Outrage Over Homophobic Sermon At Elite NSW Presbyterian School

Outrage Over Homophobic Sermon At Elite NSW Presbyterian School
Image: Scots College principal Ian Lambert

The principal of Scots College in Bellevue Hill has been forced to apologise for homophobic comments made by Presbyterian Reverend David Maher, during an assembly on June 13.

‘Love Is Love, Cat Food Is Cat Food’

According to Sydney Morning Herald, numerous students and teachers present complained to the school that Maher’s sermon had homophobic and misogynistic overtones, including using the phrase, “love is love, cat food is cat food.” 

The day after the assembly, Scots College principal Ian Lambert, in a speech to students, apologised for Maher’s comments saying, “I would like to say, I think it is important to nip it in the bud, to any boys who were upset and offended by comments made yesterday I would like to apologise to you. The Scots College values the rich diversity of this college.”

Lambert also added that there is a lesson to be learned from this incident.  “It is really important that we choose our words well,” he said.  

History Of Misogynistic And Anti-Queer Comments

Maher is no stranger to making misogynistic and anti-Queer comments.

On June 4, during a sermon at Burwood Presbyterian Church in NSW, Maher, talking about folly versus wisdom, asked, “Is our government helping do you think, or hindering? What policies are they setting in place – giving away more money…Foolish policies…The voice to Parliament. What’s that about? Is that going to bring unity to our nation? Dividing people by race – don’t think so.”

He continued, “Drag Queen story time for kids. What’s going on there, in libraries, in schools.”

“Why are people all of a sudden saying ‘my gender is fluid – where did that come from – how do you explain it?”

He went on to say, “If you’re a young man, then I am sure that the woman folly is wearing a short skirt, got a plunging neckline, that certain look in her eyes, that ‘come hither’ look,”

“She’s wild and undisciplined, she’s in your face, she’s brash and brazen, she doesn’t care about the truth but she cares about her image. She’s a material girl. I hate to admit it, but she knows her market.”

“‘Come in here’, she purrs, ‘and try this’.”

Scots College Alum Hamish Macdonald Spoke Out

In April, Scots College had to deny asking if boys running for school captain were gay or having premarital sex. 

At the time, Scots College alum, out journalist Hamish Macdonald slammed the Presbyterian Church of Australia’s plan to ban gay and sexually active students from leadership roles like that of school captain.

“The thing that strikes me is there’s a practical side to this. Are you seriously going to ask 16 and 17-year-old kids vying to be a school prefect or head prefect ‘Are you gay?’,” asked Macdonald.

The Project host said that LGBTQI students faced challenges and policies like banning them from leadership roles could be harmful. 

“Let’s assume they’re not going to run around asking these kids to declare themselves in that way as part of a process of selection. You sort of end up with a bit of a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, which I think we know is pretty harmful,” Macdonald said.

“I think kids growing up in an environment where there is shame or some kind of negativity attached to whoever it is that they are.” 

The PCA runs around 20 schools and pre-schools across Australia that educate over 13,000 students.

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