All posts tagged: marriage

Silenced for the Offence of Offending

My boy starts school next year and we’re sending him to a local Catholic school. The decision-making process on this one was heavy. Considerations ranged from educational to social to cultural to financial to geographical to spiritual. Not to mention whether the uniform colours suited his complexion! Joke. I was just joking. Yes, all these things (except the uniform bit) were vigorously discussed as we novice parents weighed up what was best for our first-born and our family unit. For a whole fleet of reasons, we chose the local Catholic school. The decision didn’t come without implications, without some level of compromise. You see, we are not Catholics. There are parts of the Catholic tradition and liturgy that we don’t adhere to. Yet, in signing those enrolment forms we entered into the construct of a long-established way and we don’t for a moment expect it to change because one little kindergarten kid’s parents don’t do infant baptism or say the Hail Mary. There’s so much about this school that we love – like the way that …

Letter to the Gay Community: Is Same Sex Marriage Really What You Need?

Monday June 29, 2015 To homosexuals everywhere in support of same sex marriage, Do you believe that changing Australia’s Marriage Act will be the panacea you need? I’m genuinely interested. You have suffered severely as a minority group; shunned, bullied, locked up, medicated and even murdered for your sexual attraction. The treatment you have endured – and indeed, continue to endure in some pockets of society – is unacceptable. You, like anyone else, have the right to respect, love, acceptance and a life unhindered by prejudice. Like victims of any traumatic injustice, I understand your desire to seek acknowledgement and affirmation of your value and identity. My question is, will changing the traditional definition of marriage do that? We look to Ireland where law has changed to allow same sex marriage as a result of last month’s referendum. Have you noticed the vernacular of the gay lobby in the proceeding celebrations? The change has been lauded as “recognition” of gay people, “validation” of lifestyle, “acceptance” in communities and so on. Very little has been said about marriage itself. Could …

FREE “Relationship Vouchers”

Is your marriage on the rocks?  Are you about to get hitched?  Does your relationship have a few niggles that keep popping up?  Or do you just love a freebie?  As of tomorrow, Aussie couples can apply for $200 ‘relationship vouchers’ to subsidise counselling. You can thank Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews for the initiative, which he designed to “help couples achieve a greater degree of happiness and stability and thereby a better environment for their children.” The first 100,000 couples to apply in the $20 million trial’s first year will be able to take the voucher to an approved provider for “marriage and relationship education and counselling, including components of parenting education, conflict resolution and financial management education.” And it’s not only the married-and-resigned-to-divorce types that are eligible. These relationship spruce-up tickets are for long-time married couples, honeymooning couples, engaged couples, unmarried (and with no plans to marry) couples and same-sex couples.  Couples with kids, couples who’ve received their diamond anniversary letter from the Queen, couples who believe marriage is a trap and …

Marriage is to Life as Fruit and Veg are to Health. Good. For. You.

Janko Tipsarevic didn’t play at the Australian Open this year.  The Serbian tennis player hasn’t picked up a racket since October due to a heel injury. This time last year, Tipsarevic was ranked No. 8. These days he treads water down at No. 69. Yet it was this mostly forgotten tennis star who came to mind during the tennis coverage this year because I remembered something he said during an interview after a magnificent match that resulted in Lleyton Hewitt’s first-round exit in the 2013 Australian Open. He essentially tipped his sweaty tennis cap at his wife.  “Honestly, I don’t know why but from the moment I got married I started producing great results,” he grinned. Marriage is good for you, is what I heard him say, and I can vouch for that. We’ve just celebrated a decade and I don’t mean to brag but we’re a good team!  Anyone would kick our butts at a game of tennis doubles, but don’t even bother attempting to come between us in the bigger match of life.  …

Letter to the Prime Minister

26 August, 2013   Dear Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott,   In less than two weeks time one of you will be elected Prime Minister. You are educated men, determined men, thinking men. You have worked hard to reach your privileged positions and now, more than ever, your days are as long as your pressures are heavy. To the considerations of a politician in election mode, I add this letter. I will be brief. No jibes here on funding promises, policy unveilings and slur campaigns – just a memento of the strangled heartbeat at the core of community. There are two things foundational to any society: marriage and family. When these two things are crumpled and broken, split and repaired, Band-Aid slapped on top of bloodied Band-Aid, redefined, renamed and ripped open; brokenness becomes us. This is our reality. We exist in a culture that accepts brokenness as the norm. We are the broken culture. And brokenness begets brokenness. You both (appear to be) happily married. You both have (what appear to be) happy families. …

What Every Couple Should Understand Before Saying “I Do”

Rupert Murdoch has filed to divorce his wife of 14 years, the glamorous Wendi Deng. It will be Mr Murdoch’s third divorce and Ms Deng’s second. A pre-nuptial agreement signed prior to their 1999 wedding will see Ms Deng benefit handsomely (but not too handsomely) from the split – Mr Murdoch’s second wife Anna Maria Torv reportedly received a $US1.7 billion divorce settlement in 1999 at the end of their 31 year marriage. Yes, that was the same year Mr Murdoch went on to marry Ms Deng. Money. Power. Beauty. Convenience. Marriage was never meant to be like this. The divorce rate in Australia is about 43 per cent – that is, 43 per cent of marriages can be expected to end in separation within 30 years (ABS). And I don’t need to tell you of the damage that divorce inflicts – not only on the couple but also on children and extended family. I am convinced that the true definition of marriage has been allowed to slide. Over time, some definitions will change – it’s the …

Marriage: is it as Sacred as Trees?

THE Greens are fighting fiercely to protect the Tarkine wilderness in Tassie’s North-West. This significant tract of temperate rainforest has been upheld as a sacred place worthy of protection. People feel strongly about it. Over the past few years we’ve seen protests from community groups and heartfelt speeches from Greens pollies against changes mooted including the Tarkine tourist road and forestry and mining operations. The Tarkine is beautiful and effective as it stands, they have cried. The Tarkine is a place with World Heritage values. The Tarkine nurtures life and should not be altered. Proponents for change reply that opening up the Tarkine would give access to all, enhance economic benefit to the region and show off something the rest of Australia doesn’t have. Ironically, these are the very arguments that Tasmania’s Labor-Green government is using to rip apart the sacred place that is marriage. We see our premier Lara Giddings revving up the bulldozer and preparing to clear a way for all homosexual couples to know what it is to be married. This government …