It was only a few years ago, during Australia’s same-sex marriage debate, that a group of LGBTQ protesters stormed the stage at a Coalition for Marriage meeting in Melbourne. The protesters were chanting, “Crucify the Christians”, while waving a banner that read, “Burn churches, not queers.”
Many same-sex marriage supporters saw the protest as a brave and courageous stand for love and equality. A month later the slogans, “Crucify ‘No’ Voters” and “Bash Bigots” was painted across the side of a Baptist church in Wheelers Hill.
At the time, Lyle Shelton, former head of the Australian Christian Lobby and spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage became a target for these LGBTQ activists and was subjected to constant abuse and harassment online. At one point, the phrase “Eat Sh*t Lyle” was trending on Twitter, with the help of prominent same-sex marriage advocates.
But it wasn’t just those people who were outspoken on the subject that were the targets of such attacks. A popular Australian bridal magazine was forced out of business, not for opposing same-sex marriage, but for remaining silent on the issue.
In September 2018, more than 100 contributors protested White Magazine, forcing the publication to close down after a photographer revealed the Christian owners were “silent” on the subject of homosexuality and accused of not being “transparent about their beliefs and values.”
This is hardly the extent of it. Almost every “No” voter you meet has a story of copping abuse in some form for maintaining a Christian view of marriage. Countless videos have been uploaded to social media of LGBTQ protesters tearing down “It’s OK To Vote No” signs, hurling abuse at “No” campaigners, and disrupting public meetings.
A number of churches were too scared to put up banners supporting their position on the subject for fear their buildings would be the target of vandalism. Many were vandalised – including mine – and many who did erect signs said they were stolen not long after.
It was clear, this was a subject that was not up for debate. Those who wanted to maintain the traditional view of marriage often lamented the lack of meaningful discourse on the issue. Even friendly and respectful debate was out of bounds, as Coopers brewery learned the hard way.
Same-sex marriage advocacy was essentially reduced to shouting down the other side with accusations of hate, bigotry, intolerance, and homophobia. This was the refuge of those incapable of offering a rational justification for why marriage ought to be redefined for one minority group but not others.
There was no willingness to debate, and it still remains that way today. The knee-jerk reaction from those on the progressive Left is the same – to protest, intimidate, rally in mobs outside events and meetings, and chant meaningless slogans about Nazis, fascism, homophobia and racism. This has become such a standard response from the Left that when those opposed to same-sex marriage held private meetings, they were, at times, forced to hire security protection and gather in secret.
This is standard gameplay now, and they’re rarely if ever, seriously condemned for it. Simply consider the fact that Victorian Police tried to charge conservative event organisers $67,842.50 for police services after Antifa-style protesters attempted to disrupt their legal, private event featuring Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern.
It wasn’t the disruptive, aggressive, law-breaking Leftist protesters who were expected to foot the bill, but the law-abiding conservatives who hosted a lawful event.
There’s an expectation now that progressive Leftists will act out. They’ll disrupt meetings and church services, they’ll block sidewalks and stand in front of traffic, they’ll use vulgar and offensive shock-tactics to spread their message because they view themselves as civil rights activists. It doesn’t matter what they do, just as long as they bring about their revolution.
Well, considering debate is now out-of-bounds, what would happen if conservatives or Christians started playing by the rules of the progressive Left? What if folks on the Right began to protest the public events that we considered dangerous or harmful to society?
We got a glimpse of it this week after a group of students from the University of Queensland’s Liberal National Club were accused of disrupting a Drag Queen Story Hour at a Brisbane library. Footage of the protest, which was circulated on social media by outraged Leftists, shows a small group of young students chanting, “Drag Queens are not for kids.”
The protest was promptly condemned by celebrities, news outlets, and public figures as a hateful display of bigotry, aggression and intolerance. Folks on social media posted screenshots of the faces of the students demanding names. The protesters were accused of being Nazis and soon after the hashtags #IStandWithQueens and #HitlerYouth began trending on Twitter.
The harassment and abuse from the progressive Left was so vicious, so unrelenting, that Wilson Gavin, the young man leading the protest, reportedly committed suicide yesterday. If so, then the compassionate and tolerant progressive Left literally just bullied a young (gay) man to death.
And for what? Was Gavin’s protest any worse than those who stormed the Coalition for Marriage meeting, chanting “Crucify the Christians” while waving a banner that read, “Burn churches”? I don’t recall any conservatives or Christians demanding a doxing of those responsible for the protest. There was no social media pile-on backed by celebrities and news outlets. Were the victims interviewed on national television about the “traumatic” protest?
An yet a group of young, non-threatening conservatives protest an event that should have never taken place, especially not on the public’s dime, and they have their faces broadcast across the nation with damning commentary, they’re publicly crucified for their actions and branded “Hitler Youth” in a social media campaign.
The problem is, this is the gameplay established by the progressive Left. They said any debate is out-of-bounds, not the conservatives. They said protest and disruption is an acceptable form of communicating a political position, not the conservatives. So, why is it that when conservatives adopt a similar approach, albeit a far more civilised and tame version of it, the progressives cry foul?
This is a one-sided match, and regardless of how fair you play, it’s becoming more and more evident that if you’re on the wrong team, they’ll force you out of the game.