These are the tactics of a new “politically correct McCarthyism”. In this case gay marriage was the sacred cow that so unhinged people.
The column was respectful of Finance Minister Penny Wong and her female partner, who is expecting a baby, and stated that “love conquers all”, but its assertion that fathers are in general better for children, was beyond the pale for some.
I wrote that Wong and her partner will no doubt be “fine mothers” providing their baby with “a stable, loving upbringing, despite not having a father in the home. Individually, these things work themselves out. Allowances are made, extra effort applied. Love conquers all.”
But on Twitter people twisted my words, and claimed my column said: “love conquers all (unless you’re gay)” when it said the precise opposite.
Other comments included “I have never felt so much anger towards someone” and “Shame we can’t autocorrect your mind”.
It was performance rage, played out online looking for more hits. But privately, to the email address at the bottom of the column, hundreds of quite different messages flooded in.
The column also said that same-sex marriage proponents should not be “cynically using” the pregnancy as a weapon. And that relegating a father to the sidelines ought not be celebrated as if it were some milestone in human civilisation.
The reason is because, as a society, we need to uphold the crucial role of fathers, with the London riots a “manifestation of a fatherless society”.
Critics turned this into: “People in London are rioting because Penny Wong is having a baby.”
It is hard not to draw the conclusion that some denizens of social media are cerebrally challenged. Were they too lazy to read the original column, or do they lack comprehension skills? Are they so entrenched in their own beliefs they can’t tolerate another point of view? Are they paranoid? Or are they just dishonest?
Sydney Morning Herald blogger John Birmingham retitled my column: “Miranda Devine’s Lesbian Mums Caused the London Riots.” Crikey had ex-Democrats Senator Brian Greig allege that I had “tried to pin the London riots on lesbian mothers”.
Straw men were constructed, and suddenly people were abusing me for a column I had not written but which they insisted I had.
On ABC’s Q&A on Monday night came an extraordinary question from an audience member who said: “The criticism of Senator Wong is based on the homophobic idea that a child is entitled to having both a father and a mother.”
So there you have it. It is homophobic to say a child is entitled to a mother and a father. Yet not one person on the panel could find the courage to knock the assertion on the head.
On Facebook someone calling himself “Simon Hunt” published a list of my Facebook friends on a page called “Stopping psychotic extremists who want to kill minorities”. Inviting people to bully and harass my Facebook friends is his way of trying to silence an opinion he doesn’t like.
A cursory glance at these rage-flecked responses offers an insight into the illiberal mindset of those who pretend to demand tolerance.
Or rather ram it down our throats. This is not tolerance but jackboot totalitarianism, the tyranny of the minority.
Jackie Stricker, the partner of Dr Kerryn Phelps, wrote a letter to this newspaper calling for me to receive “urgent counselling” and saying my columns shouldn’t be published. That’s right. Let’s censor unfashionable mainstream opinions.
If people like Stricker think their intemperate foot-stomping will stop people holding these opinions, they are wrong. The extraordinary thing is that the opinion I expressed was unremarkable. It is being echoed all over Britain right now, in the aftermath of the London riots, including by Prime Minister David Cameron. He described the riots as a “wake-up call” to the “slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations.
“Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities. Communities without control. The question people asked over and over again last week was ‘Where are the parents?’ ... Families matter. I don’t doubt that many of the rioters out last week have no father at home.
“Perhaps they come from one of the neighbourhoods where it’s standard for children to have a mum and not a dad where it’s normal for young men to grow up without a male role model, looking to the streets for their father figures, filled up with rage and anger.”
The Daily Express points out that in neighbourhoods such as Tottenham “up to four in five families have no father living with them. This fatherlessness is the single most destructive factor in modern society”.
The facts, in study after study, are unequivocal. The Express quotes British think tank Civitas: Fatherless children are “more likely to engage in behaviour associated with social exclusion, such as offending, teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse or worklessness.”
Children living without their biological fathers are more likely to live in poverty, have more trouble in school, and are at greater risk of suffering physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Fatherless boys are twice as likely to be in prison by their early 30s.
In the middle of the furore came an email from a friend who grew up in public housing in western Sydney and has spent much of his career trying to right the problems he saw there: “Anyone who thinks a cadre of fatherless children is good for society has never set foot in a public housing estate.”
Pointing out that fathers are important is not homophobic. Nor is it an indictment on individual single mothers, many of whom do a heroic job. But to pretend that a fatherless society is not a disaster doesn’t delete the truth.
Thanks again to Miranda Devine for bringing to attention the social and
economic time bomb that is slowly exploding before us in the form of "fatherless
The fundamental cause is the Eugenical, nazi like politically correct policy of criminalizing father's and worse still, promoting lesbian relationships as the only acceptable way of raising children.
The single most important act that Parliament can do to reverse the tide of fatherless children is to have a Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting and end the reverse onus applied to fathers caused by mother's falsely alleging "abuse" which invariably is a very successful legal terrorist move to give a mother custody of a child.
Australia, Canada and the UK have over the last 3 or 4 generations, slowly but surely promoted the exclusion of fathers from children's lives who grow up to repeat the cycle and with every generation the problem just gets worse.
The end results is described by Miranda Devine in her article.
Australia Fathers need to get off their buts and start getting very vocal with their MP and the community to end the criminalization of fathers.