Aug 31, 2017

Meet the No campaign’s Heidi McIvor, with links to the Gippsland Times and a mission from God

A closer look at a vocal member of the No to same-sex marriage campaign reveals a church on a mission to take over the state.

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran — Associate editor

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

Associate editor

How they’ve captured us, the concerned mothers of the No to marriage equality movement's first TV ad: Cella White, Dr Pansy Lai and Pastor Heidi McIvor. Yes, that’s right, Pastor. McIvor in particular seems neatly poised for a career in politics, prompting Crikey to take a deeper look at her rather radical beliefs.

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15 thoughts on “Meet the No campaign’s Heidi McIvor, with links to the Gippsland Times and a mission from God

  1. John Hall

    Flash of light? Most bizarre. Don’t recall that one. Is it something to do with the ‘Big Bang Theory’? Creation ‘Scientists’ must have loved that article. For me that sort of crap makes me realise that human beings really know how to stuff up a good religion when they start fiddling with it and adding items that never existed in the source documents.

  2. Bill Hilliger

    The government should legislate to protect Australians from religion and it bizarre doctrines.

    1. aorta

      You trust the government to determine what is and what is not a bizarre idea, Bill? That sort of demand only convinces the poor benighted (and hate-filled) fools that they really are being oppressed by an evil gay conspiracy. Let them make fools of themselves and call them out (kudos to Bhakti – more!).

  3. Graeski

    Christianity has always been the strong right arm of fascism, ever since the Romans adopted it as the official state religion.

  4. [email protected]

    There is a belief that we left the Dark Ages behind and reached the Age of Reason and Enlightenment. Christianity, Islam Hinduism etc. It would appear that belief is manifestly false.

  5. AR

    is there something in the air or soil of the Cabbage Patch State?
    Isn’t that also whence Danny “Catch the Fire” Nalliah comes?
    Perhaps the flash of light is the modern version of Gabriel giving the news?

  6. PDGFD1

    Would Crikey please arrange for/fund an in-depth analysis of religious groups, the history of and current attempts to influence law at all levels of government, their financial arrangements, their tax-free status etc.
    Most urgently I think it’s time the general public were made aware of just how much, and in what spheres of influence they are able to use their ‘religious freedom’ ‘exemptions’ .
    I was horrified to discover that taxpayer-funded medical establishments are able to refuse women certain diagnostic tests on the offchance that they might have to refer patients to have procedures the religious ownership hierarchy do no approve of. Even diagnostic tests!
    Medical schools at universities are able to ‘teach’ , and not to teach, according to the religious beliefs of the ownership group.
    During the Marriage Equality debate, this has come to the fore again. Now apparently they want Law Schools to be able to do the same – seriously – to teach that religious doctrine should, in effect, be above the law???
    ( Stephen Dougherty – a host of a Christian radio show ‘Open House’ (ABC, The Drum, August 30th) was opining that additional ‘protections’ should be inserted into our laws so that religious universities can teach ‘their view of marriage’ even after our law is changed without having risk of court actions that took place in Canada).
    Churches who can already have exemptions to exclude teachers on the basis of sexuality etc, now want to be able to fire married persons if the Marriage Act is changed.
    Archishop says he will abide by the churches rules with respect to the confessional above the law….
    On and on and on it goes – this once covert, now loud and proud ‘activism’ to subvert law.
    Meanwhile – we have whole political parties screaming about the supposed threat of ‘Sharia’… whilst literally calling for additional ‘protections’ elsewhere.

    We need a long-form, in depth, historical and current hard look at ALL religious interferences going on.
    Happy to toss in some additional funds to support it too!

    1. Hunt Ian

      There are two ways in which religions can attempt to influence law in a just liberal society. One is to enlist support from politicians who stand for a law that does not infringe upon the the basic liberties that all citizens in a just society should enjoy, such as freedom from threats of bodily injury or death, freedom of occupation , freedom of speech, freedom of thought and equality of opportunity. None of these liberties can be absolute in a just society but some are more important than others. Equality of opportunity is one the important ones, since it says a just society cannot have differences today limit the opportunities of new generations tomorrow.

      Religions should be free to say what their view of marriage is but they should not impose it on others through lies and false scares, claimed to be “reasonable.” The view that marriage equality will inevitably lead a national curriculum to impose “safe school” programs on all schools is not reasonable. It is an example of an old fallacy, which is to confuse causation with common cause. The common cause is the view that gay people should not be punished by society in any way. That view thankfully has become near universal in Australia since the nineties. It led Howard to wrongfully change a perfectly reasonable view of the marriage act, which allowed consenting adults to marry, to impose one religious view, which is that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Howard did this because he could no longer block same sex marriage as being a criminal act. Similarly, since same sex couples or, more generally, people whose sexuality was not the same as most people, should no longer be ostracised socially, “safe school” programs were developed. The common cause of both same sex marriage and “safe school” programs is the view that people with other than heterosexual sexuality should be accepted in society in just the same way as others. To do otherwise is to harm people who have done no harm to others. It is to deny people opportunities, such as becoming the CEO of a company, for no reason relevant to their ability to do the job. Society changes slowly, so people who are dismayed that other sexualities are now accepted on an equal footing try to block its consequences, such as marriage equality.
      I have been very happily married for a long time, but I have never seen any reason why society should continue institutions that punish same sex couples for seeking what I have: a happy partnership in life based upon mutual sexual love. I, and the vast majority of Australians no longer support that old, unjust view. It is an advance in the fairness of our society that we should all embrace, although only an overwhelming majority have. I am not going to be deceived into voting “no” to a change that flows from a change made over twenty years ago by totally unreasonable claims that it must lead to compulsory “safe school” programs.

      Patently, religious people should be able to hold their views unmolested but they are not entitled to impose them to lessen freedom of occupation or equality of opportunity for others. No one in our society is entitled to conduct a campaign attacking the standing of another so that they cannot enjoy freedom of occupation or equality of opportunity, though the media owned by a few with deep pockets can get away with it.
      We should expect a debate about what “religious exemptions” are fair. I have no trouble with students being taught what the followers of this, that or the other religion believe – I think, some Buddhists, for example, do not have a religious objection to same sex relationships. I have no trouble with philosophy students being taught that these views are correct, so long as objections are covered as they should be in any philosophy class. I do have trouble with religions or any other owners of medical facilities dictating what medical test can be carried out.

      Australians need an overwhelming “yes” in the postal survey, however crassly stupid it is, if the High Court allows it.

      1. Hunt Ian

        And they will need a thorough review of “religious exemptions”, whatever the outcome of the survey.

        1. Hunt Ian

          A leading Chinese Buddhist says: “Marriage is a custom. Customs can always be changed. We can find the same core point in this question as we have in others — the ultimate truth of the matter is that individuals can and should decide for themselves what is right. As long as they are not violating others or breaking the laws of the society in which they are living, then they are free to do what they believe is right.” “The same analysis can be applied to homosexuality. People often ask me what I think about homosexuality. They wonder, is it right, is it wrong? The answer is, it is neither right nor wrong. It is just something that people do. If people are not harming each other, their private lives are their own business; we should be tolerant of them and not reject them.”

          A liberal and just Western Society should learn from Chinese Buddhists.

  7. Itsarort

    Yes, but can she build an aeroplane out of black tape, some string and a straw broom?

  8. Bob Weis

    Time wounds all heals

    1. Tom Green

      Near-blind as a Bat Green
      Could crikey please print this article in very large print? Ever since our two children were born (40+ yrs ago), I haven’t been able to see very well after being near-blinded at the moments of their conception -that VERY bright flash of light.

  9. Venise Alstergren

    Do we have to blindly follow the Americans and their love of cults? There is nothing good about religion, especially any Christian ones.

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