News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200More news on a wide range of issues… with our Prayer Focus last week, we’ve included news from the past fortnight…

Jenny

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News Update – 8 May 2015

Australian News
1. Increase in children with ‘transgender’ problems at Melbourne clinic
2. Peter Singer on Q & A - on the rights of chimpanzees
3. Rape … and comments about women walking alone at night
4. Marriage – Qantas CEO Alan Joyce pushes for homosexual ‘marriage’
5. Marriage – Labor’s Chris Bowen and Ed Husic (a Muslim) now SUPPORT homosexual ‘marriage’
6. NSW: Scripture classes attacked by FIRIS and the Greens
7. Vic: Police to wear ‘full body armour and work in pairs’
8. Victoria: Euthanasia motion fails – but a parliamentary inquiry on ‘end-of-life’
9. Federal ‘Sex Party’ de-registered
10. Peter Costello on the Bible, finance, state intervention and ‘progressive’ Christianity
11. Victorian Supreme Court hears case against ‘pro-life protesters’
12. Conference on sex offenders
13. Julie Bishop compares threat of Islamic State to ‘cold war communism’

Overseas News
1. UK: UK Elections – expected result Conservatives win – possibly in minority govt
2. Northern Ireland - Assembly rejects homosexual ‘marriage’
3. Nepal – human traffickers target children
4. USA: ‘Transgender’ - Bruce Jenner says he is a woman
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News Update – 8 May 2015

Australian News

1. Increase in children with ‘transgender’ problems at Melbourne clinic
In recent years, we have highlighted the issue of young boys deciding they are a ‘girl’, and girls deciding they are a ‘boy’. The Age featured another one of these stories last week. ‘Ollie’, who was born as a girl, Molly, has decided he is a ‘boy’ and is attending a ‘gender dysphoria’ clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital. The clinic says they had two patients in 2003 – it has grown to 104 in 2014 – and they say they are expecting MORE this year.

The children are given ‘puberty blockers’ at the age of 10 or 11, which stops development. Previously such cases had to be given approval by the Family Court, but a ruling by a Family Court judge gave a precedent that means no approval is needed. If children decide, at around 16, to take hormones, they and their family must obtain Family Court approval showing they are “Gullick competent” to give consent – and surgery cannot be done until they turn 18.

In a Four Corners program in November 2014, the Chief Justice of the Family Court Diana Bryant said she wanted this reviewed and that there could be a test case to the full bench of the Family Court, and then to the High Court, to decide if the court needed to be involved at all. She also said that the court could put in place simpler arrangements for parents and children to prove “capacity to consent”.

There is no evidence that people are born in the ‘wrong sex’ or ‘wrong gender’ – even though Justice Bryant claimed it was “innate”. It’s important to note that the Clinic’s doctors met with Justice Bryant before she made those statements! The problem is that cases brought before the Family Court are often held in private and no-one presenting an ‘alternative view’ is heard by the Court! We only hear about the cases AFTER decisions are made by the Family Court! The transgender lobby works closely with the homosexual lobby to advance their ‘rights’.

Of course, as Christians we know that God made ‘male and female’ . . . and we can’t change it!

Article: Ollie's brave journey: Gender clinic helps growing number of young transgender people, The Age, 30/4/2015.
Article: Family Court Chief Justice calls for rethink on how High Court handles cases involving transgender children, ABC, 18/11/2014.


2. Peter Singer on Q & A - on the rights of chimpanzees
On Q and A on Monday night, one of the guests was the notorious ethicist and philosopher Peter Singer, who is well known for his views on animal rights, bestiality and infanticide.
On Q and A, they didn’t go near his views on infanticide or bestiality (more info on his views below).

He was asked about a court case in New York about whether chimpanzees have ‘rights’ as a person – the chimps involved were being used for medical research. He said that the chimps are close to humans… and should have those ‘rights’. He went on to say, “I would see that the extension of these basic rights to chimpanzees would be a kind of a bridge that would help to narrow the gulf that I think we now feel exists between humans and animals.”

Q and A program, Monday 4 May, 2015 - Assault, Altruism and Emissions

On criticising Peter Singer’s views on infanticide, an excellent article by Scott Klusendorf, of Stand to Reason: Peter Singer’s Bold Defense of Infanticide

Peter Singer’s article about bestiality: Heavy Petting, 2001.

Critique of Peter Singer’s view on bestiality by Clive Hamilton, Vice Chancellor's Chair, Centre For Applied Philosophy & Public Ethics (CAPPE) at Charles Sturt University: Cory Bernardi is right, in Peter Singer’s anti-human world, The Conversation, 25/9/2012.


3. Rape … and comments about women walking alone at night
On Q & A, a question was asked about rape and comments that have been made by some people about women not walking alone at night.

The conviction of a homeless man for the tragic rape and murder of Renau Lau in a park in Melbourne was in the news last week (article here). Following the rape of an Albury teenager by three men last week, the Mayor of Albury said that women shouldn’t walk alone at night because of the dangers (article). The mayor was criticised, with some saying women should be able to walk anywhere – and that the person responsible for the rape is the man, the rapist - not the woman. Cr Kevin Mack later apologised for his comments (article).

However, his remark was similar to that of ‘Victorian Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Michael Hughes over the stabbing death of Melbourne teenager Masa Vukotic in a suburban park at night’, who said, "I suggest to people, particularly females, they shouldn't be alone in parks - I'm sorry to say that, that is the case. We just need to be a little bit more careful, a little bit more security conscious and we as a public need to look after each other."

Yes, he was criticised too!

On this issue, Peter Singer actually gave a sensible response, saying ALL people, men and women, should be careful: “I think the comments apply to men and women. They can be dangerous places. You can't expect the state to protect you everywhere. We don't really want to have a state in which there are police in every park 24/7. So I think, you know, advising people how to stay safe is a reasonable sort of thing for people to do and it's not really blaming the victim. It's just trying to reduce the incidence of victims. We know who’s to blame. There’s no question that it’s the rapist or the assaulter who’s to blame but, at the same time, using a bit of common sense to avoid being a victim, I don't see anything wrong with telling people to do that.”


4. Marriage – Qantas CEO Alan Joyce pushes for homosexual ‘marriage’
We recently reported that a number of corporations, encouraged by the Diversity Council and homosexual groups, are actively campaigning for homosexual ‘marriage’.

This week, Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas, was publically advocating for the legalisation of homosexual ‘marriage’ in Australia. That isn’t surprising, since Alan Joyce is openly homosexual. He complained that he couldn’t ‘marry’ his partner of 15 years in the country where they both have passports (ie: Australia).

On Tuesday this week, Joyce spoke at a ‘Breakfast’ organised by homosexual group Australian Marriage Equality, about “the importance of same-sex marriage to corporate Australia”. 
The Age reported that, “The CEOs of SBS, Carnival Cruises, City of Sydney, St Vincent's Hospital, Virgin Mobile, St George and ASTRA are due to attend, as well as representatives from organisations such as Google, Boston Consulting Group, NAB, American Express, Deloitte, Macquarie Bank and Westpac.”

Article: It's about a fair go: Alan Joyce on same-sex marriage, SMH, 5/5/2015.


5. Marriage – Labor’s Chris Bowen and Ed Husic (a Muslim) now SUPPORT homosexual ‘marriage’
Australian Marriage Equality is celebrating the fact that Labor’s Chris Bowen has told Sky News that he will support ‘reform’ and vote FOR homosexual ‘marriage’. Previously, Chris Bowen had voted AGAINST homosexual ‘marriage’.

His reason?
“It is our right as a citizen to get married, it should be a right applied equally," Mr Bowen said. In addition, it was ‘personal experience’: “I have friends who had to go overseas to get married, I don't think they should have to go overseas to get married as Australian citizens."

A few days later, Muslim MP Ed Husic, a Labor frontbencher from western Sydney, announced that he, too, has changed his mind and now supports ‘marriage equality’.
Then Julie Owens, the Labor shadow treasurer and also from western Sydney, said she would also now vote for homosexual ‘marriage’.

In fact, Rodney Croome now claims that, if these three MPs from WESTERN Sydney can support homosexual ‘marriage’, then other Labor MPs have ‘no excuse’ for not supporting it too. He claimed ‘the tide has turned’, stating, “The nation is increasingly comfortable with the prospect of same-sex couples marrying, and it’s time for them to come out for reform.”

This should remind us all that the homosexual activists are actively campaigning – speaking to local MPs and trying to persuade them to change their mind! They are so persistent that they are wearing down any opposition that these MPs might have had.

We need to keep contacting our federal MPs and Senators. They need to hear the OTHER side of the story!
Click here to see our page with contact details for federal MPs and Senators.

Article: Federal Labor MP Chris Bowen moves to support same-sex marriage, ABC, 3/5/2015.
Article: AME Media Release: Bowen’s Marriage equality support hailed, 3/5/2015.
Article: Muslim MP Ed Husic comes out in favour of gay marriage, GNN, 6/5/2015.
Article: Western Sydney Labor MPs set to change vote to support same-sex marriage in Parliament, ABC, 6/5/2015.
AME Media Release: Western Sydney labor support for marriage equality means other labor MPs have no more excuses, 6/5/2015.


6. NSW: Scripture classes attacked by FIRIS and the Greens
The same group that has attacked Special Religious Instruction in Victorian schools is also criticising Scripture classes in NSW public schools. Lobby group Fairness in Religions in Schools (FIRIS) has done an analysis of several texts that are used.

The Greens MP John Kaye has picked up the campaign – he and FIRIS complain that the material from the Anglican curriculum texts ‘promotes sexual abstinence outside a "lifelong relationship" and the doctrine of male headship and female submission’. So what's wrong with that?

They say a sample lesson from another provider, Seed: SRE, claims divorce happens "because of human sinfulness and ignorance".
One of the texts they criticise (they claim it links teen sex to drug addiction and alcoholism, and describes homosexuality as "misplaced sexual desire") isn’t even used in Scripture classes or curricula – it was written to be used by Christian parents with their children! It just happened to be advertised by the publisher NEAR the Scripture material!!!

Article: Scripture classes – calls for crackdown on public schools, SMH, 6/5/2015.


7. Vic: Police to wear ‘full body armour and work in pairs’
Due to a heightened terrorist risk, and the ongoing trial Sevdet Besim, Victoria Police have been told to wear ‘full body armour’ in public, only patrol in pairs, not to be at a station on their own, and not to travel to other officers’ homes in marked cars…

Article: Victoria Police to wear body armour at all times and work in pairs amid potential terror threat, 9msn, 8/5/2015.


8. Victoria: Euthanasia motion fails – but a parliamentary inquiry on ‘end-of-life’
The motion from Greens MLC Colleen Hartland, to send the matter of euthanasia to the Victorian Law Reform Commission for an Inquiry, has failed to gain support. However, the government proposed a parliamentary Inquiry into ‘end-of-life matters’. This would include palliative care and support for people when dying, and is significantly better than an inquiry into ‘euthanasia’.

The Legislative Council passed a government motion (on 7 May) that asks the Legal and Social Issues Committee of the Legislative Council to conduct an inquiry.
We will need to monitor this, make submissions and speak with our MPs.

Read Paul Russell’s report: Euthanasia 'off the table' in Victorian Parliament - for now, HOPE, 7/5/2015.


9. Federal ‘Sex Party’ de-registered
The Sex Party is complaining – the Australian Electoral Commission has de-registered the Sex Party, saying they don’t have the required 500 members.

The Sex Party is NOT happy – and say they plan to appeal. They say they have 6,000 signed statements from people saying they want to be a member… of course, the AEC CHECKS to see if people really are members – in response, the Sex Party claimed that their ‘members’ are often young people who ‘move often’ and change their address!

Apparently it won’t affect Victoria, where Sex Party president Fiona Patten is now an MLC – they are separately registered in Victoria.

Article: Australian Sex Party to "vigorously" appeal federal deregistration, GNN, 7/5/2015.


10. Peter Costello on the Bible, finance, state intervention and ‘progressive’ Christianity
“In a speech at the Centre for Independent Studies, Mr Costello cited a parable in the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 20 Verses 1-15 the labourers in the vineyard), and asked: Could this parable be illustrating a truth that is in short supply today? Could it be suggesting that people should be expected to make decisions about their lives, including economic decisions, and be expected to live with the consequences? Could it be telling us that a big part of being human is to make choices and to live with the consequences? Could it even be that we need no Nanny-State to watch over our behaviour and to protect us, in our own best interests, from the consequences of our own actions?...”

A very interesting speech where Peter compares the differing theological views (traditional and progressive) on state intervention – he asks, “Is it not entirely possible that the same could be said of today’s opinion makers? Is it possible that today’s theologians with their belief in State power and Government intervention are just reflecting the spirit of the Age?”

Media Release from CIS and Full transcript of speech by Peter Costello:
Costello: Bible suggests we should be expected to make our own decisions and live with the consequences, 29/4/2015.


11. Victorian Supreme Court hears case against ‘pro-life protesters’
The Victorian Supreme Court is hearing a case brought by the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne - an abortion clinic - against the Melbourne City Council. The Clinic claims that the Council has ‘failed to apply a law that allows protesters who are deemed a "nuisance" to be moved away’.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has sided with the abortion clinic, with Counsel for the Commission, Kate Eastman SC, saying that ‘protesters harassing women and staff should be deemed a nuisance to public health under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, which defends the rights of people to access legal health services’. She also claimed that this was ‘not inconsistent’ with the state’s Charter of Rights and Responsibilities.

Of course, the Helpers, who stand outside the clinic, do not refuse access to the clinic. Helpers of God's Precious Infants spokesman Dave Forster denied claims his group harassed or intimidated people. The Supreme Court case has been adjourned until June. It will all depend on the interpretation of the word “nuisance”! 

Meanwhile the Sex Party is trying to get the Labor government to agree to introduce ‘bubble zones’ around abortion clinics to stop people witnessing nearby…

Article: Anti-abortion protesters deemed a nuisance, The Age, 3/5/2015.


12. Conference on sex offenders
At the end of April, a conference about online safety and sex offenders was held on the Gold Coast – called the Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities Conference there were 300 delegates from around the world. The focus was ‘online safety for children’. One of the issues addressed was ‘female sex offenders’ – although only about 5% of offenders are female, organisers said this is an area that has had little research.

Article: Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities Conference to focus on female sex offenders, News.com.au, 28/4/2015.


13. Julie Bishop compares threat of Islamic State to ‘cold war communism’
In a speech to the Sydney Institute last week, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that Islamic State is “the most significant threat to the global, rules-based order to emerge in the past 70 years", since the Nazis of World War II. She stated that this included the "the rise of communism and the Cold War".

Article: Islamic State bigger threat to world order than Cold War communism: Julie Bishop, SMH, 27/4/2015.

Sydney Institute Dinner speech by Hon Julie Bishopclick here to listen.


Overseas News

1. UK: UK Elections – expected result Conservatives win – possibly in minority govt
Following the UK elections yesterday, the Conservatives are expected to win enough seats to form government, although it may be a minority government in coalition with another party. They need 326 seats for an absolute majority (650 seats in the House of Commons).
(Read news of election results here.)

Labour lost a lot of seats in Scotland, to the Scottish National Party. The Liberal Democrats lost votes, and are expected to hold about 6 seats. UKIP was expected to do well, especially with people upset by the Conservative Party’s being ‘less conservative’ – UKIP won a large number of seats to represent the UK in the European Parliament (the system is based on proportional representation where parties with 2% of the vote get representation) – however, at present it is thought they might only win 2 seats.

In the lead-up to the election, a good overview of where the parties stand on ‘Counter-Extremism’ was published by Gatestone Institute (a detailed overview with a short summary at the beginning) …

Depending on who has won the election, it should still provide useful information about how the new government will tackle Islam in Britain.

Article: Counter-Extremism and The 2015 British Elections, Gatestone Institute, 1/5/2015.


2. Northern Ireland - Assembly rejects homosexual ‘marriage’
Those promoting the legalisation of homosexual ‘marriage’ DO NOT give up! The Northern Ireland Assembly has just debated and voted on the issue for a FOURTH time! The motion, put by Sinn Féin, was defeated – by 49 votes to 47. The problem is that activists keep going, hoping they will ‘wear down’ the opposition and getting more and more people to vote FOR their proposal! And often they are very successful at that…

The health minister, Jim Wells (DUP) was criticised during the debate, for making comments linking gay relationships and child abuse. The statement was “You don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected...."

It was also confirmed last week that police are ‘investigating an incident involving a lesbian couple during a door-to-door election canvas’ – it is alleged that during a conversation with them he ‘was critical of their lifestyle’. Mr Wells has now resigned as health minister, due to his wife’s serious health problems. He has issued a public apology, saying the statement he made did not reflect his own view or that of the party.

But it seems that one cannot make such comments – even with the supporting evidence - without coming under severe criticism in the parliament and having complaints made against you!

But a referendum on homosexual ‘marriage’ is being held….

Article: Gay marriage: NI Assembly rejects motion for fourth time, BBC, 27/4/2015.

3. Nepal – human traffickers target children
Born2Fly, a group that works to stop child trafficking, reports that human traffickers are capturing children caught up in the midst of the Nepal earthquake aftermath… often disguising themselves as aid workers.

Please pray for children, as well as adults, as they cope with the situation in Nepal and neighbouring countries.

Article: Human Traffickers are Doing This in the Midst of the Earthquake Chaos; Nepal Believers are Pleading for Prayer to Stop It


4. USA: ‘Transgender’ - Bruce Jenner says he is a woman
There is a continuing push from activists to support people who decide they are the opposite gender or opposite sex…

In an in-depth interview with US ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner announced that he plans to transition to become a ‘woman’ and a ‘documentary is to be made of the ‘transition’….

Who is Bruce Jenner?
He is a former Olympic decatholon athlete. He has had three marriages, and has 10 children (six of his own and four step children) and seven grandchildren. He gained notoriety through the TV reality show about the Kardashians – he was married to Kris for nearly 24 years until 2015, and her children are his step-children.
A two part special is being made for the ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ series – click here for an article and the TV show promo.
Sources: Wikipedia overview of Bruce Jenner – click here.
Article about the interviewclick here. Much more on Google News here

 

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200I really do try and make these News Updates shorter – but there are always so many issues to deal with!

This week I’ve provided longer summaries of the ‘jihad plot’ in Melbourne and the ‘A Current Affair’ segment about the “Hillsong: Let Hope Arise” movie…. so you can get the ‘big picture’ without reading ALL the articles!

Hopefully, with the headings, you can browse and read the items that interest you!

Jenny

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News Update - 23 April 2015

Australian News
1. Anzac Day – Saturday 25 April
2. Surrogacy – Family Court judge calls for commercial surrogacy to be legalised in Australia
3. Climate funding: Govt gives money to Bjorn Lomborg Centre
4. Heart-warming story of a father and son
5. Movie about the Hillsong United band
6. Muslim teens arrested in Melbourne over alleged Anzac Day Jihad plot
7. Update - Vaccination – Government removes ‘religious’ loophole
8. Halal certification – Andrew Bolt writes

Overseas News
1. India – rape and the treatment of women
2. USA: When Christian organisations employ homosexuals
3. USA: National March for Marriage – this Saturday, 25 April

Coming Events
1. Family Council of Victoria event: CHOOSE LIFE – Bobby Schindler
2. Euthanasia conference in ADELAIDE – organised by HOPE

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News Update - 23 April 2015

Australian News

1. Anzac Day – Saturday 25 April
Every year, on Anzac Day, we remember the sacrifice of those who have defended our nation, and the Commonwealth. Of course, the actual date, 25 April 1915, marked a tragic event - the landing on Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey, fighting against the Ottoman Empire, and the deaths of thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers, the ANZACS.

Tomorrow marks the centenary of that event. Whilst we would all like to remember, and celebrate, the END of the war, this date of the start of the war for Australia is very significant. This year, leaders have encouraged more people to attend, in response to a foiled attack allegedly planned by young Muslim men in Melbourne (see item below).

Our Army, Air Force and Navy are still providing protection for our nation and participating in operations overseas. Please pray for them and their families, for protection and encouragement, on Anzac Day and in the days to come.

2. Surrogacy – Family Court judge calls for commercial surrogacy to be legalised in Australia
Recent debate about commercial surrogacy has been heighted by ‘negative’ stories about failed overseas surrogacy arrangements – baby Gammy in Thailand (info) and a case in October 2014, where only one twin was taken to Australia because the parents preferred one sex (info). As a result, the government of Thailand has now banned overseas commercial surrogacy (source).

Of course, the response of some activists is to campaign for legalised commercial surrogacy IN AUSTRALIA. Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant has recently called for Australia to legalise commercial surrogacy!

Homosexual activists have also been calling for the legalisation of commercial surrogacy – after all, they are one of the main groups using the overseas surrogates.

The article quotes Professor Jenni Millbank from the University of Technology in Sydney, an “expert in family law”. She supports the legalisation of commercial surrogacy in Australia and said, “A number of leading thinkers, policy makers and researchers in Australia are coming to a consensus that we need to liberalise domestic surrogacy."

But Jenni Millbank is a lesbian activist – it’s hardly surprising that she would agree!

And they quote Robert Reith, the President of Surrogacy Australia – but that’s the lobby group calling for legalisation of commercial surrogacy.

A typical argument is ‘legalise it so we can regulate it and make sure it is ethical’!

Of course, the problem is that it isn’t ethical. We oppose all surrogacy, whether ‘altruistic’ (no money involved, as in Australia) or commercial (paying the woman for carrying a child, as in the USA, Thailand, India and so on).

Article: Commercial surrogacy should be legalised, Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant says, ABC, 18/4/2015.
Bill Muehlenberg’s article: Promoting baby buying and selling


3. Climate funding: Govt gives money to Bjorn Lomborg Centre
The government has announced that $4 million in funding will be “given to establish Dr Bjorn Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus Centre methodology at the University of Western Australia (UWA) business school.”

Dr Lomborg is known as the ‘sceptical environmentalist’ and has said the concerns about ‘climate change’ have been overstated. The decision to fund a centre investigating ‘climate change’ was made in 2014, and several location options were considered.

Naturally, the Greens are NOT happy – initially they complained about Education Minister, Christopher Pyne – but it has now been revealed that the decision came from Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s office.

Article: Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office the origin for controversial Bjorn Lomborg centre decision, SMH, 23/4/2015.


4. Heart-warming story of a father and son
This article recounts the event of a father carrying his son, who has cerebral palsy, over the Overland Track in Tasmania… raising money for charity…

Article: Charity walk on Overland Track a success for father who carried son with cerebral palsy for a week, World Today, 20/4/2015.


5. Movie about the Hillsong United band
The media loves to criticise – and often gets the ‘facts’ wrong! This week A Current Affair on Channel 9 ran a critical story about a forthcoming movie: Hillsong: Let Hope Arise. The film, which screens in theatres on Sept 30, 2015, is about the Hillsong United band. The ACA segment claimed this movie was made BY Hillsong.

The intro to the Current Affair segment gives their slant – especially the last line: “They've been packing out church services, conferences and concerts all over Australia. Now, get ready for the major motion picture. Hillsong has gone to Hollywood, and is about to release a feature film about their band Hillsong United. But where is all the money going to go?”
Watch ACA segment: Hillsong goes to Hollywood, ACA, 21/4/2015.

The truth is that Hillsong is NOT making the movie. The idea for the production came from people in the movie industry. The film was announced in July 2014. The producers have almost completed the film, and are negotiating about distribution. Warner Bros had initially planned the documentary but pulled out in January (read article at Christian Post) A new distributor picked up the film in March, and had scheduled a release date of 29 March – but the official movie website now says the film will screen in cinemas on September 29, 2015.

The movie website explains the background to the making of the movie. The Director, Michael John Warren, writes, “I’m not a religious person, but I learned things from working with and becoming friends with the members of Hillsong UNITED. They are lovely people. They are sincerely giving. They are sincerely supportive. I don’t believe the same things they believe, but I’m learning from them and I’m taking lessons from them and I believe I’ve become a better person having spent a year studying them. Their mission — without exaggeration – is to make music to save souls. They are trying to get people to discover Jesus. That’s probably the most righteous reason to make music. Whether you’re religious or not, it’s hard to look at that and not feel good about it…” read more here.

Hillsong have responded to the ACA program:

They write, “There was no factual basis whatsoever to the story on A Current Affair about Hillsong Church, and the program made no attempt to contact us to get the facts - or even hear our perspective - before airing this piece of fiction. The movie “Let Hope Rise” is being produced by an outside production company who approached us, and Hillsong Church has not invested one cent into this movie. Furthermore, we operate like any other church financially and support people pastorally across the world. This story was yet again, nothing more than tabloid trash and we believe the vast majority of Australians view it as such.”

References:
Read Hillsong’s statement in response to the ACA story – click here.
Read Hillsong’s statement about the film and distribution – click here.
Movie website – click here.
About the movie – click here.


6. Muslim teens arrested in Melbourne over alleged Anzac Day Jihad plot
A huge operation by the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police has led to raids in Melbourne’s south-east, in Narre Warren, Hallam and Hampton Park. Several Muslim teenagers were arrested and three have now been charged. It is alleged that they were planning an attack on Anzac Day – of running over a police officer, stealing his weapon and then going on a shooting spree.

The boys were connected to the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Springvale South. Following the controversy, the Centre has announced this week that is has now CLOSED! Some Islamic leaders, and others, in Melbourne have urged police to keep a watch on the leader, Harun Mehicevic. Others, including Waleed Aly, have warned that closing the centre will send the ideas ‘underground’. But we need to expose and deal with the ideas!

The Al-Furqan Centre was “also attended by Abdul Numan Haidar, who was shot dead after stabbing two police officers in Endeavour Hills last year”. Abdul Numan Haidar was known to the teenagers who were arrested this week.

Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews spoke about the arrests, but contended that “These are not people of faith” and these are “Not matters of faith”. However, it seems very clear that they were all committed Muslims attending an Islamic Centre and influenced by other Muslims to ‘join the jihad’.

Police in the UK have also arrested a 14 year old teenager in connection with the same plot. It has also been revealed that the teenagers had close connections with called Neil Prakash, also known as Abu Khalid al-Kambodi, who is known as a key Australian recruiter for Islamic State/ISIS. He also has links to Al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Springvale South. This week, a 12 minute video by Prakesh, explaining his story from a Buddhist to a Muslim, just over a year before leaving to fight with IS, appeared online.

Controversial Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne has defended the young men – which isn’t surprising since he has been a regular speaker at the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre. He has also been linked to Numan Haider.

In the UK, Scotland Yard has increased security for Anzac Day celebrations after the arrests, and after an ISIS video was released, calling for ‘sleeper cells’ to launch attacks in the West, with the message “We want your blood, it tastes so wonderful!”

An ‘manual’ by Islamic State (ISIS) has been posted online, “instructing jihadists in the West on how best to conduct attacks. The 70-page manual - written in fluent English - instructs interested terrorists on creating one or two-man sleeper cells, having them change their names, appearances and mannerisms so as to go undetected and slip past Western security, reports IBN Live.”

Please pray for police and security agencies as they monitor such situations, and endeavour to keep our community safe.

Articles:

-      Alleged Anzac terror plots 'evil' (Daniel Andrews), Sky News, 18/4/2015.
-      Terror plot: teenagers linked to top Islamic State recruiter Abu Khalid al-Kambodi, SMH, 20/4/2015.
-      From Buddhist to jihadist: Melbourne man Neil Prakash's journey to Islamic State, Age, 23/4/2015.
-      Melbourne's Al-Furqan Islamic Centre, attended by several terrorism accused, closes its doors, ABC, 23/4/2015.
-      Australian terror plot: UK police arrest 14-year-old boy in Blackburn (UK), Guardian, 20/4/2015.
-      Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne backs Melbourne terror raid suspects, AAP, The Australian, 20/4/2015.
-      Islamic leaders urge police to keep a close watch on leader of closed Al-Furqan centre, Herald Sun, 23/4/2015.
-      Isis video threatens UK attack and calls for 'blood' as Scotland Yard reviews Anzac Day security in wake of Melbourne 'terror plot', Independent, 19/4/2015.
-      ISIS Guide Teaches How to Befriend, Rob and Kill Westerners. Read article at Israel National News – click here.


7. Update - Vaccination – Government removes ‘religious’ loophole
Last week we reported that the federal government was removing grounds for ‘conscientious objection’ for parents who did not want to vaccinate their children. . If people don’t comply then they will lose welfare benefits such as Family Tax Benefit A and childcare subsidies.

One ground was left – ‘religious’ – but only for one group, the Christian Scientists, set up by Mary Baker Eddy (info). Now the federal government has announced that NO religious group will have an exemption.

Meanwhile, last month the British government announced that they will pay compensation for patients who suffered adverse reactions from the swine flu vaccine – including narcolepsy and cataplexy, which affect sleep patterns. Around 800 children across Europe suffered complications. At present there are around 60 claimants in the UK, around 80% of whom are children. The decision to pay compensation was announced in 2013 (source), and the amount of compensation, £60 million, was announced in March 2015.

Natural News, which is concerned about vaccination, reports even more strongly than the mainstream media!

Article: No Jab, No Pay reforms: Religious exemptions for vaccination dumped, Daily Telegraph, 19/4/2015.
Article: Brain-Damaged UK Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine to Get £60 Million Compensation, IB Times, 2/3/2015.


8. Halal certification – Andrew Bolt writes
Andrew Bolt is rightly urging that the ‘hidden profits’ from halal certification should be exposed. One of his proposals is that ‘halal certification’ of export meat be done by the federal Department of Agriculture – however, whilst it might stop the funds going to mosques, that would still mean that we, as taxpayers, are paying for it!
Article: Hidden profits from halal certificates should be exposed and stopped, Herald Sun, 20/4/2015.


Overseas News

1. India – rape and the treatment of women
Two years ago, a horrific rape and murder of a young Indian woman occurred - Jyoti Singh Pandey, in Delhi. This BBC documentary was shown on Four Corners in early April. The Indian government banned it from being shown in India.

Find out what really happened, and the situation regarding rape and violence against women in India…
Four Corners: India's Daughter, ABC, 7/4/2015. (No video online at this link.)

Watch BBC documentary on You Tubeclick here.


2. USA: When Christian organisations employ homosexuals
Lifesite reports that the Catholic Bishops are facing attacks for requiring Catholic teachers NOT to support same-sex ‘marriage’…. They then reveal that ”new evidence shows that a vice-president at the bishops’ own foreign relief agency is himself “married” to another man.

Lifesite comments: “Critics say the news confirms Catholic Relief Services’ history of hiring high-level employees who openly oppose fundamental Catholic moral teachings, and raises further doubts about the organization’s stewardship of Catholic funds. . .”

They report, “Public records show that Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services’ Vice President of Overseas Finance, who has worked for the U.S. Bishops’ official international humanitarian agency since as long ago as 2001, “married” his homosexual partner in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 4, 2013.”

Lifesite notes that “Estridge has also used social media to promote his views against Church teaching.”

Although the organisation did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication, “by Monday morning, Estridge's LinkedIn and Facebook profiles were taken down.”
Article: Catholic Relief Services vice-president is in a gay ‘marriage’, promotes gay agenda, Lifesite, 20/4/2015.

 
3. USA: National March for Marriage – this Saturday, 25 April
The third annual national March for Marriage will be held in Washington DC this Saturday, 25 April.

The March, led by the National Organization for Marriage and co-sponsored by other organisations, will go to the US Supreme Court, which is soon to decide (by June 2015) on several ‘marriage’ lawsuits – as NOM says, “before they decide whether marriage as it has existed throughout our history is unconstitutional.”

Click here for the ‘March for Marriage’ website.


Coming Events

1. Family Council of Victoria event: CHOOSE LIFE – Bobby Schindler
A special event on Tuesday 19 May – Bobby Schindler is the guest speaker. He is the brother of Terry Schiavo, who died ten years ago after her estranged husband obtained a court ruling to stop feeding her.

This year I’m President of the Family Council of Victoria – so I’d love to see you there!
Date: Tuesday 19 May, 2015 – at 7.30 pm. Click here for details.


2. Euthanasia conference in ADELAIDE – organised by HOPE
If you live in Adelaide, or would like a holiday in South Australia, you might like to attend the2015 Hope International Symposium. It is being held on 22-23 May 2015.

“This event will be the first International Symposium hosted in the southern hemisphere by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International.  Previous symposia were held in New York, Vancouver, Edinburgh and Toronto.”
Visit the Conference website for details, speakers etc.

Conference website - http://conf.noeuthanasia.org.au/

HOPE website - http://www.noeuthanasia.org.au/

 

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Just a few items this week – but some in more depth…

ID for voting, vaccination and welfare, halal certification fact check, taxation (income splitting and ’bracket creep’), Hillary Clinton nominates for US President and announces support for homosexual ‘marriage’…

Jenny

_________________________________________

News Update 17 April 2015

Australian News
1. Federal parliamentary committee recommends ID for VOTING!
2. Update - NO vote on euthanasia motion
3. Halal certification – ABC does a ‘Fact Check’ on Pauline Hanson’s comments
4. ‘Hijab day’ in Dandenong
5. Taxation – rates, income splitting, bracket creep
6. Vaccination – childcare and Family Tax Benefit
7. Donor-conceived children fight for their rights

Overseas News
1. UK: Christian Concern reports victory in Lowestoft sex shop case
2. USA: Election still 18 months away – Hillary Clinton nominates for Democrats and declares SUPPORT for homosexual ‘marriage’
_________________________________

News Update 17 April 2015

Australian News

1. Federal parliamentary committee recommends ID for VOTING!
A good development – the federal parliamentary committee (Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters) that conducted an Inquiry into the last federal election has recommended that people should have to present ID in order to vote.

We welcome this proposal – we have been recommending this for many years – including to previous such Inquiries.

The Committee also recommended that voters should also be provided with a PEN instead of a PENCIL!

There was also discussion concerning minor parties and independents. The ABC reports, “Since last year, a clear majority of committee members have favoured optional preferential voting for "above the line" voting, partial preferential voting below the line, and the abolition of group voting tickets for Senate ballots.”
This is seen to be a move to limit the opportunity for very small parties to be elected.

As for the nearly 1,400 Senate ballot papers that went missing in WA, leading to another Senate election for that state, the Committee found that they may LITERALLY fallen off the back of a truck!

Parliamentary Committee INQUIRY home page: Inquiry into and report on all aspects of the conduct of the 2013 Federal Election and matters related thereto

FINAL REPORTclick here.

Article: Voters should be required to show identification, allowed to use pens for federal elections, parliamentary inquiry says, ABC, 15/4/2015.


2. Update - NO vote on euthanasia motion
Good news – the euthanasia motion that Greens MLC Colleen Hartland put to the Victorian Legislative Council wasn’t voted on when it was debated on Wednesday 15 April. The motion asked that the issue of euthanasia be sent to the Victorian Law Reform Commission for an Inquiry.
No vote was taken before the allocated time finished.

From the 18 speeches given, it seemed that the Greens didn’t have the numbers – with most Labor MLCs opposing the motion, the Labor ‘block vote’ would have been against the motion. Liberals had a ‘free vote’.

However, Greens MLC Colleen Hartland has since said that a VOTE will be taken on the motion when Parliament sits on Tuesday 5 May.
Media report: Victoria euthanasia law bid delayed, AAP, Weekly Times, 15/4/2015.

In the speeches, a range of positions were presented: Some Members supported the motion and supported euthanasia. Others supported the motion on the basis of obtaining more information, rather than supporting euthanasia itself. Others opposed the motion – whilst either opposing or being undecided on the issue of euthanasia. Some Members suggested that a parliamentary Inquiry would be more appropriate.

Thank you to those in Victoria for contacting your MLCs and Party leaders on this issue…

Some MPs commented adversely about getting emails from people outside their electorates… the important thing is to always contact your own MPs!

Click here to read the Legislative Council Hansard (draft) for Wednesday 15 April.
Page 16 – Colleen Hartland’s speech.
Other speeches follow – then begin again on Page 31.

Speeches were given by the following MPs:
Liberal – Inga Peulich - AGAINST the motion and against euthanasia.
Labor – Jaala Pulford - against motion but considering euthanasia.
Liberal – Mary Wooldridge – for motion but undecided on euthanasia.
Labor – Harriet Shing – against motion, undecided on euthanasia.
Sex Party – Fiona Patten – for motion and for euthanasia.
Liberal – Bernie Finn – against motion and against euthanasia.
DLP – Rachel Carling-Jenkins – against motion and against euthanasia.
Liberal – David Davis – against motion and undecided on euthanasia.
Liberal – Edward O’Donohue – FOR motion and FOR euthanasia.
Nationals – Damian Drum – support for motion – ‘getting more information’.
Liberal – Georgina Crozier – support for motion - ‘getting more information’.
Labor – Shaun Leane – support for motion (legal advice) and for euthanasia.
Liberal – Wendy Lovell - – support for motion – ‘getting more information’.
Labor – Cesar Melham – against motion, undecided on euthanasia.
Liberal – Simon Ramsay – for motion, undecided on euthanasia.
Labor – Gayle Tierney – against motion, undecided on euthanasia, proposed wider debate.
Labor - Mr Philip Dalidakis – against motion, undecided on euthanasia.

Further action:
Click here for MLC details – including electorates and contact information.
If you received a response from your MLC, please respond and thank them if they voted against the motion, and if they expressed concern about euthanasia.
If you live in Victoria, please continue to contact your FIVE Members in the Legislative Council.


3. Halal certification – ABC does a ‘Fact Check’ on Pauline Hanson’s comments
The ABC Fact Check unit is at it again. This time they checked the statements made by Pauline Hanson regarding halal certification. They rejected her claim that the halal certification industry was worth almost $3 trillion.

ABC Fact Check: Does halal certification fund terrorism?

BUT, as Boycott Halal in Australia responded, the figures actually came from Islamic groups involved in halal certification! Click here.

The ABC Fact Check found that there was ‘no evidence’ that funds from halal certification went to support terrorist groups (but did say they went to mosques).

However, Andrew Bolt notes that they didn’t check the ‘facts’ closely enough. He said, “I’m not sure many Australians think their purchase of food should include donations to mosques.” Then Andrew pointed out, “And the ABC curiously failed to mention past controversies surrounding two of the charities named as receiving money collected through halal certification.” They are Muslim Aid and Islamic Relief…
Andrew concluded, “The charities may well be as completely innocent as they say, but the ABC should at least have mentioned the allegations and explained why it believed the denials.”

Andrew Bolt: ABC didn’t check the halal certification closely enough, 14/4/2015.


4. ‘Hijab day’ in Dandenong
Yes, women in Dandenong, in Melbourne’s south-east, were recently called to wear an Islamic hijab for a ‘Hijab’ Day’!

The event was organised by two Muslim girls from Minaret College. They set up an information stall and provided hijabs… Just fifteen women participated in the event, which was filmed to be shown as a documentary on Greater Dandenong Council’s “Youth Channel”.

Although Council staff were involved, and the Mayor defended the organisation of the event, the event hadn’t been approved by the Council, and councillors complained that they weren’t consulted. At the following Council meeting, one Councillor asked why they didn’t call on all people to wear crucifixes to acknowledge Christianity.

Rita Panahi, a Herald Sun writer, criticised the scheme, saying, “What absolute harebrained idiocy to encourage empowered Western women to subjugate themselves in the name of diversity. Could you imagine the enormous uproar if a council put forward a plan for devout Muslim women to remove their head covering.”

She continued, “The unpalatable truth is that the root cause of much of the world’s entrenched misogyny is Islam and it manifests itself in a variety of ways including the requirement for women to cover up. This is not something to be celebrated or emulated. . .”

This isn’t the first time someone in Australia has called for ALL women to wear the hijab for a day… A ‘Headscarf Day’ was held on 29 November 2002, with the Independent Education Union, the Greens and Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja, then with the Democrats, supporting the day and wearing headscarfs or hijabs to highlight the fact that they are worn by Muslim women! (Info here, here and here)

Concerningly, Natasha Stott-Despoja has been appointed by the Abbott Coalition government as the Ambassador for Women and Girls!

Articles:
Debate over council‘s non-Muslim hijab move, Herald Sun, 9/4/2015.
City of Greater Dandenong’s hijab push backfires, Herald Sun, 14/4/2015.

Opinion article:
City of Greater Dandenong plan for non-Muslims to wear hijab ‘harebrained idiocy’, Rita Panahi, Herald Sun, 10/4/2015.


5. Taxation – rates, income splitting, bracket creep
Taxation is a perennial topic of discussion. As Benjamin Franklin said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." (source)

Of course, we would all like to pay LESS tax!

Families, especially those on a single income, are often adversely affected, as double income families gain an advantage over single income families, where the mother is at home caring for children, by having two tax thresholds (as well as having taxpayer-paid childcare benefits). Thus we have supported income splitting for families – a practice that was recently adopted by the Canadian government (source).

This week, Peter Costello wrote an article criticising the current Liberal government for having high tax rates – referring to the statement by the government of making tax "lower, simpler, fairer", he said "Lower, simpler, fairer” is looking like some kind of morbid joke. None of the above proposals is for lower tax. None would make our tax system simpler."

He mentioned that ‘bracket creep’, where the dollar amount for going into the next ‘tax bracket’ stays fixed, is a problem.

Interestingly, around the time the Howard government, and Peter Costello as Treasurer, changed the tax system, increasing the tax thresholds, Peter spoke at an Endeavour Forum meeting. I asked a question, about income splitting and about indexing the brackets so that we wouldn’t get this ‘bracket creep’ problem again – the response then was that the brackets had been substantially increased and thus we wouldn’t have the problem again for a long time! Well, that time seems to have come!

Article: Taxation: Death by a thousand (non) cuts, Peter Costello, Daily Telegraph, 14/4/2015.


6. Vaccination – childcare and Family Tax Benefit
The Abbott government has announced that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children will be punished by not receiving welfare benefits such as childcare benefits and Family Tax Benefit A – apparently up to around $15,000 per child. Whilst ‘childcare’ might be based on the fact that children mix together, taxation is another matter.

A small proportion of people, around 3%, do not vaccinate their children based on conscientious objection on a range of grounds – “personal, philosophical, religious or medical belief”.
Click here to read the current Australian “Immunisation exemption conscientious objection form”.

Mr Abbott did leave some room for ‘religious conscientious objection’ – although not named, it was inferred there was one ‘church’ that would be exempt. It has now been revealed that the religion they are referring to is Church of Christ – Scientist, also known as the Christian Scientists. Why not exemptions for OTHER religious groups or individuals?

We have monitored the ‘vaccination debate’. We recognise that illnesses such as polio and smallpox have been largely eradicated and that vaccination plays a huge part in that – but the number of vaccinations required has increased in recent years. There are also concerns that some vaccines have been manufactured using tissue from aborted babies, as well as animal products. Some parents have reported that their children have had adverse reactions following vaccination. We have also reported adverse reactions, including deaths, from the Gardasil vaccine given to teenagers to ‘prevent HPV’.

Whatever approach you might take to the vaccination issue, one of the key concerns regarding this latest announcement is the ‘stick approach’ being used by government and the issue of freedom of choice. In his article, Bill Muehlenberg deliberately tried to avoid the ‘vaccination question’, but asked, ‘If they impose this sort of condition for not vaccinating children, what OTHER impositions might government put on their citizens?’
Article: Vaccination-exempt church revealed as Christian Scientists, SMH, 15/4/2015.

Article: Support for government push to withdraw welfare payments from anti vaccination parents, SMH, 13/4/2015.

Opinion – Bill Muehlenberg: Vaccinations, the Public Good, and Big Brother

7. Donor-conceived children fight for their rights
We hear a lot about IVF and surrogacy, especially in recent times from the homosexual lobby.

However, a group of people are fighting for their rights – to know WHO the donor was

News.com.au reports, “Victoria’s laws will soon centralise all donor information (currently it is held at individual clinics). A donor conceived person will be able to make an application for information or to request contact with their donor. That request will be passed onto the donor, and they will have the chance to respond to that. It’s based on mutual levels of consent over what information is received and what levels of contact that person will have. Counselling services will also help facilitate the process. Coinciding with the change in the law, a conference on donor conception will be held in Melbourne on Saturday June 27. For more information, see Areyoudonorconceived.org

Article: Donor-conceived kids fight for their rights, News.com.au, 11/4/2015.


Overseas News

1. UK: Christian Concern reports victory in Lowestoft sex shop case
Christian Concern writes, “Councillors in Lowestoft have rejected a licensing application for the opening of a Sex Entertainment Venue in the town centre. Please join us in giving thanks for this important victory. The case was supported by the Christian Legal Centre. This was the third licensing application for a Sex Entertainment Venue to be heard by Lowestoft councillors in a period of just 12 months.”

Churches combined to campaign against the proposed sex venue.
The report includes a short 2 minute video about the case.

Christian Concern report: Victory in Lowestoft sex shop cas

2. USA: Election still 18 months away – Hillary Clinton nominates for Democrats and declares SUPPORT for homosexual ‘marriage’
Yes, it is still more than 18 months to the US election for President. We’ve already reported that Ted Cruz, a conservative Christian, has nominated for the Republicans.

Another Republican candidate, Jeb Bush, the brother of George Bush, is also planning to visit Liberty University (where Ted Cruz announced his nomination). Salon claims that he is ‘pandering to the religious right’ (see Salon article).

This week, on 12 April, Hillary Clinton nominated as a Presidential candidate for the Democrats… three days later she declared that she also announced that she now fully supports homosexual ‘marriage’, calling it a constitutional right!

In June 2014, she said "marriage had always been a matter left to the states".  This week, she changed her position.

Mind you, her views were already supportive of homosexuality. In the June 2014 interview, she stated that she supported moves by activists at the state level, saying, "I fully endorse the efforts by activists who work state-by-state and in fact that is what is working."

Her campaign announcement video (on 12 April) featured a male homosexual couple and a lesbian couple! Neither couple knew that film of them was to appear in the campaign launch. No wonder the media went looking for an answer!

Articles and information:
Campaign launch video and transcript (brief) – click here.
Also the video is online here at ABC (USA).

Article on the male homosexual couple – click here.
Article on the lesbian couple – click here.

Media reports:
Hillary Clinton has a new position on same-sex marriage
, CNN, 15/4/2015.
Hillary Clinton's Big Shift On Same-Sex Marriage, TPM, 15/4/2015.

 

News hand Fotolia 43542893 320x200With our Prayer Focus being distributed last week, we have news from the past two weeks in this News Update.

I don’t like to overload you with too many single-issue emails, so this ‘News Update’ is a bit longer than usual, to catch up on recent news.

If you’re short of time, just browse and read the summaries of the items that interest you!

So make a coffee or tea and read on!

Jenny

_______________________________

News Update – 10 April 2015

Australian News

1. PM Tony Abbott affirms halal certification
2. Same-sex adoption – South Australia and Victoria
3. Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop charged with concealing sex abuse
4. Asylum seeker breaks hunger strike after prayer vigil
5. FOUR Christian churches burnt in Melbourne
6. Second AMF marriage ad NOT SHOWN by Channel 9
7. Free speech - Reclaim Australia rallies – and counter protests
8. Federal government sets up National Taskforce on the drug ‘ice’
9. Rev Gordon Moyes dies on Easter Sunday
10. Update: same-sex ‘marriage’ and corporate support
11. Update: NSW Election result
12. Queensland politics – Government on knife edge
13. Sexual abuse of aboriginal children in WA

Overseas News
1. UK: Homosexuals 'marry' in UK Prison
2. UK: Children, sexual abuse and satanic worship
3. Kenya: Massacre of Christian university students
4. USA: President Obama wants to BAN ‘gay conversion therapy’ for youth

_____________________
 
News Update – 10 April 2015

Australian News

1. PM Tony Abbott affirms halal certification
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that Australians accept the ‘halal industry’ because they want to see ‘export markets’ grow. He made the comments following a visit to a halal-certified meat supplier in Hobart.

Mr Abbott’s comments:

QUESTION:
You're visiting a business today that prides its self on producing halal meats. There have been some calls within your own party for inquiry into certification. Do you have any concerns about the funding or where the money goes for certification fees?

PRIME MINISTER:
I'm just really pleased that a business like this is growing its exports all the time, particularly to the Middle East. If we want to export to the Middle East, we have to have certain procedures in place and this is just part of exporting to the Middle East and if we want our exports to grow all the time, this is what we need to do and I think that's what Australians want. They want to see our agricultural industries expanding, they want to see our exports growing, and good on Tasmanian Quality Meats for all the work they've done and all the employment they've created.

Perhaps he needs more POLITE letters! Contact Mr Abbott via his websiteclick here.

Doorstop interview – 30 March, 2015 – click here.

Article: Australians OK with halal industry: Prime Minister Tony Abbott, AAP, 30/3/2015.


2. Same-sex adoption – South Australia and Victoria
Homosexual activists are celebrating the fact that Labor governments in Victoria and South Australia are planning to legalise adoption by homosexuals.

2.1 Victoria
In February 2015, we reported that the Andrews Labor government in Victoria had appointed a barrister, Eamonn Moran QC, to consult with the community and organisations over the next few months about the best way to change the laws.” [Emphasis added.]

Who is the ‘community’?
You can guarantee that they didn’t want to hear from GROUPS THAT OPPOSE the legalisation of same-sex adoption! Submissions closed on March 23, and the report is due to the government in May.

Read Salt Shakers report on 24 Feb, 2015click here.

Article: Same-sex adoption a step closer in Victoria, as barrister appointed to review laws, ABC, 21/2/2015.

Government Media Release from Minister for Equality Martin Foley:
Same-sex adoption a step closer with review of laws, Media Release, 23/2/2015.


2.2 South Australia reviews ALL remaining ‘discrimination’
The South Australian government has asked the South Australian Law Reform Institute to “review all legislation to see what discrimination remains against homosexuals”. Homosexual activists see this as a move toward legalising adoption (and surrogacy and IVF) by homosexuals.

The Law Reform Institute website notes that it is a ‘current project’ for them – but there is no ‘Issues Paper’ or Questionnaire yet, and no date for ‘Submissions’.
We will let you know when the Issues Paper and Questionnaire are published.

Article: SA to review all remaining discriminatory laws, GayNewsNetwork, 11/2/2015.

Law Reform Institute: Current Projects

ACTION: If you live in South Australia or Victoria, PLEASE contact your MPs to express your opposition to adoption by homosexuals.

Victoria - Click here for contact details for MPs in Victoria.
South AustraliaClick here for SA MP contact details.

 

3. Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop charged with concealing sex abuse
NSW Police have confirmed that they have charged the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson with concealing child sex abuse. The alleged sexual abuse was committed by another priest during the 1970s in NSW.

Archbishop Wilson “strenuously denies the allegation of concealing a serious indictable offence”.

News.com.au reports, “The charge follows investigations by Strike Force Lantle — a team of NSW detectives set up to specifically investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in the 1970s by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher. Archbishop Wilson, 64, who at the time of the alleged offence in 1976 was a junior priest working in the diocese, will appear in Newcastle Court on April 30.”

Article: Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson charged with failing to report child abuse by colleague in 1970s, Adelaide Advertiser, 18/3/2015.
Statement from Archbishop Wilson: Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson Denies Charge of Concealing Child Sexual Abuse


4. Asylum seeker breaks hunger strike after prayer vigil
Saeed Hassanloo arrived in Australia from Iran in 2009, and is reported to have converted to Christianity shortly afterwards. He has been refused refugee status by the Australian government and had begun a hunger strike, which had lasted for almost 40 days.

Over the Easter weekend, a group of Christians held a prayer vigil for him outside his Perth hospital. After being shown photographs of the prayer vigil, Saeed started eating again. Refugee advocates say that he is fearful of persecution if he is returned to Iran, because of his conversion to Christianity. Please pray about this situation.

Articles: Perth vigil brings hunger strike asylum seeker Saeed Hassanloo back from brink, WA Today, 7/4/2015.
Iranian asylum seeker on hunger strike in Perth hospital reportedly near death, ABC, 31/3/2015.


5. FOUR Christian churches burnt in Melbourne
In the week leading up to Easter, FOUR Christian churches in Melbourne were destroyed by fire. Three of the churches were Catholic churches and the fourth was an Anglican church.

It was reported that the three Catholic churches were “connected to notorious paedophiles, including priests Kevin O'Donnell and Ronald Dennis Pickering”.

Andrew Bolt writes that the “leftist media” are hesitant to criticise attacks against Christianity. He begins, “CRITICISE Islam and you’re an “Islamophobe”. You risk court, as two Christian pastors in Melbourne found in 2004. But criticise Christianity — celebrate even the burning of a church — and you’re a “progressive”. The ABC is your friend. Islamophobia bad; Christophobia good.

Andrew interviewed Mark Durie on the Bolt Report on Easter Sunday, about hatred agaisnt Christians, and also about Islam.
Watch episode - click here - Mark appears at the beginning.

Article: Suspicious fire at fourth Melbourne church, The Age, 4/4/2015.

Comment: The ABC of our Islamophobia, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 9/4/2015.


6. Second AMF marriage ad NOT SHOWN by Channel 9
After scheduling and uploading the second ad by the Australian Marriage Forum group, focusing on ‘Motherhood’, Channel 9 didn’t show the ad. The ad was scheduled for the 6 pm News slot.

AMF initially contended that there was ‘censorship’ by Channel 9 (see Media Release), but then reluctantly accepted Channel 9’s ‘explanation’ that they decided that showing the ad during the CRICKET might not be suitable for younger viewers!

That’s despite the fact it wasn’t supposed to be shown during the cricket anyway!

The ad quoted former PM Julia Gillard saying “the bond between a mother and her baby” is “the most primal and sacred bond there is”. Now Ms Gillard is talking about suing the AMF for defamation!

Watch the SECOND ADclick here.

AMF explanation: EXPLANATION FROM CHANNEL 9 RE PULLING THE AD: OUR RESPONSE

AMF response re Ms Gillard: NOW A FORMER PM IS TRYING TO INTIMIDATE US!


7. Free speech - Reclaim Australia rallies – and counter protests
The notion of being able to express views that the left object to is continually being threatened in Australia. A group calling itself Reclaim Australia held rallies were held in 16 locations in capital cities and regional areas around Australia on Easter Saturday, to oppose the increasing Islamisation of Australia – specifically opposing sharia law, halal certification, FGM and the wearing of the burqa. For their outline of their aims – click here.

In Melbourne, violent scuffles broke out – with counter protesters calling themselves ‘No room for racism’ – it was reminiscent of the altercations at the ‘March for the Babies’ in 2013.

Danny Nalliah, who was a speaker at the Melbourne rally, put out a Media Release noting that the Andrews Labor government had repealed the new ‘Move On’ police powers, regarding the removal of such counter protesters, that had been introduced by the Napthine Coalition government just before the ‘World Congress of Families’ regional event in 2014.

Pauline Hanson was a speaker at the Brisbane rally – and opposed halal certification of food.

The Islamic Council of Victoria complained that Tony Abbott did not condemn the Reclaim Australia rallies. The Secretary of the ICV, Kuranda Seyit, wrote an Opinion piece – opposing the movement and any criticism of Islam.

Naturally, we oppose any violence or ‘hate speech’. However, it is important that we retain our free speech to criticise other ideologies - Islam, humanism or anything else that is opposed to Christianity. Miranda Devine makes that point in an excellent opinion piece exposing the actions of the ‘anti-racist’ protesters…

Articles:
- Reclaim Australia clashes with opposing groups at rallies around the country over extremism and tolerance, ABC, 4/4/2015.
- Victorian Islamic council criticises federal government over Reclaim Australia rallies, The Age, 6/4/2015.
- Pauline Hanson’s controversial claims on Halal certification reignite debate on issue, Nine News, 5/4/2015.
- Opinion piece: Free speech? Only if you agree with us, Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph, 8/4/2015.


8. Federal government sets up National Taskforce on the drug ‘ice’
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has announced that a National Taskforce will be set up to investigate the use and supply of the drug ‘ice’ – or methamphetamine. The government’s Media Release states, “The Commonwealth Government will be working with States and Territories to develop a National Ice Action Strategy to tackle the growing scourge of ice (crystal methamphetamine).”

The Media Release states, “The first step in developing a National Ice Action Strategy will be the establishment of a National Ice Taskforce. Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan will oversee the Taskforce and lead the government’s response to the ice issue. The Taskforce will be led by Ken Lay APM who was Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 2011 until very recently.”

-      Prime Minister’s Media Release: National Ice Taskforce, 8/4/2015.
-      Government webpage on ICE – with information, fact sheets on the drug etc – click here.


9. Rev Gordon Moyes dies on Easter Sunday
As the former leader of Wesley Mission in Sydney, Gordon Moyes increased the scope of the Mission’s work and was actively involved in working with those who were most disadvantaged. But his son David notes that preaching and evangelism was his life’s passion. Gordon said, “Essentially I am evangelist: I just want to tell people about Jesus Christ.” 

As a member of the NSW Legislative Council for nine years, representing CDP and then Family First, Gordon continued to be concerned about the disadvantaged. Gordon died on Easter Sunday after a short illness. Please pray for his wife, Beverley, and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at this time.

Gordon’s son, David, writes about Gordon’s life and ministry:
Media Release: Rev Dr Gordon Keith Moyes AC passes away, Media net, 5/4/2015.


10. Update: same-sex ‘marriage’ and corporate support
Senator Leyonhjelm has now said he is looking to begin debate on his homosexual ‘marriage’ Bill in AUGUST 2015 – following the Budget, and after parliament returns from its winter recess.

Meanwhile, large corporations are joining the PUSH for homosexual ‘marriage’, with some companies writing an Open Letter to MPs – these include Qantas, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SBS and Football Federation Australia.

The campaign is being organised by … yes, you guessed it, the Australian Marriage Equality group led by Rodney Croome. The campaign is also being promoted by the Diversity Council of Australia. This Council was originally begun to promote workplace equality for women, but has expanded to include ALL diversity. Chief executive Lisa Annese said, "The business benefits of marriage equality to corporate Australia go beyond just the significant financial gains. Marriage equality will truly cement workplace fairness and inclusion for the LGBTI community."

What about those who DON'T support homosexual ‘marriage’ – they seem to be overlooked and ignored!

The article notes that, “Over the past decade, organisations such as Telstra, Optus, ANZ, Westpac, IBM and David Jones have indicated their support for same-sex marriage. The Diversity Council of Australia is now urging others in corporate Australia to come forward and support the current campaign.”

Article: Corporate giants join push for same-sex marriage, SMH, 31/3/2015.


11. Update: NSW Election result
The Liberal/Nationals Coalition has been returned to government in New South Wales. There was a swing to the Labor Party of more than 9%, and the Coalition lost about 14 seats.

The official election results are online – http://vtr.elections.nsw.gov.au/

For Legislative Assembly results for each electorate, click here.
The results are not final yet – Lismore and Ballina were only decided two days ago – source.

Initially, the Greens were expected to win four seats in the Legislative Assembly, which Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce attributed to preference flows rather than ‘primary votes’ (source)

Labor is angry at Martin Ferguson, because of his support for the Coalition’s plan to “to lease a 49 per cent stake of state's poles and wires to the private sector and spend the proceeds on new infrastructure”. Mr Ferguson is being threatened with expulsion from the Labor Party (source)

The ABC has an interesting interactive map showing the CHANGE in support for the major parties in the Legislative Assembly since 2011 – click here.
Changing seats – click here for list of seats that changed hands.

Legislative Council:
For the first preference votes for political parties in the Legislative Council – click here.
The CDP gained 100,649 votes or 2.52% of the votes, whilst the Greens obtained 351,696 or 8.79% of the votes.


12. Queensland politics – Government on knife edge
The Queensland Labor Party currently holds power only with the support of Independent MP Peter Wellington – and two MPs from the Shooters and Fishers Party.

Last week, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszscuk, called on Labor MP, Billy Gordon, to resign when the media revealed that he had previous criminal convictions that he had not declared before the election, as well as allegations of domestic violence.

Mr Gordon said he should have declared his criminal convictions, but denied the accusations of domestic violence. Mr Gordon, an aboriginal man, has resigned from the Labor Party, but not from parliament. The Premier and aboriginal Labor leader, Warren Mundine have called on him to resign from parliament. Meanwhile, Cape York Indigenous leader Noel Pearson said it should be up to the people of the Queensland electorate of Cook to decide if Mr Gordon should leave Parliament.

Former Nationals Senator Bill O’Chee declared that the Premier should call a new election.

If Mr Gordon resigns, a bi-election would be held, and Labor’s ‘government’ would be threatened.

Article: Billy Gordon denies domestic violence allegations, vows to remain in Queensland Parliament, ABC, 1/4/2015.

Article: Annastacia Palaszczuk should call an election over Billy Gordon affair, Brisbane Times, 1/4/2015.


13. Sexual abuse of aboriginal children in WA
Karl O’Callaghan, the WA Police Commissioner, writes about the sexual abuse of aboriginal children in WA – saying the reality is far worse than previously thought.

He compellingly concludes, “In the past few days I have seen images of people trying to save whales at Bunbury and dolphins in the Serpentine River, to get them back to a place where they can survive and thrive. It’s a pity we are not all showing the same resolve for children in our remote communities.”

Article: Reality of Aboriginal child abuse far worse, Karl O’Callaghan, West Australian, 30/3/2015.


Overseas News

1. UK: Homosexuals marry in UK Prison
Two homosexual men, who are both serving life sentences for murder, have ‘married’ in prison…

We have separate prisons for men and women – put homosexuality into the equation and it makes a mockery of the reasons for keeping men and woman separate!

Article: Convicted gay killers are first couple to marry in a UK prison, Gaystarnews, 28/3/2015.


2. UK: Children, sexual abuse and satanic worship
In recent months, there have been revelations regarding child abuse and satanic worship connected with British investigations into child sexual abuse and a pedophile ring and the arrest of Jimmy Saville. A Taskforce has been set up to investigate the VIP pedophile sex ring alleged to have operated in Westminster in the 1980s. A Bishop has recently named former Tory MP Enoch Powell.

These allegations of satanic abuse are serious and need to be carefully investigated. However, some allegations are used for other ends – the British High Court ruled last month that a mother and her partner had tortured her children, forcing them to claim that their father was the head of a satanic cult – in order to prevent the father from having custody (article).

Meanwhile, satanic groups are actively trying to ‘appeal’ to children. Late last year, the Satanic Temple in Florida, USA claimed they should be able to hand out colouring books to high school students that feature children performing satanic rituals! As a result, the School Board considered banning the distribution of ALL religious materials.

In January 2015, it was reported that Florida schools were handing out the activity books, called ‘The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities’.

The Florida School Board then voted, by 7 to 1, in early February, to ban the distribution of all religious material so that this book could not be handed out.

Article: Bishop names late Tory MP Enoch Powell in child sex abuse, satanic worship ..., RT, 30/3/2015.

Article: Satanic worship group seeks to hand out coloring books to high ..., Daily Mail, 15/11/2014.

Article: Florida schools hand out Satanic colouring books to children, Metro, 20/1/2015.

Article: Florida School Board Bans Bibles to Prevent Satanic Group From Giving Books to Students, Christian Post, 11/2/2015.


3. Kenya: Massacre of Christian university students
An Islamic group has attacked and killed university students in Kenya – actively seeking out Christians to kill.

Bill Muehlenberg writes… “Another Islamic massacre of Christians. Believers all over the world are going through the most horrific persecution, torture and murder, yet all some Western preachers can do is blabber on and on about ‘your best life now’.
Article: Your best life now - not


4. USA: President Obama wants to BAN ‘gay conversion therapy’ for youth
In his latest statement regarding homosexuality, President Obama has called for an end to ‘gay conversion therapy’ for young lgbt people.

So much for those who want to change or want to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction! 

Truth Revolt reports that ‘The USA White House wants to make the path from normal sexuality to homosexuality/lesbianism a "one-way" street.

Media report: Obama calls for end to conversion therapy for lgbt youth, ABC, 9/4/2015.

 

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200A wide range of challenges are facing us…

As John Anderson, former Deputy PM, said on radio this week, we are in serious trouble in the West. He encouraged us to know, and practise, our Christian worldview! (See item 3)

This week we are reading Ecclesiastes, which reminded us that we are to stand firm in trusting and following God and His Word, despite what the world is doing!

Jenny

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News Update 27 March 2015

Australian News
1. Senator Bernardi calls for parliamentary inquiry into halal certification
2. NSW Election – Voting BELOW the line in the Legislative Council!
3. NSW election - Twenty-Twenty podcast – one hour panel
4. Marriage and children ads by Australian Marriage Forum
5. SBS – marriage ad and mardi gras
6. Family Violence – caring for ALL the victims
7. Homosexual activists continuing to CAMPAIGN
8. Special Religious Instruction – now we have the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’

Overseas News
1. USA: Largest Presbyterian denomination supports homosexual ‘marriage’ and ordains lesbian couple
2. UK: Street preacher convicted
3. Ireland: Ashers Baking Co under threat

Ongoing action
1. Marriage Update – the KEY is contacting our MPs
2. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards – close 3 April
3. FamilyVoice Campaign – Letters to Mr Abbott opposing funding for ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ – extended to END of March

 
___________________________________________

News Update 27 March 2015

Australian News

1. Senator Bernardi calls for parliamentary inquiry into halal certification
Cory Bernardi, Liberal Senator for South Australia, has been outspoken about Islam and halal certification. This week he announced that he is planning to call for a parliamentary inquiry into halal certification. Cory mentioned the Halal Choices website, and the fact that Kirralie is facing a legal challenge.

Cory wrote, “No one has been able to explain why water, milk and cat food need halal certification. No one has been able to explain all the groups involved in the certification racket and where the money paid actually ends up. I have seen emails from purported halal certification entrepreneurs that do not inspire any confidence in the integrity or intent of such schemes…”

Cory’s blog: Getting to the bottom of the halal certification racket, Cory Bernardi, 25/3/2015.


2. NSW Election – Voting BELOW the line in the Legislative Council!
In our NSW election overview, we explained how voting works. In the Legislative Council, voters can vote above the line (either by just putting a 1 in the box of the Party of their choice OR by numbering any number of Party boxes in order) OR BELOW the line where voters must put numbers in at least 15 boxes. We’ve explained that you can vote FIRST for a SMALL Party (or two…), such as CDP, and then number other major parties, without wasting your vote!

Unfortunately, numbering ABOVE the line means accepting the ORDER of the candidates as specified by the PARTY.

We encourage you to vote BELOW the line – if you do this you MUST fill in at least 15 numbers. We urge you to vote for as many candidates as you are happy ‘endorsing’ and include at least one ‘major party’. If choosing to vote for, say, CDP, it is important that you follow your ‘small party preferences’ with people from the large parties, so your vote isn’t wasted. [Note: Giving CDP a ‘2’ after’ giving the Coalition a ‘1’ will NOT benefit CDP!]

It is important to note that SOME candidates at the TOP of the Liberal/National Legislative Council group list are far from conservative.

So, when choosing to vote for the Liberal/Nationals please choose carefully!
In their Grouped List, click here, then choose ‘Legislative Council Candidates by Group and Ungrouped’, then “NSW Group E - LIBERAL / NATIONALS”.

For instance, when you come to choosing candidates in Group E, you could choose No 3, Matthew Mason-Cox, then go to the fifth candidate Bronnie Taylor and so on…

Check our NSW election overview and the NSW Election Surveys and Guides email for more information.


3. NSW election - Twenty-Twenty podcast – one hour panel
Vision Radio’s Twenty-Twenty host, Neil Johnson, held a one-hour panel discussion (Thursday 26 March) on the NSW election.

The panel consisted of John Anderson, former Nationals leader and deputy PM, Ros Phillips (Family Voice), Mark Makowiecki (Australian Christian Lobby) and Jenny Stokes (Salt Shakers).
Click here to listen to the podcast.

4. Marriage and children ads by Australian Marriage Forum
The first ad screened on TV by the Australian Marriage Forum, speaking of the effect on children from legalising homosexual ‘marriage’, has been seen by more than half a million people.
Watch the ad – click here.

AMF is now planning to screen a second ad on Sunday 29 March, in the 6 pm Channel 9 News in all State and Territory capitals.
It will be posted on their You Tube page after Sunday evening.

Article by David van Gend: Saying sorry means not doing it again, Online Opinion, 23/3/2015.


5. SBS – marriage ad and mardi gras
SBS has responded to complaints about showing the mardi gras by saying they fully support the program and it is very ‘popular’!

Perhaps that isn’t surprising... Andrew Bolt pointed out that Michael Ebeid, the managing director of SBS, is openly homosexual!

Andrew highlighted the fact that SBS REFUSED to show the ad supporting marriage between a man and a woman – but has been showing a sleazy Ashley Madison ad, promoting adultery.

Andrew wrote, “He ‘Mr Ebeid] also signed up SBS as the official broadcaster of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and staff were asked by email to “pop, sparkle and shimmy down Oxford St behind the SBS float”, which some might take as a message to get on board.

STILL, why presume Ebeid wouldn’t allow others to defend gay marriage? It’s not his SBS but ours.”

Article: Andrew Bolt: SBS takes a controversial stance on family values, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 18/3/2015.


6. Family Violence – caring for ALL the victims
With the current awareness of family violence, the Royal Commission in Victoria and Rosie Batty being the Australian of the Year, a group of people, including academics and social workers, are highlighting what they say is an unseen aspect of ‘family violence’.

Called ‘One in Three’, they highlight the data that reveals one in three victims of family violence are male.

We need to be concerned about all those who experience violence… teaching a culture of kindness and respect, and ‘no meanness’ is part of the solution.

Website: http://www.oneinthree.com.au/

Article: We need to speak out for all victims of family violence, Roger Smith, Online Opinion, 2/3/2015.


7. Homosexual activists continuing to CAMPAIGN
The homosexual activists are actively and persistently campaigning – they do NOT give up!
Of course, the fact that they change direction, and argue about ‘strategy’, doesn’t get in the way of their efforts.

Browsing through the Australian Marriage Equality Media Releases on their website highlights the extensive efforts they are making. In this media release, Ivan Hinton-Teoh said that ‘support for marriage equality within the Coalition is high than ever’.

He said, “I have spent most of this week meeting with Coalition members and I can confidently say that support for marriage equality is higher than ever. It’s time for these members to be free to vote for what they and the majority of Australians believe.”

A sample of Media Releases and posts:

8. Special Religious Instruction – now we have the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’
In New South Wales, the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’ has applied for permission to teach religion in NSW Schools. They say they are ‘pastafarians’ and claim to have millions of members.

In November 2014, Greens MP John Kaye even moved a motion in the NSW parliament urging that their application be taken seriously!

Their application wasn’t approved, so they have now taken a complaint to the Ombudsman.
Read their Facebook page for full details… click here.

Now the group has applied to the Victorian Education Department – wanting to be approved as a ‘provider’ of religious instruction in schools!

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Yes, it is rather a spoof… but ‘followers’ are said to believe a ‘spaghetti monster’ created the universe and they wear ‘religious head-gear’ – a colander – and pirate costumes!

The ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ idea comes from a statement by Richard Dawkins in an article titled ‘Why there almost certainly is no God: “We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very, very improbable.”

Article: Victoria - Victorian schools to get a pasta class in religion, The Age, 20/3/2015.

Article: NSW - Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, SMH, 23/11/2014.


Overseas News

1. USA: Largest Presbyterian denomination supports homosexual ‘marriage’ and ordains lesbian couple
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the largest (and most liberal) of the Presbyterian Churches in the USA, has voted to support homosexual ‘marriage’…

Having voted to move in that direction last year, they got the ‘required number’ of Presbytery votes on 17 March.
Just days later, on Sunday 22 March, a PCUSA church ordained a lesbian couple as ministers…

Article: PCUSA Church Ordains First Married Lesbian Couple as Ministers, Days After Denomination's Marriage Amendment, Christian Post, 22/3/2015.


2. UK: Street preacher convicted
British street preacher, Michael Overd, has been convicted of ‘preaching homophobic sermons’. A previous case in 2012 had failed, but new charges were brought. 

Christian Voice reports that police went LOOKING for complaints: “After the failed case in 2012, the police began looking for complaints against the long-standing Taunton preacher again last year, appealing in a local newspaper for the public to record him making “offensive remarks”.  A number of witnesses said they could not remember what Mr Overd said, just that it was ‘offensive’.”

Christian Voice reports, “He was cleared of a second similar charge and another of causing “racially-aggravated” harassment aimed at Muslims. During the case, Mr Overd told the judge he must be born again. The charges were brought under the Public Order Act….”

Another important point: “A campaign by the Christian Institute to remove the word ‘insulting’ from the Public Order Act was meant to stop preachers being prosecuted, but the police have just switched to charging them with ‘threatening and abusive’ behaviour instead.

Article: Street preacher convicted, Christian Voice, 23/3/2015.

3. Ireland: Ashers Baking Co under threat
The McArthur Family, who are the owner-operators of Ashers (which refers to one of the 12 Tribes of Israel), are undergoing a legal challenge… 

In May 2014, a homosexual man, Gareth Lee, ordered a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. The McArthurs declined, because of their conscience. But Mr Lee made a complaint to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, claiming they discriminated against HIM because of his sexual orientation. The Commission decided to pursue legal action.

‘In a video, Daniel McArthur, the General Manager of Ashers Baking Co (and, son of the founders), clearly says that Mr Lee's sexual orientation had nothing to do with their refusal to decorate the cake. Rather, Mr McArthur says that the refusal was a matter of conscience. In this particular instance, the McArthurs would not be forced to violate their own consciences and beliefs by advocating for a cause in which they do not believe (and which is contrary to the Bible).’

Citizen Go is running a petition – sign it at this link:
Support Ashers Baking Co as they defend Christian ethics in the workplace (19/3/2015)

 

Ongoing action

1. Marriage Update – the KEY is contacting our MPs
With the debate about homosexual ‘marriage’ back in full swing, it is vital that we personally contact our OWN MPs – visit your local MP or write to them identifying yourself as a constituent.

We need to present convincing arguments about why we should be supporting marriage only being between a man and a woman.

It is important that we continue to contact our OWN federal MP and 12 State Senators and urge them to oppose any change to the Marriage Act – click here for contact details.


2. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards – close 3 April
Free TV is conducting a review of TV standards.
Submissions close on 3 April, 2015.

Send your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See our Campaign page for details – click here.

Tell them we want the Code of Practice to stay as it is…
Reject the proposed changes:
- removal of G-rated times and replaced with PG all day
- M-rated timeslots move from 8.30 pm back to 7.30 pm (currently it is PG from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm);
- MA-rated timeslots proposed for 8.30pm (currently 9.30 pm);
Please note that advertising prohibitions on alcohol and gambling also change as they are tied to the ‘ratings’.


3. FamilyVoice Campaign – Letters to Mr Abbott opposing funding for ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ – extended to END of March
Thank you to those who have sent in signed letters to FamilyVoice, urging Mr Abbott to stop the funding of the Safe Schools Coalition.

The date for sending letters has been extended to the end of March.

If you haven’t sent in your letter, please click here to read our post.
OR read the Open Letter – direct link.

 

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