Salvation Army Homophobia: The Marriage Equality Submission

The Salvation Army claims it does not discriminate against gay people.

However, their submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, regarding 2012′s proposed marriage equality legislation, tells a different story.

Here is what they had to say:

The Salvation Army, both internationally and within Australia, has a long history of non-discriminatory action.

We firmly believe in assisting and working with all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and our history demonstrates this fundamental belief.

Saying that, we retain our very firm conviction that the institution of marriage is, by definition, an act solely between a man and a woman. This should not be altered in any way.

To hold this position is not to make any comment about gay and lesbian relationships; it is, rather, to strongly affirm and uphold the sanctity of marriage as being only and always between a man and a woman.

The Salvation Army’s Positional Statement on marriage articulates this very clearly:

In spite of changing lifestyles and values, the family unit – father, mother and children – is still the ideal social institution in contemporary Australian life.

By marriage the family remains the basic source of nurture, of love, of economic and other life supports, of fundamental education and socialization and of spiritual and moral development. Other social institutions serve best as supportive resources.

In the face of emerging alternative lifestyles and modes of living, which in recent years have grown in incidence and open acceptance, The Salvation Army affirms its absolute conviction that the marriage of one man to one woman is a sacred institution ordained by God and that a traditional good-faith commitment to an indissoluble union is one of the most rewarding of life’s decisions for any man or woman, providing the optimal conditions for family life.

We encourage married couples to continually seek ways to enrich their relationship and to seek elling quickly should difficulties arise.

We encourage parents to discover how best to develop a close relationship of mutual trust and respect with their children and to accept responsibility for their children’s physical, moral and spiritual growth and well being.

The Salvation Army acknowledges that many people today find themselves in situations outside the ideal stated above. Persons in such circumstances should always be encouraged to feel totally accepted within The Salvation Army.

Thus The Salvation Army, through all its programmes and services, seeks to strengthen marriage and enrich family life.

The Salvation Army, therefore, respectfully calls upon the Australian Parliament to hold strongly to the Marriage Act, 1961, and to resist any move to amend it as per the Bills being considered here by the Standing Committee.

boycott-salvation-armyOur view, while founded in our Biblical theology, is reinforced every day through our engagement with thousands of individuals and families throughout Australia. To tear down a foundational stone of society in this manner would only add to the sense of brokenness and dislocation which already exists in Australian society.

To suggest that the fundamental destruction of the foundational institution of marriage would in some way be a “celebration of diversity” is to completely misunderstand the nature of the institution of marriage. Diversity and acceptance are encouraged within society, but always within appropriate limits decided upon and observed by the vast majority for the common good. To somehow suggest that the establishment of appropriate mores and laws for the common good is to infringe upon human rights is to see the issue from only one limited perspective and not through the lens of the greater, common good of society.

The Salvation Army calls upon the government and all members in the Australian Parliament to oppose these amendments. We also supply with this letter a more comprehensive document, Marriage and the Recognition of Same-Sex Unions, as an addendum. This expands upon the statements made in this more concise submission.

Yours most sincerely,

Raymond A. Finger (Commissioner)
Territorial Commander
Australia Southern Territory
(Incorporating: Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory)

Salvation Army Position Statement on Homosexuality

A homophobic position paper on the Salvation Army’s attitude to gay relationships used to be found on their website.

That is, until people noticed it. Now, that link simply opens a blank page:


Fortunately, the original contents of the page are still archived on the Wayback Machine.

Here is what it said:


The Salvation Army believes that homosexuality can be properly considered only in the broader context of a biblical understanding of human sexuality in general. The creation account set out in the opening chapters of Genesis reveals the following truths:

1. That we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27);

2. That God created us both male and female (Genesis 1:27);

3. That this differentiation of the sexes is a part of the divine image in the human race (Genesis 1:27);

4. That the loneliness of Adam was remedied by God through the creation of a woman, not a second man (Genesis 2:21, 22);

5. That sexual union leading to a one-flesh relationship is intended to be between male and female (Genesis 2:23, 24);

6. That such union is intended to be in the setting of a permanent and publicly acknowledged relationship forming the basis of a new family unit (Genesis 2:24).

The Bible thus teaches that God’s intention for mankind is that society should be ordered on the basis of lifelong, legally sanctioned, heterosexual unions. Such unions (marriages) lead to the formation of social units (families) which are essential to human personal development and therefore to the stability of the community.

Scripture opposes homosexual practices by direct comment (Leviticus 18:22, 23; 20:13; Romans 1:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10) and also by clearly implied disapproval (Genesis 19:1-29; Judges 19:1-30; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Jude 3-23). The Bible treats such practices as self-evidently abnormal. They reject both the obvious implications of human physiology and the potential for procreation. Romans 1 sees homosexual acts as a symptom of a deeper refusal to accept the organising scheme of God for the created order (Romans 1:23-25).

The Army recognises that same-sex friendships can be enriching, Christ-honouring relationships, bringing joy through mutual companionship and sharing. However, same-sex relationships which are genitally expressed are unacceptable according to the teaching of Scripture. Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually-based family life do not conform to God’s will for society.

For this reason, and in obedience to the example of Jesus whose compassionate love was all-embracing, Salvationists seek to understand and sensitively to accept and help those of a homosexual disposition and those who express that disposition in sexual acts. Salvationists are opposed to the victimisation of persons on the grounds of sexual orientation and recognise the social and emotional stress and the loneliness borne by many who are homosexual.
The Army regards the origins of a homosexual orientation as a mystery and does not regard a homosexual disposition as blameworthy in itself or rectifiable at will. Nevertheless, while we are not responsible for what we are, we are accountable for what we do; and homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, is controllable and may be morally evaluated therefore in the light of scriptural teaching.

For this reason such practices, if unrenounced, render a person ineligible for Salvation Army soldiership, in the same way that unrenounced heterosexual misconduct is a bar to soldiership. The Army recognises the strength of feeling about sexual identity, and the difficulty many find in expressing this identity in keeping with scriptural standards.

However, it believes firmly in the power of God’s grace to enable the maintenance of a lifestyle pleasing to him, including a lifestyle built upon celibacy and self-restraint for those who will not or cannot marry. No one who yields to the lordship of Christ and who undertakes by his grace to live in accordance with the teaching of Scripture is excluded from Christian fellowship and service in the Army.


#QandA anti-gay pastor Matt Prater’s bizarre Billy Joel cover

Sad Matt Prater

Sad Matt Prater

This is Matt Prater. Doesn’t he look sad?

Matt is chief liar-for-Jesus at a Brisbane church called New Hope.

He is also a hosts on a national Christian radio network called Vision Radio.

Vision. Radio.

He also has a Diploma in Creative Arts majoring in drama and singing. So he’s probably as good at singing as he is preaching the Truth to all nations.

Matt Prater doesn’t like gays

Matt Prater doesn’t like gay people at all. He is especially upset by the thought of gay people marrying. It gets him ‘fired up’.

His co-religionist Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia, recently had a road-to-Damascus conversion and is now in favour of equal rights for gay couples.

Last night, Matt got the chance to ask Rudd a question on the ABC’s Q and A program. He was very excited! Oh, the joy! Divorcee Matt points out the sanctity of marriage as understood by Jesus.

Here’s his question, and Rudd’s barnstomingly awesome smackdown response:


Did you feel that BUUUUUURN?

Have some cream for that burn

Have some cream for that burn

It seems that that Matt’s been Prayin’ the Gay Away for several years.

In fact, in 2011, he recorded a song about gay marriage. It’s a cover of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire.

I’d link you to the song on his website, but (gosh darn it) his website seems to have been struck by the same bug that hit the Australian Christian Lobby’s a while back. Christian websites are dreadfully unreliable. Matt used to sell websites, by the way.

I am Matt’s saviour.

Here’s the song, which I thoughtfully archived. I listened to it for your sins, Matt.

Isn’t that something? Doesn’t that just scream ‘Diploma in Creative Arts majoring in drama and singing‘?

Here’s Matt during happier times, smiling and holding his album:

Happy Matt Prater

Happy Matt Prater

In case you can’t see it, the album is called ‘Hope for Hurting Hearts’. Which, if you ask me, is a pretty weird thing to hope for. But so is denying equal rights to gay people. And, well, that song.

I suppose that’s what you get when you name a church after a Star Wars film.

Meryl Dory


You may also enjoy V for Ventosity.

The AVN’s announcement: Meryl gives her Crayons to Greg

Meryl Dorey

Meryl Dorey

Meryl Dorey has resigned as president of the AVN.

Her replacement is the splendidly eccentric Greg Beattie.

Here is the AVN’s announcement of the news:

Greg Beattie, long-time vaccine researcher and author of two books, the latest of
which guides readers through an in-depth analysis of the benefits of vaccination
with a focus on Australia, has stepped in to fill the role of President of the
Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. (AVN). This position was recently vacated by
Meryl Dorey, who resigned effective January 1, 2013.

Ms Dorey is a founding member of the national health watchdog and support group,
established almost 19 years ago in 1994. The AVN has over 2,000 members both within
Australia and internationally and has been active in both supporting the right to
free and informed health choice and opposing medical discrimination.

“There are several very important projects which have been neglected due to the
pressures of running this organisation”, said Ms Dorey. “A sabbatical will enable
me to do this work while knowing that the AVN is in the best of hands with Greg
Beattie and our Management Committee in charge.”

Mr Beattie is the father of 7 children and first rose to prominence during his appeal
against the Maroochy Shire Council whose discriminatory policy excluded his healthy
unvaccinated children from council-run childcare centres.

His account of that process, including an in-depth analysis of Australian Government
data demonstrating that vaccination had little to do with the decline in deaths
from infectious diseases over the last century, quickly became the ‘go-to’ book
on this issue. Called, Vaccination: A Parent’s Dilemma, it was Greg’s first publication
on the subject. His second volume, Fooling Ourselves on the Fundamental Value of
Vaccines, expands on and updates earlier research, again using Australian data
on mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases.

“The future for this organisation is very exciting”, Ms Dorey continued. “Strong-arm
tactics by the Australian Government and medical community have virtually guaranteed
that more and more parents will be asking questions about the safety and effectiveness
of vaccination. The demand for our services has never been greater and with the
help of our new President, we will continue to provide both information and support
to Australian families into the foreseeable future.

For interviews or further information, please contact:

Greg Beattie – 0400 045 504

I’ll write more later, but this is awesome news. Thanks, Meryl!

AVN’s Meryl Dorey orders NSW Fair Trading to change its name

Sad Meryl Dorey

Sad Meryl Dorey

The Australian Vaccination Network’s Meryl Dorey has offered up a stinging rebuke to NSW Fair Trading, ordering it to change its name.

The demand comes less than 24 hours after Dorey was served with a direction to change the AVN’s name or be deregistered as an association.

In an open letter published exclusively on her website, Dorey said:

Dear Minister Roberts,

I am writing in response to the letter you delivered to my house yesterday. I’m sorry I wasn’t in to meet you personally. I was out at a bullying seminar, looking for someone to care about my hurt feelings.

Regarding the name of the AVN: look, we’re a network, right? Well we’re not really a network. We’re a blog with a shop selling Scientology DVDs, but we have a mailing list.

And we’re Australian, right? Well, I’m not Australian. But I live in Australia.

And we talk a lot about Stop The AVN, and what does the V in Stop The AVN Stand for? Exactly: vaccination. So there’s nothing misleading about the AVN’s name.

I don’t think it’s fair that we should have to change our name, and if this Commissioner or Director-General or Minister or whatever thinks so then they aren’t fair either.

So you should have to change your name, because you aren’t really trading fairly at all. In fact, you people don’t even have an online shop, so how are you even trading at all?! Don’t confuse them with logic!!

(BTW, speaking of online shops, we have a special offer on bootleg photocopies of 20-year-old articles right now. $2 each, or $50 for a parsnip-box full. We also have a DVD with all 8 issues of the six-times-annual Living Wisdom magazine, dating back to 1994!)

But anyway, NSW Fair Trading are clearly not actually fair. And another thing: where is this directive actually coming from? You are only a state government and the Australian Medical Association and News Limited and Fairfax Media and the Queensland Minister of Health and the HCCC and OLGR, so I think you must have some undisclosed backing from pharmaceutical companies who only want to make their customers sick. It makes you think!

Love and light,

Meryl Dorey

P.S. Sorry we haven’t submitted our 2011 Annual Report yet. I can’t find my green crayon.

This post is satire. It shouldn’t need stating, but then nor should the fact that vaccination is a vitally important part of healthcare policy. Join Stop The AVN to find out more.

Meryl Dorey to rename the Australian Vaccination Network ‘Stop Stop The AVN’

Meryl Dorey

Meryl Dorey

Meryl Dorey, crazed anti-vaccination conspiracy-theorist and Scientology propaganda seller, has announced that her lucrative marketing business, the Australian Vaccination Network is to change its name early in the New Year.

The newly rebranded outfit will be named ‘Stop Stop The AVN‘, in reference to notorious cyberbullies and beastly rotters Stop The Australian Vaccination Network.

The name change has been prompted by an order by the NSW Office of Fair Trading.

In a Media Release published exclusively on her website, Ms Dorey stated: ‘Look, all I do is piss and moan about Stop The AVN anyway. It’s been months since I could be bothered writing any magazine articles, and it seems none of my subscribers have even noticed that their six-issue annual subscriptions consist of one real magazine and five imaginary ones. I mean, why even bother pretending any more?’

‘According to Meryl Dorey, it’s an incredible strategy. The harder Meryl fails, the more successful she is, according to her’, said Ms Dorey’s accountant, Leo Bloom. ‘It’s a bit like vaccination in that respect, according to Meryl.’

NSW Fair Trading Minister, Anthony ‘Awesome’ Roberts said:

“This is not a victimless issue, it’s about the ability to stop pain and suffering,”

Mr Roberts likened the AVN’s message to sanctioning speeding.

“People do not have the freedom of choice when it comes to endangering others … it’s the equivalent of saying a bloke can speed down the road and endanger others,” he said.

Mr Roberts said he was prepared for any appeals the AVN might make.

“This is an order, it is not a request,” he said.

In response, Meryl Dorey pointed out that the Nazis also gave orders.

“Just today, I was at an anti-bullying seminar when they told me I should not be defined by bullies. What better way to show that Stop The AVN don’t bother me in the slightest, than by spending all my time writing blog posts and updating Facebook to show everyone what they’re up to? And if that’s the case, then why not literally define myself as the very opposite of Stop The AVN?”

A spokesman for Stop The AVN said no decision had been made on the future direction of the group, but a change of name to ‘Stop Stop Stop The AVN’ had not been ruled out.

This post is satire. It shouldn’t need stating, but then, nor should the fact that vaccination saves lives. Join SSSAVN today.

A fair shake of the SourceBottle

Seriously, who replies to these things?

Shaking up SourceBottle

Who actually responds to this stuff?

Storified by Dave The :-) Singer · Fri, Nov 02 2012 03:32:28

No I am immutable and immortal. RT @SourceBottle: Leading women’s magazine asks: Has your body changed since being in a relationship?Dave The :-) Singer
No it doesn’t. RT @SourceBottle: Magazine wants to hear about about trouble you’ve had with your in-lawsDave The :-) Singer
YES IT IS CANIS MAJOR RT @SourceBottle: Interviewer asks: Is your dog a star?Dave The :-) Singer
As opposed to? RT @SourceBottle: Journalist seeks Almond Milk consumers, manufacturers, retailers & dieticians who have views on the productDave The :-) Singer
Yes. Dave The Happy Singer has heard of them. RT @SourceBottle: Journalist asks: Have you used or do you know about compression garments?Dave The :-) Singer
Good idea. RT @SourceBottle: Magazine seeks dermatologists expert for skincare storyDave The :-) Singer
Restaurant seeks stagefright victims. RT @SourceBottle: Television show looking for couples who can’t cook well to appear on cameraDave The :-) Singer
Or anyone, really; dogs can’t read. RT @SourceBottle: Dog magazine requires pet nutrition expertDave The :-) Singer
Me too. RT @SourceBottle: Magazine seeks advice from professionals and parents on how to broach the subject of porn with teensDave The :-) Singer
Bad reason to have them. RT @SourceBottle: Publication seeks high profile women who’ve had babies for interviewDave The :-) Singer
Unlikely. Oldest child I’ve seen was 32. RT @SourceBottle: Newspaper women who have had kids in their 40sDave The :-) Singer
If you know what I mean. RT @SourceBottle Journalist seeks a sexologist or sexual health expert for a monthly columnDave The :-) Singer
Having nothing more to say about new Volvo double-deckers. RT @SourceBottle Bus Magazine seeks comment from small businesses using FacebookDave The :-) Singer
They mean prostitutes and prisoners, I think. RT @SourceBottle Journalist seeks the pros and cons of not being in a 9-5 office jobDave The :-) Singer
The police monitor Twitter, you know. RT @SourceBottle Journalist seeks tablets to reviewDave The :-) Singer
About 24 hours. RT @SourceBottle Newspaper asks: What do you get out of a visit to a day spa?Dave The :-) Singer
As opposed to WHAT?! RT @SourceBottle Magazine seeks mum and daughter who have birth at the same timeDave The :-) Singer
No, I only use the paper version of YouTube. RT @SourceBottle Magazine asks: Have you YouTubed about being trolled or bullied online?Dave The :-) Singer
Yes. Now I am an expert dud myself. RT @SourceBottle Magazine asks: Have you ever been trained by a dud?Dave The :-) Singer
The big break you’ve been waiting for! RT @SourceBottle Journalist seeks mums to be filmed eating chicken on TV programDave The :-) Singer
Offal jym-jam. RT @SourceBottle Magazine asks: Do you play an unusual sport or game?Dave The :-) Singer
Over-coming IS a sexual issue. RT @SourceBottle Journalist asks: Have you overcome a sexual issue?Dave The :-) Singer
Why not from a chair? RT @SourceBottle Media interviewer wants to speak to families hit with high electricity bills from airconditioningDave The :-) Singer
More fat-hatred. RT @SourceBottle Journalist seeks women who’ve struggled to re-enter the workplaceDave The :-) Singer
Let me guess: it’s Zoo Weekly. RT @SourceBottle Magazine asks: What is kindness?Dave The :-) Singer
There are other options? RT @SourceBottle Newspaper seeks parents who are trying for a boy or a girlDave The :-) Singer
Danger, response, airways, breathing, circulation. RT @SourceBottle Writer asks: What are some essential health checks for all women?Dave The :-) Singer

The sexual-health hypocrisy of Jim Wallace and the ACL

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit…
…by their fruits ye shall know them.
- Matt 17-20 KJV

Julia Gillard should never have agreed to speak at the Australian Christian Lobby’s annual conference.

Camp Jim

Camp Jim

Now, she’s finally seen sense and pulled out. The final straw was a comparison made by Brigadier Jim Wallace (ret.1) between homosexuality and smoking. Jim Wallace, who had previously blamed homosexuality for child rape by priests, made the comments in a recent debate with Greens leader Christine Milne.

In a subsequent Media Release, Jimbo the Clown was very upset that ‘gay activists’ had ‘misreported’ this comparison, and to clarify he made the same comparison again:

I was not comparing homosexuality with smoking at all. What I was saying is that on one hand we are vocal on our discouragement of people to smoke and on the other we are suppressing public dialogue about the health risks associated with homosexuality.

Jim seems to think that his free speech is being suppressed somehow. Yet he is entirely free to talk rubbish, just as we are free to laugh at him. Jim has his website, and his Twitter account, where he can gay-bash all day long. He has semi-regular webcasts into churches the length and breadth of the land. He has conferences and debates with massive media coverage, funded by wads of corporate cash from Gloria Jean’s Coffees.

No-one’s suppressing you, Jim. In fact, I’d prefer to do the opposite. As Christopher Hitchens said, some arguments don’t so much need rebutting as underlining. The more people hear what Jim has to say, the better.

Damn lies

Jim goes on to do a little magic trick with statistics:

We rightly warn of the health impacts of smoking. Surely we cannot allow these aggressive activists to conceal the facts of a lifestyle that accounts for over eighty percent of new HIV cases in Australia annually.

Eighty percent! That is (and here I use a technical term) a Big Number. But it’s also a very irrelevant number. Jim is using a statistical misdirect that is identical to one that antivaccination liars like Meryl Dorey regularly use. I’ll let Jason Brown (with whom I do a skeptical comedy podcast) explain over at My Colleagues are Idiots:

A veteran liar-with-statistics-she-doesn’t-understand, Meryl Dorey has fold us that 80% of pertussis cases happen in the vaccinated population, as if to suggest that the vaccinated are somehow, illogically, more likely to contract whooping cough than the unvaccinated. This we know is not the case – the vaccine is shown to have a good – though not by any means perfect – efficacy rate in preventing infection. This still doesn’t stop Meryl throwing the percentage out there in support of her topsy-turvy world view.

Still, so what if 80% of cases are in the vaccinated? The important question is whether you’re more or less likely to contract an infection if vaccinated, and for that you need to know rates of vaccination versus rates of infection with a solid contextual basis. From Meryl’s 80% claim alone, it is impossible to tell – and therefore the assertion is useless, as well as being flat-out wrong.

In the case of STIs, things are somewhat different: there is a higher prevalence among men who have sex with men than among the general population. (I understand prevalence also varies among ethnic groups, but Jim didn’t mention that. He a homophobe, not a racist).

But the prevalence of HIV relative to the demographic of gay people is, in media terms, a Small Number: it’s less than 10%. See? By saying same-sex attaction ‘accounts for over eighty percent of new HIV cases’, Jim gets to use a Big Scary Number. Even if it’s irrelevant.

The ACL’s Sexual Health Hypocrisy

Of course, rates of HIV infection are too high, generally and among MSM. Jim Wallace agrees with me:

As I said yesterday, I am deeply saddened by the human suffering that is behind the poor health data of the gay community.

It’s vitally important that public health resources are employed to tackle this. It’s also worthwhile to target communications at demographics who are at somewhat higher risk.

Here, for example, is a fantastic example of a campaign raising awareness of STI prevention among gay people. It’s called Rip and Roll. You may have heard of it.

Rip and Roll poster

Rip and Roll safe-sex poster

It’s the campaign that the ACL tried to ban.

The moral cesspool that is the Australian Christian Lobby actively fights to stop sexual health campaigns. While bleating pathetically about others ‘suppressing public dialogue’, they work to shut down potentially life-saving public health efforts. All to score political points in the name of homophobia.

Well done, Ms Gillard. You’ve called it right.

1 No, it stands for ‘retired’.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover has landed. And I’m worried.

Oh crap

Oh crap

Bonus gag: