The text below is a slightly edited version of a speech I gave over the weekend regarding the importance of the family and the fight to defend it.
The wholeness of the family is a matter of great importance to us all. In fact, it should be recognised as one of the most important issues in any nation. Not just for the obvious personal interest that we all have in seeing our own families function, but in the national interest we have in strong families.
It should be obvious that a nation of strong families will be a strong nation.
So I am greatly honoured to be standing here before you today to speak about the family unit.
I start this presentation by outlining my background in some detail. Not just for those who may not be all that familiar with it, but because I think it will also highlight some of the issues that I have faced in defending the family in a public way. I might also add that these struggles are not unique to me – many in this nation face these same challenges and others on a daily basis.
I guess what I am saying is that these battles are not purely personal, although some may argue that I have gone looking to fight them. I am partial to a fight, but I can say that I would well and truly prefer a life where I did not need to engage in these fights, and nor have I sought them. They have been thrust upon me. And they will be thrust upon anyone who is not prepared to compromise. We are approaching the day where there may well be open persecution of anyone prepared not just to express their support for family values that are based on Christian principles, but on all who try and live by those values.
I am first and foremost a family man who wears my Catholic faith on my sleeve. My lovely wife and six children are some distance away in Brisbane today, where we live, but like all fathers, they are always in my heart. I am very happy to report that we are approaching our 12th wedding anniversary. I am sure that there are many couples here who have celebrated many more anniversaries than that and they would know how the time flies. It seems like just yesterday that I was watching my wife walk down the aisle.
I am also a military man. I joined the Army Reserve as a rifleman in the infantry in 1997, just after I turned 18, and shortly after that entered full time service as a trainee officer in Canberra. I served this nation in the Australian Regular Army as an Intelligence Officer until 2011. During this period I deployed to Iraq on three occasions and also served briefly in Afghanistan. In 2010 I was awarded the United States Meritorious Service Medal for operational performance while embedded in the highest US intelligence headquarters in Iraq.
In 2007 I spent 12 months studying Arabic at the military’s language school and reached a good level of proficiency. For instance, I was able to walk into a shop in Cairo and discuss a skirt and its sizes and colours, purchase it for my wife and do this all in Arabic at the end of 2007. I would struggle to do so today, so my skills are now somewhat lacking.
When I left full time service I transferred back into the Reserves and began working with minor conservative political parties. I started The Queensland Party with Aidan McLindon, the Member for Beaudesert, which then merged with Katter’s Australian Party. I was heavily involved in its successful 2012 Queensland election campaign and by the end of 2012 I was National General Secretary of the party.
Unfortunately, after a bright start, Katter’s Party has collapsed. Its downfall was Bob’s decision to buckle his position on marriage, and run pro-gay marriage candidates. It was an issue I was prepared to fight hard and fight publicly, and although it ultimately led to my resignation from the party, I am glad that I did so. The consequence of the public fight was the destruction of the electoral chances of James Blundell, which I am more than happy to take some credit for.
Nothing would have been worse than having a pro-gay marriage Katter senator firing off pot shots from what is regarded as the ‘conservative right’ in the Australian senate. There was a very real danger that this situation may have arisen, given the level of support for Katter in March 2012. And it would have destroyed any chance of defending the concept of marriage in this country.
Unfortunately, that public battle also led to my dismissal from the Army. And I don’t say unfortunately in a merely personal sense. I say it because it is the unfortunate truth today that our nation’s military is actively engaged in domestic politics and it is not on the side of the family at all. It is always dangerous when a military interferes in a nation’s political affairs. It is even more so when it pursues destructive and socially radical agendas. For instance, I am not sure if you are aware that the Australian Defence Force now pays for sex-change operations for its soldiers. But it does. It is truly bizarre.
In January 2013, I stated publicly that I was nominating to be a senate candidate for Katter’s Australian Party. I also outlined my views on Labor’s proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws. And at the same time, the Defence LGBTI Information Service was letting the world know its views as well.
Their view was that Christian organisations should no longer have the right to ensure that employees held the same values as the organisation. In short, they wanted to force Christian schools to hire homosexual teachers.
My view was the opposite. I said I supported laws that allow Christian organisations to discriminate on the grounds of sexual preference. And I bluntly said that I would not allow homosexuals to teach my children.
That statement caused quite a predictable media storm. It is rather ironic that I was universally condemned by the ‘Left Commisars’ and mainstream media as a bigot for ‘imposing my views on others’. Even senior Liberal MPs, such as Christopher Pyne, condemned my statement. And as they preached from their high moral soapbox they all essentially claimed that they should have more right to determine who educates my children, and how, than me and my wife. Far from me imposing on others, there is a strong push to have others impose on the educational choices of every single family in Australia.
Even the Army got in on the act. It did not matter that a Defence-linked organisation was campaigning in an illegal way through the explicit use of its association with the military for radical social change in Australia. All that mattered was that the Chief of Army had taken a personal interest in my educational choices for my children. I was counselled and labelled homophobic. My commanding officer told me that my views were unacceptable, inappropriate and offensive. And to cap it all off, it was not even public knowledge that I was in the military as a reserve officer until Defence released a public statement that my views were inappropriate.
Just for your background knowledge, Defence does have a policy on political activity and it is a policy that I support. It states clearly that Defence members are entitled to engage in private political activity, as is their right as an Australian citizen, and to even run for office, with certain conditions regarding transferring to the appropriate Reserve force. But they cannot campaign as Defence members or wear their uniform at any event of a political nature.
I have not breached that policy and Defence’s own investigations have also concluded that.
However, a month after I was ‘counselled’ for my lawful and personal political activity, uniformed military personnel marched in the largest pro-gay marriage political rally held in Australia: the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Marching with them were numerous organisations promoting homosexual surrogacy, homosexual adoption, and forced homosexual education in every school. At least one group even promoted information on its webpage about how to engage in pederasty. Other groups advocated for the illegal release of classified Defence intelligence and liberalised drug use. And Defence defended its decision to march with these groups by stating that it was important for the military to show support for the culture promoted at this event.
The constitution of the Mardi Gras makes it clear that the organisation has political objects. And this is reflected in the organisations that march. Political parties parade, obviously the Greens, but also including the Liberal Party. And prominent among them was Tony Abbott’s sister, Christine Forster. Political opponents are ridiculed and criticised.
I lodged several complaints through my chain of command highlighting that Defence participation breached its policies on political activity, religious vilification and unacceptable behaviour. All were dismissed without any formal inquiry. And I was sacked, even though every investigation that Defence launched into my own conduct found that I had no case to answer.
In the process, Defence admitted that it participated in an event that vilified Jesus Christ.
Defence also admitted that if soldiers were to participate in an event that vilified Mohammad in the same fashion that they would be severely dealt with. In black and white writing, our nation’s military has stated that the religious beliefs of our battlefield enemies are worthy of more protection than the religious beliefs of the majority of Australians. In fact, my commanding officer even wrote that this was Defence policy.
The Chief of Defence Force also stated that the expression of my religious and political beliefs, even when not in uniform or on duty, undermines confidence in the values of the Australian Army. Whatever those values are, they are certainly not the values that I joined with as a young, openly Catholic man.
Like many Australians, I have family members who lie dead on foreign battlefields. They were Catholic, just like me, and I hold the same views, values and beliefs that they did and that they died to protect. I’m sure that they would be turning in their graves knowing that the proud military legacy they helped create has now been turned against their descendants.
The good news is that through this battle, I have been able to find a great deal of support throughout Australia. And I truly thank God for that. I am now feeding my family through my website, www.bernardgaynor.com.au, in which I write about the daily attack on family values. I am happy to report that in September my website set new records for readership, with over 35,000 people visiting. So if one of those visitors was you, thank you. Without the readers, my webpage would be nothing.
However, writing does come with challenges as well. For instance, even though I live and breathe and work in Queensland, I am now defending myself in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for criticising homosexuals in Toronto of all places.
My crime was to state that men who expose themselves to children are perverted. And I published photos of them doing just that at the Toronto Gay Pride parade and at other gay pride events in America. The New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board accepted the complaint that because I published a photo of a child showing disgust, I had vilified homosexuals. It does not matter that the action in question is actually a criminal offence in New South Wales, the Thought Police believe homosexuals should be able to engage in it anywhere without criticism. If I lose, I may face fines of up to $100,000.
For your information, the way the system works in New South Wales is that any homosexual can lodge a complaint. It is free for them to do so, even if the complaint is not substantiated. But if they win and a fine is imposed, it does not go to the state, but straight to them. One single activist has been responsible for 11 of the 14 vilification cases over the last decade. There is no way of knowing how many other complaints have been resolved through conciliation and payments prior to hearing. This activist openly claims that lodging complaints is his full time job.
And in the last year, the Tribunal has granted itself the power to investigate anyone in the world, so long as someone prints out their statements in New South Wales. And they have also recognised that it does not matter if the statement printed is only a partial quote. The Tribunal believes that the person complained against can be held responsible for vilification of homosexuals, even if their statements were deliberately taken out of context – and even if their statements express support for extant law.
In fact, a Victorian Christian political candidate, Tess Corbett, was found guilty of vilification simply for expressing her support for laws that allow Christian organisations to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
So that is a bit about my background and the battles that I have fought and continue to fight.
And I fight them because the family is worth fighting for. In many respects, the family reflects the very essence of God Himself, so there is nothing much greater that is worth defending.
God is a trinity: Father, Son and proceeding from them, the Holy Ghost.
The family is also a trinity: father, mother and from them, child.
And God is life and the source of all life. And it is through the union of the family that God has chosen to create human life.
He shares with us that awesome power. In fact, God has delegated to us a power over Him in a certain way, a power to move Him to act to create a new soul and new body. And God has also given us the means by which that tremendous power is to be wielded and regulated: marriage.
It truly is something to ponder and contemplate.
One of the first things that any person considering this power will understand is that it has been given to a complementary pair of individuals: male and female. It has not been given to a government. God does delegate certain powers to governments: they consist of the power to regulate the communal aspects of human society for the good of all humanity under the power of that government.
But the power to create life is a paired power. No government has the authority to regulate it. Instead, governments have the duty to recognise the power of the properly constituted complementary pair in marriage.
We often forget this today. We have grown so used to government mothering us from cradle to grave that we have an inherently false view of marriage. We think we are married when some guy in some office sends us a certificate with some government logo in the top left hand corner in an envelope that our taxes have paid for.
But this is not the case at all. We are married when we freely make a vow to a person of the opposite sex to love them alone, be open to life and to remain faithful to that vow until the dark adventure of death dissolves the union. It has nothing to do with the government at all.
The government certificate is nothing more than a token. It simply says that the government recognises a union over which it has no power and which is actually of greater importance than the government itself. And by doing so, the government pledges allegiance to that new family and promises do all that it can to support that union. That is all a marriage certificate is, or at least, it is what it should be.
And marriage laws were implemented in the first place by the state to do just that. They actually codify, in law, the responsibility that the government has to recognise marriage and to support it. They give privileges to married couples to help them in their task. That duty on the government existed before those laws were made and that duty still exists today, regardless of how those laws may be abused.
And there is also an element of selfishness in this too. Any government with any common-sense knows that its very future depends on the new generation coming through. It has a vested interest in doing all it can to help individual families raise strong, educated and healthy children. But the government does not carry the responsibility for this. It simply has an interest in assisting those who do: mothers and fathers.
And as I mentioned at the start of this presentation, a nation is nothing more than a collection of families. In fact, the word nation derives from the latin root word natus. It literally means ‘be born’. And being born is synonymous with life. Family is built on life. And so is the nation.
In old English, the word nation had the meaning of a ‘large group of people with common ancestry’.
So a nation is simply a very big family.
And if a nation is a very big family, whose DNA is the individual family unit, then it has a vested interest in making sure that those individual units are strong. They are the foundation on which a nation can grow and prosper.
That is why our society needs strong families. Individually, we want our families to prosper, for children to grow and be healthy and for the development of respect, discipline, responsibility and the maintenance of ties that bind generations together. And if family is about life and nation is literally derived from the word ‘birth’, then defending family is defending life itself and the life of the nation.
Conversely, attacks on the family always come with the spectre of death. The grim reaper is always standing behind the shoulder of those propose ideas and concepts that seek to destroy the traditional family unit.
Let us start with abortion.
This is an action that destroys life. It kills it at its moment of greatest weakness. And abortion is an epidemic in the world today. There are over 45 million abortions each year. That is, each year more children die in the womb than the total number of soldiers killed in the most violent conflict in history: the Second World War.
And sometimes they don’t even die in the womb. Victorian government reports show that about 40 children survive late-term abortions each year. They are left to die lying alone on a sterile dish in a hospital. And it is paid for by the taxpayer.
In fact, in Australia, every abortion conducted after 20 weeks gestation comes with the added bonus of taxpayer funded paid parental leave payments worth about $13,000. Conservative voters tend to think this is a problem caused by the Labor Party. But the Liberal Party led by the Catholic Tony Abbott explicitly promised during the last election campaign that it would not amend the laws that allow this to occur if elected.
And we all know that Tony Abbott wants to bring in new paid parental leave laws that will give payments of up to $50,000. It may well and truly come to pass that under Abbott, the amount of paid parental leave given for late-term abortions will quadruple.
And in Queensland where it is a criminal offence to even attempt to procure an abortion – even if the woman is not pregnant – public service employment conditions provide for a second lot of paid parental leave in the case of termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks.
The objective observer has no choice but to conclude that our governments are actually waging war on the unborn and rewarding those who do.
And we can move to another issue that seems to be cloaked with life, but also hides death: surrogacy and IVF.
These procedures result in many more deaths than lives. And now the survivors are often deliberately created to enter a world in which they will never know their mother or father and never enjoy an understanding of their heritage or culture. They are deprived of everything that we most hold dear as a person.
And we have seen through the baby Gammy surrogacy case a great hypocrisy in Australia.
It is easy to condemn a convicted paedophile for his appalling decision to abandon a child with Down Syndrome in Thailand. But over 90% of children with Down Syndrome in Australia are aborted each year.
All baby Gammy has shown is that mainstream Australia holds the same views and respect for life as a convicted paedophile. It should be the clarion call for us to wake-up and realise that we are well and truly heading in the wrong direction.
But unfortunately it seems unlikely to happen. The laws that we have been so quick to condemn in Thailand are the same laws that we have here. The Queensland Government website states in black and white that all parties to a surrogacy arrangement in that state can walk away – without reason – at any time until up to six months after a surrogate child is born.
It will only be a matter of time before Australia has its own forgotten baby Gammy.
I could go on all day talking about the issues of divorce, prostitution, pornography, contraception, adultery, promiscuity, homosexuality, child abuse, euthanasia and the like.
They all lead to the destruction of marriages, the perversion of the creative act of life, the abandonment or death of children and killing of the elderly. They are all clear and present dangers to the family and they are all powerful forces gathering steam in Australia today. They all need to be fought.
Unfortunately, as a nation we are doing very little to do so. As a nation, we are not protecting the family.
And I just want to move on quickly now to my final point. A nation that does not protect the family, its very foundation, will be a nation that does not protect itself.
And we can see very clearly today that Australia is a nation that is unable to gather its wits to even protect itself. In fact, it is welcoming in an enemy force that will destroy our culture and way of life at the first opportunity it gets.
I am talking about Islam.
Anyone who understands this religion, understands that it is based entirely around the actions of one man: Mohammad.
And anyone who knows anything about Mohammad’s life will know these facts:
- He was violent and vicious, having those who criticised him beheaded and assassinated. This included an entire Jewish tribe of over 700 men, beheaded in one day. He treated all others in much the same fashion.
- He was a warlord. He sent his armies into battle 100 times in the last ten years of his life.
- He coveted wealth and power. He used force to seize both and he died the richest man in Arabia.
- He was deeply misogynistic, stating that women were of inferior intelligence and made up most of those in hell because they did not respect their husbands.
- And when it came to respecting husbands, it was all about sex. Mohammad had numerous wives, concubines and sexual slaves. One of them was just 6 when he married her and she was nine when it was consummated.
Considering that this is the standard of behaviour of the prophet of Islam, it is not at all surprising that his followers today engage in the same sort of barbaric behaviour.
And we are letting them into our country.
We have seen in recent days the attacks or planned attacks carried out in the name of Islam around the world and within our own borders. Yet the response has been simply to increase government powers of surveillance over us all, and no action has been taken to addressing the actual problem itself. Instead of becoming a state that fights against Islamic aggression to preserve freedom, Australia has become a nation that has used Islamic aggression to move further towards establishing a police-state with total control over every individual.
As such, the problem of Islamic violence – a problem that the Western world has faced since 632 AD – is not going to go away. But from now on it will only grow inside our borders. And those who hate Christianity will use Islam as its weapon to call for the destruction of all religious freedom. That is the big storm front now gathering on the horizon.
Australia is well and truly letting the enemy in. It is what you would expect of a nation that no longer believes that its basic building block is worth defending. It is what you would expect of a nation that has rejected its Christian culture and heritage.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to present to you today regarding these very serious matters. I hope this talk has been thought provoking. I also hope that it fills you with some confidence that there are younger people in this country prepared to take up the fight and I now look forward to answering your questions.