The following transcript was recently handed to stephenmcalpine.com by an eponymously named source. Stephenmcalpine.com does not vouch for the veracity of the transcript, but was, nevertheless, impressed with the wisdom, insight and sheer daring-do of the eponymously named source.
The leaking of this revealing document s comes just one day after this report in The Age newspaper from Victoria’s EOHRC, which quotes Commissioner Kristen Hilton about that state government’s plan for education programs for church leaders around matters of sex in light of recent legislation banning conversion therapy:
“We’ll be working with survivor groups but will also be working with faith leaders because it’s an opportunity to create an understanding…” Kristen Hilton told The Age her office also wanted to educate faith leaders and the broader community about the harm caused to LGBTI people by suggesting there is something wrong with homosexuality.
Church community leaders, safe church community leaders,
As we begin I want to thank you all for turning up today. And thank you for practising social distancing without even asking. You are proving yourselves to be safe in so many distinct and helpful ways. Your attendance is appreciated. And noted.
As is the non-attendance of other invitees, especially those from what we view the more fundamentalist groups that have refused our help up to this point.
So while it is a day of rejoicing, it shows that we still have a long way to go, if together we are to make this community a safe one. Some simply refuse to cooperate. While the government is bending over backwards to make our community a sexually safer place, sadly many groups still refuse our help, apparently failing to grasp the vision that we have for a joy-filled future for those previously marginalised by such faith communities.
We can only hope that you, as their faith companions (is that the right term for it?) can persuade them of the integrity and necessity of this project. Not that we need your help, we have all of the laws in place to ensure that dangerous and dogmatic practices around sexuality are restrained.
But we thank you nonetheless, especially some of your more forward thinking theological training colleges, which have been able to identity which theologies among your congregations are the safest and which are less so.
While some colleges refused to cooperate with the government, we are confident that the processes are now in place to ensure that higher education financial support is no longer directed towards these institutions and that tertiary accreditation is refused. Their days of promulgating such dangerous ideologies within our communities, are numbered. Quite frankly these reluctant colleges run the risk of being seen as unwitting propaganda tools for hate groups.
For as you know, this is ultimately about safety. The safety of us all. If there is one thing our communities value above all else in these difficult times, it is safety. Our COVID safety strategies were second to none, but we don’t want to undo all that good work by ignoring the safety of our sexually diverse community. This is about ensuring that those whose sexual identity and practices are being celebrated – rightly – by the vast majority of citizens in this wonderful, progressive state of (FILL IN THE BLANK).
I want to say too, a big thank you to all of you to your denominations. You’ve made our task that much easier by identifying where the problems persist. Soon, together, we will be able to confidently determine which of your faith communities are safe places for those of diverse sexual practises to not only attend, but to be affirmed within, flourish, find leadership roles, and begin the process of dismantling the outdated, and dangerous, thinking that has led to so many suicides and broken relationships. No longer will fundamentalists hide behind the seemingly kind, but practically pernicious “welcoming but not affirming” mantra. That has been shown to be the power play it is. Now it is we who will not welcome and affirm into our communities those groups that refuse to see the need for change.
On this point, the online database and worship community safety ratings is proving to be a game changer. Lives are being saved by that website on a weekly basis. No longer will our sexually diverse communities run the risk of being abused by quackery and outmoded theological positions that rest on poor readings of your Scriptures.
They now have, at their fingertips life-saving information. They now can bypass often confusing and often deliberately misleading church websites, to discover what each church actually believes, with a ratings system that covers the gamut of a church’s position on sexual practices. It’s a best practices model that is being considered by churches across Australians states, along with the UK and Canada. This government is proud of the historical legacy it is creating.
And the reporting tool has been excellent. Already over one hundred churches have been declared “unsafe”. While that number is still incredibly large, and quite frankly a shock to the government and to the community, it’s allowed us to commence monitoring processes, and invite faith leaders to attend information sessions. There’s no compulsion of course, but websites do make a difference, and I’m pleased to announce a fully funded office staffed by members of the LGBTQI community who are well-briefed in how churches attempt to disguise their bigotry.
And I applaud the work of the church task force, suggested by your more forward thinking congregations, that though small and confined to the urban centres, have a clout beyond their size within your denominations and media outlets. Without the help of the Right Reverend (FILL IN THE BLANK), and particularly the online skills of Millennial Mosaic Church staff team, we would not have been able to identify the coded terminologies being employed by fundamentalist groups when addressing sexuality matters. The state government is keen to recognise your efforts publicly, so stay tuned for further information on that. I can’t give away too many details just yet, but let’s just say, it might be worth checking up on the Government House ball room dress code!
Finally I want to say that while progress has been made, the work of progress is, by its very definition, never quite done. There are still concerns around the issue of child indoctrination. It’s one thing to ensure compliance within the main meeting centres of churches, but smaller informal settings such as church youth groups and kids’ clubs – where our most vulnerable and most easily-influenced -future members of the community often gather – need more attention. But forgive me the paraphrase from one of the most influential of Christian writers, CS Lewis, “Onward and Upward. To Utopia and the North.”!
Once again, thanks for attending. Please enjoy the short video we have put together, and make sure you stay for the excellent refreshments. And, as a non-religious person myself, if you might permit me this indulgence, “The Lord bless you and keep you.”
And since Facebook seems to only employ safety and fact checkers who have had an irony bypass, let them just say that Satire just gets harder and harder to write.