Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

A philosopher’s view of the same sex marriage debate

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*Pic: Nic McBride, Flickr

First published September 26

The same sex marriage debate is a test of our capacity as a community to deal with a controversial question in a thoughtful, respectful way. It’s hard work, but we can make a decision based on evidence, reason and clearly stated moral views, and, where we think they can help, the guidance of trusted authorities. How do the two sides suggest we proceed?

The Yes campaign ( http://www.equalitycampaign.org.au/marriage-equality ) says it is all about equality: ‘Each new generation of Australians does their bit to advance fairness and equality. Affirming all couples’ freedom to marry says that we are a country that believes in treating people equally — that we value love and commitment and believe every Australian has the right to happiness’.

This is a simple argument. All people have a right to be treated in the same way as others in the absence of a reason to treat them differently. There is no reason to treat same sex attracted people differently in relation to marriage. So they should be allowed to marry.

In opposition to this, the main organization arguing for the No case is the Coalition for Marriage ( https://www.coalitionformarriage.com.au/ ), led by the Australian Christian Lobby’s director Lyle Shelton, and including the Anglican Diocese of Sydney along with the Catholic Archdioceses of Hobart and Sydney plus another twenty odd mainly avowedly Christian organizations. The Coalition for Marriage do not reject the idea that all people should be treated equally unless there is some reason not to do so. That puts the No case in a difficult position as it places the burden of proof on their side: rather than the Yes case having to prove why same sex couples should be allowed to marry, the No case has to show why they should be treated differently.

Given their membership, we might expect the No campaign to offer a reason for gays and lesbians to be treated differently based on religion. It is curious, therefore, that the Coalition for Marriage training manual for doorknockers ( https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/coalitionformarriage/pages/361/attachments/original/1505535929/C4M_Field_-_NVC_Training_Script.pdf?1505535929 ) says plainly that ‘This is a political not a religious exercise,’ and no quotations from the Bible or other religious texts are offered as a foundation for their opposition to same sex marriage.

The same is true of the three reasons the Australian Christian lobby offers ( http://www.acl.org.au/3_reasons_to_vote_no ) to vote No, which are concerns with sex education in schools and parents’ rights to prevent their children being taught things they do not agree with; freedom of speech and religion; and the claim that every child deserves a mum and a dad. I cannot find a logical argument showing how we will have less rights in relation to children’s education, freedom of speech or religion if we allow same sex couples to marry, than we do now. Rather, the No case appears to assume that as parents, citizens or religious practitioners, we would have rights taken away from us if we were obliged to treat homosexuality equally with heterosexuality. So this argument against same sex marriage relies, in the end, on assuming that homosexuals should not have to be treated equally with heterosexuals as a reason why same sex couples should not have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Thus the ‘rights case’ against marriage equality boils down, as the great philosopher David Hume said on another occasion, to going in a circle and taking for granted the very point which is in question.

What about the claim that every child deserves a mum and a dad? Putting aside objections that this has nothing to do with marriage since same sex couples can already have children under existing laws, just like other de-facto couples, here is the Australian Christian Lobby’s headline statement on parenting: “Despite being certified by almost all major social science scholarly associations – indeed, in part because of this – the alleged scientific consensus that having two parents of the same sex is innocuous for child well-being is almost wholly without basis”.

If you found that hard to follow here is a translation: the reason we know there is evidence that children are harmed by having same sex parents is that almost all the relevant major scientific bodies say there is no such evidence. And the authority which made this bizarre claim? The impressively titled American College of Paediatricians, which a quick Google will show to be a small group that broke away from the actually impressive American Academy of Paediatrics when that premier scientific society released a statement that same sex parents posed no risk to children.

Here is the Academy’s statement on same sex marriage: “Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage … The AAP believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children.”

But surely the No case cannot rest on the logical fallacy of circular argument and fringe views on parenting?

There must be a moral basis for their claim – implicit if not explicit – that gays and lesbians do not have the right to be treated equally with heterosexuals in relation to marriage. Indeed, it is a logical necessity that there be a moral basis to the argument. To argue that marriage just is and always has been between a man and a woman, therefore same sex couples should not be allowed to marry is to commit the logical fallacy of attempting to derive ought from is – an argument which Hume also showed to be invalid. No set of purely factual statements, even if true, can ever justify a moral statement.

So where is the moral basis of the case against same sex marriage?

Given the dominance of Christian churches in the No campaign – although noting that the one Anglican and two Catholic Archdioceses are alone nationwide in their membership of the Coalition for Marriage – let’s see if we can find it in the Bible.

If we are looking for Jesus’ guidance we are directed to the Gospel according to Mark, where Jesus was asked whether it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife, as Moses had allowed. According to Mark, Jesus responds by echoing the statement in Genesis that God made humans male and female, and for this reason a man will leave his mother and father and unite with his wife and the two will become one. But Jesus then adds that husband and wife having become one, no human must separate them. So, Jesus continues, a man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, as does a wife who divorces her husband and then remarries.

This cannot be read as providing a biblical foundation for marriage being between one man and one woman unless it is also read as an absolute prohibition of divorce. It is not surprising, therefore, that the No campaign does not rely upon it.

And that is not the end of Jesus’ surprises for us in his Q&A with all comers, for he goes on to respond to a wealthy young man who asks what he must do to be assured of a place in heaven. Jesus tells him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor, because it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.

As a society we have found these teachings of Jesus on divorce and wealth just too hard to follow. Thus Christians do not take themselves to be obliged to live a life of poverty, even while acknowledging a responsibility to do what they can to help those in need. And most churches now accept divorce, in the interests of freeing wives and husbands from loveless marriages and permitting them to seek fulfilment in marriage anew. Our flexibility in interpreting these passages from the Bible reflects the kind of society we live in.

Divorced parents who have been economically dependent on their spouses are not left destitute without support for themselves or their children but, like people in poverty, can rely on our collective generosity expressed through our taxpayer funded social welfare system. The modern rich man might thus approach the Pearly Gates with some hope, provided they’ve packed their old tax records for the journey; and the divorcee who reached a fair property settlement with their erstwhile spouse and kept up their child-support payments need not fear eternal damnation for cutting their dependents adrift on a perilous sea.

We could, with no less violence to Jesus’ teachings, say that even if it were true that in the beginning God made people as man and woman who would naturally be attracted to each other and marry, that’s not how he’s making us now. Plainly, we come in a wide variety of kinds. Sorting us into just two boxes labelled heteronormal man and heteronormal woman leaves many with no place to belong.

The big question in the marriage equality debate is why we should continue the idea that society must strictly sort us into one of just two kinds when biology – or whatever you take to be the explanation for our diversity – does not. To say that we should follow the Bible’s answer to this question to the letter, when we negotiate our way around its clear teachings on others, is surely unreasonable if not hypocritical. But what else could the No case offer to justify same sex couples having lesser rights than others?

This is an important debate. How we vote will have a real impact on the lives of others if not our own. Our vote should be based on our morality, facts, and reason, and if we think it relevant, the teachings of our religion. Head butting is out. But so is pulling the wool over our eyes with logical fallacy and fanciful claims lacking legal or scientific foundation.

On my assessment as a philosopher, whether you are a committed Christian or whatever, once you accept that all people should be treated equally in the absence of a valid reason for treating them differently, there is no rational or morally defensible case for voting No.

*Michael Rowan is Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia and Honorary Professor, University of Tasmania. Brief Personal Statement: “I am a philosopher with a particular interest in writing for a wide audience on matters of current social and political importance. My philosophical background is mainly in philosophy of science and reasoning in natural language. For much of my academic career I was wholly occupied with the work of creating a new university, retiring as Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of South Australia. As a senior university manager I took a particular interest in evidence based strategic planning and reporting, quality improvement, industrial relations, and helping academic and professional staff get on with their work. My current philosophical work is mainly in education, as co-founder (with Prof Eleanor Ramsay) of Education Ambassadors ( https://educationambassadors.org.au/ ), and on the relationship between science and politics in managing the transition from a fossil economy to a sustainable one. I write on this and related topics on my website PersuadeMe ( http://persuademe.com.au/ ).”

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. John Wade

    October 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    The SSM plebiscite is nothing more that a Liberal government statistics gathering exercise designed to paint the groundwork for the next round of pork-barreling in the desperate gamble to get a gyrating Turnbull, perhaps, reinstalled as the preferred governing body.
    Don’t forget, “only the Liberal Party can be trusted”! … then fill in your own choices of what the Liberals can be trusted with doing, like fill the pockets of the oligarchy and cleanse the suburbs of the unclean by denying the less well off, as in a very well concealed extermination tactic. Only those with wealth deserve inheritance of the earth.

    The cynicism I display is from the trickle down syndrome created by those in leadership.

  2. Lynne Newington

    October 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I’m sorry you took my comment as patronising it wasn’t meant to be taken as such.

    It may not be understood is what I meant, from my point of view anyway, it takes a strong person to maintain ones views in today’s world although he doesn’t imply as such.
    His public disclosure was the result of my sadness of another dealing with church teaching, although Christopher never used it as public trophy or a martyrdom issue.
    The quiet strength of ones convictions is to be admired in my book.
    For me, his attributes certainly gives an insight into whatever discussion he contributes too.
    I hope this dispels any notion of patronism on my part towards you and I haven’t embarrassed the relevant person to whom I’m referring.

  3. Leonard Colquhoun

    October 3, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Or is this matter (or issue, if preferred) a test of our capacity as individuals and small groups of (like-minded) individuals to deal with a controversial question (and any similar one) in a thoughtful, respectful way, in this age of online instantaneous thought-free ‘outrage’?

  4. abs

    September 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    thanks for the patronising response Lynne, so what is it that I don’t understand? or you done with simply making a statement without backing it?

    Christopher repeatedly fails to substantiate his catastrophic prophosising. The void is filled with seemingly endless descriptors (many of them are simply crude insults). I personally lose respect for commentators (no matter how clever their use of language is) who, when asked to substantiate their position, resort to further extreme, catastrophised descriptors of said position.

  5. Michael Rowan

    September 29, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Second Opinion (21). How would my argument have any less force if it was written by (say) a leader of a gay church who hoped to celebrate many marriages for a modest fee, or any more force if it were written by (say) the Pope? Which premise, now false, would become true? Or now true, would become false? Which logical step in my argument now valid, would become invalid, or which now invalid, would become valid?

    If you cannot provide an answer to these questions on what basis do you assert that the exercise of the powers of reason upon a set of clearly stated claims of fact requires a disclosure of personal interest?

    Are you suffering from a confusion between seeking an explanation of why someone would put forward an argument which is either not valid or requires the granting of a falsehood as a premise, and seeking an explanation of why we should be persuaded by a valid argument from true premises?

    In short, first find a problem with my argument, then ask me why I was persuaded by it. In the absence of proof of fault, the argument speaks for itself and stands whatever my interest in the matter might be.

  6. Lynne Newington

    September 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    17.I tried ” love is love” on a rooster.
    Perhaps it detected the lack of conviction in my voice.
    Didn’t Work.
    So he was returned to the girls.
    Chickens know what works.

    For clarity@17
    —————-
    I’ve read enough of what Christopher has written.
    Just accept there are some things you may not understand and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Christopher has probably come from a different background like so many of my acquaintances and I appreciate what he’s saying.

  7. Bronwyn Williams

    September 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    #16 Christopher, marriage in Australia today is essentially a legal contract, which, like any other contract, can be breached and/or dissolved, often at great personal and financial expense to the parties involved.

    Some male/female couples may be wonderful exemplars, as you call them, of co-operation and partnership in life, but just as many are not. There are heterosexual couples aplenty who are terrible partners and even worse parents. And there are same sex couples who do an admirable job of supporting each other and caring for their children.

    Allowing same sex couples to enter into the contract we call ‘marriage’ will not change this social reality.

    The real enemy of our humanity is not the extension of a legal right to same sex couples, but our cynical, self-interested leadership. They have pounced with glee on an issue with the potential to divide us, and used it to do so with great alacrity.

    When you make a mountain out of a molehill all you get is a bigger obstacle in your path. If you want wholesale change in the way we treat our fellow citizens – if you want fairness in all aspects of our society, don’t allow the government to hoodwink you by turning a relatively minor concession into a mammoth distraction from what’s truly wrong with our lives.

  8. Second Opinion

    September 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you abs. I am open to any sensible approach.

    If concessions are required to be enacted, so as to enable SSM to become a reality, then there is a fundamental flaw in the premise.

    A Thesis exercising Philosophical tenets, as applied here by Michael Rowan to the matter of Same Sex Marriage, does require disclosure of a personal interest.
    Is Michael Rowan a disinterested party in this debate?
    Paul Kelly wrote a piece in the Australian Newspaper on September 27, where he echoes my thoughts above.

    The Australian Christian Lobby, on it’s Facebook page, provides a link that can bypass the paywall.

  9. Lynne Newington

    September 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    18. I disagree. There is a lot of description (which is clever and entertaining) yet the position is shallow.

    I’ve read enough of what Christopher has written.

    Just accept there are some things you may not understand and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  10. abs

    September 29, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    #17, some hard hitting evidence there, hey? LOL

    #18 I disagree. There is a lot of description (which is clever and entertaining), yet the position is shallow. It consists of, “this is how I see it, therefore it is so”. There is a heck of alot of catastrophising, and moralising, yet little substance to support the catastrophising and moralising (e.g. “ordinary civil decencies stop”…”..territory where ordinary regard, mercy and forgiveness do not exist”…).

    People are on the wrong side of the history (present) of the evolution of a species. They don’t like that so they make a lot of noise about how we are all going to hell in a handbag.

  11. Lynne Newington

    September 28, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    There’s lot of depth in your comment, Christopher.

  12. Second Opinion

    September 28, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I tried ” love is love” on a rooster.
    Perhaps it detected the lack of conviction in my voice.
    Didn’t Work.
    So he was returned to the girls.
    Chickens know what works.

  13. Christopher Nagle

    September 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    For me, same sex marriage has become a tipping point about stuff that defines us as a species with long reproduction lead times which need long term reproductive partnerships as modelling templates of the absolute basics; connection into the familial genetic tree of life through its life creating representatives that actively and reliably mentor as day to day exemplars, what it means to be a man and woman, mother and father, and pass on these deepest elements of ourselves as a profound vision of what life is, as legacy to the next generation. That is as close for me to being a sacred site as it is possible for a secular person to own and I will defend that against anyone with if necessary, my life, on behalf of my successors, against their enemies.

    Like any artefact that has been systematically all but destroyed, marriage is painfully and distressingly easy for opportunistic usurpers and rationalizers to predate on and colonize, but not for much longer

    There is a place where our common humanity and the ordinary civil decencies stop. At this stage it is only a line in the sand, but you have crossed it and moved into territory where ordinary regard, mercy and forgiveness do not exist; none asked for and none given. And when the unsustainability of the system you represents causes it to fall to pieces, as it is already starting to do, it won’t be just a line in the sand any more.

  14. Christopher Nagle

    September 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I want to stay out of the religious side of this discussion, because I am not a religious person, other than to say, that anyone who subscribes to Biblically or Sharia sourced notions of their religion are never going to have much sympathy for homosexuals and to offer them the right to marriage would be the worst kind of blasphemy.

    Try your arguments out on the Orthodox of Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, or the missionary Christianity of Uganda and much of Africa, or the Muslims of pretty nearly anywhere, and see how you go. My bet is they would run you out of town…And you would be lucky if that is all they did.

    And they would do so because they have absolutely no respect whatever for a corrupted laissez-faire indulgence ideology that can no longer differentiate clearly, or appreciate the thorough rottenness of the privatization and deregulation agenda that that ideology shares with its corporate masters, or the terrible damage it has done to the social commons, its governance and sense of responsible agency, that is as egregious in its own way as that which has been done to the ecological commons.

    The language you use and the judgement it brings to bear is already bankrupted, blunted, cribbed and conflated beyond repair, such that it has already lost some of its legitimacy and social licence.

    This crib and conflation makes it increasingly difficult to tell the difference between ‘rights’ and entitlement, ‘humanistic compassion’ and an indiscriminate soft touch, ‘freedom’ and disinhibited life without boundaries, ‘authoritarianism’ and firmness, ‘justice’ and sectional interest, ‘fairness’, special pleading and excuse making, ‘tolerance’ and indulgence, ‘respect’ and uncritical regard, ‘discrimination’ and ordinary judgement, ‘compromise’ and being compromised, ‘flexibility’ and weakness, ‘concern for ‘the value of human life’ and cowardice, ‘dissent’ and treason, ‘repression’ and discipline, ‘assault’ and chastisement, and ‘abuse’ and toughness.

    Distinguishing ‘disadvantage’ and dysfunctional wilfulness, ‘personality’ and moral character, ‘individualism’ and egoism, ‘helplessness’ and passivity, ‘disempowerment’ and fecklessness, ‘impoverishment’ and a frugal life, and ‘misfortune’ and inconsequential thinking, have become all but impossible.

    Desire and fantasy became synonymous with ‘needs’, needs with ‘rights’, human rights with consumer entitlement, and ‘democracy’ with consumer satisfaction.

    ‘Love’ has conflated with lust and eroticism, ‘lifestyle’ with life, ‘discrimination’ with ordinary judgement, ‘prejudice’ with legitimate belief, ‘sexuality’ with identity fraud (sexistentialism), ‘homophobia’ with reproductive gender consciousness, sexual ‘alternativism’ with sexual error/corruption, parody, infantilism and/or cruelty,

    ‘Equality’ metamorphosed into creative equivalencing that legitimized reward for the incompetent, promotion of the unqualified and penalizing the industrious.

    And in the process, ordinary judgement fell victim to spurious adolescent style moral and social exceptionalism, where the ordinary rules of behaviour no longer apply.

    That is why I refuse to buy anything from ideological salesmen like you Mr Rowan, any more than I do from the corporatists who run the show and provide the totalitarian marketing PR system that now pervades the entire architecture of discourse, drowning it in slogans, cliches, euphemisms, mindless keywords and propaganda bluster.

    ‘Clean Coal’ and ‘Marriage Equality’. Same excrement. Different orifices.

    cont …

  15. Second Opinion

    September 28, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Michael Leunig’s depiction of an alphabet rainbow has moved on.

    I have found it again, here:

    https://tinyurl.com/y7w823z9

  16. Michael Rowan

    September 28, 2017 at 11:12 am

    It is already the case that ministers of religion can choose who they will marry. Witness the recent case where a pastor cancelled the church wedding of a couple who tweeted in favour of SSM. No change to this legislation has been mooted as far as I am aware.

  17. derbytas

    September 28, 2017 at 5:26 am

    Marriage is not an institution owned by the Christian Church. In Australia people can be legally married by Civil Celebrant or even a ship’s captain.

    The No side of this “debate” seems to be pretty well dominated by Christian argument.

    Might an easy solution to the who issue be to legislate in favour of SSM but not make it compulsory for any celebrant to have to perform marriage ceremonies if they feel disinclined to do so.

    There are plenty enough Christian Celebrants who would be willing to marry Same sex couples. There may even be some Civil celebrants averse to marrying same sex couples but here would be many who would marry them.

  18. Second Opinion

    September 28, 2017 at 3:52 am

    On ABCRadio National this morning, Life Matter’s Amanda Smith discussed the implications of widespread introduction of PrEP,as a prophylactic for use by homosexuals.
    PrEP is mooted for use by HIV negative individuals; a chemical condom, if you like.
    Amanda hints at the possible actual outcome.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/prep-pep-hiv/8988994

  19. abs

    September 26, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Second Opinion demonstrates the circularity of the ‘no’ case. the view equates to – “I decide the parametres of marriage, and that I define it as such, it is such”.

    The statement is filled with inaccuracies. e.g. to state that ” It is not there to provide social acceptance”, is inconsistant with the history of marriage as a concept. (think of the term ‘bastard’)

    To invoke evolution is absurd as it denies that the human species evolved for hundreds of thousands of years (and more if including the preceding species humans evolved from) without mariage.

    Stating that the place of a woman is at stake is as well absurd and ignore the fact that same sex relationships, SS parenting, commercial surragacy are present now are are not dependant upon SSM to continue.

    This is what happens when one tries to invent ‘arguements’ to justify a position, rather than be informed by arguement in choosing a position.

  20. Lynne Newington

    September 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I guess there’s going to have to be a total rewiring of the brain when supporting our brothers and sisters…
    Maybe I should’ve said for some of us…….

  21. Second Opinion

    September 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    This is NOT an issue of marriage, or of marriage equality.
    It is about the usurping of the fundamental relationship that we humans enter into.
    Marriage chooses us: we might choose marriage, or we might not. We can not demand it. It is the place for humility, not justification.

    We are in a place where marriage is forced to be something it is not. It is not there to provide social acceptance, which is the SSM position.
    It is not there to provide cover for commercial surrogacy, which is after all a commercial transaction; a contract for the supply of a product. No questions asked.

    The place of women is very much at stake here. Women are in danger of being rendered unnecessary for procreation. For the price of a semen sample, you can procure the perfect baby free of all the potential genetic risks.
    The Darwinian method of vaginal birth is suddenly second best. Evolution no longer matters.

    I too can hypnotise a chook before I chop it’s head off.
    We are being hoodwinked.

    These concerns are central to the definition of marriage. They are the unfortunate future of Same Sex Marriage.

  22. Peter Godfrey

    September 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    It all comes down to interpretation really.
    First thing is that the Bible was not written by Jesus or his disciples. Parts of it were written a hundred to 300 years later by people who heard the stories from people who heard the stories etc.
    So it is very difficult to follow Jesus lead.
    As he often taught with parables, so that people would not confuse his teachings with absolute truths then that also confuses the issues.
    Each person will interpret the alleged sayings of Jesus in their own way, depending on their own spiritual maturity. There are esoteric and exoteric meanings to everything that is attributed to Jesus teachings.
    There is no Moral High Ground.
    This is a planet of free will.
    Much of what the bible teaches is not followed by Christians anyway. If it were followed to the letter then the anomalies in the Bible would make the religion very confusing indeed.
    For example in Genesis, God tell us that the “fruit of the trees and nuts” are our food.
    Meaning that humans should be vegetarians. As green leafy things are food for animals we should really just survive on fruit and nuts.
    Later on after the flood God tells Noah that if we have to eat animals then we can and I would not read that as a permanent edict.
    God could not have created us in “His Own Image” as God was here before creation happened, and all creation is attributed to God then he cannot have a physical form anything like us.
    The religion of Christians was taken over by the churches in order to control the masses by fear and loathing. None of that is part of Jesus’ teaching.
    If Jesus were alive today and walking among us I am sure that he would say what is the fuss.
    Let people live, let them find happiness in whatever way they can that does no harm to others.

  23. Michael Rowan

    September 26, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Lynne (5) so how do heterosexual couples who turn out to be infertile ‘become one’? Or those that marry after their childbearing years? Or, come to think of it, how was my brain in a different state on the few occasions when, unknown to either of us at the moment, conception occurred, compared to the very many more times when it did not? Luckily our brains are good at learning when we insist they think things through in the light of all of the evidence.

  24. Lynne Newington

    September 26, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I wonder how we will explain the “becoming one” in relation to the creative act between husband and wife.
    Can anything compare to that special intimacy that moves into the spiritual realm for those in love?

    It’s more than just a sexual act.

    I guess there’s going to have to be a total rewiring of the brain when supporting our brothers and sister.

  25. Leonard Colquhoun

    September 25, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Or, maybe, given the huge range of variations in human abilities and attitudes, “It’s the simplistic chatter about ‘equality’, stupid”.

  26. Second Opinion

    September 25, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Michael Leunig is a precious soul

    I must admit I have not sought his permission..

    http://www.leunig.com.au/works/recent-cartoons?limit=1&start=3

  27. Luigi Brown

    September 25, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    This is all very logical, but I’m confident that logic plays little part in opinions, voting intent or the range of possible outcomes.

  28. Chris

    September 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    As Bill would say “its the equality stupid”
    Are all religions equal or some more equal than others ?

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