CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Homosexual Marriage Always Trumps Religious Freedom

Nov 18, 2017

Here are some home truths on the homosexual revolution sweeping the West, and implications for all sorts of freedoms, including religious freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience:

-Whenever the state enacts something into law, corresponding duties and obligations are imposed on everyone, whether they like the law or not.
-The law can do at least one of three things when it comes to certain behaviours and activities; it can proscribe it, it can permit it, or it can promote it.
-Usually when radical social change takes place we see those three occurring in that order – what was once illegal becomes allowed, and then it becomes mandatory.
-This is certainly the case with all things homosexual.
-Once homosexuality is decriminalised and openly promoted and mandated, then soon enough opposition to it will be criminalised.
-We have already seen this played out countless times in other jurisdictions that have legalised homosexual “marriage”.

You can bank on these truths, and expect to see exactly the same things occurring here in Australia. With politicians stumbling over themselves in a mad rush to get homosexual marriage to become the law of the land, and with many of them and their homosexual supporters demanding that there be no exemptions whatsoever for religious freedom, this too shall pass real soon.

When the rights of religious folks conflict with the so-called rights of homosexuals, you know exactly who will always win out. Christians especially will be the big losers here, when any and all opposition to the radical homosexual agenda is targetted, and things like the nefarious “safe schools” programs are unleashed on the captive Australian public.

The radical agendas of the activists will always trump the rights of ordinary citizens, especially those of a faith tradition. If we are to learn anything from the overseas’ experience, all these freedoms will be targetted fast and furiously by the state and by the activists.

So all the talk now of protections and exemptions are really not worth much at all. Most of the other nations that have gone down this road also spoke about protecting religious freedoms and so on, but that has by and large been pure bluff. The attacks on freedom of all sorts have been ratcheting up there.

It will be just the same here. Indeed, consider this shocking Australian headline: “Religious debate on hold until SSM legalised”. The article begins:

The same sex marriage bill will be at the top of the Senate’s agenda when parliament next sits, with MPs set to work overtime to legislate before Christmas. There was an emotional start to the debate of Liberal senator Dean Smith’s private bill on Thursday.
Politicians on both sides of the argument expressed their good wishes to couples who would be able to marry when the law is changed. Debate will resume on November 27 with the Senate to sit until legislation clears, paving the way for a late-night session to push it through the upper house.
The bill can then be sent to the House of Representatives for debate, likely to start in the first week of December.
Attorney-General George Brandis believes the bill will pass the lower house before December 7, the last scheduled sitting day for the year. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said there had been a lot of good will on both sides of the chamber in wanting to resolve the issue quickly.
He told Sky News some issues around religious protections could be left to a later date. ‘(They) might be a matter for another day because they require more substantial and more fundamental discussions. It’s a matter of people of good will working through these issues carefully,’ he said.

What a shocker. Here we are madly rushing through the most radical, socially divisive bill ever, but these guys are telling us we don’t have to worry about any religious freedoms implications – they will just merrily sort themselves out later on! Mind-boggling!

Sure, I believe you guys. I trust you. Let’s just ram fake marriage down the throats of everyone, and pretend that later on we can somehow look at protecting faith and freedom. Yeah, I believe that. It will of course be far too late then if any such discussion does take place. As I said, the “right” to fake marriage will trump any concerns about mere trifles like free speech and religious liberty.

However there is still a bit of talk on the need to incorporate those sorts of matters into the bill now, not later. Consider one recent proposal being debated. Some are now calling for the addition of some or all of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The ICCPR was ratified in 1966 and put into force a decade later.

Article 18 deals with religious freedoms and protections. It says this:

1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

As one news report today states, maybe some of this can be incorporated into any new homosexual marriage bill in Australia:

Attorney-General George Brandis is considering an amendment to the same-sex-marriage legislation that uses an international agreement upholding religious liberty, in a move to placate conservative MPs demanding extra protections.
The Weekend Australian can reveal Senator Brandis is looking at incorporating article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights into a bill proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith, and backed by Labor and the Greens.
Senator Brandis’s move is considered a circuit breaker that could unite government ranks and win broad parliamentary support for greater religious protections as Malcolm Turnbull faces pressure from conservative MPs to uphold parental rights in same-sex-marriage legislation.
Cabinet minister Matt Canavan — a leading No campaigner — told The Weekend Australian he was “open to supporting the clarification of our pre-existing international human rights obligations as a means of unifying the parliament on these historic changes to the Marriage Act”.
The push from Senator Brandis comes after the UN’s Human Rights Committee, in its sixth periodic report on Australia, sounded its concern about the “lack of direct protection against discrimination on the basis of religion at the federal level”.
A coalition of Liberal, Nationals, Labor and crossbench senators are canvassing amendments to Senator Smith’s bill to preserve parental choice, protect faith-based charities and shield individuals from adverse consequences for defending traditional marriage, but have not reached a consensus.

The piece continues:

Senior conservatives including Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Treasurer Scott Morrison are drawing a line in the sand, arguing that key religious protections must not be carved out of the enabling legislation to be held-over for debate in the new year.
The Weekend Australian understands Senator Brandis is considering amending Senator Smith’s bill to incorporate word-for-word the first clause of article 18, which states that “everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.
Liberal senator David Fawcett, who led a parliamentary inquiry into legislation for same-sex marriage, backed moves to enshrine article 18 in law. But he suggested all four of its clauses should be replicated, including the last provision that upholds the “liberty of parents … to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions”.
“Australia has never legislated at a federal level for article 18 and coverage at state level is extremely limited and varies from state to state,” Senator Fawcett said.

All this is just theoretical at this point, and they can’t even agree if just the first clause or all four clauses are brought in. But even if they take the entire lot, I still have massive worries. While the clauses might sound good in theory, as always, the devil is in the detail. Consider especially clause three.

It says, “Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.” There you go with those limitations again.

Australia is already awash with all sorts of any-freedom laws, be they equal opportunity laws, anti-discrimination laws, or anti-vilification laws. All stymie real freedom of speech and conscience, and all have routinely been used against Christians especially.

Throw in a legal right to homosexual marriage, and the state will be unstoppable as it cracks down on all opposition, all recalcitrants, and all those who dare to think differently. So even if the entire article were added to the bill, I see it offering little if any protections to religious folks – and others – who will not bow the knee to their new rainbow overlords.

They will easily enough be hunted down and rounded up by the authorities. Sure, this may not take the form of the obvious police state tactics witnessed in former and current communist countries, but the results will be pretty much the same.

A mass crackdown on dissent, on differing opinion, and on those who refuse to call black white will without question take place. Whether jails are filled, or simply more and more folks lose their jobs, get heavily fined, or are harassed and penalised in other ways, the state will certainly act.

So forget about protections, safeguard and exemptions. They are not worth a hill of beans. If the state can dish them out, the state can just as easily take them away. And we know that most politicians do not seem concerned at all about such religious protections.

Do not say you have not been warned. And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. This is just the beginning of all our troubles.

www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/11/17/same-sex-marriage-debate-to-be-pushed-back.html
www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/covenant-clause-fix-for-split-on-samesex-marriage/news-story/d25f7e79ff20fd6392ae72965728d506?nk=a79aa1ff6bd84c8b13c4aa8c45475e2e-1510970553

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27 Responses to Homosexual Marriage Always Trumps Religious Freedom

  • Freedom of religion provisions are not worth the paper they are written. Bill has this exactly right. The assurances concerning freedom of conscience or religion should not be taken seriously. It will all be like the 1936 Soviet constitution, but hopefully without the Gulag.

  • @Bill I believe you yourself not only said this but also this happened in 2015. Of course we all know that when the Left blasted Christians all over the media for refusing to bake a gay cake but when a muslim baker refused, nothing happened, there was no charges and nothing from the media. Muslims i believe will not be forced to give up their religious right to bake a gay cake. If they do, the media wouldn’t blast them the same way they blasted Christians.

  • Pastor Muehlenburg what you predict has happened in much of the more liberal of the states here in the U.S.

    I predicted some 12-15 years ago when this movement was gaining steam here, that this issue would severely damage the Christian Church.

    No one can be “neutral”; as Conservative Activist and Christian Eric Erickson has warned, “you will be made to care”.

  • Thanks for the reminder Dale. I pulled the volume off my shelves and wrote this review:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2017/11/19/review-will-made-care-erick-erickson-bill-blankschaen/

  • This is just the tangled web that is weaved through deceit.

    Regarding point 3. of article 18, I say the immoral religious beliefs of atheists and other immoral people who believe that marriage is nothing more than a romantic notion are very clearly impinging on my fundamental rights and freedoms and are very plainly and obviously opposed to public morals, order and health. The difference is my views are based on facts and not red herring ideas like the absurd notion that because some people don’t have children then anything can be a marriage (supposedly as long as there is “love”.) Since when was “love” ever even a single government prerequisite for marriage anyway? Apparently the government has the right to do away with all the previous prerequisites for marriage no matter how long they stood for and come up with a new one. Will they be enforcing the “love” requirement? Of course not because to legislate based on the concept of love is a complete absurdity. When will people wake up?

    Personally I don’t believe the government having the right to make laws regarding marriage does give them the right to redefine it. If the government can redefine the words the Constitution is written in then the Constitution is worthless.

  • Good article Bill, our Federal Law Makers are now all busy in Canberra creating laws to enslave 98.3% of the population of Australia. At least the construction industry will benefit. Think of all the new jails that will have to be built to house all those folk who will refuse to compromise on what God has clearly written in His Word. As you most clearly highlighted Bill, what is evolving overseas in the Western World, will surely happen here. If Turnbull or Shorten have any guts, they should at least be able to publicly spell out now, what fines or prison sentences will be imposed on those Cake Makers, Caterers, Limo Companies, and Reception Centres who on moral or religious grounds, will refuse to supply the gay community with goods & services for their so called “”weddings””. Have courage Bill, keep dishing it out, we are all right behind you, bless you heaps, Kel.

  • Mr Turnbull should be ashamed of the way he has divided our country. I think the last time the country was this divided was in November 1975. The yes no choice was extremely polarising, it allowed for no shade of grey. Prior to the vote everyone knew the two sides were worlds apart, with little or no common ground, yet we proceeded with a process designed to set people apart. We now have people who are celebrating their victory in a manner which rubes homosexual exhibitionism in the noses others, so much for tolerance and inclusion. The no voters are not an insignificant minority, they are a full 38%, more than one third, people that are to be alienated for what in many cases is their religious belief. What can be done mend the division? The first thing our MP’s could do is take a deep breath and consider the magnitude of the problem at hand. Rushing legislation through the parliament before Christmas would be best postponed until after they can work out how to reunify the people they have divided.

  • Look on the bright side. As things get tougher for us true believers of our Lord and Saviour, which undoubtedly will lead to much persecution and attack on us, we can take whatever comes as an honour and a blessing for being steadfast to the Truth, and showing to all and the Lord we really mean it. I say bring it on!

  • Hi Bill

    I suspect Brandis is trying to mollify the Muslims. He wouldn’t be seen dead protecting the Christians!

  • If Muslim folk are not targeted the same way it looks like Christians will be, I wonder if there will be many who will ‘convert’ to Islam as a way of safety for their businesses, employment, etc. If the new ‘virtue’ in society is to condemn the ‘evil bigotry’ of Christianity, who will rise to defend that which they come to see as ‘evil’? Black is white indeed, Bill!

  • As always you’re one of the few that are not afraid or tired of the fight, two issues you might want to research to get the latest facts, and do a detailed post or two in order to inform Australians, in order to open their eyes, firstly how the YES campaign was able to basically brainwash so much of Australia, and secondly show the latest science on nature vs nurture as I noticed the tragedy of what seems to be the growing number of young people , especially women, your future wives and mothers turned to each other as demonstrated in all the coverage of this debate

  • I think there is an incorrect image of life under a totalitarian state, it’s not all gulags and secret police. The people are largely brainwashed into policing themselves and each other and we’re already there. My husband would likely lose his job if it was discovered that he voted no, and I’m sure that there were many uncomfortable office celebrations this week. It is uncannily reminiscent of some Soviet stories – I’m thinking of Rand’s ‘We The Living’ right now (not to get into her politics!)

    My in-laws came to Australia for better opportunity and to escape the Soviet communists. How arrogant and ignorant we are. I agree that it will probably get worse.

  • Off topic but a little related. I think that the Governer General should be approached and encouraged NOT to give Royal Assent to any bill – but in particular the SSM bill, until ALL members of both houses have proven that they are not dual citizens. Perhaps, just perhaps the SSM may yet be defeated on the grounds on ineligible politicians. We can live in hope.

  • Yes Elle Dudok it might not start that way but it always ends up that way. It’s also reminiscent of the song from 1972 Cabaret movie depicting the rise of Nazis with the song “Tomorrow belongs to me” making most in the audience follow suit without realising what was ahead of them and the world. The difference today is the left are not singing but screaming their lungs out at the sky ever since Trump won. It’s all like the blind leading the blind, and the only way out is to know, believe and follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Everyone else will fall for the coming new version of “tomorrow belongs to me” mania. As for escaping the Soviet communists you are one of the lucky ones. However, Russia is now a Christian country so it’s now in fact safer to be an outspoken Christian there than in any Western country. It’s only going to get much worse for Christians here in Australia I believe. The Russian government has helped a lot to rebuild the churches after the fall of the Soviet Union. I’m not saying it’s perfect there but neither is anywhere else here on earth.

  • What’s to say that even if some weak form of protection was put into the bill to protect us from litigation from same sex/trans/genderless individuals, that those protections would remain in place indefinitely? Ireland showed us, by repealing those type of laws, that no one is safe in this area.

  • Dear Bill,

    Thank you for your articles on the result of the SSM pebiscite. This is the first chance I have had to respond to it.Naturally I was bitterly saddened and disappointed on Wednesday when I first heard. I had hoped to the very end that a No vote would prevail when it was widely said that it would be a Yes. Yet common sense tells me it was bound to be yes. This is because for months on end the MSM has been spewing out endless propaganda in favour of it and many big corporations and politicians all publicly declared their support for it. What chance then did the NO vote really have?

    Frankly, I find it hard to believe that Australians can be so seduced by evil. They have shown a callousness and indifference towards the Creator God which hurts me terribly. To think that so many can mock and ridicule God who created us male and female! It is as if they are saying He did not know what He was doing when He created us. Yet the very people who wanted this abomination written into law rant on endlessly about the damaging human effect on the environment as if they really care about it. If they did they wouldn’t allow this assault on Nature who is the handmaid of the Lord.

    The celebrations and tears of the Yes camp particularly sickened me and reminded me of what the Biblical account would have been like when Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments and whilst he was gone the Jews built themselves a golden calf and worshipped it. I think after this we will be left to wander in the wilderness because this really is only the start of our loss of freedom although I believe the attack on marriage began with the easy divorce laws.

  • Elle Dudock, I am hoping that is not also your husband’s surname as, if he may lose his job for voting ‘no’ then, it is not unrealistic to think the gaystapo could identify and pursue him from your post.

  • It’s not my real name D’Wayne but thanks for the reminder.
    All they’d have to do is ask him point blank, he does not lie. They’re too busy celebrating.

  • freedomforfaith.org.au/library/religious-freedom-for-churches-after-a-possible-yes-vote is worth reading if you are interested in what provisions are being proposed in the Smith and Paterson bills. The Smith bill seems particularly wishy-washy & useless. Let’s pray that the Paterson bill succeeds.

  • Thanks Naomi. Yes I spoke to the Paterson bill here:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2017/11/15/marriage-vote-yes-wins/

    Sadly Paterson pulled his bill on the day the vote was announced, so now we are stuck with the Smith bill or something equally bad.

  • It ended up being a survey of people’s feelings which is now going to be legislated into law, in the Australian federal parliament of all places. Real concerns, are being brushed aside; flogging the gay lifestyle to children and pupils is not parenting, teaching or caring. It’s not healthcare either.

    The voters who said ‘no’ were probably nearly all parents and largely religious; they won’t waiver, they’ll leave the Liberals and Labor for Cory and Pauline.

  • Re Mike Marshall’s comment, it seems the Queensland division of the Liberal-National Party knows they’re losing parents/believers to newer conservative parties, and is trying to woo us back during this final week of the state election campaign. Here’s my experience: When their parliamentary leader Tim Nicholls announced in late September that he would be voting ‘Yes’ in the same-sex-marriage survey ultimately because of St Paul’s words in the Bible (www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/qld-lnp-leader-votes-yes-for-same-sex-marriage-20170924-p4yw2m.html), I emailed my disdain to his Party’s administrators, but never received any acknowledgement or reply.

    Today, however, I found my inbox has an email from the Party’s State President, Gary Spence. There’s no admission that Tim Nicholls might have mangled the Bible somewhat, nor any acknowledgement of the slippery slope that Nicholls and other Yes-voters have (whether deliberately or unwittingly) exacerbated, but Gary Spence nevertheless seems uncannily aware of what would be a hot-button issue for this No-voter:

    We all know “Safe Schools” is being taught in some schools in Queensland. But if Labor’s re-elected, we can expect it to be rolled out in all Queensland schools. We know it’s not about safety – it’s radical gender theory and sexuality dressed up as anti-bullying. I’m asking you to donate to the LNP, so we can put an end to this madness. To stop the political correctness. An LNP government will scrap “Safe Schools”.

  • @ Patricia: Thanks for your comments on the easy divorce laws. Removing adultery from the Australian marriage law has made a legal “same-sex marriage” possible. The phrase “to the exclusion of all others” in the current Marriage Act is a sham, because there is no legally valid way to detect and punish the breaking of the exclusive sexual union between husband and wife. Australia’s Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 gives legal protection to all sexual acts between consenting adults in private, which includes adultery (and incest).

    Only a man and a woman can commit adultery, so a legal system that recognised adultery as grounds for divorce, could only register genuine marriages. Since the family law reforms of the 1970s, the only way to obtain a legal divorce is to prove an “irretrievable breakdown”. Any relationship can now have “marriage equality” for civil marriage and legal divorce, because any number of people in any type of relationship can have an “irretrievable breakdown”.

  • Two mutually incompatible and mutually antithetical religions cannot both remain equally “free”. Aleister Crowley witnessed both the extreme sectarian fundamentalisms of the Exclusive Brethren and the extreme Antinomianism of the Neo-Paganism he so enthusiastically embraced as a young man. He rejected the faith of his parents for a total revolt against Christianity, even to the point of using a Greek nom-de-plume, To Therion, which translates into English as “The Beast”!

    The present ethos of Rainbow gender and sexuality theory has much in common with Crowley’s esoteric, hedonist doctrines of “Thelema”, and nothing to do with Christ’s Gethsemane prayer “… not my will, but Thine be done.”…

  • I am not of any religious belief, my opposition to homosexuality and of course the survey that was forced down our necks is the result of serious fraud! Social engineering, political correctness and a twisted ideology were that attack weapons used by the gay bandwagon! Thirty years of scientific research that was carried out by highly qualified scientists and highly respected health professionals was concealed from the general public and subsequently, conveniently ignored by Australian politicians, the Australian media and of course the Australian Medical Association….although they together with every other public servant, would have had their hands tied. If scientific information identifying the extreme dangers of this freely chosen lifestyle had been exposed, the result of the survey would have been reversed! I remain absolutely astounded at the ignorance and lack of education with regards to the homosexual culture by the general public. I have studied this lifestyle for several years and investigated numerous research papers as Bill has yet the great unwashed (with respect) supported the marriage equality plebiscite!!

  • Bill your skepticism about the value of an exemption or exception based on Article 18 of ICCPR is justified. As you will be aware here in Victoria we have the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 which in Section 14 contains a reworded sub-clauses 1 and 2 of Article 18.
    In the prosecution of CYC Ltd by Cobaw for discrimination it had been hoped that some benefit would have been available to CYC with the limited rights provided by clause 14. As it turned out the 2006 Act did not apply because Section 14 had not been proclaimed. Nevertheless when the Court of Appeal heard argument concerning the appeal by CYC Ltd I think I counted 14 barristers in court. The International Commission of Jurists based in Geneva briefed a Senior barrister to appear and assist the court in appreciating the way Article 18 had been interpreted around the world. If s14 had have applied it seems most unlikely it would have assisted as international jurisprudence supported the view that once the issue involved an action beyond the inside of a church invariably it was the opposing right which as you say trumped any right of religious freedom. A person is free to believe and demonstrate that in a formal church setting or as part of formal teaching of a persons beliefs but as soon as one stepped out of the church or seminary door then rights of religious freedom are largely non existent. The President of the Court of Appeal was clear in this private right but saw no reason for it to help a person with a clearly defined right like same sex attracted people and their supporters. I do think sub clause 4 of Article 18 is more likely to be of some help but as you say subclause 3 does not seem to greatly help with the courts of all western nations seeking ways to water down any words of substance for a religious person. There other problem with Article 18 is that it is for people not organisations. The corporate nature of Christian Youth Camps Ltd gave significant difficulties for claiming the religious exemptions under the Equal Opportunity Act though the Court of Appeal found that CYC could hold religious beliefs it did not help. If teh only reliance is under Article 18 then church institutions such as schools and aged care venues will be unlike to even be able to argue the ICCPRight.

  • Forgive me for being pedantic, but I am convinced that the reason the yes vote won was due to the refusal of the church to be a light in the darkness.

    In the area that I live which has about 30 churches, only one said anything in the local media. They paid for an advert to promote the NO vote.

    I had to take on the yes people all on my own in the letters column along with a couple of letter writers who sided with me.

    Apart from that one church, not one minister made any comment to reinforce God’s plan for society. Shame on them.

    If they don’t care about the destruction of society I don’t care to attend their churches.

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