What’s missing from the Safe Schools discussion?

For many readers of Eternity the world described in the Safe Schools Coalition material — of gender fluidity advocates gaining ground in the public space, transgender schoolmates asserting their rights — will seem like a strange new world.

For others it will be describing the space they are already living in. They will have transgender schoolmates, gay or lesbian friends. As Christians upholding traditional marriage they are living in a diverse world already.

Patricia Weerakoon gets it. For many of us, equipping our children to live in a world where traditional Christian views are in a minority – perhaps a derided minority – is a task we already engaged in.

How do we teach children to treat LGBTI classmates with respect and love without adopting a relativistic view of morality? Perhaps the next stage in this discussion should see examples of how best to do this.

How do we campaign on these issues while being clear that Christians do not regard themselves as “better” than LGBTI Australians?

There is also the sad truth that there is a more powerful advocate for the sexualisation of children: the internet.

Alarming statistics were presented at a “safe4kids” symposium on pornography this month. According to one study, porn accounts for 30 per cent of internet traffic. In a survey of 11-16 year old boys, the porn site Pornhub was named one of the “top 5” most popular online destinations.

Safe Schools Coalition and Minus18, and the activists behind them, represent powerful social forces which Christians will be dealing with for decades.

It’s a bit like the climate change debate. Is our main effort to be rallying around to stop a deleterious change in our society (is this possible), or is the main task to ameliorate and cope with a world that is changing? Or to put it another way, is our main aim trying to get the Safe Schools Coalition defunded or banned, or is our major effort working on how to live in a society where people hostile to traditional Christianity now speak in a very loud voice.