occasions by laws mandating fair and equal treatment. The delightfully-named VP of the European Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup Sophie in ‘t Veld (it means “Sophie In The Field”), said

“With this ruling, the court has established that freedom of religion is an individual right. It is emphatically not a collective right to discriminate against LGBT people, women, or people of another faith or life stance.”

“Religious freedom is no ground for exemption from the law. The court showed conclusively that the principle of equality and equal treatment cannot be circumvented with a simple reference to religion.”

Are you listening, Prime Minister? You cannot use religion as an excuse to discriminate. The European Court has spoken.

And down went the monolithic evangelical opposition to marriage equality, with one of Britain’s most high profile TV pastors telling his flock ‘we got it wrong.’ The Rev Steve Chalke, a broadcaster and charity founder, accused Christians of treating gay people as “pariahs”, expecting them to live “lives of loneliness, secrecy and fear” and even driving some to suicide. Oh you finally noticed, didya Rev? Good onya!

Nor were the Americans immune from this sudden outbreak of reason. Kentucky farmer, essayist, writer and activist Wendell Berry told a bunch of US Baptists:

“The Bible . . has a lot more to say against fornication and adultery than against homosexuality. If one accepts the 24th and 104th Psalms as scriptural norms, then surface mining and other forms of earth destruction are perversions. If we take the Gospels seriously, how can we not see industrial warfare — with its inevitable massacre of innocents — as a most shocking perversion? By the standard of all scriptures, neglect of the poor, of widows and orphans, of the sick, the homeless, the insane, is an abominable perversion.”

“Jesus talked of hating your neighbor as tantamount to hating God, and yet some Christians hate their neighbors by policy and are busy hunting biblical justifications for doing so. Are they not perverts in the fullest and fairest sense of that term?”

So there you have it Jim. You’re “a pervert in the fullest and fairest sense of that term.” And it wasn’t me what said it, it was one of your own god-fearing folks over in the land where you steal all your ideas from. The USA. Please feel free to steal this one too.

Wallace & Gommit Gillard might like to contemplate this final word from the good Kentucky Baptist:

“Perhaps the most dangerous temptation to Christianity is to get itself officialized in some version by a government, following pretty exactly the pattern the chief priest and his crowd at the trial of Jesus. For want of a Pilate of their own, some Christians would accept a Constantine or whomever might be the current incarnation of Caesar.”

Anyone for a toga party at Kirribilli?

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)