As usual, the Australian has told porkies regarding an advertisement by a lobby group, Dads4Kids. They said that the advertisement, promoting the special role of fathers in the lives of their children was pulled after being too political ahead of the idiotic postal plebiscite. Of course, the ludicrously buffoonish Member for Warringah, Tony Abbott, was ready with something completely out of kilter with the facts. He stated that it was the latest example of how the “thought police” would operate in the “brave new world of same-sex marriage”1. I am sure Aldous Huxley would be turning in his grave if he could hear the title of his most famous novel used by those who would wish us to live in a dystopian theocracy. Of course, Abbott used this as an opportunity to reel off his spiel: “if you don’t like being bullied by activists, vote no”. “If you don’t like political correctness, vote no, because it’s the best way you have to stop it in its tracks”1,2.
Bizarrely, Liberal MP and same-sex marriage activist, Tim Wilson, slammed the Free TV determination as “ridiculous advice that should be ignored”. Dads4Kids issued a statement saying that “free-to-air TV networks had run these ads for free as a community service announcement”. Unfortunately, what is a simple Father’s Day message has now become a ‘political’ statement”. Then, in a clear statement overreach they stated “It is extraordinary that this is where we have come to as a country; we can no longer celebrate Father’s Day without being forced to look at it through the lens of the same-sex marriage debate”1. I don’t know about others, but I will be celebrating Father’s Day, unfortunately not with all of my kids. The only lens through which I have ever looked at it are through the lenses of joy and pride.
Dads4Kids is a political religious organisation which, among other things, advocates against same-sex marriage. It was set up by Warwick Marsh and his wife. He is also part of the board at the Australian Christian Values Institute3.
Free TV Australia denied claims it had blocked or banned the advertisement. It had asked “to add an identification tag to the commercial to comply with Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act”. However, Dads4Kids declined to add anything stating they had inadequate resources to recut the advertisement. “The Broadcasting Services Act requires broadcasters to ensure that commercials that contain ‘political matter’ identify the body responsible for the commercial, including the speakers in the commercial”. We have all seen these at the end of advertisements for political parties during election campaigns. I doubt that it has escaped the notice of Dads4Kids that there is an ‘election’ campaign under way at present, and they knew exactly what they were doing, and may have even wished for the advertisement not to be shown so they could grandstand. One thing is certain, that Dads4Kids is virulently against same-sex marriage, having described same-sex relationships as examples of “gender disorientation pathology” and labelling even recognition of them “an attack on the rights of the children of Australia”4.
Like most of these supposedly family-oriented religious organisations, they are only concerned about their idea of a family, and theirs alone. I imagine many of them would consider the rights of children of atheists to be under attack as well.
Bertrand Russell said: “You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the coloured races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organised churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organised in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.” This is still the case in the modern world. This fight to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples is just another battle in the war against the religious enemies of human rights. This war will continue as long as the religious insist they should be able to tell people how to live their lives. It is an addiction they have had for millennia, and addictions are hard to kick.