About that Postal Vote

Mine finally arrived in the mail today. With a slightly heavy heart I opened it, filled it in, and have it sealed and ready to be posted tomorrow. It’s been heavy for a few reasons, but mostly because I know gay people who are pretty worked up about this vote. Not simply in anger, or in aggressive support – but worked up in anxiety and fear. I’ve shared this in various forums, but that saddens me that people I know should experience this level of angst over what they appears to be a debate about their personhood.

I’ve been asked by many to put together a list of links to read as they work out how to think through this debate. I’m under no illusion that my collection of links is exhaustive, nor am I under any thought that these links will persuade anyone on either side to switch their position. But as a resource list for those in the ‘no’ camp, these are some articles I’ve found helpful as I’ve waded into discussions on this topic.

I’ll begin with my friend Nathan Campbell’s blog – the first one in which he gave 10 (brief) reasons why he wouldn’t be voting in the plebiscite nor telling his congregation how to vote. Lest it be unclear, Nathan is not advocating for non-participation. His primary argument, if I’ve read it right (and I’d like to think I have) is that Christians living in a pluralistic democracy should participate generously in said democracy with the ‘golden rule’ as a guiding principle for engagement.

The response to that post was mostly disappointing. I think Nathan’s a great guy, theologically astute, well thought out, and generally aiming to be as winsome and engaging on these issues. So, breaking the number 1 rule on the internet, it was disappointing to see comments like this one which can be seen to be driven purely by clear homophobia and ignorance. Other comments calling out Nathan as a false teacher are clearly over the top.

But there is sometimes a glimmer of hope within the comments section, and the interaction that Ying Yee and Nathan had is well worth reading. While I’m sympathetic to Nathan’s general argument within the post, I agree more with Ying (though perhaps less pessimistically). My personal take is that I read the culture falling somewhere between how Ying and Nathan view it.

From there a few other links to consider.

George Athas wrote a few years ago why the heart of redefining marriage in order to provide equality doesn’t make much logical sense. Using the illustration of a vegan going into a steak house is helpful for working out what is really being asked in this debate.

On this current debate, Reverend Mark Durie has written, I think, the clearest argument for why marriage is about children. I’m not entirely convinced by this line of reasoning in general, but I found Mark’s post to be clearest explanation of it.

On the primary issue that Christians should focus upon, I’ll link now to Stephen McAlpine’s brilliant blog – This is Not About the Postal Vote. The main issue is not same-sex marriage. The main issue is freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Stephen also makes some insightful comments regarding the pace of the change of culture that has taken place, and the manner in which the corporate world has not only changed but also put their efforts behind the SSM push.

On the issue of human rights, this ABC article is helpful in understanding why the argument that same-sex marriage is about human rights is fundamentally flawed: because the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights have both been reluctant to define it as such. If marriage equality is such an undeniable fact then those who argue as such must grapple with why these decisions were made.

On the argument that same-sex marriage doesn’t affect anyone, this post from Andrew Bolt carries many examples of how this is not true. Bolt’s argument, however, seems to want to push Christian leaders to be more vocal in their defence of the church/Christians. To this, my friend Nathan Campbell has written a wonderful Jesus-centred response. So I link to this Bolt article not to approve of his agenda at the end, but to merely give examples of how same-sex marriage is having an effect on others. (update: here is a recent post from Quadrant online which also details how same-sex marriage has affected people in the US).

And because it seems like no one else is really doing this research, Bolt has a few other articles on ‘How Britain has changed since Gay Marriage‘, and how the Greens have confirmed that Gay Marriage is just the start. I want to be cautious about these two articles in particular – they are written in a way that can produce fear mongering, which I believe is an unbiblical response.

We must not respond in fear, but always with confident trust in Jesus, and as those in my church have seen through the last few weeks of sermons in Acts, this is how Paul responded when opposed.

There’s probably heaps more articles to have linked to. But this is a start.

Published bySteven

Steven grew up in a nominal Buddhist home, was introduced to Jesus in early university and after lengthy debate and reading came to realise that Jesus made more sense of life, meaning, morality and our ultimate destiny. Graduating from Queensland Theological College in 2011, Steven is a Pastor at his home church, SLE Church, in Brisbane, Queensland. Steven is also husband to Steph, father to Jayden, Janessa, and Eliza, and part time blogger. He also loves a good New Zealand Pinot Noir, Australian craft beer, and coffee. Though preferably not mixed together.