Safe? Schools & Conversion Therapy

This article will focus on the state of Victoria, its ‘safe schools’ program and its proposal to ban conversion therapy. We begin with the Victorian Government speaking for itself via its website in defining what the ‘safe schools’ program is about. In 2010, the Victorian Government established Safe Schools to ensure schools are safe places for all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) students, and are free of discrimination. It was born out of the need identified by school communities, parents and teachers for greater support for LGBTI students, who are at higher risks of bullying and suicide, and to ensure that schools create safe and inclusive environments. A key part of the program is to provide professional development and training for secondary school teachers so that they are equipped to support LGBTI students. The Safe Schools program is managed and delivered directly by the Department of Education and Training.

What is Safe Schools?

The Safe Schools program helps schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTI students. It recognises that creating a safe and inclusive environment is key to tackling bullying and harassment, and preventing suicide and self-harm. Here’s a link.

Let’s now take a look at :

  1. what  promoters of ‘safe schools’ claim
  2. what the program’s opponents claim
  3. what is at the philosophical heart of this agenda
  4. what Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian ALP want to do next on this issue

1. What promoters of ‘safe’ schools claim.

Several claims are made by safe schools promoters. These claims, they argue, are evidence-based and reports and references are cited. Specifically, they claim that :

LGBTI students face bullying and harassment in schools, leading to mental health issues like depression, attempted suicide and suicide. They cite statistics based on a downloadable report.

LGBTI people have the highest rates of suicide or attempted suicide of any population in Australia.

LGBTI young people at schools with ‘protective policies’ feel 75% more safe than at schools without these policies (45% safe)

LGBTI young people are almost 50% less likely to be verbally or physically abused, self-harming or attempting of suicide at schools with ‘protective policies’

Following are a few ‘myths’ (of many more on their list) that they claim to be so under their ‘Myths and facts’ section :

Myth: The Safe Schools program is a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

Myth: The Safe Schools program is teaching sex education and/or sexual practices to students, including material that is not age-appropriate.

Myth: The Safe Schools program encourages students to question or change their gender or sexuality.

Myth: All government and non-government schools are forced to join the program.

Myth: Parents are not given an opportunity to consent to their child’s participation and the program disregards the wishes of parents who do not want their children to participate.

Myth: Schools are overstepping their role by participating in the Safe Schools program.

2. What the program’s opponents claim

There are many categories of bullied children. Why does the Victorian Labour government focus only on this group?

The statistics and problems are asserted without allowing time for debate. 

The statistics and categories are arguable. I consider it unfair that one side of the debate is enabled, based on their evidence, to so dramatically change the lives of all other children and families in the state. In fact, professionals such as highly credentialed and experienced psychiatrists and psychologists who have worked in the area of gender dysphoria argue against the practice of legitimising what is essentially a psychological problem.

The trauma that many LGBTI young people have had to endure in early childhood through horrific sexual and other abuse warrants further investigation into what will help them rather than harm them further. 

Many more young people, especially biological females, are seeking gender re-assignment surgery following these LGBTI-promoting programs in schools. The whole safe schools program appears to be a promo for that lifestyle.

3.  The philosophical heart of this agenda

I have been struck by the avid way in which Premier Daniel Andrews has so supported the ‘safe schools’ program. What’s in it for him? Why do it, especially as so many Victorian parents, grandparents and even children are opposed to it? Why so blatantly ignore the wishes of so many Victorians?

We need to look at who stands to benefit as Victorian schoolchildren are thrown onto the altar of these interest groups. They include sex-related ‘industries’, the expansion of the healthcare sector revolving around elective gender re-assignment surgery and of course, a whole new foray into education with topics around gender fluidity. Fancy that, Labour supports health and education! And gender re-assignment should create a whole lifetime of future health needs for those undergoing this surgery. 

I can barely understand why the premier of a state would inflict all this on its people, let alone on its fragile youngest members. Aside from grubby money-making, I believe that Premier Andrews has a philosophical basis to supporting this. Being on the Left, he quite possibly views the universe as being a material entity with no spiritual reality whatsoever. I know that disbelieving in the spiritual realm is not just backdrop to leftist belief; it is widespread across all political leanings. However, leftist Marxists take this rejection of all things spiritual to new heights of expression; that of imposing their view on all Victorians, religious and irreligious alike. 

Viewing humanity as simply a material entity with only material wants and needs leads to disconnecting sexuality from any emotional moorings so that sex becomes removed from a moral, let alone, human anchoring. When God gave humanity the gift of sex, He gave it within an emotional context – within marriage between one man and one woman who care for each other, for life. The ‘for life’ bit and the exclusivity of the one man-one woman relationship is grounded in a Christian understanding of life and is, if not rejected, a completely unknown experience by some in today’s world. The Christian marriage relationship has been under attack for a very long time in Western countries. This in part comes from humanity’s movement away from God. It also comes from the devaluing of marriage and family pushed through a hell of a lot of movies and television. I am not decrying all films and television. Some of them are beautiful and life-enhancing but these, often masterpieces, are rare treasures indeed. See, for example, the complex understanding of and communication about both marriage and the individuals within it so beautifully and intelligently presented in the 2004 BBC production of ‘He Knew He Was Right’. No one is saying that marriage is simple and easy, just that its complexity is overlooked by a trite understanding.

The first delineating quality found in a Marxist is the practice of coercion of those who oppose the tyrant. The tyrant is the one who inflicts new agendas on a society based upon his or her own view of reality, with absolutely no regard for what many of the citizens under their leadership believe. They make mandatory for all a new order that is outrageous to the majority. The second quality of a Marxist is hatred of religion. They hold a non-belief in a realm other than the one experienced by the senses – the material world. Marxists hate and refuse to believe in any spiritual reality let alone in any god let alone in the God of the Bible. Interestingly, following his first election win, Daniel Andrews presented himself to the public as the Catholic family man. The third delineating quality of a Marxist is the promotion of a ‘vulnerable’ group at odds with a mainstream majority. They use this group to promote a quite different agenda to the one they are claiming to promote, as well as to virtue-signal.

Children are born good. I do not mean this in the sense that they are not born in original sin but that is a theological argument for another time, involving questions like ‘what is sin’, ‘what is original sin’. So, in the sense in which I believe that all children are born good, I mean that they have an instinctive desire to discover what their world is like, to explore the world that immediately surrounds them, manifest in a desire to learn to speak, to walk, to engage, to listen, to experience but all of these things can be slapped down by a bad and/or stupid parent. Marxism is in the bad/stupid parent category. It slaps down what is normal, what is human, what is good in people. It does nothing but demand the outrageous and if anyone objects, too bad. You will be slapped down until you submit.

4. What Daniel Andrews and the Victorian ALP want to do next on this issue

The Marxist state of the Soviet Union did not allow anyone to leave it. People could not freely choose to move to the West. Thanks to the determined efforts of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul 11 and with the cooperation of President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, the Berlin wall came down in 1989. The Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991 with its death knell coming on Christmas Day of that year, leading again to independence of its former member nations. 

Until its fall, people had been effectively imprisoned in the Soviet Union. In the same way, the individual is not allowed the option of leaving the LGBTI lifestyle even if the individual wishes. Imprisonment within any system deemed best by a government is one of the chief hallmarks of Marxism. This imprisonment of the individual by the state can be seen in the impending legislation in Victoria to ban conversion therapy which they term ‘conversion practices’. 

Conversion therapists are people, often but not always Christians, who make themselves available to LGBTI people seeking to leave their addictions in the LGBTI world. But Daniel Andrews has said that they won’t be allowed to do this once legislation is in place to make conversion practices illegal. In other words, the individual and his or her wishes are made subordinate to the totalitarian state, this time because of LGBTI activists who demand a new world order that bows to their view of the world.

The discussion paper, “Legislative options to implement a ban of conversion practices”, is the document outlining the basis for banning organisations, individuals and even family members from enabling an LGBTI person to question or seek help in leaving their former lifestyle. This is not to be allowed according to the Health Complaints Commissioner’s report.

Well, well, at least one of the ‘myths’ on the Victorian Government’s website isn’t such a myth after all. There won’t be coercion, even against the wishes of the trapped individual seeking another path. Nothing to worry about! Nothing to see here! The Victorian Labour government opened up a a very limited timeframe for input from the Victorian public on this issue. Now all debate is closed. And unless Victorian Parliamentarians have a change of mind the result will probably be legislation to ban conversion practices.

I have an idea. Why doesn’t the Opposition Victorian Liberal Party promise voters that if they get elected they will revoke all new laws to do with conversion therapy and safe schools passed by Labour. Maybe that will get them elected at the next state election. Instead of talking about infrastructure, maybe they could back all those Victorian parents, grandparents, children and others in what we find the most pressing issue of our time. Infrastructure is necessary but right now “the other side is redefining biology” in the words of the brilliant Mark Steyn, commentating on the American system. We don’t care about infrastructure in the hour of Victoria’s greatest need. We want bad laws revoked, and better still, not passed in the first place.

Author: ourworldourfaith

Where Christianity Meets Culture