Bullied into Silence aka the Bastard Problem

The phrase “being bullied into silence” has started occurring in the Same Sex Marriage debate, often emanating from the No camp.

Here is my response…

Only bullies complain about being bullied into silence because it’s the exact technique they use to bully others!

As soon as they are questioned or confronted they say they are being bullied. Their very actions are meant to provoke. So an angry response is what they want! But even a question or a rebuttal evokes the same response. Then they say they are being bullied.

Or as I call it: the bastard problem.

The bastard problem: assume everyone else is a bastard, treat them as such and keep them underfoot.  And when they resist or respond, they’re a bastard, they’ve proven themselves so. Substitute the word bully for bastard…

So ironic to see what happens in public replicate my own experience in private. As asked last week about how bullies start, I replied without thinking, “They practice first at home!!”


When the Rainbow Opened My Eyes

My niece got engaged yesterday to her partner. Now my brother has two daughters instead of one. I’m joyful for both as they’ve found that love is love is love. But it took me a while to understand…

For I must have lived in a sexual vacuum. Growing up I never even knew what homosexuality was. Then in my teenage years, the epithets cat and poofter were bandied around.

I still didn’t know what they were talking about.  It sounded bad so I wanted no part of it. I didn’t even know about heterosexual sex!!

Then later, at university, I discovered what homosexuality was. And decided it wasn’t for me. And paid no attention to it. Even in the Catholic Church it wasn’t mentioned at all.

And so I slumbered happy in my ignorance.

That was until I joined a Pentacostal church.

When it happened, I was working in Sydney, away from home. I working back as there was a huge amount of work to be done. But I couldn’t work more than forty hours so I finished early on a Friday. So when we had drinks of a Thursday, of course I would hang back.

And I started talking to one of my workmates. And he freely admitted that he was gay. And I was so confronted I kept talking to him!

And then he told me what he did in his spare time. He was counselling and assisting people with AIDS. Remember this was the nineties when the prognosis was almost always pessimistic. And my immediate thought was that’s where I’d find Jesus, ministering to the modern-day lepers.

For the established church has a poor record of ministering to minorities : women, homosexuals, sexually abused, etc, etc, yet it is those people to whom the gospel is preached. Sometimes I think they’ve missed their mission by the length of heaven!

That was Sydney. Then I went back to Brisbane. And listened to the worst sermon ever (See When Will There Be Rainbows in Church?)

And since then I’ve met others, a man who was a mentor to me, a lesbian couple who were like an old married couple, a man through university who had been  in a long-term relationship.

And I couldn’t tell the difference between their love for each other and my love for another.

And then my niece (now engaged) came out. Which was a joy and blessing to everyone, for she had found out who she was.

And surprisingly, they’re not pedophiles, nor totalitarians wishing to impose their values on others.

Just people living their lives, trying to find happiness, same as you and same as me.

And dear reader, before you condemn homosexuality and same sex marriage, follow my path, meet them for themselves.

And then make up your mind.


Why Same Sex Marriage Is Now an Election Issue

As promised, Tony Abbott put the proposal of same sex marriage to the party room. But not his own party room where in all probability the motion would have been lost anyway.  But quite cleverly or perhaps fearfully, the PM put it to the joint LNP party room. In doing that, he knew the same sex marriage would be lost as most National party members and senators are against the idea.  Perhaps in gratitude, Warren Truss could stand aside and nominate Tony Abbott as the new leader.

And then once that was concluded, Abbott equivocated. He had stated that parliament should decide the issue, after the Irish referendum. Now after circumventing his party as well, he suggested a referendum or plebiscite.  A referendum would be unnecessary and a plebiscite could be easily ignored.

But with a private member’s bill on same-sex marriage shortly to be introduced into the House of Representatives and perhaps the revival of a Senate bill, Abbott’s manoeuvres have only bought him time. He believes that his tactics have ensured that the issue will be put aside perhaps until the next election or beyond.

But strategically, he has failed to see the long-term effect of his actions. He has offended senior members of his cabinet who are publicly disagreeing with his actions. Now he may threaten them with dismissal if they cross the floor and vote for the legislation but that will only create more and more publicity and a greater backlash. That could create a revolt within his party and another leadership spill. But that can be addressed tactically as he has done in the past.

But strategically, Abbott has failed to realise the following. His divisive actions with regard to same sex marriage has created an election issue.

In non-rainbow colours, the choice is clear…

A vote for the National party and the other conservative party (now now longer a Liberal party) will ensure there will be no same-sex marriage.




When Will There Be Rainbows in Church?


There I am, sitting in church listening to a sermon.  It is close to the worse sermon I’ve ever heard. But it’s not the poor delivery that’s annoying me. It’s the subject matter. It is about rejecting all sinners. The pastor is working his way through a list of undesirables and finally settles on homosexuals. And it’s that subject that slowly but surely starts to infuriate me beyond measure…

I’ve never been this angry in church in all my life. Perhaps it’s too black and white for me now. But I almost stand up and start shouting at the pastor. Luckily for him and me, it’s then he wraps up.

At that time, I had some questions….

  1. Which commandment does homosexuality break?
  2. Why is homosexuality overlooked in the New Testament?
  3. Why didn’t Jesus mention it?

Regenbogen_über_der_NordseeIn the light of the increasing acceptance of and objection to same-sex marriage I have just one more question:

When will there be rainbows in church?