Little children have an innocent ability to pass the most brutal comments. They speak what is written on their mind. All of it.
Although they completely lack the beauty of children, those who are consumed by rage and vitriol often do the same. In their anger, they betray their innermost desires.
A quick glance at the comments directed towards me over the last month highlights this. The anger is obvious. It reveals a desire to inflict pain and suffering, not only on myself, but my family. It also highlights a scary intent to indoctrinate my children. And all children.
While hiding behind the word tolerance, it is clear that those who took offence at my statements have no intention of being tolerant whatsoever. They believe that they have more right to raise my children than I; that their worldview of morality is infallible and to be taught to all children, while mine is to be destroyed.
It is worth remembering at this point that I have never once said other people should be forced to live by my views. I am happy to debate and defend these views – that is something altogether different.
I simply stated what most parents would agree with. Parents should have the right to choose who teaches their children. If you accept the basic premise, you also accept a parent’s right to choose differently than you. I don’t want homosexual teachers. You do. In a tolerant society, that would be the end of it. We would part our ways, probably offended at the opposing point of view, but each happy with the opportunity to live as we see fit.
Obviously, the fact that the rage has now continued for almost a month shows that this is not the end of it.
Furthermore, the reason I highlighted my view in the first place remains. There is a concerted campaign underway to deny Catholic and Christian schools the right to hire Catholic and Christian teachers.
The Greens, who exert no little influence over the Australian government, want this right abolished. Just four days ago, Sarrah Le Marquand wrote in The Punch that Catholic schools should not be able to refuse homosexual teachers.
In other words, she believes parents should have no right to send their children to a school that teaches Catholic morality in word and example.
Considering that parental choice of teachers is primarily derived from the ability to choose a school, this is a direct attack on me, and any Catholic or Christian parent who wishes to have their children educated in a Catholic or Christian environment.
The Greens and Ms Le Marquand are not alone, as an examination of the vitriolic hate-mail sent my way shows.
Suggestions have been made that Catholic schools should be abolished. That there should be no right to any religious instruction in Australia. That my children should be taken from me for my beliefs. Even that I should die for them.
The opposition to my statements is pure intolerance.
But don’t take my word for it. Have a quick read of a sample of twitter comments sent my way in recent days and make your own mind up:
Yesterday, @fairmontghia87 made some polite comments about my children:
@BibleReloaded @godlessnat @BernardGaynor but he will teach that vermin scum offspring of his the same s**t he sprouts
This was followed by @godlessnat, who believes that I have no right to engage in political activity:
Homophobes like @BernardGaynor have NO place in politics. Some people would rather die than be themselves because of c***s like you.
Then @BibleReloaded chipped in with:
@godlessnat @BernardGaynor I don’t want straight people teaching hatred. Also f**k you 🙂
A day earlier, @riffriffington1 tweeted about those who support my views:
@scoutsleftleg @gottahaveasay @bernardgaynor They all need muzzles.
On 15 February, @LaurenxEstelle was actually honest about who does the hating:
@BernardGaynor I don’t know if you’ve realised this but everyone f***ing hates you. Isn’t that a massive sign that you’re wrong and sick?
The same day @NeagleSean was polite enough to suggest a current Wallabies player should end my life:
@BernardGaynor are you giving up being homophobic for lent ? @pocockdavid please clear him out of the human ruck we call life
@LeftyScumbag lived up to his name on the same day with this comment:
.@BernardGaynor is a disgusting piece of filth who belongs in the 16th century. You bigoted little f**kwit. #auspol
@snerdish made a point of wishing me ill-health. I hope he never suffers from what he wishes for others:
@BernardGaynor Hahaha, you are an enormous f**ker. I hope you get hemorrhoids.
A few days earlier, @cutter78 made a comment that reflects much of the response I have received, and which highlights the desire to remove Christian schools:
@BernardGaynor simple answer get rid of ALL faith schools
@xNEXUZx thinks it is appropriate to wish the destruction of my family:
@BernardGaynor your not catholic. God was being humours when u were born GAYnOR. I prey ya kids grow up 2b homosexuals & wife leaves you
One side in this debate wishes death, ill-health, family break-down, the removal of religious freedom and admits to hatred. This side wishes to prevent their opponents from political activity and is not afraid to use language that is considered off-limits in civilised discourse and is the stock-in-trade of school-yard bullies.
The other simply wishes the freedom to have their children educated according to their religious beliefs.
You can be the judge of which side is tolerant.
I will finish today with Article 18, section 4 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the Un General Assembly in 1966.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Through Christ, our King,