18 August 2017
“Shut up and go away” was the assertion Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton says he has been confronted with from supporters of same-sex marriage, and even the authorities.
During a discussion with Neil Johnson today on Vision’s 20twenty program, Lyle highlighted the bias against traditional marriage being waged by most mainstream media outlets, noting one particular online site had blatantly informed ACL they will not be publishing the NO case ahead of the postal plebiscite vote. “The Guardian Australia website are not going to give our side a run. This particular news organisation thinks that our arguments are irrational and unworthy of reporting.”
He also had much to say about the ACL office bomb attack that occurred last year, implying there had been an alleged cover up attempt made by the investigating authorities at the time of the bombing, 21 December 2016. The explosion blew out windows on the ground and top floors of the ACL office with the driver of the vehicle severely injured as gas bottles were ignited.
Lyle said the man allegedly responsible has been ordered to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court. But he was concerned after media quoted the investigating police with a report the man allegedly had a hatred for religion and commented religion had failed. He is also alleged to have said he had a dislike for ACL.
“I am disappointed that the Australian Federal Police versions from now and eight months ago are so different,” Lyle stated.
But was there a link connecting the ACL bombing to the obvious seriousness of the political debate over same sex marriage? Lyle Shelton was not prepared to rule out the marriage issue and the bombing attempt as unrelated. “They (the police at the time of the bombing) said unequivocally, ‘no political, religious or ideological motivation. So nothing to do with any of the issues that ACL has been engaged in publicly.”
“And yet now there’s at least an acknowledgement by the AFP that there was more to it than what they originally said,” Lyle repeated, saying this is incredibly significant.
“…we’ve got a situation where lots of pressure has been put on people who hold a different view to the same sex marriage movement and the forthcoming plebiscite vote.”
By pressure Lyle Shelton meant the message from the authorities suggested those supporting traditional marriage should, in his words, ‘shut up and go away’. “This is to delegitimise our views in the public square,” Lyle explained, going on to say “it bothers me that it would seem the police themselves seem to have been tied up perhaps in political correctness,”
He said it appeared the information on the office bombing that came out, had not been shared with Lyle Shelton’s staff or himself and the wider Canberra community at the actual time of the bombing. “And you can see (on the AFP website) there’s more information there than what they conceded eight months ago.”.
“It’s a very unsatisfactory situation. To me it just goes to the difficulty and the challenge of this particular issue around same sex marriage that seems to cloud the judgment of our authorities” – Lyle Shelton
As a trained Journalist himself, Lyle Shelton expressed concern at The degree to which the principles and the ethics of journalism had fallen since his time learning the craft at university a few decades ago. “I was told that we had to be fair, factual and that we always had to cover both sides of the story. This just shows you how ridiculous things have got to in Australia. This crazy issue of same sex marriage just clouds everything,” Lyle confirmed.
But is there a bigger problem? Are our law enforcement personnel, those responsible for protecting the public, signaling to those opposed to changing the definition of marriage, that they won’t protect them from harm? Lyle Shelton said we as citizens, have a right to know all the relevant facts when it comes to issues of safety.
Lyle Shelton is a lobbyist on Christian issues. He served as the Chief of Staff of the Australian Christian Lobby for six years and was appointed as Managing Director in May 2013.
Mr Shelton has said that same-sex marriage is “insensitive to the needs of children and the cultural and even religious views of the vast majority of Australians.”
Mr Shelton is a member of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce. In relation to poker machines, he has said that, “it’s an issue that’s causing incredible hardship to children and to families right across this nation and it needs to be tackled.”
ACL mission statement:
‘We desire a compassionate, just and moral society through having the public contributions of the Christian faith reflected in the political life of the nation.’