Those who accuse the Victorian Government of trying to remove religion from the public square with their so-called gay conversion bill are wrong.
It is the eradication of traditional religion and the instalment of another, rigorously enforced orthodoxy that is the goal.
This was made clear in comments published at the weekend in The Age from outgoing Victorian human rights commissioner Kristen Hilton.
We were told that the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill, passed by the Victorian government last month, was to stop archaic practices like electric shock therapy being used on gay people.
Now, no one was arguing that electroshock therapy transforms gay people into heterosexuals and no churches were practising it.
But if the Victorian government wanted to make doubly sure parishioners were not being electrocuted by clergy, no-one was going to object. The government might have banned lobotomies, floggings and tearing people limb from limb while they were at it.
Oh, and there was the suggestion (explicit in the Bill but played down by proponents of the legislation whenever they were asked about it) that it would be appreciated – on threat of a fine, or worse – if Christians didn’t oblige gay people who wanted prayer to resist their sexual urges.
Many argued that this was a step too far. But their protests were ignored and a government that specialises in locking its citizens down won the right to dictate what its citizenry may or may not ask of their God.
When it comes to exercising power, the Victorian government is nothing if not inclusive — in that their powers include more and more and still more.
As if this wasn’t enough, Hilton told The Age newspaper on Sunday that her office would “educate faith leaders and the broader community about the harm caused to LGBTI people by suggesting there is something wrong with homosexuality”.
Government bureaucrats are going to “educate” faith leaders concerning what they should and should not say about God’s blueprint for human sexuality?
That’s right. Public servants, ordained in progressive ideology, will school church leaders in what constitutes acceptable religion according to Saint Dan and the holy orders of the Church of Spring Street.
But Christian leaders ought not worry. Hilton told The Age “her office would only use their powers as a last resort if education and outreach failed”.
Their “powers” include the ability to compel people to appear at hearings and to comply with orders such as attending compulsory re-education programs.
So in a classic case of “we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way”, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will only compel church leaders to be re-educated concerning their theology of human sexuality should they fail to change their views after being asked nicely.
Christians have always believed that sex was created by God as a gift to be enjoyed within the confines of marriage, and that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Any sex outside of that – whether pre-marital, extra-marital or gay sex – is less than God’s ideal and therefore a sin.
Understandably many people don’t like the Bible’s teaching on sexuality and so make their own arrangements apart from God.
Others don’t like the teaching but decide they want to follow Jesus even more than they want to follow their sexual urges, and so they willingly submit their behaviour to God’s laws, asking Him for the grace to do so.
The Victorian human rights enforcers don’t like God’s precepts either. But instead of walking away from God or submitting to God, they intend to “educate” God.
They will not expel God from the public square. They will reimagine Him in their own image, reflecting their own sensibilities with legally enforceable creeds that seem right in their own eyes.
And so they have arrogantly set themselves on a collision course with their own citizens.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.