On Wednesday night there was an incident at the Australian Christian Lobby’s headquarters in Deakin, Canberra.
A van, filled with gas bottles, exploded outside the building that houses the ACL’s offices, blowing out the windows, causing damage to the front of the building and some furnishings within it. The incident occurred late at night when the building was deserted.
Originally, the ACL’s managing director, Lyle Shelton tweeted:
“A vehicle has rammed our office in Canberra & exploded. All Staff are safe. I do not know the condition of the driver. Prayers appreciated.
Then, a little later:
“A closer view of the car bomb driven into the ACL office in Canberra tonight. Shocked that this could happen in Australia.”
“I’m sure it’s a message to intimidate us and cause us to be silent in the public square and that’s something we’re not prepared to do,” said Shelton in a newspaper interview.
“It’s more important than ever that we have our voice involved in the public discourse.”
Shelton went on to connect the ‘attack’ with ‘multiple threats’ the ACL had received in relation to its opposition to marriage equality and the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.
Shelton blamed left-wing politicians and activists for inciting the ‘attack’. Our sin? Accurately describing an organisation which dedicates millions of dollars and the vast majority of its time towards attacking the LGBTIQ community as a ‘hate group’.
What has since transpired is that the ACL’s building was not “rammed”. The vehicle appears to have been parked neatly outside in a parking bay.
Nor was it ‘attacked’. After speaking to the driver and his family, Federal Police confirmed the incident was neither politically, religiously, nor ideologically motivated.
It seems likely the driver’s only target was himself.
Now, I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but, to me, it seemed ‘elementary’ that no self-respecting terrorist was likely to stage a suicide bombing in the dead of night at a deserted building. What would be the point in killing no-one but yourself? It’s a pity Lyle doesn’t even have the reasoning skills to work that out!
And, while we might recount plenty of stories about Christians persecuting, torturing and even murdering members of the LGBTIQ community, celebrating acts of violence against them, assassinating abortionists, blowing up abortion clinics , and even whole office buildings (not enough? see more here), there’s scant evidence the allegedly ‘pink jackbooted’ gays have ever retaliated with more than a glittery parade of semi-clad, spray-tanned hotties samba-dancing down Oxford Street.
There was simply no reason to believe the ACL had been ‘targeted’. Police certainly didn’t make that assertion. But Shelton, predictably, decided the ‘truth’ must be what suited his own carefully constructed persecution complex and this was the narrative he fed to the media.
Even when it became apparent Shelton’s take on the story had no basis in truth, he refused to retract and apologise. And apologies are due.
- He pre-empted a police inquiry into a serious incident.
- He made hurtful and damaging assumptions about the motives and character of a person who appears to have some serious mental health issues.
- He undoubtedly caused additional pain and suffering to an already traumatised family.
- He slurred members of the LGBTIQ community with his insinuations.
- And, he blamed supporters of that community for inciting a crime which never occurred.
This, of course, is Shelton’s regular modus operandi and we should not be surprised.
Shelton and the Australian “Christian” Lobby routinely ignore experts and evidence in their assertion that marriage equality and same-sex parenting is harmful to children. It isn’t.
They routinely rely on dodgy ‘studies’ using patently flawed methodology to prop up their arguments. Or, worse, they misrepresent the findings of legitimate studies or quote outdated studies – much to the horror of the authors.
They simply don’t care about ‘the truth’. They have a narrative in their head that serves their purpose and simply will not countenance any argument (no matter how sound) that contradicts their forgone conclusions.
In his disgusting performance today, Lyle Shelton has simply followed the Australian Christian Lobby’s tried and true formula.
- Develop a narrative that suits your ideological stance
- Show no regard for the damage that narrative may cause innocent people
- Refuse to listen to counter-arguments and contrary evidence from experts and credible academic sources
- Denigrate anyone who disagrees with your inventive narrative
- And cast yourselves as ‘victims’ despite there being no evidence to substantiate this claim.
Lyle Shelton has, once again, proven he is unfit to lead a major lobby group, that the Australian “Christian” Lobby should not be taken seriously.
Jesus may well have been “the way, the truth, and the life”, but, in his name, the Australian Christian Lobby have perverted the cause to: “the misdirect, the mendacious and the death of reason”.
Sadly, hate only begets hate. The Australian so-called Christian Lobby will never learn.
The ACL never lets the truth get in the way of their misleading lobbying against the inevitable introduction of medically assisted dying, either. I followed him at the Senate Inquiry into Senator Di Natale’s Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Explanatory Bill, and he said his main concern was for the ‘vulnerable’. When asked by one of the astute senators if he would vote for such a bill if he could be assured of adequate safeguards, he only then admitted that he would never vote for that issue under any circumstances. Andrew Denton has also blown them out of the water on that issue.
It would be the ultimate of ironies if the driver of the van was attempting suicide, exacerbated by the intolerance of the ACL, and unknowingly parked outside their office.
Michael Barnett’s scenario is maybe just wishful thinking on his side. Burning martys always progress a cause. Barnett is as guiltu ad Sheldon in not waitong for the facts before postulating a cause. As for this teafer zi woll wait until facts are revealed.
The ACL’s “tried and true” approach is being used by a few others too, like the climate change deniers – that bulleted list perfectly describes Malcolm Roberts’ approach to the topic – and the anti-feminist leagues, not to mention Donald Trump in his presidential campaign. .And in this “post-fact” world, it seems we should expect to see more of the same.
Good response Glen ________________________________________
I blame the gay and lesbian transexual Muslim pagan atheist marxist feminazis !!!!
A new low for the ACL Claiming a terrorist attack that wasn’t. In today’s cultural climate that is a hideous act, when there are people genuinely hurt on a daily basis due to religiously motivated attacks. Also, slurring a community that has been known for peaceful protest and a reasoned approach to issues that affect them.