‘God has assured me’, says anti-gay Catholic candidate
A controversial anti-gay independent candidate standing at this month’s ACT elections has again attacked the gay community as well as fellow psychologists after penning a letter to his local newspaper declaring God has anointed him as a future prime minister.
Molonglo candidate Philip Pocock (pictured), who has been practising as a consultant psychologist since 2000, caused a storm late last month when it was revealed he was campaigning for the re-criminalisation of homosexual sex and for the right to discriminate against gay people.
“Homosexual unions not only deserve no special rights but must be seen as the destructive behaviours that should be actively discouraged,” Pocock wrote in response to a church questionnaire canvassing the views of candidates.
“Indeed I believe sodomy of man or woman should be regarded as a criminal offence and while people do not have the right to go ‘poofter bashing’, to use colloquial language, they should have the right to discriminate in terms of employment, accommodation etc as they do in dealing with drug addicts.”
Mental health professionals, the Australian Psychological Society as well as ACT Liberal Leader Zed Seselja quickly distanced themselves from the views held by Pocock, who was a member of the Liberal Party from 1987 to 2001.
The under-fire candidate though found it difficult to stay silent when criticised by Professor Don Byrne, director of the ANU [Australian National University] Research School of Psychology, when he wrote that he and his colleagues were deeply concerned by Pocock’s beliefs on homosexuality.
“This is not surprising of course because the basis of psychological trouble is denial, in varying degree, and denial of the real effects of homosexual practices seems to be the starting point for their research,” Pocock wrote to The Canberra Times early this week in response.
“The ANU says there is no biological or psychological evidence of harm, except some evidence of increased psychological distress in homosexuals but says this is because they have been vilified and rejected.
“Of course, as only five to 10 per cent of psychologists actually believe in God, the eventual outcome of persistently doing what one believes, it is not surprising that the psychologists from the Research School at the ANU are not only deeply troubled, but wrong.”
Pocock then suggested that his fellow psychologists be shipped off to a “school of inconsequential studies” for daring to criticise him.
“When I become prime minister – as God has assured me I will – I will see if I can manage it,” he wrote in the letter.
“However, for the sake of the larger population, whose faith and correct judgements on this issue, are being frenetically ridiculed by a handful of self-deluded academics and media, individuals who see their ‘castles’ rapidly crumbling, I would suggest the Catholic Catechism for an excellent overview.”