On Legislating Morality

The issue of morality and its legislation is one which is often rather carelessly considered. Secular humanists for example routinely exhibit much fuzzy thinking on this issue. Sadly however, believers can also have some rather cloudy thinking about this important topic.

Moral and intellectual clarity is therefore needed here, so that we can get a proper understanding of this issue. Let’s begin with the phrase heard so often by the secular left and others: “You cannot legislate morality”. This has to do with the broader issue of the relationship between law and morality.

In one sense almost every law on the books is an expression of morality. Most are quite obvious: it is illegal to steal because it is morally wrong to do so. Other less obvious laws can quickly be seen as having a firm moral basis. Laws about traffic lights are not arbitrary – behind them is concern for human life.

Thus we have road rules, laws about traffic flow, and so on, which are meant to protect human life – which is a high-order moral good. Other laws may not so much represent moral principle as efficiency or some such social good. Earlier in Australia’s history there were a number of different railway track gauges, making national travel difficult, if not impossible. Making those gauges uniform simply makes life far easier.

But most laws which we have in mind do have some sort of moral foundation, even if somewhat removed, and in need of a bit of digging to discover. So it is silly to talk about separating morality from law. Indeed, even the sorts of laws secularists want to see enacted (eg. the legalisation of abortion or same-sex marriage, or the prohibition of coal mines or nuclear energy) have at bottom moral bases.

These folk will argue that it is a good thing (in other words, something moral) to allow homosexuals to marry, or that it is a bad thing to allow nuclear power plants to operate, and so on. Thus the issue is not at all about whether Christians should impose their morality on society.

The real question is: whose morality should be imposed? Society does not exist in a moral vacuum. Someone’s morality will predominate. If it is not the morality found in the Judeo-Christian tradition, for example, then it will be the morality found in another tradition.

Thus everyone, including the humanists, is pushing their morality into the public arena. They may not like Christian morality, but it is simply false for them to claim they are not equally pushing their own version of morality. And given that at least 64 per cent of the populace considers itself to be Christian, why can’t Christian moral concerns be promoted in public?

Should only the minority of atheists and secularists be allowed to determine which morality and which laws can exist here? In a democracy all sides should be allowed the freedom to share their values and concerns in the public arena. Issues can and should be discussed, debated, and if need be, voted on.

That is how life is meant to work in a free country. Yet the secularists would have all believers simply sit down and shut up. They seem to think only their values and their morality can be promoted in public. Well, they need to wake up to the fact that we are not yet a one-party dictatorship.

Thus we need to reject the myth of moral neutrality. There is no such beast. Everyone has a worldview, everyone has a set of values, and everyone has a morality. Everyone wants to see their particular agenda come to centre stage. The secularists are pushing their morality just as much as anyone else.

Indeed, the humanists are always taking the high moral ground here. They think that their agenda is the morally correct one. They believe it is the moral thing to do to oppose the US, or capitalism, or the military, or opposite-sex marriage, or whatever. So spare us this foolishness that secularists are somehow free of pushing moral agendas.

Morality according to Scripture

Yet some Christians still get rather muddled here. They think that because Christianity emphasises a changed heart, and an inward work of grace, we cannot therefore seek to promote our own moral concerns in the public arena. But they are simply confusing the issues here.

The Bible makes it clear that both outward actions and inward attitudes are important to God. Both must be addressed as we assess moral actions. The Ten Commandments for example cover both. The eighth commandment prohibits the outward act of theft, while the tenth commandment prohibits the inward disposition or attitude of covetousness.

Jesus of course ties both together when he says that lust is just as sinful as adultery, and that hatred is just as bad as murder (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28). God wants us not just to do good things and avoid doing bad things, but he wants our hearts transformed as well. Sure, out of a renewed heart godly outward actions are much more likely.

But it is foolish in the extreme to argue that since God is especially interested in a transformed heart, outward actions make no difference, or are not of concern. Outward actions make all the difference in the world, regardless of the inner motivation.

If a little girl is walking down the middle of the road, it is obviously a good thing that a driver seeks to avoid hitting her. One driver may do this because of genuine concern for the little girl’s safety. Another may avoid hitting her simply because he is about to go over the limit of his demerit points, and he does not want to lose his license.

As far as the girl is concerned, she does not give a rip about the drivers’ motivations, she is simply glad both wanted not to hit her. Sure, when each driver stands before God one day, the inner motivations of the heart will also be exposed and assessed.

Other Christians say that non-believers cannot keep the law because they are bereft of His Spirit, and so on. Well, yes and no. God’s moral laws are not just intended for believers only. God expects non-believers to also keep his moral standards. Indeed, all societies believe that.

They do not care if a person is a Christian or not, they expect everyone not to rape, not to murder, not to run red lights, etc. Sure, all these laws may deal with outward actions, and offer external inducements (punishments and rewards) to these outward actions, but so what?

Again, the point is to deter certain behaviours. There are harsh penalties for breaking laws on murder or sexual assault, etc. Whether or not a person has the right inward attitude is not primary here – the point is to see that the law is maintained and obeyed.

Granted, it would be great if everyone kept the law because they wanted to be inwardly good and virtuous people. But even if they don’t, it still is good that we have laws to keep people’s wrong actions in check. Just because everyone does not act from pure motives is no reason to abandon the regulation of external behaviour in a fallen world.

Consider the work of William Wilberforce. Was he pushing his moral agenda on the rest of England? You bet he was. But so what, his moral campaign was a good and vital cause. Try telling the millions of free blacks today that Wilberforce was wrong to push his personal and religious moral concerns on an unwilling and largely secular nation.

He got all sorts of flack for what he did, but most people are so glad he continued. That is true today. I will keep pushing for the right to life of unborn babies. Many people will not like that. Many people will say I am pushing my morality on them. So what? One day a more humane society will look back and applaud the pro-life effort.

And bear in mind, pro-abortionists are pushing their morality on me. Why should only secularists be allowed to see their values promoted in the public arena? Yes, the law cannot make people good or virtuous. It mainly just keeps bad behaviour in check. But in a fallen world, that is all we can expect.

And it is a tremendous good. God created the state and God created law. He knew it would be for a fallen people. He knew it would never be perfectly kept. But in a fallen world we must have laws, we must have enforcement of those laws, and we must have governments. God ordained all three.

Much more needs to be said about this complex topic. But this introductory piece hopefully offers a few fundamental points for discussion. And hopefully it goes a little way toward clearing up some of the confused thinking that seems to abound here.

[1487 words]

31 Replies to “On Legislating Morality”

  1. Great article Bill, one that I’ll be referring to a lot in my discussions. It is annoying to hear people say that it’s wrong to moralise, when ultimately our society is based upon a moral framework and the legislation, reinforcement and resulting reward or punishment of this framework, and in the West it’s a Judeo-Christian moral framework essentially. And often it’s Christians – sure, there are ways and means of doing this more palatable than others, but ultimately isn’t that part of being salt and light?
    Garth Penglase

  2. Secularists need to grow up and try to find ways of expressing their consciences in a persuasive fashion. They are uncomfortable with moral language because it necessarily implies an objective moral order and therefore a transcendent orderer. And denial of Him is the essence of secularism, it really has no other positive content.

    Rather than try to persuade and propose they impose, by using vilification laws, kangaroo human rights tribunals, and political philosophies that rule out religious reasons from the public square ab initio.

    Their preference is to completely exclude religion and dominate what ought to be a contested public space. With all our institutions infected with secularism and the liberalism that informs it we now live in one of the most unfree times in history.

    When secularists finally decide to leave their cocoon and childhood behind, we’ll be able to flexibly draw from our religious tradition to meet the challenges of a changing world and order our public life to the common good.

    Martin Snigg

  3. Given that fundamental outlook of Socialists is to mandate their social moralities on the population, looking at the ballot paper on Saturday I was concerned that we have an increasing number of hard-line abortionists, gay activists, atheists, socialists and even communists vying for political power.
    Garth Penglase

  4. A very well argued and timely article, Bill.

    I’ve heard numerous Christians say “you cannot legislate morality” as part of their justification for supporting the Greens party. What they mean is, they do not think it is appropriate for the state to legislate against evils such as abortion and gay marriage. But, strangely, they DO want the state to legislate in favour of fewer carbon emissions. And the reason for this is that they believe that carbon emissions and climate change are deeply moral issues.

    So indeed, it is not a question about *whether* the state ought to legislate morality, but rather a question of *whose morality* the state will legislate.

    Romans 13:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:13-14 teach that the State has been instituted to reward righteousness and punish evil. This sounds like a very moral function to me.

    Jereth Kok

  5. Bill, I think you know me well enough to anticipate my response…. I agree with some of what you’ve said but not all…

    I’m a born again; fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christian trained in psychology, sociology, science, and theology. But I STILL say… “You can’t legislate for (all*) morality”. (*See my argument below).

    For example: Wilberforce and Martin Luther King were bold men who stood up for moral issues (against the grain) and eventually won. But they stood for issues revolving around the abuse of humans by other humans (White v Black or Rich v Slave). These great men (in minority) effected “legislation for morality”. Crucially, the basis of their drive and argument was “abuse by one human of another”. (Basic human rights).

    Speeding laws, stealing etc are designed to protect the rights of others.

    For sexual preference these wonderful ground rules do not apply because sexual preference does not infer the abuse by one (consenting) adult over another. Therefore, 21C societal values dismiss the notion that sexual preference is a “moral issue”.

    Moreover, the issue of Sexual preference is not a “moral issue” to at least 90% of modern Western voters.

    A more difficult issue arises from your argument that might become an unanticipated consequence of your praxis that I suspect you’d not necessarily embrace.

    If we agree that Christians in Australia are in the minority (let’s say 15%?? at the moment – it matters not because a minority we are). You appear to argue that despite being a minority Christians should still be permitted to exercise its voice to place into Australian law “Christian Morality”.

    The inherent danger is this: If your argument is sustained then we open the door for other religions to have their “minority morality” imposed on Australian society too.

    In 40 years or so Australia might well have a large number of Muslims living here. This being the case, would you be arguing that Muslims be able to legislate their “morality” on ALL Australians in 40 years time? If this scenario occurred I’d be voting humanists into power and begging them to protect my rights!

    Blessings bro’

    Paul Evans

  6. I have heard liberal and gay Christians chime with secularist, saying that if us, so – called “fundamentalist”, “right wing” and “evangelical Christians” are so confident in our faith then we should not need any legal protection or extra support from the state. Indeed, the job description of the Christian is to be persecuted and to count it a privilege to suffer, echoing Heinrich Heine’s statement, “God will forgive me. It’s his job.”

    But I would counter that if secularists were so confident that their morality appeals instantly to everyman simply because it agrees with universal conscience and commonsense, why do they need warehouses of legislation?

    Britain’s erstwhile Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in identifying with the gays said, in 2009, “We won’t ever give up on the fight for equality – we are marching with you every step of the way. The Labour government has one simple guiding ideal when it comes to LGBT rights: you can’t legislate love.” But Mr Brown, with a “clunking fist,” did not hesitate to legislate against those who would share the love of God with others, whether it is a nurse praying for their patient or anyone who attempted to protect children from corruption and perversion. He did not hesitate to legislate against freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom to debate. Indeed, he increased the amount of repressive legislation over that introduced by Tony Blair. The history of thirteen years of New Labour government was a frenzied approach to law-making and an obsession with controlling the minutiae of everyday life, where dissent from “another kind of love” will now apparently carry a seven year prison sentence. Neither do we see any salvation coming from David Cameron who has publicly declared that he also will ignore the views of the silent majority and carry on the LGBT programme of oppression against any who oppose them.

    The British government has said that there should be a clear distinction between public and private morality; and the ‘real world’ and religion. But whilst the government wants to compartmentalise private and public, and secular and religious it does not hesitate to invade every area of our private and religious lives; it legislates for every thought, emotion and sneeze. It has blatantly assumed the role of social engineer and reduced parents to becoming mere operatives. In addition, Dr, Katherine Rake of the government funded Family and Parenting Institute has said,” We want to transform the most intimate and private relations between women and men.”

    So fundamental and radical are the changes to our society, the abandonment of our Judeo/Christian consciences, common sense and those things that we intuitively know are true that the government has only one recourse to change society to conform to a homosexual view of the universe and that is to embark on far reaching, compulsory diversity training for all – from the child in the nursery to the elderly in the nursing home. Unwilling to convince us through reasoned argument and open debate its tool for change is fear. In this, the government has been spectacularly successful. By deliberately creating a climate of doubt and anxiety that puts the public at a severe disadvantage, we are totally dependent on the subjectivity of a magistrate or Attorney General. Never knowing whether what we will say will land us in court, we, the public have become compliant and silent. We are not prepared to gamble on being deemed homophobic when, with the threat of seven years in prison, the stakes are so high. This policy of creating doubt, uncertainty and unknowing is being deliberately and relentlessly pursued by this government.

    David Skinner, UK

  7. Thanks Paul

    But sexuality is clearly a moral issue. Sexuality has to do with procreation and the next generation, children and their wellbeing, families, etc – all major moral concerns. So the morality or otherwise of a particular sexual lifestyle can be argued for. Of course one can argue on other than just moral grounds about this issue as well. In my recent book on the topic I offer all sorts of arguments – some moral, some other. In a secular society all sorts of arguments can be utilised.

    And you seem to confuse the issues here. If Australia comes under sharia law, that will mean more than Muslims seeking to legislate their morality. It will mean the end of religious and political freedom.

    I am not arguing for anything like that. I am saying that in a pluralistic society, believers have as much right as anyone else to make their case, including their values and worldview. Everyone is seeking to do this. In a democracy one can argue one’s case and put forward one’s position, including one’s ethical position. But this has nothing to do with a theocracy, which the establishment of sharia law would entail. Having Christian emphases reflected in some laws has nothing to do with either theocracy or imposing a Christian agenda on unwilling people.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. Hi Bill…

    No I don’t believe I’ve confused the issue but perhaps I’ve inadvertently obfuscated via my reference to Muslims.

    Although you claim that my example (re Muslims) goes further than imposition of morality you propose to the extent that my example would mean “the end of religious and political freedom”. However, the homosexual lobby would respond to your argument in like terms.

    The homosexual lobby would echo your clearly articulated clarion call. “You are taking from us our human right to choose”.

    Perhaps a less contentious example might be to suggest what might happen if 15% of Australia became 7th Day Adventists. Would they have the right to legistlate to stop all work from dusk on Friday night until dusk on Saturday night? I suggest that this would go beyond “Christian emphases reflected in some laws”.

    I agree with you that sexuality is moral. The difficulty is that 90% of Australia does not agree with us. For us to attempt to legislate our sense of morality upon 90% of the population is simply not practical and I believe could be unethical. Importantly, such “morality legislation” would include but not be limited to legislating against: adultery, divorce [apart than divorce effected because of adultery], as well as homosexuality and fornication.

    The exception (and I’ll stand with you to the death on this) is that we MUST fight for the rights of unborn children. They of all humans have no voice. They are the most vulnerable of all and they need our voice – desperately.

    I deeply commend you for standing up for this issue.


    Paul Evans

  9. Thanks Paul

    I am not sure if we are fully communicating to each other here! Maybe I am just really thick! And I don’t mean to drag this on and on. So just a few final points. As I said, the concept of moral neutrality is a myth. Every time a person (whether secular or not) says we ought to do something (legalise SSM, oppose uranium mining, shut down US bases, whatever) they are making a moral statement. There are saying this course of action is right or wrong. So everyone makes moral claims all the time, even in a 100 per cent secular society. It would be silly to suggest that all moral discourse must be abandoned because everyone is not a believer or does not share our worldview. Everyone is made in God’s image, and everyone lives in God’s moral universe.

    I am not aware of any Seventh Day Adventist who would suggest what you are suggesting, so it is not much of an illustration here. Indeed, they tend to seek to avoid political involvement.

    And so what if 90 per cent of the population disagrees with us on sexuality? Probably 90 percent of the population disagrees with us on abortion, yet you want to run with that issue. In like manner, perhaps 90 per cent of the population opposed Wilberforce and his views on slavery. Do you wait till there is complete moral consensus in a community before we dare to raise a moral issue? I don’t think so. Neither does Scripture suggest that. We will always be counter-cultural.

    I am not saying anything about forcing our point of view on others, or making all moral claims into legal or illegal activities. Nor am I saying that all sins should be made illegal. This whole discussion of mine is simply about the freedom believers should have to make their case in the public arena. This will include moral as well as non-moral argument, religious and non-religious, etc.

    But we are probably mostly on song here. If not, we can agree to disagree I suspect!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. 21st century morality says that marriage of whatever flavour, ought to be about commitment. But what about someone for whom commitment and involvement were not a measure for legitimacy? What about those for whom consensuality is enough. Sexual relations are no longer defined by any objective structural configuration, but rather how a sexual urge expresses itself – whether it is done with commitment, involvement, inclusivity, diversity and most crucially, consensuality. Well I suppose, since we are in age where self identification and self authentication are an absolute human right, a limitless number of humans and animals – maybe even objects if one bungs in the odd bicycle – of all shapes, sizes and ages, dead and alive, engaged in an orgy, could all be described as inclusive, diverse, committed and consensual.

    And to say that a sexual act is legitimate as long as it is carried out by consenting adults ignores the fact the age of consent is being repeatedly challenged and that paedophile political parties and lobby groups are pressing for the removal of all age difference barriers.

    Peter Tatchell, a supporter of paedophilia, says, “Acknowledging these social changes is, however, no reason to lapse into anarchic moral relativism. Instead, we need a new moral framework for teaching sex education that can encompass diversity while also giving young people guidance on how they are most likely to find erotic and emotional happiness.
    This new moral framework involves three very simple principles:
    1. Mutual respect, consent and fulfilment. In others words, when it comes to lust and love, treat others the way you would like them to treat you. Don’t have an egotistical, selfish, me-first attitude. Be thoughtful and caring towards the other person.
    2. Never coerce or pressure a partner into doing something they don’t want to do.
    3. Make sure both of you get physical and psychological enjoyment. That’s it! Simple, inclusive and moral – without being moralistic.”

    Certainly the following relationships meet all three requirements: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/3286721.stm

    David Skinner, UK

  11. Paul,

    You wrote: “sexual preference does not infer the abuse by one (consenting) adult over another”

    This is true. Therefore, I personally (though some here might disagree) do not believe that the Government should make it a criminal act for a man to have sex with another man. Neither do I believe that adultery or fornication should be criminal acts. (Though all of these acts are of course regarded as sinful in the Bible.)

    But when we are talking about gay marriage, gay adoption, gay surrogacy, etc. we are talking about something entirely different. This is not about what goes on between two consenting adults in the bedroom (which, I agree, is not the domain of Government and law) but rather about altering the very structures of public society. Altering these structions WILL result in harm and abuse.

    If two men are allowed to marry each other, and raise children (which they acquire through adoption or surrogacy) this is child abuse. Similarly if two women marry and raise children created via IVF. These children are purposely deprived of their natural parents and a rightful and proper family. So while the consenting adults may not be abusing each other, somebody WILL end up being abused and therefore the Government has a duty to legislate on this.

    Jereth Kok

  12. Thanks Bill for your (moral) article.
    I agree with all you wrote, but I think too that it is a good excercise to have an examination of conscience every now and then. By that I mean an informed examination of conscience, based on the 10 Commandments. Today, in the a world of noise, both interior as well as exterior, I think this needs to be stressed, because the voice of conscience, which is very akin to the very voice of God, comes as a still tiny whisper, not a loud and obvious sound, In order to hear such a whisper we need to preserve a certain holy silence at times.

    I am convinced that the world of constant noise is a major contributing factor to the tidal wave of sin we have experienced in recent generations. Radio, television, iPods, mobile phones, talk, talk, talk,etc, but also the interior noise that most contempory people suffer from. “Be still and know that I am God” is something we would do well to remember.

    Anne Van Tilburg

  13. Your article reached right into my soul and convicted me, Bill. I needed to read this timely essay, because my thoughts were such that God would not have wished me to continue with them. I need to love more, even those who are hard to love, and now I will work on that, with God’s Help.
    Thank you so much!
    Kenya Lee Lowther

  14. Paul, when you say that the homosexual lobby would shout foul against Muslim’s taking away the absolute rights of the individual, you know and I know that the Equality and Human Rights Commission, though espousing equality, divides and disunites us into competing groups, based upon: 1 age; 2 disability; 3 faith and belief; 4 gender; 5 race and nationality; 6 sexual orientation; and 7 transgender identity.
    Though on paper they enjoy equality, in reality there is naked diversity in the way this is administered. “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”
    One of these groups, centred around the homosexual lobby, Stonewall, has arrogantly and presumptuously assumed ownership of the of the Human Rights list and dictates whose rights overrule those of all the others and who has no rights at all. Significantly three out seven of the strands are linked with sexuality. These favour homosexuals, feminists, transsexuals and trans genders. One group, however, disguising itself as religion, Islam, bides its time, until after society has plunged itself into anarchy, it will assume total dominance. You must have surely noted the ease with which Muslims temporarily shut down all debate about Islam, in Victoria with the Danny Naliah and Danny Scott. That was just a dry run.

    John Adams, the second president of the United States of America put it well when he said: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by (Judeo Christian) morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.…”

    ‘Our Founders had a better answer than government or even education. God is the answer. God is the moral compass of America. Or He should be, if we ever want to restore morality in our homes and civility to our land. Our Founders believed morals flowed from one’s accountability to God, and that, without God, immoral anarchy would result.’

    David Skinner, UK

  15. You have certainly hit upon a really needed discussion with this article, Bill. Satan knows we are created as moral individuals so he can’t easily expect the entire population to abandon morals altogether so he deceives with a counterfeit morality. Today it appears to many people that the earth (environment) matters more than humans created in God’s own image. Hence you get people like Bob Brown hand in hand with eugenists whose ‘moral’ goal is population reduction, no matter how it happens in order to ‘save the planet’: these people (Brown et al) presented to the public by the media as cuddly, feel-good teddy bears. What a farce!
    Today’s ‘moralist’ (like one of the commentators above) don’t like Biblical morality because it’s absolute. It doesn’t leave room for interpretation, or wriggling out of the consequences for leading a sinful life. Why can’t we have relative sexual morality? Who’s it going to hurt? Only God knows the extent of degradation happening to our society through the forsaking of His Biblical standards and the opening of the Pandora’s box just to peek inside. We will only know when we reach eternity just what it meant to first legalize homosexual marriage and then to allow them to adopt children and so on…to first legalize early abortion, and then late term and finally infanticide and euthanasia…why not push on towards the ultimate conclusions? You got used to the last nosedive, why not a little more, and a little more? In increments unregenerate man sells himself out and it’s all good. The verse comes to mind, “There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof is the way of death”
    Wilberforce is really a case in point! Where would England of that day have been if he hadn’t been obedient to his call? And who’s to say how much further it would have been down the gurgler today?
    Who are Australia’s Wilberforces today? Fred Nile comes to mind; a man who has been so reviled, slandered and ill-treated both by those close and those distant to him but he has stood firm and faithful for over 25 years. We will only know in eternity the extent to which he was able to help God preserve NSW while other states have crumbled and deteriorated. I believe that you Bill, Danny Nalliah and the Salt Shakers are also modern day Wilberforces. Those of us who aren’t in the firing line as you are can do no less than pray for you daily.
    Dee Graf

  16. Good article Bill. Pity you have to go to all this trouble to state the bleedin’ obvious to people who should have the intelligence to know it already.

    I heard an interesting thought on ‘Australian Story’ last night: “If you’re not a socialist at age18, you have no heart. If you’re still a socialist after 18, you have no head.” I can undestand and forgive young people their youthful passion for green & associated agendas. But really, someone of Bob Brown’s age should grow up and join an adult’s political party.

    David Williams

  17. Bless you Jereth

    So while the consenting adults may not be abusing each other, somebody WILL end up being abused and therefore the Government has a duty to legislate on this.

    I think you nailed it.

    Daniel Kempton

  18. Dear Bill, I too feel very strongly about the Right To Life of unborn babies and all we can do is keep at it as William Wilberforce did and as you say I bet millions of black people are glad he didn’t give up. I was in the fish and chip shop the other day waiting for my chips to be cooked when a lady walked in and while she was being served began talking to the lady behind the counter about the election results.She walked out saying ‘I hope he [Tony Abbott] doesn’t win because he says such silly things.’ Her words stirred my conscience and prompted me into action so for openers I asked the young woman behind the counter if she had voted. She replied that they had been able to vote early so I went on to say that if Julia Gillard was returned as PM it would be a tragedy for Australia and briefly gave her all the facts about Emily’s List, Victoria’s infamous abortion laws and the 54 babies left to die in dishes as a result of being murdered by late term abortion. She looked at me in disbelief as she had obviously never given any thought to such matters.I said ‘ No and you won’t get to hear about it from the secular media either because they don’t want you to know but THAT is the sort of thing that Julia Gillard believes in and it can all be verified.’ She said that she had heard she was an atheist so I replied saying that was her choice but she had no right to try to inflict her evil ways on everyone else which she would try to do if she became PM. I ended by saying that Tony Abbott wasn’t perfect but at least he believed in something and was a family man. I left her feeling that I had given her some important information she would never forget and which we all need to know before we can make wise judgements. I was only sorry that the other woman had gone before she could hear it too. It is a sad fact that many people are invincibly ignorant about what is going on in their own society. They are neither informed nor have their consciences sharpened by God’s Grace so they are lulled into thinking everything is alright with the world. Therefore, it is easier for people like Gillard with intellects sharpened by the evil one to inflict their morality on an invincibly ignorant and indifferent populace so without wanting to sound ‘holier than thou’ we must be like William Wilberforce who was both informed and had a conscience as sharp as a razor because it was formed by God’s Grace. It is from the grass roots that change will come if we seize every opportunity we can to give people the benefit of our informed consciences because they are not going to hear it from anywhere else.
    Patricia Halligan

  19. Garth (Penglase), since you are “concerned that we have an increasing number of hard-line abortionists, gay activists, atheists, socialists and even communists vying for political power”, how about joining Family First, Christian Democrats, DLP or … one of the mainline parties and trying to increase the Christian influence in that party?

    Graeme Cumming

  20. Paul Evans wrote “If we agree that homosexuals in Australia are in the minority (let’s say 1-2%?? at the moment – it matters not because a minority they are). You appear to argue that despite being a minority Homosexuals should still be permitted to exercise its voice to place into Australian law “Homosexual Morality”.”

    Well, that’s not quite what Paul said, but that is exactly what the homosexual apologists do say.

    That’s why the Christian do have and must take up the responsibility (not the “right”) to proclaim God’s law.

    Graeme Cumming

  21. In the Britain, in the House of Lords, a few years back, Baroness Howarth of Breckland, said on the issue of gay adoption rights,

    ‘My Lords, I speak without a prepared speech but with a heavy heart. As a Christian woman, I find this an extraordinarily difficult and distressing debate. It is distressing because we are not really prepared to face the fundamental issue. I have listened to speeches in which noble Lords have said, “We respect gay people, but…”. The issue is not about rights; if it were, we would not be having this debate. It is about whether noble Lords accept gay people as equal human beings. Two hundred years ago, William Wilberforce made a speech in Parliament that freed black people to be equal human beings. I hope that this evening your Lordships will vote for these regulations. I have some quarrel with the way in which the regulations have been brought forward, but I hope that noble Lords will vote to underline that gay people are equal human beings with others. I say this as a Christian woman. I have listened to the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of York, and I listened to the Catholic archbishop on the radio this morning, a very dear and wonderful man…’

    But Wilberforce did not work to make black people human; it was precisely because they were already fully human, made in the image of God – not determined by evolution to behave mechanistically but free to behave with dignity and responsibility – that he worked to free them from oppression, slavery and bondage. To suggest that the fundamentalist Christian is in some way denying the homosexual the freedom to become fully human is a disgraceful travesty of the beliefs and work of William Wilberforce. Jesus Christ said It would be better for someone to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than for them to cause children to be led astray, as is happening on an industrial scale with sex education programmes being promoted by this present government and which she no doubt would endorse.
    Sodomy, buggery, fisting, rimming, water sports, felching, scats, coprophilia, sado-masochism, whipping, giving the gift and bondage are dehumanising homosexuals and lesbians. Such bestial acts reduce them to lumps of meat. Such acts do indeed lead to slavery, bondage and addictions that sooner or later lead to an early death and are totally inconsistent with the aims of Jesus Christ and William Wilberforce.


    Society is not free, it conforms to the pattern of this world or to the reality constructed for us by those in control of the media. Here the Christian will always be out of step with the rest of society and will mistakenly be accused of trying to impede progress. When they say that the Christian faith is subjective and irrational, whereas Evolutionary Humanism or Hegelianism is objective, we challenge them to communicate this. It is their philosophy or ideology which is subjective, irrational and therefore incommunicable.

    David Skinner, UK

  22. Paul you say that “For us to attempt to legislate our sense of morality upon 90% of the population is simply not practical and I believe could be unethical. Importantly, such “morality legislation” would include but not be limited to legislating against: adultery, divorce [apart than divorce effected because of adultery], as well as homosexuality and fornication.”

    Well it must be obvious to anyone – except to appeasers and those who wish to deny the obvious – that another morality is being imposed upon us that is totally incompatible with the Christian world views. One has to give way. Jesus said in Matthew 6: 24″No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

    Our children will be forced, not merely to tolerate adultery and fornication, but to celebrate it. They will conform.


    David Skinner, UK

  23. Hi Bill, Jereth and Paul,

    I think one of the idols of our times is the principle “if it doesn’t harm anyone else then it’s OK”

    Western humanists, of course, use this to replace the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule as the basis of their morality. But sadly Christians too, seem tempted to use this extra-Biblical principle as the test of acceptable civil law rather than the Word of God.

    The main problem is that Christians who use it often seem unaware that they are unwittingly smuggling in the humanists’ definition of “harm”. I would say, and I think the Bible as well as secular research agrees with me here that two consenting homosexuals are doing harm both to one another, their families and society at large. So homosexuality does in fact harm others and so should be outlawed even according to this principle. Arguing that it’s only if the harm is intended is no solution, as the cases of drug pushing, the sale of ultra violent video games etc. make clear.

    I believe Christians must look to when God himself gave laws to Israel to determine the bounds of acceptable civil law. He certainly didn’t use this principle in the way humanists mean it, as the laws concerning homosexuality, blasphemy and apostasy confirm.

    So why do we think we now know better than God? I know many do not believe the OT civil laws are binding, but my point is that even if they aren’t binding, doesn’t it follow that it’s still at least wise to adopt God’s laws and principles as actually found in Scripture?

    Some may also argue that the principle is similar to the Golden Rule, and this supersedes the OT civil law. But this cannot be. We must keep in mind the distinction between laws given to individuals and laws given to the state. Otherwise we would have judges letting murderers and rapists off, because if they were in the position of the accused that is the way they would like to be treated … wait, actually we do have that happening today … I think my point is made!

    Mansel Rogerson

  24. David Skinner, thanks for your John Adam’s quote. A Liberal Democracy is a pipe dream in my opinion simply because it relies on good will.
    Stan Fishley

  25. @Graeme indeed, was more involved with CDP before, maybe should be again. Apart from currently lobbying pollies etc. I think I need to get more involved in the specific organisations such as Right To Life NSW, and increase my involvement in supporting my local Chaplaincy bodies etc.
    Garth Penglase

  26. The leftist appeal to moral neutrality is blatant sleight-of-hand the most notable and influential proponent of which was the philosopher John Rawls.

    Robert George has exposed Rawls’ phony appeal to neutrality in numerous publications.

    Damien Spillane

  27. So much talk about so called sex between a man and a man! What about a man and a woman and the beautiful babies born as a result of this loving union! All I hear day after day is talk promoting same sex everything!! Women bear our babies, beautiful mothers nurture our future generation. Sorry if you want to have sex with whoever and whatever, don’t try and liken this to our amazing Aussie families of which I am one! I am the oldest of eight children, my father the baby of eleven. Marriage between a man and a woman is the most solid and amazing thing ever, not only for our Aussie children but for the betterment of our Nation as a whole.
    Jane Byrne

  28. It seems to me that in most Western nations there were indeed at one time laws of some form or another against homosexuality, adultery, and fornication. Perhaps it is the case that the founders of Western civilisation knew some truths that many people today including many Christians seem to have forgotten. Perhaps also such laws have their basis in the Bible? Could it possibly be a consequence of Western nations becoming more secularised and less Christian that these sexual perversions have been decriminalised and are now, as a consequence, far more socially acceptable and commonplace?

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  29. Hi Ewan,

    You’re absolutely right. One has to laugh at the naivity of progressive ‘christians’. It doesn’t seem to worry them that just as the influence of the Christian worldview has indisputably declined in the west; they think the laws are getting better and better!

    Mansel Rogerson

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