While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping, by Steve McAlpine.

While you were sleeping or watching Netflix last night, the Australian Government sold religious freedoms in this country down the river. …

After all of the promises made that nothing would be changed once gay people were allowed to marry, – that we could all get on with living our privatised lives -, those promises have been shown up to be exactly what they were. Lies.

But it was always going to be the case. Last night in the Senate, as The Australian newspaper reports, the future for dissenters was plain for all to see:

Comprehensively defeated…. The Labor Party and The Greens must be beside themselves over this. Wildest dreams come true!

I totally get points one and two. I didn’t expect anything different on those, and can’t really see an argument around them. But to refuse protection around “relevant beliefs” about marriage? That opens the door to all sorts of activism, and it will cost religious groups dearly.

But it’s that idea that the Parliament does not see fit to protect people with a traditional view of marriage from having action taken against them by governments and other agencies that is particularly unfortunate. You can hear the knives sharpening already, can’t you?

I remember Tim Wilson, one of the leading conservative MPs in our country, who is both gay and actively promoted the Yes campaign, saying to me that religious leaders in this country would lose both the same sex marriage vote and religious freedom. He was right. I just didn’t know that he was happy for both to be the case. …

Inevitably there will be a backlash against Christians:

It will hit the well-heeled of us where it hurts, our jobs, professions and livelihoods. A well regarded Christian surgeon approached me the other day to say that already in his field the pressure is on for him to sign up to certain ethical statements, and that if he does not, it could one day end his career.

He asked me if, like when the Nazis came to one’s door, we too could lie for the greater good. He wasn’t thinking that was a good idea, just wondering how to negotiate the future that has arrived quicker than he’d expected. …

True, we still have relative freedoms compared to Christians around the world … There’s nothing ho-hum about losing those freedoms. They do matter. They were hard fought for over a long period of time in the West by Christianity itself, and for the sake of others too. And now they’re being whittled away in next to no time.

The great irony is that the culture that so enjoyed the fruit of this gospel for so long is, bit by bit, dismantling the very structures that enabled it to flourish in the first place.

hat-tip Stephen Neil