One thing which Anthony has been strong on, and he models it well for us, is that we stay gracious in our discussion (arguments) with others. Especially with people of faith whom we are trying to help better understand us, and breaking down their fixed preconceptions re GLTB issues.
The following from A.C.L. is a good demonstration of how a harsh combative approach only exaccerbates the issues.
ACL QLD director receives abusive language and cyberbullying for campaigning against sexualized billboard
Australian Christian Lobby – Thursday, 2 June 2011, 7:50 (EST)
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern at the level of abuse one of its staff members has received from some homosexual activists following Adshel’s decision to remove sexualised advertisements from Brisbane bus shelters this week.
ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said he was disappointed at the abuse levelled at ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis, a long-time campaigner against the sexualisation of children through outdoor advertising.
“ACL’s activism in Queensland this week is part of a larger campaign to see all billboards G-Rated and Ms Francis recently appeared at a Senate Inquiry into outdoor advertising,” Mr Shelton said.
“ACL has been active in this debate for a long time and submitted to two Senate Inquiries in 2008 about advertising standards and the sexualisation of children in the contemporary media.
“Homosexual activists have launched Facebook campaigns Wendy Francis is a homophobe and Homophobia – NOT HERE – Adshel Caves to Homophobic Pressure and emailed abusive letters and phone calls to intimidate the ACL and Wendy out of the issue of sexualisation of children,” Mr Shelton said.
“Let’s block her phone up with messages of sympathy that she’s such a hate filled bastard” was one comment on Facebook.
“You are DISGUSTING human being. How f** dare you complain about an ad that supports safe sex and the fight against aids…So get your head out of your a**, and respect people for who they are,“ was one e-mail message, he said.
Mr Shelton said it was regrettable that some activists resorted to abusive language and cyber bullying of Ms Francis.
“This sort of intimidation is unacceptable,” Mr Shelton said.
ACL supported the then Rudd Government’s moves in 2008 to provide equality for same-sex couples under Commonwealth Law with the amendment of 85 pieces of legislation.
Sadly use of intimidating language is not limited to those attacking Ms Francis.
“It also follows inappropriate comments by New South Wales Senator Doug Cameron last month who compared supporters of traditional marriage to supporters of racist apartheid,” Mr Shelton said.
“Discussion about the sexualisation of children is a legitimate issue that is concerning many parents and this discussion should be allowed to take place in an environment of respect and civility,” Mr Shelton said.