Safe Schools Program: What’s all the Fuss?

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Safe Schools Program: What’s all the Fuss?

2 March 2016 Hits:27598

Over the past week the Safe Schools program (SCAA) has featured in the news with some in the Federal Coalition calling for a review. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ordered the independent review last Tuesday and it will be completed by mid-March.  Safe Schools is a school education program aimed at promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & Intersex (LGBTI) students. The teaching manual was set up by Labor but launched by the Coalition in 2014.

The main concern appears to be the age-appropriateness of what is being taught to 11 year-olds. Other concerns include some of the links from the program to websites that promote concerning material. For example, The Minus 18 website (Australia’s largest youth-led network for gay, bi, lesbian and trans teens) has an article instructing kids on how to “Cover their tracks” on the Internet.

Another link leads to an article on how to make your own sex toys, finding women to teach cross-dressing skills, healthier and safer ways to bind your chest, an online sex shop and so on.

Seeing that $8 million of federal money is being used to support this program the government has every right to call a review – and any tax payer has a right to express their opinion on this. While some are calling for all funding to be withdrawn and the program to be axed, the review could lead to some healthy modifications to SCAA so that it is fairer and more age-appropriate.

In the meantime there seems to be plenty of unhelpful mudslinging from both “sides” of the debate. For example, Katherine Hudson on the New Matilda site writes, The prejudiced views of Senator Cory Bernardi and his rightist droogs are shared by many dictators, despots and despicable leaders, including Putin, Kim Jong-un, Mugabe, and ISIS terrorists. Those who’ve come out against the Safe Schools Program aren’t reasonable conservatives, they’re homophobic reactionaries, who want a return to ‘the days of the old school yard’ where LGBTIQ students lived in fear and silence.” This sort of rant is singularly unhelpful. Just because someone asks questions doesn’t make them a homophobic reactionary. I’m asking questions but I’m neither reactionary nor homophobic – in fact I’m just the opposite and have received my fair share of criticism over the years for speaking graciously towards LGBTI people and suggesting the Christian Gospel includes ALL people!

The hateful emails that some politicians have received about the Safe Schools program are also unhelpful – even more so when they are sent by people professing the Christian faith. Surely genuine Christian behaviour should include things like love, kindness, gentleness and self-control. It saddens me greatly when Christians fail to present their Christianity Christianly!

So, where to from here? Of course we’ll have to wait for the review. Personally I hope the SCAA program isn’t shut down but I do hope it’s modified. Having a school program that is aimed at increasing our understanding of one another and decreasing bullying is a worthy goal, but I believe the current Safe Schools program is too narrow. While it’s more than appropriate to educate teenagers about the diversity of human sexuality, it’s also vital that we educate them about diversity in other areas too – such as culture, race, and religion. For example, classmates often pick on our youngest daughter because of her Christian faith (and she attends a Christian based school).

Bullying takes place for any number of reasons and it would be helpful for all teenagers to have age-appropriate teaching that seeks to help them deal with it in healthy ways. Over the past few days I’ve had a number of conversations with teenagers and all of them have told me the number one cause of bullying in schools has to do with body image (being too fat, too thin, having red hair etc.). It was the same when I was in high school in the 70s. We had a gay guy in our class and he was really cool. No one ever picked on Graham. But lots of people picked on the overweight Italian guy. In making this statement I do not want to underestimate what LGBTI teens face at school. I’m sure many of them experience bullying and that certainly needs to be addressed through education.

Secondly, on highly personal and potentially divisive topics such as human sexuality it’s vital that parents be involved. With the current model, there’s some material in the Safe Schools program that encourages students to go behind their parents’ backs. It also deals with topics that may go against parents’ beliefs and values. Parents currently have no choice whether their children attend the Safe Schools program if their school is a member school of SSCA. There’s no way to “opt out.” I believe this needs to change as well, much like it has for Christian Religious Instruction.

Thirdly, if you’re a concerned parent then I encourage you to speak to your children’s school and ask good questions. Also speak with your children, ask them what they’re learning at school and allow good discussion to occur. Christie and I have wonderful conversations with our girls on a whole range of subjects. We’ve talked about how important it is to be kind and respectful to all people including LGBTI people. Obviously these discussions are age-appropriate – we speak in much more detail with our 17 year old than we do with our 14 year old. Our seven year old is too young for in-depth discussion on human sexuality. We’re trying to allow her to maintain the innocence that a seven year old should be able to enjoy. Parents should be allowed to choose when, where and how they talk to their children about LGBTI issues.

Teenagers (and all people) need to understand the difference between acceptance and agreement.  Just because we accept someone, and choose to be kind and gracious towards him or her, doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything they do, say or believe.

On the issue of sexuality there are people who, because of religious or cultural reasons or just personal opinion, consider any sexual behaviour other than that between a man and woman in the covenant of marriage to be wrong.  Others disagree.  We all need to learn respect for other people’s opinions even if they are different to our own and, while we’re at it, let’s stop the name calling towards those with which we disagree!

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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37 replies on “Safe Schools Program: What’s all the Fuss?”

Grahamsays:

Excellent blog it is a shame we cannot debate issues without the insults
Well done
You’re doing a great job

Grant Kirbysays:

Excellent article Rob. Those criticising the ACL and the politicians, aided by the media, seem to be attempting to turn this into a pro or anti LGBTI debtate. It is actually not about that at all, but as you point out, one about the appropriateness of the messages that the so called “Safe Schools” program delivers to children.

Steve Bryarsays:

I am a heterosexual Christian and although many years ago now, I was bullied mercilessly at school and more recently in my last place of employment.

I object strongly in the way this issue has been politicized and the concept that is promoted that only LGITB people are victims of bullying and harassment.

I am not impressed by the behaviour of Bill Shorten and Daniel Andrews and both have displayed behaviours in the past that is typical of those who bully others. Calling Cory Bernardi a “homophobe” because he has raised legitimate concerns about the “Safe Schools” program is a behaviour that troubles me from the alternative Prime Minister of this country.

I hope they scrap the “Safe Schools” program and replace it with a more balanced program that covers bullying and harassment in a more holistic manner.

Fritz Rogersays:

Well said, Steve Bryar !!
Agree with you, 100% !

Bryansays:

Beautifully and sensitively and thoughtfully said Rob. Thank you.

Daviniasays:

Great post on such a hot topic at the moment.

Lisasays:

Excellent blog Rob. I hope they do look into this program. Believe excellent point about parents option for opt out and understanding what is being taught to their children. With sex education coming even earlier, movies, peers and porn it’s hard to protect innocence now. My sons try block their ears or cover their eyes but sex ed you can’t do that.

Investment in diet education, depression and bullying overall would be good. Kids have issues to deal with that sometimes need counselling professionally. Mental health is another big area I would like to see invested in rather than this narrow program. Broaden the scope of keeping.

Merryn Pattersonsays:

“Parents should be allowed to choose when, where and how they talk to their children about LGBTI issues.”- Amen! We should be protecting the innocence of children for as long as we feasibly can. When it’s time to educate on these matters, I want to know that I have had the first conversation about it with my child, not someone who may or may not share my view of age appropiateness/ acceptable content.

Jen Broadhurstsays:

For many families it’s the child who decides when to talk about “these issues”-

For example: when the child decides to come out; or when they are inquisitive; or when they themselves don’t, or their family / friends don’t, fit the heteronormative construct; or when they’re hurt and don’t understand why they can’t play with certain toys without bring picked on by their peers; or when they are “made to” wear a dress; or when they’re “not allowed” to wear a dress… The list goes on.

The point is: you’re not protecting the innocence of your child, your projecting discrimination and shaming of others who are different from yourself. It feels very strange to me, a well adjusted, educated, and moral adult, to hear that children are being sanctioned as an excuse to distance yourself from “LGBTIQAP matters”, that have a time and place in your life.

But I’ll just wait until your children educate you.

Gregory Colbysays:

“Parents should be allowed to choose when, where and how they talk to their children about LGBTI issues.”-

I disagree – far too many parents – especially Chistian parents, have no idea how to deal with their son or daughter being Gay – It is not the parents issue- it is not the parents who are being bullied, it is not the parents experiencing doubts and being insecure about who they are – it is the young person and they ned to be empowered to take control of the conversations about their own sexuality.

Chris Hillsays:

I always enjoy your point of view Rob. That said, it was hard hearing about your little one getting bullied for being Christian. Ugh. Christians really are marginalised in Australia. No wonder though the way some Christians bang on!

And yes… You are doing a great job.

Many thanks for your tireless service

(Although I bet you get tired!)

Chris H

Sean McMartinsays:

Well written piece Rob!

No one likes a bully, the bully might be tolerated or ignored but everyone knows that sooner or later the bully might turn on them next. Equipping teenagers to handle bullies in a variety of ways is important. I think that many people are concerned that the safeschools program has gone far further than it ought when it comes to dealing with bullying. I am not sure if I want it “wound back” or “pushed back” to be honest.

When I read articles in the mainstream media about the Marxist anti-family agenda behind the safeschools curriculum I find it difficult to accept and I find myself becoming intolerant towards the program. Primary school kids are incredibly impressionable and I don’t want my sons thinking that this material is okay. I would applaud an F in any assignment – or even class if necessary – where my child was forced to interact with this thought process.

I haven’t abused anyone over this issue – or similar issues – and I won’t. I will ask questions to try and understand the motivations, desires and intentions behind both the subtle and overt influential shifts in the collective thought process.

This issue and the same-sex marriage issue – which seems to be inextricably linked – are not going to go away quickly. Having a useful working solution is vital in a cutting-edge, Christ-centred church setting. The insults don’t help because I dislike being attacked as much as anyone else. I suspect that this issue will heat up a fair bit more before conclusions have been made, in both the spheres of the church and politics.

The next few weeks promise to be very interesting.

Sean McMartin

Shanesays:

Dude there is nothing Marxist anti-family about caring for gay students.

That’s the sort of rot that turns most people away from your god.

Of course you could always send them to a Christian school where there are no gays……

Jen Broadhurstsays:

This article and it’s responses clearly have a very limited understanding of the work Safe Schools does.

Safe Schools is not an “anti bullying” campaign, though that’s a highly beneficial by-product. It’s purpose is to support young people who experience gender and identity as different to their biological sex organs and the societal constructs applied to them.

It does this through supporting the individual, the family, and their communities to create a safe space for the person to be and exist in the world. Many of the families and schools that approach Safe Schools for help (yes, they are approached, not the other way around) have children under ten who are seeking support and affirmation to be themselves. It’s about allowing that young person to feel at ease with their body, love and respect themselves, be accepted for who they are and feel included in society. References questioning the age appropriateness of the material are misinformed on two levels:

1. The children seeking affirmation are often of primary school age, and the program needs to be delivered to this demographic.

2. The material is developed by highly experienced and trained educational workers with a strong understanding of curriculum.

The commentary around links from the Minus18 website is misrepresented and highly edited, furthering the argument that these recent debates from the right are bias and have a discriminatory agenda, lacking transparency.

Safe Schools is also not a portal for the debates we have around religion, race, or other topics that can divide us. It’s a specific program designed to provide support and assistance to a targeted minority in our community who have a long history of struggle, difference, discrimination, violence, abuse, difficulties with physical and mental health, depression and suicide.

This is important work. It saves lives. It transforms the lived experience of many at-risk young people who deserve physical, mental, and social well-being; and the right to be fully supported in this.

Philip J. Raymentsays:

“Safe Schools is not an “anti bullying” campaign…”
So you’re admitting that the name is very misleading?

“The material is developed by highly experienced and trained educational workers with a strong understanding of curriculum.”
And the program was, reportedly (https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2016/03/dumb-sodomy-cash/) initiated by a Marxist with no doctorate and no qualifications in medicine or psychology, and did not consult with child psychiatrists nor paediatricians and the like.

“The commentary around links from the Minus18 website is misrepresented and highly edited, …”
Yet you don’t say how it is wrong.

“…furthering the argument that these recent debates from the right are bias (sic) and have a discriminatory agenda, lacking transparency.”
Back at you, given that you didn’t actually point out any error.

“Safe Schools is also not a portal for the debates we have around religion, race, or other topics that can divide us. ”
So we need a program to support that tiny minority of boys who think they are girls and the like, but not to support that larger minority of Christians who get bullied for their views? Or overweight children who get bullied for being overweight? I guess it shows where your priorities lie. Shouldn’t we have a program to tell all the bullies that they shouldn’t bully because it’s okay to be overweight and it’s also okay to be Christian?

“…targeted minority in our community who have a long history of struggle, difference, discrimination, violence, abuse, difficulties with physical and mental health, depression and suicide.”
Not as long a history as Christians have had, and are still having, thanks nowadays to the intolerance of alphabet-gender promoters.

Johnsays:

Well put, Rob, Too much hype from both sides of the fence. I believe that it could be a good program if modified and diversified to include all types of harassments and bullying. Change is a fact of life, and as Christians we need to be accepting of that, but continue to show everyone the love and grace of God, just as Christ has done for us.

Sharon Roussossays:

In regards to the “age appropriateness” concerns. It is well known that children from primary school age and younger can question their gender identity that society prescribes even before they are born. It is never to early to have conversations with kids about this stuff. To make them feel loved, listened to and to breed open mindedness and understanding of just how beautiful difference is this world can be. Heterosexuality is normalised in this world as should all other forms of sexuality and gender identities.

David Moirsays:

In all seriousness, have you actually looked at the program? You’re linking to sites like Minus 18 but they are totally separate from safe schools, and even then the articles you’re condemning concern issues that are totally relevant and appropriate for young teens.
All of your concerns are actually addressed in the program. All of the issues you raise and have concerns about, like bullying in general, are addressed in the program.

Did you know that some estimates put the number of interesex children above those that have red hair. And yet, I’d put big money down that you’ve never had a conversation with your children about what this even means. This is why these kinds of things need to be taught in schools. Because some parents avoid teaching basic facts about things they personally find ‘icky’ as a result of their religious ideology.

I think in the spirit of being honest, you should rewrite this article to be reflective of what is actually involved, and be upfront about not understanding it, and I suspect of not actually reading the document.

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Thank you for your comments David. In answer, YES I spent several hours
reading through the Safe Schools Program before I wrote the blog and the
links to other websites such as Minus18 are part of the course. I don¹t
think it¹s particularly helpful to refer to statistics to say why we
should teach about Intersex people. Of course teenagers should be taught
about differences in gender and human sexuality but, for the record, 1 in
1500 to 1 in 2000 people are born Intersex whereas Red hair occurs
naturally in 1­2% of the human population. It occurs more frequently
(2­6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry. But that¹s not
the point. ALL issues that relate to bullying need to be addressed to make
our schools truly safe. Finally, you said, “I’d put big money down that
you’ve never had a conversation with your children about what this even
means.² When you say ³big money² how much would you actually like to
donate? My eldest daughters and I have had many conversations about the
variety of human sexuality – including Intersex. As a family – and a
church – we are kind and inclusive towards all people despite our many
differences. I look forward to receiving your donation but would ask that
you give this to the work Bayside Church does to relieve poverty and
hardship rather than to me personally. Donations can be made anytime via
the church website¹s Online Giving button. Thank you in advance for your
generosity.

Ann Youngsays:

I feel quite sad when I see that Christians are ok with the safe schools program being accepted as fine for their children to be indoctrinated with. The woman behind this is trying to do the exact opposite to what the bible says is ok and that is to normalise sin. No decent Godly person would want to see any LGITB person bullied or harassed nor any other student who may have been bullied for other reasons. My family has experienced this first hand with our daughter who was bullied but lets not accept the propaganda being fed to our children by a woman whose sole intention is to bring forth her own agenda as a gay woman to introduce marriage equality and in her own words bring about a broader marxist strategy to change society.Her agenda is not aligned with the biblical agenda we as christians are supposed to adhere to. Love gentleness and kindness towards all people of all diversity is required but not accepting the normalisation of sin. Stand up Christians, don’t step aside and accept this for our children and grandchildren. Isaiah 5.20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Shanesays:

As usual education becomes politicized by those pushing their own agenda and haven’t been anywhere near a school in years.

Yes there were gay students when we were at school but they were too scared to talk to anyone.

Christians seem happy about that.

neil bauclhsays:

It is extremely sad to see ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ being apologists for the social engineers who are determined to force homosexuality onto our children at such a young age, and all in the pretence of being ‘fair minded’.

Strange how Jesus was not very ‘fair minded’ about sin and made a point of exposing it, but we reinvent a ‘very nice’ Jesus who was all-accommodating.

We are now so compromised by the political correctness that we cannot be the true voice of God any more.

“Oh Lord open our eyes, please save us from these fleshly traditions of men and make us holy again.”

G ail kinsellasays:

I AM IN AGREEMENT WITH SCRAPING THE WHOLE IDEA .. ON SAFE SCHOOLS .& WHY HAVE WE NEVER PUT A PROGRAM ON BULLING “” THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TEACHING KIDS THINGS THAT SHOULD BE TAUGHT .BY THEIR ” PARENTS ” THEY THE ONES WHO KNOW WHAT CHILD IS READY THINGS ……WHO GIVES THE SCHOOLS OR ANYONE OTHER THAN THE PARENTS TO TEACH CHILDREN THINGS THEY MIGHT NOT BE READY TO HEAR ….

Neil Aitchisonsays:

There have been media articles saying how the “Safe Schools” program teaches children about sex and sexuality, and right along side them, there are other articles saying how “child-on-child” sex abuse is rife….the obvious connection is that when children learn about adult-only sex issues, they are too young and immature to handle the information responsibly thereby leading the children to have “play sex” (that’s what the children call it) or doing “pretend sex” (their words) to make out that what they are doing isn’t real sex when it actually is. The result is children getting sexually active at pre-teen ages with devastating results. Connecting the dots between irresponsible child “sex talk” and irresponsible child “sex action” is very easy. And where is abstaining from sex until you get married mentioned in all of this??….it’s never mentioned!….God’s sacred use of sex within marriage is COMPLETELY ignored. The result is widespread hurt by pre-marital, unprotected, (sometimes forced) child sex just to be cool or because they have sexual concepts introduced into their unprepared minds that spark a curiosity to experiment with it. The bully kids can rape other kids and get away with it because they say it is only “play/pretend” sex. Needless to say, the sex acts are in ALL shapes and forms…..PARENTS: please beware of what can happen to your children. This is the inevitable result of sexualizing our young people.

Sometimes the truth hurts. Exposing “unSafe Schools” for what it is and exposing the same sex agenda is a good thing because it shows that our human desires (sin?) cannot override reality, but rather reality overrides our desires. For some people to try to undermine the family unit and create the illusion of “moral relativism” which destroys society (as my example above is just one example) is creating discussion and critical thinking. The more, the better. Is our biological sex determined by nature or nurture?….it’s obviously the former. Is our gender different to our sex?….nope!….it’s only the subjective, post-modernist person of the “progressive” gay mindset who thinks that redefining words can somehow change reality. Since when is “progress” always a good thing anyhow? It’s all just tricky word-smithing and targeting the naive young children of our society (without parental approval) because they are easy pickings. Make-believe “medical” reports just facilitate the illusion. The separation of “sex” (male/female biology) and “gender” is the latest attempt to trick people – because the biological make-up of a man and a woman is SOOOOO obvious, the same sex lobby has conceded that your biology (your anatomy) has either man parts or woman parts. QED. …..but now you can have “gender” which is the male/female/other that you “feel” you want to be – this is what the “unSafe Schools” program is ultimately teaching. So you can feel like you are a “man” (gender) in a woman’s body (sex) or a “woman” (gender) in a man’s body (sex)…..or you can be both “man and woman” (fluid gender) in a man or woman body (sex)…..or a “man” in a man or woman body but dressing in a woman way or visa versa…..or a “both gender” in a body that needs added hormones and body parts snipped off…..or a tuck and nip penis/breast body adaptation in a fluid-trans-intersex-hetro/homo gender. Can you imagine how totally screwed up in the head these poor children will be as they grow up through their teenage years and then have to actual “decide” what “gender” they feel like for the rest of their lives – that’s right…..once the physical anatomy has been changed in their young, immature years, their bodies cannot be reversed back when they wise up and make a mature decision to be heterosexual in a God-given way.

It is inevitable now that schools will be polarised into “gay schools” and “non-gay schools” as the “gay schools” shout homophobia at anyone who does not want to be a homosexual (it will be a witch-hunt on all the time to “catch-out” the heterosexual and spew abuse at them just like Bill Shorten did to Cory Bernardi – no one wants to be on the run from the homo hit squad all day long) and the “non-gay schools” who are sick in the gut of having rampant hedonistic humanism/atheism shoved down our throats and so they want to live in peace by teaching their children the 3Rs and decency. The creators of the “Safe School” program obviously didn’t think through how their initiative will cause polarised “gay schools” and “non-gay schools” that will now eventuate – that is the path that we are now heading down. For schools/universities to support such a destructive program like “unSafe Schools”, it drags down their reputations and has me, for one, warning people not to send their children to such institutions – parents will vote with their feet (and their wallets) by not sending children to skewed schools/universities that are only into political activism and not into educating people.

What a disgraceful joke!

….and there are gay-only groups that teach people how to have gay relationships, gay sex, etc….so much for homosexuality being “normal/natural” if you have to be taught it….and it is discrimination to make the group a gay-only group (oh….that’s right…..discrimination and abuse only works one way, the heterosexuals have to cop it).

The Labor Leader, Mr Shorten, prompted and provoked a response from Senator Bernardi – Mr Shorten said “That would be the chap” first thereby prompting and provoking a response from Senator Bernardi. Many media articles fail to mention this but rather pretend that Mr Shorten was bullied for no reason and he used the Safe Schools program to deal with the “bully Bernardi”. No one should prompt or provoke hostility whether in the parliament or the play ground. If people think that what Mr Shorten did is acceptable and that the Safe Schools program encourages LGBTIQ (did I miss a letter?) children to similarly go around prompting and provoking hostility in schools and then crying “victim” when they get criticized, then the Safe Schools project is indeed as dangerous as Senator Bernardi says. The more that we are finding out about this “unSafe Schools” program, the more dangerous it becomes. Mis-reporting by people is causing a growing resentment and disgust against same sex marriage and if the media thinks that the Australian public are too stupid to see through skewed reporting, they are wrong. The same sex marriage lobby group keeps doing this sort of thing over-and-over again and it shows how devious and dishonest they are. The media should not be adopting the same devious and dishonest tactics in their reporting.

The “unSafe Schools” program tells kids that gender is fluid and sexuality is not definable. It tells kids that Gender is how you feel. The program encourages kids to classify themselves while simultaneously denigrating such classification. It is a view of human sexuality and gender which is entirely constructed and removed from reality. It teaches kids that their personal feelings are paramount and that they should expect EVERYONE to affirm them. It makes kids who choose to be LGBTIQ hypersensitive and on the lookout for anything that might remotely be classified as bullying. The entire foundation of the programme is constructed on conjecture and dodgy use of statistics.

Also, there is no homophobia…..just a different opinion. People who disagree with same sex relationships simply disagree, nothing more. Calling it homophobia is a cop out for not having a legitimate reason to have a same sex relationship and so to silence your critics, you use emotive name calling. The whole name calling stunt has worn out and people are not put off by being called homophobia, hate speecher or bigot because name calling is an acknowledgement that you have lost the argument. If equality is what the same sex marriage advocates want, then equality for all types of marriage would be allowed. To limit their marriage re-definition to only include “two consenting adults” is being unequal to the people wanting other forms of marriage – so it is quite a big lie to claim that SSM is “marriage equality”. If you want to save money on a “wasteful” plebiscite, then simply leave the Marriage Act as it is – no cost involved then!…..but the same sex lobby pushing for a change are creating the cost.

The same sex lobby have used the Anti-discrimination Act to try and silence the Roman Catholic Church in Tasmania…..so already this bully tactic has been used. The Australian Christian Lobby are addressing this existing misuse of the Anti-discrimination Act and simply saying that such bully tactics should not be used by anyone (either the “yes” side or the “no” side) to silence people and stop free speech. The way that the media has made out the ACL are wanting favouritism or somehow circumventing the Anti-discrimination Act is further evidence of how devious and deceitful the SSM advocates are. The obvious outcome is that it will backfire and more and more people will be chased over to the “no’ side – that’s what happens when you lie too much for too long. 

There is no hatred, bigotry or discrimination to uphold the millennia-old understanding that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. At worst, it is just a difference of opinion, and at best, it is upholding history for a reason – opposite sex marriages are the only way that civilizations can thrive and be prosperous (you can have children to start with and then to structure ethics, honesty and decency). The family unit is vital to how society functions and when it is distorted or changed, so does society. Already, heterosexual children are told not to use the terms “boy, girl, him, her, mummy, daddy, etc” because these terms are gender specific and oppose the same-sex/transgender identification – so heterosexual people (from a very young age onwards) are impacted in thousands of ways by the same sex marriage re-definition. Plus all heterosexual marriages change from being recognised as “married to a member of the opposite sex for life” to “someone I am temporarily having sex with” which, for me, would be insulting if I was in anyway assumed to be married just for sex or to another man. So every time I say the words “I’m married”, my marriage is being damaged by the re-definition of marriage. My feelings are as valid as any homosexual’s feeling and should be equally considered seriously in the whole same sex marriage debate. Failure to do so shows that the same sex marriage issue is not about love and equality, but solely a political stunt to legalize rampant hedonism and a blatant attack on Christianity. If you want honesty, then there it is. 

The Rome Empire that had rampant hedonism and debauchery in the 1st-3rd centuries were not Christian (they killed Christians for sport in the “circuses” where lions would eat Christians) and the Emperor Constantine turned to Christianity as a way out of the horrors going on in the Roman society. So there is a perfect example of how we must also avoid the same horrors of rampant hedonism and debauchery by following the Christian teachings. In other words, we can be “saved from ourselves”. The ACL and Senator Cory Bernardi are highlighting the unfair and dishonest name-calling and dirty political tactics used by the same sex lobby group to silence their critics and shove their agenda down our throats. This will be highlighted a thousand times as the same sex lobby group continue with their dishonest bully tactics and prove the ACL to be true over-and-over-and-over again. 

Regards,

Neil Aitchison
http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/advertiser/index.html

Neil Aitchisonsays:

There is a shameless, unrelenting agenda by politicians that are openly part of the LGBTIQ (is “A” and ”P” being added on the list as well?) community and the same sex lobby group, the latter having sabotaged our public institutions, to “educate” the up-and-coming generation about their “anything-goes” sexual agenda at an early age and quash all objection. They are not content to do their own thing amongst themselves, so they are forcing their agenda on everyone, everywhere – they are getting into everything and no one is safe from their onslaught. They are using innocent sounding statements of “acceptance”, “safety”, “protection”, “equality”, “tolerance”, “respect”, “love”, etc as sly propaganda words for the perverse sexualising of society (the more recent is the attack on our innocent toddlers in kindergarten and pre-schools, in addition to the pre-teen “unSafe Schools” programs) trying to legitimise their sick agenda by quoting make-believe medical studies and authoritatively sounding “experts” – it is all social engineering and deception on a grand scale. Make no mistake, they are trying to steal our children for their own selfish political agenda leaving parents on the outer. Emotive stories from families and experiences are used to ‘put a face’ on their issues and quash any dissent to what is an unnatural lifestyle choice. It is all lies and manipulation. Don’t be fooled. It’s more than time to be vocal and stop the sexually perverted filth from poisoning the minds of our children and society as a whole. Say to your local kindergarten and schools that you don’t want children perverted with the “anything goes” sex agenda and if they won’t listen to you, then vote with your feet (and wallets) and take your children elsewhere. Also tell your local MP how disgusting it all is and that he/she should stop dancing to the tune of the sexually perverted “Pied Piper” – say that you will not give them your vote in the election….and you might even campaign against them.

It is scientifically proven that there is no “gay gene” that anyone is born with – it is a choice. It is normal for young people to have hormones wash through their bodies, and we decide whether we will handle our sexual drive with appropriate restraint to avoid the incredible damage it will do to us and others or insist we can live as we feel regardless of the consequences and then force others to accept our choice without calling them out. The most recent census states that only 2% of Australian adults have LGBTIQ leanings showing that children adopt their born sexuality once they pass into adult hood. Suicide in the LGBTIQ is because of their relationship issues (not because of people opposing them)….in other words, their lifestyle choice creates impractical relationship issues that lead to a large percentage committing suicide. The take over of our public service by these people allows all sorts of government sanctioned and endorsed materials, support groups and recruitment environments to cement these people into the LGBTIQ community contrary to facts and wisdom (at tax payers expense) – it is deplorable. The world wide LGBTIQ agenda has become coordinated and has honed their labels they use to define themselves, their push for acceptance and their total bigotry in not allowing anyone to have an opposing point of view. When confronted with scientific fact and the logical outcomes of the agenda, name calling with predefined emotive labels like bigots, haters, homophobes and transphobes are reverted to. Their name calling is an admission of defeat because they cannot dispute the arguments against homosexuality. It is emotional “brow-beating”, that’s all.

The activity that is left behind in the school yard has been allowed to flourish on social media as a tool of social engineering/indoctrination and not innocent social interaction (as all the social websites claim). Dissenting voices are howled down. Dressing up the homosexual agenda with “pretty” colours, like the rainbow and glitter, makes it all look pleasant and fun, but behind the mask is an ugly, deceitful worldview destroying lives, families and society. The clear evidence of the impact of their lifestyle choices is shouted down with online shaming, financial recriminations, indoctrination in our schools as the definition of what is acceptable is broadening. Just a couple of years ago it was only the issue of homosexuality that was pushed at every possible moment in the media and in our schools now it is transgender and sexual fluidity (gender therapy) that you can be and do whatever you want or feel and no one can call you to account on the impact it has on you and others in society around you. Talk about screwing up people’s minds and lives – this is the ultimate “if it feels good, do it” philosophy causing the worst possible outcome. The physical, emotional and psychological damage that is done to LGBTIQ people and the broader community is as extreme as any worn-torn or disease-ridden country….and it is all self-inflicted by slick marketing and “overwhelm the opposition” strategies.

The options of ‘unnatural’ diverse/fluid sexuality that we are all ‘educated’ to accept, tolerate, turn a blind eye to and endorse will only increase and broaden to include untold acts of debauchery…..along with the perverted sexualisation of naive children leading to horrific “child-on-child” sex abuse, child grooming for sexual predators, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and a new generation of stolen children. The scars will run deep and where will be the same sex lobby group to help all the victims and solve the horror that they cause?…..hiding behind their “love” and “equality” banners living in their dream world of “do-anything-you-want-without-accepting-the-consequences”. Are our political leaders so easily fooled by all this – it seems so…..in fact they are trying to out do each other in the race to the bottom of the abyss.

http://www.users.on.net/~mec/evangelical/advertiser/index.html

Philip J. Raymentsays:

I agree with much that you wrote Rob, but there’s a few points I’d make.

“In the meantime there seems to be plenty of unhelpful mudslinging from both “sides” of the debate.”
You go on to quote Katherine Hudson being downright vile. But what mudslinging has occurred form the other side? Some e-mails that are allegedly from Christians, but no Christians are identified, and none of their comments are repeated! In other words, clear evidence of the anti-Christian side showing their bigotry, but only vague unsupported claims about Christians doing the same. That doesn’t seem sufficient grounds to suggest that both sides have been just as bad.

“While it’s more than appropriate to educate teenagers about the diversity of human sexuality,…”
You mean: male and female?

“There’s no way to “opt out.” I believe this needs to change as well, much like it has for Christian Religious Instruction.”
Umm, yeah! In Victoria at least, Christian Religious Education has always been opt-out, until recently when it was altered to opt-in, then more recently to not being allowed (except outside school hours). So yes, Safe Schools should change in the same way!

Mel Betsays:

Hi there Phillip,

We definitely need to make Schools a safe place for all children. That would include everyone, even the ones with a diversity of opinions and even those with religion!
Please watch and share my short animations here
http://www.ruffnreddy.org
The aim is to get parents asking the question, is my child’s School safe?

Mel Bet
artist

Rob Buckinghamsays:

Before the Safe Schools Program review has even been completed, it’s now being announced that Toddlers will be taught about sex, sexuality and cross-dressing in a controversial national program being rolled out at childcare centres and kindergartens next month because “Children are sexual beings.” Has our education system totally lost the plot? http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/toddlers-to-be-taught-about-crossdressing-in-controversial-sex-ed-program/news-story/7b935bb2e1573c1b2e748755d0f18986

Davidsays:

Safe Schools sounds good, well in title only.
But of course that depends on how you view it. From view point of young and impressionable children. (All at school being taught or even a subtle version of brainwashing). Peer Pressure? Call it what you will.
Gays and all deserve a safe place, yes, even some understanding. The fact is anyone anywhere does, especially Children. But that does not give the rite to give them more understanding or acceptance than any other member of society.
Big problem here we are normalizing what is not normal. We are making it trendy, if we accept this direction Govt. forcing it on all of us. Well I don’t Know….Just go back a few Decades. Was this acceptable back then, NO. In fact Homosexuality was Illegal. I think that may have been unfair, simply because it does not truly deal with the situation. But it was Illegal. What supports this is the Natural Word, Religion, Tradition and so on. It existed within these groups, Yes. But so to speak, it was kept in the Closet (maybe. Where it should be). Do not normalize this practice. Make the schools all safe for all people, Yes. But by doing this you will create splinter factions within schools, etc and just hide the problem.
It is not normal, this is dangerous Govt policy of a sick and worsening World. Obviously only a symptom but one of many symptoms. A dangerous position from many points of view, Human development, Religion and so on.
Australia such a good and accepting nation. Question is what are we accepting?

Shanesays:

Early Childhood Australia have posted a rebuttal saying there is no truth in the article.

Jennysays:

My daughter was bullied by the gay boy in her class for being christian. No one had picked on him first, he had been indoctronated by the media and his support group to hate christians and so was blasted for being ‘homophobic’ even though she had never treated him, or others, with anything other than the respect due to a fellow human being.
Christian bullying is perfectly acceptable aparently. Don’t see anyone making an issue about how miserably kids are treated for their faith. Bigotry goes both ways and quite often it is those who see themselves as victims who are the most bigoted.

Shanesays:

Bullying isn’t tolerated in any schools though yes it happens. There are anti-bullying strategies in every school. This one happens to target the cause of bullying people over their sexuality.

“As many as 93 percent of teenagers hear derogatory words about sexual orientation at least once in a while, with more than half of teens surveyed hearing such words every day at school and in the community.
Negative name-calling and harassment about sexual orientation can be harmful to all students. Three out of four students who are bullied with such remarks are not identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (GLBTQ). These derogatory comments are often used broadly to inflict harm in a school setting.
Seventy-eight percent of gay (or believed to be gay) teens are teased or bullied in their schools and communities, a percentage significantly higher than for heterosexual youth.
According to findings from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety report, in 2003, 12 percent of students ages twelve to eighteen reported that someone at school had used hate-related words against them, and 36 percent of students saw hate-related graffiti at school during the previous six months. One percent reported that the hate-related words concerned their sexual orientation.
A national survey of 760 students, ages twelve to seventeen, indicates that the most likely group to be bullied are “kids who are gay or thought to be gay.” Most teens (78 percent) said that they disapproved of anti-gay teasing or bullying.
In a nationally representative sample of nearly 3,500 students ages thirteen to eighteen, one-third reported that students in their school are frequently harassed because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation.”

http://www.violencepreventionworks.org/public/bullying_sexual_orientation.page

It’s pretty bizarre the way Christians are reacting about this……

santos mattersays:

Informative ideas ! I Appreciate the details ! Does anyone know where my assistant could get a fillable Parental Consent Forms copy to work with ?

Marian Chicksays:

Hi santos matter. my colleague completed a sample Parental Consent Forms copy here http://goo.gl/32z4lH

Teresa cairnssays:

Dear Pastor Rob,
Sad you think safe schools should be continued. The writers of program have very concerning beliefs that are not evidence based and as a teacher I think children should be protected fiercely. I’ve read a lot of program (not all) and I just can’t equate it with The Holiness of our God and how He calls us to be holy to. I understand our holiness comes through Jesus death and resurrection but
that death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit also empowers through Christ anyone who believes to live a Godly pure life. A close friend of mine has deeply struggled with homosexuality but through Christ is living a light filled life always knowing Gods grace as I do to! Jesus truly is more than enough to lead a fully pure Godly life and please consider the power of the gospel for salvation and redemption and light from darkness!!!i want everyone and anyone to know wonderful powerful Jesus!!!
Love always Teresa

Elisa Rescesays:

Hi Rob, thanks for calling for balance and understanding from all sides of this (and any other) debate.

I’ve been so saddened by the ongoing misrepresentation of Safe Schools. The thing that always strikes me when I’ve tried to enter into conversations with people who either want the whole thing banned, or who just want to ‘urge caution’, I’ve always said the same thing: have you attended a training? Why don’t you attend a training? If you aren’t an educator, why don’t you speak to someone who is, and has attended the training?

The answer always seems to be a various form of, ‘not interested, I’ve done my own research, I have my own experiences’.

The two big misunderstandings (which you highlighted in your blog) were about age-appropriateness and parental choice.

I work closely with the Safe Schools program and as much as I’ve tried to reassure people and invite them to be involved, I haven’t had much luck. So I’m going to try my luck with an analogy here!

Imagine if a church decided to sign on to a ‘Welcome to Refugees’ program. After deciding with the eldership of the church that this was an issue they wanted to take more action on, the eldership made a voluntary pledge to make their church a space that was welcoming to refugees.

Workers from the ‘Welcome to Refugees’ program (let’s call them WER workers) would then come to the church and run a training session for all staff, perhaps even the whole congregation (if that’s what leadership suggested), to explain some of the issues refugees face, and how to make the church more welcoming and inclusive for them.

After the training, what the church did next would be up to…the church. WER workers would be available to perhaps look at church policies, and see if there are any areas that might need to be adapted. They might look at facilities and suggest some simple changes, if need be. They might give the church some resources and materials to use. There might be a specific refugee family that was new to the church, and WER workers could provide advice and support. The church would decide the level of support they were after.

After looking at the resources, the church might decide that some were really helpful, but others didn’t fit their context or weren’t appropriate, so they wouldn’t use those specific ones. They would use their professional judgment and choose, ultimately.

After this, the church might continue to receive email updates from the Welcome to Refugees program, with new resources and events. Or they might contact the WER workers if there was ever a situation they were unsure of and needed support with.

Of course there might be concerns for the larger church body. Some church attendees might be really opposed to signing on to the Welcome to Refugees program, worried that refugees from other religions might want to be coming to the church. And of course that would be an area of consideration: how does the church support people from different religions? Are they welcome at services, or were they for Christian refugees only? This would be something the church would need to consider, and of course WER workers from the program would be there to provide suggestions and models; the church would ultimately decide the shape of the program that fits their community. It might take time and take small steps, but it was about an ongoing commitment to reaching out to refugees.

Still, some church attendees might completely disagree, feel very unhappy that refugees from certain nations were being welcomed into the church, unhappy that their children would be exposed to cultures with practices they didn’t agree with, or unhappy to be associated with a program that had been so controversial in the media.

Ultimately those church attendees might leave, and write horrible things on Facebook about how badly they were treated by the church and how they were forced to participate in a political program they didn’t even agree with.

Still, church leadership made the commitment to Welcome Refugees because they wanted to reach out and show love to ALL people. There were tricky elements to be negotiated, of course, but they could be worked through.

That’s my analogy!

Of course it doesn’t address the issues around people’s beliefs of sexuality and gender identity, but in terms of school and parent choice, or a forced curriculum, I hope it sheds some light!

If you don’t believe me…attend a training, or if you can’t, speak to someone who has 🙂

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