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Lord Alfred Douglas, young lover of the great Oscar Wilde, wrote a poem that ended with the plaintive line, “I am the love that dare not speak its name”. Skipping a century, it has become the love against which nothing dare be spoken.

The principal of Citipointe Christian College dared a few weeks ago and was duly bashed by a media mob and dumped in the ditch of deplorables. The Prime Minister’s Religious Discrimination Bill dared to allow such Christian institutions to speak their truth against alien moral values, and he was duly bashed by a mob of “modern” Liberals crossing the floor and emasculating his Bill.

Even the innocuous provision in the Bill to allow religious organisations to issue a “statement of belief” on contentious matters came close to being voted down.

Such hostility to freedom of speech and religious conscience is a sign of uncivil times and supports the hypothesis I’ve proposed since the same-sex marriage debate: that the end game for sexual radicals is to banish from the public square, and ultimately from the private mind, any moral objection to a culture of sex-without-boundaries.

But religion is in the business of setting sane boundaries.

Jewish scholar Dennis Prager says of the ancient Middle East, “Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can, to a significant extent, be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism [the prohibition of non-marital sex] and later carried forward by Christianity.”

Psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover notes, “the hallmark of a society in which all sexual constraints have been set aside is that finally it sanctions homosexuality as well.”

That is where we are.

Whether it’s Citipointe’s Declaration of Faith or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, any attempt to mark out the ancient Judaeo-Christian boundary between man-woman marriage and everything else, no matter how sensitively the statement is framed, will be condemned as bigoted and hateful. So Citipointe can draw this boundary while affirming, “It is central to our faith that being gay or transgender in no way diminishes a person’s humanity or dignity in God’s eyes.” The Catholic Catechism can draw a clear line where “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” while noting that individuals “do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

And when I spoke on Christian talkback radio during the marriage debate, I put the point so outrageously that the Sydney Morning Herald thought it worth reporting: “Homosexuality doesn’t define a person at all. The only thing that defines a person is that they are loved by God.”

For the grim generals of the gay movement, such sincere statements of faith are just sneakily packaged hate.

Activist Rodney Croome AM said as much: “As the actions of Citipointe Christian College clearly show, there are faith-schools camouflaging discrimination against LGBTIQ+ students by invoking ‘religious beliefs’.” Greens leader Adam Bandt called the Religious Discrimination Bill “a Trojan horse for hate”.

Christian parents and the schools they have built will not back down before the emotional bullying that impugns them as haters and alleges that their policies will cause young people to suicide. This emotional blackmail has been with us since the marriage debate. Croome, for example, opposed a plebiscite because having a debate would cause gay suicide: “If there is a plebiscite, and when the first gay kid dies at his own hand because of the hate and fear-mongering, I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror and know I did everything I could to stop it.”

There is a grave risk in making such reckless claims and expecting LGBTQ youth to be depressed and suicidal until every Christian school celebrates Pride week. Writing last month in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, sociologist Michael Biggs warned, “It is irresponsible to exaggerate the prevalence of suicide. Aside from anything else, this trope might exacerbate the vulnerability of transgender adolescents.” He reviewed data from the UK Tavistock Clinic and said, “The fact that deaths were so rare should provide some reassurance to transgender youth and their families”.

Yes, the suicide rate (3 or perhaps 4 kids out of 13,000) is raised, but Biggs fails to adjust for known suicide risk factors such as increased depression or the 15-times higher incidence of autistic spectrum conditions. Counting these few tragic cases as “trans-deaths” could be like counting as “Covid-deaths” those who died with the virus not from it. Enough, then, of the unfounded slander that traditional values lead to LGBT suicide.

On the specific issue that made Citipointe draw the line – the demand by a male student to wear a dress to the formal – this small school’s resistance to gender ideology has big allies.

That good-natured gentleman Pope Francis called gender theory “ideological colonisation like we saw with the dictators of the last century.” His predecessor Benedict XVI warned of “the anthropological revolution contained within it.” To these church leaders, gender ideology means that Gnosticism, the enemy of Christian realism, has crawled out of its 2nd century grave and is stalking the land again. Today’s slogan taught to kids, that gender “is not what’s between your legs, but what’s between your ears” is a cartoonish modern statement of the gnostic flight from objective to subjective.

Christian realism does not accept that a girl can be born in a boy’s body. Christian parents would want a troubled trans child to be among the 80 percent who, with simple supportive care, get over their confusion around puberty and live happily as their natal sex; until that time, they would in no way collaborate with that confusion at home or at school.

The boundary lines are drawn. If religious freedom is not to become the liberty that dare not speak its name, activists must not be allowed to harass schools who merely defend ancient standards of moral sanity. There’s a thing called multiculturalism, dear LGBT enforcers, and you should try it.

David van Gend

David van Gend is a family doctor in Toowoomba, Queensland, and a frequent contributor to debates on family, faith and freedom. He has briefed MPs in state and federal parliament and, in 2006, a group...