Living With The Enemy


Pic:Herald Sun


The Herald Sun reports…

“A fundamentalist Anglican priest vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage and an engaged gay couple have shacked up for 10 days in one of the most combustible TV series in Australia.

Six of the most divisive social issues in the country are given the Wife Swap treatment in Living With The Enemy , which starts on SBS next month.

The first episode features conservative Anglican minister David Ould from Macquarie Fields in Sydney and atheist couple from Melbourne Gregory Storer and Michael Barnett.

Each spent five days at the other’s home, similar to the hit series Wife Swap which takes diametric opposite strangers and installs the mother into the other’s family in a bid to promote tolerance and gratitude.

“We got along really well with the guys,” said Ould, who is married with three children. “We had a fun time with them here in our home.”

Except Ould didn’t let Storer and Barnett in his home …

“Oh well we had them in the caravan. That was a particular decision that we had to make. But they spent a lot of their company in our home. With our children. Just sharing time us, and that was good productive time … We grew quite fond of them by the end of it.”

Storer said he and Barnett really liked Ould, even if he didn’t let them stay in his home. “He’s very much a loving Christian type person,” he said. “He’s got a really nice persona around him … he’s a genuinely nice bloke.”

But nobody’s attitudes were changed.

“David doesn’t think he’s forcing his beliefs on other people,” Storer said. “But by the very fact that he stands up in church in front of his congregation — with us there in the church — and preaches to us that homosexuality is detestable, young people sitting there in his congregation hear that and this young person’s parents are going hallelujah and amen as a way of acknowledging that what he’s saying is right, that’s forcing your faith onto other people.”

Does he think Ould is inciting hate? “I don’t know that you’d go as far to say that he’s inciting hate. I don’t think that’s his intention. I think what’s missing in David’s thinking is he doesn’t recognise that the potential to cause harm to others is there.”

Ould says it’s a role of the Church to make sure there’s “proper, mature debate” about gay marriage (which can only be changed by government legislation.)

“One of our roles is to say look we believe that God made the world and the lord Jesus Christ is king of all things and he actually knows best.”

Ould says he doesn’t hate gay people or wish to see homosexuality become illegal, but he doesn’t want gay people to be able to marry. “Marriage is a basic building block of our society,” he said. “And now we have a powerful lobby group that actually wants to redefine marriage and actually dilute its meaning — and certainly my experience during the show was that there was no alternative definition of marriage being provided and it really was very much it means what it means to me, which actually makes it mean nothing at all.”

Ould’s twin brother Peter — also an ordained Anglican minister — is also in the show, and now identifies as heterosexual after going through his own gay experience. “You’d have to ask him whether he would describe it as a struggle or not,” Ould said. “I think my brother’s main struggle was to reconcile his understanding of his sexuality with his Christian convictions. The thing that I know he has really struggled with, interestingly enough, is when he’s spoken of his change to a more heterosexual attraction, the real pushback from certain lobby groups who don’t want his story to be seen as any way normative or definitive. So actually his struggle is bigger now when people consistently seek to silence him on this issue.”

Storer said being on Living With The Enemy was a “fantastic roller coaster ride. And I have a little bit of a better understanding of the drive behind people like David to undermine the gay rights issue. I have seen it from the enemy’s point of view. There are no surprises there really.”

“You cannot underestimate the hurt some of these men and women feel. That’s one of the things I learnt,” Ould said.

The series will also throw together a Muslim couple and a Sudanese refugee with fervent Australian nationalists, a “boat” person and an advocate for deportation, a pro-recreational drugs hippy and a conservative, and a hunter and an animal liberationist.”




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