News Update - 6 Feb - heroin, blasphemy, child abuse, stem cells

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200Sometimes it seems we are surrounded by bad news. We need to remember to focus on the good - in order to avoid the bad...  
If people followed the principles of marriage and family as God intended, some of the tragedies we see around us would be avoided.

Australian News

1. Victoria – needle vending machines for drug addicts 
The latest move to facilitate drug taking is a proposal to have needle vending machines in Melbourne. 

The plan is backed by Liberal Health Minister Mary Wooldridge.

The lead story on the front page of the Herald Sun newspaper recently was  headed ‘HEROIN STREET SHAME’.

Shane Varcoe, of Dalgarno Institute, writes, “The kicker for the story was “Needle vending machines are set for heroin hot spots – even as addicts shoot up in the street.”  
Shane says, “This is just another ploy for total drug liberalisation and eventual legalisation. There is almost ZERO effort to address the drug issue, in fact all these endeavours only increase drug use and the accompanying harms.”

Many drug addicts share needles anyway; there is no attempt to ‘exchange’ them and this just promotes drug use.

Article: Alarm over plan for needle vending machines in city’s drug hot spots, Herald Sun,  5/2/2014.

The Herald Sun is running a POLL – ‘Do you support needle vending machines in the suburbs?”
PLEASE VOTE NO – the NO vote is currently 48%. Click here and scroll down.

Then write to Health Minister Mary Wooldridge and Premier Denis Napthine. 
Ask them NOT to support needle vending machines.
Premier Denis Napthine - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> 
Health Minister Mary Wooldridge - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2. Adelaide Fringe Festival – blasphemous show 
A huge furore has erupted in Adelaide, where the Adelaide Fringe Festival includes a show called ‘Come Heckle Christ’. It involves a person playing ‘Christ’ – people are encouraged to heckle and ask questions of the figure. The event is advertised as suitable for a variety of people, including ‘disgruntled Christians’!

Family groups have protested, including Family Voice Australia and the NCC. Rev Fred Nile voiced his concern, as did SA Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson and Family First MPs Robert Brokenshire and Dennis Hood. The Islamic Society of SA also expressed their opposition to the show.

But the Festival organisers are unmoved and say it will continue (source)!

The show was actually presented at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival (source).

Reports and Action:
- Lifesite News reported on the show being in the Adelaide Fringe Festival – click here.
- The Adelaide Fringe Festival details about the show – click here.
- The NCC has set up a page to deal with the issue - click here for Update.
- A petition has been set up – click here to sign the petition.
-  A full list of sponsors is provided – click here to view list - and contact them.
- The SA election is coming up on 15 March – if you live in SA, please contact your MPs (details here).


3. Royal Commission – Case Study 5 – Salvation Army Boys Homes
The Royal Commission has heard evidence that there were incidences of child sexual abuse in four Boys Homes run by the Salvation Army. Some whistleblowers have told the Commission they were dismissed after reporting child abuse.

The revelations named several men who had allegedly sexually abused boys. One victim even talked of the boys being provided to other men outside the home.
The ABC reports, “The inquiry has previously heard that a large number of boys in Salvation Army care ran away before authorities were made aware of a child prostitution racket. The commission has been shocked by claims that boys from the Alkira home in Indooroopilly were being flown to Sydney and sexually abused in the 1970s.”

Although the cases of child sexual abuse are instances of men sexually abusing boys, no-one wants to talk about homosexuality as a factor in the abuse.

In their report on the Royal Commission, the ABC’s 7.30 program interviewed Queensland man Lewis Blayse. He had been abused in one of the Salvation Army homes, and had campaigned for decades to have the accused abusers brought to justice – and had led to the setting up of the Royal Commission.

The 7.30 Report began, “Last Friday, Lewis Blayse told the story of his experience in the Salvos' horrifying homes to 7.30. A few hours later on Friday evening, he died of a heart attack. His family wanted his last interview to be aired….”
Watch/read the 7.30 report: The dying wish of a man abused at a Salvation Army home, ABC 7.30, 3/2/2014.

Governments have failed children in need, royal commission told, ABC, 6/2/2014.
Salvation Army whistleblowers dismissed from Indooroopilly, Qld, home for reporting alleged abuse, royal commission hears, ABC, 6/2/2014.
Royal Commission website – 
      - Case Study Five (Salvation Army) – click here.


4. On the family: “The facts prove kids do better”
In response to recent criticism of Senator Cory Bernardi’s comments about the importance of the natural family, Cardinal George Pell had an article in the Telegraph last weekend. . .

He began, “Family structures are in the news. The push for same-sex marriage continues and in the campaign against random, indiscriminate violence, against coward punches, the dysfunctional family life of many offenders surfaced briefly. Most of us know wonderful step-parents and single parents, but it is a commonplace that children are generally best served by being with their married birth parents. . . “
Article: The facts prove kids do better, Sunday Telegraph, 1/2/2014.


5. Rev Fred Nile defends ‘reparative therapy’ for homosexuals
Following the ‘motion’ proposed by homosexual activist MP Alex Greenwich, and supported by the NSW Legislative Assembly, in November 2013, condemning ‘reparative therapy’ and counselling for people who choose to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction, Rev Fred Nile made a speech supporting ‘reparative therapy to the NSW Legislative Council on 14 November, 2014.
Congratulations, Fred!   Read his speech…
Media Release: Rev Fred Nile strongly defends reparative therapy for homosexuals


6. Midsumma’s Pride March promotes same-sex ‘marriage’
The issue of same-sex ‘marriage’ was promoted at Victoria’s homosexual ‘Pride March’ last Sunday, 2 February.
Christine Forster, Tony Abbott’s sister, who has declared she wants to ‘marry’ her female partner, marched alongside other ‘Liberal politicians’.
Victorian Chief Police Commissioner Ken Lay marched along with other police members. He also marched in 2012 (source).
Media report: PM Tony Abbott's sister Christine Forster on the march for gay marriage, Herald Sun.


7. New political party – promoting GLBTQI rights
A new political party was launched at the Pride March on Sunday 2 February.

The Australian Equality Party (AEP) aims to be a voice for the homosexuals community. Same-same reports, “AEP Convenor and potential Senate candidate Jason Tuazon-McCheyne will officially launch the Party along with members of the AEP Committee at the 2014 Melbourne Pride March this Sunday. “There’s never been an independent gay political party before, and we think it’s time..”
Same-same reports, “Broadly, the aims of the AEP are to achieve marriage equality for all Australians regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, work towards an Australia free from discrimination against GLBTIQ people and their families, act as a voice for GLBTIQ people in local, state and federal politics in Australia, and provide a human rights approach to political discourse for the benefit of all Australians….”
Report from same-same: New political party focuses on LGBTI equality, 31/1/2014.
- Jason Tuazon-McCheyne and his male partner have a surrogate child (source). 


8. Children’s’ Commissioner calls for discussion about ban on smacking
The federal Children’s Commissioner has called for a discussion about a ban on the smacking of children. In her first report to Parliament, in December 2013, Commissioner Megan Mitchell ‘points to the United Nations recommendation that all corporal punishment be banned in Australia.’ She told ABC, "One way to do this is to contemplate a law that prohibits corporal punishment."
Prime Minister Tony Abbott rejected the proposal.
Media report: Tony Abbott says 'gentle smack' can be good for children, ABC, 12/12/2013.
Report: Children’s Rights Report 2013


Overseas News

1. UN Report - child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church
The UN reports, “The United Nations Committee monitoring compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, briefed reporters in Geneva today, highlighting the achievements and challenges in regards to child protection in Congo, Yemen, Portugal, Russia, Germany and the Holy See.”

Much of the media attention focused on the statements made by the Committee regarding child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. Last month the Committee interviewed Vatican officials in Geneva.

The Report is critical of the handling of child sexual abuse by the Church. The Report urges the Holy See to “Immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes” (No 44b, P 9, UN Report).

The Report was critical of ‘the "practice of offenders' mobility", referring to the transfer of child abusers from parish to parish within countries, and sometimes abroad. The committee said this practice placed "children in many countries at high risk of sexual abuse, as dozens of child sexual offenders are reported to be still in contact with children".’

The UN Committee urged the Vatican to “Ensure that the Commission created in December 2013 will investigate independently all cases of child sexual abuse as well as the conduct of the Catholic hierarchy in dealing with them.”

The Vatican said they would subject the Report to “a thorough study and examination”.

The Report also criticised the Church’s position on homosexuality, abortion and contraception and said they should change the Church’s canon law on these matters. Understandably, the Catholic Church objected to these statements, claiming that ideological principles were behind the UN Report.

It is unfortunate that the Committee has made these statements about these moral principles, because it takes away from the emphasis on needing to deal with pressing issue of child sexual abuse in the Church.

Vatican 'must immediately remove' child abusers – BBC, 5/2/2014.
Scathing UN report demands Vatican 'immediately' act against child sexual abuse, ABC, 6/2/2014.
Vatican blasts back at UN report on pedophile priests, abortion, Fox News, 5/2/2014.

Official documents:
UN Report: Overview: Sexual abuse, early marriage, forced recruitment among concerns highlighted by UN child rights body, 5/2/2014.
REPORT: Concluding observations on the second periodic report of the Holy See  
Vatican Statement:
Holy See responds to UN Committee on Rights of the Child, 5/2/2014.


On the Issues

New discovery – ethical stem cells
Michael Cook, of Bio-Edge reports: “It’s the ultimate confirmation of the notion that stress is good for you. A team of researchers from Japan and Boston have discovered that subjecting ordinary cells to stress will make them revert to a state in which they can make any cell in the body. It is an astonishingly simple door to the promise of personalised medicine which has obsessed scientists for the last 15 years.

“It’s a startling result that makes you stand up and go, ‘Wow!’” says George Q. Daley, a leading stem cell researcher at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. “With an equal dose of amazement and skepticism.” And colleague Douglas Melton, says, “It’s just a wonderful result; it’s almost like alchemy. It says one has found a way to reveal the hidden potential of cells with a relatively straightforward method.”

"The bombshell research was published in the journal Nature this week...."

Read report: Stunning discovery creates ethical stem cells, Bio-Edge, 31/1/2014.

News Update - 30 Jan – Governor General, Corruption in building, Australian of the Year, marriage, homosexual festivals and more

Newspaper-dog shutterstock-SmHardly a week goes by without some major developments in the public arena. Read on to find out SOME of what is happening around us!

News Update - Jan 31 – Governor General, Corruption in building, Australian of the Year, marriage, homosexual festivals and more

Australian News

1. New Governor-General – General Peter Cosgrove
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia’s next Governor General will be General Peter Cosgrove. He will take up the appointment in March 2014, when the current Governor-General Quentin Bryce completes her term. Peter Cosgrove was the leader of the Peacekeeping mission in East Timor and was then the Chief of the Defence Force. In his acceptance speech, Peter Cosgrove said that he would not deal with ‘political’ issues. He refused to be drawn on issues such as the republic or same-sex ‘marriage’ – two issues that the current Governor-General recently said she supported.

He also said, “You're no longer a private citizen in the Office of Governor-General and I think your responsibility is to shine light but not to generate heat.” He said the parliament has the responsibility to debate political issues, not the Governor General.

We congratulate General Cosgrove on his appointment.

Peter Cosgrove to 'shine light' as Australia's new Governor-General, SMH, 29/1/2014.
Next governor-general Peter Cosgrove will keep out of politics, The Australian, 28/1/2014.

2. Corruption in building industry and union exposed
A report by the ABC and Fairfax has revealed that ongoing corruption exists in the building industry, with a whistle blower who was an official in the CFMEU alleging that union officials and bikie gangs are involved.The Prime Minister has promised an investigation – prior to the election the Coalition had talked of a ‘judicial review’ but it could be a Royal Commission. There is now talk about it being extended to cover the ‘union movement’.

This is not the first time inquiries have been conducted into corruption in the building industry. The Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry was conducted between 2001 and 2003. The Royal Commission investigated unlawful practices, fraud and corruption.

Following the Commission’s report, the Howard Government established the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to monitor the building industry to enforce compliance with the law.

The ABCC was abolished on 1 June, 2012 and replaced by the Gillard government with Fair Work Building and Construction which had much weaker powers.

What is really needed is enforcement of the law and investigation into allegations of corruption.

Tony Abbott pushes for return of Australian Building and Construction Commission following union corruption claims,
ABC, 28/1/2014.
The 7.30 report segment – click here.
Cole Royal Commission – click here for details and reports.
IPA Media release on the abolition of the ABCC – click here.


3. Australian of the Year – and ‘racism’
Footballer Adam Goodes has been named ‘Australian of the Year’. As an indigenous man, he has campaigned against ‘racism’ and was in the headlines when he was critical of a 12 year old girl who called out from the stands.

Mr Goodes has called for recognition of aborigines in the Constitution. In turn, this was supported by the Prime Minister. He said that people today have 'more heart' than the framers of the Constitution. However, as Keith Windschuttle has noted, the Constitution is not racist - aboriginal people had the vote at the time of federation in states where it had already been granted (all except Queensland and WA). States that hadn’t given aboriginal people the vote were penalised! In fact, he says, the Constitution makes all people equal.

Of course, as we have seen before, it might well depend on how any mention in the Constitution is ‘worded’. We are all Australians, no matter how we came to be here. Any statements included in the Preamble or the Constitution will have legal significance. One government advisor is talking of each aboriginal ‘first nation’ signing a ‘treaty’ with the federal government, with rights to land in their ‘area’! That could get very complicated and undermine the idea that we are one nation.

Whilst we all abhor ‘racism’, dwelling on it often divides us. We are all human, and there is only one ‘race’ created by God!
Andrew Bolt highlights that in his article. He says, “But those of us opposed to dividing Australians on the basis of their “race” should be vehemently against this “crusade”.”

Indigenous recognition a crusade: Tony Abbott
, AAP, 26/1/2014.
First nations need to sign treaties, says Warren Mundine, The Australian, 27/1/2014.
Andrew Bolt: Abbott insults conservatives on his racial “crusade”, 27/1/2014.
Keith Windschuttle: The Constitution is anything but racist, Quadrant, 24/1/2012.


4. Federal government announces $200 voucher for marriage counselling
During the last federal election the Coalition made a commitment to provide a $200 voucher to couples for pre-marriage counselling. This was one of the questions on the ‘Christian Values Checklist’ and we welcomed the government’s commitment in this area, although it was said that the voucher would also be available for relationship or parenting education. .

The government, through Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, has now announced that this will begin from 1 July 2014. A 12 month trial will be conducted, at a cost of $20 million, providing for 100,000 couples.

Unfortunately – in this age of ‘not discriminating’ – the $200 voucher will also be available to couples who are NOT married or intending to marry and this will include same-sex couples!
Article: Federal Government offers newlyweds $200 voucher to attend marriage counselling,, 23/1/2014.


5. Vic Premier launches homosexual Midsumma Festival
Yes, we could hardly believe it either. . .
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, previously considered a ‘conservative’ in Victorian Liberal ranks, has attended the homosexual ‘Midsumma’ festival – becoming the first Victorian Premier to do so.

But he went further and actually ‘launched’ the festival!

At the festival Dr Napthine announced that any criminal convictions relating to homosexual sexual activities from before homosexuality was legalised in Victoria in 1980 would be ‘erased’.

If the Premier had decided to enact such legislation he could have made the statement at a different time and place. Supporting and launching the ‘Midsumma Festival’ is a step much too far…

The media reports continued to exaggerate the crowd numbers – stating 90,000 to 120,000 people attended. The Alexandra Gardens aren’t very big – and there is lots of empty space in the photos…
Article: Midsumma Festival draws massive crowd, The Age, 12/1/2014.


6. Royal Commission - Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission is continuing to hold public hearings. The latest series of public hearings – Case Study 5 - began this week, on 28 January.
Case Study 5 deals with the “The response of The Salvation Army (Eastern Territory) (“The Salvation Army”) to child sexual abuse within [four] homes operated by it…”
Click here for the Royal Commission’s website.
Click here for full details of ‘Case Study 5’.
Click here to listen to the webcast.


7. Bernard Gaynor – a step closer to being ‘de-commissioned’…
We have previously reported that Bernard Gaynor has been told that he may be ‘de-commissioned’ because of his actions in speaking up about the endorsement by the military of homosexuality and their participation in the ‘mardi gras’.

Bernard reports that this is now a step closer…

Bernard writes, “The Australian Defence Force has moved a step closer to terminating the commission of Army Reserve Major, Bernard Gaynor, despite internal Defence investigations clearing him of allegations of unacceptable behaviour or that he failed to comply with military law. The Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley, has issued a Termination Notice to Mr Gaynor and given him until 5 February, 2013 to respond. . .”
Read Bernard’s detailed Press Release:
Defence to terminate commission of Christian officer


8. Dealing with alcohol-fuelled violence
The NSW government has announced that they plan to introduce tougher measures to deal with alcohol-fuelled violence. Premier Barry O’Farrell announced they would force venues to lock out new customers from 1.30am and cease alcohol trading by 3am. Much of the focus has been on street violence, especially ‘one-punch’ incidents.

Of course the problem is much broader, with violence in the home often being fuelled by alcohol as well. Last month, the NSW Police Commissioner urged people to “fall out of love with alcohol”.

Other measures being debated are an increase in taxes on alcohol, especially cheap cask wine, and restrictions on take-away sales, as well as the proposal to raise the drinking age to 21.
- Barry O'Farrell announces 'tough' laws to combat alcohol-fuelled violence, SMH, 21/1/2014.
- Fall out of love with alcohol, police chief urges,SMH, 16/12/2013.


Overseas News

1. Malaysia – printer bows to Islam
The BBC reports that a printer in Malaysia has ‘blacked out’ pigs faces in order to be comply with Muslim sensitivities. The New York Times recently carried a story about farming and had a picture of pigs - the Malaysian edition had the pigs' faces covered!
Article: Altered Images: Malaysian printer blacks out pigs' faces, BBC, 24/1/2014.

2. Utah – same-sex ‘marriage’

Two rallies were held a the Utah state capitol building on Tuesday evening, 28 January. . .
“The National Organization for Marriage, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that opposes same-sex marriage, held its rally inside the Capitol building with a local group called Celebration of Marriage. About 500 people attended.”

The other rally was held three hours earlier – with about 300 people supporting same-sex ‘marriage’ rallying on the steps of the building.

Here are the developments since we last reported on the move by a federal judge to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’ in Utah in December 2013. . .
- In late December, a federal judge overturned Utah's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage re-off over gay marriage (it was passed in 2004).

- More than 1,000 gay couples ‘married’ in December after that decision.

- In early January 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court granted Utah's request for an emergency halt to the weddings.

- Republican Governor Gary Herbert then ordered state agencies to freeze recognition of the marriages.

- Utah has appealed the federal judge's ruling to the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to decide in a few months.
Article: Utah gay marriage backers, foes hold dueling rallies, USA Today, 28/1/2014


3. UK – Schools told to declare their sex education curriculum
Schools in the UK have been told to set out what is taught in their ‘sex education’ curriculum on the school’s website in response to concern about the increasing sexualisation of children. This comes after a call by the Telegraph’s ‘Wonder Women’ website to include teaching on the dangers of the internet in sex education classes.

Colin Hart, of the Christian Institute, welcomed the proposal to have the curriculum on school websites, saying, “I strongly welcome the requirement for schools to set out their approach on their website in this sensitive area. It would be ideal if parents could actually see online a copy of the materials themselves. The potential threat of a parental backlash would help block the use of inappropriate materials.”

At the same time, Labour is trying to move to make sex education compulsory in schools, a move that is being opposed by the Government.
Article: Schools forced to disclose what they teach about sex on their websites,The Telegraph, 28/1/2014.


4. UK - Proposed law to ban counsellors using 'reparative therapy'
Recently we wrote about the capitulation of the UK 'Association of Christian Counsellors' and their decision to ban their members from providing assistance to people who request help for dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction. We mentioned the UK's Equality Act as being one reason for their decision.

There is another reason - which I didn't mention!

The UK Parliament is currently debating a Private Member's Bill, brought by Labour MP Geraint Davies, called the Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill - it attempts to regulate counsellors generally, but its' real purpose is to ban the use of 'reparative therapy'. 
The Bill proposes a code of ethics, but states, "The code must include a prohibition on gay to straight conversion therapy."
The second reading is scheduled for 28 February, 2014. The Bill was mentioned in The Guardian article by Patrick Strudwick.
INFO - The actual BIll - click here for info on the UK Parliament website.


National Christian Heritage Sunday
This Sunday, 2 February, is National Christian Heritage Sunday. As we reflect on the coming of Christianity to our nation, check out the NCHS website and also the Christian History Research website for information and resources.

Elections in 2014
Federal – By-election for Griffith, Queensland
Date: February 8, 2014.
- Antony Green’s profile for the by-election: click here.
- Official AEC information for the by-election: click here.

WA Senate
This week the High Court has heard the case regarding a new WA Senate election.
A decision could be announced later this week, or the decision could be deferred or referred to the Full Bench or the Federal Court. See current ABC media report.
High Court – full details and documents relating to the case – click here.

Tasmania – election on March 15
Visit the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website for full information on the election.

South Australia- election on 15 March
Information: Electoral Commission South Australia

Victoria– election on 29 November
Victorian Electoral Commission website – click here.

News Update - 23 Jan - Australia Day, Christian heritage, abortion, bushfires, marriage, elections . . .

Aus flag on Aus This week is Australia Day - we ask you to pray for our nation and celebrate our Christian heritage on Australia Day 'National Christian Heritage Sunday' (see items 1 - 3).
As we monitor what is happening in our nation and the world, we pray that, although you may be burdened by what is happening, you can 'stop and smell the roses' and enjoy family, faith and freedom in our nation.

Australian News

1. Australia Day – our Christian heritage
On Sunday we celebrate Australia Day, marking the day the First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788.

To find out more about our Christian heritage, and the events surrounding that first ‘Australia day’, visit the Christian History Research website – click here.

The website contains a large collection of information and resources to help you understand more about Australia's Christian heritage. Resources can be used online and many can be downloaded for educational use and personal research.

The following Sunday, 2nd February is ‘National Christian Heritage Sunday’ – celebrating our Christian heritage, in particular “the Gospel of Jesus Christ arriving on Australia's shores. Australia's first minister was the Reverend Richard Johnson. He arrived with the first fleet. On 3rd February 1788 Rev. Johnson held the first Christian service in Australia.”

The NCHS website - resources, suggestions for participation.

2. Prayer for Australia – 25 January

The Australian Prayer Network is co-ordinating ‘A NIGHT OF PRAYER FOR AUSTRALIA’ on the evening of Saturday 25 January, the night before Australia Day.


They write, “The Australian Prayer Network is calling its member Churches, Prayer Groups and Individuals to a night of prayer for our nation to be held on the eve of Australia Day, Saturday 25th January 2014. In 2013 tens of thousands of Australians in local communities across our nation joined in this national night of prayer. Timing and venue for each gathering across the nation is at the discretion of the organiser. To assist those wishing to participate this year, a list of prayer points can be found by clicking on the Prayer Points link below.”
- Australian Prayer Network website
- Prayer Points for the eve of Australia Day

3. Abortion – the law and the science
In a feature article in The Australian, Melbourne writer Jennifer Oriel begins by mentioning the outcry about Cory Bernardi’s book. After stating that three Australian states have now decriminalised abortion, she questions the statement by Tasmania’s Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne, who proclaimed "it brings our laws into the 21st century".

Jennifer Oriel responds, “Perhaps she hasn't read the science.” Jennifer Oriel’s main contention is that politicians haven’t caught up with the science – in particular, she explores the science that says unborn babies experience PAIN by 20 weeks and the fact that infant mortality is getting lower as pre-term babies can survive from much earlier stages. She contends that the law should recognise these facts.
Article: Abortion laws must recognise scientific changes, The Australian, 11/1/2014.

4. More on Cory’s book – countering the claims made by Anthony Albanese
This article by Nora Florat, published by Menzies House, counters the claims made by Labor MP Anthony Albanese.
Here are just two from the article:
Nora states that Albanese claims Cory Bernardi is against "any religion that isn't the same as his" and goes on to say, “Untrue. He merely states a self-evident fact that moral values enjoined by the Judeo-Christian tradition have been beneficial to Australia. The only religion which he negatively criticises is Islam, and that not on religious, but on political, grounds.”

“Another barb relates to family, and he stated "[Cory Bernardi] is against any family that doesn't resemble his depiction of what a family is". The natural family in which a child is enabled to know, and be loved by, his or her own parents, is not a depiction of Cory Bernardi, but a depiction which has existed throughout history, and is enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Read the article: The Radical left’s manifestation of hatred, Nona Florat, Menzies House, 1/2014.

5. Global warming and that Antarctic ice
When the recent Antarctic expedition got stuck in sea ice, the rescue operation cost millions of dollars. Some of the icebreakers got stuck in the ice themselves. The travellers (scientists/journalists and tourists) were eventually evacuated by helicopter.

It seems that some of the ice problems encountered by the vessel were due to a large iceberg that came adrift about three years ago.
However, the original mission of the Journey was to investigate the effect of ‘climate change’ but they have gone rather quiet about that now!

Watts Up with That and Jo Nova have detailed reports.

Here is Miranda Devine’s take on the recent events:
Warmies trapped by inconvenient ice, 1/1/2014.

6. A 20 metre lit cross for the centre of Australia
Last year, when photographer Ken Duncan spoke at the Dinner for the World Congress of Families in Sydney, he spoke about a plan for a huge 20 metre lit cross in outback Australia, at Hat Hill, or Haasts Bluff, about 230km west of Alice Springs.

The media has now found out about the plan – whilst they might be somewhat sceptical, Ken says that the proposal was originally made by local indigenous communities.
Media report: No bluff, Ken Duncan wants a light to lead second coming, The Australian, 20/1/2013.

7. Australia and bushfires – burning off by indigenous groups
When Peter was driving tour coaches he would often tell his passengers about the Australian bush and how aboriginal groups would regularly burn off the undergrowth in the forest and move on to another hunting ground. The fire would enable the gum nuts to burst open, allowing new trees to germinate; the nutrients in the ash would assist in growth.

With the current concern about bushfires, the question of ‘burning off’ is an important one. Green groups often oppose this, but it is essential to properly control the forest.

Here are two important items:
David Ward writes about the historical background of indigenous people managing fire and the environment in WA. Originally written in 2005, the article was re-published this month.
Bill Gammage has written a book which outlines the arguments in more detail.
Article: Bushfires Rage Because Whitefellas Don’t Know How to Manage The Australian Landscape, 18/1/2014.
Article: A Review of 'The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia' By Bill Gammage, The Monthly, Dec 2011.
Book: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia By Bill Gammage, Allen and Unwin.

Overseas News

1. The Queen’s Christmas message – video and transcript
We often send out a link to the Queen’s Christmas message. This year she reflected on the birth of her great-grandson, saying, “Here at home my own family is a little larger this Christmas. As so many of you will know, the arrival of a baby gives everyone the chance to contemplate the future with renewed happiness and hope. For the new parents, life will never be quite the same again! As with all who are christened, George was baptised into a joyful faith of Christian duty and service.”

The Queen concluded: “For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people. The Christmas message shows us that this love is for everyone. There is no one beyond its reach. On the first Christmas, in the fields above Bethlehem, as they sat in the cold of night watching their resting sheep, the local shepherds must have had no shortage of time for reflection. Suddenly all this was to change. These humble shepherds were the first to hear and ponder the wondrous news of the birth of Christ - the first noel - the joy of which we celebrate today. I wish you all a very happy Christmas.”

Read the transcript of the Queen’s speech – click here.
Watch the speech on the BBC Channel – click here.

2. Malta – proposal for homosexual ‘marriage’ and adoption
Malta is currently considering legislation to allow homosexual couples to adopt children, as well as a law to legalise ‘civil unions’.

Homosexual activists have increased their lobbying efforts, aiming their comments particularly at the church and the Nationalist Party. The Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM) has called on the groups to change its position on adoption and endorse the civil union Bill. They accused the Church of having an "intrinsically discriminatory and heterosexist attitude" in assuming that one's sexual orientation has a bearing on one's parenting ability,

A survey conducted by the Catholic Church found that 80% are against adoption – the MGRM dismissed it, and responded: “This is not news. The government as well as LGBT activists were well aware of this fact."
And then turned it into a complaint against 'homophobia! They argued, “All such surveys demonstrate is that LGBT people live in an at best, heterosexist and at worst, homophobic environment and that much still needs to be done to ensure the equal treatment of LGBT persons and their families in Maltese society."

Maltese Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Charles J. Scicluna said that when he met Pope Francis in December, the Pope was saddened by the prospect of adoption by homosexuals and called same-sex ‘marriage “anthropological regression”, reiterating statements made in 2010.

Article: MGRM calls on PN, Church to reverse position to civil unions, Malta Today, 21/1/2014.
Article: Pope Repeats that Same-Sex 'Marriage' is "Anthropological Regression"

3. UK: Church of England on same-sex ‘marriage’ & relationships
Christian Concern reports, “On 28th November 2013, the Church of England published a crucial report by the House of Bishops Working Group on Sexuality (Pilling Report), outlining its recommendations for the recognition of same-sex relationships by the CofE. The Report suggests that, while the Church of England should not change its official teaching on marriage and sexuality, it should enter into a period of “facilitated conversions” to allow local clergy to bless same sex partnerships informally, using unauthorised liturgies.”

The College of Bishops meets next Monday (27 January) to consider the report.

Christian Concern has asked readers to call on the Bishops to uphold Scripture and not endorse the ‘blessing’ of same-sex relationships. They state that the Pilling Report has a liberal view on Scripture and contend that “to allow informal blessings of same-sex relationships, while claiming not to change the church’s teaching, would in practice and in fact, change the church’s traditional teaching on the issue.”

The Bishop of Birkenhead has provided a strong dissent to the Report – read here.

Please pray that the College of Bishops does not endorse the report.
Report: House of Bishops Working Group on Sexuality (Pilling Report) – 221 pages. 


4. UK: Sexual abuse and grooming and rape - and in Australia
Over the past few years there have been numerous cases of young teenagers in the UK being ‘groomed’ by gangs of men and then sexually exploited. Many of the men have come from Muslim communities – although most media reports don’t mention the words ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslim’.

In Peterborough, UK, five men have just been convicted of a huge number of crimes including 18 counts of rape.

We are not immune form these situations in Australia. In Sydney there are the notorious cases of rape by a gang led by Muslim Bilal Skaf in 2000. This case was in the news in Australia this week, with news that one of the convicted men may be released from prison soon.

Much of the commentary does not mention Islam. This NSW Parliamentary Paper from 2003 on ‘Gangs in NSW’ mentions the gang rapes – it uses the words ‘ethnic’ and ‘religion’ but NOT Islam or Muslim!

This report by mamamia from September 2013 (when another of the rapists was released) does mention that the young men were Muslims.
When reports talk of them as 'Lebanese Australians' the many Lebanese Christians in Australia are often unfairly targeted by some in the community.

- Five convicted in Peterborough sex ring trial - city council calls for review, Peterborough Telegraph, 15/1/2014.
- Rapist may soon be free, 13 years after Skaf gang rapes,, 22/1/2014.

5. Persecution of Christians – 9 out of 10 top nations – ‘Islamic extremism’
Open Doors' annual World Watch List detailing the persecution of Christians around the world has just been released. They state that nine of out the top ten countries where Christians are persecuted had ‘Islamic extremism’ listed as the source of persecution. The exception is North Korea. They state, “Worldwide 100 million Christians are persecuted…”
Read Open Doors report – click here.
Media report: Report: 9 out of 10 Top Christian Persecution Countries Due to Islamic Extremism, 9/1/2014.

Elections in 2014

Federal – By-election for Griffith, Queensland
Date: February 8, 2014.
Dr Bill Glasson, former President of the AMA, has announced that he is again running as the Liberal candidate – he gained more of the primary vote than Kevin Rudd at the 2013 election – but lost on preferences.
The list of candidates has now been published – click here for full details.
- Antony Green’s profile for the by-election: click here.
- Official AEC information for the by-election – click here.

WA Senate
The High Court will hear the case about the ‘missing ballots’ and the calls for a new poll when it sits in Melbourne next week. The AEC has called for a new election for the WA Senate.

The High Court is expected to hear the case for two days – the decision could be announced then - or within a month. The timeline for a new election is tight, with writs needing to be issued by 28 March to allow the Senators to sit in the new Senate from 7 July.
Media report: High Court decision on new WA Senate poll could be known as early as next week, SMH, 21/1/2014.
High Court – full details and documents relating to the case – click here.

Tasmania – election on March 15
Visit the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website for full information on the election.

South Australia- election on 15 March
Information: Electoral Commission South Australia

Victoria– election on 29 November
Victorian Electoral Commission website – click here.

News Update - 17 Jan 2014 - Elections, Greens and prayer, Christianity under threat, adoption and more...

Newspaper and glasses SX 953849 15854849 320x200Our first News Update for 2014 covers a range of news from the past month. Some is from this week - election news, prayer in parliament ... - whilst some covers some key news from the past month.  We pray that this year will be a time when Christians are increasingly prepared to 'give a defence for their faith' both in doctrinal matters and the issues confronting society.
May God bless you all 

Australian News

1. Election: Tasmanian election to be held on March 15
The Tasmanian Premier, Labor’s Lara Giddings announced this week that the Tasmanian state election for the House of Assembly will be held on 15 March.

She also announced the end of the alliance that Labor had formed with the Greens to gain government and declared that a re-elected Labor government would NOT form an alliance with the Greens! The Premier also sacked the two Greens Ministers in the Cabinet!

Media Report: Giddings rolls dice and the Greens, Examiner (Launceston), 17/1/2014.

Visit the Tasmanian Electoral Commission website for full information on the election.

2. More elections around Australia. . .

A number of elections will be held this year. . .

First up is the by-election for Kevin Rudd’s (former) seat of Griffith in Queensland – on February 8, 2014. The list of candidates will be published on the AEC site today (17 January).

- Antony Green’s profile for the by-election - click here
- Official AEC information for the by-election – click here.

Then we have the South Australian election on 15 March (the same day as the Tasmanian election). 
Information: Electoral Commission South Australia

The Victorian election will be held on 29 November. 
Victorian Electoral Commission website – click here.

We could also have a re-run of the WA Senate election depending on the outcome of the current High Court challenge – the AEC ‘lost’ ballot papers and the result is being challenged. The challenge is due to be heard in late January - Media report here
Media article: Coalition set for clean sweep as year of elections begins
, SMH, 16/1/2014.

3. Greens move to ban prayers in Parliament
It’s so predictable. The Greens do it every year – move to ban the saying of prayers in parliament.

This time it is Senator Richard di Natale – but he says that the lone Greens House of Representatives member, Adam Bandt, will move a similar motion in the House.

The Greens have been doing this since 1997, with former leader Bob Brown leading the charge with moving similar motions.

The Australian has written a good editorial supporting prayer in parliament – congratulations to them!

Ros Phillips of FamilyVoice pointed out, “The Speaker and the President read out two short prayers at the beginning of each parliamentary day,” Ros Phillips said.  “They are an expression of the Christian foundation of our nation.  Our Westminster-style parliament and democracy stem from our Christian heritage.” 

Ros said, “No MP is required to be present during the prayers, or to join in praying them – but they are an important reminder that ultimately, we must all answer to a higher authority,”
Article: Time to scrap Lord's Prayer in Parliament: Greens, SMH, 14/1/2013.

The Australian - Editorial and Article.

4. Christianity under threat 

A compelling editorial was published by The Australian on December 26, 2013. It highlighted the persecution facing Christians around the world.

We congratulate The Australian for writing such a forthright piece!

A grim outlook for Christianity - Editorial in THE AUSTRALIAN

The editorial begins, “RESEARCH showing Christianity is now the most widely persecuted religious group in the world should be an urgent wake-up call to all who value the principles of religious freedom and tolerance enshrined in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted 65 years ago this month. Indeed, Christianity could, after 2000 years, be facing the threat of extinction in its birthplace in the Middle East. . .” Please read it all here.

5. Australian Muslims fighting in Syria

In recent months there has been increased fighting in Syria between various groups opposed to the Assad government. One of the rebel groups fighting in Syria is called the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’ (ISIS), a terrorist group formerly known as "al-Qa'ida in Iraq".

ASIO has intelligence that Australians have joined ISIS – in December 2013, federal Attorney-General George Brandis listed it as a terrorist organisation. The listing means those caught fighting for the group face up to 25 years' jail when they return.

A Sydney Muslim couple has recently died in Syria. The wife went to Syria to join her husband, Yusuf Ali, who went there last year. Some media reports initially said the man went there to help in ‘humanitarian areas’ – but some associates and relatives of the couple posted Facebook messages saying they are ‘martyrs’. This week, court documents lodged in Sydney, against Hamdi Al Qudsi, who is charged with recruiting Muslims to fight in Syria, allege that Yusuf Ali was one of the men recruited to fight.

Read a report about the increase in violence in Syria, the government’s Media Release about ISIS being listed as a terrorist group, an ABC outline of ISIS and a report about the death of the Australian Muslim couple. The latest report is about the current Sydney court case.

6. Education: Review of the National Curriculum
When the Labor government introduced the ‘national Curriculum (currently covering four areas -  (implemented by ACARA) – there was criticism about some elements of the curriculum, especially about the proposed history curriculum’.

The Abbott government, through Education Minister Christopher Pyne, has recently announced a REVIEW of the National Curriculum, to be led by Professor Ken Wiltshire and Dr Kevin Donnelly.

Naturally there was an uproar from those who supported the original curriculum…

However, Professor Wiltshire has written an erudite defence of the review, pointing out that ACARA and ACER support the review! 
Government Media Release about the review: click here.

7. Overseas adoption – PM promises to make it ‘easier’ 

In December 2013, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that he plans to overhaul and reform the overseas adoption process to make it easier for couples to adopt children from overseas.

Mr Abbott said, “The Commonwealth Government will work with premiers and chief ministers to try to ensure overseas adoption is working in the best way possible. Last week, the Council of Australian Government (COAG) agreed to put the subject of overseas adoption on the agenda for our next meeting in April 2014. I have asked my Department to establish and chair an interdepartmental committee on overseas adoption. The committee will consult extensively and report to me in March 2014 including on the immediate steps that could be taken to make inter-country adoption easier and faster for Australian couples. The committee’s report will help to inform discussion at the next COAG meeting in April 2014.”

The Australian commented, “Mr Abbott's proposed changes mark a dramatic shift from the former Labor government which closed the flag ship Ethiopian adoption program in June last year.”

Indeed – the Labor government seemed more intent on providing funds for family planning and abortions in overseas countries, through our overseas aid program!

Prime Minister’s Media release - Making overseas adoption easier for Australian families, 19/12/2013.

Media report: Adoption reform: show us the baby, say parents, The Australian, 20/12/2013.

8. Politics – Bob Kernohan’s statements on the AWU scandal and Julia Gillard 
In September 2011, Michael Smith was suspended from 2UE because he planned to talk to Bob Kernohan, about the AWU scandal and misappropriation of funds.
He was told to sign a ‘gag order’ but instead set up his own website, Michael Smith News.

In early January Michael hosted an interview on 2GB – with Bob Kernohan, who was President of the  AWU at the time the events took place. He speaks about Bruce Wilson who is alleged to have taken money from the AWU, Julia Gillard (who was the girlfriend of Wilson at the time and did legal work for him) and Bill Shorten (who was also in the Union at the time and told him to ‘move on’).

Kernohan says he was offered a place in Parliament, but the inference was that he not speak of his concerns…

If you’ve wondered what all this is about, listen to the interview and read the overview in the article…

Interview – click here (1 hour plus)
Transcript available here.

The Australian reported on the interview here – Scan of article here.


Overseas News

1. UK: Marks and Spencer – and Muslim staff
UK department store Marks and Spencer is facing a backlash from customers, including calls for a boycott, because of its response to Muslim staff saying they would not serve customers pork or alcohol because of their religion. The issue became public when a customer was told to go to another cash register by a Muslim staff member. The store said they had breached their own internal policy – that staff should be able to decide which areas were ‘inappropriate’ to work in according to their religion!

Media Reports – Telegraph
- M&S faces furious backlash from customers over Muslim policy 
- Muslim staff at Marks & Spencer can refuse to sell alcohol and pork

2. Croatia bans homosexual ‘marriage’

The people of Croatia have voted overwhelmingly to ban homosexual ‘marriage’. A constitutional referendum was held on Dec 1, 2013. 

Mass Resistance reports, “The constitutional amendment was passed by 66%-34%. This was despite enormous pressure from the Croation government, the press, homosexual activists, and even the US State Department to reject it.”

3. Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty
You may have heard about the controversy surrounding ‘Duck Dynasty’ a popular US reality TV program featuring the Robertson family. When Phil Robertson made comments about black Americans and homosexuality (in a personal conversation he compared heterosexual and homosexual sex in somewhat blunt terms and called it ‘sin’) which were printed by a reporter he was accused of racism and homophobia.

The A&E Network moved to suspend Mr Robertson on Dec 18 because of the outcry about his comments. Following a backlash from those supporting his right to freedom of speech, A&E announced on Dec 27 that he would not be suspended after all.
The family had refused to accept Phil’s suspension – and without the family, there is no show!

Meanwhile, lunchtime school prayer meetings have been inspired by the show – click here.
Michelle Malkin wrote that he isn’t the first person to be targeted by the Left and GLAAD – read her article.
A New York Times critique of the controversy – click here.
A NYT report of the ‘re-instatement’ – click here.

Bill Muehlenberg’s articles – click here and here

4. USA: Utah and benefits for same-sex ‘marriage’

Utah held a referendum on whether marriage should only be between a man and a woman. The homosexual activists appealed against the constitutional amendment vote and the US Federal Court ruled, in December 2013, that the amendment was unconstitutional. The decision is being appealed.

However, in the wake of the federal court decision, thousands of ‘marriage’ licences were issued to homosexual couples in Utah.

Now US federal Attorney-general Eric Holder has ruled that the ‘marriages’ in Utah will  receive the same ‘benefits’ as other ‘married’ same-sex couples. He cited the recent US Supreme Court rulings on ‘marriage’. Utah’s legislators claim the federal government should have waited until the appeal process is completed before making such a ruling.

Read Citizen Link’s report – click here.

5. UN Panel questions Vatican over child abuse allegations
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is holding a special hearing in Geneva into child abuse allegations.

The Panel questioned Vatican officials about the abuse of children in the church. The officials said the Vatican wanted to act to eliminate child abuse by clergy or church personnel. They denied that there had been a ‘cover-up’. The officials said that legally the Holy See is only responsible for child abuse within the Vatican itself.

In December 2013, the Pope ‘ordered the formation of a team of experts to look into the sexual abuse of minors by the church , which he called ‘the shame of the church’.

Read the ABC’s report – click here.

6. Italy: Government RULES for journalists re homosexuality

Lifesite reports that the Italian government has issued GUIDELINES for journalists. The Ministry for Equal Opportunities has issued guidelines ordering journalists to write without “discriminating” against homosexuals and transsexuals, threatening the possibility of professional sanctions and even potential jail time.

The Ministry’s Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali (National Bureau Against Racial Discrimination, UNAR) has issued what has been called the “rainbow paper” – the document sets out national guidelines for journalists that echo point for point the assertions and demands of the international homosexualist lobby!
Read full report – click here.

News Update - 20 Dec - Homosexual 'marriage' update, forced marriage, Gambling, Age of Consent...

s-s men on cake 320x200 320x200Our final News Update for the year!

Some items are from this week – others are ‘catching up’ from while we were on holiday!  
We;ll be updating our website over January - News Updates will begin in mid January.

May God bless you all,



Australian News

1. Homosexual ‘marriage’ – Malcolm Turnbull speaks out in favour
Following the High Court’s decision, Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull has openly supported homosexual ‘marriage’ in an interview with Sky News last weekend. Turnbull talked about the nations that already allow homosexual ‘marriage’ and said, ''It does start to look as if we're the ones out of step. . . If a free vote is allowed, I will certainly vote in favour of a marriage equality bill.'' He also said that he expects that the Coalition will eventually allow a conscience vote.

Two Liberals, Senator Cory Bernardi and MP Dennis Jensen, criticised his comments, saying that, as a frontbencher, he should not be commenting on ‘fringe issues that were not party policy’. In fact, as Cory Bernardi said, “Our longstanding party policy is that marriage is between a man and a woman. We should expect that all frontbenchers will reflect party policy.” They called for him to resign from the front bench.

Unfortunately, Tony Abbott stated that, on this issue, there were a range of views and Mr Turnbull was free to express his views. He also said he didn’t expect a homosexual ‘marriage’ Bill to come before the parliament.

Labor MP and Deputy Leader Tania Plibersek has announced she will introduce a private member's bill to legalise gay marriage, but only if Mr Abbott allows a conscience vote. She is trying to get Malcolm Turnbull to co-sponsor it, but he can’t as a Cabinet Minister. Meanwhile Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has introduced ANOTHER same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill into the Senate!

- Turnbull backs free vote on marriage, Sky News, 15/12/2013.
- Tanya Plibersek seeks Malcolm Turnbull's help on gay marriage bid, SMH, 15/12/2013.
- Liberal colleagues Cory Bernardi and Dennis Jensen criticise Malcolm Turnbull over gay marriage comments, SMH, 16/12/2013.
- Abbott 'does not expect' marriage bill, Sky, 15/12/2013.
- Tony Abbott backs Malcolm Turnbull in clash with Cory Bernardi over same-sex marriageThe Australian, 17/12/2013.

2. WA: Homosexual ‘marriage’ Bill introduced
On the same day the High Court handed down its decision on the ACT same-sex 'marriage' law, a Bill to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’ was introduced into the WA parliament by Greens MP Lynn MacLaren. There is an important difference between this Bill and the ACT Bill – it attempts to set up a new SYSTEM of ‘same-sex marriage’ rather than trying to re-define marriage itself. 
Professor George Williams had advised the ACT government to re-write their Bill in similar terms.

The High Court decision has put the FULL power of ‘marriage’ with the Commonwealth (read decision and our comments), but the activists think this strategy ‘might’ still get around the High Court ruling.
Article: WA Greens MP Lynn MacLaren introduces Same Sex Marriage Bill 2013 to State Parliament, ABC, 12/12/2013.

3. Islam - Case against Q Society DISMISSED
During the recent visit to Australia by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, that was co-ordinated by the Q Society, a burqa-clad person was refused admission to a lecture held in Sydney when the person refused to remove their face covering (except to police for ID) and their burqa.

Some time later the person contacted the organiser (a third party) and wanted a refund. The organiser declined, as they had made it clear that people attending would have to undergo a range of security measures before being allowed to enter as part of the admission/ticket requirements.

The person took made a formal complaint, which led to two separate legal enquiries, the more recent involving the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal. 
The Tribunal has just DISMISSED the complaint!

Q Society's President, Debbie Robinson, reports, 'Eight months later, on the 15th November 2013 the Tribunal made the following order. "The application is dismissed because having considered the material placed before it, the Tribunal is not satisfied (at the civil standard of proof) that the grounds required to make the orders sought have been established." In other words the applicant or ticket holder lost the case and the request for a refund was dismissed.'

That's good news!

Read Debbie Robinson's important FULL report at the Q Society website:
What Hides Beneath Dark Veils

4. NSW: Trafficking - forced marriage and sexual exploitation  
An Inquiry conducted by the Community Relations Commission of NSW has found that “The exploitation of people frequently happens in family homes and businesses”.

The inquiry into human trafficking found that “exploitation continues to involve women in the sex industry, but that forced marriages and labour exploitation also occur.”

The Report documents the incidence of forced marriage – we have recently reported that this has been occurring with Muslim girls. However, the Report does not mention the words Islam or Muslim! The only mention of ‘religion’ is in the concluding paragraph, which notes that, “The lack of specific public sector data collection on basic characteristics of clients such as ethnicity, religion, and country of origin in general, shows there is a long way to go in developing reliable quantitative data on trafficked people.”
Read the Overview of the report – click here.
Read the Report (40 pages) - Inquiry into the exploitation of people through trafficking, in all its forms in NSW

5. NSW: Inquiry into the impact of gambling 
The NSW parliament is to conduct an inquiry into the social impact of gambling. The Inquiry, to be chaired by Fred Nile, will focus on the design and regulation of electronic gaming machines, access to cash and credit in and around gaming venues, the regulation of telephone and internet gambling services and gambling advertising, and the adequacy and effectiveness of problem gambling help services, public health measures to reduce risk of gambling harm, and strategies and models for consumer protection. 

The NSW Council of Churches has congratulated the Premier for conducting the Inquiry.

The Legislative Council’s Select Committee on Gambling called for submissions on 12 December.
 – Submissions close on 7 March 2014.

NSW Government Inquiry home page – click here.
Click here for the Terms of Reference.

NSW Council of Churches Media release – click here

6. Shark attack - Christian witness as surfer dies
The Australian reports that when surfer Zac Young was attacked by a shark near Coffs Harbour recently, he called for help from his mates and prayed with them before lapsing into unconsciousness and dying…. He prayed, “Please God, my lord and Saviour, help protect my friends and help me through this time of need' . . .
Story: Shark attack victim Zac Young prayed with mates before dying, The Australian, 2/12/2013.

7. Homosexuality – Australian army has homosexual cuff links! 
Bernard Gaynor reports on the latest endorsement of homosexuality by the Australian Army… 
They have issued special cuff links featuring the army emblem on a rainbow flag!
Read Bernard’s report…. ‘Gaying the Army’ 

8. Victoria – Abortion, Denis Napthine and the Liberal Party
At the beginning of December, the Victorian Liberal State Council supported a motion to move an amendment to the Victorian abortion laws to allow doctors’ conscience (Section 8). The motion was presented in response to petitions from doctors and citizens to amend the law. (Source)
That was good news!

However, Premier Denis Napthine has since said that he has no plans to change the Abortion Law. This is very disappointing. Dr Napthine voted against the law in 2008.

In early December, the media reported that the Premier may be prepared to support a move by Independent MP Geoff Shaw to amend the law (source), Dr Napthine said he would ‘assess any move by Mr Shaw - or any other MP - to wind back the existing laws on merit’. He told The Sunday Age he would allow a conscience vote on the issue. But within two days, the Premier made an online video, saying "As Premier, neither I, nor my government, have any intention of introducing legislation, that would reduce a woman's right to choose. This issue was vigorously debated in the community, and settled in the Parliament, in 2008. Let me again be crystal clear about this: I have no intention, whatsoever, of introducing, or supporting legislation that would reduce a woman’s right to choose." (source)

The reality is that the only way the law would/could be changed is through a PRIVATE Member’s Bill.


Overseas News

1. USA: Judge throws out part of Utah’s law against polygamy
It’s less than six months since the US Supreme Court struck down section of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.
Now a Judge in Utah has thrown out part of Utah’s law which prohibits polygamy, saying it is unconstitutional!

The ruling effectively decriminalises polygamy! The case was brought by Koby Brown and his wives – they were featured in the TV series ‘Sister Wives’.

That’s what happens when you REMOVE the definition of marriage as ‘one man and one woman, voluntarily joined together for life’. . .

Last week we revealed that the Australian High Court decision stated that marriage could include polygamy – and that the parliament had the power to decide what ‘marriage’ means.

Ros Phillips referred to that in her Media Release, "last Thursday’s ruling by the Australian High Court (32, 33) has paved the way for similar law changes here. The Court clearly implied that the meaning of marriage in the Constitution could include polygamy. Yet polygamy hurts women and it hurts children.”

We like Ros’ last line: “When marriage means anything, it will ultimately mean nothing.” 
Media report: Federal judge declares Utah polygamy law unconstitutional Salt Lake Ttribune, 13/12/2013.
- Includes links to several subsequent articles…

2. Pornography - feminist says pornography is destroying modern sex lives
Feminist Naomi Wolf has written an interesting article – saying the reason Britons are having LESS sex is that they are watching MORE pornography!
Article: How porn is destroying modern sex lives: Feminist writer Naomi Wolf has an unsettling explanation for why Britons are having less sex, Daily Mail, 12/12/2013.

3. USA: Support for the cake-maker!
Hundreds of people have flocked to Jack Phillips’ cake-shop to support him. This was the man referred to in the article by Albert Mohler we sent out last week.…

Jack was sued for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple.
“Last week, administrative law judge Robert Spencer made a ruling on the case. He said Phillips would have to sell gay couples wedding cakes or risk facing penalties and fines.

“On Friday, Phillips’ supporters fired back by supporting his business and making donations. . .”
Good news – common sense still exists!
Article: Hundreds turn out to support cake shop owner who refused same sex wedding, Go the Daily Dose, 16/12/2013

4. Homosexuality – Apple approves ‘gay app’ for 12 year olds
One app developer was annoyed with the ‘sex’ promoted on homosexual apps and websites… so he has developed a new app which provides info on events, ticketing, restaurants etc…

But Apple’s iTunes has approved it for those 12 and over. This new app isn’t supposed to talk about ‘sex’ – but it will exert negative influences on teens who naturally have friendships with others of the same sex that aren’t sexual. This will confuse them even more!

Article: Apple approves 'only gay social app for ages 12 and up', CNET, 14/12/2013.

5. Hallmark and the ‘fun’ ornament
US Card maker Hallmark has found itself in controversy – they produced a Christmas ornament with the words, ‘Don we now our FUN apparel’ – replacing the original ‘gay apparel’.

Lots of people were unhappy, including homosexual activists (here). Pro-family people had mixed responses - some thought Hallmark was appeasing homosexuals, whilst others supported the change as they felt that we have ‘lost’ the word ‘gay’ as it now is thought to mean homosexual!  

Hallmark issued a press release, explaining the change, on 30 October but said they wouldn’t change it back, and proceeded to continue selling the ornament!
But just a day later they issued another statement ‘Update’, apologising and saying, “we're sorry to have caused so much concern. We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn't have changed the lyrics on the ornament (both statements here).

So much for responding to the PRESSURE from activists!
Article: Hallmark's War on 'Gay' Christmas, Bloomberg Business Week, 1/11/2013.

6. Europe: Abortion not a ‘right’ – Good News!
A bit of good news coming out of Europe: The European Parliament today rejected a report that recommended that EU nations declare abortion to be a human right and to make abortion available within all public health systems of member countries. Adoption of the report would have placed more pressure on pro-life nations like Ireland, Poland and Malta to legalize abortion on demand. 

Read Lifesite’s Report – click here.

7. UK: Homosexual Peter Tatchell supports age of consent of 14

UK activist Peter Tatchell (formerly Australian) has recently said he supports an age of consent for sex of 14 – because young people are having sex by that age!
See article BY Peter Tatchell at Pink News.

He claims on his website he doesn’t support sex between children and adults… he has copped some criticism since his article was written!

However journalist Enza Ferreri has an interesting article about the PREVIOUS comments and activism by Peter Tatchell on the issue of ‘age of consent’! She points out he broke the age of consent laws when he first arrived in the UK, and that he openly criticises the CONCEPT of ‘age of consent’.

She writes, “Peter Tatchell wrote the chapter "Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent" for a book openly advocating paedophilia and finding ways "to make paedophilia acceptable". This book, published in 1986 and called The Betrayal of Youth (spelling BOY), was edited by Warren Middleton, then vice-chairperson of the now-disbanded Paedophile Information Exchange, Britain’s number one paedophile advocacy group. In the book chapter, “Tatchell wrote that that the age of sexual consent is "Re-inforcing a set of increasingly quaint, minority moral values left over from the Victorian era".

Not quite the same as he says he thinks now! What is his REAL view?
Read her article which reports on Tatchell and other homosexual activists…

8. USA: Employment Non Discrimination Act passes Senate
The US Senate has passed the controversial Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. The controversial Bill now goes to the House.

Matt Barber, writing at WorldNetDaily, says that homosexuals actually admit that the real purpose of ENDA is to outlaw Christian morality – or our right to ‘OBJECT”!  
Article: Gays’ Admit ENDA game: Outlaw Christian Morality, 12/11/2013.

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council says ‘It’s the ENDA the world as we know it!” Read his report.



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