Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Friday, September 22, 2017

DECISION: When voting in the same-sex marriage postal survey, one reader is asking people to ignore the abusive voices from both sides and think of what is right.
DECISION: When voting in the same-sex marriage postal survey, one reader is asking people to ignore the abusive voices from both sides and think of what is right.

I AM just about over this nonsense marriage equality survey, as is every other person, but let me remind everyone just how important this is to LGBTIQ+ people. For too long LGBTIQ+ people have had to grow up in a country that does not accept them. We are just like you. We work in hospitals, schools, shops, offices and run our own businesses. We don’t get to choose the way we are.

I grew up as any other boy. I watched super heroes and played rugby league. In high school I began to realise I wasn’t like most of the people around me. Later still, I remember telling a colleague I didn’t think same-sex people should get married. My reasoning? Because I didn’t want to get married. I held onto my secret that I was gay for years because I had constantly been bullied about it. Then one day I admitted it to myself. I began looking at the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community. I realised that even if I didn’t want to get married, others might, and who am I to stand in their way? Now that I have met my partner and would like to eventually get married, I can see just how important it was for me to educate myself, and others, all those years ago. 

This survey isn’t about the safe school’s program and it isn’t about political correctness. It is about whether two loving people can get married, and allow everyone the same basic human rights. 

I know both sides have a small collective of people who bully, intimidate and abuse. For those who said they will change their vote from yes to no because of it; if you are legitimate, I ask you to think about it. Don’t do it for the person who has been rude, do it for your children, your colleague, your family member, your friend. I can assure you the majority of yes supporters do not condone bullying; we know what it feels like.

My advice to the yes supporters is to stay strong. Keep fighting for what is right. Work with others, not against them. To no supporters: If you want to write/say hate, then send it to me. Because every minute you waste sending it to me, is a minute the hate doesn’t go to other LGBTIQ+ Australians. They don’t deserve it, no one does.

Bradley Burns, Cardiff 

Economics, not religion

REGARDING the argy-bargy about religion and war: Religion is not the cause of war, economics is. Religion may be the excuse and in all wars religious leaders nuzzle up to the state with jingoistic proclamations and prayers, but at its root war happens for two reasons: The first is that the power elites of one country want to take the wealth of another, the second is to defend oneself from such ravages.

Religion is simply a collection of organisations feeding off the ideologies and superstitions which preceded philosophy and science. Religions are subsumed by the nations in which they occur. The abandonment of Buddha’s principle of compassion by Burmese Buddhists comes to mind.

Some religions are dedicated to peace and opposed to all wars but most will happily cosy up to the big boys when the bullets fly.

Peter Ronne, Woodberry

Accreditation for home

I THOUGHT living in my suburb couldn't get any worse. But it just has. I have not had a phone line for over five weeks. I am bombarded by constant noise and dirt from roadworks. Driving in and out to go anywhere is a nightmare. Now Supercars tell me that if I want to come and go from my own home during the race weekend I have to "apply for accreditation". They also tell me that my friends and family will not be able to visit me during the race weekend unless they buy tickets. Also I must "carry my accreditation” and "scan out in order to be able to scan back into the venue". 

I do not live in a "venue" owned by Supercars. I live in a home, where I have paid rates for 30 years, in a suburb of a city in Australia.

What rights do I have as a citizen? I will not be "applying for accreditation". I will come and go from my own home. Perhaps Supercars should have considered residents when they organised this event.

Jennifer O'Donoghue, Newcastle East

Flaws in wars argument

IN his letter, (20/9), Colin Fordham opines that I provided no evidence to support my opinion that Phillips and Axelrod's treatise on wars not having religion as a causal reason. I have indeed provided evidence but the Newcastle Herald's limited space for letters precluded its publication.

Colin appears to believe that because Phillips and Axelrod are professors, their word is gospel. Phillips and Axelrod's claim that the majority of wars do not have religion as a primary cause is flawed from the outset by their definition of a 'holy war'.

A prime example of the flaw in their work is WWII. Historians are generally of the opinion that the harsh terms and loss of territory decreed by the Treaty of Versailles were a primary cause of Hitler being able to lead Germany into war. Hitler called the Treaty of Versailles "a Jewish conspiracy" and murdered about 6 million Jews.

Hitler also stated that "I thank God that He gave me the insight to invade Russia". Hitler continually inspired his troops and civilians giving speeches which were religious in nature. 60 million dead yet Phillips and Axelrod do not consider it a war that could be considered to be caused by religion.

Between them Phillips and Axelrod have published 135 books and, as a consequence, appear somewhat divorced from what the 'common' man considers to be the norm. 

Phillips and Axelrod do not have a monopoly on IQ or the right to have their views considered inviolate. I have an extremely high IQ and a high level of education; I just cannot be bothered to write books

Mike Sargent, Raymond Terrace

Understanding the cause

I BELIEVE Julie Robinson (Letters, 20/9) is correct to reject the idea that celibacy is the main cause of the sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church. As she points out identical crimes have been committed in large numbers within other institutions in which chastity is not required.

However I think she is very, very wrong to reject the idea that finding the real causes should not be a high priority. It is extremely rare for any problem, no matter how simple, to be effectively and permanently fixed unless its cause or causes are understood, treated, and eliminated.

The idea that there is no need to find the true causes of institutional child abuse would, if it were generally adopted, condemn future generations of children to the same misery experienced by their predecessors. I am quite certain this is not her intent.

Ian Roach, New Lambton