The reason why marriage is so important is because marriage is what starts a family. Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay
Protecting the sanctity of marriage is worth speaking out: Tony Abbott MP
)Translation of this article appears in Arabic section(
Sydney - Middle East Times Int'l: Shortly, all Australians will be asked to cast their vote on whether to change the Marriage Act to include same-sex marriage. Redefining marriage has far reaching consequences and will affect everybody. It will have a major impact on freedom of speech and religion. Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay and the Coalition for Marriage had morning tea with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott MP in St-Charbel Monastery-Sydney to discuss this issue and to raise funds for the Coalition for Marriage.
At the end of the event, the superior of St Charbel Monastery Fr.Louis Ferkh extends a warm thanks for Mr Abbott, Tio Faulkner, religious, media and all attendees.
"We are here to defend marriage between man and woman. To do so, we need to be reminded that we need to have the courage to say NO, encourage others to say NO and, most importantly, donate generously and to be proactive in explaining the consequences to our neighbours, friends and family and get them to vote to preserve marriage."
Tony Abbott MP
"Every community is made up of lots of different families. The reason why marriage is so important is because marriage is what starts a family. We have a marriage between a man and a woman preferably for life and usually dedicated to children. We have marriages that give us families, that gives us communities and, ultimately, that what gives us our country. That is why this matters.
In the end, it all depends on values. It is values that make a country and if we surrender our values, in the end our country goes to pieces as well. Now, I am proud to be Australian I am proud to be part of a civilization and a culture which has stood proud throughout time; there has been a very clear understanding of exactly what marriage is -- a man and a woman, preferably for life, usually dedicated to children. In the end, marriage is about the welfare of the kids, it is about the protection of the family. That is why it is so important that we don’t do anything to water it down. We won’t do anything we believe reduces respect and protection for families.
It is interesting that we’ve had the Archbishop of Hobart dragged before the Tasmanian anti-discrimination board for the defence of Christian teaching. We’ve had Christian pasters in Hobart again dragged before this board for daring to preach gospel teaching. We had Cooper’s Brewery subject to a hate campaign because they sponsored a bible society debate that involved one person defending traditional marriage. We have seen the Queensland Education Department try to stop people talking about Jesus in the classroom, trying to stop kids sending Christmas cards because it was thought that this might somehow upset other faiths or people of no religion.
This is the dangerous intolerance which is spreading in our country right now. My message to people is if you are worried about the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion in our country -- if you are concerned about the bunch of political correctness through all our institutions, if you do not like being bullied by activists -- there is only one thing to do and that is to vote NO.
It is by far the best way to stop all of this in its tracks. I don’t want anyone to underestimate just how seismic this vote will be. If it is “yes”, it will be another milestone in the decline of our country and our civilisation. If it is “NO”, it could be a long overdue opportunity to revive respect in who we are and what we stand for and civilisation. This is incredibly important and I hope that all of you in the next few weeks will try to make it one of your main concerns to get everyone you know to vote and to do whatever you can to help the “NO” campaign to be as effective as possible.
It is important to say ‘we don’t like what you are doing to our country, we don’t like what you are trying to do to our families and children’.
That’s why this matters; that’s why this really, really matters. It is our chance the first chance we have had for a long, long time to fight back against all this nonsense. The other point I just want to make is the people are powerful; you have to take this chance to stand up for things that you believe in. I might finish on this note: we all like to think of the silent majority -- well a majority that stays silent for too long doesn’t stay the majority. That is why we have to speak up."
Tio Faulkner's speech
"I think we want to understand is our society will radically change if there is a “yes” vote. Our society radically changes if a parliament decides to allow same sex marriage. We all have to understand the consequences of that because I am not here to look for volunteers I am here to help you understand that if you do not make this your life mission over the next 60-odd days Australia will change as we know it.
We hear politicians saying we have laws that will protect religious freedom. In Ireland just last month they took away that freedom. Let’s start working for the protection of religious freedom. We go from having an allowed opinion about marriage to it being subject to the anti-discrimination board. Our world radically changes if we allow same sex marriage.
We have to understand there are serious consequences for the freedom we have; the rights we have as parents and for freedom of speech, freedom of thought. They are trying to bully us; without doubt, the fear and bullying tactics by the other side have silenced many good people. The only way we win this vote is by having the courage to have a discussion with our neighbour. We must have the courage to step up for our country, step up for our faith."