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Help us educate Bernard Gaynor.

By MIA FREEDMAN

Last week, a candidate for Bob Kattar’s Australia party, called Bernard Gaynor, took the extraordinary step of announcing that he would not want his children to have a gay teacher.

It prompted me to write him – and others who sprout similarly homophobic attitudes – an open letter, which was then widely shared via social media.

Today, Bernard Gaynor has responded with an open letter to me, where he goes into great – and disturbing – detail about why he thinks parents should be able to stop gay teachers from teaching their kids. Bernard makes his points calmly yet passionately and with a chilling pride in his belief that gay teachers are somehow corrupting children.

Dear Mia Freedman,

Thanks for your letter. You seem like you want to be a great parent. I guess that means you want to give your children a good education so they can understand what is right and wrong and grow into upright, strong members of society. So do I.

I hope you agree that any parents who do not provide this upbringing for their children neglect their responsibility.

Bernard Gaynor.

I also hope you agree therefore, that parents have a duty to know the men and women they entrust their children to for the greater part of the day. This is because parents carry the primary responsibility for education, not teachers. And because impressionable children soak up information, attitudes and examples, especially from those their parents trust.

A good teacher will develop children so that they reach their full potential – not just as human vessels of knowledge, but as persons capable of making good decisions. A bad teacher will ruin a child’s conscience and character for life, regardless of how much knowledge is imparted.

That is why I would not send my children into the care of the teachers you rejoice in.

Considering you admit that you have no idea about the values your own teachers held, I am not surprised that we disagree on who is fit to teach. If a student is unaware of his teacher’s values it is probably because the teacher has none. And because of that poor education, when that child becomes a parent, he will happily send his children to teachers devoid of value.

I have values and they were imparted to me by my parents and teachers. They are Catholic values and until someone can explain to me why they are unsound, I will defend them and pass them onto my children.

I am sure you would do the same with your Jewish beliefs.

Min Freedman

These Catholic values include an understanding of why it is objectively good for marriage to be between a man and a woman and why the creation of families is the purpose of marriage. They include an understanding of why adultery, sodomy, pornography, prostitution and other evils lead only to misery and the destruction of family life.

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It is for this reason that I will not allow anyone who practices or supports homosexuality (or any form of immoral lifestyle) to teach my children. And I should not be condemned for doing so in a country where the largest segment of society is Catholic and where the vast majority are Christian. It implies that they should not be politically active, or that they should accept immoral teachers for their children.

I do know what goes on in schools and it should worry every parent. It does involve detailed and sordid accounts about the bedroom. For instance, teaching guides in the Victorian education system instruct Year 9 students to discuss, in depth, all the various types of penetrative sex they can imagine.

It is also worrying for anyone who believes in religious freedom. New South Wales education system guidelines encourage students to think that religious beliefs are a form of homophobia. Are Catholics, or for that matter, Jewish children in the state system to be prevented from practising their faith?

I have never once said that a parent should not be able to send their children into the classroom of an openly homosexual teacher. I don’t deny that I think it’s the wrong thing to do, but every parent should be able to choose who teaches their children.

On the other hand, the homosexual lobby and the Greens, upon whose support Australia’s current government rests, want to remove the right of Catholic schools to hire Catholic teachers. They even admit they want to indoctrinate children into believing their lifestyle is morally acceptable. This would prevent me from being able to exercise my parental choice.

Unfortunately, this is the real bigotry at play in Australia. And the rage, hate and death threats directed towards me in the last week, rather than rational argument, exposes this lifestyle for what it is.

I do agree the vast majority of Australians are not homophobes. They also do not want gay marriage. If they did, Julia Gillard would be all over it like a rash.

Kind regards,

Bernard Gaynor

You can view Mia’s original letter to Bernard here.

Mamamia has chosen to re-publish Bernard Gaynor’s open letter to Mia (and others who were appalled by his views) for the following reason.

The readers of Mamamia and the majority of Australians who do NOT wish to demonise and discriminate against gay and lesbians, are a smart and articulate lot. We are asking you to help us educate Bernard Gaynor and anyone else who shares his homophobic attitudes and misguided beliefs.

Now that you’ve read what he has to say, please sign our pledge to show your commitment to correcting this warped view of gay and lesbian teachers.

I support gay teachers.

We’re interested to hear what your thoughts are on Bernard’s letter. How would you argue for or against the points that he has made? Has Mia and Bernard’s exchange of letters changed your views on what makes a good teacher?

Editor’s Note: While we know many readers are likely to take issue with thew views Mr Gaynor has expressed, please remember that our usual dinner party rules apply to comments on this post. Keep your comments polite and constructive – for those debating Bernard’s or Mia’s position, please play the ball and not the man. In other words, let’s focus on the issues and avoid personal attacks. Thank you in advance.

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