Editorial: After the survey – where to from here?

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What are Christians and others to do when the state and society are intent on eliminating gender?

The day before the result of the postal survey on same-sex marriage was announced, some 2200 Catholic schools across England and Wales were informed by the UK’s British Catholic education authority that the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ could no longer be used on enrolment forms.

Following a complaint lodged by a gay parent and upheld by British anti-discrimination law, schools were informed that only the terms ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ could be used when enrolling a child in a British Catholic school. In other words, the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ are, for official purposes, now illegal in Britain.

Throughout the campaign on same-sex marriage here in Australia, the No campaign repeatedly warned about the targeted persecutions and limits to religious freedom that have been progressively enacted in other countries and which will certainly be enacted in an Australia which adopts same-sex marriage.

For this they were ridiculed and dismissed, mainly by the media. The British example, however, one of numerous examples within the last 18 months, demonstrated that the No campaign was correct all along.

The Maronite Bishop of Australia, Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, addresses a gathering of Maronites concerned about the future of marriage in Punchbowl on September 2, flanked by the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and ‘No’ campaigner Tio Faulkner. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Decisions such as the UK enrolment policy described above are part of a trend of the last two or three decades which has seen modern societies previously described as liberal democracies for their tolerance of numerous groups within their boundaries veering increasingly under the pressure of political correctness into a new culture best described as authoritarian democracy.

Whereas liberal democracy accepted that even broadly antithetical political views, religious beliefs and social outlooks could peacefully co-exist (with appropriate restrictions) within its boundaries, authoritarian democracy moves to enforce a mono-culture of officially-enforced ideology which must be accepted and lived universally. No disagreement is allowed.

A good example is the Northern Territory Attorney General’s discussion paper on the extension of anti-discrimination first reported by The Catholic Weekly in our 24 September issue and later picked up by national media. Were the discussion points raised by the paper to be adopted by the NT Government, no Catholic institution (parishes, schools, universities etc) in the Territory would be allowed by law to decline bookings by the local Gay Mardi Gras (or white supremacist chapter, for that matter) on the grounds that to do so would constitute ‘discrimination.’

PHOTO: Josh Applegate

The rise of authoritarian democracy therefore necessitates the growth in power and oversight of governments over the most personal parts of people’s lives and an ongoing process of the reduction of rights of individuals, families and religious faiths to do such things as practice their faith.

The hallmark of the new authoritarianism into which Australia is morphing (together with other mainly affluent nations) is the readiness of the state to subjugate rights in favour of ideas which are illogical and fly in the face of the reality but which conform to popular ideologies of gender and race enshrined in what is described as anti-discrimination legislation.

Boys, for example, might now have access to girls changing rooms in schools (or anywhere) and can insist on being addressed as females if they so wish. Everyone, starting with the girls, must conform.

To resist or to disagree becomes a violation of anti-discrimination authorities, statutes and legislation.

Now that a majority of Australians have voted for same-sex marriage, making the situation even more pernicious will be the move to active indoctrination, using the nation’s education system to implement the radical new values-free gender ideology, which necessarily involves violating what has traditionally been thought of as the innocence of children. In reality, gender and sexuality have traditionally been regarded as especially sensitive matters of growing up and, therefore, best left to parents who know their children better than anyone else to introduce their children in age and personality-appropriate ways in the overall context of parental and familial love.

Those days are gone. One of the real significances of same-sex marriage is that the authoritarian state will now move in coming years to widen the reach of the new ideology of gender regardless of children’s or parents’ wishes. The cost of this damage is likely to be incalculable and will almost certainly constitute a new form of state-sponsored sexualisation of children.

How parents, families, churches and those with clear consciences are going to deal with this new state of affairs is unknown, but it will likely involve reckoning with the possibility of resisting the state and an acceptance of the likelihood of persecution and loss of employment for refusing to bow to the new ideologies.

Families will almost certainly find few, if any, supporters on their side, including massive bureaucracies now tied to the state in a relationship of dependency by virtue of taxpayer funds subsidising works such as healthcare and education.

Undoubtedly, the Church will need to come to grips with this issue on behalf of its faithful. How this whole issue is to be resolved will certainly become a priority for the Church in Australia in the coming months.