Shoddy Frankston rail line results in new local member who thinks being gay is equivalent to dangerous driving, assault and murder

Well, we have an early contender for douchenozzle of the week: new Victorian Liberal MP Geoff Shaw.

Here’s one of Mr Shaw’s constituents, a young gay man objecting to the Liberals’ new plan to restore discrimination against gay people, unmarried people etc if the discriminator is a religious organisation – even a commercial business owned by a religious organisation where the religion has precisely nothing to do with the conduct of the business:

In his letter, Mr Quilligan told Mr Shaw that churches should not be allowed to ”impose their beliefs on others … in non-religious/mainstream or secular settings”.

”I’m 20 in a week. I’m able to vote. I want to work, live and love freely during the course of my life, and I want to do that without thinking that I can’t,” he wrote.

And here’s the offensive and asinine reply fired back by Mr Quilligan’s representative in parliament:

Mr Shaw replied the same day, quoting Mr Quilligan’s line back at him and adding: ”What if I loved driving 150kms per hour in residential areas?

”What if there was a convicted sex offender who stated that, or a child molester? Can they still do what they want? Under your statement the answer is yes. What if one wanted to get drunk, take drugs, steal and murder? What if one loved this? Can they also do what they want without thinking that they can’t?”

Um, no, Geoff, those things involve infringing other people’s rights. Dangerous driving puts other members of the public at risk. Sexual assaults and child molesting and murder and theft all have victims. Drug-taking and drunkenness are health issues.

In contrast, being gay victimises no-one. Consenting gay partnerships do not take away other people’s rights.

Essentially, the crimes against other people that you list are fundamentally different from a gay person wanting not to be discriminated against by potential employers simply for being gay.

There’s no alternative conclusion to draw from that email: Mr Shaw is an idiot. He’s an idiot who thinks being gay is somehow like committing criminal offences against other people. Worse, he’s an idiot with a vote in state parliament who thinks that he and other bigots have a right to discriminate against employees on grounds that have nothing to do with their employment, and that you’re oppressing him if you take away his “right” to do so. His right to sack them for no good reason trumps their right to be treated fairly at work. If you want to use his fatuous and offensive analogies, he’s like the… what was it? Oh yes, child molester, who argues that his imagined “right” to molest children, to wreck their lives to satisfy his own personal fantasies, is more important than their right to go about their day unmolested.

State Labor already left in massive discrimination exemptions, so that religious organisations and subsidiaries could sack employees on grounds of sexuality, marital status etc, so long if they could find a way that it was connected with their employment role.

But even that is not enough for the new “moderate” state Liberal government, already shaping up to be the worst since Kennett. No, religious organisations need to be able to sack the gardener for being gay. It’s the only way to keep their geraniums pure.

Oh, and you might have missed Mr Shaw’s maiden speech to parliament, which he opened with a parody of the “acknowledge the traditional owners of this land” recognition, acknowledging instead:

…the original owner of the land on which we stand – God, the Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible.

Ooh, snap. Take that non-Christian indigenous people unfortunate enough to live in Mr Shaw’s electorate.

Well done, people of Frankston. Pissed off about the shoddy trainline, this is who you’ve put into parliament to represent you. Excellent work.

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24 responses to “Shoddy Frankston rail line results in new local member who thinks being gay is equivalent to dangerous driving, assault and murder

  1. JustThink4Once

    The sooner this failed human condition of worshipping invisible beings ends the better.
    Atheists of the world unite. Discriminate against all those that show their gullibility in worshipping invisible Gods in the sky….

  2. jordanrastrick

    Atheists of the world unite. Discriminate against all those that show their gullibility in worshipping invisible Gods in the sky….

    What about ones that aren’t in the sky?

    Atheists of the world unite.

    Would you prefer to perhaps unite with all of those who agree that people like Geoff Shaw are fools who are unworthy to be members of Parliament?

  3. Would you prefer to perhaps unite with all of those who agree that people like Geoff Shaw are fools who are unworthy to be members of Parliament?

    That depends on if it’s enough to prevent them from voting Liberal. Most Christians are nice people to your face, but when it comes to deciding on the rights of others its usually either A) they aren’t so nice, they were just paying lip service or B) they don’t care enough to have it decide their vote.

    People who sit back and allow bad things to happen are just as bad as those who are causing the bad things in the first place. With the anti-gay Liberal-National coalition still getting 50% of the vote my guess is the majority of Christians agree with them or don’t give a shit. Either way they’re not people I’d want to sit down and have a beer with.

  4. yeh, poor analogy. having met a few frankston residents though, maybe they got what they deserved

  5. Douchenozzle of the week…
    Not even the simple dignity of being declared the entire thing. I like it.
    In contrast, being gay victimises no-one. Consenting gay partnerships do not take away other people’s rights.
    No, but hearing about it surely victimises people who don’t want to admit their own cravings for teh buttsecks (hi Mr Shaw)

    Would you prefer to perhaps unite with all of those who agree that people like Geoff Shaw are fools who are unworthy to be members of Parliament?
    That’s what JT4O said – unless you’ve seen teeming hordes of jesus-junkies storming the gates of Parliament over what troglodytes like him are doing to their PR?

  6. “Would you prefer to perhaps unite with all of those who agree that people like Geoff Shaw are fools who are unworthy to be members of Parliament?”

    I did that by voting against them. I don’t need to arrange things so that fundamentalist nutjobs don’t have representation in parliament.

    But it should only be in proportion to their support in the community – rather than vastly more.

    Problem is voters who have come to believe in the inevitability of the two party system, who think that the only way to teach Labor for its excesses is to vote for their local Liberal Party candidate – even if it’s Geoff bloody Shaw.

    Also, crappy media that didn’t make Shaw’s views well-known to his electorate.

  7. jordanrastrick

    Most Christians are nice people to your face, but when it comes to deciding on the rights of others its usually either A) they aren’t so nice, they were just paying lip service or B) they don’t care enough to have it decide their vote.

    Do you have any hard data to back this up?

    People who sit back and allow bad things to happen are just as bad as those who are causing the bad things in the first place.

    If this is true, surely every Westerner who fails to move to a third world country to distribute food aid to the poor and/or risk their lives campaigning against corrupt dictators is unspeakably evil?

    That’s what JT4O said – unless you’ve seen teeming hordes of jesus-junkies storming the gates of Parliament over what troglodytes like him are doing to their PR?

    I think Geoff Shaw is a fool, I think his politics are pretty appalling, I’d guess I would disagree strongly with his understanding of the Bible, and if he were my member of parliament I’d hand out how to vote cards for one of his opponents in a heartbeat.

    I’d also hazard a guess that a large majority of my Christian friends would feel the same way.

    At the moment in the Western world, Christians with more right-wing politics get an excessive share of media and public attention (partly, as far as I can tell, because they are more willing to politicize their faith.)

    This wasn’t the case in recent history and I live in hope that it will not be the case in the future.

  8. “Christians with more right-wing politics”

    No such thing.

    Christianity is not a culture, it is a set of beliefs centred around one guy’s words and deeds as remembered by some other guys a few hundred years later. And some other largely unrelated stuff written by some other blokes to try to change some of the more challenging ideas to be a little more palatable. And some rantings by some nut.

    Point is, Jesus was a lefty… or at the very least a compassionate centrist.
    If you think you are a right wing Christian, you are either not right wing or not Christian.
    (its usually the latter)

  9. jordanrastrick

    As a broadly left wing christian, I disagree – I think the correct reading of the bible lends itself to a set of political views that are generally left wing, and that right wing Christians are largely mistaken, but it certainly doesn’t disqualify them from being Christian.

  10. narcoticmusing

    My observation of the left/right Christian voting thing, seems more that it is more likely that a right wing candidate will broadcast they are Christian than a left; this leads the Christians to feel obliged to vote for the Christian candidate because they will in theory be led by God.

    Problem is, even communism works, in theory.

  11. “and that right wing Christians are largely mistaken”

    (i happen to think the ‘corrrect’ reading of the bible might be best done with a pinch of salt, you get more of the flavour that way..)

    but broadly speaking i agree jordan, it’s just i think the thing they are mistaken about is their christianity. in my experience they typically cling more fervently (and are far more likley to practice) their right wing ideologies than their christian faith.

  12. jordanrastrick

    I do read the Bible with a pinch of salt, because I don’t think it makes sense any other way.

    And Sure, I think their christianity has mistakes in it. But I don’t presume to say that makes them fail entirely to be christian, any more than I’d say a practicing scientist who doesn’t accept the existence of AGW or the safety of vaccines or the need for nuclear power is disqualified from being a scientist. There is room for reasonable people to disagree, and it’s also un-christian to jump to conclusions too rashly about other’s faith

  13. I love that part down the bottom of the Age story. The Coalition government apparently shares the same concerns as Jakob about depression and suicide in gay youth so they are going to spend $4 million in providing mental health support.

    And they are also going to make it legal to fire someone just for being gay.

    Umm, aren’t the Liberals the ones that usually rant on about Labor being the ‘big taxing big spending governments’? How is this anything other than churning money around in one big wasteful washing machine – with a backhanded slap against gay people just because they were unlucky enough to not be born with an irrational hatred of anyone not like them such as Mr Shaw.

  14. duncan1978

    This Shaw character has everything he needs to reach the highest levels of the Liberal party.

    He’s hateful, bigoted, ignorant and arrogant.

    Watch out Tony!

  15. I think Geoff Shaw is a fool, I think his politics are pretty appalling, I’d guess I would disagree strongly with his understanding of the Bible, and if he were my member of parliament I’d hand out how to vote cards for one of his opponents in a heartbeat.
    I’d also hazard a guess that a large majority of my Christian friends would feel the same way.
    At the moment in the Western world, Christians with more right-wing politics get an excessive share of media and public attention (partly, as far as I can tell, because they are more willing to politicize their faith.)
    This wasn’t the case in recent history and I live in hope that it will not be the case in the future.

    And almost to a man, you (and they) have been doing and saying almost NOTHING AT ALL about it (or about him) – a point that I was not the first to make.

    And it WAS the case in history recent and distant (at least in theo-freak-shows like the US).

    And unless you (and they) do something more than issue ritual disclaimers after the fact, then it will continue to be the case.

  16. jordanrastrick

    And almost to a man, you (and they) have been doing and saying almost NOTHING AT ALL about it (or about him) – a point that I was not the first to make.

    I don’t live in Victoria; I was unaware of who Geoff Shaw was until Jeremy posted about it.

    I was consistently outspoken about the dangers of the Hard Right wing of the NSW Liberal party gaining too much influence in the buildup to the recent election.

    The Christians I know are all left-leaning. While in many cases they have reasons for not wanting to broadcast their faith in political contexts ala narcotics point above, you should also ask if it is entirely their fault if people are addicted to conflict, and prefer to read stories about the likes of Mr Shaw? Do you blame the 99.99…% of non-terrorist Muslims in the world for the fact that the Western media only ever wants to talk about al-Qaeda and Hamas?

    And it WAS the case in history recent and distant (at least in theo-freak-shows like the US).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wilberforce

    Or perhaps you care for Australia – do you consider Australia’s first (illegal, conscientous objecting) heroin injecting room to be a “left wing” cause?

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/090/sydney.shtml

    On the “more faith than all Israel” front – people not self-identifying as Christian who nonetheless derived much of their moral and political worldview and strategies from Christian thought – there is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohandas_Karamchand_Gandhi

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson

    Actually, since Jefferson popularised the modern Western doctrine of the separation of church and state, I wonder who originated it? It wasn’t another clergyman was it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_two_kingdoms

    I think some Protestants who want State governments to keeping forcing school kids to go to scripture classes really should read up on those last two….

    Note I’m specifically not just choosing generic people who fought for good political causes from periods of history where the majority of their society happened to be Christian, but only those who were directly inspired to engage in struggles for massive political reforms by their religious views.

    Should I keep going?

  17. “Most Humans are nice people to your face, but when it comes to deciding on the rights of others its usually either A) they aren’t so nice, they were just paying lip service or B) they don’t care enough to have it decide their vote.”

    Fixed that for you ben.

    “If this is true, surely every Westerner who fails to move to a third world country to distribute food aid to the poor and/or risk their lives campaigning against corrupt dictators is unspeakably evil?”

    Dunno about “unspeakably” evil. Most evil is just banal. The same boring crap we have seen since civilisation began. But …

    They might not be quite as bad as the people doing the bad stuff in the first place but that doesn’t let them off the hook totally.

  18. jordanrastrick

    Fixed that for you ben.

    Well said.

    Dunno about “unspeakably” evil. Most evil is just banal. The same boring crap we have seen since civilisation began. But … They might not be quite as bad as the people doing the bad stuff in the first place but that doesn’t let them off the hook totally.

    I think evil is only Banal because our sensitivity to it is deadened. We feel overwhelmed by the world’s suffering, powerless to do anything about it, so we delude ourselves and make it disappear, by turning it into what Douglas Adam popularised as “Somebody Else’s Problem.”

  19. Thats not what I meant by banal – someone else’s problem. Its more the commonplace hackneyed overdone crap we have been doing forever. It contains nothing new and nothing novel or special. Just more of the same old shite.

    I do agree tho that its an overwhelming and disempowering thing to contemplate. And I do agree about our reactions to the suffering in the world and its disappearance. Thats why sept 11 still looms so large in some minds and 10s of thousands die every day from easily preventable causes and no one notices.

    I also think its a relative term. I dunno if there is an absolute evil, or an absolute good. These things come from our interpretation of what happens.

  20. jordanrastrick

    Yes, you’re right about most evil being banal in that sense.

    Good and evil aren’t relative. They are abstractions that correspond to facts about reality, specifically about the presence or otherwise of things humans value – life, knowledge, happiness, prosperity, peace, etc.

    There are of course variations in what we all value, but most of our critical moral disagreements are are about the means (following Christianity / Nazism / Communism / “Objectivism” / Scientology / Humanism / Pastafarianism / etc will make the world better) rather than the ends. We like to imagine we differ about the ends more than we really do, because its easier to think we want different radically different things than to face the massive complexities and uncertainties involved in deciding how to get them. These uncertainties don’t mean that moral claims have no correspondence with an objective reality, only that they are hard to judge the truth value of, especially without the benefit of hindsight.

  21. jordan
    Do you blame the 99.99…% of non-terrorist Muslims in the world for the fact that the Western media only ever wants to talk about al-Qaeda and Hamas?

    No, I blame YOU for paying to read it. They would otherwise write other stuff.

    On the “more faith than all Israel” front – people not self-identifying as Christian who nonetheless derived much of their moral and political worldview and strategies from Christian thought – there is:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohandas_Karamchand_Gandhi

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    -Mohandas Gandhi

    Erm… oops
    I won’t ask if you know Christs religion.

    Actually, since Jefferson popularised the modern Western doctrine of the separation of church and state, I wonder who originated it? It wasn’t another clergyman was it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_the_two_kingdoms

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
    -Martin Luther, referencing Romans 13

    Yes… breathe deep of the seperatitude

    But please… do go on.

  22. jordanrastrick

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    -Mohandas Gandhi

    Gandhi is right. Christians aspire to be like Christ, but it turns out humans are generally lousy at it.

    Gandhi conquered colonialism by non-violently resisting it. He broke down the evil pride of the British – he falsified the belief they were inherently, racially superior to Indians and thus deserved to rule, he exposed the lie of colonial control being for the good of the citizens instead of the self-interests of the colonizers, and he essentially ended the greatest military empire the world has ever seen without firing a shot, through the strength of his convictions.

    These actions show, to me, that having studied the Gospel in depth he understood it better than many people who declare themselves followers of Christ. That’s precisely why I’m using him as an example here, and precisely why I drew the parallel to the Roman Centurion who Christ proclaimed as possessing more faith than all Israel, the Old Testament’s chosen people of God.

    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

    The Amish are about the only denomination who put this doctrine into practice. I don’t actually agree with it, certainly not if is stated without any qualifications as it is here. Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s is important, but it can’t be applied in an absolutist or blind fashion. There are people who use authority in this world in ways that are evil, and sometimes the right thing to do is resist that authoriy.

    But moving on from that point, your attempt to quote Luther out of context actually substantiates my argument. He is advocating that Christians should obey secular authorities even when they disagree with them; the passage you’re quoting is a fundamental part of his reasoning as to why Christians should support the separation of Church and State. Atheists will obviously tend to support the separation for different reasons, but my point was that in the West the core ideas of secularism orginated with Theists and Deists, not Atheists.

    Combined with Luther’s other views on the freedom of conscience, its clear his opinions on this matter are similar to Jefferson’s, because of course Jefferson’s ideas are derivative from Luther’s. Namely, a Christian’s mind should be governed directly by God; indeed everyone should freely make up their own mind about religion and let their consciences follow. However, since we don’t all agree about what God wants us to do (or if God exists to want us to do anything), we should assume as a bare minimum we’re not supposed to go about violently resisting the laws that are in place, and instead agree to live alongside one another peacefully and talk out our differences.

    Contrast this with certain people, particularily in America, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism) who believe in putting the Ten Commandments into the U.S. Constitution.

    Now I disagree with the nuance of Luther’s religious arguments on this point, but I disagree with the Dominionists a lot more. The former view is more mainstream in Christianity, despite the publicity people like Geoff Shaw get.

    In fact I’ve only ever heard one Sermon on politics. It was at in one of the core chuches of Sydney’s notoriously conservative Anglican archdiosese, and it was advocating for Luther’s view – obey the law, even when you think its morally wrong (with only a couple of exceptions). Don’t vote for politicans merely because they are Christians; look instead at the effect of the policies they propose. Advocate Christian views as part of the normal, secular, democratic political process.

    SB is the only other regular commentor who springs to mind as having claimed to be Christian. Judging by his support of civil Gay Marriage it would seem he holds similar opinions.

    Now you might only pay attention to the Moral Majority in America getting Republicans elected, but 75% of Americans are Christian, and furthermore some Republicans are Atheists, Jews, Hindus, etc. Given Democrats often win elections, it is mathematically certain that a high proportion of Christians, even in America, are in the left wing part of that electorate.

  23. The elephant in the room, however, is how societal melanomas like Hillsong, Nile, Fielding, Wallace, Shaw, Nalliah, etc. scored disproportionate representation in the first place.

    These douchenozzles (heh, heh… sorry) rode the God-vote to prominence because God-voters DIDN’T TAKE IT OFF THEM.
    We ALWAYS get the government we deserve.

    We know why they did it, they all wanted candidates with faith, and these creeps were the only ones who made themselves available.

    Why did the non-bats**t-crazy believers not make themselves available? Whose fault is that?

    The solution is clear – get, get behind, or present as, the sort of candidate that YOU think speaks with YOUR voice.
    Otherwise, the theo-freak-show or some other some flat-earther will take it on himself to do your speaking FOR you.

    Why do you think I – a dyed-in-the-wool Labor man – threw my lot in with the only civil liberties ticket in town (the Sex Party).
    Okay, I voted Green in Reps- ASP didn’t run in my seat.

  24. jordanrastrick

    The elephant in the room, however, is how societal melanomas like Hillsong, Nile, Fielding, Wallace, Shaw, Nalliah, etc. scored disproportionate representation in the first place. These douchenozzles (heh, heh… sorry) rode the God-vote to prominence because God-voters DIDN’T TAKE IT OFF THEM. We ALWAYS get the government we deserve.

    If I call myself in touch with the true spirit of Labor’s values by being anti-migrant and voting for Pauline Hanson, and everyone else just goes about the business of voting for real left wing parties as they have always done, is that an indictment on anyone but me?

    I feel sorry for the people so threatened by the modern world that they think voting for Fred Nile is a good idea. If I knew how to change their minds easily, I would do it. In the meantime, I’ll keep voting for the candidates I believe will best represent my values, and advocating my views to anyone who wants to listen.

    I think there is room for left leaning Chrisitans to push back more in the political sphere, for the sake of the Gospel if nothing else. But its a delicate thing; its so easy to win these battles in a way that will lose the war.

    Why did the non-bats**t-crazy believers not make themselves available? Whose fault is that?

    Penny Wong, to take one example, is a practicing member of the Uniting church.

    If she changed tack and started publicly incorporating religious arguments into her political stances, would that make you more likely to vote for her, or less?

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