I feel very sorry for Coopers. They've been thrown into a fiasco, not of their own making.
I feel sorry for the Bible Society, who were trying to make a well intentioned video, saying we can discuss the issue without being aggressive, and they were saying we needed to discuss marriage equality. However, they may have been better using the example of being a Liberal or Labor voter or something else that's a matter of choice not rights, instead of asking an oppressed group of people to 'keep it light'. If you are not afforded the same rights as others, it's very hard not to be emotionally engaged in the fight for basic equality.
The Bible says lots of things we choose to ignore. My personal favourite is that anyone who works on a Sunday should be put to death. The Bible is quite clear about that, however we realise it's not relevant or appropriate. I think we can use the same dismissive logic with the bible's definition of marriage. Even a priest works on Sunday, and no one seems to mind anymore. All the people not getting married in a church should be exempt from the bible's definition of marriage anyway. Just as those not getting married in a Mosque shouldn't be bound by the Koran's definition of marriage.
The 'think of the children' argument is offensive beyond words to me. I know plenty of women whose partner went MIA and are raising great kids. I know a few men whose wives died and have wonderful girls becoming outstanding women. I know couples who work and travel all the time and the nanny basically raises the kids. Their happy children. Then there are the abusers you read about, often in a man/woman couple, being tried for terrible things they did to their children. So I think if you want to 'think of the children' perhaps you need to think about what it must be like to say to a child "Your parents, these loving people that raise you, are not considered equal to the rest of the country,". How damaging is that?
I think this clip best sums up our responsibility to marriage equality (though the clip itself is discussing something else) - The LBGTQI community needs to make room for Christians to be able to worship (and they do), and Christians need to see that the LBGTQI community are people with a need for equal rights. This clip is a sportscaster talking about the transgender wrestler who was not allowed to compete in the boys league, where he actually preferred to compete, but the association made him compete with the girls. When he won, a furor in the media broke out, as he had an unfair advantage. The whole clip is worth watching but for the time poor, the gist is this: " I'm not always comfortable when a man tells me he's gay. I don't understand his world. But I do understand he's a part of mine."
We don't have to understand it. We don't even have to approve. We don't have to personally go to the weddings. We do need to understand these are people, and afford them the same rights we enjoy. If the gay woman up the street marries her partner, my marriage is still intact. My marriage is unaltered. Her union is confirmed before all others, which must make her happy, as it did me when I got married many moons ago. How does it impact me? No way I can see, unless I have to buy her a present or take a day off to attend the party. Both of which I can choose not to do, if I don't want to support union.
Coopers, if you wish to give money to a charity that provides bibles to the military, I see no harm in that. I don't think you should have to apologise for that. I give to many charities too. I have no issue making space for Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and the other religions to worship, as long as they make space for those that don't share the same beliefs.
Perhaps the real lesson is that we need to make sure we are not oppressing another group in our form of worship?
PS please watch the clip. I can't tell you how much I now LOVE this guy. Simple decency seems so logical.
Further note: I will delete any abusive comments aimed at me, other comments, Coopers, the Bible Society, the LBGTQI community and certain politicians who have been outspoken on the issue. You are welcome to disagree but we are better than name callers.
Postscript: I want to share this from the Anglican Church in Gosford - not only did Father Rod raise over $10k for the Leukemia Foundation yesterday, but he also spoke out on the proposed changes to 18C. Today he shared this on Facebook. It is well worth a read. Thank you Father Rod. You are an exemplary Christian. In the TRUE sense of the word.