Gay Friend Teaches LCA Ex-CEO The Meaning Of Grace.

A post by Neil Hart on homosexuality. LGBT lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

Hey Reader! I’ve been in Bali.

I spent lots of time sitting in a pool in a cliff top villa which overlooked the ocean and the cliff top golf course that I played on. My caddie, (yes, I had a caddie, and a golf cart and drinks and nibblies… ) said to me…”Mr Neeeil. You No. 1 top golfer, Mr Neeeil”…which might have been flattering if she hadn’t said it while giggling to my golf partner’s caddie immediately after I had just scored an embarrassing 13 on a par 4.  (I though they stopped counting at 10!! And whats with this “extra stroke plus distance” when you hit your ball over the edge of the cliff and into the ocean below??)

Anyway…it was the humidity. It made me lose focus. It made me do and occasionally say stupid things.

Some of my best friends are…

It gave me a new appreciation for some of the things I have heard coming out of hot and humid Queensland. Not that there is anything wrong with Queenslanders. Some of my best friends are Queenslanders. It’s just that…well…they cant help the environment they were brought up in and…I guess I’ve learnt to hate the stupidity but love the stupid people.

Do you remember, reader, Bob Katter’s Australia Party’s anti-gay advertisement during the recent Queensland election? Have a look if you have forgotten.

Bob Katter Anti-Gay Election Advertisement

A recent Queensland Newspaper article linked gay youth suicide with communal attitudes such as those expressed by Mr Katter.

Mount Isa Gay-Marriage Advocate, James Newburrie says his hope is that if we, as a society, stop marginalising kids by telling them that they’re disgusting, unnatural, and unworthy, they might stop killing themselves”

“Since the early 1990s, La Trobe University has been asking gay kids why they attempt suicide, commit serious self-harm, take drugs, avoid school and run away from home. Every year the answer is the same: because of their family and their community’s attitude towards gays. If a gay male teenager experiences homophobic violence from his brother, there is a 70 per cent chance he will kill himself within a year. The data is there – your homophobia is killing your kids,” Mr Newburrie said.

Mr Katter rejected the accusation that he is homophobic. He says he hopes there are no gay young people who take their lives for those reasons.

“I am a passionate advocate for suicide prevention amongst the various interest groups within (his?) electorate and the country.”

But Bob! Just saying it doesn’t make it so. It seems that Mr Katter is a “passionate advocate for suicide prevention” until it comes to election campaigning where, suddenly it is ok to present homosexuality as lurid and something to be feared. Hey insecure and hurting gay youth of Northern Queensland…How does THAT make you feel? Oh! That’s right! According to Mr Katter…there are no gay youth in his electorate.

Speaking of Queensland Pollies, humidity and anti-gay nonsense, we have our very own Lutheran Church of Australia connection.

Trevor Ruthenburg was interviewed a few months ago by Radio National’s Religion Programming. Mr R was the CEO of the Lutheran Church of Australia until earlier this year when he was elected into the Queensland Parliament as a member for the LNP. Their election platform included a policy to revoke the law that allowed same sex partners to register a civil union. The policy was only approved last November by the previous government. Trevor was asked about his attitude to same sex partnerships.

First he seems to acknowledge his elected responsibilities…

I think that dignity needs to be preserved, and human rights, and civil rights need to be preserved,

But when asked about civil unions for gay couples  he said…

 I think civil unions are awful close to gay marriage and I don’t support them, and I’ve been quite open on this in my electorate.

and why is gay marriage not ok? Mr R talks about his gay friend as he explains.

But he knows that I could never support gay marriage, while I maintain my current faith, and as much as I…You know what? It is going to sound strange. I almost ache at times for him and understand his pain. It’s one of those things where sometimes we don’t understand God’s wisdom, but nonetheless we have to abide by his word as we understand it.

So, there it is. He stands for dignity and human and civil rights except for the dignity and human and civil rights of his gay friend. And why? Well, he doesn’t quite understand why but he is against it anyway coz…God says so. I’m glad he ALMOST aches for his gay friend and “understands his pain”. I’m sure his gay friends might ache a little sometimes too.

His response might have been made slightly less disingenuous if he hadn’t used his gay friend to try to bolster his argument. Why is it that almost everyone who stands against the human rights of the gay people in our community feel the need to preface their statements with the line, “Some of my best friends are gay…”  I’ve never heard anyone who defends the rights of the LGBT community say it. Perhaps it is a conscience balm or something. “I know that what I’m about to say SOUNDS really bad and bigotted…but, trust me, I’m not really tha way coz…some of my best friends are gay”

The interview included this line from Mr R.

one of my best friends is a practicing homosexual and is always welcome in my house, and he knows that  and we have many long conversations together on this, and it’s one issue that we are different on, but I guess that’s what makes us mates.

“But i guess that’s what makes us mates.”

Interesting comment. I think we need to put Mr Ruthenburgs comments into perspective. They aren’t talking about any simple difference of opinion. It’s not a matter of which football team is the best or which golf club to use on the par 3, 15th. Trevor, according to his Lutheran Church of Australia faith,  is saying to his friend, “You are a sinner. God judges you for your sexual activity. Your sexuality is disordered and perverted and unnatural. It is a disease and a blight on our society.

“But i guess that’s  what makes us mates.”

I think what really makes Mr R and his gay friend mates is his friend’s amazing grace which is willing to maintain the friendship even in the face of such ignorance, prejudice and insult.

You know reader…that men like Mr K and Mr R are responsible for forming government policy is downright scary if you ask me!