ECAJ responds to Christian Lobby blog

June 1, 2016 by J-Wire
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The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has criticised comments made by a representative of the Australian Christian Lobby.

The ACL’s director Lyle Shelton has blogged that he compared same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program to the Holocaust.

Lyle Shelton Photo: Twitter

Lyle Shelton Photo: Twitter

Executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Peter Wertheim told J-Wire: “Regardless of one’s views on same-sex marriage or the Safe Schools program, it is grossly inappropriate to refer to them in the same context as “unthinkable things [that] happened in Germany in the 1930s”, which involved the systematic persecution and murder of people because of their race. 

The objective effect of such a statement, despite the disclaimer that no comparison is being made to the Nazis,  is to minimise the crimes of the Nazis, and therefore to desensitise the audience to the enormity of those crimes.  Statements of this kind therefore dishonour the Nazis’ victims and falsify history. It is distressing to see this kind of discourse being promoted by a representative of a group that identifies itself as a Christian organisation.”

Shelton’s blog ‘What the Dead can Teach us about Cowardice and Weakness contains: “This may sound morbid, but I love reading the obituaries in the Economist magazine.

By the way, magazine is a misnomer these days as I am usually reading from a backlit piece of glass known as an iPad.

Nonetheless, reading about the recently dead is very instructive, especially from a magazine with a global perspective and an eye for history’s big ideas.

If the Economist deems a synopsis of your life worth publishing, it usually means you have made a contribution to geo-politics during what has been a tumultuous period of world history.

And as Ecclesiastes teaches, there is nothing new under the sun.

This weeks’ obituary was of a German expatriate, Fritz Stern, of whom I had never heard (no surprises there).

He was a child when his parents fled Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, eventually settling in America where Stern embarked on what would become a successful academic career.

Fascinated with how his country-men could willingly capitulate to the ideology of Adolf Hitler and the horrors it spawned, Stern spent a fair amount of his career exploring this.

When I read the following quote from the Economist’s obituary of Stern, I saw parallels with today.

“Hitler’s rise, he (Stern) argued, owed less to the Austrian corporal’s personality, his thuggish supporters and brutish ideas, than to his opponents’ cowardice and the weakness of Germany’s “gatekeepers” – the guardians of its cultural and moral standards.”

Now I know some of my friends in the gay community will be saying “there Shelton goes again – comparing us to Nazis”.

Not so, the issues Australia faces are bigger than the rainbow political agenda.

And I am not saying people who dissent to today’s cultural and political orthodoxy are about to be arrested by thugs wearing jackboots.

Although Archbishop Julian Porteous was recently before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission for six months for the crime of spreading Christian teaching on marriage and family.

That Labor leader Bill Shorten can promise during an election to fund the so-called “Safe Schools” program which teaches children as young as four that “only you can know if you are a boy or a girl – no one can tell you” and there be so little push back is a failure of those of us who know better.

Changing the definition of marriage to entrench motherless and fatherlessness in public policy and teaching our kids their gender is fluid should be opposed.

The cowardice and weakness of Australia’s “gatekeepers” is causing unthinkable things to happen, just as unthinkable things happened in Germany in the 1930s.

Perhaps we have moved beyond cowardice to complicity.

Whatever the case, we have much to learn from the dead.”


9 Responses to “ECAJ responds to Christian Lobby blog”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Now if the article correctly and fully states what Lyle Shelton wrote, Peter Wertheim’s comments are wide of the mark. Shelton simply wrote that social change in Germany was brought about by the failure of leaderships to resist the corrupters. That is nowhere near the same as comparing same sex marriage and the Safe(?) Schools program (read indoctrination) to the murder of millions.

    Wasn’t it Pastor Neimoller who wrote first they came for the communist and I stayed silent because I wasn’t… and when they came for me there was no one to speak up.

    Shelton is quite properly pointing out (if he is correctly quoted) that our PC society leaders are failing to take a moral stand. Heterosexuality is normal adult behaviour and underpins human society’s continuance. Speaking in favour of that does not mean that we and to discriminate against other gendered people in our society. Expressing distaste for their acts is not expressing distaste for those individuals, unless of course, they see themselves as nothing other than their non-reproductive acts.

    We need to take a moral stance to protect our society and way of life. The ECAJ should not jump on the band-wagon of every passing PC fad not howl along with every compassion cult.

    • Michael Barnett says:

      And there you go again, Paul, making all sorts of insane remarks about human sexuality, but not really knowing much about it all at.

      What is normal? Majority? Then in that case one could argue that being Jewish in Australia is not normal. You really ought to get off your hate band-wagon and stop vilifying people who don’t fit your idea of ‘normal’.

      Oh, and if you say gay people don’t procreate, you really don’t think too hard, because whilst two men can’t bring a child into this world, two men can very competently and loving raise an abandoned child that a man and a woman brought into this world.

    • james mason says:

      “Shelton is quite properly pointing out (if he is correctly quoted) that our PC society leaders are failing to take a moral stand.”

      You would prefer they take a moral stand against homosexualiity, as Hitler did?

  2. Michael Barnett says:

    As always, the Australian Christian Lobby prove they are purveyors of hate and intolerance.

  3. Eric Belcher says:

    I think the ACL’s comparison partly stems from a need to contrast the evil and absurdity of the rainbow political agenda against something. What we all forget is that it was the God of Israel who set down the instructions for abundant life. The fact that these policies offend God and His laws is the argument that should be made. All the other social arguments put to counter this agenda are somehow based foundationally on the perspective given to us in the Torah. The people behind the rainbow political agenda are essentially against the God of Israel. Radically so. (Call them out on it and see what vicious offensive bile they will pour out.)

    Ultimately, we either serve the God of Israel or we don’t. The call from believing Jews and gentile Christians should be a return to God and His ways. Everything else is eventually a total waste if time. End of story. Oh and yes, I agree the ACL is out of line with their comparison.

    • Michael Barnett says:

      Hi Eric,

      Australia is a country that has a secular constitution, where no religion is prioritised over any other religion, and where religion and lack of religion are on par.

      On that basis, your beliefs that Australians must bow down to your notion of a god is somewhat misguided. Australians are free to respect or mock your god, or just ignore you and your god.

      You want to live freely in Australia and practice your faith? You get that. But to get that and not be forced to follow another religion or prevented from following any religion, you are required to let others do whatever they want.

      On that basis, some may want to marry a person of a different religion, a person of a different skin colour, a person who has previously been married, or a person of a different sexuality to yours. And you have no right to tell any of these people who they can marry or who they cannot marry, as long as it is all consensual.

      You may think two men or two women living together, raising a family is evil, but it is a reality and there are some wonderful examples of same-sex parented families that parallel the best heterosexual families out there.

      I’m unsure why you are so defensive of your god. If your god is so amazing and powerful, surely your god will be able to look after itself, in your absence. Yes?

      I hope you are able to reflect on some of what I have written and perhaps come to the conclusion that it’s ok to live and let live. There are far bigger problems for you to deal with in this world that the happiness of the children of a married same-sex couple.

    • james mason says:

      Your views on the degeneracy of.homosexuality would.have been well received in Nazi Germany.
      Oh, and…

      “The fact that these policies offend God and His laws is the argument that should be made.”,

      I suggest your presumption that God needs you to speak on its behalf might be more offensive. But that aside, if you think that’s the argument you should be making in Australia, then I also suggest you’re not wholly in touch with reality, and not even a credible.candidate.for the role of God’s spokesperson, should it ever require one.

      But please do go and make your argument – as much as possible! Perhaps you could write it on a sandwichboard and wander the city warning everyone not to offend God.

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