Father Raass. I have never met you. However, as a …

Comment on You can vote No with love: Alice priest by John Bell.

Father Raass. I have never met you. However, as a Christian and a former Sacred Heart Alician parishioner, I will put my hand up as a No voter to say that you have nailed the essence of our side of the debate.
The word “love” is a great word in the English language.
Unfortunately, it can be ambushed to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean, to quote a famous character of old.
Whatever camp one is in, no matter what opinion one has about marriage, the word “love” will always remain a constant.
In coming out as a straight to say this publicly, I extend my love to my gay friends in Alice.
Nothing for me will change in the way I have always loved and respected you no matter what your views on marriage may be. I hope my fellow No voters will also come out and express the same view.

John Bell Also Commented

You can vote No with love: Alice priest
@ Number 19: You say that all discrimination is morally wrong. However, fair and reasonable discrimination is everywhere around us.
I do not know what your gender is, but I think we would all agree with the discrimination that does not permit a male to enter female toilet.
The word “discrimination” has been captured by the PC brigade at the Human Rights Commission and enshrined in the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 as part of the secular new age moral gospel on right and wrong.
The Human Rights zealots have re-shaped the word to mean whatever they want it to mean. For example, they authorise discrimination in favour of certain groups in our society as morally good in Section 9 and Section 10 of the Act.
In those Sections of the Act have re-badged the word “discrimination””and now call it “Special Measures”.
It is an in-house term, used by their lawyers in courts and tribunals when accusing respondents of discrimination against their clients under the Act.
They hace also referred to S.9 and S.10 to excuse their own clients’ discriminatory actions.
In other parts of the Act they give exemptions as they see fit for discriminatory behaviour. In other words, they claim that discrimination is only bad when applied by certain individuals or groups against other individuals or groups in our society in certain circumstances.
The word “discrimination” has been effectively and morally re-shaped in their own image by this secular authority.
At first glance, this is a bit Big Brother authoritarian and hypocritical, don’t you think?
So: Is it OK for secular discrimination by the Pitt Street mob but not by Christian faiths?


You can vote No with love: Alice priest
Miss Roullet has drawn timely attention to the reluctance of NO voters to openly air their views for fear of attack.
So far, five of the six comments have been YES voters firing shots at NO voter religion and race. Fair enough. To be expected.
However, this is further anecdotal evidence to explain why it is understandable that atheist and agnostic NO voters are keeping views to themselves and the survey envelope.
They are staying down in their foxholes because if they stick their heads up above the trench and who knows what part of their individual character or anatomy will be blitzkrieged by some of the more militant YES army!


Recent Comments by John Bell

No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence
@ Kieran Finnane. Cold War circumstances change with the times.
Once it was Russia. Now it is North Korea backed by China.
What’s the difference between a KGB-ruled Soviet Union and a despotic ally of the soulless atheistic materialistic Tiananmen China superpower that has vowed to take control of the Western democratic world by whatever means possible?
Australia is a bunny blinded by the China spotlight. Anti-American protestors a la the Peace Pilgrims are yesterday’s men (and women), way behind the times in their inability to see today’s reality.


No gaol for Peace Pilgrims: sentence
@ Horton: Agreed. A good and sensible outcome. From the outset, the right to public protest by the Peace Pilgrims has never been questioned. The real issue here is the concept of civil disobedience and its reasonable limits in a society that is ruled by a stable democratic government under the rule of law.
Justice Reeves got it right. The Pilgrims challenged the limits and received much public praise on their journey. Acquittal would have implied that civil disobedience has no limits, no matter what the cause and where and when the civil disobedience occurs. The sentences did not bring down the hammer of a jail term, but emphasised that the Pilgrims had exceeded the limit.

@ Fred the Phillistine: Your emphasis on the cost to the public purse is interesting. You say that the Pilgrims should have been allowed to do their thing, presumably whenever they feel like returning.
Down here in Mexico, the CBD at Flinders and Swanston has been seriously disrupted in peak hour every Friday arvo during the month of November by the Manus Island protest marchers. Ongoing and escalating loss of income, serious stress and inconvenience is being caused to countless city workers.
With increasing numbers of civil disobedience protest marches in this critical part of the CBD almost weekly for every cause under the sun, we are looking at untold loss of income for ordinary punters and their families going about their lawful daily business affairs.
My question to you is – where would you draw the line and set the limit, on the causes that justify civil disobedience and the number of times protesters of any given cause should be able to cause social disruption and financial damage?

[ED – It was up to the jury, as always in a jury trial, not the judge to find the defendants guilty or not guilty.]


Strange encounters: the Peace Pilgrim and the Police Sergeant
@Jackie Hu. You criticise Justice Reeves for instructing the ordinary punters of the jury on points of law.

However, in instructing the jury (and during the conduct of the hearing) in this symbolic, divisive and very public case, Justice Reeves would have been very conscious indeed of the standard of equality of treatment demanded of judges and opposing counsel towards unrepresented litigants, laid down in the decision in Tomasevic v Travaglini in the Victorian Supreme Court by Justice Virginia Bell.

No doubt he was mindful that appeal judges would jump on him like a ton of bricks if there was even the merest hint of apprehended bias, especially in instructing a jury of ordinary punters in this touchy Pine Gap case.

Judges have a long established habit of instructing juries in public interest cases, as in the Chamberlain case.

I always believed a dingo took Azaria and the jury got it horribly wrong; and I cheered when appeal judges without a jury gave Lindy justice.

Of course, the Green latte sippers in Lygon Street saw us as anti-dingo etc. We were most unpopular.

You no doubt will cheer if the jury sees it your preferred Pilgrim way. If not, there is always the avenue of appeal without jury.


No extraordinary emergency at Pine Gap: judge rules
Ms Finnane. Are you sure that Michael McHugh SC was raising the example of the Suffragettes to support his argument that the Pine Gap Peace Pilgrims exceeded the limit of civil disobedience?

Could it have been that he was saying the opposite when he said “the Suffragettes notwithstanding” ie saying that the Suffragette civil disobedience was a different situation to this Pine Gap prayerful singalong?

After all, Emily Pankhurst got skittled by a horse and died for her beliefs. No disrespect to Emily whatsoever. She was truly gutsy. Your take on McHugh SC’s argument perhaps needs a bit of clarification in the words you used in your article?


Did Peace Pilgrims answer an extraordinary emergency?
@Greg. 60% of the Aussie population is secular, not Christian, as the SSM survey showed. At least 60% of the entire Western world is now secular and becoming more secular by the day. So. Blaming Christians for modern day wars is the trendy self-loathing mantra of the Left. As the majority of warmongers are secular, your argument falls flat, and flatter, by the day.
@Rebecca. It is confected courage to do a symbolic trek to the Red Centre in a safe democratic jurisdiction where PSOs like Sergeant Gadsby are on a hiding to nothing and face disciplinary action if they put a toe out of line while trying to do their lawful job, dealing with the Peace Pilgrim crew. Soft courage, shouting the generic anti-war war cry of the Left in a soft environment, ignoring their Christian obligation to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. I suggest it is humbug to paint this as “courage”. It would take real courage to conduct this protest in say, North Korea. Unless of course they think that if the Western world lays down its arms, everyone else will too.


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