News Update - 22 August - 18C, homosexual surrogacy, Islam and terrorism laws, marriage and more

News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200This has been a very busy week - on Thursday I appeared before the Senate Committee conducting an Inquiry into the Greens' 'Recognition of foreign marriages Bill' (aimed at recognising HOMOSEXUAL foreign same-sex marriages). I represented the National Marriage Coalition, along with Bill Muehlenberg. As well as the actual presentation, we spent a lot of time preparing an Opening Statement.

... Then there was the submission to the Senate Inquiry into euthanasia/assisted suicide.

We've also been working on the Guidelines about 'Special Religious Instruction' in Victoria and advocating to get amendments to the Ministerial Direction 141 and the Education Department Policy Guide.

We're pleased to announce that the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, has now released an AMENDED Ministerial Direction - and the Education Department has published a REVISED Policy Guide.

The Policy Guide has REMOVED the statements about OTHER religious activities being banned at schools and now states that those lunchtime activities are allowed.

The revisions to the Ministerial Direction remove some of the more onerous restrictions that had been placed on SRI and clarifies that students can distribute religious material.
I'll prepare an overview of the changes and send it by email next week. In the meantime, see the NEW Ministerial Direction and the REVISED Policy Guide.

In this report we highlight the situation around Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and the important developments surrounding the proposed anti-terrorism laws, with the Prime Minister meeting Muslim groups and the varying reactions from Muslims.

Keep reading!

Jenny


News Update - 22 August 2014

Australian News

1. Senator Cory Bernardi co-sponsors Bob Day’s ‘18C’ Bill
2. Thai surrogacy – babies for Australian homosexual couples
3. Vic politics: Three minor parties sign Statement on preferences
4. Prime Minister meets with Muslim communities
5. After the ‘talks’ - Rift in Islamic community over anti-terrorism laws
6. ‘Islamic state’ – continuing barbaric acts – and support for ‘Islamic State’

Overseas News

1. USA: Homosexuals target bridal shop that refused service to lesbians
2. USA: Marriage survives court challenge in Tennessee
3. European Court of Human Rights – no ‘right’ to same-sex ‘marriage’
4. UK: Travelodge removes Gideons Bibles from hotel rooms

Coming Events

1. Adelaide – Christians to pray for Iraq – Sat 23 August
2. World Congress of Families – regional event in Melbourne

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News Update - 22 August 2014

Australian News

1. Senator Cory Bernardi co-sponsors Bob Day’s ‘18C’ Bill 
Congratulations to Cory Bernardi, who has announced that he plans to ‘co-sponsor’ the Bill proposed by Family First Senator Bob Day to repeal the ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ clauses fromSection 18CSection 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Cory told Fairfax Media, “We promised to reform Section 18c at the last election and I intend to honour that promise."

Senator Day’s Bill is proposing a MINIMAL change – just removing the words ‘insult’ and ‘offend’ from Section 18C. Some other Liberals are supportive of the move. As Andrew Bolt says, “I cannot see how Liberals could not vote for the most minimal changes to an act they were actually insisting had to be gutted - until the Government caved to Jewish and Muslim lobbyists… I know of at least two more Liberal senators who feel honor-bound to vote for this, and I suspect up to half a dozen more could join them. A principle must be defended.”

Liberal Senator James McGrath has told the Australian Liberal Students Federation that he plans to ‘cross the floor’ to support Senator Day’s Bill.

Media reports:
- Cory Bernardi to defy PM by co-sponsoring bill aimed at altering 'Bolt laws', SMH, 15/8/2014.
- Proposal to remove words 'offend' and 'insult' from Discrimination Act could divide government, SMH, 14/8/2014.
- Senator James McGrath announces he will cross the floor on 18C

Andrew Bolt’s comment:
Bernardi backs free speech reforms. Other Liberals will, too, 15/8/2014.

 

2. Thai surrogacy – babies for Australian homosexual couples 
The ‘Baby Gammy’ story has prompted the Thai government to clamp down on surrogacy arrangements. Media reports have focused on couples who have ‘surrogacy arrangements’ or babies who have been unable to leave Thailand. Most of the stories so far have featured heterosexual couples.

But The Age this week featured the story – and video - of a male homosexual couple who used a commercial surrogate in Thailand to have a child… they already have a 2 year old daughter called Aleisha using a surrogate in India.

This is an increasingly frequent occurrence which is of great concern..

Article: Thailand surrogacy: Australian couple caught in crackdown break their silence, The Age, 19/8/2014.


3. Vic politics: Three minor parties sign Statement on preferences 
Three of the minor political parties in Victoria that support ‘Christian values’ have signed a “Public Assurance of Cooperation" statement that assures voters they will allocate preferences to each other in support of their ‘shared values’. The parties are Australian Christians, Democratic Labour Party and Rise Up Australia Party.

Of course, media reports focused on ‘some’ values – the brief Channel 9 report focused on the issue of abortion, as did the Herald Sun headline!

The Statement reads: “We hereby undertake to work cooperatively in this 2014 Victorian State Election and commit to preference according to shared values rather than personal strategic advantage. We offer an assurance that your vote will flow 1st to those who share your values. Therefore, you can confidently Vote 1 for the above mentioned parties in the 29 November 2014 Victoria state election, knowing we will support your vote for values. We are determined to see our shared values represented in our Victorian Parliament. Together we can achieve so much more. Make your vote count.”

Statement and Channel 9 report: Public Assurance of Cooperation, 18/8/2014.

Media Release: Press Release: Australian Christians (AC), Democratic Labor Party (DLP), and Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP) co-signed a ‘Public Assurance of Cooperation’ for 2014 Victorian State Election (on RUAP website)

Media report: Abortion view to determine minor party preferences, Herald Sun, 18/8/2014.


4. Prime Minister meets with Muslim communities 
Prime Minister Tony Abbott asked to meet with Muslim communities this week to discuss the proposed restrictions on anti-terrorism laws.
Tony Abbott and federal MP Craig Laundy (whose electorate has a high proportion of Muslims) spoke to the ethnic media representativeness (2 min video - SMH article).

Some Muslim leaders expressed concern about the new laws, including the restriction on visiting places identified as ‘war zones’ where jihadi fighters are active – they claimed that they needed to visit these places for family and humanitarian reasons.

A meeting was held in Sydney – but the Islamic Council of Victoria refused to attend the Melbourne meeting and the Secretary of the ICV, Ghaith Krayem, put out a statement and spoke on ABC radio.After the meetings, Muslim leaders continued to criticise the proposed laws.

Andrew Bolt asked, “Why is Keysar Trad advising the PM on national security?" – he points out that “Trad was the former spokesman of the pro-Hezbollah Mufti of Australia, the extremist Sheik Taj Al-Din Al-Hilaly… [Trad] had been a translator for the pro-Osama bin Laden and pro-jihadist Nida’ul Islam magazine, where he wrote: ``The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country . . . and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.’’

Andrew added, "In 2009, the New South Wales Supreme Court found that Mr Trad ‘incites people to commit acts of violence’, ‘incites people to have racist attitudes’ and is a ‘dangerous and disgraceful individual’. This stemmed from a defamation case that Mr Trad brought against Harbour Radio…”

Media articles: 
- Vic Islam group pulls out of Abbott talks, The Australian, 19/8/2014.

- Islamic Council of Victoria to boycott 'media stunt' meeting with Tony Abbott, SMH, 19/8/2014.


5. After the ‘talks’ - Rift in Islamic community over anti-terrorism laws 
Whilst some Islamic leaders who attend talks with Tony Abbott described them as productive, other Muslim leaders and Islamic organisations were highly critical of the proposals.

The ‘Grand Mufti’ Ibrahim Abu ­Mohamed attended the talks and released a statement highlighting the matters discussed. The Mufti noted that ‘safeguarding and protecting Australia’s safety and security  is part of our creed’ – the Statement raised a number of concerns with the proposals as well as the treatment of Muslims.
Press Release: Muslim Community Leaders meet with the Hon Tony Abbott

Some Islamic groups issued a statement which strongly objected to the laws

- it was signed by 80 individuals and organisations - a wide range of Islamic leaders (including a number of ‘Sheiks’) and organisations including Islamic associations, university Islamic groups, some Islamic women’s groups and some rather more ‘extreme’ groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, IISCA and Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. One of the ‘signers’ was Junaid Thorne, the man we recently reported had been banned from visiting Perth prisons because of his support for ‘radical groups’.

The statement accused the government of supporting “dictatorial regimes” and supporting the “heinous violence” against Gaza.

The Australian reports, “The statement says the primary basis of the new laws was a "trumped-up threat" from radicalised Muslims returning from Iraq or Syria. There is no solid evidence to substantiate this threat…”

The Statement from these Muslim community leaders states, “We also reject government attempts to divide the Muslim community into ‘radicals’ and ‘moderates’ and to use the community for its agenda.”

This is in stark contrast to much of the media which tries to draw this distinction. Are they saying it is ‘all Islam’?

Media articles:

Muslim groups reject new terror laws, The Australian, 21/8/2014.

- Australian Muslim leadership in chaos: Radicals reject Australia, boycott Tony Abbott, Daily Telegraph, 20/8/2014.

Statement OPPOSING the PM and the laws:  

Muslim Community denounces ‘anti-terror’ law proposals, Islam in Australia, 20/8/2014.


6. ‘Islamic state’ – continuing barbaric acts – and support for ‘Islamic State’ 
This week we heard the that US journalist James Foley had been beheaded by IS in Iraq – supposedly in retaliation for US air strikes on the militants.

Some Muslim leaders in Australia condemned the action, and said they feared it would ‘spark a backlash’ against local Muslims.

A recent SBS Insight program showed a teenage supporter of IS, who uses the Islamic alias Abu Bakr, walking off the set after a heated exchange about his support for IS and the cancellation of his passport (report). He has since been arrested for ‘verbally abusing’ and intimidating a cleaner at a shopping centre.

Insight program: Joining the Fight, 12/8/2014.

Media report: Teenage supporter of Islamic State arrested, SMH, 18/8/2014.


Overseas News

1. USA: Homosexuals target bridal shop that refused service to lesbians
When Victoria Miller, a committed Christian and the owner of W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania refused to provide wedding dresses to a lesbian couple based on her religious beliefs, she was mercilessly targeted on social media… Victoria has now hired an attorney, who told reporters that his client has a “liberty interest” in refusing to accept business that would force her to violate her “firmly and honestly held religious beliefs.”

New American reports, “According to the New York Daily News, the Bloomsburg Town Council has also waded into the conflict with discussions about a possible ordinance that would prohibit businesses from refusing to serve same-sex couples, even for religious reasons.”

Article: Pennsylvania Bridal Shop Latest Target of Angry Homosexuals, New American, 15/8/2014.


2. USA: Marriage survives court challenge in Tennessee
Good news - A court in Tennessee has ruled that Tennessee does not violate the federal US Constitution by refusing to allow homosexual couples to ‘marry’ – or by refusing to recognise homosexual ‘marriages’ from other states.

Roane County Circuit Judge Russell Simmons wrote, “The Supreme Court does not go the final step and find that a state that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional. Further, the Supreme Court does not find that one state’s refusal to accept another state’s valid same-sex marriage to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

Article: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Survives Challenge in Tennessee, Time, 11/8/2014.


3. European Court of Human Rights – no ‘right’ to same-sex ‘marriage’
Christian Concern reports, “The European Court of Human Rights has re-affirmed its position that member states do not have to recognise same-sex ‘marriage’. In its decision, the ECHR highlighted the fact that there is no European consensus on same-sex ‘marriage’ - 37 countries within the Council of Europe area do not recognise it and only 10 are in favour of it.”

“The ECHR affirmed an earlier decision in 2012 that there was no “right” to same–sex ‘marriage’ under the European Convention on Human Rights. Judges in Strasbourg made the earlier ruling in the case of a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained that French courts would not allow them to adopt a child. The current case involved a Finnish couple – the husband had undergone a transsexual operation and wanted to be ‘married’."
Reports:
European Court rules that same sex marriage is not a right, Christian Concern.
European court: Gay marriage is not a human right, Lifesite, 25/8/2014.


4. UK: Travelodge removes Gideons Bibles from hotel rooms 
Yes, they removed the Bibles in the name of ‘diversity’ and NOT upsetting non-Christians – in case people were ‘offended’! Some- but not all – of the Travelodge hotels have the Bibles available at reception on ‘request’.

Media report: Travelodge removes the Bible from every room: No one had complained... but chain 'doesn't want to discriminate', Daily Mail, 16/8/2014.


Coming Events

Adelaide – Christians to pray for Iraq – Sat 23 August 
A rally on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide from 11.30 am – 1 pm on Saturday (23 August), to pray for divine intervention in Iraq. 
Cathryn Crosby-Wright, who has organised the rally, said: “We are shocked at the mass murder by beheading of men and children, burying children alive, crucifixions, firing squads and untold cruelty to women and forced conversions. We are alarmed at the inability of civilised governments to control the situation.  We see that an appeal to God is an important first step for drastic action.”

One of the rally speakers is Father Seraphim of Adelaide’s Coptic Orthodox Church who is very concerned as his people in the Middle East have become targets for radical Islamist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State (IS).

For more information, contact: Cathryn Crosby-Wright, 0402 268 291


World Congress of Families – regional event in Melbourne 
“Life, Family, Freedom” – Saturday 30 August – 9am to 5.30 pm. 
Conference details – click here
Updated program – click here
Admission free - donations invited. 
“Owing to security concerns pre-Registration is essential. As space is limited, to avoid disappointment register early.

 

News Update - 15 August - Visas, WCF 'sponsors', Update on 18C and SRI and more

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200The government announces humanitarian visas for persecuted Christians and Yazidis in Iraq, Salt Shakers makes the media as a 'sponsor' of the WCF event, Australian Muslims fighting in Iraq, more Liberals criticise the dropping of 18C changes, update on SRI and more...
Jenny

News Update

Australian news 
1. Government announces 4,000 humanitarian visas for Iraqis
2. WCF – Salt Shakers makes the news as a ‘sponsor’ of the WCF
3. More on the abortion breast cancer link controversy
4. More Liberals oppose backdown on ‘race hate law’
5. Victoria – Special Religious Instruction in schools opposed by FIRIS 
6. Update - Proposed change to constitution re indigenous recognition
7. Liberal candidates dropped for ‘homophobic’ and racist comments
8. Australian Muslim Khaled Sharrouf’s son holds severed head
9. Government cuts welfare payments to suspected jihadis

Overseas News
1. USA: Senate Democrats vote for pro-abortion Bills
2. UK Euthanasia assisted suicide Bill passes House of Lords

Coming Events
World Congress of Families – regional event in Melbourne

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News Update

Australian news 

1. Government announces 4,000 humanitarian visas for Iraqis
In welcome news, the federal government has announced that 4,000 of the humanitarian visas allocated this year will be made available to Christians and Yazidis from Iraq who are currently being killed and persecuted by the Islamic State.

With tens of thousands fleeing for their lives in Iraq, this will only assist a small number of the Christians and other minorities who are being persecuted.

Article: Australia to offer refugee visas to Iraqi Christians and Yazidis, ABC, 14/8/2014.

 

2. WCF – Salt Shakers makes the news as a ‘sponsor’ of the WCF
The media are continuing to try and find ways to discredit the upcoming World Congress of Families event to be held in Melbourne later this month. This was especially evident on the Q & A “Theology, Terror and Metadata” program on Monday night (read transcript/video).

Having already targeted politicians and speakers, this week News.com journalist Lauren Wilson decided to target the ‘sponsors’ of the event. We received a phone call about our ‘controversial’ and ‘radical’ views. Peter asked her what was ‘controversial’ about them…
A long conversation ensued, where she was challenged to look at the actual research rather than relying on her own ‘views’ – for example, she noted that we said homosexuality was ‘unhealthy’. Peter replied that more than 80% of people who have contracted AIDS in Australia are homosexual men. The journalist asked, ‘Where did you get that from?’. Peter noted she hadn’t done her research, and said they were the official government statistics!

Her final article mentioned a number of sponsors (Catch the Fire Ministries and Mecuman Institute) as well as us…

There was just ONE small paragraph about Salt Shakers: “Evangelical group Salt Shakers, which does not endorse the use of contraception and describes homosexuality as “dangerous” is another “sponsoring organisation”.”
Somewhat brief and out of context, and ignoring the evidence, but hardly showing we were 'extreme'!

Article: World Congress of Families conference firebrand figures, News.com, 13/8/2014.

 

3. More on the abortion breast cancer link controversy
Following the recent controversy with Senator Eric Abetz being criticised for associating with Dr Angela Lanfranchi who is speaking at the WCF event on the ‘Abortion Breast Cancer’ link, Professor Joel Brind had an informative article in Online Opinion about the recent research from China…

Professor Brind presented the evidence for the latest meta-analysis from China which “reported an overall, statistically significant risk increase of 44% for women who've had one or more induced abortions.”

His conclusion: “Instead, we are treated, in the West, to a great wall of denial from so many recognized authorities on breast cancer risk. My challenge to them is this: Do they think all these brown and yellow people reporting such strong evidence of the ABC link in Asia must be incompetent in epidemiology?”
Article: Abortion breast cancer link explodes in Asia, Online Opinion, Joel Brind, 12/8/2014.

 

4. More Liberals oppose backdown on ‘race hate law’
David Kemp is the latest person to openly criticise Tony Abbott’s backdown on repealing Section 18C which prohibits ‘offending or insulting’ people on the basis of race. David Kemp is an influential figure in the Liberal Party – he was a minister in the Howard government and is a former President of the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party. Interestingly, he was my lecturer in first year politics at university!

In his very insightful article, David notes that a core tenet of the Liberal Party is to protect freedom – and cites the contribution of Robert Menzies. He then goes on to say that, yes, we must fight racism, but says that “the law is a ‘poor ally’”, writing, “It invites prejudice to stay underground, subjects our culture to the discretion of tribunals that easily end up sounding like star chambers, and as we have seen is ineffective against passionate hate. And the implicit message of such laws is that democracy, which depends on free debate, does not work.”

He concludes, “Despite claims from some members of the government, it is obvious that there is a very broad base of support for amending 18C that stretches across the political spectrum and the responsible media. The task is to win the debate, not quit the field.”

Article: Liberal dismay over 18C, David Kemp, The Australian, 15/8/2014.

 

5. Victoria – Special Religious Instruction in schools opposed by FIRIS
A concerted campaign against SRI (Special Religious Instruction) is being run by FIRIS (Fairness in Religion in Schools). They have a Billboard, website, and a Facebook page where they report on schools deciding not to run SRI.  They’re also celebrating the fact that former Labor Minister Bronwyn Pike told homosexual radio station Joy FM she didn’t support religious programs in schools (relevant sections at FIRIS here).

On their website, FIRIS reported they had met with the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, thanked him for his new Ministerial Direction 141 about restricting SRI, told him they were continuing to campaign against SRI in schools and presented him with a ‘secular education’ award.

An article in The Age on 4 August, by teacher and writer Chris Fotinopoulos, continued the theme… Chris attended the recent meeting held by Access Ministries about the SRI program – and cited lots of stories from FIRIS about the operation of SRI in schools. We understand that some schools are being harassed by FIRIS activists.

Please continue to pray for ACCESS, for principals of schools and for SRI volunteers.

We are continuing to monitor any proposed changes to the Victorian Education Department Policy Guide on SRI - at this point the 'offending sections' on 'other religious activities' have been removed!

Article: God save me from those who think I'm lost, The Age, 4/8/2014.

 

6. Update - Proposed change to constitution re indigenous recognition
The federal Parliamentary Committee investigating possible changes to the Constitution to recognise “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples” released its interim report in July.

Barry Maley, a sociologist and anthropologist,  writing in The Australian last week, said, “It is becoming apparent the ­Aboriginal referendum intended for submission to the nation next year is misconceived, potentially dangerous and should be ­abandoned.” He recommends that any changes be abandoned!

He said the report “envisages major alterations to the Constitution, challenging the future of Australia as one united people, subject to the same rule of law.”

Barry notes that “Australians have always been wary of constitutional changes with one outstanding exception: the 1967 referendum to include Aboriginal people in counting the population. It was a resounding vote for equal citizenship for the Aboriginal people and a demonstration of Australians’ abundant goodwill towards them.”

He goes on to note that the proposed change would create UNEQUAL CLASSES of people, in contradiction to that earlier change. Barry goes on to look at the interim recommendations of the Committee – to alter five sections of the Constitution - and comments on each…

We agree that all Australians are Australian and the proposed changes tend to divide people.

Article: Abandon change to constitution, The Australian, 5/8/2014.

Parliament Inquiry
The Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is currently accepting submissions for their Inquiry - public hearings are to be held in Darwin and Katherine this week.
Click here for the Committee's Inquiry webpage.
READ Interim Report - click here.

 

7. Liberal candidates dropped for ‘homophobic’ and racist comments
Two candidates for the Liberal Party for the upcoming Victorian election have been ‘dumped’ in recent weeks - both for comments made on social media some time ago.

[And the Labor candidate for Frankston ‘stepped down’ after accusations of bullying at work were made against her (source).]

Victorian Liberal Premier Denis Napthine called on candidate Aaron Lane (who was running for Western Victoria in the Legislative Council) to resign after it was reported that he had made ‘homophobic comments’ on TwitterThe Australian reported that Mr Lane, who is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, former Young Liberal President and a former member of the Victorian state Liberal executive, made most of the ‘offensive’ tweets in 2012 and 2013 – using an account that is now closed.

A week later, the state Liberal candidate for Bendigo West, Jack Lyons, a former publican, resigned after the Herald Sun revealed he had made “racist, sexist and offensive” comments on a Facebook page some time ago on a now-closed account.

The Liberal Party called all candidates to an ‘urgent meeting’ to “discuss appropriate social media use”.  The Liberal Party has now pre-selected Michael Langdon, who is well-respected in the community, to represent them in Bendigo West.

We certainly don’t endorse the comments made; however, it is important to note that we seem to be entering a new era of 'political correctness' and that social media comments are being ‘monitored', that the media are ‘investigating’ and political parties are responding…

Articles: Lib star busted for crude tweets tweets, The Australian, 1/8/2014.
- Denis Napthine calls for Liberal candidate Aaron Lane to stand down,Herald Sun, 1/8/2014. 
- Bendigo West Liberal candidate Jack Lyons quits over racist, sexist, offensive jibes including Bendigo ‘needing an enema, Herald Sun, 5/8/2014.
- Liberal Party picks new candidates for Victorian state election, The Age, 8/8/2014.

 

8. Australian Muslim Khaled Sharrouf’s son holds severed head
One of the Australian Muslims fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq is Khaled Sharrouf (who left Australia last year using his brother’s passport). This week he posted a photo of his seven-year-old son holding a Syrian soldier’s head – with the tweeted text, “That’s my boy!”

Naturally, this has resulted in a great deal of consternation and criticism.

Miranda Devine wrote about the development, noting that the ‘Left’ is ignoring the Islamic ideology – she writes that some commentators claimed that people in all religions do these sorts of things, citing the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh. Miranda rightly points out that McVeigh was raised a Catholic but rejected religion – that he was actually “a radical libertarian, a secular humanist and a follower of science".

The Secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Ghaith Krayem, wrote an Opinion article in the Herald Sun this week, saying that these actions do not represent his religion of Islam.

Undoubtedly, he hadn’t read Dr Michael Brown’s ‘Open Letter to Moderate Muslims’’ – but he doesn’t answer any of the questions that are raised by Dr Brown about the Qur’anic and hadith passages that support Islamic practices.

Article: The Left are hiding from the horrors, Daily Telegraph, 12/8/2014.
Article: This is not what my religion represents, Herald Sun, 13/8/2014.

 

 

9. Government cuts welfare payments to suspected jihadis
The federal government has said they have cut welfare payments to suspected Muslim jihadi fighters to ensure that Australian money isn’t used to fund terrorism.

A spokesperson for Kevin Andrews, said “The Abbott Government has already cancelled welfare payments for a number of individuals who are overseas. The Abbott Government is committed to ensuring Australians engaged in terrorist activities are not receiving taxpayer-funded payments.”

Article: Suspected jihadists have welfare payments cut to stop Australia taxes financing terror, Herald Sun, 14/8/2014.


Overseas News

1. USA: Senate Democrats vote for pro-abortion Bills
As the USA gears up for an election later this year, the Democrats in the Senate are voting for Bills that support abortion.

The pro-life group, ‘Susan B Anthony List’ reports:
“First, Senate Democrats advanced a radical pro-abortion bill, deceptively titled the “Women’s Health Protection Act” (S.1696), which seeks to wipe out almost every pro-life law and enshrine abortion-on-demand for any reason throughout all 9 months of pregnancy in every state!

“Then they voted for S.2578, an anti-religious freedom bill that seeks to undo the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. This bill is another abortion mandate, pure and simple. It would force Christian, family-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby to pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs under Obamacare.”

They are encouraging Americans to ‘vote pro-life’ by signing a pledge.

They note that the USA has a voluntary voting system, and then state, “Why is it so important to make a commitment to vote this November? Because believe it or not, only about 40% of pro-life voters will actually show up at the polls in non-presidential election years. That’s 2 out of every 5 pro-life voters!


2. UK Euthanasia assisted suicide Bill passes House of Lords
The ‘Assisted Suicide Bill’ currently being considered by the UK parliament passed the second reading in the House of Lords in July - without a vote. There were 126 peers who spoke on the Bill. 

Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, who has spinal muscular atrophy and is a wheelchair and has a ventilator to help her breathe, told the House of Lords legalising assisted suicide “frightens me because, in periods of greatest difficulty, I know that I might be tempted to use it”.

Article: Disabled Peer: Assisted suicide Bill ‘frightens’ me, Christian Institute, 21/7/2014.


Coming Events

World Congress of Families – regional event in Melbourne
“Life, Family, Freedom” – Saturday 30 August – 9am to 5.30 pm.
Conference details – click here.
Updated program – click here.
Admission free - donations invited.
“Owing to security concerns pre-Registration is essential. As space is limited, to avoid disappointment register early.

 

News Update - 8 August - WCF & abortion, Chaplain sacked, euthanasia, terrorism laws and more

News mike Fotolia 57267122 320x200Over the past few weeks, since our last News Update, a lot has happened! We’ve published our August Prayer Update, provided a number of one-off emails and covered the issue of religious activities in Victorian state schools in depth.

In this News Update, I’ve selected some key issues, and provided an overview, with links for you to get more information if you want to… some of these (such as an update on the situation regarding the sacking of chaplain Troy Williams) could have had their own separate email but I don't want to 'overload' you with separate posts, so please read on...

God bless

Jenny

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News Update - 8 August

Australian News

1. World Congress of Families event continues to attract opposition
2. Tasmanian chaplain SACKED
3. Euthanasia – Philip Nitschke suspended by the Medical Board
4. A good news story – commuters help rescue man
5. Vic: Youth parliament passes ‘Sexual education Act’
6. Terrorism threats to Australia – stronger laws proposed
7. Children in detention – LESS now than before election
8. Ramadan - NSW Premier Mike Baird hosts Muslim ‘Iftar Dinner’
9. Surrogacy – outrage over abandoned baby in Thailand 
10. Imams, prisons, aborigines and Islam

Overseas News
1. Colorado, USA: Homosexual ‘marriage’
2. Iraq – Christian being persecuted and beheaded
3. Meriam Ibrahim free – and in the USA
4. Israel, Hamas and Gaza
5. USA: ‘Marriage’ decision could ‘open door’ to ‘multiple partner marriages’
6. UK: Free speech judgement on ‘bus ads case’

Coming events
World Congress of Families – regional event in Melbourne  - 30 August

__________________________________

News Update - 8 August

Australian News

1. World Congress of Families event continues to attract opposition 
Activists are continuing to complain about politicians being involved with the World Congress of Families event to be held in Melbourne later in August. Recently we reported that Kevin Andrews and Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark had been criticised for attending.

Senator Eric Abetz, who is listed as a ‘Supporter’ and is hosting a luncheon for three of the speakers at Parliament House in Canberra, is the latest to attract criticism – because one of the speakers is Dr Angela Lanfranchi, the President of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute which provides information on breast cancer risks, including the link between abortion and breast cancer.

The story gained media attention when Eric was asked what he thought about the link on ‘The Project’ (Thursday 7/8). He didn’t affirm there was a link, and claims he was cut off before he finished his reply (see below). Senator Abetz has been criticised by the AMA President and also by Maxine Morand, the CEO of the Breast Cancer Network, for promoting Dr Lanfranchi, as Morand claims there is no scientific evidence of a link. But this is the SAME Maxine Morand, who, as a Labor politician in Victoria, introduced the law to legalise abortion! (source)

Senator Abetz released a statement today - he said he had not agreed that there was a link between abortion and breast cancer: “In my interview last night on The Project I studiously avoided doing so, and was cut off before being able to acknowledge that Dr Angela Lanfranchi's views on this topic were not the accepted medical view.”

He told ABC AM that he did not have the medical expertise to comment on such a link. Senator Abetz affirmed that “Dr Lanfranchi is a breast cancer surgeon and a clinical assistant professor of surgery… she has spoken at hospitals and universities around the world and she has the right to free speech in Australia.”

Senator Abetz’ statement: Statement regarding incorrect reports

Reports: ABC AMThe ExaminerABC Online - SMH

.

2. Tasmanian chaplain SACKED
Troy Williams, the Tasmanian school chaplain who posted a graphic on Facebook with a lesbian activist saying people aren’t ‘born gay’ and that homosexuality is ‘not normal’ has been SACKED by Scripture Union, his chaplaincy employer, for ‘breach of conduct’.. 
As Troy said, ‘A sad day’!

An ABC report has just been published, stating that Troy has also been stood down by Kingborough Council. Troy stated that he has been ‘formally stood down by Kingborough Council, pending investigation’. The Council claims that the decision was based on comments Troy made on Bill's initial article.

Troy affirmed, “Please note that I am not against homosexuals but for truth.”
A statement we fully endorse.

Please pray for Troy and his family.

Our initial report – click here.

Article: School chaplain sacked over Facebook post calling homosexuality 'not normal', ABC, 8/8/2014.
Bill Muehlenberg writes about the sacking by SUclick here.

ACTION: Polite emails to Scripture Union, the Minister for Education and Kingborough Council would be helpful, supporting Troy and opposing his sacking.
-SU Contact formSU Contact form
Kingborough Council email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

- Tasmanian Minister for Education Jeremy Rockliff - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


3. Euthanasia – Philip Nitschke suspended by the Medical Board
In a welcome development, the Medical Board of Australia has suspended Dr Philip Nitschke. He was severely criticised by the Black Dog Institute, the Australian Medical Association and beyondblue after he admitted providing support to a 45 year old depressed man in his decision to commit suicide. These organisations believed he had an obligation to ‘recommend psychiatric help’ to the man.

Articles:
Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke suspended by the Medical Board of Australia, ABC, 24/7/2014.
Andrew Bolt: At last, we wake up to Dr Death, Philip Nitschke, 7/7/2014.


4. A good news story – commuters help rescue man 
There are times when people do reach out to help others… 
Reports of this event went around the world… with photos and video…
When a commuter slipped and wedged his leg between the stationary train and the platform, commuters worked together to move the train to enable the man to be freed.
Daily Mail UK: All heave! Commuters work together to free with their bare hands man whose leg had become stuck between platform and train, 6/8/2014.
Time Magazine: Commuters Tilt Train to Rescue Man Who Got Stuck in the Gap, 6/1/2014.


5. Vic: Youth parliament passes ‘Sexual education Act’
When Victorian secondary school students recently met in the ‘Youth Parliament Legislative Assembly’, one of the topics discussed was ‘sex education’. The students advocated ‘sex education’ to start in Year 5, wanted education on ‘sexual identity’ to ‘prevent homophobia’ and passed a ‘law’ to that effect – which they plan to present to politicians! 

Article: Sexual education act to help prevent homophobia passes, 3/7/2017.


6. Terrorism threats to Australia – stronger laws proposed
With an increasing number of Australian Muslims going to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State (now listed as a terrorist organisation), the Australian government has announced plans to increase powers for ASIO and other security agencies. Some groups have expressed concern at one of the proposals – the collection of ‘meta-data’ from phone and internet usage.

ASIO recently stated that it has confiscated 69 passports from Australians who were suspected of [planning to go to the area to fight.

The federal government has expressed concern that those returning from fighting with Islamic State would be trained for ‘jihad’ and carry out attacks in Australia. Now there are fears that those prevented from leaving “could plot an ­attack on east coast Australian cities instead.”

Government Media Release: New counter-terrorism measures for a safer Australia, 5/8/2014.

Article: Govt to overhaul anti-terrorism laws, Sky News, 6/8/2014.

Article: Top spy agency ASIO confiscates 69 Australian passports from Islamic extremists, prompting fears of attacks in Australia, Herald Sun, 3/8/2014.


7. Children in detention – LESS now than before election 
Since the election, a number of left-leaning groups, and some church leaders, have run campaigns highlighting the number of children in detention and wanting ‘action’.

Miranda Devine points out that there are a LOT LESS children in detention now than there were before the federal election, when Labor was in power…
She writes, “The number of children in detention has dropped from 1300 at the time of the election to 849 — a ­reduction of 35 per cent.”

Article: Asylum spin’s out of whack on facts, Daily Telegraph, 3/8/2014.


8. Ramadan - NSW Premier Mike Baird hosts Muslim ‘Iftar Dinner’ 
Formal dinners to host the end of the Islamic Ramadan festival are increasingly being held in public spaces – including parliaments!
And politicians are celebrating with Muslims over Ramadan…
Mike Baird, the NSW Premier, fasted to celebrate the end of Ramadan (even though he is a Christian) and hosted a dinner to celebrate!

“The Premier’s Iftar Dinner was attended by Members of Parliament, Muslim Imams and community leaders, as well as religious leaders from other faiths.”

Mr Baird said, “The focus and reflective nature of Ramadan supports our way of life, and is a timely reminder of the values we all share, including kindness, honesty, family and charity. These are values that contribute to the strength of our multifaith, and multicultural State, which the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government supports. I’d like to wish everyone observing the holy month, Ramadan Mubarak.”

Mind you, it wasn’t a really ‘happy event’ – some sections of the Muslim community boycotted the event in protest against ‘pro-Israel’ comments made by the state Community Relations Commission chief Vic Alhadeff.

Days later Mr Alhadeff resigned – and the Premier attended celebrations for Eid at Lakemba mosque… using the 'Arabic greeting “Assalamu Alaykum” – meaning “peace be upon you”.'

Report: Premier hosts Iftar Dinner at Parliament House, Indian Sun.
Articles: NSW premier fasts to mark end of Ramadan, Sky News, 24/7/2014. 
- Mike Baird avoids talk of Vic Alhadeff's resignation after visit to Lakemba mosque, SMH, 27/7/2014.

At the start of Ramadan, federal Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, issued a Media Release, saying, “I extend to Muslims in Australia, and throughout the world, best wishes for the holy month of Ramadan,” She said, “In Australia, this month is an opportunity for us to honour the important contribution our Muslim brothers and sisters make to our nation. Muslim Australians have helped build a more diverse, more productive and more prosperous country for us all. . .  Ramadan offers a message of tolerance, compassion and hope - a universal message that everyone can share. Ramadan Mubarak.”

Media Release: Ramadan message, 27/6/2014.


9. Surrogacy – outrage over abandoned baby in Thailand
The surrogacy ‘industry’ has been growing rapidly in recent years, with couples (heterosexual and homosexual) obtaining babies through commercial arrangements with women (and agencies) in overseas countries. We are opposed to surrogacy, whether commencial or altruistic, in Australia or overseas!
When surrogacy was developed, many couples used ‘surrogates’ in the USA, but that was very expensive. In recent years, the ‘surrogacy industry’ expanded to India and a range of developing nations. The recent scandal arose when a Thai woman claims she had twins under a surrogacy arrangement – and that the Australian couple only took the healthy girl, leaving behind a boy with Downs syndrome and a hole in his heart. Public donations to support Gammy are now over $200,000.

In recent developments, Thai authorities say the surrogacy was ‘illegal’ (there are few laws about surrogacy in Thailand) and may charge the surrogate mother or clinic, other couples are nervous couples are nervous about collecting their ‘surrogate babies’ from Thailand; Gammy’s surrogate mother wants the twin sister backchanges in the story that the Australian father served prison time for sexual abuse of children, and there have been changes in the story about how much the Australian couple knew about the second baby. The case has attracted international attention, as this article in The Telegraph (UK) illustrates.

The woman claims she was told to ‘have an abortion’ when it was discovered during the pregnancy that the boy had Downs Syndrome – but she refused as it was “sinful”. Whilst there was outrage at the baby boy being abandoned, the issue of abortion, and the fact that Australian women are routinely encouraged to have abortions to KILL their baby if it is suspected of having Downs Syndrome, was ignored!

Bill Muehlenberg concluded, “It is time to end all baby buying. And if I had my way, we would take much firmer action against non-commercial surrogacy as well."


10. Imams, prisons, aborigines and Islam
Over a number of years, we have reported that aborigines in prison were becoming Muslims. Apparently it is still happening – some imams recently warned that aboriginal converts are at risk of being ‘radicalised’. One imam claimed that prison converts often have a poor knowledge of Islam and are sharing this with other inmates.
Article: Imams warn against radicalism to Aboriginal inmates converting to Islam, SMH, 24/7/2014.

Meanwhile, a Perth Muslim man who has been a ‘preacher’ at a prison in WA has now been BANNED from visiting the prison – after it became known that he had been praising terrorist groups.
Article: Perth man Junaid Thorne, accused of praising terrorist groups, banned from WA prisons, AAP, 1/7/2014.


Overseas News

1. Colorado, USA: Homosexual ‘marriage’
Good news! The Colorado Supreme Court has ordered a local official from Boulder County to STOP giving out licenses for homosexual ‘marriages’. The official began giving them out on June 25 – without any official approval and despite the state NOT allowing homosexual ‘marriage’!

Article: Colorado Supreme Court: Stop the Same-Sex Marriage Licenses, Citizen Link, 30/7/2014.

 

2. Iraq – Christian being persecuted and beheaded 
In a recent email we highlighted the horrendous plight of Christians in Iraq. Miranda Devine has written about the persecution and slaughter of Christians, noting “Christians are the most persecuted group on the planet but the Left is only exercised about dead Palestinian children, because it gives them an opportunity to kick Israel.”

More reports are coming out daily of Christians fleeing, being forced to convert to Islam and Christians, including children, being beheaded - with many thousands fleeing for their lives.

Please pray for the situation and for Christians still in Iraq.

Elizabeth Kendal gave a speech at the recent ‘March of Solidarity’ in Melbourne.
Elizabeth Kendal's message in solidarity with Syrian and Iraqi Christians, Religious Liberty Monitoring, 3/8/2014.

Article: The Left blind to slaughter of Christians, Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph, 30/7/2014.


3. Meriam Ibrahim free – and in the USA
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman imprisoned and sentenced to death for apostasy in Sudan, has now arrived in the USA. Following an international outcry, the Sudanese government released her and she sheltered in the US Embassy before eventually leaving for the USA.

Reports: Arrival in USA: Home at last for Meriam: Pregnant woman jailed in Sudan for marrying American Christian arrives back in the United States with her husband and new baby signaling end to 10-month nightmare, Daily Mail, 1/8/2014.

Report from Religious Liberty Prayer Update (30/7/2014) – click here.


4. Israel, Hamas and Gaza
A cease-fire is currently in place and talks are being held in Egypt over the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The Israeli army has withdrawn from Gaza this week, having closed the cross-border tunnels that were being used to launch rockets into Israel by Hamas.

There have been a huge number of media reports… here are two we found helpful…

The first, which we posted on Facebook last week, is by Simcha Jacobovici, who “is a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and journalist. He is a three-time Emmy winner for “Outstanding Investigative Journalism” and a New York Times best selling author. He’s also an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Huntington University, Ontario.”

The second is by Andrew Bolt about a ‘pro-Gaza’ march in Sydney…

Articles:

- Those TV cameras responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza, Simcha Jacobovici, Times of Israel, 23/7/2014.
- Wake up Labor, smell the threat, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 4/8/2014. 


5. USA: ‘Marriage’ decision could ‘open door’ to ‘multiple partner marriages’
“Traditional-marriage advocates are slamming a three-judge panel from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for striking down Virginia’s constitutional amendment affirming traditional marriage, saying the decision violates the separation of powers and potentially opens the doors to any arrangement of adults being considered marriage….”

Article: Judges 'open door' to marriage of 3, 4 or 5 people, WND, 30/7/2014.


6. UK: Free speech judgement on ‘bus ads case’
Christian Concern reports that, “In today’s judgment Mrs Justice Lang finds that London Mayor Boris Johnson did not order the banning of a Bus Ad at the eleventh hour – in spite of clear evidence, produced in Court, stating that Boris had ‘instructed’ Transport for London (TfL) to pull the Advert.”

As Andrea Williams pointed out, ‘He can’t have it both ways’!

Read Andrea's opinion piece here >
Read a statement by Core Issues Trust  here >
To view the full High Court judgment, click  here >

Coming events

World Congress of Families – regional event in Melbourne 
“Life, Family, Freedom” – Saturday 30 August – 9am to 5.30 pm. 
Conference details – click here
Updated program – click here
Admission free - donations invited. 
“Owing to security concerns pre-Registration is essential. As space is limited, to avoid disappointment register early."

 

News Update - 17 July 2014 - marriage, politics, Islamic jihad, prostitution, euthanasia (UK)

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200News on same-sex 'marriage, Islamic jihad, Ian Thorpe and prostitution in WA... overseas, the UK parliament is debating an 'assisted suicide' (euthanasia) law and the California parliament has removed 'husband' and 'wife' from the state's marriage law...
Each item provides an overview of the situation - links to media articles, commentaries and court decisions are provided if you want to read more...

Please don't forget - submissions to the Senate Inquiry on foreign same-sex 'marriages' are DUE by 31 July... 
click here for our Campaign page.

Jenny
______________________________

News Update 17 July 2014

Australian News
1. Update on vote on same-sex ‘marriage’
2. Politicians criticised for associating with upcoming WCF conference
3. Melbourne Islamic preacher arrested for recruiting to jihad
4. NSW Judge to be ‘investigated by Judicial Commission’
5. Ian Thorpe reveals he is ‘not straight’ in Parkinson interview
6. Victoria - SRI Christian Education
7. Sydney – 40% of Sydney people – non-English language at home
8. Victoria – Mosque at Coolaroo approved by VCAT
9. WA: Prostitution – MP Peter Abetz holds public lectures – and VOTE POLL
10. Muslim gear for female footy fans

Overseas News
1. UK: Euthanasia Bill in parliament - debate on 18 July
2. USA: California removes ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from marriage law
3. UK Peer – tackle Islamophobia by getting Christians to marry Muslims
4. USA: Baptist Church ordains transgender person
5. Singapore – bans ‘homosexual themed books’ in libraries

Ongoing Campaigns
*** Submissions – ‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – by 31 July
______________________________________________

News Update 17 July 2014

Australian News

1. Update on vote on same-sex ‘marriage’
When we sent the email about the vote poll on homosexual ‘marriage’ on Tuesday, around 3.40 pm, there were 1,935 votes, with 50% for NO and 48% for 'Yes'! The No vote had been increasing in the hour before that. Just 13 minutes before it closed, the vote was wildly different – there were 15,856 votes with 75% ‘Yes’ and 23% ‘No’. By the close of the poll, around 8pm, this had climbed to 18,245 votes, with 77% saying ‘Yes’ and 21% saying ‘No’.
Click here to view the final poll result.

We know these polls are NOT scientific – anyone can get their friends to vote!
Usually the homosexual groups get their people voting early, and when pro-family groups send it out the vote then goes the other way… BUT it is easy to distort the vote – by removing ‘cookies’ a person can vote multiple times (not something we endorse!).
We know that in a previous poll someone ran a ‘program’ to vote automatically (in comments, no longer online, for this post - Pepper an Australian poll.)

 

2. Politicians criticised for associating with upcoming WCF conference
A regional meeting for the World Congress of Families will be held in Melbourne at the end of August. The media found out about it – and the reporters criticised all the politicians involved. Kevin Andrews is opening and closing the conference and Victoria’s Attorney-General Robert Clark is welcoming delegates and speakers to Victoria – but they were all slated by these reporters, as were a number of the speakers… could they find any MORE mud to throw???
Article: State Attorney-General Robert Clark to address hardline pro-life event,The Age, 15/7/2014.
See the program for the conference at Endeavour Forum’s website – click here.
BOOK for the conference - contact details at the BOTTOM of the page at this link.

 

3. Melbourne Islamic preacher arrested for recruiting to jihad
'Musa' Cerantonio is a 29 year old man from Melbourne. Raised as a Catholic, he converted to Islam at the end of 17. It was reported that he has been estranged from his family for a decade. The SMH reports, “The radical preacher, who is regarded as one of the top propagandists for jihad, recently had his Facebook page shut down for urging Muslims to kill Western leaders and for encouraging young Australians to risk their lives in Syria and Iraq.”

Cerantonia was arrested in the Philippines this week, and it is expected the government will apply for him to be extradited to Australia.

One point of interest – he had posted on Facebook that he had already ARRIVED in the Middle East to fight in the jihad – but it seems he never actually went there! 

Australian security agency ASIO's Director General David Irvine has warned about the dangers facing Australia as trained 'jihadists' return to Australia - and those who have already returned or are 'sympathetic'. Meanwhile, the government is proposing legislation to strengthen powers for ASIO regarding 'computer surveillance' - but have decided to leave 'data retention' provisions out of the legislation for now...

Article: Musa Cerantonio: The tale of the try-hard jihadist,SMH, 12/7/2014.
Article: No place for radical extremists, says Bishop, Sky News, 13/7/2014.
Article: ASIO concerns grow over returned jihadists, SMH, 17/7/2014.

 

4. NSW Judge to be ‘investigated by Judicial Commission’
Last week we reported that NSW District Court Judge Garry Neilson had made comments about incest between adults in the light of changing community standards.

Following an outcry from a range of groups and individuals, the NSW Attorney-General, Brad Hazzard, is taking action…
He said, “Accordingly I have taken advice as to the appropriate course and have today determined that I will, on behalf of the NSW Government and on behalf of the NSW community, refer His Honour to the Judicial Commission of NSW. I will also be writing to the Chief Judge of the District Court to request that His Honour remove Judge Neilson from undertaking any criminal trials whatsoever until the Judicial Commission has dealt with the necessary processes it must undertake.”

It does seem to be an over-reaction when he was reflecting on community standards, not even expressing his own opinion!
Article: District Court judge Garry Neilson referred to Judicial Commission over incest comments,ABC, 11/7/2014.

 

5. Ian Thorpe reveals he is ‘not straight’ in Parkinson interview
For many years there has been media speculation that former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe is homosexual. This week, in a televised interview with Michael Parkinson, Ian was asked about his sexuality - and said he is homosexual. He actually said, quite hesitatingly, “I’m not straight", and then later said he is a ‘gay man’, although he has only had relationships with women. He said that, “This is only something that very recently, we’re talking in the past two weeks, I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me, exactly that.”

It seems that Ian Thorpe has been troubled in his life – he talked about dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Rev Fred Nile tweeted ‘You are a champion – that is all that matters’ and spoke on radio about the tweet – saying that people should be able to live a private life without everyone putting labels on them and expressing concern that people define themselves just by their sexuality. Fred’s Twitter page – with responses – click here.
Family Voice put out a very thoughtful Media Release and asked people to pray for Ian Thorpe at this time.

DETAILS:
Ian Thorpe: Full Parkinson interview transcript, Daily Telegraph, 14/7/2014.
Actual Interview on Channel 10 – Part 1Part 2Part 3.

Article at Daily Telegraph: ‘I was living a lie’ - out and relieved Ian Thorpe now wants kids after denying he was gay for years, 14/7/2014.

 

6. Victoria - SRI Christian Education
The media continues to run stories criticising SRI Christian Education (formerly CRE) in Victorian Primary Schools. The activist group FIRIS takes every opportunity it can to criticise the program. The latest was an article on the front page of the Warrnambool Standard, proclaiming the fact that Allansford Primary School won’t be running SRI this year. The Principal commended the program, but made the decision based on the fact that only 18 parents returned the form!

The recent problems about some schools not continuing to run SRI come from the fact that the Education Department has issued a new form which parents have to sign for their children to participate, even though parents signed a form at the start of the school year.
When parents don’t return the form it is assumed they are saying ‘no’ to their child’s participation. In one case we know of, parents were given just two days at the end of last term to return the form!

Please pray for the leaders at ACCESS Ministries, for all the volunteers who work with them in the schools, and for the schools at this time.

Media articles:
Lack of interest cancels religious program at Allansford primary school, Warrnambool Standard, 10/7/2014.
Opportunity to consider a broader approach to religious study, Warrnambool Standard, 11/7/2014.

 

7. Sydney – 40% of Sydney people – non-English language at home
An interesting report – with detailed maps - about the language spoken at home by Sydney residents. The map shows concentrations of groups in particular areas… On a second tab, the data also shows the number of people speaking English at home.
An article provides an overview of the data, with personal stories.
DATA: Sydney's melting pot of language, SMH.
Article: Talk of the town: you're all talking my language, SMH, 11/7/2014.

 

8. Victoria – Mosque at Coolaroo approved by VCAT
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has approved the building of a mosque at Coolaroo, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Despite receiving more than 1,000 objections from the local community, the Hume Council approved the mosque in August 2013. Then it went to VCAT...

Of particular concern is that the mosque will be next door to St Mary’s Ancient Church of the East, which is attended by many Assyrian Christians – who are concerned about a mosque being next door because of persecution suffered by the Assyrian people under Islam.

The Tribunal commented on Hume being a “diverse multicultural, multifaith society”, with both Muslims and Christians in Coolaroo – and noted that all faiths are entitled to facilities to meet their needs. They referred to ‘planning provisions’ not differentiating according to differing faiths, and stated that “It is acknowledged that some members of the church will take time to adjust, and will find it difficult to adjust” but asserted they would get used to it, saying “However, this is a voluntary and reversible social effect.”

Article: VCAT rules in favour of Muslim mosque next to Coolaroo Assyrian church, Hume Leader, 14/7/2014.

THE DECISION: Contains a SUMMARY at the beginning.
Rutherford & Ors v Hume CC (includes Summary) (Red Dot) [2014] VCAT 786 (14 July 2014)

 

9. WA: Prostitution – MP Peter Abetz holds public lectures – and VOTE POLL
Peter Abetz, a Christian pastor who is now an MP in the WA Legislative Assembly, is holding a series of public lectures on the subject of prostitution. Peter opposes the decriminalisation or legalisation of prostitution and brothels. He has also counselled women who have sought help from Linda’s House of Hope to leave the ‘sex industry’.

Article: Southern River MP Peter Abetz holding series of lectures to encourage public debate on prostitution law, Perth Now, 15/7/2014.

VOTE POLL – a public poll is being conducted on the Perth Now site:
Do you think prostitution in WA should be legalised?” Please vote NO!

 

10. Muslim gear for female footy fans
Yes, Muslim headscarves in all the AFL team colours….
Article: Hijabs get a guernsey in AFL team colours, Herald Sun, 14/7/2014.

 

Overseas News

1. UK: Euthanasia Bill in parliament - debate on 18 July
The UK parliament is currently considering a Bill, put forward by Lord Falconer, that would legalise euthanasia - ‘assisted suicide’ - by letting doctors provide people with drugs and support so they can kill themselves. The Bill will have its second reading debate in the House of Lords on Friday 18 July.

Unfortunately Lord Carey, the former head of the Church of England, has announced he will support the proposed legislation.

Thankfully, the Church of England has issued a statement stating they do NOT support the position taken by Lord Carey!
Christian Concern’s article includes information about both statements:
Why Lord Carey is so desperately wrong about legalising assisted suicide, 11/7/2014.

Meanwhile, Professor Theo Boer, a Dutch man who formerly supported euthanasia but has now changed his mind and warns about the dangers of legalising euthanasia, says ‘Don’t do it’. He warns that in The Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, the number of euthanasia deaths has doubled in the past six years.

Article: Don't make our mistake: As assisted suicide bill goes to Lords, Dutch watchdog who once backed euthanasia warns UK of 'slippery slope' to mass deaths, Daily Mail, 10/7/2014.

 

2. USA: California removes ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from marriage law
The Californian parliament has REMOVED the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from the state’s marriage law – replacing it with the word ‘spouse’. The law defines marriage in California as “a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons”!

Governor Jerry Brown signed the law this week – it will take effect from January 2015. The law follows a decision last year by the ‘9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favour of permitting same-sex 'marriages' in California’.

The proposer of the Bill, Mark Leno, claimed it was ‘necessary’ to remove "outdated and biased language from state codes.”

Report: Terms ‘husband’ and wife’ removed from California’s marriage law, Christian Concern, 15/7/2014.

 

3. UK Peer – tackle Islamophobia by getting Christians to marry Muslims
Yes, that’s what UK peer, Lord Scott, a former Supreme Court Judge, is proposing: ‘We can all get on better, if we encourage Christians to marry Muslims’.

Obviously Lord Scott doesn’t know much about Islam OR Christianity! In Islam, a Christian woman marrying a Muslim means that the children are Muslim, and she would lose the children if the marriage broke up. Islamic law also “forbids Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims.”
Christianity teaches that we should not be ‘unequally yoked’ to an unbeliever.

It seems that TWO of Lord Scott’s FOUR children married Muslims – and they BOTH became Muslims!!! It seems to be a one-way street here…
Article: Christians should marry Muslims to tackle Islamophobia, says peer, Express, 8/7/2014.

Bill Muehlenberg is not very complimentary about Lord Scott’s proposal!
Article: Dumbfounding Dhimmitude, 11/7/2014.

 

4. USA: Baptist Church ordains transgender person
A Baptist Church in Washington has ordained a transgender person as a minister. Originally a man, Daniel Robinson, who pastured a church, he has now ‘transitioned’ to become a 'woman', Allyson Robinson.

Robinson’s background is diverse…. Originally a commissioned officer in the Army, Robinson is “an LGBT-rights activist who has worked in the past for the Human Rights Campaign and as executive director of OutServe, a network for gays in the military.”

Robinson was married to Danyelle and they had four children – ABP reports that Danyelle “stood by her spouse.”

Around the same time that Allyson Robinson was ordained, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution ‘opposing both attempts to alter “bodily identity” through cross-sex hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery and “all efforts by any governing official or body to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”’

ABP reports, “Robinson’s ordination service came just weeks after a Time cover story headlined “The Transgender Tipping Point” forecasting the next big social movement to challenge prevailing cultural beliefs.”

Article: Baptist church ordains transgender woman, ABP, 10/7/2014.

 

5. Singapore – bans ‘homosexual themed books’ in libraries
Good news – Singapore is another nation taking a stand – the government has announced they will remove a number of homosexual-themed children’s books from their libraries. The books are “And Tango Makes Three, about a male-male penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo; The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption, which involves a lesbian couple; and Who's In My Family: All About Our Families.”

Article: Singapore bans gay-themed books, The Mercury, 12/7/2014.

Ongoing Campaigns
‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – Submissions by 31 July.

Please don't forget - submissions to the Senate Inquiry on foreign same-sex 'marriages' are DUE by 31 July...
click here for our Campaign page.

 

 

News Update - 10 July - euthanasia, NEW Senate, Cost of divorce, Vic abortion stats, homosexual parenting, Meriam. . .

News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200I'm often stunned at how much happens in any given week.... whilst we cover a number of major items in this News Update, it is really only the 'tip of the iceberg' for what we could report on!
Please pray, reflect and act as you read...
Blessings,
Jenny
 

News Update - 10 July 2014

Australian News
1. Euthanasia – Nitschke supports ‘suicide’ of 45 year old depressed man
2. NEW Senate begins
3. HIGH cost of divorce – costing Australian economy $14 billion a year
4. Tasmania – Medical marijuana trial REJECTED
5. More on the same-sex parenting study…
6. Victoria – Latest figures on late term abortions
7. Royal Commission on child sexual abuse releases interim report
8. Bernard Gaynor LOSES his Army commission
9. Sydney judge compares community attitudes on incest and homosexuality

Overseas News
1. US: Chase Bank asks employees if they SUPPORT LGBT issues
2. USA: Transgender priest preaches at Washington Cathedral
3. France: Ban on burqa UPHELD by European Court
4. USA: VICTORY for Hobby Lobby
5. UPDATE - Meriam Ibrahim in US Embassy and hopes to ‘leave soon’
6. UK: Occupational therapist SUSPENDED after praying for a Muslim colleague

Ongoing Campaigns
*** Submissions – ‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – by 31 July

Australian News

1. Euthanasia – Nitschke supports ‘suicide’ of 45 year old depressed man
Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke admitted on ABC TV last week that he had provided support and information about euthanasia to a 45 year old man who said he was NOT terminally ill. Nitschke was criticised for his actions by groups dealing with depression – and even the 7.30 interviewer!

We believe he should be investigated for providing information and support to this man – he admitted he didn’t suggest the man should seek counselling!

Interview: Families and friends concerned about who's being advised by euthanasia advocate Dr Nitschke, ABC 7.30, 3/7/2014.  
Bill Muehlenberg writes: Pro-deather spills the beans


2. NEW Senate begins

No doubt you’ve seen media reports about the new Senate, which was sworn in at the start of July. The Coalition has 33 Senators, Labor has 25 and the Greens have 10.
With eight ‘cross-bench’ Senators, the government needs SIX of them to get legislation passed (if Labor and the Green oppose it). Several budget measures are being debated – today the Senate repealed the ‘carbon tax’ legislation.

The ‘cross-bench’ includes new Senators David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party (NSW), Bob Day of Family First (SA) and three from the Palmer United Party - Jacqui Lambie (Tas), Glenn Lazarus (Qld) and Dio Wang (WA).
Ricky Muir, a new Senator from Victoria with the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, is tentatively aligned with the Palmer United Party.

The other two ‘cross-bench Senators’ are continuing on for another three years - Nick Xenophon (Independent) from South Australia and John Madigan (Democratic Labour Party) from Victoria. Senate contact details - click here.

Article: New Senate sworn in,News.com, 7/7/2014.
Helpful News.com graphic with ALL the crossbench Senators and details – click here.


3. HIGH cost of divorce – costing Australian economy $14 billion a year
Yes, $14 billion…  in addition to the huge personal cost!
“A News Corp analysis of information from the federal Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Social Services, shows that this financial year alone the government will spend $12.5 billion on support payments to single parents, including family tax benefits and rent assistance. Another $1.5 billion will be spent on the administration of the child support system, while the cost to taxpayers from family disputes in Australian courts is $202 million.”

Kevin Andrews, the federal Minister for Social Services, told News Corp that he is planning to establish an expert panel to look at ‘early intervention’ to try and reduce the amount of family breakdown…

Article: Divorce is costing the Australian economy $14 billion a year, 6/7/2014.

4. Tasmania – Medical marijuana trial REJECTED
Good News! Tasmanian government ministers, led by Health Minister Michael Ferguson, have rejected a proposal for a trial in Tasmania to grow ‘medical marijuana’ and administer it to patients. A business, Tasman Health Cannabinoids had lobbied the Government to allow a ‘trial’ to be conducted. Now they are planning to 'go interstate'!

The ABC report noted, “Mr Ferguson said he was unconvinced of the trial's merit and held concerns about safety, security and the potential for social harm of promoting a cannabis medicines industry.”

Article: Tasmanian Government ministers unite in opposition to medical marijuana trials, ABC, 3/7/2014.


5. More on the same-sex parenting study…
Following on from our report on the research study on same-sex parenting done by Simon Crouch and colleagues at the University of Melbourne. . .

Associate Professor Mark Regnerus has written an EXCELLENT analysis of the problems with the research.
Report: Is Same-Sex Parenting Better for Kids? The New Australian Study Can’t Tell Us, The Public Discourse, 9/7/2014.

Mark is well-known for his large research study on parenting – the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) - which also addressed the issue of same-sex parenting.

“Mark Regnerus is associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, research associate at its Population Research Center, and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture."

What has motivated Simon Crouch to do his research?
When the Interim Report was released in 2013, homosexual media Pink News reported, “His decision to conduct the study was prompted by politicians on both sides of the equal marriage and adoption debate asserted [sic] that children did better when raised by a straight couple.”

Listen to Simon Crouch explaining his research in a 3 minute video for the ‘3 minute Thesis Competition’ back in 2012 – it explains some of his thoughts on the subject!

Even before the final report was prepared, the researchers were proclaiming the good results they were expecting.


6. Victoria – Latest figures on late term abortions
The latest statistics on late term abortions performed in Victoria have been released by the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity.
The Report provides the data for 2010 and 2011.

Real Choices has provided a very helpful SUMMARY of the data:
Victorian Late Term Abortion Figures Released

Their preliminary overview provides the specifics of late term abortions, with page numbers where you can find the data – this includes abortions for psycho-social reasons and abnormalities. They also report of the number of babies with congenital abnormalities that were born alive without attempts to resuscitate (24 in 2010 and 40 in 2011.)

One area of huge concern is abortions done for ‘psycho-social reasons’:
In summary, "18 post 28 week babies were terminated for maternal psychosocial indications, and 1was over 37 weeks.”
In all, there were 191 abortions for psychosocial reasons in 2010 (out of a total of 342) and 183 (out of 338) in 2011 (post 20 weeks).
Read Real Choices report – Victorian Late Term Abortion Figures Released

The official report: 2010/2011 Victoria’s Mothers and Babies - Victoria’s Maternal, Perinatal, Child and Adolescent Mortality by The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) – 3MB, 254 pages.
Also posted on Real Choices website – click here.


7. Royal Commission on child sexual abuse releases interim report
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released an Interim Report. The Report consists of 2 Volumes, with more than 600 pages.

The Royal Commission, which was to finish at the end of next year, has asked the government for an extension of time by two years and an additional $100 million in funding to investigate more institutions.

Article: Royal commission into child sex abuse releases interim report, calls for extension and more funds, ABC, 30/6/2014.

Royal Commission website - http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/

Interim Report – webpage – click here.

ACTUAL REPORT: 
Volume 1– 352 pages – 455 KB.
Volume 2 – 296 pages – 219 KB.


8. Bernard Gaynor LOSES his Army commission
Bernard reports that the Army has ‘terminated’ his commission as an Army Reserve officer.

Read Bernard’s Media Release: Press release: Defence terminates Major Bernard Gaynor, 10/7/2014.
Read Paul Sheehan’s article: Christian army officer Bernie Gaynor pays the price for marching out of step with top generals, SMH, 10/7/2014.

 

9. Sydney judge compares community attitudes on incest and homosexuality
SMH reports the following stunning comments by a judge about 'incest', "Sydney District Court Judge Garry Neilson said just as gay sex was socially unacceptable and criminal in the 1950s and 1960s but is now widely accepted, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’, not having [a] sexual partner”. He also said the “only reason” that incest is still a crime is because of the high risk of genetic abnormalities in children born from consanguineous relationships “but even that falls away to an extent [because] there is such ease of contraception and readily access to abortion”.

The case itself deals with the rape by a brother of a sister when she was underage - but the judge was referring to the sexual relationship they had when they were both 18 or over. Many people were upset at the incest comments! The Greens, child protection advocates and also here.
The Crown Prosecutor asked for a different judge to hear the case!

Article: Judge compares incest and paedophilia to past attitudes towards homosexuality, claiming they might not be taboo anymore, SMH, 9/7/2014


Overseas News

1. US: Chase Bank asks employees if they SUPPORT LGBT issues
Yes, in their employee survey, JP Morgan Chase Bank actually asked a question about support for homosexual causes. Professor Robert George, of Princeton University, and the head of the International Commission on Religious Freedom, reported the news on his law blog, Mirror of Justice.
A Chase employee had contacted him expressing concern – and a second employee has since confirmed the story.

The Survey asked if they are “a member of the LGBT community.” Separately, they are also asked if they are “an ally of the LGBT community, but not personally identifying as LGBT.”

A Citizen Go petition has been set up to express concern to the Bank.
Click here to sign it.

Robert George’s blog post:Brendan Eich was only the beginning . . ., Mirror of Justice, 29/6/2014.

Article: Second employee alleges Chase Bank surveyed staff’s LGBT loyalty, Breitbart News, 2/7/2014

Article: Chilling Implications? Largest Bank Asks Workers if They Support Homosexuality, Christian News, 7/7/2014.


2. USA: Transgender priest preaches at Washington Cathedral
We’ve previously reported that an ‘official Pride Month’ was held in the USA during June – and Barack Obama held an official reception for LGBTI activists.

During ‘Pride Month’ an official church service was held at Washington Cathedral - the sermon was given by Rev. Cameron Partridge, an openly transgender priest (there are reported to be seven transgender priests in the Episcopalian Church). The service was conducted by Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual priest to be appointed as a bishop in the Episcopalian Church.
Article: Transgender Priest Preaches at Washington's National Cathedral,Charisma/Reuters, 23/6/2014.


3. France: Ban on burqa UPHELD by European Court
The French government passed a law banning the wearing of the face-covering burqa in 2010 – the law also outlawed the wearing of balaclavas and hoods!

Now the European court of human rights (ECHR) has upheld France's burqa ban, accepting Paris's argument that it encouraged citizens to "live together". The case was brought by a 24 year old Muslim woman who wears the burqa and niqab.

Article: France's burqa ban upheld by human rights court, The Guardian, 1/7/2014.


4. USA: VICTORY for Hobby Lobby
The Supreme Court has ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that Hobby Lobby is able to refuse to provide abortifacient and contraception drugs, as specified in the Obamacare law.

SUMMIT Ministries provided a ‘Rapid Response’ on the decision…
“Summit was pleased to join 23 other ministries, such as Compassion International, Young Life, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court opposing the contraception mandate under the health care reform law. Click here to read the legal brief.  

But the White House wasn’t happy – and urged Congress to provide the drugs for women who work for such companies!
Citizen Link provided two short video commentaries - Really (2.25 min) and Court Reaffirms Religious Freedom (6 min).

Lifesite report: Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby on HHS mandate in 5-4 decision, 30/6/2014.

Article: White House: Hobby Lobby Ruling Jeopardizes Women's Health, Politico, 1/7/2014.


5. UPDATE - Meriam Ibrahim in US Embassy and hopes to ‘leave soon’
The Daily Mail reports that Meriam Ibrahim and her family are still staying in the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan – she says her daughter appears to be not disabled - and they hope to leave Sudan ‘very soon’
This article was written by Italian journalist Antonella Napoli, who visited Meriam and her family in the library of the US embassy.
Article: Sudanese mother put on death row for marrying a Christian reveals baby daughter is not injured after birth on floor of barbaric prison - as they stay at US Embassy ahead of move to America 'very soon', Daily Mail, 9/7/2014.


6. UK: Occupational therapist SUSPENDED after praying for a Muslim colleague
Victoria Wasteney, Head of Occupational Therapy at the East London NHS Trust, has been suspended after a junior Muslim co-worker made a complaint back in June 2013. The Muslim woman encouraged Victoria to discuss her faith, agreed that Victoria could pray for her and accepted an invitation to a charity event at her church.

The following day, the worker made a complaint and Victoria was subsequently suspended for NINE MONTHS! Victoria is appealing against the Trust’s decision, under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination and harassment on grounds of religion or belief.

Press Release: Christian occupational therapist suspended after praying for Muslim colleague, Christian Concern, 29/6/2014.


Ongoing Campaigns

Submissions – ‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – by 31 July
The Senate Inquiry into this Bill is asking for submissions. They close on 31 July.

Email submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read our Campaign page to get the text of the Bill and details on HOW to make a submission! Click here.

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