Moira Neagle: Have an opinion, but own what you write

Every week, I voice my opinion on a topic. I can and have argued vehemently on some issues and, no doubt, got backs up. Regardless of what the response from an audience might be, my name is always attached. I own what I write.

Imagine if we didn’t know who voiced the lines, “I have a dream” or “May God save the Queen, for nothing will save the Governor General” or “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

If you have an opinion and you wish to influence the thinking of others, then I believe that you should add your name to your argument.

Where is all this heading, I hear you ask. I have received a letter. It came to my post box. The address was beautifully written which made me think that it had to be an older person (the delicate art of superb handwriting is in decline, I fear).

I anticipated an equally beautifully written letter inside. Not so.

It contained a single photocopied sheet. No main heading, no “Dear Moira.” The top paragraph announced impersonally that “Redefining marriage will affect every Australian.”

Hmmm, I doubt it.

“Overseas experience (where, exactly?) suggests that legalising same-sex marriage may well (may well not, too) result in a loss of freedom in five key areas. The freedoms stated were religion, speech, education, association and employment.

Well, hide my lunch and call me hungry. There is just one question in this ballot and the choices of answers are just yes or no.

The last census indicated that Australians are more inclined to being secular than religious in any specific sect or form. Under Equal Opportunity legislation, anti-discrimination is outlawed on the basis of gender, sexual preference and creed in employment, by association and in education. Those freedoms are already entrenched in law.

It is just a ballot, no more and no less. We aren’t even guaranteed that the federal government will endorse the popular choice.

I think the sender was defining their prejudice rather than arguing a case. However, the biggest irritant to this ‘letter’ was that the sender did not have enough courage of their conviction to sign their name to it.

I initially put dropped the letter in the paper recycling but I decided that its irritation had to be exorcised through writing with my name very clearly attached. – Moira Neagle