Do we really want to stop bullying?

[Originally submitted to Canberra Times 15/8/2017, in response to this article]

Someone was shouting obscenities in my face, from only 10cm in front of me. Why?

Because I was attending a peaceful rally in Civic Square to hear about the gender theory being taught in the “Safe Schools” program last Saturday (12 Aug).

Unfortunately I could hardly hear or see the speakers. Why? Protesters planted themselves immediately in front of the speakers, obstructing them with placards declaring what they thought of the speakers: “Nile is vile”, “Lyle is vile”. The chanting of slogans such as “We’re here, we’re queer” continued relentlessly for the entire 40-minutes of the presentation.

Personally, I support advocates of “Safe Schools” having a platform to share their concerns about bullying in the schoolyard, but the approach I saw on Saturday left me deeply concerned.

Do we really want our children to follow this example when they disagree with someone in the schoolyard: shout them down, obstruct them, intimidate them, label them vile, and yell obscenities in their face?

It reminds me of a man who came with a very different strategy – he loved his enemies. But he was mocked for it too, all the way to the cross.

Pastor Geoff Findlay