Can Satan cast out Satan?

Lyle Shelton, spokesblogger for the Australian Christian Lobby wrote:

"New totalitarian rainbow law in Canada has decreed that parents who disagree with their child changing gender are guilty of “abuse” and could face having the state remove their child by force."
So what's wrong here? This might be the truth as ACL sees it. Trouble is, it is simply not accurate. And not fair reporting.
The "new law" for which Lyle generously provides a link, makes no such decree. I've read it all the way through. Please point out what I missed.
Lyle goes on:
"Parents who are concerned that transitioning is not in their child's best interests are automatically classified as “abusive”, according to Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau."
Really? Automatically? Couldn't find that in the Act. Lyle suggests that this is what the Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services says. I'd better check that out. Oh. Lyle hasn't given me a link.
Google. No sign of any such statement in Ontario Press, or on the Minister's web-site or twitter feed. 
Oh, here it is. On a website the Minister "was quoted". By whom, I still couldn't find out. Federalist Papers is simply lifting something from another site, This site is notorious for depositing dozens of tracking cookies on your computer, but that may not be a crime. In any case, The Christian Post is simply lifting their story from another And this site is quoting another... I got tired at this stage. Also I had 37 tracking cookies to delete.
Anyway, they are all quoting the Minister, without a link, as follows:
“I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently,” Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau, who introduced the bill, was quoted as saying. “If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.” 
Read that carefully. OK, the Minister is of the view that if a "caregiver" and a "child" are in disagreement such that "it's abuse" and "within the definition" something can be done to protect the child. It's about whether there is abuse or not. This is the protection the act provides. There is nothing "automatic" about it. And the act is not talking about "disagreements" between a child and parent about gender identity, nor any of the other categories covered. Instead, the Act outlines rights that all children can expect to have. If these rights are violated it may constitute abuse. 
None of these rights mention gender. The Act simply says that in protecting children from abuse, the child's "race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression" must be "taken into account."
My concern here is not with ACL's well-known view on same-sex marriage, or gender dysmorphia. I understand their concerns and wrestle with the issues. As I do with racism, place of origin (like if it's a boat), colour, and so on.
My concern here is with the propagandist nature of their approach. This is not truthful reporting, Lyle. It borrows the style and techniques of the opponent. Indeed, the very opponents ACL will criticise for their similar distortions and half-truths. It adopts the worst of the world. Satan trying to cast out Satan. Someone once asked rhetorically whether that was possible.
Am I bothered? Yes. Because I was involved in the early attempts in the 1980s to position a Christian voice in the heart of politics. We had a vision of being salt and light. We wanted to see Christian principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate as a society. We wanted Australia to become a more just and compassionate nation.
Is this tendentious fear-mongering that?

UPDATE: I just read Michael Bird's brilliant analysis and response that contrasts so markedly with the strategy ACL appear to be following. I commend his article to you. Here.


  1. Hi Philip. I also got that link around the time, read the legislation and sent similar analysis to my church where people were circulating it.
    All the right wing news agencies and sites were simply quoting each other, barely changing the wording, let alone checking facts.
    So who started this grand falsehood that has outraged so many?
    I used the date limits on google search to find out where the article began. It was a Russian site, 'Russia News Now' on Feb 6 2017. No-one picked it up until early June, when Breitbart published it - thence the world. It included the 'quote' from Michael Coteau, but no source. ACL still have the article up, I have contacted Michael Coteau for definitive response and then I will contact them. The horse has long bolted and fled god-knows-where, but perhaps they will be more careful in future.


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