"Down right evil"? The New Heresy of questioning the New Orthodoxy…

This is from Crikey.com under the title “Anti-gay bigots on Roxon’s mens’ health taskforce”:

Marsh and Williams seem to have rather peculiar views on some male health issues. Worse than peculiar, actually. Downright evil is a term that springs to mind.

“Downright evil”? Who are these guys? What on earth have they written? Why should I keep them away from my children (my first thought about people who are “down right evil” is usually “How far away from my children do they have to be before they are safe” – my children that is, not the “down right evil” people – you get what I mean). The Crikey.com account continues:

Because they appear to have a problem with gay men. Marsh’s group has a website where it has brought together people “who believe in the natural biological family. The best way to protect children is for children to be brought up by a loving mother and father who are married.” On the site, you’ll find a quite loathsome document called “21 Reasons Why Gender Matters”.

We will take a look at this “loathsome” document by these people with “peculiar”, “evil” ideas about the need for a child to have a loving mother AND a loving father in a minute (one notes, for the moment, that these evil people would obviously have a problem with that other marvel of modern morality, the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill 2008 waiting in the wings to be finally passed into law upon the Victorian people which actually legalises a situation in which children will NEVER have a legal mummy AND daddy), to give a bit of background to those beyond our borders.

The Age, that bastion of social conservatism (well, conservative in its predictable support for the New Orthodoxy of the Social Revolution anyway) has the story on the front page this morning:

NICOLA Roxon has been embarrassed by the revelation that two men she appointed as health ambassadors put their names to a publication saying homosexuality is a mental disorder and gay people are more likely to take drugs and molest children.

The Health Minister, who is under pressure to dump them, said last night she found the document “unacceptable and repugnant”.

…The appointment of six men’s health ambassadors has turned into a PR disaster for Ms Roxon, who was already under fire for appointing Tim Mathieson, partner of Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, despite him having no health background. [He is, in fact, a hairdresser – DS]

Two of the ambassadors — Warwick Marsh and Barry Williams — were listed as among 34 contributors to a paper published last year by the Fatherhood Foundation entitled 21 Reasons Why Gender Matters.

Among its claims are that gay people are more likely to cheat and hit their partners than those in “normal” relationships.

Mr Marsh, from the Fatherhood Foundation, said he “absolutely” stood by the content of the paper. But he said he was not homophobic. “I hope we’re in a free society that still allows us to speak our mind. [In fact, Mr Marsh, you are about to find out that we are not -DS] I don’t wish any evil on anybody,” he said. “I’m there for men’s health and I’m there to support the wonderful policy.”

But Mr Williams, the president of Lone Fathers, said he did not write any of the paper, having merely provided advice on family law issues. He said he believed people “should be accepted the way they are born” and that he did not discriminate against anyone.

Associate Professor Anne Mitchell, from Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria at La Trobe University, said the document amounted to gay-hate literature and it was not appropriate for its authors to be associated with promotion of men’s health.

In news just coming in this morning, the Minister has since sacked Warwick Marsh (who refused to recant) but has allowed Barry Williams (who recanted under the threat of dismissal from his new position) to retain his position.

Well, by this stage, I guess you are all just itching to see this “loathsome” “gay-hate literature” which is “down right evil” for yourselves. Here are the links: to the Website “Gender Matters” and to the document “21 Reasons why Gender Matters”.

As soon as you open the document, you realise what this is about. There is a picture of a baby staring right at you. Yes, it is about procreation. About parenthood. And it is no suprise that a bloke who represents an organisation supportive of fathers and fatherhood would support such views. What, after all, has the gay lobby ever done for fatherhood?

The document lists “four foundational principles” before giving the “21 reasons” of the title:

Four Foundational Principles

There is an enormous and growing body of research, encompassing the fields of biochemistry, neurobiology, physiology and psychology, which all point to a clear conclusion: that there are profound differences between men and women. These go well beyond the obvious physical appearances and reproductive differences; men and women differ at many levels, and also approach relationships differently. As such, this document rests upon, and makes the case for, these four foundational principles:

1. Gender differences exist; they are a fundamental reality of our biology and impact our psychology. Our maleness and femaleness is a key aspect to our personhood.

2. Acknowledging, rather than ignoring (or worse denying), gender differences is the only intellectually honest response to this reality.

3. Gender differences are complementary; individuals, our collective humanity, and society as a whole, all benefit from masculine and feminine characteristics. We are better for having men with a clear understanding of their masculinity and women with a clear understanding of their femininity.

4. Gender identity confusion does exist in a small minority of individuals. It is a painful pathology and warrants a compassionate response. However it is not the ‘normative’ experience and is not therefore a paradigm upon which to drive social policy and institutions.

Now all that, without going into detail on what the 21 reasons actually are (and they are all explained in detail – far more detail than the reports are allowing with their “sound bite” quotations – with footnotes and references) is simply to say that the authors of this document do not accept the “New Orthodoxy”. They do not hate homosexuals. They believe that homosexuality is not normal and that social policy should be based upon what is normal. However, the New Orthodoxy is that homosexuality IS normal. Anyone denying this is a heretic. And the heretics must burn.

Thank God they didn’t appoint a Catholic priest to this group of Men’s Health Ambassadors. Because the guts of this “loathsome”, “down right evil”, “gay-hate literature” is exactly what the Catholic Church has been saying on gender issues for some time. John Paul II (in his Theology of the Body) was way ahead of these “Gender Matters” guys, but they’re singing from exactly the same hymn sheet.

But it is a hymn sheet that the New Orthodoxy has declar
ed unacceptable (too “ancient” for the “moderns”, perhaps?). Remember Juliette Hughes on the subject back during WYD? (“John Paul II’s Theology of the Body…is a load of windy tosh about “telling the truth with your body”, which in the end boils down to (surprise, surprise) how sex is only for people who are married, straight and willing to risk pregnancy.”)

But then we live in a time when men (and women) call good evil and evil good. Repeat after me: “21 reasons why Gender matters” is “evil”. The Assisted Reproductive Treatment Bill is “good”.

But there is an antidote to the New Orthodoxy. I recommend a quick immersion into First Things to read this article “Natural Law Revealed” by J. Budziszewski. Here’s a small teaspoonful of what he has to say:

As I say, all this follows if the intellect concedes that sexual powers have a procreative purpose. But should reason concede this? In modern times, we tend to object that the purposes of things aren’t natural, that they are merely human constructs. The notion that nature is purposeful is derided as “metaphysical biology.”

Of course, we typically say this only about sex. The purpose of respiration is to oxygenate the blood; apart from it there would be no reason to have lungs. The purpose of circulation is to deliver nutrients and other substances to the places where they are needed; apart from it there would be no reason to have a heart and vascular system. If we are consistent, we should reason this way about sex, too. We should say that its purpose is to generate posterity; apart from this purpose there would be no purpose for the sexual organs.

What wisdom. But simple wisdom. Foolishness, even perhaps. But the kind of foolishness which, in St Paul’s words, destroys the “wisdom” of the “wise”.

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0 Responses to "Down right evil"? The New Heresy of questioning the New Orthodoxy…

  1. matthias says:

    You have absolutely hit the nail on the head schutz. People calling good evil and evil good,and then they are backed up by politicians who have lost all concept of moral absolutes.
    next thing we will hear is thje uniting Church coming out in support of the sackings of the two health ambassadors.
    As Solomon said ‘there is nothing new under the sun’

  2. Anonymous says:

    Holy homophobia, you people are appalling!

    Not only is your logic flawed (since when does the mere fact of gender differences mean human beings are necessarily restricted to a single sexual preference?), your thinly veiled hatred of gays is thoroughly contemptible. How dare you speak of compassion when what you’re really on about is determinism and intolerance. And how dare you assume yourself – or the Church – to be the arbiter of what’s ‘normal’. And let’s not even go near the fact of the RAMPANT homosexual abuse of young boys by Catholic priests … because THAT’s a can of worms and a half, ain’t it?

    If we must have an orthodoxy, I’ll take the new over the old any day. At least we’ve reached a point where bigotry is regarded as shameful, rather than its victims, and where gay and bisexual and transexual people are afforded respect in most quarters of Australian culture (outside the redneck belt). The old orthodoxy, or yours at any rate, feeds a cycle of suspicion, hatred and violence that’s simply unacceptable in any genuinely compassionate society.

    Oh, and while we’re here (1), how obscenely ironic it is that you use the analogy of burning heretics when referring to those who’ve criticised the ’21 reasons’. Pot/kettle?!! I believe the Catholic Church has the monopoly on burning its critics/dissenters at the stake, hands down.

    Oh, and while we’re here (2), shocking as it may be to you, MANY gay men and lesbians are parents, and many of them are brilliant parents, and they have a lot to say within public discussion of parenting and related policy issues. So do their adult children, in many cases.

    Christ would be deeply ashamed of you.

  3. Schütz says:

    Well, thanks for that Anon. I am not in the habit of deleting posts from commentators on this blog unless they are BOTH self-promoting and off topic. Yours is neither, and a sincerely held opinion, no doubt.

    But your comment does serve, in an excellent way, to prove my point, doesn’t it? For which I am obliged.

    Another quote from the excellent essay by Prof. Budziszewski (which I really do recommend you give a go, Anon):

    “The Fall does not deprive us of our nature—a broken foot still has the nature of a foot—but our nature is not in its intended condition. For natural law, this is no insignificant consideration. If we had never seen healthy feet, it might have taken us a long time to discover that broken feet were broken—to reason backward from their characteristics in their present broken state to the principles of their design and to the fact that they deviate from that design. We might therefore take their broken state as normative. Even if we grasped that something was wrong with our feet, we might have misunderstood what it was. We might have thought that feet are evil by nature, or that they are good but corrupted by shoes.”

    In other words, because of their ignorance of the original unbroken nature of human sexuality, many today have come to assume that the broken human nature we experience in regard to our sexuality is “normative”. Or – as some Christians have in the past and perhaps still do – assumed that sexuality was “evil by nature”. Or – as some ideologues continue to teach – simply “corrupted by shoes” such as patriarchy.

    But the good Professor goes on:

    “Even now we quibble. I may claim that a nanny, a day-care worker, or a bureaucrat can care for the child better than his parents can, or that it is better to have no parents than quarreling ones, or that a Mom can be a Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa, all rolled into one. Or I may claim that only so-called free love is real love, or that the language of the body is merely conventional, or that there is no such thing as a gift of self.

    The argument seems never to end. The problem is that our willingness to grasp the refutations is all too easily undermined by sexual greed, weakness of will, evil habit, vicious custom, and depraved ideology. Even though the natural realities of marriage are fully knowable by unaided reason, they may not be fully known by it…”

    And he concludes:

    “Under the influence of the Enlightenment, natural-law thinkers scrubbed, little by little, whatever influence remained from the centuries of faith—whatever benefit they might have gained from the help of revelation. And, as a result, they lost the idea of nature, then the idea of law, and, finally, the idea of thinking. In the end, they found that they had scoured away the ground on which they were standing.”

    And given that he is a “professor of government and philosophy”, I think we can take that to refer to our governments and law makers. They have “scoured away” the very basis for law itself.

  4. Athanasius says:


    I want to thank you for your contribution. I think you’ve provided a textbook example of just about every common logical fallacy, from ‘begging the question’ to the tu quoque.

    If you don’t understand those terms, I won’t be the least bit surprised.

    I suggest that you not return without some clear moral arguments. Start by addressing yourself to Budziszewski – if you can.

  5. Schütz says:

    Crikey.com are at it again in their evening edition, in a piece “Roxon’s ambassadors: homophobic, sexist and totally inappropriate”:

    Thursday, 27 November 2008

    Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes:

    The nauseating views of Warwick Marsh, revealed by Crikey following a reader’s tip yesterday, have cost him his men’s health ambassadorship. Nicola Roxon this morning described his views as abhorrent and, when he declined to repudiate them, sacked him.

    Good riddance and the less said about him and his loathsome ilk the better.

    However, Barry Williams, head of the Lone Fathers’ Association, has “publicly and unequivocally disowned” the homophobic views pushed by the “Fatherhood Foundation”, and kept his role for now.

    Williams blamed yesterday’s revelations on “extreme feminists”. Yikes. I’ve never been called that before, not even in my hilariously SNAG uni days. With all due respect to Mr Williams, you don’t have to be any sort of feminist to find those views about gays and lesbians deeply offensive. A functioning moral compass is all that suffices.

    Not quite all, Mr Keane. As I said in this post: “the usefulness of a compass depends upon a the accuracy of the map with which it is used (and knowing where you actually stand in relation to that map).”

  6. Cardinal Pole says:

    “… your thinly veiled hatred of gays is thoroughly contemptible”

    Wow, you are able to read men’s hearts. Are you also capable of bi-location?

    “…what you’re really on about is determinism and intolerance”

    HA! I’ll take ‘determinism and intolerance’ over nihilism and positivism any day!

    “how dare you assume yourself – or the Church – to be the arbiter of what’s ‘normal’”

    The light of natural reason shows that homosexuality is not normal; given that human sexuality is ordered towards reproduction, one may reasonably speak of same-sex attractions as disordered.

    “where gay and bisexual and transexual people are afforded respect in most quarters of Australian culture”

    Respect doesn’t mean pandering to a disordered inclination that tends towards all manner of diseases. Yet that’s what publicly funded, untaxed pro-sodomite organisations like ACON do (www.acon.org.au).

    “how obscenely ironic it is that you use the analogy of burning heretics when referring to those who’ve criticised the ’21 reasons’. Pot/kettle?!!”

    No, it’s not one standard for one orthodoxy and one standard for another, it’s a single standard: error has no rights.

    “MANY gay men and lesbians are parents”

    Really? Not according to what one would infer from the authoritative 2003 ‘Sex in Australia’ survey, according to which less than 2% of the population identifies as homosexual and most same-sex relationships end within two years. Not exactly a stable base from which to be a “brilliant” parent.

    And Anonymous, please answer me a question which no-one else from the Sodomites’ League has answered yet: given that you think that parents are perfect substitutes, not perfect complements (hence ‘two mums’ or ‘two dads’ are supposedly as good as one mum and one dad), why do you not also support legal recognition for ‘families’ with three or more parents? Surely fixing the number of parents at two is arbitrary and hetero-normative?

  7. Schütz says:

    Whoa there, Your Eminence! Your spirited defence of natural law is all very appreciated, but let’s not descend to the level of our friend Anon’s discourse.

    I will just add that my family and I recently stayed at an establishment in Tasmania where our hosts were a same-sex couple in later life. They were extremely pleasant fellows, very hospitable and genial, and I would not hesitate to revisit their lodgings in the future.

    When I was completing my librarianship degree (many years ago now) one of our class was undergoing a sex change. I remember him with fondness, and like to think that I was as supportive as it was possible to be toward him in what was clearly a very difficult time for him and his family.

    The thing about at least two of these men is that they had children of their own, and grandchildren. I saw nothing to make me think that they were in any way less loving parents that I am or any of my heterosexual friends are.

    But the material on which “21 reasons” is based is not that of anecdotal aquaintance. It is that of natural law and overall statistics.

    I am NOT a homophobe. I do NOT wish ill towards homosexuals in any way whatsoever. But I am convinced that even were a same-sex couple to be the most loving parents possible to a child, that child would still be better off if he or she were parented in an equally loving family with a mother AND a father. Moreover a child has a RIGHT to have a mother and a father, and it is only when we treat children as personal commodities that we end up thinking that same-sex partners have a “right” to form a family through adoption or IVF or surrogacy.

    When our society abandons the basic committment to the natural human family based upon raising children conceived within the context of a life-long marriage commitment of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, then we abandon sanity.

  8. Joshua says:

    What to do but quote the Apostle (Rom. i, 16-32), “in season and out of season”:

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek. For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

    “Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    “For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.”

    And again (I Cor. vi, 9-11), revealing both God’s judgement of sin and the power of His grace:

    “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

    ” And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God.”

  9. matthias says:

    Anon,get off the grass or stop smoking it. Did i anywhere say that i hated gays,no, in fact I have friends who are gay.
    I disagree with it,but what i will not draw back from is the fact that IT is wrong,but i will not deny their humanity. i cannot stand the Westboro Baptist Church who say “God Hates fags”. Because they make people who are gay to more far off from Christ than the rest of us,and not having the same right to hear the message of salvation as the rest of us But what i also cannot stand is the new orthodoxy which stops the free expression of opinions and you Anon have just exhibited. But as for sexual abuse only in the catholic Church,try extending that to other denominations as well-Baptist,Anglicans etc

  10. Schütz says:

    Who are these “Westboro Baptist Church” people? I would say that any such slogan as that which you have quoted, Matthias, IS “evil”, “loathesome”, etc. etc.

    Perhaps this is what Anon and the other proponents of the New Orthodoxy do not understand: when we call sin “sin”, we are not rejecting the “sinner”.

    God does not hate homosexuals (and neither do/should we). God does not hate anyone who sins (and neither do/should we). By his love God always wishes to draw the sinner to repentance and to life in abundance (and so do/should we).

    And to cap that off, I admit before the Church and the World that I too am a sinner also in need of conversion and repentance (and so do/should all Christians).

    Perhaps that is another thing that Anon does not understand.

  11. Paul says:

    I see there is response on crikey today to this article. This issue usually ends up in flinging abuse and accusing people of intolerance, rather than debating
    -whether there is such a thing as a natural lifestyle
    – the consequences of ignoring this.
    I appreciate your efforts, David to bring the debate back to a place where people are at least listening to each other, but I fear the name-calling will continue.
    The one comment I would make is that anyone confident of their own position should be able to argue it calmly and rationally, without resorting to labelling and shouting at other people.

  12. matthias says:

    Schutz Westboror Baptist Churcu are the people who blame all of America’s woes upon homosexuals,and turn up at funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq saying that they were killed because of America’s liberty towards gays and lesbians.

  13. Tom says:

    Wow, what a storm. I’ve been reading Sentire for about 2 weeks now, and have enjoyed it to this point. Now i’m thrilled to find you read Budziszewski. Personally i’m a huge fan. In regards to Anonymous’ argument it seems to me the crux of the matter rests on what he says was “The church dares to be the arbiter of whats normal”, because, as he argues, “since when does the fact of gender difference mean human beings are restricted to simply one sexual preference”.

    Well, two very interesting points, and as you express them Schutz, yes, both belonging to the new Orthodoxy. The mistake he’s made is based on as i see two idea’s about the world. Firstly, this deconstructionist view that the church claims to be the arbiter of truth; really, this is not correct. The church does not arbitrate the truth, the church proclaims the truth from the evidence at hand. If truth is to be known, as truth, through reason then this is what the church proclaims. If you think there is something logically wrong with what the church says, then by all means say so, but do not think that the church simply looks at things and says ‘this way, that way’. It would be a serious error.

    Secondly this question of our sexual preference not being derived from the fact of our gender (althought this is not really a different idea to deconstructionism, it is usally presented as a seperate idea). Our preference cannot be derived, infact what is so incredible about male sexuality (particularly) is that our preference can be delivered in almost any direction. Talking about preference in this sense deprives one from talking about sexuality sensibly. There are records of men copulating with animals, trees, shoes, and the list goes on. Such ‘preferences’ by this logic would infact require each a sexuality of their own. However, we do not recognise bestiality as an ‘authentic’ sexuality; it is considered a disorder. This is the crux of what anon is saying; our preference may go to homo or hetero-sexuality; for this we must have not just man and woman, but also man, woman, homosexual, transgender etc.

    I argue that our sexuality is based on our gender however. Men have a male sexuality (what it’s characteristics are could have whole epic volumes written on) and Women have a female sexuality (and also, what it’s characteristics are could have whole epic volumes written on). Each is directed to the other. It requires only a very small amount of intellectual honesty (i think) in order to acknowledge that each are most compatible, physiologically, psychologically (and i would also say spiritually although if you choose to reject such thought it belongs to a different realm than what we directly discuss here) with the other. The light of normal reason can very adequately see this. Anyway, i’m off to work so i cannot adequately finish this but that was just what i wanted to point out; at least as i saw it, every other error in Anon’s post derived from the mistakes he made about these two points. The church does not arbitrate, and sexuality as he describes it is a product of preference, not from gender, both i think, serious errors.

  14. Schütz says:

    Excellent distinctions, Tom. And welcome to the readership of SCM! If this is the calibre of your commentary, then comment as much and as often as you like!

    I especially like your point that males will always have a male sexuality, no matter what their “preference” may be. A man who likes women relates to them in a different way than a woman who likes women would – because he is a man and she is a woman! Stands to reason. Just as a man can never be a mother – whatever style of parenting he adopts, he will always parent as a male parent, ie. as a parent.

    The question of the legitimacy of preference is an interesting one too.

    The New Orthodoxy defends some prefrences but not others. We do not defend a preference for children or indeed for anyone under 18. Now the former can be understood, but would previous civilisations (who regarded children as adults after they reach puberty) have understood the latter? Yet we criminalise it.

    We forbid such relations with a child because it would be an abuse of the child’s innocence, freedom, dignity, body and soul (psyche).

    But why, as you point out, is a preference for bestiality regarded as a taboo? Unless you argue from the point of view of natural law, you really have no argument. Thus a philosopher such as Peter Singer who defends bestiality is being completely consistent with his rejection of natural law.

    Perhaps the time will come when the majority seem to share Singer’s view…

  15. Louise says:

    your thinly veiled hatred of gays is thoroughly contemptible


    Ah… this cracks me up!

  16. Louise says:

    Sorry, I realise that was hardly an enlightening remark, but it’s late and the remark I was responding to was comletely absurd.

  17. Louise says:

    Really, what are we supposed to do with these people (the gliberals)?

    Good post, David.

  18. Athanasius says:

    Just out of interest, it sounds like Westboro Baptist isn’t very Baptist. In fact, it isn’t very doctrinally Christian.

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