I’ve come to the conclusion that conservatives in Australia are just too nice. Which is why they lose. Every… single… time. Sitting in the audience of Q&A recently, which is best described as the “conservative meat-grinder,” I realised that those on the Left are masters in the art of bullying. Which is why they win. They just don’t give a toss about anybody else as long as they get what they want.
It’s like watching some little kid being picked on in the playground, who just weakly accepts a mugging. In the same way, conservatives keep on handing over their intellectual ‘lunch money’ in the hope that maybe, just maybe, their opponents might stop and finally leave them alone. The thing about bullies, though, is that they only care about power. And what’s more, they want to show just how stupid everyone else is in the process.
Take, for example, Magda Szubansksi. After interrupting all of the other panellists repeatedly, she targeted humanitarian lawyer, Karina Okotel, who had argued that gay relationships are legally ‘equal’ but fundamentally ‘different’ to heterosexual ones. She then fired off this put-down:
Having different rules for gay and straight marriages is like a gay AFL player winning the Brownlow Medal but instead receiving “the civil acknowledgment of your very excellent effort” award.
Like the comedic professional that she is, this was a well-rehearsed and deftly delivered punchline. However, there was a fatal intellectual misstep in her reasoning that nearly everyone missed. Redefining marriage is not like two blokes–even if one is straight and the other is gay–playing footy together on the same team. That’s entirely appropriate and no one would disagree with that.
A more apt analogy is that of transgender athlete, Hannah Mouncey–the 190-centimetre, 100-kilogram ruckman–who has just been banned from the AFL’s women’s league. The question that Magda needs to answer, then, is:
In this Brave New World where sexuality is fluid, and even gender itself is viewed as being a non-binary construct, why shouldn’t Ms Mouncey be allowed to play? What’s more, if she did outperform all of the other female players in AFL women’s league (by chromosome), why couldn’t she receive the (Ms) Brownlow Medal rather than one of the women?
To his credit, Glenn Davies, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, called her out on the line of ‘logic’ she was following. He pointed out that while equal, men are clearly different to women, in that they are incapable of having babies. Magda was stunned, as though she hadn’t thought of that before. The moderator, Tony Jones, predictably leapt to her defence and quickly moved the discussion on.
Right from the very beginning no one on the panel questioned or even challenged her when she used ‘fake’ statistics that are obviously untrue. Take, for instance, Magda’s claim that the question about redefining marriage involved 10 per cent of the population who identified as being LGBTIQ, which as we’ll see, is anything but the case. Incidentally, this same bogus statistic appears in the Safe Schools material, “All of Us.” However, Professor Patrick Parkinson of Sydney University refutes the legitimacy of this claim.
After doing a bit of digging I found that this mystical figure of 10 per cent goes all the way back to good old Dr Alfred Kinsey and his 1948 classic, Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male. There is one simple problem with this statistic as Payne and Jensen have argued in their book, Pure Sex. It’s that Kinsey’s research was neither neutral nor representative of the general population as most people believe.
His sample of American males, although large, was hardly representative of the population as a whole. 26 per cent of Kinsey’s subjects, for example, were ‘sex offenders’; a further 25 per cent were in prison; among the rest, pimps, male prostitutes and frequenters of ‘gay bars’ were over-represented. There is little doubt that sexually promiscuous males, especially homosexuals, were massively over-represented in Kinsey’s sample, but this is something that Kinsey repeatedly denied or attempted to obscure. Thus, Kinsey’s contention that 10 per cent of the population is predominantly homosexual is a massive exaggeration.
In fact, that’s putting it mildly. It is a fraudulent use of statistics. The truth is quite different. As Ben Davis points out, according to the 2016 census, there are currently 46,800 same-sex couples across Australia. To put that into some kind of statistical perspective, that’s 0.4 per cent of the total population. But that’s not all. According to a recent survey by the University of Queensland, only 54 per cent of LGBTIQ people said that they would get married if the law was changed. Which brings our final figure down to 0.2 per cent.
Now, as Davis rightly argues, this is where Magda’s line of reasoning really goes off the rails. Has she realised that the 2016 census also revealed that Muslims currently make up 2.6 per cent of the population? And under Islamic marital jurisprudence, Muslim men are allowed to have more than one wife at the same time. So, the question is, once we remove “the union of a man and a woman” from the Marriage Act to appease 0.2 per cent of the population, can Magda explain why we have any reason for denying 2.6 per cent of Muslims if they were ever to demand the removal of “to the exclusion of all others?”
The bottom line is this: Those who identify as being conservative really need to engage in the fight with hard facts. They need to stop being so conciliatory and apologetic and start dismantling the non-arguments of the bullies who want to take away their freedoms. The one thing I learned from primary school is that bullies never back down. They just keep on harassing and hitting others until the victim caves in. However, there always comes a time when one must say enough is enough and take a stand and demolish the false arguments.
Conservatives need to go on the front foot and show how threadbare the arguments of the Marriage Equality movement are, which play heavily to people’s feelings but ignore the facts. That doesn’t mean that they have to be rude, but conservatives do need to walk toward the fire as they expose the false assumptions, illegitimate comparisons and phoney statistics that are being constantly repeated in the public square.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
Cartoon: Ben R Davis.
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