News Update – 5 Feb 2015 – Tony Abbott, Vic election, Royal Commissions, Islam, RU 486, Three parent babies...

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Another year – and already we are overwhelmed with new proposals to change the fabric of society… This News Update catches up on some key developments of the past month, as well as recent events…

In Australia, the TGA has extended the use of the abortion drug RU 486 and the Victorian government is establishing a ‘Royal Commission into Family Violence’. Federal Liberal leadership speculation is being highlighted by news media, and tensions surrounding Islam and jihad continue.

Overseas, in the UK, there are proposals for ‘three parent babies’, and a court case regarding gender selection abortions, whilst the US Supreme Court is set to consider whether homosexual ‘marriage’ is an unalienable constitutional right. (I’ve kept some until next week, to avoid overwhelming you!)

Jenny

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News Update – 6 Feb 2015

Australian News

1. PM Tony Abbott’s SPEECH at the National Press Club – and leadership
2. Victoria – final seats in the Legislative Council
3. Royal Commission investigates Jewish Yeshiva centres
4. Actor charged with more than 100 child sex abuse offences
5. War in the Middle East “longer” – more Aussies sign up
6. Call by Islamist to form a Muslim army in Australia to establish an Islamic caliphate
7. Australian of the year awards – increasingly political
8. Victoria – Royal Commission into family violence
9. RU 486 (medical abortion) access EXTENDED to 9 weeks

Overseas News
1. UK THREE parent babies – MPs agree to change in law
2. UK: Gender selection abortion
3. USA: Supreme Court agrees to rule on question of homosexual ‘marriage’
4. UK: Oxford uni Press BANS sausages and pigs from books
5. Germany: Priest banned after speaking at ‘anti-islam protest’

Events
National Day of Prayer and Fasting - 15th February 2015

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News Update – 6 Feb 2015

Australian News

1. PM Tony Abbott’s SPEECH at the National Press Club – and leadership
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s speech on Monday 2 February, was aimed at “outlining the Government’s priorities for 2015 to grow the economy, create jobs, help families and maintain Australia’s national security.”   Read speech – click here.

One proposal that we support is his dumping of his ‘pet policy’, the Paid Parental Leave Scheme.

Mr Abbott’s leadership of the Liberal Party (and as Prime Minister) is continuing to come under attack in the media and there is unrest amongst some Liberal backbenchers.

It is important for the stability of government that these leadership speculations cease – and that the Party unites in their quest to put Australia back on a firm financial footing. We’re reminded of the instability that was caused by the leadership changes of the previous Labor government. Mr Abbott has steadfastly opposed same-sex ‘marriage’ and a carbon tax, and is far more conservative than some of the other leadership options such as Malcolm Turnbull.

Media report with key points of the speech:
Tony Abbott uses Press Club speech to warn against 'infighting'; says he has 'listened and learned' over unpopular 'captain's picks', ABC, 2/2/2015.

What can we do?
- Contact Mr Abbott to express your support - https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

- Ask your Liberal Party MPs and Senators to support the current leadership.
To email ALL federal Liberal MPs and Senators in ONE email, click here to use the Australian Family Association contact list.

2. Victoria – final seats in the Legislative Council
Following the election in November 2014, the Legislative Council contains a large number of Members from small parties: there are now five Greens MPs in the Upper House, along with two Shooters and Fishers Party MPs, a Democratic Labor Party MP, a Sex Party MP, and a Vote 1 Local Jobs MP.
Labor has 14 MLCs, Liberals have 10 and The Nationals have 6.

For Bills that are rejected by the Coalition, Labor will need to get SEVEN votes from the TEN people in the Greens and the micro parties to get legislation through parliament.

In the Legislative Assembly, Labor ended up with 47 seats, Liberals 30, The Nationals 8, The Greens gained 2 and an Independent from Shepparton was elected.

Article: Andrews Government faces bill battle in mixed Upper House, Herald Sun, 16/12/2015.

VIEW the RESULTS of the Victorian election at the VEC website.


3. Royal Commission investigates Jewish Yeshiva centres
The federal Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating the ‘role a Jewish code of silence played in the handling of abuse allegations at the Yeshivah centres in Melbourne and Sydney’.A public hearing commenced on Monday 2 February.

Article: Child sex abuse royal commission: Jewish 'code of silence' at Yeshiva centres under spotlight at inquiry, ABC, 2/2/2015.

Website - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Royal Commission - Media release about public hearings re Yeshiva Centres


4. Actor charged with more than 100 child sex abuse offences
Of course, the sexual abuse of children doesn’t just happen in ‘institutions’ - in December, Melbourne-based actor Jeremy Kewley was charged with more than 100 child sex abuse offences and for possessing child pornography. The offences are alleged to have occurred in 2011, under the guise of conducting screen tests for young boys – and the child pornography offences in 2013.
Article: Actor Jeremy Kewley charged with more than 100 child sexual offences, ABC, 19/12/2014.

 

5. War in the Middle East “longer” – more Aussies sign up
The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has warned that the war against ISIS/Islamic State could go on for a long time… the media reports that that 400 more Australians have signed up to join the ‘jihad’…

Article: Julie Bishop flags longer war as 400 Aussies sign up for jihad’s team terror, Daily Telegraph, 27/1/2015.


6. Call by Islamist to form a Muslim army in Australia to establish an Islamic caliphate
At a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally in Lakemba in January, one of the speakers, Bilal Merhi, said, “We will continue to stand up and oppose your freedom to insult our Messenger! Takbir! Allahu Akbar! Takbir! Allahu Akbar!”

Journalist Bryan Seymour attended the rally, writing that Merhi rejected the authority of Australia, and said, “Now they say are brave, they have their freedoms… yeah because you have no state, no authority, you have no representation, they can be brave! But be brave when we have authority! Come forward when we have a representation with an army! Ready to defend the honour of Allah and his Messenger. They will not. They will not. And that's what we have to understand.”

Bilal Merhi was investigated last year for “coaching children as young as six to chant extremist slogans.”

Article: Call for Muslim army in Australia, 7 News, 19/1/2015.

 

7. Australian of the year awards – increasingly political
The ‘Australian of the Year’ has traditionally been awarded, by the Australia Day Council, in recognition of long-term service to the nation. This year the award was given to Rosie Batty, for her campaigning against domestic violence. Following the incredibly sad and tragic murder of her son by his father in 2014, she has been outspoken about family violence.

The award has become increasingly political in recent times – last year the awardee was Adam Goodes, an aboriginal football player who campaigns about ‘racism’.

Rosie Batty has already called on the Prime Minister to reinstate funding for community services cut under the 2014 Budget! Mr Abbott has since announced that she will be a founding member of the COAG Advisory Panel on violence against women.

Homosexuals have also been nominated in recent years. This year, the Tasmanian of the Year for 2015 (announced in October 2014) was homosexual activist Rodney Croome – for his services to homosexual causes … and he could have been the Australian of the Year!

In 2014, the Victorian candidate for Australian of the Year was John Caldwell, nominated for his anti-bullying activities. (source) John is a homosexual - he is a patron of Joy FM and is a 2015 Midsumma Champion.



8. Victoria – Royal Commission into family violence
With all the recent publicity about the problems of family violence, the Victorian Labor government has announced that they are holding a “Royal Commission into Family Violence”.

The Premier’s Media Release says, “The Royal Commission will investigate the entire family violence support system and justice system from the ground up, including government and non-government organisations, courts, prosecutors, police, corrections and child protection. Its focus will be on preventing family violence, increasing early intervention, improving victim support, making perpetrators accountable and helping agencies better coordinate their response. The Andrews Labor Government will accept its recommendations.”

The inquiry will be conducted by Justice Marcia Neave, will begin its work in February and run for 12 months.

Read the Premier’s Media Release, 23/12/2014.

 

9. RU 486 (medical abortion) access EXTENDED to 9 weeks

Access to the abortion drug RU 486 is now controlled by the federal Therapeutic Goods Administration. In recent years they have granted access initially to a few doctors – then extended that to Marie Stopes’s abortion clinics, with them responsible for training doctors.

Now the TGA has decided to allow the RU 486 drug to be used up to 63 days (9 weeks) gestation – it was previously allowed up to 49 days (7 weeks).

Article: Medical abortion access extended, Medical Journal of Australia, 27/1/2015.

 

Overseas News

1. UK THREE parent babies – MPs agree to change in law
In the UK, MPs in the House of Commons have voted in favour of a law that will allow babies to have THREE parents

The change in the law will allow the use of genetic material from a second woman to be used during IVF processes – and is supposed to be used for cases where the mother is at risk of passing on a disease such as muscular dystrophy through mitochondrial DNA. But opponents (as we are) argued that this would amount to genetic modification of babies and the scientific consequences were unknown.

The Telegraph writes, “Under the new rules, IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) clinics will be able to replace an egg's defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor's egg. It is controversial because it would result in babies having DNA from three people – and effectively, two mothers.”

The report notes, “Experts from across the world warned that Britain would be making an ‘historic mistake’ by amending the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and said children born from the procedure were at risk of cancer and disability.  44 MEPs also wrote an open letter to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, expressing concerns about the procedure, and claiming that the UK may be breaking European laws in seeking to modify the germ line. “

In the final vote, “MPS voted in favour 382 in favour to 128 against. The House of Lords will vote on the issue next month although it is unlikely to derail the amendment.”
Article: Three-parent babies to be born in Britain as MPs say yes to law change, Telegraph, 3/2/2015.

2. UK: Gender selection abortion
This week a UK court will hear a case against Dr Prabha Silvaraman, who is accused of conspiracy to procure an illegal abortion. Christian Concern reports that, “in a concerning development, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been asked to take over the case and drop it.”

As a consequence, “Aisling Hubert launched a private prosecution, supported by the Christian Legal Centre.”

There is a move in the UK to introduce legislation to BAN gender-selection abortion.
“Fiona Bruce MP has tabled an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill that would confirm that 'gender-abortion' is illegal. The amendment already has the backing of over 70 MPs. In November, MPs backed a 10 minute rule bill with a similar aim, by a margin of 181 - 1.”

A special website, Stop Gendercide, has been set up to oppose sex selection and encourage people to campaign for changes to the law.
Click here to see the ‘’Stop Gendercide’ website.

 

3. USA: Supreme Court agrees to rule on question of homosexual ‘marriage’
In mid-January, the US Supreme Court agreed to rule on whether same-sex “marriage” is an unalienable constitutional right.

Lifesite reported, “Justices announced Friday that they had consolidated four cases from the states of Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky, scheduling two hearings for April.

"According to the Court's document, the first 90-minute session will ask, “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” The second session, scheduled to last one hour, will ask, “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”

Article: U.S. Supreme Court will rule on gay ‘marriage’ issue, Lifesite, 16/1/2015.

 

4. UK: Oxford uni Press BANS sausages and pigs from books
Yes, in order to accommodate Muslim sensitivities, the OUP has BANNED references to sausages and PUGS from children’s books. Of course, one of the most popular children’s books include Peppa Pig – which has also been objected to by Muslims…
Article: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS BANS SAUSAGES AND PIGS FROM CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO AVOID OFFENDING MUSLIMS, Breibart, 14/1/2015.

 

5. Germany: Priest banned after speaking at ‘anti-islam protest’
So much for religious freedom!

Catholic priest Paul Spaetling has been banned from preaching and the church said it rejected his comments on Islam. AP reports, “Paul Spaetling had taken part in a rally in the western city of Duisburg on Monday. It was organized by a group that associates itself with the organization Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, which has staged large weekly rallies in Dresden for about three months…”
Article: German priest muzzled for speaking at anti-Islam protest, AP, 21/1/2015.


Events

National Day of Prayer and Fasting - 15th February 2015
The ‘National Day of Prayer and Fasting’ will be held on 15th February 2015 – an event is held in Canberra, with a webcast and local events enabling everyone around Australia to participate. The Theme for 2015 is DESTINY.
MORE details next week...

Venue: Great Hall, Parliament House, Canberra – 10 am to 4 pm.
Click here for the NDOPF website.

 

News Update – 3 Dec – marriage, election, halal, welfare, Christmas gifts

News hand Fotolia 43542893 320x200A round-up of NEWS from the past fortnight. . .

This will be our FINAL News Update for 2014. I’m taking a break for a few weeks . . .

Our office will be open for a couple more weeks – it will close on 18 December and re-open on 19 January.

We pray that you will all have a joyous time at Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Jenny

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News Update - 3 December

Australian News
1. Same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill in Senate
2. States recognising ‘marriages’ under Relationships Registers
3. UPDATE - Victorian election – results and union involvement
     3.1 The votes from the Victorian election are still being counted.
     3.2 Union influence in the election…
4. Tony Abbott and the conservative vote
5. Halal certification
6. Gifts for Christmas – sharing with others in need
7. Welfare rorts – 38 members of one family!

Overseas News
1. UK: UKIP wins SEATS – second most popular party
2. USA: Muslim prayers at Washington Cathedral
3. Netherlands: Euthanasia and harvesting organs
4. UK: Bishop proposes the Qur’an be read at Charles’ coronation!
5. UN: Report from UN calls for young to get abortions WITHOUT parental notification!

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News Update - 3 December

Australian News

1. Same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill in Senate
With Sen Leyonhjelm’s Bill to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’ now in the Senate, the debate is certainly back on the agenda. David Leyonhjelm is ‘libertarian’ on a range of issues – in favour of euthanasia and ‘marriage’ for all or for none… The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, he “is not officially married to his wife of 30 years.”

Sen Leyonhjelm says he wants less intervention by the state. Apparently he says that he is not likely to bring the Bill on for a ‘vote’ until there is a reasonable chance of success – he is hoping for the Coalition to agree to a ‘conscience vote’.

The Channel 9 poll is still open– with 57% saying ‘No’ to legalising same-sex ‘marriage’ –
Result: No – 7,857 – 57% / Yes – 5,907 – 43%
Article on Senator Leyonhjelm’s Bill – and the POLL – click here.

One reporter analysed the political climate surrounding this Bill and the process, concluding ‘You can’t hurry same-sex marriage’.
Article: You can't hurry same-sex marriage, Canberra Times.


2. States recognising ‘marriages’ under Relationships Registers
Two states are now considering proposals to allow homosexual couples who have ‘married’ overseas to have their relationship registered under their State’s ‘Relationship Register’.

In Victoria, Labor and Daniel Andrews promised, in their package of homosexual rights proposals, to do just that (See Platform, LGBTI rights).

In New South Wales, homosexual activist and Independent politician, Alex Greenwich has put forward a similar proposal, introducing a Bill to amend the Relationships Register Act – called the Relationships Register Amendment (Recognition of Same-sex and Gender-diverse Relationships) Bill 2014.

On 13 November, he gave a Second Reading Speech in parliament, and issued a Media release stating that the government has now AGREED to support his proposal – a response they made to the Bill he introduced! He says that people who are ‘married’ overseas’ will be able to state they are ‘married’ on ‘relevant’ forms.

This is more evidence of Alex’s focus on homosexual rights in his political work.

Source: Media Release: Same-Sex Marriages Protected in NSW Law, Alex Greenwich, 13/11/2014.

3. UPDATE - Victorian election – results and union involvement

3.1 The votes from the Victorian election are still being counted.

Results from the Victorian Electoral Commission:
- Click here for the VEC Virtual Tally Room.
- The VEC Tally Room Legislative Assembly page gives details for each District.

ABC election analyst Antony Green provides an overview of the likely outcome of seats changing in the Legislative Assembly.
- Click here for their current assessment of seats in the Legislative Assembly (updated regularly).
- Click here for a ‘current’ view of possible seats in the Legislative Council – again this is NOT final!

3.2 Union influence in the election…
In my overview of the election, I mentioned the influence of the union movement in the election, with phone calls, appearance on polling day, etc…
This article from The Australian is quite startling as it explains the EXTENT of union involvement in the campaign:

Specifically the unions targeted SIX electorates – four sand belt seats that were polled in the lead up to the election (where the highest priority issue was said to be emergency services) and two seats (Monbulk and Bellarine) that were held by Labor but were ‘marginally Liberal’ after the re-distribution.

In these electorates they ran a $1 million campaign – using union volunteers. They dressed in fake, replica uniforms! They door-knocked 93,000 homes and made 130,000 phone calls. The Australian reports, “Unionists had 1500 people staffing 130 booths. They then identified 6000 people who were undecided across the six sandbelt seats. If the resident said their No 1 issue was healthcare, a nurse would call them and tell them what was wrong with the local hospital. Afterwards, about 73 per cent of the undecided voters committed to put the Liberals last.”

The unions say they are planning to use the SAME strategy against Tony Abbott at the next federal election.

Article: Federal poll next, say unions, after 000 victory in Victoria, The Australian, 2/12/2014


4. Tony Abbott and the conservative vote
Following on from his comments on the Victorian election, Andrew Bolt noted that Tony Abbott was more forthright in his press conference this week. However, Andrew wrote that Mr Abbott is likely to further antagonise his conservative base by promoting the ‘campaign’ to recognise aborigines in the Constitution and by his actions on 18C.

He wrote, “Which suggests Abbott’s big push on the Monday after the Victorian election is exactly not what’s needed if he wants to inspire his own troops to fight: TONY Abbott has stepped up the campaign to recognise indigenous Australians in the Constitution with a passionate and direct appeal to constitutional monarchists, the group most against reforms and the constituency he successfully led to defeat the 1999 republican referendum….”

Article: Liberals and Nationals lose loyalists in Victoria. Swing biggest in safest seats, Andrew Bolt, 1/12/2014.


5. Halal certification
An interesting development. A new website has been set up by Muslims to monitor companies that are AVOIDING paying the halal certification fee!

The website states, "Not Halal Australia is now coordinating nation wide with other halal organisations and scholars to determine companies that attempt to avoid halal certification." 

It reveals some of the true nature of the halal certification scheme, where it ‘insists’ on people getting halal certification – at a price, of course!
The website: Not Halal Australia


6. Gifts for Christmas – sharing with others in need
As you prepare for Christmas, you might consider a gift for those in need… we always give a smaller personal gift, along with a ‘Gift’ for others… it helps the children (and adults) focus on the real meaning – being thankful for God’s great gift of Jesus as we celebrate Christmas!

Some possible ideas…
Compassion, Barnabas Fund, Mercy Ships, Mukti(school and home school for children in India),Prison Fellowship Angel TreePrison Fellowship Angel Tree (gifts for children of prisoners). Or choose your own favourite organisation!

By the way, Channel 7’s Sunday Night program has a feature on Mercy Ships ‘Surgery ship’ on 14 December (see trailer).


7. Welfare rorts – 38 members of one family!
A huge amount of the Australian BUDGET is spent on social security and ‘welfare’ – in fact, in the 2014-2015 budget, it is 35.1% or $145,773,000,000! (Source)

It is essential that ‘rorts’ of the system are uncovered and dealt with… The latest reported example was uncovered by the Department of Human Services after they received a tip-off that one man wasn’t declaring his income – the DHS found 38 members of one family in western Sydney had rorted more than $2 million – 19 have had their benefits cancelled. Five people have now been referred to the Director of Public Prosecution.
As Human Services Minister, Senator Marise Payne, rightly said, “People abusing it in this way simply damage the opportunities for the appropriate delivery of payments for others. This rort was a blatant abuse of the welfare system and an offence to hard-working Australians who expect their taxes to be spent helping those in need.”

The question is, how many more cases are there?

Article: THIRTY EIGHT members of the same family rorted $2 million in welfare payments... and one even paid off their mortgage, Daily Mail Australia. 20/11/2014

Overseas News

1. UK: UKIP wins SEATS – second most popular party
With the Conservative Party moving to the LEFT with leader David Cameron’s support for homosexual ‘marriage’ and other causes, the vacuum has been filled by the UK Independence Party. In a recent by-election, “former Tory MP Mark Reckless became UKIP's second elected MP (for Rochester and Strood).”

A new opinion Poll, taken after the by-election, has put UKIP in SECOND place, after the Conservative Party but before Labour! More than three times as many people said they preferred UKIP’s Nigel Farage as Prime Minister than Labour’s Ed Milliband.

In the 2014 voting for seats in the European Parliament, UKIP won more votes than either the Conservatives or Labour (see vote here).

With the recent move to the Republicans in the USA, and now this move to UKIP in the UK, it should serve as a warning to ‘conservative’ parties in Australia that people don’t want them to move to the ‘centre’! As one Liberal MP once told us, ‘The Liberal Party has never won from the LEFT’!
Article: Poll boost for Farage as UKIP come second to Tories, Express, 24/11/2014.


2. USA: Muslim prayers at Washington Cathedral
In our last News Update, we mentioned that the Episcopal Church held ‘Muslim prayers’ at the National Cathedral in Washington.

What did they pray?
David Lazarus reports that they prayed “There is only one god, he begets not and I bear witness that Muhammad is His only servant and Apostle." He wrote, “A congregation of hundreds were lead by an Imam in declaring that “god has no son, that Jesus Christ cannot be his son, and that there is no god like Allah”.”

In effect, they were praying to REMOVE Jesus! JUST ONE WOMAN stood up to protest - saying, “America was founded on Christian principles. ... Leave our church alone!” She was escorted quickly out of the church by security guards….”

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, responded on Facebook in reaction to the Muslim prayer service:
“The National Cathedral in Washington, DC–one of the most prominent Episcopal churches in America–will host a Muslim prayer service to Allah. It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible, who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins. Jesus was clear when He said, 'I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me' (John 14:6).”

Article: Muslims Chant to Remove Jesus at Washington’s National Cathedral, Israel Today, 20/11/2014.


3. Netherlands: Euthanasia and harvesting organs
Euthanasia has been legal in the Netherlands for many years. The Remmelink report documented that people were being ‘euthanased’ without their permission being given.

Now Dutch doctors are suggesting that they should be able to ‘harvest organs’ from euthanased patients! This is expected to more than double the number of organs available for transplant.

Since organs for transplant need to be ‘harvested’ immediately after death, this would involve the doctors being even more closely involved in the ‘euthanasia’ process! It may also put more pressure on people to decide on euthanasia or killing themselves.

Wesley Smith writes of an actual case: “Dickey Ringeling, age 61, came down with a serious case of MS. Rather than live with her disabling difficulties, she wanted be killed and harvested for her organs. And so it came to pass….”

Article: Dutch doctors want to harvest organs of euthanased patients, Michael Cook, BioEdge, 29/11/2014.
Article: MS Patient “Hero” for Euthanasia/Organ Harvest, Wesley J Smith, 26/11/2014.

4. UK: Bishop proposes that the Qur’an be read at Charles’ coronation!

In the United Kingdom, the coronation of the monarch has been an explicitly Christian ceremony for hundreds of years. So why did a Church of England Bishop suggest that the coronation service for Charles begin with a reading from the Qur’an?

During a debate in the House of Lords, Lord Harries of Pentregarth said it would be a ‘creative act of accommodation’ to make Muslims feel ‘embraced’ by the nation!

The consideration of ‘interfaith elements’ might, of course, be influenced by the fact that Prince Charles himself works on interfaith dialogue projects and said, in 1994, that he would like to be the ‘Defender of Faith’ rather than the current ‘Defender of the Faith’.(Source: The Prince of Wales’ webpage on ‘Faith’)

Lord Harries is the former Bishop of Oxford and is known to be a ‘liberal’…

Thankfully a number of people and organisations strongly opposed the suggestion. , including Christian Institute and Christian Concern.

Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute think-tank said: ‘Most people will be amazed at the idea that a Christian leader would consider the use of the Koran at a Christian service in a Christian abbey. People are just so disappointed when senior Church of England figures lose confidence in the claims of the Christian faith.’

Andrea Minichiello Williams, a member of the CofE’s parliament, the General Synod, and head of the Christian Concern pressure group, said: ‘At a time when we are looking at what British values mean, we cannot have values in a vacuum. British values stem from our Christian heritage. We cannot pretend all religions are the same, or have the same benefits and outcomes for the nation.’…

Robert Spencer, of Jihad Watch, writes that Christianity and Islam are simply not compatible – he cites several passages from the Qur’an to illustrate the point.

Article: Koran should be read at Prince Charles' coronation says top bishop: Critics attack proposal and accuse Church of England of 'losing confidence' in its own traditions, Daily Mail, 29/11/2014.
Critique and commentary by Jihad Watch: Church of England bishop says Qur’an should be read at Charles’ coronation, Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, 28/11/2014.


5. UN: Report from UN calls for young to get abortions WITHOUT parental notification!
Lifesite reports, “A recent report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says that laws against abortion, sex work, drugs, and same-sex relationships impinge upon the freedoms and potential of young people. In the report, which was heavily criticized by C-FAM and the Population Research Institute's Steven Mosher, UNFPA also says that young people worldwide -- including minors -- should have unrestricted freedom to engage in contraceptive sexual intercourse and abortion without parental involvement…”

Lifesite article includes quotes from the UNFPA report: UN report promotes children’s ‘right’ to abortion without notifying parents, 28/11/2014.
Article: Media Commit ‘Cultural Imperialism’ in UN Report Pushing Abortion for Teens, Media Research Center, 19/11/2014.

 

News mike Fotolia 57267122 320x200Lots of news on the Victorian election, more attacks against those who are concerned about ‘halal certification’, prostitution and Islam in Australia and more…

Jenny

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News Update – 21 November

Australian News

1. UPDATE: Victorian election
     1.1 Our webpage on the election
     1.2 Labor’s response re the employment of Christians by religious organisations
     1.3 Religious leaders call on Labor to leave the EO laws as they are!
     1.4 Liberals announce $600,000 funding for pregnancy support services
     1.5 ACL ‘Meet your candidate’ forums
2. SA: Parliament debates prostitution
3. Albury – protests outside abortion centre lead to petition
4. Vic: NSW preachers attend Victorian country ‘pride’ event
5. Halal certification – more news from every side of the issue
6. Islam in Australia – joining the jihad, FGM
     6.1 Four Sydney brothers fly to Syria to join the jihad
     6.2 Sydney Islamic bookshops still selling books on female genital mutilation
     6.3 Newcastle: Pig’s head thrown at mosque

Overseas News
1. USA: Episcopal Church ‘adopts pro-Muslim, pro LGBT agendas
2. USA: Alabama passes law banning ‘foreign law’
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News Update – 21 November 2014

Australian News

1. UPDATE: Victorian election

1.1 Our webpage on the election
Check out our webpage on the Victorian election – it has all our election posts in one place…
Please ensure you look at the one on VOTING which I sent out yesterday – and share Mark Durie’s video on Labor’s policy on religious freedom and the freedom of association…

1.2 Labor’s response re the employment of Christians by religious organisations
I mentioned we had received a copy of Labor’s ‘standard response’ defending their policy.
I’ve attached it – don’t be persuaded by its nice-sounding words!
See our analysis of this issue – click here.

1.3 Religious leaders call on Labor to leave the EO laws as they are!
There has been a significant development – a Coalition of the state’s religious leaders have issued a Media Release, urging the Labor Party to leave the Equal Opportunity laws as they are.

The statement is signed by the Anglican Archbishop, the Catholic Archbishop, and the leaders of the Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Coptic Orthodox Churches.

It is especially significant that Archbishop Hart has signed the statement, since the Labor ‘response’ says that the Labor position is supported by the Catholic Church!
Read the Media Release:
RELIGIOUS GROUPS CALL ON ALL PARTIES TO LEAVE THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY LAWS ALONE

1.4 Liberals announce $600,000 funding for pregnancy support services
One welcome campaign announcement from the Liberal/National Coalition is that they will provide $600,000 in funding (over 4 years) to three programs that assist women in their local communities cope during pregnancy, including crisis and unplanned pregnancies  – they are Olivia’s Place (Pregnancy and Parenting Resource Centre) in Warragul, the Babes Project (eastern suburbs) and another program on the Mornington Peninsula.

1.5 ACL ‘Meet your candidate’ forums
Labor leader Daniel Andrews has agreed to participate in an ACL ‘Meet your candidates’ forum in Mulgrave on Thursday 27 November. Since the electoral re-distribution, he only holds the seat by 960 votes!
Venue & Time: 7.30 pm, Waverley Baptist Church, cnr Waverley & Lum Rds, Wheeler
This is an opportunity to hear what he has to say.
We’ve now been told by ACL that they will now ONLY take written questions at any of their forums – these are then sorted into groups and selected by the Chairman. They won’t be taking questions, or subsequent questions, from the floor. Make sure your questions are prepared in advance and carefully worded...

At one of the forums, the Liberal candidate for Buninyong, Ben Taylor, expressed concern about late term abortion – the Nationals candidate, Sonia Smith, said she supported abortion. Following the forum, she announced she wouldn’t preference him (too late, preferences were already decided) or hand out his how-to-vote cards at pre-poll! Although this may be seen as confronting, that’s what we need to know about the candidates!
Article: Victorian state election: Abortion issue throws Buninyong campaign into disarray, The Age, 18/11/2014.


2. SA: Parliament debates prostitution

Ros Phillips reports that she was in the public gallery yesterday when a number of MPs all spoke about why they would NOT support Steph Key’s bill to decriminalise prostitution in SA.
Read FamilyVoice’s Media ReleaseSA Prostitution debate continues, 21/11/2014.


3. Albury – protests outside abortion centre lead to petition
A group in Albury has set up a petition to call for ‘exclusion zones’’ outside abortion centres so that those proclaiming a pro-life message can’t go near the centre.
We oppose this petition…
Article: Extremist Catholic sect sparks campaign for abortion clinic exclusion zoness, Daily Advertiser, 19/11/2014.


4. Vic: NSW preachers attend Victorian country ‘pride’ event
Three evangelists from NSW recently attended a ‘community gay pride event’ in the Victorian country town of Yackandandah – to preach and read from the Bible.

The town hosts an annual ‘pride event’ – it seems that one of the preachers approached two homosexual men who own a local store – then three of them visited the town and a community event was held to ‘support the men’.

The Anglican minister, Father Peter MacLeod-Miller, is apparently a ‘’new convert’ to supporting same-sex ‘marriage’.

Article: Illawarra God squad raid Victorian gay pride event, Illawarra Mercury, 17/11/2014.


5. Halal certification – more news from every side of the issue
This week, Liberal backbencher George Christensen wrote a very insightful article on the halal certification issue – in particular highlighting the payment of the fees and the need to label foods if they are halal certified so consumers can make choices about what they purchase.

Blog article: Terror in the Tucker Box?, George Christensen.

Of course, media reports followed – mostly criticising his comments!
Article: George Christensen uses Vegemite to suggest halal products are funding terrorism and sharia, The Age, 19/11/2014.

The ABC’s 7.30 program ran a segment on the ‘anti-halal campaigners’ and Fleurieu Milk…

Leigh Sales introduced the segment by saying, “Across Australia, a vicious campaign against halal-certified companies is gaining momentum...”
They quoted Facebook commenters on social media pages as linking it to terrorism… whereas most groups refer to the use of the money to promote Islam, mosques and so on. 

The spokesman for Fleurieu stated that Emirates required him to obtain a ‘halal certification’ certificate – which he paid $1,000 for – even though their yogurt doesn’t contain ANY gelatine and is naturally ‘halal’!

Perhaps the question we SHOULD be asking is, “Why did Emirates demand that Fleurieu obtain a halal certification certificate in order to be able to sell their products to Emirates – when their yogurt is ‘automatically halal’ since it doesn’t contain gelatine?”

The irony here is that there is a ‘virtual war’ going on between contending ‘halal certifiers’ to get businesses to sign up with them and pay them the ’halal certification fees’! The halal certifier charging Fleurieu just $1,000 to halal certify their milk is competing with AFIC and Mr El-Mouelhy of the Halal Certification Authority (Australia) and a dozen others to gain the business!

Video & transcript of 7.30 segment: Why are some Australians campaigning against Halal and what's its effect?, 7.30, ABC, 20/11/2014.


6. Islam in Australia – joining the jihad, FGM
6.1 Four Sydney brothers fly to Syria to join the jihad
Four boys from one family have left Sydney to fly to Turkey to join the ISIS fighting in Syria. They missed their flight but re-booked to fly out from Sydney the following day. They told their parents they were going on holiday to Thailand.
Muslim leader Jamal Rifi said the brothers ‘showed no signs of radicalisation before they left, and the family believes that someone in Australia convinced them to travel to Syria’.
Article: Sydney brothers are 'simple boys' who missed flight to join Islamic State in Syria, says family, SMH, 17/11/2014.

6.2 Sydney Islamic bookshops still selling books on female genital mutilation
News.com reports that Islamic bookshops in Lakemba and Auburn are still selling books that mention female genital mutilation…
In May 2014, the NSW government tripled penalties (to 21 years jail) for anyone performing FGM and introduced a new ­offence of removing a woman or girl from NSW to have it performed.

Article: Peddling pages of barbaric savagery: Islamic shops still selling female mutilation books, News.com.au, 17/11/2014.

6.3 Newcastle: Pig’s head thrown at mosque
Police are investigating after a pig’s head was thrown at a mosque in Newcastle.

Whilst we maintain it is important to rigorously debate and analyse other religions and the impact they have on society, we do not support this sort of ‘action’.
On a personal level, we need to build relationships with Muslims, enabling a bridge to be built where we can share our faith with them.

Article: Pig's head thrown at Newcastle mosque, Newcastle Herald, 19/11/2014.

 

Overseas News

1. USA: Episcopal Church ‘adopts pro-Muslim, pro-LGBT agendas
Breitbart reports on the Episcopal Church in the USA (part of the worldwide Anglican Church) and their recent positions on Islam and the homosexual agenda.
Breitbart had previously reported on a ‘Muslim Prayer event’ held at the National Cathedral – the co-organisers “included the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), and the All-Dulles Area Muslims Society (ADAMS) Center – all of which have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The “prayers took place on the 100th anniversary of the last Caliph’s call for Jihad against nonbelievers”!

On homosexuality, Gene Robinson was the first ordained bishop in the Episcopal Church who is openly homosexual – he ‘married’ his partner and then got a ‘divorce’ from him in May this year.

Katharine Jefferts Schori is about to end her nine-year tenure as presiding bishop, the first woman elected to head a national branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In announcing her decision not to seek re-election, Jefferts Schori said, “I will continue to engage us in becoming a more fully diverse church…”

Breitbart outline a range of pro-homosexual measures in the US Episcopal Church…

Article: US Episcopal Church Has Adopted Pro-Muslim, LGBT Agendas, Breitbart News, 17/11/2014.


2. USA: Alabama passes law banning ‘foreign law’
Alabama has passed Amendment One, which “prohibits foreign law being used to decide cases in Alabama courts” by about 72 percent to 28 percent – it will be added to the state’s Constitution.

The law would mean that Islamic sharia law cannot be used as the’ basis of law’ in a child custody case in Alabama – but has wider implications than just restricting the use of sharia law.

Article: AMENDMENT BANNING 'FOREIGN LAW' IN ALABAMA CRTS PASSES & WILL BE ADDED TO CONSTITUTION, Australian Prayer Network.

 

News Update – 14 Nov – euthanasia, election, halal, SRI form, climate change

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Another eventful week – articles and information on the Human Rights survey (closes TODAY), euthanasia (in Victoria and federal Senate Committee report), Victorian election, halal certification, NEW SRI form, Climate change and more!

Jenny

News Update - 14 November 2014

Australian News
1. Human Rights – FREEDOM Survey – CLOSES today!
2. Man sentenced to 25 years for killing girlfriend’s baby
3. Euthanasia vote – POLL still OPEN to vote!4. Federal: Senate Committee REPORT on ‘euthanasia’
5. Halal certification – fees exposed
6. Victorian election – update and info
7. Anthony Mundine stands by comments on homosexuality
8. Victoria - NEW SRI form!
9. ‘Climate change’ – USA & China - IPCC 2014 Report
     9.1 – USA, China & Australia
     9.2 IPCC meeting in Denmark - 40th session
Overseas News
1. USA: Pastors at the Hitching Post & ‘marriage’

_________________________

News Update - 14 November 2014

Australian News

1. Human Rights – FREEDOM Survey – CLOSES today!
If you haven’t completed the SURVEY being conducted by the federal Human Rights Commissioner, please do it! The online Survey closes TODAY.
Alternatively, you can send a submission – and there are public meetings to attend.
READ our previous E-News post on this – click here.
COMPLETE the Survey – click here.


2. Man sentenced to 25 years for killing girlfriend’s baby
Over the years we have reported on a number of cases where the BOYFRIEND (or de facto partner) of a woman has killed her BABY - where he is NOT the biological father of the child.

There was another case this week. This case involved heroin – the man, Paul Ta-Vuong, who was at home minding the child, was said to be angry that the woman that the woman took so long to buy drugs. He was accused of beating the child and putting the child to bed - the child was later found dead in its cot. The couple had met in ‘rehabilitation’ but had resumed using heroin after leaving rehab. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Article: Vic baby killer jailed for 25 years, Herald Sun, 13/11/2014.


3. Euthanasia vote – POLL still OPEN to vote!
The opinion poll on euthanasia we mentioned earlier this week is still ACTIVE.
If you haven’t voted, PLEASE vote NO to euthanasia NOW – click here.
The poll CLOSES at midnight Friday.
The poll has changed several times – initially the result was about 65%-35% in favour of euthanasia, then it swung to 65%-35% AGAINST euthanasia and now it has swung back to 65% support for euthanasia!

The poll was prompted by a campaign from those advocating euthanasia – including Philip Nitschke and Rodney Syme. They are currently running CANDIDATES in the Victorian election.
Read the article in The Age about all the 'hard cases' they mention… click here.


4. Federal: Senate Committee REPORT on ‘euthanasia’
The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has tabled its final report into an exposure draft of federal dying with dignity legislation… the Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Exposure Draft Bill 2014 was introduced by Greens Senator Richard Di Natale.

The Committee recommended that, if the matter came before the Senate, all Senators should have a conscience vote.
Euthanasia has always been a state issue, not a federal one…
Chapter 3 of the Report addresses the serious constitutional problems surrounding the Bill.

The Committee recommended that Senator Di Natale “might address the technical and other issues raised in evidence to the committee and seek the advice of relevant experts before the Bill is taken further.”
Read the Committee’s Report – click here. Actual report as a single pdf here.


5. Halal certification – fees exposed
Over recent weeks there has been a focus by the media on ‘halal certification’ – a topic we have covered over many years.

Halal Choices, led by Kirralie Smith, have a website and shopping guide and a Facebook page – alerting people to the issue, and highlighting the number of companies that pay halal certification fees. Often they express concern that companies pay the certification fees but don’t label their food to tell consumers! The Halal Choices Facebook page and the Boycott Halal in Australia Facebook page are active sites telling people what is happening. Many of the halal certifying bodies are Islamic groups that use the money to promote Islam. Others are private businesses.

Halal Choices websiteclick here.

Kirralie has written a couple of articles recently that were posted on Larry Pickering’s site – in response to the various media articles, she has written some more responses – 7 articles and responses in all in the past few weeks – click here to read all of them.

Yesterday's article by Kirralie highlights a recent federal court case (June 2014) about the payment of halal certification fees at MULTIPLE LEVELS of the production, transport and sale of kebabs! It involves Mr Mohamed El-Mouelhy and the Halal Certification Authority of Australia. Amazing!
Article: HALAL FEES EXPOSED IN COURT JUDGMENT

Also read: Misconceptions about Halal Certification, “WAS THAT TUCKER REALLY HALAL? and The origins of Halal Certification Schemes

Larry Pickering exposes more of the problems, including Mohamed El-Mouelhy’s Facbook post this week! See Halal feels the pinch

One company, Fleurieu, which produces dairy products, decided not to continue with the halal certification. In response to their media comments, Islamic certifying groups, dairy bodies and the media have all complained about the groups that protest against halal certification – instead of asking what it is really about.

A sample of the media outpouring this week against Halal Choices and others:
Halal conspiracy theorists bullying Australian businesses, News.com.au, 12/11/2014
Fleurieu ditches Halal certification after social media 'bullying', BRW, 11/11/2014.
The people waging war on halal, NEWS.com.au, 12/11/2014.
Claims Halal certification fees fund terrorism 'absolutely wrong', ABC, 11/11/2014.
What's the big fuss about Halal certification?, ABC, 27/10/2014.
Australian company caves to Halal boycott pressure, SBS, 12/11/2014.
Businesses stay strong against anti-Halal campaigns, SBS, 12/11/2014.
Food and drink manufacturers 'have no plans' to ditch halal ..., The Guardian, 10/11/2014.
Explore in depth (45 more articles)


6. Victorian election – update and info
The election is ONLY TWO WEEKS away… If you live in Victoria, please read and share the emails we are sending out. If you don’t live in Victoria, please pray - and share the information with your Victorian friends!

So far we have published:
     #1 - Overview of election
     # 2 - Vote Compass to find out where parties stand on a range of issues
     #3 – ‘Meet your Candidate’ forums (ACL)
     #4 – Christian Values Checklist – please distribute this to friends and churches

We’ve also mentioned the FamilyVoice Surveyclick here (News Update, No 2).

On the ‘Meet your candidate’ forums, if you attend and candidates make statements that need to be CHALLENGED, please ASK QUESTIONS from the FLOOR – this week the Labor candidate for Forest Hill said she was a Catholic and had lots of children and was a member of EMILY’S LIST – a Labor group where members have to SUPPORT ABORTION! No-one challenged her! If you aren’t allowed to challenge/question, please let us know!

In the next two weeks, we will have emails on important issues current issues, such as religious freedom and abortion – as well as emails on preferences, group voting tickets and contacting your candidates to ask them THEIR VIEWS!

ALL this informationwill also be posted on our WEB PAGE for the Victorian election (available Monday).

Prayer for the Victorian election– Please come to the prayer meeting being held by the Parliamentary Prayer Network THIS SATURDAY, 15 November:
Venue: Queens Hall, Parliament House, Spring St. East Melbourne.
Time: 1 - 3.15pm
There is easy access from Parliament Station. An offering will be taken to cover costs.
Inquiries to Lynn,   Mob. 0407 525 335.


7. Anthony Mundine stands by comments on homosexuality
In November 2013, aboriginal boxer Anthony Mundine, who converted to Islam in 1999, said that homosexuality was not compatible with aboriginal law. Some media reports criticised him for his comments – particularly the Sydney Morning Herald and the producer of ‘Redfern Now’.

But he hasn’t backed down from his comments. In an interview last weekend, on Weekend Sunrise on Channel 7, he reiterated his comments about homosexuality… more criticism erupted, especially from homosexuals!

The controversy didn’t seem to affect him – yesterday he won his fight against Sergey Rabchenko.

October 2013
Article:
Anthony Mundine says homosexuality and Indigenous culture don't mix after watching Redfern Now, 1/11/2013.
Article: Anthony Mundine slammed over Redfern Now gay rant, SMH, 2/11/2014.
Recent interview:
The man behind the mouth – with video, Weekend Sunrise, 9/11/2014.
Article: Anthony Mundine stands by his homosexuality comments: ‘It’s not all right, News.com.au, 9/11/2014.


8. Victoria - NEW SRI form! Good news!
Some good news! When we reported on the resolution of the controversy surrounding ‘Special Religious Instruction’ in Victorian primary schools, we wrote that one thing STILL to be done was the design of a NEW CONSENT FORM.

We noted that the Minister for Education’s Ministerial Direction 141 stated that “A principal who offers special religious instruction in a school must obtain written advice from all parents of students at the school regarding whether their child is to participate or not participate in special religious instruction.” [Paragraph 11 (3)]

We called for the new ‘Consent Form’ to ask parents to complete the form with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ regarding their child’s participation – or not - and for the form to be returned. In line with the Minister’s statement, it means that all forms should be returned, with parents expressly making their decision known. The group lobbying against SRI in schools, FIRIS (Fairness in Religion in Schools) wasn’t happy with our request, writing about us on their blog.

The new Consent Form is now available online – and that’s what it asks parents to do. Complete and return the form with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’!

Read the NEW Consent form for SRI – click here.

Now FIRIS is writing about stopping school pageants at Christmas…
Vickie Jason, from Australian Christians, responds… Christmas described as ‘divisive and hurtful’. Really?

9. ‘Climate change’ – USA & China - IPCC 2014 Report
9.1 – USA, China & Australia
This week the USA and China made an agreement on reducing carbon emissions – they are the nations with the largest CO2 emissions. It led to more pressure being put on Australia to make a bigger commitment to reducing carbon emissions after 2020 – but Julie Bishop defended our current commitment and said Australia would make "an appropriate, relevant, and proportionate response" to other nations' post-2020 positions in the first half of 2015.

One CSIRO scientist said the US commitment still wasn’t enough – and that the world has “less than 30 years to fully decarbonise"!
Article: Climate: US-China pact to curb emissions not enough, CSIRO scientist Pep Canadell says, SMH, 13/11/2014.
Government media release: China-US Climate Change Announcement, 12/11/2014.

9.2 IPCC meeting in Denmark - 40th session
At their 40th session in Denmark (24-31 October), the IPCC released their ‘Climate Change 2014 – Synthesis Report’ 
For commentary critiquing the report, see ‘Watts Up With That’ - click here.
For News reports, click here.
Official documents:
Website for IPCC – Report featured on front page -http://www.ipcc.ch/
ACTUAL REPORT: ‘Climate Change 2014 – Synthesis Report’

ALSO available:
- Summary for Policymakers - Headline Statements - Factsheet


Overseas News

1. USA: Pastors at the Hitching Post & ‘marriage’
The battle about two pastors who run the ‘Hitching Post’ wedding chapel and provide Christian wedding services, is continuing. One big question is whether they are a ‘not-for-profit’ or ‘for-profit’ organisation. The City’s attorney said if they were a ‘non-profit’ religious organisation they would have an exemption.

The American Civil Liberties Union has unexpectedly agreed with the couple, with the Director of ACLU Idaho saying he won't pursue legal action because the Hitching Post only provides religious services and is exempted from the local ordinance!

The couple’s lawyers, Alliance Defending Freedom says they are a for-profit entity but the couple should be able to refuse to ‘marry’ homosexuals on the basis of religious freedom.

Article: Pentecostal Pastors Win Victory in Same-Sex Marriage Mandate, Charisma, 27/10/2014.

Alliance Defending Freedom’s report on the case: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: 4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HITCHING POST CASE, 25/10/2014.
_____________________________

Don’t forget the Human Rights survey – and the euthanasia POLL – both close TODAY!

 

 

News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200News from the past two weeks – catching up on last week as well, since we sent out our ‘Prayer Focus’ last week…

Jenny

News Update – 7 November

Australian News
1. Historic photo of ALL living former Prime Ministers & current PM
2. Victorian election – FamilyVoice survey – 10 Questions for political parties & candidates
3. G20 Interfaith Summit in Brisbane
4. Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels – new FILM
5. STUDY: Childcare centres foster aggression
6. Follow up – Bill Shorten’s speech at the ACL Conference
7. Follow up – face coverings in federal parliament
8. Uniting Church – ‘Uniting Network’ & ‘Unity and Friends’ call for homosexual ‘marriage’

Overseas News
1. US election – Republicans gain control of BOTH Houses
2. UK: MPs vote to ban sex-selective abortions
3. USA: Win for marriage – 6th Circuit court upholds marriage amendments
4. Pakistan: Fear for Christians after couple killed
5. UK: Christian school told to ‘promote other faiths’ or face closure
6. USA: Houston mayor has backed down on demands for ‘sermons’
7. ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ to be held in Utah, USA

_____________________________

News Update – 7 November

Australian News

1. Historic photo of ALL living former Prime Ministers & current PM
All the living former Australian Prime Minsters – plus the current PM Tony Abbott – were present at the memorial service for former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam this week.

All of them agreed to be photographed together, which is quite a rare occurrence. Choosing who would stand where must have been quite a challenge!
The photo was taken by Dan Himbrechts – from left to right: Malcolm Fraser, Julia Gillard, Bob Hawke, Tony Abbott, John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating.
Article: The 'special moment' seven surviving prime ministers were photographed together, SMH, 5/11/2014.

2. Victorian election – FamilyVoice survey – 10 Questions for political parties & candidates
FamilyVoice has published the list of TEN questions they are asking ALL candidates – and political parties – in the lead up to the Victorian election. The questions are on issues relating to family, life, faith and freedom – such as drugs, gambling, homosexuality, etc.

Two parties have already responded – as you might expect, the Sex Party and Rise Up Australia Party have VERY DIFFERENT responses!

Following the close of nominations, FamilyVoice will ask all candidates to respond. In some cases, political parties provide a response on behalf of all candidates. “The results would be posted on the FamilyVoice website in the week before the election on 29 November.”

Click here to read the TEN QUESTIONS.
RESPONSES: The responses will be posted online in the week before the election – click here.
PARTY responses will be posted here.
Media Release: Ten questions for parties contesting the Victorian election, FamilyVoice, 6/11/2014


3. G20 Interfaith Summit in Brisbane
As part of the G20 meetings in Brisbane, an ‘Interfaith Summit will be held. As you know, we’re not supportive of ‘interfaith’ initiatives…

The Interfaith Summit is being conducted by Griffith University Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue from November 16-18.

Read more at the official ‘Interfaith Summit’ website – click here.


4. Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels – new FILM
A new film by Creation Ministries addresses many of the problems with the theory of evolution. The film is currently being shown around Australia – click here for FULL details about the film.

For a list of venues and times over the next few weeks, click here. (Scroll down for your state or search on ‘Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels film launch’

A book by the same title is available – the DVD/Blu-ray of the film is also available.
You can also apply to host a screening of the documentary at your church.
More info on the film, book & DVD – click here.


5. STUDY: Childcare centres foster aggression
A study conducted by the University of Adelaide has found that childcare centres affect the behaviour of children – something we all probably knew.

The Australian reports, “CHILDREN placed in childcare centres are more likely to develop hyperactive and aggressive behaviours than those in home care, a study suggests. RESEARCHERS from the University of Adelaide monitored the development of more than 3200 children across Australia following time spent in different types of care up to age three. Based on surveys of parents and teachers, they found the length of time spent in childcare centres was directly linked to increases in problem behaviours by the age of four or five…”

Article: Childcare centres breed aggression: study, The Australian, 29/10/2014.


6. Follow up – Bill Shorten’s speech at the ACL Conference
Further to our email about Bill Shorten’s speech at the ACL conference where he spoke about ‘being a Christian and supporting ‘marriage’ for homosexuals’…

* On Bill Shorten’s religious faith – we referred to Bill Shorten and the Catholic Church.
Bill Shorten referred to his local priest at St Thomas’ Anglican Church in Moonee Ponds.
On further investigation, we discovered that this is an Anglican Church (not Catholic). Bill Shorten was raised as a Catholic and attended a Catholic school. He told Neil Mitchell in a 2012 interview that he was no longer a Catholic. He was married at St Thomas’ Anglican Church in November 2009 (source).

* Monica Doumit, a contributor to Catholic Talk, has written an analysis, point by point, of Bill Shorten’s speech to the ACL (on the section relating to the Bible and homosexual ‘marriage’… she starts with him missing the bit about being salt and light!
Article: A response to Bill Shorten's ACL keynote

* ACL provided responses to Bill Shorten’s speech:

  • An interview chat between Lyle Shelton and Bill Shorten following the speech:
    • 5 minute clip of the discussion about same-sex ‘marriage: click here.
    • Full 17 minute interview – click here.
    • For those who are asking why ACL invited Bill Shorten to speak at the conference, you can read Lyle’s explanation – he said Bill Shorten showed courage by speaking when some had urged him to stay away. Click here.
    • A couple of quotes from Bill: “I don’t disrespect anyone who holds a contrary view on this question to me” and “I’m a very imperfect Christian…”
      He noted that we need to “keep our eyes on the prize”. I immediately thought of the Biblical meaning of that (Philippians 3: 12-14) or even the folk song used in the civil rights movement, relating to Paul and Silas – but Bill Shorten went on to say it was “love and a good home life for the kids.”


7. Follow up – face coverings in federal parliament
During the recent debate on whether face coverings should be banned in federal parliament, three men set out to challenge the decision… that only Islamic niqabs were allowed, and that women wearing a niqab face covering should remove it for identification and then replace it…

Nick Folkes, from the Party for Freedom, provides an interesting account of their visit to parliament – one man wore a KKK hood and outfit, one wore a Muslim niqab and one wore a motorcycle helmet…

Read Nick’s report: Faceless in Canberra: Three men on a mission


8. Uniting Church – ‘Uniting Network’ & ‘Unity and Friends’ call for homosexual ‘marriage’
There are active groups in the Uniting Church promoting the acceptance of homosexuality – the main group is Uniting Network – the “National network of GLBTIQ members in the Uniting Church”.    At their 10th annual conference in June, the group called for ‘marriage equality’ or homosexual ‘marriage’.
MEDIA RELEASE – LGBTI Uniting Church members call for marriage equality

Unity and Friends is a group in the Uniting Church in South Australia that supports the full acceptance of homosexuality. So it perhaps isn’t surprising that they support same-sex ‘marriage’!
They recently reported on their webpage, “In 2014 various groups were invited to respond to the Doctrine Working groups report on Marriage. Here is what we sent them …”
Read the submission from Unity & Friends: UF Marriage response
It is posted on their Links and Resources page.


Overseas News

1. US election – Republicans gain control of BOTH Houses
In the mid-term elections held this week, the Republican Party gained enough seats to gain control of the Senate (the Upper House) of Congress. They also took more than 242 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

The win by the Republicans is seen as a rebuke to President Obama of the Democrats. He will remain as President until 2016, when the next Presidential election is held.

Article: US mid-term elections: Republicans gain control of both houses of US Congress, ABC, 6/11/2014.


2. UK: MPs vote to ban sex-selective abortions
Good news – the majority of MPs in the UK have voted to ban abortions for ‘sex selection’!

Christian Institute reports, “MPs have voted almost unanimously for a motion which would make sex-selective abortion explicitly illegal, after growing concern that the law is unclear. Fiona Bruce MP yesterday tabled a Bill which passed by 181 votes to one. Mrs Bruce tabled the Ten Minute Rule Bill seeking to put beyond doubt that sex-selective abortion is not permitted in UK law…”

A Bill to ban the Medicare funding of sex-selection abortions in Australia was introduced by (former DLP) Senator John Madigan – unfortunately he hasn’t had much support from other political parties.

It’s time to ask our Senators and MPs to support him – click here for contact details for federal MPs and Senators.


3. USA: Win for marriage – 6th Circuit court upholds marriage amendments
A WIN for marriage between ‘a man and a woman’.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld marriage amendments in four states that define marriage solely as the union of one man and one woman. The National Organisation for Marriage, said, “The ruling is a major victory for supporters of traditional marriage, and NOM called on the US Supreme Court to take the case when it is appealed and follow the direction of the 6th Circuit.

Brian Brown, President of NOM, said, "We have been awaiting this decision for some time and welcome it not only as a tremendous victory, but as a common sense recognition that it is not for the federal courts to substitute their judgment about whether same-sex 'marriage' is a good idea or not, but to leave it to the people to make the decision about this fundamental institution.”

Media release: National Organization for Marriage Praises 6th Circuit Ruling On Marriage; Urges US Supreme Court to Follow Suit, NOM, 6/11/2014.


4. Pakistan: Fear for Christians after couple killed
Christians in Pakistan are increasingly fearful about persecution – following the killing of a Christian couple by a mob. It is alleged that they desecrated the Koran’.

Article: Fear for Pakistan Christians after couple beaten to death, AP, 6/11/2014.


5. UK: Christian school told to ‘promote other faiths’ or face closure
Yes, things are getting that bad – if you think Christian schools are protected from the politically correct agendas of our day, think again. In the UK a Christian school has been told it must teach other faiths or it could be closed. Another recent report says that schools are also being told they must be tolerant of ‘diverse sexual orientations’.

World Net Daily reports that one suggestion was that they invite an IMAM to lead an assembly! In November 2013 the school received an ‘excellent’ rating from the government for caring for their students – “The provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent. . .”

Following the ‘Trojan Horse scandal’ about teaching in Muslim schools in Birmingham, “The U.K.’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, known as Ofsted, then established new rules requiring the active promotion of “British values” such as tolerance. Consequently, the government sent a letter to Trinity Christian School in Reading that it was failing to “meet the new requirements for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.”

The school leaders can’t believe the huge change in such a short time – the Christian Institute is considering a legal challenge and wants a review of the ‘new tolerance rules’ that insist on religious pluralism as well as promotion of the acceptance of homosexuality.

Would Muslim schools be ordered to invite a Christian minister to lead an assembly? I don’t think so. It’s time to stand up and refuse to go along with such politically correct demands – if we give in, they will ask for even more!

Article: Christians outraged by orders to teach ‘other faiths, WND, 28/10/2014

Article: Faith Schools Could Face Closure If They Don't Promote Gay Rights, Prophecy News Watch, 4/11/2014.

Lifesite report: UK gvmt tells faith-based schools they must promote gay ‘rights’, 3/11/2014.


6. USA: Houston mayor has backed down on demands for ‘sermons’
The lesbian mayor of Houston has backed down on her demands for five pastors to send their sermons and correspondence in response to a legal challenge. The mayor received more than a thousand Bibles, as well as sermons from across the USA, with her email Inbox becoming overloaded.

Bill Muehlenberg reported on the backdown, but adds that the ‘war continues’ with anti-Christian bigotry.

Christian Institute report: U-turn: Houston pastors won’t have to hand over sermons, 4/11/2014.
Article: We must all stand against anti-Christian bigotry, Bill Muehlenberg.

7. ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ to be held in Utah, USA in 2015
Many of you will remember the ‘Parliament of the World’s Religions’ that was held in Melbourne in 2009. We remember it well – we held up banners outside the venue, proclaiming “Jesus – the only way to God, Acts 4:12”, read our webpage on that here).

The next parliament will be held in Utah – at the Salt Lake Palace Convention Centre Oct. 15–19, 2015. The announcement was made recently by Parliament Chair Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, a Muslim. Salt Lake City is the centre for the Mormons – a local Mormon said “This [choosing Salt Lake City] says the Church is being taken seriously”.

Media Release: Global religious gathering coming to Utah in 2015, Salt Lake Tribune, 9/9/2014.

 

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