This is what I think about religion:

I think that whatever faith you believe in is up to you. You choose to believe in a monotheist way of life and that is okay and entirely up to you. I believe wholeheartedly in the right of every single human being to believe in whatever it is they want to believe in, as long as it doesn’t do harm to others.  I have that right and so should you.

This is where I have a big problem:

I am under the impression that religion, your faith, is a relationship between you and your God. I believe that your faith is a personal relationship and that as long as you abide by whatever rules as set out by your faith, your place in your version of heaven is secured.

What I don’t believe is that you get the right to determine how others should live, no matter how much you feel you have found “the one true god”. If you believe truly that he is the one true god then surely, by definition, you have to believe that he will have the final say in what happens to the souls of those people who do not follow his tenet. I don’t believe he needs you to foist your judgement on those who do not believe the same things you do.

I certainly do not believe that your religion should be determining how society lives. If you go about your business, doing what you believe is good and right according to YOUR faith, then what does it matter if I am gay and love someone of the same sex, what does it matter if I am of another faith believing in different god, what does it matter if I am not a believer at all? That is between me and your god, surely.

By insisting on influencing laws that MAKE me come round to your way of thinking (which it doesn’t really by the way), you are in fact demonstrating you don’t believe in your god’s ability to control his own creation.  You are in fact micro managing him.  You are saying, “Hey god, I don’t think you are doing a good enough job, let me do it for you.”  Such is your (solely human) need to control and manipulate, you truly believe you are acting on behalf of god.  But truth be told, you are insulting him.


I wonder what it is about gay relationships that make people so touchy?  I really do.

At the end of the day it is only about love isn’t it?  Two people of the same sex who want to be together, for however long, for companionship, for togetherness, for love.  Being homosexual is no longer illegal, so why not undo what was done only in 2006 and revert the Australian Marriage Act to say, as it once did, only 9 short years ago, that marriage is the union of “two people” instead of a ” man and a woman”.

The internet has been going crazy about Ireland’s landslide decision to allow Marriage Equality.  Sensing an opportunity, Bill Shorten announced his intention to submit a bill on Marriage Equality here in Australia – this land that likes to call itself inclusive and progressive HA!

This act has had the unusual effect of dividing proponents of Marriage Equality.  People are pissed off that Bill Shorten had the audacity to use Marriage Equality to gain political points.  Which, frankly, is ridiculous.  Every decision ever made about anything since Democracy began was about gaining political power.  At best, you are naive, at worst delusional, if you think otherwise.

Honestly, what does it matter how the Bill gets tabled, let’s just rejoice that it’s getting there.

On Monday, as I was dropping Master J off at school, I listened to Radio National presenter Fran Kelly interview Lyle Shelton.  Now, I have to be honest, I had never heard of the man before since I am a pretty outspoken advocate against organised religion and don’t mix in those christian circles.  But, I resisted the urge to flip the switch on him, deciding instead to give him a chance.  Truly, I wished I hadn’t.

I listened in horror for a full 8 minutes and 38 seconds.

I yelled at that radio – a lot.

I yelled at his notion that children from same sex relationships are worse off than those in heterosexual relationships (studies in fact prove the opposite), I yelled at his notion that the very fabric of society is being threatened (Ancient Romans and Greeks practiced homosexuality and are the grandfathers of civilisation!) and I especially yelled at his implication that if we legislate for same sex marriage then we run the risk of devolving into polygamy (Fran Kelly also yelled at him for this).  He had a national forum and by goodness he was going to use it to cast as much fear into the hearts of a nation as he could.

The sheer frustration I felt was threatening to affect my ability to drive.

As soon as I got to my favourite coffee shop I whipped open my phone and sent a series of tweets.  I knew it would have no impact on him – I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t even read them – but it felt good to be able to correct him on so many things.

{You have to read them from the bottom up.  At first I insulted him, but then felt that wasn’t kind or productive, so I stuck to the issues after that.}

Tweets to Lyle Shelton 2

Tweets to Lyle Shelton

Here’s the thing: Marriage Equality is about love.  It is about giving the right to ALL humans to be allowed to love and marry the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with, and legally enjoying the same protections afforded to heterosexual couples.  Despite those couple of lines in the old testament of the bible (homosexuality is not mentioned in the new testament), surely your god, at the very heart of it, is about love.  At the heart of it, Marriage Equality and God really do go hand in hand.

Marriage Equality is going to come.  As sure as women got the vote and child labour was abolished, it is coming.  Governments, do yourself a wonderful favour and do the right thing.  Religious zealots stay out of it.  It’s not that hard.  Truly.  Society will not disintegrate into the din of inequity.  Beastiality will not be the next thing to be legalised, nor polygamy.  Society doesn’t want those things.  We want and demand Marriage Equality – which is the right for ALL humans to be allowed to love and marry the person their hearts desire.  Surely that is not too difficult to get your head around.  Religion aside, your faith aside, this is what your community wants.

And for something to think on, I leave you with this:

First Dog on the Moon - The reasoned, considered arguments against same-sex marriage
With thanks to

Until next time,

SHW Signature



  1. People like that man drive me to tears, too, Sarah.
    I wonder if he has considered that so many of the great men of the bible were polygamists, given it is the final frontier of sinfulness in his debate. Abraham fathered two significant sons in the history of the world. Ishmael (from whom the Muslim world are descendant) and Israel (from whom the Jewish world are descendant). Both from different wives.
    And I wonder if Mr Shelton would consider it okay for rape to be legalised, because Lot (the only ‘godly’ man left in Sodom and Gomorrah) offered his own daughters to those harassing him, so they could rape them instead of his guests. Humans believing themselves to be on quests of godly proportions are dangerous.
    We have equal marriage rights here in New Zealand. Has it changed the fabric of society? Not much, but the bit that has changed is that many of us feel like we can hold our heads a little higher when we say we are from this nation. We have some great political wins. First to give women the vote, in the world. And now, another good decision that makes equality more of a reality for our people.
    I wish Australia all the best with the myriad of issues facing you at present. So many bad things going on over there.
    I love that you shine a light on these things with your excellent opinion pieces, Sarah. Keep writing, I love reading your posts!


    1. I completely agree Rachel. There is so much about this argument that is flawed, and plain old wrong. We unfortunately have voted in a man that is not only a royalist, but also has the mindset of a 1950s dinosaur. His religious zealousness also informs many of the policy decisions that he makes (for example cutting funding for all secular – read qualified – counsellors in schools, but increasing it for religious – read unqualified – counsellors in schools that distribute pamphlets to children on how homosexuality is a sin). Unfortunately, this is not a joke. I have to be honest, in the last 18 months, I have often wondered why we didn’t just extend our flight and setting in NZ :-). Thanks for commenting xx


  2. From the standpoint of a firm believer in the God of the Bible: God has given us all free will. That is the very reason that Adam and Eve were able to disobey God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and bad in the Garden of Eden. That same free will was acknowledged by Jesus when he said that God had made allowance for the hard heartedness of the Jews and allowed them to be polygamists up until Jesus ‘ day. No where though was homosexuality allowed -neither in the Mosaic Law nor in Jesus and the 12 apostles day – and it is clearly forbidden in the Greek Scriptures. You have free will to live your life as you will. The Bible does warn though that there are consequences for flouting God’s laws. Any loving Christian would be uncaring to think that you should not be aware of those consequences as just like God we wish to see all men saved. You have freedom of choice. So do we. Part of our choice is sticking to what we truly believe in even though mocked by those who don’t. In a world that extols freedom for everyone people forget that not everyone should have to follow the dictates of the majority. That we who live our lives by stricter standards should not be forced to partake in the thinking of those who want absolute freedom (which is impossible to achieve because you then rob others of theirs).


    1. Without getting into a debate about the validity of a book that was written by men more than some 1700 years, and declared as the ultimate word of god by just 300 men who turned up to the Council of Nicae (after over 1500 were invited), I think you will find that my post was not about enforcing you to live in any way other than the one you see fit. Rather, I think you will find that I utterly believe how you to live your life is entirely up to you. Please, do stick to what you believe in. No-one is forcing you to think any other way than you see fit, despite, in my opinion its narrow mindedness and bigoted standpoint. I am, however, saying your faith does not give you the right to enforce upon us, law abiding citizens, based on your faith alone, how we should live our lives. The laws of this country encompass ALL people, regardless of faith, colour of creed, and as such ALL it’s laws should be made applicable to ALL of its people, and that is what Marriage Equality is all about.


  3. Lot was certainly not a perfect man as can be seen by his selfishly choosing the best portion of land when the right to choose was offered by Abraham. However he was a worshipper of the God of Abraham and Moses and as such allowed his repugnance for the greater wrong of homosexuality to influence him into offering his daughters to the men of Sodom and Gomorrah who were clamouring with out of control lust at his door rather than his male visitors. God showed His approval of his actions and faith by guarding the entire family so that none were harmed.


    1. This genuinely has not added any weight whatsoever to your argument. That you follow a god that finds it perfectly acceptable for a man to offer his daughters to men for sex as a means away from homosexuality is just – well, repugnant. Imagine you were that daughter? Imagine that happening now. Oh wait, it does. And it is illegal. Thank goodness for civilisation.


      1. You’ll note if you read the account that God intervened and did not allow the daughters to be offered as rape victims. He made a way out so that no one was abused. God is not responsible for the faulty reasoning of men nor for all the false representation of Him by religions earth wide. If you studied the Bible from over to cover with internal referencing you would see that He truly cares for ALL people. I hope you do not get the impression that I am attacking your lifestyle ( I’m sorry that I have a bad way of wording things) but rather just wish to stand up for the side that is currently copping all the flack. Cherrie


        1. The reason that your “side” is copping all the flack is because it is religion that judges and divides people. It constantly refers to homosexuality as an unnatural sin. That alone is unkind, judgemental, indeed hateful. It is non-inclusive philosophy that does not promote love of all people at all. Instead it tells people that their way of life is unnatural or that if despite being a good person, if they don’t live their life in a certain way, they are doomed to hell. In an attempt to “prove” the christian stance, they (and indeed people of other faiths) refer to a book that was written thousands of years ago, is littered with contradictions and has no basis in reality. People of faith take its word on faith without question, and then try to apply those (extremely contradictory) rules to the rest of humanity denigrating those who do not fit the mould. I certainly disagree that your god loves everyone. I have read the bible and it is copiously littered with violence and mayhem against innocent men women and children sanctioned by god, yet justified by his supposed love and big plan that no-one can possibly know. How convenient. I have also read copious of other books from archaeologists who worked on the dead sea scrolls as well as from historians who have studied documents that predate christianity. I make it my business to not judge before I have all the facts. I choose to critically analyse all that I have been taught and ask myself the fundamental question “does this seem reasonable?” and, to me, the answer is a resounding no. Thank you though for the debate and for putting forth your side of the argument. I do love me a good debate, and am always open to both sides of the story. I do appreciate your time and effort. xx


  4. I get very passionate about what I believe too.
    PS The Bible does not teach that death is either heaven or hell. That is a misrepresentation from religions that only pretend to follow the Bible. Ecclesiastical 9:5,10 state that a dead person is DEAD. The only afterlife for the dead is once God resurrects all who have died back to earth.


    1. I think for you and I this is a slightly moot discussion now since I am an atheist and you are not. I don’t believe any resurrection will take place at all and you believe a different version to what other christians believe of when that resurrection will take place. You believe what the bible has to say and the validity in it being the final word of god. I don’t. I do utterly believe in your right to believe that and would never try to coerce you into believing anything else. It’s best now to agree to disagree. Thank you xx


Let me know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s