Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

The Plebiscite – ensure you let them know it’s a “No”. Check that your enrolment is up to date by 24 August 2017. Check at: www.aec.gov.au/enrol or call the ABS on 1800 572 113.

I’ve been asked to respond to an article by Susan Adams called, “Six reasons to vote yes if you hold to a classical Christian view of marriage.”

In it, she states that since she holds to the classical Christian view of marriage,  “It might seem logical, then, that I would vote ‘no’ on legalising same-sex marriage in the upcoming plebiscite.” She then goes on to say why she’ll be voting “yes”.

At least her first statement holds true.
You don’t have to have the classical Christian view to vote “No” to redefining marriage. It’s simply logical. That’s why homosexuals and those raised by same sex couples are among those who believe that marriage should not be redefined.

For important issues like this, evidence and reason must rise above rhetoric. Let’s explore her thoughts further…


I would put it that her analysis of the situation requires more depth. She states…

The word ‘marriage’ exists in multiple cultures, with various meanings.

She writes this without any references. The evidence states otherwise and is neatly summarised by Chief Justice John Roberts, the most senior judge in the United States Supreme court. In his reaction to the redefinition of marriage there, he wrote…

“The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment… The Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?”

Children, women and the rights of parents will also be deeply affected by any redefinition of marriage. These were not addressed in her article. Any properly considered vote needs to.

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

Susan calls the redefinition of marriage “a modest move”. Nothing could be further from the truth. She states…

Australia was never a theocracy, so any authority we had was a privilege, not a right. In a democracy, we get a say, like anyone else, but we must learn how to take our place at the table rather than expecting Christian beliefs to be legislated.

Yes, Australia is isn’t a theocracy. Ours is a democracy but tell that to the activists who seek to redefine marriage. The strength of a democracy is its diversity of ideas married to the freedom to bring them to the table to let the best one be legislated. It is this freedom which is under attack should the law be weaponised against it by the redefinition of marriage.

Susan, this isn’t about taking your place at the table, it is about taking away your place at the table.
Here’s the evidence: Bill Shorten has committed a future Labor government to repealing any religious freedoms contained in a redefined Marriage Act.

Susan has some appreciation of this in stating “…Christian freedoms ought to be legislated..” but it is alarmingly superficial…

I do believe that Christian freedoms ought to be legislated for along with those of other religions, but again, that is not on view here….

As I understand it, only the most ungenerous reading of the agenda of the ‘yes’ case could see it as about forcing pastors to marry same-sex couples against their convictions, especially since the draft legislation on view carries religious exemptions.

Alas Susan, freedoms are not only on view, they are front and center.

Firstly, the draft legislation isn’t clear on what, if any protections will be in place let alone if they will be adequate.
Secondly, this is to do with Freedom of Speech and to live out one’s values. It’s about all convictions in all situations not simply “forcing pastors to marry same-sex couples”. And even that was pushed in the US even before marriage was redefined.

This isn’t an ungenerous reading, this is reality. The evidence is voluminous and is included in this analysis.
Bottom lines:

  • Freedoms that can be granted by politicians are freedoms which can be taken away by politicians.
  • Should we be even thinking about implementing a law which we need to protection from?

We know that LGBTQI kids attempt suicide at a far higher rate than their peers, whether from shame or fear or bullying…
I am arguing for the preservation of human life, a deeply Christian concern. If legalising same-sex marriage will contribute to that, let us do it.

*The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s 2013 data

In Australia, illicit drug use by homosexuals is more than double that of heterosexuals (34.7% compared to 14.6%) while their rate of dangerous alcohol use was 29.9% compared to 18.5% in heterosexuals.*

Illicit drug use and excessive alcohol intake are risk factors for depression and suicide.
In 2005, Canada redefined marriage but drug and alcohol abuse are still several times higher amongst homosexuals there. Clearly, LGBTQI suicide isn’t just an issue of marriage legislation.

Every suicide is a deep tragedy for the families and friends involved as well as our wider human family. This crisis deserves and needs more than a wish to fix it and the evidence shows it doesn’t come with redefining marriage.

Our message to them [the average Australian] ought not to be about the goodness of traditional marriage, but about the goodness, beauty, freedom, truth and comfort of the person of Jesus.

God doesn’t compel us to follow His ways, He woos us to by His goodness, beauty, freedom, truth and comfort – the very things which are reflected in marriage. To distort marriage is to destroy that message along with marriage itself.

Compassion is seeing a problem, deciding it isn’t inevitable and being compelled to the core of your being to fix it. We have the numbers and opportunity to uphold the good that marriage is against the attitudes which seek to destroy it.
May compassion move us beyond the superficial “yes” statements to knowing the heart for saying “No” to redefining marriage.

“..fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there. Because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change. It’s going to change and it should change. And again it should not exist.”
Masha Gessen (Russian and American journalist, author, and LGBT rights activist), Sydney Writer’s Festival, 2012.

Susan Adams’ article can be found here.

One Response to “ Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace ”

  1. […] Recently, we discussed the importance of marriage and the need for all of us to help preserve it. I also responded to a confused article by an authour who claims to value traditional marriage but wants to dismantle it. […]

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