Let to be known that on the December 7, 2017 – the day in Australian Parliamentary history when “love won” – the hate campaign truly began. Yesterday, supporters of same-sex marriage took to Twitter to celebrate by tweeting, “Eat sh-t Lyle.” A reference to Lyle Shelton, the head of the Australian Christian Lobby. This is how Rob Stott from Junkee, gleefully reported it:
So, marriage equality finally passed parliament! And when it did, everyone on Twitter had a simple message for for [sic. They’re not great with grammar, let alone editing, over at Junkee.] Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton: Eat shit, Lyle.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the usual suspects. What is truly disturbing though is the number of their followers who affirmed it.
This really shouldn’t surprise us, should it? I mean, this was what Bill Shorten said was going to happen by holding a plebiscite. Except, he predicted that the hate would be coming from the opposite side to which it did. (I should stop at this point and clarify that we didn’t actually get to have a plebiscite because Labor and the Greens blocked even that. What 80 per cent of the voting public participated in was a non-binding “voluntary postal survey.”)
After all the virtue-signalling of yesterday, I wonder how many politicians will speak up in defence of the 40 per cent of Australians who voted “No”? Just imagine the backlash if people who wanted to retain the historic definition of marriage responded in this way? Not only is the ‘love’ of the ‘Yes’ campaign incredibly selective–and hypocritical–but so is their understanding as to what constitutes ‘equality.’
Incredibly, 66 years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave one of the great speeches of history, asking for a declaration of war. He began by saying:
Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Tragically, we ourselves are facing a growing social crisis as we become increasingly polarised as a nation. I contacted John Anderson, former deputy prime minister of Australia, and asked what his opinion on this issue was. He said this:
Sadly, it’s apparent that many activists, having used their right to freedom of expression to advance their cause, now want to trample on the rights of those who do not agree with them. I really do worry about where this is all going to take us, because so many simply do not understand the central obligation of our freedoms, which is respect for others and their views…the Parliamentary hoopla only makes it worse.
The response we need to exercise is, as the apostle Paul says in his letter to the Romans, not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. That’s what it means to truly be loving. And that’s what it means to really win.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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