Labor, the Greens and the mainstream media are in a frenzy over Senator Bernardi's latest book, The Conservative Revolution. Anthony Albanese has lashed out with a rhetorical list of factually fallacious statements, to the effect that Cory Bernardi is against "any religion that isn't the same as his". Untrue. He merely states a self-evident fact that moral values enjoined by the Judeo-Christian tradition have been beneficial to Australia. The only religion which he negatively criticises is Islam, and that not on religious, but on political, grounds.
Another barb relates to family, and he stated "[Cory Bernardi] is against any family that doesn't resemble his depiction of what a family is". The natural family in which a child is enabled to know, and be loved by, his or her own parents, is not a depiction of Cory Bernardi, but a depiction which has existed throughout history, and is enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The list goes on. The chief accusation is that people are offended. This brings us back to proposed "anti-discrimination" legislation initiated by Labor, with backing from the Greens, based on a ridiculously weak, politically correct, argument that "someone may be offended". Thankfully that legislation was defeated. There is no right not to be offended, but there is a universally recognised right to freedom of speech. Claims to be offended are subjective and relativistic. The question to ask is, "Is it objectively offensive?", e.g. death threats, violence, blatant insults or obscenity. All of these have been exhibited by hate-filled leftist radicals in various parts of the world.
Tony Abbott has not yielded to leftist demands, but merely stated that the book "does not reflect government policy". In fact the book was not intended to reflect policy, but merely participates in very relevant debate on social issues. It was addressed, not to the government, but to the Australian people. The PM has said that Malcolm Turnbull is entitled to express his opinion. Cory Bernardi is entitled to the same right.
The most hotly contested aspect of accusations are in relation to abortion. Neither Tony Abbott nor Cory Bernardi has advocated recriminalising, or even restricting, abortion. Arguments raised are not against women but against faulty legislation and the abortion industry.
The sponsor of the Tasmanian abortion bill, Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne, stated "it brings our laws into the 21st century".
That claim is contrary to science. "Science on foetal development has raced light years ahead of abortion politics, which remains mired in a 1970s time warp". Jennifer Oriel, The Australian, January 11 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/abortion-laws-must-recognise-scientific-changes/story-e6frg6zo-1226799220817#mm-premium
Last year the Texas state legislature banned abortion after twenty weeks, because of authentic medical evidence that an unborn child at that stage of development is capable of feeling pain much more severe that that felt by adults. The abortion lobby went berserk and violently attacked their legislators, including preparing to hurl at them stones and other objects, some of which were too obscene to bear repetition. What does this say about hate and brutality, and from what source it comes?
An abortionist in Philadelphia, Kermit Gosnell, is in gaol serving a life sentence on three counts of first degree murder of newborns, and one count of second degree murder for the death of a woman due to criminal negligence. This abortionist would deliver healthy full term babies alive and then kill them by snipping the spinal cord with a scissors, while the babies screamed in agony.
Police found what they described as a "house of horrors" of filthy conditions, dried blood and rust on instruments, fetal parts stored for no apparent reason in jars and in a refrigerator beside the lunches of staff, most of whom lacked any medical qualification. It was reported that the filth was so great that a police officer literally vomited. This was hardly a safe or hygenic place for women!
There is evidence to indicate that this was not an isolated instance of conditions at abortuaries.
Coming back to our own country, a doctor, Mark Hobart, in Victoria was under investigation, and threatened with loss of his medical licence, because he refused to refer a couple to another doctor for an abortion, on the grounds that the unborn child was a girl, and they wanted a boy. Hopefully a clause that stripped conscience rights from doctors may be removed from the legislation.
Senator Bernardi is to be congratulated for having the courage to remind us that we are in a culture war, and in danger of losing our most cherished values and freedoms that have made our country the great nation it is.
Anyone interested in following up details of issues stated here may find abundant information in an internet search.
Nona Florat is a retired academic librarian. Her website can be found at http://www.humanvaluesaust.iinet.net.au/