When Chamberlain visited Hitler, he was full of good intentions, even though he was being pretty naive. He came back from his meeting proclaiming “Peace in our time”. Of course in less than a year the world was at war. Appeasement is the name given for unnecessarily giving in to your opponents, resulting in them taking advantage of the situation, often with devastating consequences.
We are right now witnessing similar examples of good intentions, coupled with naivety. In the end, appeasement is still the name for this, and the negative consequences are just as pronounced. All over the Western world the battle over marriage and family is being waged, and with each passing year, it looks like more and more territory is being lost to the other side.
Here in Australia we were assured by some Christian groups that a Rudd Labor government would hold the line on marriage. Within days after the election, that has begun to unravel big time. The ACT government is again moving to allow civil unions for homosexuals, which for all intents and purposes is marriage-lite. It has all the same benefits and privileges as marriage, bar the name.
Yet Mr Rudd, who strongly wooed the Christian community prior to the election, has caved in with amazing speed. He now says he will not intervene, claiming it is Labor Party policy not to interfere in the legislation of the states and territories. (The two governments are now discussing the issue.)
Of course many of us warned before the election that Kevin Rudd is not the sole player involved here. The whole party, including its long standing support of special rights for homosexuals, also should have been taken into account. Yet some believers were taken by Rudd and his rhetoric, either unaware or unwilling to realise that party policy is not the product of only the leader.
And with wall-to-wall Labor government now in place around the country, the radicals are moving swiftly and decisively. As I write this, the Victorian government has just announced it will allow homosexual couples to have children through IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies. It knows that with the Howard Government out of the way, the path is now wide open for these sorts of forays into social engineering.
Line in the sand
Unfortunately some Christian groups have partially helped to bring this whole situation about. It may have happened with the best of intentions, but as history reminds us, these are not enough, especially if an element of naivety is involved.
Some believers thought that we could placate the homosexual lobby, give them just about all they demand, and then they would leave marriage and adoption rights alone. But such was simply wishful thinking, and ignorance of what the homosexual lobby – both here and overseas – has been demanding for thirty years now.
The idea was that we should be as magnanimous as possible, offer them as much as we possibly can, but just nicely remind them that marriage and children are off limits. But let me spell out what such a strategy in fact entailed.
The idea was to say yes to the homosexual activists, and cave in to most of their demands, bar the name marriage and adoption rights. The idea was that if we made such a generous and gracious gesture, they would be quite satisfied and leave things at that. So the idea was to allow a whole raft of special privileges and benefits normally reserved for married couples to now go to homosexual couples.
In effect these folks said that we should have government recognition, blessing, endorsement and acknowledgment of homosexual relationships. We should give them nearly every benefit that a married couple has (barring kids), although we won’t allow them to call it marriage. This was all supposedly done in the name of Christian compassion and social justice.
I have written about such proposals (as in the form of relationship registers for homosexuals) elsewhere. But the logic seems foreign to me. These groups are suggesting that almost all marriage-like benefits should be given to homosexual couples, except we should not allow them to call themselves married.
One might as well argue that an old out-of-shape codger like myself demand all the rights of being made a member of the Geelong Cats football team. So in the interests of fairness, compassion and justice the team finally relents (against all reason and common sense) and takes me on. They let me practice with them, even play games and rejoice in victories with them, all with full pay. Yet they just will not allow me to wear the Geelong jersey. Now to most people’s thinking, in such a situation I am for all intents and purposes a Geelong player. The lack of jumper means little if I have all the other benefits and privileges of club membership.
That is just what some Christian groups seem to have done here. They have said to the homosexual activists, yes, we give in; we will give you nearly everything you have been demanding for thirty years. Indeed, here it all is on a silver platter. So now you have most of the same benefits of marriage as real heterosexual married couples. All we ask is that you do not call it marriage, and do not seek to have kids as well. And all this has been done in the name of some vague and less-than-biblical understanding of justice and compassion.
Now if I were a homosexual who has just been handed almost everything I want, including full government recognition and approval, it would be obvious to me that if compassion and justice are the real determining factors here, then surely I should be able to call my relationship a marriage. And of course if the government considers my relationship basically on the par with heterosexual marriage, then it would only be fair and just for me and my same-sex partner to be able to have children as well.
Bear in mind that homosexual groups recognise little if any difference between things like a relationship register and civil unions. For example, the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby has said that it does “not make a distinction between civil unions and registration … the differences are minor.”
Thus for some Christian groups now to be arguing that we must hold the line when in fact they recently seem to have abandoned the line by siding with the homosexuals and agreeing that their relationships should get government recognition, seems a bit too little and a bit too late. The game has largely been given away. I fail to see how believers can now say we must oppose same-sex marriage, and adoption rights, when they have argued that homosexual relationships must be considered essentially equal in most other respects, including full government favour and recognition.
Sorry, it seems that the horse has already bolted, the line in the sand has already been crossed, and the game looks to be close to over. Of course we must continue to champion heterosexual marriage and the rights of every child to be raised by his or her own mother and father. But that task just seems to be more difficult now, given that so much ground has been conceded in such a short period of time.
And ignorance really should not be an excuse here. For thirty years the aims and goals of the homosexual lobby have been on the public record. Their strategies have been clearly and plainly articulated. Marriage and adoption rights have always been high on their agenda. For believers not to be aware of all this is most unfortunate, given the very serious nature of what is at stake here.
Indeed, the ultimate goal has always been complete social and public acceptance and recognition. While most homosexuals in fact don’t actually want marriage, that is really beside the point. It is the symbolism of marriage that is vital: the idea that their relationships are identical to heterosexual marriage. Thus the push for government recognition of same-sex relationships. All the various schemes are fairly similar, be it marriage, civil unions or relationship registers. The aim of all of them is the legal, political and social acceptance, endorsement and recognition. As activist Rodney Croome, puts it, “this isn’t about sex, it’s about symbolism”.
It is certainly not my aim to publically attack other believers here. But when the issues are so vitally important, as is this one, then my obligations and duties must be prioritised. Standing up for what is right must be at the top of the list. Thus I feel compelled to try to lay out the case for my concerns.
From my perspective, the battle over marriage and family may unfortunately have gotten harder, now that some sections of the church have handed to the homosexual lobby so much of what they have long wanted. Obtaining the remaining bits on their agenda may now be relatively easy and quick.
Even if Mr Rudd does get some sense and decides to block the ACT move, this will not be the end of the story. The demands will be continuous, and the activists know that those putting up resistance will continue to weaken. As we see just three weeks after the Federal election, the demands are now pouring forth from the homosexual lobby and its sympathisers in the various Labor governments. But now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to stand and to stand strong.