Dearly beloved readers of Mode of Life,
Our message today is directed to our fellow Australian brethren and more specifically to that of the Melbourne faithful. During the course of this week, within the dead of night and without much publicity, our Federal politicians are voting upon the question of same-sex marriage. Because of this fact, this matter has gone unnoticed by the general public. Of course it speaks volumes about the state of Australian democracy when matters of immense social, legal and ethical consequence, are decided unpublicised and in the dead of night, just like the sham trial of Christ as spoken of in the gospels. The question is who will be the one to be martyred and crucified this time?
Nevertheless, this matter is not a benign side issue as some would have you to believe, because similar legislation have passed elsewhere in the world which lead to further legislation that is overbearing, undemocratic and ignores a person’s human rights as dictated by the UN Charter. Yet, in recent times such legislation was passed and has impinged upon peoples’ right to freedom of religious expression and conscience. It has become a tyrannical force imposed particularly upon youth by impinging upon their own growth and development since freedom of sexual expression can only occur when youth have been allowed to mature first, before they begin to explore these variables. Not forcibly brainwashed with “gay days” even at the primary school level, where discussions of sexuality, including matters of heterosexuality are not broached and should not be broached at such a young age.
Meanwhile legislation has given way to legal precedences in places as far afield as Canada or Denmark, where clergymen have been arrested and prosecuted for refusing to marry same-sex couples within their churches; while parents who, respecting the rights of gays are denied their rights to choose whether their children are mature enough or whether it is appropriate for them to attend “compulsory” gay education programmes and activities. It seems that where the gay community sees fit to complain and moan about their own rights, it seems they are unmoved by respecting the right of others, which as history attests to, is the hallmark of totalitarian regimes.
From a personal perspective, one cannot but help to observe that within popular thought and the media across much of the world, many different groups are clamouring to secure their rights and seek to be heard. But there is one group of people who were responsible for this process of enfranchisement, who are ignored, ridiculed, attacked, imprisoned and even killed. These people have been the victims of many different totalitarian systems based on state sponsored persecutions, religious fanaticism, or just general discrimination. And yet within the media and popular thought irrespective of the language of inclusiveness and human rights, it is an accepted fact, and even encouraged to continue to harangue these people.
Naturally I am talking about “Christian bashing” and how subconsciously within public opinion it is endorsed. For one only has to look at the fact that people kick up a stink over Scripture teachers in schools instructing children who are fellow believers, and not obligate children of other faiths to attend such classes. Yet we have the homosexual community in various countries, who make it compulsory for all children to sit through their “beliefs” without allowing the option for them to exit and engage in another activity.
Yet “Christian bashing” has shown itself in some very expressive forms in very recent times where we have Christians being persecuted and martyred in the Middle East, Pakistan and Indonesia to name a few, especially after the events of the so-called “Arab spring”. In Russia, we have the “Pussy Riot” protest which for many of us Orthodox recall the days of mockery and persecutions of totalitarian Atheism and Communism, which killed more people than the Holocaust and in as equally hideous a manner. Of course if such a mock protest occurred in one of the recently renovated synagogues in Poland or Germany all hell would break loose. Alas, these things are not considered because the West does not like and fears Russia, because it is so fixated upon the role Putin plays within Russian politics. Irrespective of how one views Mr. Putin, no one, not even the clergy have the right to embroil the Church within political matters as dictated by the Holy Apostolic Canons.
As a result the Church often hesitates to comment upon deliberations of a political nature, and only does so with immense reluctance when issues of a socio-ethical nature will impact upon society and the lives of the faithful. It is therefore concerning that there is indifference or ignorance on behalf of the Australian faithful, who unlike their many Orthodox brethren in other places, are not faced with the extremes of persecution and tyranny, and who have quite a multitude of freedoms to be who they are. But that freedom will not last long if they allow another nail like this to be hammered into the coffin which some here wish to put us in.
From personal family history, much of my own family is dispersed all over this world, from America, to Canada, from Germany to Greece, from Australia to Africa and so forth, all because we sought the freedom to be practicing Orthodox Christians and maintain our Anatolian Greek heritage without fear or reprisal. I personally do not wish to have to leave this wonderful country all because I was complacent in defending the rights of my own people to be who they are. And do not think that this is an alarmist point of view because one only has to “google” the results of where such “benign” legislation can lead. The Jews and the Armenians are a very good example of what can happen to a people when legislation gives birth to more legislation that seeks to curb the rights and existence of a particular community within society.
Therefore, from Mode of Life, we ask that you follow carefully the present so-called deliberations of our federal politicians, and hold them to account for their course of action since they represent the views of their constituents, not personal agendas. We thus ask of you, to refer to our weblog’s official statement on the issue of same-sex marriage which is filed under “Pastoral Issues”, entitled Speak Up for Marriage; and to access the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese link and enlist your name to the petition that can be sent to your local member of parliament: http://marriage.greekorthodox.org.au/get-involved/