Better ban the Bard if #SafeSchools scares you: @burgewords comments on Australia’s #NeoPuritans

Hated by the Puritans, the complete works of William Shakespeare was firmly entrenched in the Australian school syllabus decades ago. WESTERNERS have lived through many periods in which extreme Christians distributed anti-gay propaganda and thereby got the ear of authorities, and this month’s spat from Australia’s hard, religious right shows not much has changed in four hundred years. It’s an old war, that between conservatives wanting to put the brakes on equality, and progressives trying to touch the accelerator. During the reign of James I (1603-1625) in England, the fires of Puritanism were well on their way to blazing a lasting wound through societies in many continents, burning until well after the Salem […]

LGBTI versus Christians, an unnecessary war: @burgewords comments on #SafeSchools

This is not a suffering competition for martyrs, it’s a legislative process taking place in a secular nation. THE Turnbull government has no firm plans for a public vote on marriage equality. We only know it’ll be ‘after the election’, an Abbott three-word slogan for ‘on the never-never’; and that it will be a non-binding, $160-million-dollar opinion poll that won’t be compulsory for any Australian voter or politician to participate in. But that doesn’t really matter. While Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t watching, a war cabinet has been plotting against LGBTI dignity from the Coalition backbench, spilling from the party room into the media this week when the Safe Schools program came under attack. […]