Another activist clergyman refuses to acknowledge the facts and focuses on media bias, accuses FIRIS of being part of the “atheist lobby” and generally looks down his nose at anything that doesn’t seem to comport with his sense of how things should be:

The basics of constructive debate include caution with hearsay, resisting conspiracy theories, attention to the meaning of language peculiar to certain groups, and great care when quoting phrases without a context.

Thanks so much for letting us know how to hold a “constructive debate”.  A few substantive points:

Evonne Paddison gave a lengthy exposition of the her agenda and the purpose of ACCESS Ministry.  This speech was recorded and transcribed so you can read the whole thing.  Nowhere has she been quoted “without context”.  We keep hearing something to the effect of “when you talk about your work as the head of ACCESS Ministries to a conference of Evangelicals at a Seminary, that the “context” changes the clear meaning.

So when, for instance, you say, “we need to reach children with the Gospel” what you really mean is “preparing children better understand Shakespeare”.

No one is buying any of this … no one.  Numerous highly educated clergymen are all saying the same thing.   Even the people who are being supposedly misquoted by the AGE are saying that they are grateful that they are being quoted by the AGE …

These set piece attacks on the media and on parents and members of other faiths only fill your sinking ship faster.

Also, it beggars belief to hear how we should be cautious of “conspiracy theories” only to have you peel out the accusation that there is such thing as an “Atheist Lobby”.  There is actually a group called the “Australian Christian Lobby” and indeed there are groups of Atheists, but last time I looked there were no groups dedicated to “lobbying” the government to be “atheists”, unlike the Christian Lobby, who is lobbying the government to fund groups who will only hire “Christians” and who are openly admitting that they want to use our schools as “mission fields” to “make converts”.

I suspect that nothing anyone says can change the mind of a man like Lance Lawton, who is so ideologically blinkered, so driven by a sense that he is right and should tell others what they can and can’t say that the very idea of the press and democratic society make him uneasy.  What else explains his opening about reminding us that we live in a “free and open democracy” … even as he then goes on to set out “what is fair” and what is “debate”.  News flash Lance – you got a blog, I got a blog … we’re debating.

Now, if you’d actually like to explain why families need to go to the authorities at their schools and request their their child not be instructed in your religion … there are a lot of really upset parents who would like to hear the answer.  So far all you’ve told us is that you don’t like “conspiracy theories” and that the reporting hasn’t been up to your standards.

We’re listening and completely unimpressed by your absurd assertion that we can’t possibly understand what Evonne Paddison said.  Of course we can, and we have.