I voted YES because I do not believe that heterosexuals like me are finer human beings than homosexuals, nor are we entitled to any special privileges.
So, I cheered mightily when YES won decisively and have now set out to play my part in healing the deep rifts in society caused by having a totally unnecessary Survey when Parliament had the power, but not the guts, to pass legislation without it. As a result, we have experienced an awfully vindictive and divisive time in the life of Australia as a nation that has destroyed goodwill.
Sadly, I note in the social media that some ‘Christians’ have stated that the institution of marriage has now been trashed to the extent that it has absolutely no value for humanity. They intend to get divorced, but still live together, so they are not ‘shamed’ by being married in the same manner as gays.
My only observation on the plight of these sad people is that in October next year, Helen and I will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of our wedding and we can confidently say that, while the piece of paper we signed on our wedding day has had nothing whatsoever to do with us living happily together for 60 years, it is a treasured document that we are not going to tear up.
It is a symbol of our commitment and we want to live in a world where people undertake commitments as a way of life and strive to honour them. We don’t want to live in a world where people break commitments when they find something that they think is better for them, as they too often do in changing their life partners.
I hope that the ‘Christians’ who feel that their marriage has been trashed will stop trying to be holy and make an effort to love the human race a little better than they normally do. Dozens of nations have long since approved Same Sex Marriage and there is no evidence whatsoever that marriage are coming apart at any greater rate than usual. To the contrary, it appears that marriage has been enhanced in the public eye.
Actually, there here have been far more disturbing elements to the Survey vote than any demeaning of marriage.
As an Elder who has served the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches for 60 years and worked steadily at the cause of advancing the Christian Faith in society, I have been appalled by the outright lies that have been told by the Australian Christian Lobby in their attempt to frighten people into voting NO. They really are appalling bigots who believe that it is okay to be a liar so long as you are lying while ‘serving’ God. They are so far removed from Jesus of Nazareth that it is almost unbelievable.
Even worse has been the appalling action of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney in donating one million dollars to the NO campaign. This was a thoroughly corrupt misuse of the gifts made by Anglicans for the advancement of Christianity.
What is even worse is that both are now doing the same in opposing legislation to legalise Voluntary Euthanasia. They are personally frightened of death and want to persecute people who are not. The reality is that they are driving thousands out of Churches.
Those tragic actions, plus the Report of the Royal Commission on Child Abuse and the George Pell trial (whether he be guilty or innocent), will effectively remove Christianity from its rightful place as a cornerstone of our national life and it will take a huge effort from us all to return it to that place.
But, it is a task that I am ready to undertake and I believe that many of my readers will be in the same team.
I hope that we can present Christianity to the world in a way that is something like the words below that are powerfully simple, not judgemental and vindictive.
*A belief in God as a power beyond ourselves that enhances our lives.
*A commitment to follow Jesus of Nazareth as our mentor.
*A desire to walk with him in creating a better world.
These are three cornerstones that hugely enhance a marriage when a couple share those beliefs.
They are a commitment that binds a marriage, particularly if made together on a wedding day.
They will also bind a nation together as they will have genuine meaning to Muslims who regard Jesus as a great prophet.
In essence they are a message of goodwill and positivity.
Yours at Large
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