The journalist who asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison if he thought that gay people go to hell didn’t deserve an answer.
Morrison was asked the infantile question on Monday. The journalist was tying into the public backlash against Australian rugby player Israel Folau.
Folau, as you likely recall, proclaimed on Instagram that hell awaits ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters’. Which ensnares a lot more Aussies than just the gay community.
We wrote at the time that the best response to his provocative rants ‘is to simply write Folau off as an ignoramus and get on with your day’.
Are we infants, after all? Are we also worried about whether Morrison believes our sexual predispositions may see Santa give our house a pass on Christmas Eve?
And does Folau really believe eternal heavenly bliss awaits him on his death, ushered forth by his austere and pious lifestyle?
That’s some imagination!
But the journalist who asked the question was clearly looking to stir the pot. And Bill Shorten was happy to try to milk the situation, hoping for political gain.
Don’t ask, don’t tell
As any sane person would do in that situation, Morrison decided not to acknowledge the young journalist’s attention-seeking question at the time.
But Shorten, willing to use any means necessary enhance his party’s ‘progressiveness’, found a way to perverse Morrison’s silence:
‘I cannot believe that the prime minister has not immediately said that gay people will not go to hell.’
And we cannot believe Shorten thinks anyone is completely off the hook when it comes to that place. If you believe in hell, then surely some gay people will go to hell. Likely in similar proportions to the amount of straight people or celibate folks…
Okay, it’s sounding all sounding a bit absurd now.
Which is why the next day, the prime minister felt moved to reiterate the ridiculousness of the occurrence in a statement:
‘No, I do not believe that. It was a desperate, cheap shot from Bill Shorten who is looking to distract attention from his housing tax that will undermine the value of people’s homes.’
He then told reporters in Tasmania that the whole ordeal is just Shorten trying to ‘cynically exploit an issue that has nothing to do with this election’.
He later told reporters in Perth, ‘I support the law of the country and I always don’t mix my religion with politics and my faith with politics.’
A responsible approach, but what Shorten continues to insist is not good enough. Well, perhaps the Labor leader should take a good, long look in the mirror.
Labor: progressive hypocrisy
According to AAP, Shorten told reporters:
‘This country needs to really lift itself and the political debate and coverage needs to lift itself in the next four days.’
Which Shorten chose to do by rehashing the issue of whether heaven’s gates are closed to gays…
‘I don’t believe gay people, because they’re gay, will go to hell. I don’t need a law to tell me that. I don’t believe it,’ he said.
Senior Labor MP Penny Wong, who has a wife and two children, has voiced her own opinion on the issue. She says the Liberals should fire two of its candidates who don’t support gay marriage or gay couples having children.
‘It’s a little late — we did,’ said Senator Wong, ignoring her own hypocrisy when she voted against gay marriage back in 2010:
‘Senator Wong on Sunday said she agreed with Labor’s stance on same-sex marriages because there was a cultural, religious and historical view of marriage being between a man and a woman.’
Sydney Morning Herald, 26 July 2010
As for Morrison, he sees the practicality in having same-sex marriage approved in Australia:
‘It’s law, and I’m glad that the change has now been made and people can get on with their lives,’ he said.
Getting on with it…that’s what we want our leader to do, at the end of the day, isn’t it?
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