Let’s leave hate out of the gay marriage debate
THERE are real fears among Australia's gay community of a vile campaign being waged against them in the lead-up to the postal vote on whether the Marriage Act should be changed to recognise same-sex marriage.
It's a genuine fear -and one that should not be discounted - particularly by those espousing a faith based on love.
Christians, for their part, have genuine fears, their right to hold their own views on marriage - that being between a man and a woman - will be vilified.
Already, we have seen examples of this with Margaret Court, and again with an opinion piece today attacking belief in the existence of God.
"The God-fearing right wingers expecting the sky to collapse if it happens are so misguided it's not funny,'' Scott Sawyer writes in his column today.
Scott then goes on...
"Firstly, they make a massive assumption that God even exists.
"To base the reasoning for denying basic human rights, a right which existed long before Christianity, on the assumption that there even is a God, despite zero evidence of his existence, is mind-boggling."
I wonder if he's read any works from scientists carefully arguing the basis for their belief in God?
He then goes on to say: "If only the horrors of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church could generate half as much conviction from those believers as this same-sex marriage saga."
Now Scott's quite entitled to his view on God, but this adds little to the debate.
Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?
This poll ended on 29 August 2017.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Smearing Christians - and all priests - with the outrageous child abuse perpetrated by a minority is akin to likening all gay people to those on parade at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
It's neither helpful nor accurate.
Christians I know are horrified with what has been done to children by those in authority, including in churches.
But such actions cannot be considered representative of the actions of most who profess a Christian faith.
It's like pointing to cases of teachers who have abused children and saying our schools are full of them.
Each week, hundreds of thousands of Christians across Australia volunteer to do good in our community.
Many of our charities, great schools, hospitals and the like are run by church-based organisations.
But there are, of course, too many Christians who come across as full of hate and judgement, especially when it comes to moral issues.
The same can be said of gay rights activists who target MPs, priests and others who don't agree with their view.
My prayer, if I can still use the word, is let's just take the hate out of this debate.
My personal belief is that gay marriage will be recognised in Australia because a majority of Australians support it, based on many, many polls.
That in the end, will be the decision of Australians - not churches, not activists, or journalists for that matter.