Can you imagine this?
Two men are standing together on the boundary at a local football game. They are discussing the much-appreciated playing skills of a relatively new player at their club. Then one man says to the other, “and he is a great contributor around the club”. And the second responds “yes and did you know he is heterosexual?”
It is unlikely isn’t it that the last statement would be made. The player belongs to a majority group. Being in a majority group installs a privilege that means your sexuality or your ethnicity or your white skin or many other features do not need to be named. You are not perceived as a threat to the general order of things. You are familiar.
I hope we can all be aware of how our privilege can influence our views and conversation about same sex marriage or refugee issues or drug testing for unemployed. First and foremost, think about people and their right to respect. Like each of us, they are contributors to our community. Labeling the other, can hurt and demoralise people, but is unlikely to change them.
Di O’Neil, Bendigo
Pastor shares his view
The article on the front page of the Bendigo Advertiser is not representative of all the views of the Bendigo Churches and the various leaders that take responsibility for providing spiritual leadership in this great city of ours. In fact, it only represents the opinions of a small number of churches on an important matter that is currently before us as a nation of people.
As the Senior Pastor of a large church in Bendigo, I find myself saddened and worried by all the rhetoric that has become a part of this debate in all forms of media. While I’m a key proponent of allowing people to have their say on this matter, let’s make sure that all viewpoints are represented and that our conversations are balanced with grace, mercy and tolerance. What about Bendigo Baptist Church? We are a diverse group of people, and everybody is free to follow their own conscience as they vote on this matter. As a Church, we want to be firstly known for following Jesus’ example of welcoming and demonstrating God’s love to all people, even though our ideology may differ at points. As we seek to do this, in relation to the definition of marriage, we uphold the biblical view of marriage as a life long union between one man and one woman. This is how I will be voting as a Christian Leader on this particular matter in just a few weeks time.
David Lovell , Senior Pastor Bendigo Baptist Church
Rubbish concerns ignored
I have lived in Costerfield for five years. Of late, I have noticed a marked increase in the amount of rubbish being dumped by citizens, on the side of roads and in nearby national parks. I volunteer as a receptionist at Heathcote Community House. In speaking to citizens about the rubbish dumping, the consensus is that the expensive and ridiculous prices the City of Greater Bendigo charges for citizens to use their tips, is the main reason why rubbish is being dumped. Are you able to bring this to the attention of the COGB's hierarchy ? My enquiries with them have fallen on deaf ears and been ignored. In essence they are partly to blame for the reckless and wilful dumping that citizens undertake. They have no regard for the environment, its fauna and flora. Tourists visiting this region would be horrified and aghast to see the aftermath of this dumping.