The Race to Irrelevancy – Shelton’s Australian Christian Lobby

horse-raceIt is now clear the Australian public overwhelmingly opposes a plebiscite on marriage equality.  But, even if a plebiscite is held, we know most people will vote in favour of reform. Recent studies show  62 per cent of Australians and all but one electorate believe Australia should have marriage equality.

Despite the millions of dollars the Australian Christian Lobby has ploughed into demonising the LGBTIQ community, it has decisively lost the battle for Australian hearts and minds. As the debate has progressed, the Australian public has moved inexorably towards treating their fellow citizens as equal human beings. The fear-mongering fanaticism of Lyle Shelton’s fundamentalist lobby group (which wants the government to spend $200 million to amplify its message of homophobic hatred) has failed to gain traction.

While children live in poverty, while gay, trans and straight kids continue to face bullying in schools, while elderly people struggle to pay their bills, while the homeless inhabit our streets and parks, while every week a woman is being killed by an act of domestic violence, while Australians continue to die from preventable diseases, while medical research institutes cry out for better funding, while climate change threatens catastrophic environmental and human devastation, while low-income families and pensioners suffer because the government ‘cannot afford’ to fund dental care, while people with disabilities cry out for improved support and facilities, while Aboriginal disadvantage is entrenched by lack of medical and education services, while we keep refugees in disgusting conditions offshore because ‘we cannot afford to have them here’, and while farmers battle to save their farms, Mr Shelton and his merry bunch of “Christians” lobby the government to spend $200 million of tax-payers’ money to fight a battle against human love; a battle they know they cannot win.

The battle is clearly lost. But will Shelton concede gracefully and lobby for those funds to be redirected to any one of a million causes that would actually relieve human suffering? No.

And the reason is this. Despite its name, Shelton does not lead a Christian lobby group. He leads an anti-gay hate group. Opposing marriage equality is a crusade for Shelton whose homophobia was learned in the cult in which he was raised. One might even call it an obsession. Under Shelton, homophobia has become the Australian Christian Lobby’s raison d’être.


Yet, the group does not represent the majority of Australian Christians  (or those of other religions) who support same-sex marriage. The ACL represents only the fringe view of a rag-tag remnant group of a long-since-discredited 1980s cult.

Shelton’s intransigence on this issue will have no effect whatsoever on the inevitability of marriage equality. But, ironically, in flogging this particular, homophobic horse, he has guaranteed the inevitable demise of the Australian Christian Lobby.

The race is not yet finished, but the ACL has already lost. The Australian people want marriage equality and they will get it. What purpose then for the ACL? Shelton’s cultish views have no traction in modern Australia. By holding fast to the values of the not-quite-dead Logos Foundation, he has guaranteed the ACL’s inevitable decline into abject irrelevance.

Under Shelton’s Logos-inspired leadership, the Australian Christian Lobby has lost its fight against marriage equality. It has lost its fight for a plebiscite. It has lost the respect of Australia’s Christian community. Shelton has shown himself to be even more incompetent than his predecessor at prosecuting his indefensible case against love, justice and equality.

Shelton and his ilk have done more to bring Christianity into disrepute than almost any institution outside the Catholic Church and its shameful history of child rape. They are a joke to non-religious Australians and an embarrassment to their fellow Christians.

I doubt that Shelton has the nous, the management skills or the humanity to concede defeat. He’ll carry this tired old nag over the finish line until they both buckle under the weight of public opinion. And who will mourn the passing of the Australian Christian Lobby? No-one. Because, as a “Christian” organisation, Shelton’s tired old hobby-horse is an abject failure. Not one Australian life is better for it ever having existed – and a great many are considerably worse off.

It’s one hell of a legacy, Lyle.

Chrys Stevenson

9 thoughts on “The Race to Irrelevancy – Shelton’s Australian Christian Lobby

  1. palmboy

    Absolutely correct and true article about the Australian so-called Christian Lobby.

    Great to read this on the same day myself and many others were accosted and harassed in the street by a nutter wearing a sandwich board who approached strangers and asked “are you prepared to repent?”

    My response to this imbecile was ….. “Get fucked mate”

    1. Heather Thomas

      Thankyou Chris,Well said.Also to palmboy,I wonder if this was the same sandwich board guy as I was harassed by.He was at Happy Valley Caloundra and chased hubby and I down along the boardwalk.I told him he was harassing us and he told me I was going to hell and of the flesh.We have a photo.May forward it on to Chris as the Council showed no interest at all in my complaint.

  2. Glen Mcbride

    Thanks – one of the ancient quiet majority Glen ________________________________________

  3. Robert

    It’s quite funny/weird/strange how the ACL, the Catholic church and a gaggle of other religious groups have so overtly claimed the “no” mantle and have placed themselves at the head of the bigot and hate brigade. They wonder why there’s more dust than people on their pews, pray madly at their preferred deity(ies) and lament the almost total loss of respect and credibility they at one point commanded. I’m reasonably sure they see the loss of the Marriage equality debate as the final kick in the teeth for the veneer of moral authority that lingers no more.

  4. Adamm Ferrier

    I think there is a place for the ACL and the values they espouse (even though they consider people like myself beyond the pale): in fact, I will defend their right to hold their views. What troubles me is the ACL’s desire to impose their narrow views on those who are completely disinterested in them. Their hypocrisy and self delusion is astounding, and serves to drive away in droves those who have a sentimental attachment to Christianity, the so called “cultural Christians”. I am comfortable to be called a cultural Christian, because I recognise the positive aspects of the religion, whilst eschewing the abject nonsense. (To wit: talking snakes, burning shrubbery acting as a CB radio, perpetual virginity, zombies, telepathy, original sin, trinitarianism, transubstantiation, bleeding statues, and Yeshua ben Miriam making infrequent guest appearances on toast. Please don’t misunderstand me: I’d LOVE the supernatural stuff to be true. It’s just that it isn’t.) There are positive things to come out of Christianity, and many wonderful persons who do marvellous works that are inspired to help their fellow humans: and for them I am eternally thankful to God. It’s just that the ACL is in very short supply of Christian values (charity), if not completely absent.

  5. Rod Darmody

    I don’t mind religion I am but if it helps people that’s ok.
    But the ACL is the most unchristian group they make me think that I have it wrong.
    Nice article.

  6. Leon Knight

    Very disappointing that real Christians don’t organise a petition against the ACL, or find some other very public way to denounce their obnoxious bigotry.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s