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Church under threat for teaching natural marriage
Monday, July 6, 2015

Angela Shanahan: ‘This isn’t North Korea – this is Tasmania!’

Columnist Angela Shanahan warns of harm to come if “gay marriage” is legalised in this country – and it’s already happening! Her article, Gay marriage leaves Catholic schools under threat, published in The Weekend Australian on Saturday 4 July 2015, is reproduced below:

Since when has teaching your children what you, and most of the world’s population, believe to be right been a thought crime? Since when have those beliefs, enshrined in the law of the land, and always seen as positive and good, suddenly been deemed harmful? Since when has a well-liked member of the church’s hierarchy been told when and where he should disseminate fundamental Christian doctrine, and threatened with being hauled up to an anti-discrimination body?

Since last week, that’s when. And no, this isn’t North Korea, this is Tasmania. The unfortunate cleric is Catholic Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous, who has raised the ire of Australian Marriage Equality director Rodney Croome, a native of that island.

It is no mystery that the archbishop — and every other bishop of the Catholic Church up to Pope Francis himself — is, and always will be, opposed to gay marriage.

The church holds that marital love can be expressed only through the natural biological sexual union of man and woman, the only relationship that can, naturally, of itself, produce children.

Until about five minutes ago, this was the uncontroversial, biologically based universal about marriage and sex within marriage.

Christians, Jews, Muslims and most others the world over share this view. However, homosexual campaigners want to remove the natural biological centre of conjugality and replace it with the ephemera of romantic love, with its heart-shaped symbolism, something to which the young are notoriously susceptible.

So, to make the church’s teaching on this matter clear to parents, and by extension their children, all the bishops have sent to Catholic schools a booklet enunciating Christian teaching, Don’t Mess with Marriage.

They do this with the understanding that parents who send their children to a Catholic school accept the school’s ethos and teaching on the sacraments, including marriage.

But according to Croome, Porteous is guilty of what amounts to a type of child abuse and hate crime: “The Catholic Church has every right to express its views from the pulpit but it is completely inappropriate to enlist young people as the couriers of its prejudice.

“The booklet says to gay students in Catholic schools that their sexuality is wrong and that their aspiration to marry is a danger to marriage, religion and society … any teacher who exposes vulnerable children to such damaging messages not only violates their duty of care but is a danger to students.”

He claims: “This booklet denigrates and demeans same-sex relationships and will do immense harm to gay students and students being raised by same-sex couples.”

Aside from the absurdity of Croome laying down the law about where and how the church is allowed to disseminate its teaching, the booklet does not vilify. But Croome ignores this.

The booklet states clearly that “every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth which can never be taken away. This includes those who experience same-sex attraction. They must be treated with respect, sensitivity, and love.”

Consequently, few complaints have been received. However, at least one complainant has written to the archbishop to say they will be sending a formal complaint to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner on the grounds of inciting hatred.

Anthony Cleary, the religious co-ordinator of the Sydney archdiocese, which has sent out 100,000 booklets, has received only about a dozen complaints, and he received three times that number of letters from parents who wrote with congratulations.

Cleary says many parents are relieved the church is taking a clear stand on this issue. Parents know “all social moral and ethical issues are presented in Catholic schools from an unapologetic Catholic perspective. In fact, the booklet hardly mentions homosexuality … As for Croome saying Catholics should be presenting both sides of the argument, what disingenuous nonsense.”

This is more than just another political argument. It goes to the moral heart of the natural family and its position in society.

However, with the topsy-turvy logic of New Think, Croome is saying the classic Judeo-Christian view on this matter, which is contained in the booklet and enshrined in the law, is simply prejudiced and children should not be taught these things. So what will happen if same-sex marriage becomes legal? Will Croome demand schools cease to teach Catholic precepts?

Croome needs to be reminded that in a free country people of all religions have the right to enunciate their views in public. By attempting to intimidate the Cath¬olic Church into silence, AME is showing its true colours.

Suppressing freedom of religion and, with it, freedom of thought is the endgame of the marriage equality putsch. There are hundreds of examples of this all over the world: people involved in religious education, religiously based adoption agencies and religious ministry have been sacked, fined and had their views and work suppressed by anti-discrimination laws. There are too many cases to list here.

Porteous is facing this scenario now and the law doesn’t yet allow same-sex marriage. So if it does, what restrictions are going to be on religious schools in future about what they can and cannot teach?




  • Government and society
  • Marriage and sexuality

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