News Update - 27 June - euthanasia, prostitution in SA, Islamic 'honour killings, homosexual 'marriage', Meriam arrested & FREE AGAIN

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Another week and so much has happened... read on!

News Update

Australian News

1. Senate: Greens table Euthanasia Bill
2. SA: Another attempt by Labor’s Steph Key to ‘decriminalise sex work’
3. Sydney talk on ‘Islamic honour killings’ cancelled
4. More on those ANZ GAYTMs . . . 
5. NSW: Children study ‘ethics’ instead of Scripture…
6. Department of Defence REMOVES DEFGLIS from its website!
7. Update/correction – Articles on child marriage in Islam 

Overseas News

1. Meriam Ibrahim and family DETAINED at airport
2. Scotland: Charges DROPPED against street preachers
3. Homosexual marriage – pressure on churches INCREASES
    3.1 Homosexuals in Denmark can marry IN CHURCH
    3.2 USA: Presbyterian Church USA(PCUSA) re-defines marriage
    3.3 USA: Courts rule on same-sex ‘marriage’
4. US Administration PROMOTING homosexual rights EVERYWHERE!
5. UK and France - Euthanasia decisions

Australian News

1. Senate: Greens table Euthanasia Bill
The Greens are well known for promoting euthanasia. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has tabled a Bill in the Senate that, if passed, would make it legal for a doctor to prescribe, prepare AND administer drugs that would end a person’s life. The draft Bill states that two doctors and a psychiatrist would have to ‘agree’ that the person is dying of a ‘terminal’ disease in order for the drug to be prescribed or administered.

The Bill is called the Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2014.
The Draft Exposure Bill is posted on Richard Di Natale’s website
Campaigns ‘Dying with Dignity’

READ the Draft Bill - Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Exposure Draft Bill 2014

OPINION POLL – a ‘vote’ is being conducted on the Adelaide Now website – click here to vote NO to legalising euthanasia.

Article: Draft Euthanasia bill tabled in Senate to allow terminally ill to die with dignity, Adelaide Now, News Corp, 24/6/2014.

2. SA: Another attempt by Labor’s Steph Key to ‘decriminalise sex work’
They don’t give up - Labor MP Steph Key is making ANOTHER attempt to ‘decriminalise’ all forms of prostitution in South Australia – including at home, in brothels, escort services and street work.
If you live in SA, please ask your MPs to oppose the decriminalisation of prostitution. Click here for contact details.

Article: Labor MPs push to decriminalise sex work, Ninemsn, 26/6/2014.

3. Sydney talk on ‘Islamic honour killings’ cancelled
The Sydney ‘Festival of Dangerous Ideas’ had proposed having a REALLY dangerous idea discussed this August – the Australian leader of radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir Uthman Badar was to present a talk on the topic “Honour killings are morally justified”.

Good news - after a huge public outcry this week, the session has been cancelled!

The Daily Telegraph wrote, “AUSTRALIA and the US should be labelled terrorists for their Middle Eastern “invasions”, and pre-teen girls could “morally’’ be married off to adult men, according to reviled radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.”

Miranda Devine writes, “After pressure from the NSW government, the Opera House last night cancelled the speech, claiming “a line has been crossed”. But she rightly went on to say, “But why did it and Festival partner, the St James Ethics Centre, offer a platform to Islamist extremists at all?”

Whilst Mr Badar claimed that he didn’t support ‘honour killings’, he does have some extreme views. As Bill Muehlenberg notes, a 2011 article reported, “Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar yesterday defended the group’s draft constitution for their proposed Islamic state, despite it demanding that Muslims who leave the religion ‘are to be executed’!” and he also supports a world-wide Islamic caliphate.
Article: Festival of Dangerous Ideas: 'Honour killings' talk cancelled, SMH, 24/6/2014.

Article: Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir says Australia and the US should be labelled terrorists for their Middle Eastern ‘invasions’, DT, 25/6/2014.

DT Editorial: Festival’s idea was simply disgusting, Daily Telegraph, 25/6/2014.

Column: Miranda Devine - How jihad became the latest fashion in Sydney, Daily Telegraph, 24/6/2014.

Column: Tim Blair - SYDNEY JOINS THE CALIPHATE “Excuse me, but what the hell is this?”

Commentary by Bill Muehlenberghere and here.

4. More on those ANZ GAYTMs . . .
During the 2014 mardi gras, ANZ Bank, which was a major sponsor of the festival, decorated ten of its ATMs around Sydney to celebrate the mardi gras.
Now the ANZ ATMs have won an advertising prize for ‘outdoor advertising’ at the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity.

If you have an account with the ANZ, did you write and tell them what you thought about their sponsorship of the homosexual mardi gras.
ACTION – Contact ANZ – click here.

Article: ANZ's 'GAYTMs' wins honours at Cannes advertising awards, 18/6/2014.

5. NSW: Children study ‘ethics’ instead of Scripture…

In NSW, children have had ‘Scripture’ classes, with volunteers taking lessons. A few years ago, a trial ‘Primary Ethics’ program was introduced in some schools, as an ‘alternative to Scripture classes. After the trial the ethics classes were offered in NSW schools.

Now the ‘ethics’ classes will be taught at KINDERGARTEN for the first time, with around 40 schools expected to offer the kindergarten ethics classes from Term 3.

The NSW Education Department has changed its’ ENROLMENT FORM – for the first time, parents will be given a CHOICE of ethics or Scripture – previously parents were only told about the ethics classes if they opted out of special religious education.

Article: Philosophy at five: kindy kids to study ethics, 20/6/2014.

6. Department of Defence REMOVES DEFGLIS from its website!
Bernard Gaynor reports on a positive development – “The Department of Defence has removed all links to the political lobby group, the Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS), from its webpages. Bernard Gaynor wrote to the Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnstone, in April to object to DEFGLIS’ presence on Department of Defence webpages due to its political campaigning for homosexual marriage and the removal of rights from religious organisations.”

This is a HUGE change – as Bernard says, “Until the last few days, official Defence websites contained the names and ranks of military personnel who were associated with DEFGLIS, along with links to the DEFGLIS website. The Department of Defence website also stated that DEFGLIS  provided “ information on GLBIT issues for members, supervisors, divisional staff and management staff in Defence. It also provides education, support, and information on the resources and services available within the ADF and externally.”

Bernard said that “the decision vindicated the formation of the Defence Force Conservative Action Network. There is only one reason DEFGLIS has been taken down and that’s because Defence did not want to put DEFCAN up. Defence would have been wide open to discrimination claims if it only allowed one political lobby group on its webpages.”

Report: Defence forced to remove gay political lobby group from its webpages, Bernard Gaynor, 24/6/2014.

7. Update/correction – Articles on child marriage in Islam
Recently we referred to an article in The Australian about child marriage in Islam. Mark Durie then wrote an article showing how the Koran supports child marriage.

Mark has updated his article, because The Australian has re-published the original article after Associate Professor Jennifer Burn notified them that she had been misquoted, stating that she didn’t make a comment about the Koran and child marriage.

Read Mark’s explanation – Update on The Koran and Child Marriage

Read Mark’s updated articleThe Koran and child marriage

Updated article in The Australian It’s the young flesh they want

Overseas News

1. Meriam Ibrahim and family DETAINED at airport - NOW FREE AGAIN!
Shortly after her release from prison, Meriam Ibrahim and her husband and children tried to leave Sudan. They were detained at an airport in Khartoum by 40 security agents, arrested and put into a police cell.

LATEST NEWS - Meriam and her family have been RELEASED!

The Mail Online reported that Meriam was charged with ‘new offences’ including travelling on a ‘false’ travel document. She had been banned from leaving Sudan, and told that she could face up to seven years in prison.One report said that the US Vice-Consul was with the family at the airport. A diplomatic furore has erupted, with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry ‘summoning’ the American and South Sudanese ambassadors to ‘explain’ the situation.
LATEST UPDATE - Meriam has now been released by police following an international outcry. Her lawyer says she and her family are in the US Embassy.
Read report: Another cruel twist of the knife: Sudanese mother Meriam Ibrahim faces SEVEN years in jail for trying to flee country hours after death sentence for 'marrying Christian was dropped', Mail Online, 25/6/2014.

LATEST report: Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan 'apostasy' woman freed again, BBC, 27/6/2014.

2. Scotland: Charges DROPPED against street preachers
Two street preachers who were charged under ‘hate crimes’ legislation for allegedly using ‘offensive language’ have had all charges dropped… when prosecutors FINALLY looked at the video footage, they realised they hadn’t ‘broken the law’!

Christian Concern reports: “Police in Scotland have dropped all charges against two Christian evangelists who were arrested for allegedly using 'offensive' language whilst preaching in Dundee and Perth. Tony Miano (50), a former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, was arrested under 'hate-crime legislation' during a one-week street-preaching mission in January after a member of the public made an official complaint. Mr Miano protested his innocence and said they could see his preaching on video to prove he had done nothing wrong and that his message was one of hope to be found in Jesus Christ.  The officers refused to look at the footage and took the evangelist to the police station where he was detained for 24 hours.  

“Josh Williamson, an Australian who is a pastor at the Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth was arrested twice in three days in the city last September for an alleged 'breach of the peace'.

“All charges have now been dropped against both evangelists after months of representation by the Christian Legal Centre.”

Report: Double victory for Christian street preachers arrested under 'hate law' by Scottish police, Christian Concern, 13/6/2014.

3. Homosexual marriage – pressure on churches INCREASES 
Will it be a CHOICE for churches to REFUSE to perform homosexual ‘marriages’? NO!

We’ve all heard the rhetoric that homosexual ‘marriage’ won’t affect churches’ – but with the Danish parliament voting this week to FORCE churches to ‘marry’ homosexuals, any such promise is very hollow!
Michael Brown writes on the subject… referring to the Danish decision!

Article: Will churches be forced to perform same-sex 'weddings'?, Michael Brown.

3.1 Homosexuals in Denmark can marry IN CHURCH
The Danish parliament has passed a law to allow homosexual couples to MARRY in churches – 85 of the 111 Danish MPs voted FOR the Bill. If the local priest won’t perform the ‘marriage’ the bishop has to find a minister who will do it! About one third of priests say they WON’T perform the ‘marriages’!

Article: Gay Danish couples given green light for church marriage, Ice News, 21/6/2014.

Article: Denmark Forces Churches to Conduct Gay Marriages, CBN, 20/6/2014.

3.2 USA: Presbyterian Church USA(PCUSA) re-defines marriage 
“The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA) on Thursday voted to allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages. The General Assembly also approved an amendment to its constitution to redefine marriage as the union of “two persons.” The amendment will be reflected in the group’s constitution…”
This is a further slide down the slippery slope – “In 2011, PCUSA approved the ordination of men and women in same-sex relationships.” 
An increasing number of people have left the denomination…

Conservative group the Presbyterian Lay Committee, was extremely critical of the decision.

Article: Presbyterian Denomination Redefines Marriage, Citizen Link, 20/6/2014.

Info about the Presbyterian Lay Committee – click here.

3.3 USA: Courts rule on same-sex ‘marriage’
UTAH: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Utah's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

INDIANA: “A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Indiana’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples and on the recognition of same-sex couples’ out-of-state marriages is unconstitutional.”

Article: Judges in Indiana, Utah Rule in Favor of Gay Marriage, One Day Before DOMA Case’s Anniversary, Newsweek, 25/6/2014.

4. US Administration PROMOTING homosexual rights EVERYWHERE!
The US administration is PROMOTING homosexual rights around the WORLD:
“US Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of U.S. and international gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world…”
Article: Biden: Gay Rights Must Take Precedence Over Culture, AP, 24/6/2014.

5. UK and France - Euthanasia decisions
The good news - Britain’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from two severely disabled men who argued British laws should be changed to allow doctors to legally kill them.

The Bad news - Five of the nine judges concluded that a ban on assisted suicide is incompatible with the right to private life, suggesting British politicians should amend the law to be in line with the human rights guaranteed under the European Convention.

Meanwhile in France two more decisions on euthanasia…
“a French doctor was acquitted of poisoning charges after giving lethal injections to seven terminally ill patients straight after a human rights court ordered doctors to keep a comatose man alive despite his prior instructions to the contrary.”

Article: British, French courts juggle the legalities of euthanasia, Mail and Guardian, 25/6/2014.


News Update - 20 June - Chaplaincy, 'Safe Schools', abortion in WA, ACCESS, PPL . . .

Newspaper and glasses SX 953849 15854849 320x200News from this week... a wide range of issues ....

May God protect and inspire, and give you wisdom and discernment, you as you read.
This report initially included items on Islam... they'll be in a separate post!


News Update - 20 June 2014

Australian News

1. UPDATE: Chaplaincy decision - change law OR give 'grants to states'
Following the High Court's decision ruling that the direct funding of Chaplains in schools is invalid (read our report here), Prime Minister Tony Abbott has re-iterated his support for chaplains in schools and is working on ways to continue the program.
Labor's Tony Burke said that Labor would support measures to ensure the continuation of the chaplaincy program and other programs funded by the Commonwealth.

Possible solutions include re-writing the legislation or for the federal government to provide the money ($243.5 million over five years) to the states and rely on the states spending the money on the chaplaincy program.
Article: High Court school chaplaincy funding ruling forces Tony Abbott to rely on states, SMH, 20/6/2014.
Article: High Court rules against federal government funding of school chaplains,, 19/6/2014.

2. WA: Abortions after 20 weeks for ‘conditions compatible with life’
Congratulations to Hon Nick Goiran MLC, who has given a speech this week in WA’s Legislative Council highlighting the number of babies that are aborted more than 20 weeks after conception, for “conditions compatible with life”. In other words, the babies would LIVE!
He stated that, of the 474 post 20 week abortions performed since November 2001, (when the notification form was amended to require information on the reason for abortion), 52 abortions were for Spina Bifida and 35 for Down Syndrome.

Other conditions clearly ‘compatible with life’ were also given as allegedly justifying the abortion: skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism) – 4 cases; a hand defect – 1 case; upper limb abnormality – 1 case; 47XYY (minor chromosomal disorder) - 1 case.

ACTION: If you live in WA, please write to Hon Kim Hames, the Minister for Health.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Encourage your friends to write as well - express your concern and ask that he introduce a Bill to “prohibit post-20 weeks abortion for conditions compatible with life”.
Also write to your local MLA – click here for contact details.

Read Nick’s speech: Part 1 (p 6-8)Part 2 (P 1-4) (Uncorrected proofs.)

3. Safe Schools Coalition – be SHOCKED by the Symposium…
Last week we mentioned that the Safe Schools Coalition, promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and campaigning against ‘homophobia’, was being expanded across Australia. Safe Schools Coalition Australia, which is receiving $8 million in funding, was launched at a SYMPOSIUM last Friday.

If you want to know what it is REALLY about, READ this compelling report by Vickie Janson, of Australian Christians, who attended the Symposium!

Report: Safe Schools Coalition 2014 First National Symposium 13 June 2014

4. Chaplaincy, Safe Schools Coalition and LGBTI issues…
You wouldn’t expect to see these words in the SAME sentence! But homosexual activist Rodney Croome is praising the Chaplaincy program… you have to read his full article to see why…

This week, outgoing WA Labor Senator Louise Pratt, who is a lesbian, criticised the work of chaplains in relation to homosexual students and called for the program to be stopped....

Rodney Croome says that chaplains can be a helpful support to young LGBTI young people, writing, “No-one is better placed to reconnect these young people to their families, friends and faith than a school chaplain.”
But there is a PROVISO!
He follows that with, “The obvious barrier to the support a chaplain can offer LGBTI students are any negative attitudes the chaplain may harbour to same-sex attraction and gender diversity. Concerns about such attitudes have found voice in the current chaplaincy funding debate.” [Emphasis added.]

Croome then highlights a recent ‘TRAINING” for chaplains in Tasmania: “groups of chaplains participated in professional development training about the needs of LGBTI young people. The training was conducted by Relationships Australia (RA) with the support of the Scripture Union of Tasmania which runs the Tasmanian school chaplaincy program.”  
Croome writes, “The Chaplaincy Development Manager at the Scripture Union, Peter Swift, was also pleased with the results: "There have been many misunderstandings about the chaplaincy program. Chaplains support and work alongside anyone in a non judgmental, caring way. It has been good to be part of this training and we look forward to continuing to work with the LGBTI community in training our chaplains."

Croome wrote, “My hope is that from small beginnings in Tasmania, training of chaplains in LGBTI issues will become standard across Australia. I’m optimistic that this training, together with clear state education department guidelines about how chaplains deal with LGBTI students, can turn chaplains into a valuable resource for these students and their families.”

As Bill Muehlenberg wrote, “Let me translate that last line for you: “I am thrilled that we can turn these formerly Christian chaplains into willing dupes, pawns and facilitators of the anti-biblical homosexual agenda.” That is really what is happening here. And if that is the case, then all the more reason to tell the state to get lost.”

Vickie's report on the Safe Schools Coalition (see No 3 above) noted that chaplains are leading the support for SSC in some schools!

Not all homosexuals are so ‘supportive’ of Croome’s ideas… in the comments below Croome’s article, some homosexuals (Doug Pollard and Rodney Chiang-Cruise) opposed Rodney Croome’s idea of working with chaplains, and called for religion to have no place in schools!
FIRIS activist Scott Hedges has also written about homosexuality , chaplaincy and ACCESS, calling on them to support homosexuality!

Article: School Chaplains can be Friends not Foes in Anti-Homophobia Fight, ABC Religion and Ethics, 17/6/2014.

Article: Anti-gay chaplains driving children to self-harm, says outgoing Labor Senator Louise Pratt, SMH, 18/6/2014.

5. Religious freedom - case DISMISSED under threat of going to High Court
During the 2013 federal election, Andrew Roberts stood as an Independent candidate in Tasmania. During the campaign he prepared a leaflet about homosexuality and arranged to have it distributed by Australia Post. After being 'alerted', Australia Post refused to distribute it - and homosexual activist Rodney Croome lodged an anti-discrimination complaint (see report at Sydney Star Observer). The police intervened and seized the leaflets as ‘evidence’. The case was turned over to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution and a court case ensued.

The good news… the case has been DISMISSED. . .

Perhaps it was the threat of moving the case to the High Court on the question of religious freedom…

Andrew has written, “On Friday 13th June, criminal charges against James Durston and myself for using Australia Post to issue political letters telling the truth about homosexuality and the agenda for "same-sex marriage" have been dismissed.  The prosecution (Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution, CDPP) on being served notice that the cases were filed for removal to the High Court, suddenly decided they had no evidence to tender on both cases and forced the issue with the Magistrates Court to dismiss the charges.”

Andrew has spoken about the ‘vested interests’ that pursued the case when there was insufficient evidence – he will be pursuing the matter by seeking legal costs and damages.

6. Getting the Budget passed - and Paid Parental Leave
The federal Coalition government is still struggling to get support for a variety of measures proposed in the Budget. Generally we don’t write on financial matters, except to note that nations, like families, have to ‘live within their means’. This Budget was essentially aimed at restructuring government finances on the principle that ‘we can’t spend what we don’t have’ – a principle we support.

Some matters have been controversial and Opposition Parties are threatening to vote against them in the Senate - even some Coalition MPs are beginning to speak up on matters concerning families and welfare.

Paid Parental leave scheme
Tony Abbott is continuing to promote his Paid Parental Leave scheme which pays women on high incomes more money than those on low incomes if they leave work to have a child.

A major concern is that the Paid Parental Leave scheme encourages (even requires) women to return to the workforce when their baby is just six months old and disadvantages women who choose to stay at home to raise their family – reasons that have led us to oppose the Coalition’s scheme.

The removal of the Baby Bonus for all women has also adversely impacted mothers who do not work in ‘paid employment’.

A complicating factor is that the current Budget CHANGES the Family Tax Benefit B – a measure that was introduced to partly compensate single income families as they only get ONE tax threshold, not the TWO tax thresholds that double income families get. 
One proposal was to remove this totally - but the government is proposing reducing the income threshold from $150,000 to $100,000 and also only having it for families whose children are under six (read government's explanation here and article here).
This recent article highlights how rural families are adversely affected by this move.

Article: PPL splits cities from the bush, The Australian, 17/6/2014.

This article and chart from the Australian Family Association explains how the Family Tax Benefit Part B works… they are also running a petition on retaining FTB Part B.
FTB part B did not even come close to meeting the gap, 27/5/2014.

7. ACCESS Ministries responds to claims made in media
Following recent media reports, including the report by A Current Affair, about the work of ACCESS Ministries in providing Special Religious Instruction (SRI) in Victorian primary schools, ACCESS Ministries has responded by publishing a ‘Statement of Facts’. It begins, “Recent media coverage regarding ACCESS ministries has presented information that is simply untrue. ACCESS ministries (AM) thanks the numerous individuals and organisations that have contacted us seeking clarification and in response, the truth is provided below…”

The Statement of Facts includes information about the role of SRI, the legislative framework, the funding of the work and training of volunteers. ACCESS concludes the Statement with acknowledgement of the wide support they receive in schools.

Read the Statement of Facts by ACCESS Ministries.

ACCESS has also noted that the new Guidelines from the Minister for Education mean that the program will now be referred to as 'SRI Christian Instruction' as part of the overall Special Religious Instruction program.

In another development, homosexual activist Jacqui Tomlins is celebrating her campign that has resulted in Kew Primary School CANCELLING the ACCESS SRI program!
ACCESS has denied claims that they are 'anti-gay'.

Overseas News

1. USA: Prayer and Hollywood…
You might think that prayer and Hollywood don’t go together. But actor Denzel Washington “recently told a group of young actors that a good way to make sure you pray every morning is to put your shoes "way under the bed at night" so you "gotta get on your knees in the morning." The Academy Award-winning actor was seen speaking to the young people in a video R&B singer and actor Tyrese Gibson posted on Facebook last Sunday. He encouraged the group of seemingly aspiring actors to use their talent for good and always remember to pray.

Denzel Washington went on to underscore the foolishness of focusing on material wealth, explaining that, though he has earned millions of dollars during his career, not a cent of it will follow him into eternity.

Article: A Prayerful Denzel Washington Tells Young Actors, 'Get on Your Knees in the Morning', Charisma, 28/5/2014.

2. USA: Satanic group - ‘gay marriage is a sacrament’
Yes, that is what the Satanic Temple is saying… but what else would you expect from them?
Article: Satanic Temple: Gay Marriage is 'a Sacrament’, CNS News, 11/6/2014.

3. IRAQ: Plea for help from Canon White in Baghdad
Please pray for the situation in Baghdad – especially for Christians who are suffering persecution under the present attacks on Iraqi cities by ISIS. Canon Andrew White highlights the dire situation and appeals for your help…

Read article: Andrew White in Anglican Ink – 11/6/2014.

4. USA: UMC – support grows for ‘local option’ on homosexuality
Last week we report on a growing schism in the United Methodist Church in the USA. One group of 80 ministers had talked of a division rather than the church as they could not accept the endorsement of homosexuality – but others had advocated UNITY with local congregations deciding on their own policy (which would mean some congregations/ministers endorsing homosexual relationships).

This week, the UMC News reports that, “The idea of letting United Methodist churches and annual (regional) conferences choose to depart from church law regarding homosexuality is gaining support. But it’s also seeing heated opposition from those who say “local option” would violate Methodist connectionalism and merely shift longstanding conflict to the church and conference level. . .”
Article: Support, pushback for `local option’ on homosexuality, UMNS, 13/6/2014.


News Update - 13 June - Homosexual 'marriage', 'Safe Schools Coalition' expands, Senate 'reform', Meriam appeal . . .

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200Another host of news and issues from Australia and around the world. Time for that coffee or tea and catch up on recent events...
News Update 13 June 2014

Australian News

1. Child of lesbian writes to PM Tony Abbott on same-sex ‘marriage’
Orlando Burcham, an 11 year old boy, has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the topic of same-sex ‘marriage’. He called Mr Abbott’s stance ‘pathetic’!

Mr Abbott has politely replied, stating his opposition to any changes to the Marriage Act.

Whilst it might be reasonable for a child to write to the PM, what happened next has made it into a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN by ACTIVISTS!

Orlando’s mother, Cordelia Troy, is a lesbian, who ‘married’ her partner in New York. She is also a member of the Liberal Party and a Councillor in the Hunter Valley. She is campaigning for homosexual ‘marriage’ to be legalised.

The letter by Orlando, and the response from Tony Abbott was POSTED on Facebook – and then reported around the world.
This article, from has the story AND copies of the letters!
Inspired by his mum, 11-year-old Orlando Burcham writes to Tony Abbott about gay marriage, calls his stance pathetic

2. ‘A Current Affair’ - ACCESS and CRE - Chaplaincy - ‘Homophobia’ claims
Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ is the latest group to criticise ACCESS Ministries and their Christian Religious Education program.
Would you expect a fair and balanced report – sorry, that isn’t what they provided!
They accuse them of being a ‘secretive, fundamentalist group’ with ‘cult-like behaviour’. The segment features a school principal, Joe Kelly and parent Lara Woods who is associated with FIRIS – Fairness in Religion In Schools. Apparently she uploaded one of the ACCESS books to the FIRIS website and ACCESS asked her to take it down - and she is upset!

Please pray for those involved with ACCESS Ministries and for many people who are instructors for CRE in primary schools in Victoria.
ACA Segment: Evangelist ministry converts kids but refuses access, ACA, 11/6/2014.

Recently the Gay News Network and MCV complained about the funding of chaplaincy programs in schools – they claim that some groups associated with the provision of chaplains to schools have run ‘homophobic campaigns”. They highlighted the involvement of a person in NSW who has “ties to Hillsong” – and mention that Rob Ward, the former Australian Christian Lobby Victorian State Director, is now the “General Manager of Development and Communications at ACCESS Ministries, and has campaigned against same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption.”

Article: Chaplaincy program to fund groups with links to homophobia, GNN/MCV, 26/5/2014.

3. Perth: Walk and Rally for Life
Around 700 people attended the Walk and Rally for Life this week – in cold weather! Congratulations to the members of parliament attended and/or spoke: They included Hon Nick Goiran MLC, Hon Michelle Roberts MLA, Dr Graham Jacobs MLA, Margaret Quirk MLA, Peter Abetz MLA, Hon Kate Doust MLA, Bill Johnson MLA, Glenys Godfrey MLA, Tony Krsticevic MLA and Frank Alban MLA. Senator elect Joe Bullock was also present. Read ACL’s report.

4. Senate reform… Inquiry and recommendations on ‘Voting for the Senate’
Following each federal election, a parliamentary Inquiry is held into election procedures. This is conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
During this Inquiry the election procedures for the Senate have been examined due to criticism of ‘Senate voting’ after the 2013 election and consideration of a Bill to reform Senate voting proposed by SA Senator Nick Xenophon. 
They have NOW released an Interim report on 'Senate Voting Practices' - see below.

Much of the criticism related to the election of a number of candidates being elected with very small primary votes, and the use of ‘group voting tickets’ to allocate ‘preferences’ by parties.

Some people/parties complain about the allocation of preferences and how ‘voting above the line’ and compulsory preferential voting means that our vote can go to people we don’t support. Others complain that people with VERY SMALL personal votes can get elected through the distribution of preferences. Click here for election commentator Antony Green’s comments to the Inquiry.

The problem is that the bigger parties seem to want to CHANGE the system to STOP candidates for small parties getting elected!

Some people propose OPTIONAL preferential voting ‘below the line’ and keeping the ‘1 above the line’.

We support the principle of ADDING preferential voting ABOVE the line (as well as keeping it below) to allow people to number the parties in their order of preference, which would perhaps alleviate the reliance on some of the questionable preference deals!

The Parliamentary Library has prepared an informative Briefing Paper on the issue: The Senate voting system: issues and suggestions for reform

The Committee has now released an ‘Interim Report’ – the Committee recommended that some changes be made: “Recommendations from the inquiry include tripling the number of party members needed to register a party, and changing the rules in the Senate so voters are not obliged to number every box.”
Media report: Parliamentary inquiry recommends Senate voting overhaul, ABC, 9/5/2014.

INQUIRY: Read the details about the Inquiry and the REPORT at the Committee’s webpage – click here. Actual Interim report – click here.

5. 'Safe Schools Coalition' goes NATIONAL! Promotes homosexuality...
We’ve had the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ in Victoria since 2010. It was “founded as part of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria within the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society at La Trobe University”. These two groups are fully supportive of homosexuality – in fact many of the researchers are homosexual – more on that next week…

The Coalition encourages schools to be supportive of homosexuality, campaigns against ‘homophobia and transphobia’ and urges schools to establish ‘Queer Straight Alliances’. So far, 132 schools in Victoria are part of the Coalition.

NOW the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ program is being rolled out across Australia – starting on Friday 13 June - by the Foundation for Young Australians, which was a supporter of the Victorian Coalition.

Read all about the new national ‘Safe Schools Coalition Australia’ program at FYAclick here.

The launch coincides with the Foundation’s “National Safe Schools Symposium”.

The program is being funded federally by the federal Department of Education.

6. Transsexual students: push to allow them to CHOOSE TOILETS
One of the proposals related to the expanded Safe Schools Coalition: allowing transsexual students to CHOOSE which toilets and change rooms they use.

The program also encourages schools not to divide students into ‘boys and girls’ to avoid upsetting “gender diverse students” – challenges ‘homophobia’ - establish ‘diversity groups – and display POSTERS about “same-sex relationships, transsexuality, bisexuality and intersex”.

Article: Push for transsexual students to use the toilets they choose, Herald Sun, Susie O’Brien.

7. DEFCAN challenges Defence involvement in homosexual Mardi Gras
Bernard Gaynor reports that “The Australian Defence Force’s future involvement in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been thrown into doubt by a decision acknowledging that military personnel cannot attend political events in uniform. A senior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Buxton, has refused permission for Defence personnel to attend a separate event, the March for Babies in Melbourne, because Defence policy forbids uniformed involvement in political activity.”

Bernard, who has set up a conservative group called DEFCAN, argues that it would be inconsistent for the Defence Force to then allow members to participate in the mardi gras parade IN UNIFORM since the mardi gras has ‘political objectives’!

Only time will tell if the Defence Forces agree!

Media Release: Defence involvement in Gay Mardi Gras in doubt, 4/6/2014.

Overseas News

1. Malaysia: Muslims sue Cadbury over pork-tainted chocolates
A Malaysian Islamic group, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), is suing Cadbury because DNA tests on some Cadbury chocolates have shown that they included pork DNA!
Of course, Cadbury has prided itself on its ‘halal certification’ here in Australia (which is supposed to mean no pork!)

Article: Malay group to sue Cadbury over pig DNA chocolate for ‘mistreating’ Muslims, Malay Mail Online, 26/5/2014.

2. US Bus ads - highlighting the Quran's statements on Jews and US aid to Islamic nations
A campaign by the American Freedom Defense Initiative is attracting a lot of media attention. The AFDI has placed ads on buses in Washington DC - they highlight the Quran's statements on Jews and the amount of US aid given to Islamic nations.

Pamela Geller notes, "This campaign does so many things. First, it exposes the long-kept secret of the collusion between the Third Reich and the Muslim world. Second, it exposes the vicious anti-Semitic material in Islamic texts and teachings. Third, it informs people that two-thirds of all U.S. foreign aid goes to Muslim countries."

The ads have been run as a RESPONSE to ads on the SAME buses a while back by American Muslims for Palestine, which called for an end to US aid to Israel...

Article: USA Today: "Islamic Jew-hatred ads roll out on D.C. streets"

3. USA: United Methodist Church divided on homosexual ‘marriage’
The United Methodist Church in the USA is in the midst of a conflict over the issue of homosexual ‘marriages’ and the church’s position on homosexuality.

A group of 80 pastors who oppose the acceptance of homosexuality have called for a division in the church because of the issue. A group of clergy in Georgia responded by calling for UNITY (here).

There have been ‘trials’ of ministers in the UMC because they have supported and blessed homosexual relationships. One bishop is calling for the church members to “Declare a moratorium on celebrations and trials regarding same-gender unions” until the Church decides on a position. Annual conferences in the church are considering the issue.

Article - Overview of the issue:  Same-gender debate rekindles schism talk, UMC News, 29/5/2014.

4. Massachusetts: Counselling re unwanted homosexual feelings
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a Bill to BAN counselling for young people who choose to deal with unwanted homosexual feeling.

Mass Resistance report that a lobbying push by them has “derailed the Bill”!
REPORT: Bill in Massachusetts to ban counseling on homosexuality for youth -- derailed after MassResistance lobbying push!

5. USA: US Army colour guard marches in LGBT Pride Parade
The US Department of Defence has approved, for the first time, a colour guard presenting the American flag as well as each flag of the military, to march in the Capital Pride parade in Washington DC on Saturday 7 June 2014.

Apparently Capital Pride has requested ‘colour guards’ in the past but were refused…
Article: Another Historic Obama First As US Army Colour Guard Forced To March In LGBT Pride Parade, NTEB News, 6/6/2014.

Report at Washington Post – click here.

6. Meriam Ibrahim: Appeal being heard by Sudanese Court

The hearing of the appeal against the death sentence handed down to Miriam Ibrahim has commenced in a Sudanese court. Three judges are hearing the appeal.

The government has said that Meriam’s ‘acquittal’ and release depends on the ruling of the Appeal Court!

Defend Christians points out that, if Meriam loses the appeal, her children (who are American citizens) would probably be taken away and given to a Muslim family in accordance with sharia law.

Article: Sudan Court Hears Appeal of Apostasy Death Sentence, WSJ, 10/6/2014.

7. Google stops ads for ‘sexually explicit material’
In a win for lobby group Porn Harms and Morality in Media, Google has announced that it will stop accepting ads for sexually explicit pornography. The statement comes two weeks after Porn Harms met with Google executives…

Family Voice congratulated Google and said, “Early last month Google announced it had removed all pornographic apps and most sexual apps from Google Play.  The Microsoft search engine Bing has gone one step better.  Its searches are filtered as the default, unlike Google, which requires users to opt in for filtered searches.”

Article: Google Out of Porn Biz?, 6/6/2014.


News Update - 6 June 2014 - D-Day, Geoff Shaw, Birth certificates, Islam and more

News mike Fotolia 57267122 320x200In the week we send a Prayer Update (and not a News Update) there always seems to be so much to report on the following week!

News Update – 6 June 2014

Australian News

1. D-Day – 70th anniversary of D-Day landing - 6th June
A time to reflect on our freedom and pray about our nation and be thankful for those who fought to protect Christian values.

Canberra Declaration write, “On June 6, 1944, at 6.30 am, the Allied invasion of enemy-occupied Europe began - a day that proved to be one of the greatest turning points in world history. On that day in World War II, over 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel in over 5,000 ships and landed along an 80 km stretch of coast in Normandy, France. Another 24,000 airborne troops were dropped behind enemy lines in the early hours of the morning to support the amphibious invasion - the largest in world history! About 3,000 Australians took part on D-Day. The majority of these were members of the Royal Australian Air Force, with smaller numbers serving with the Royal Navy and British Army.”
Bill Muehlenberg shares some spiritual lessons from D-Day…. D-Day: Courage for the Battle

2. WA: Walk and Rally for Life – Tuesday 10 June 2014
The annual ‘Walk and Rally for Life’ will be held in Perth next week. Organised by the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life and 40 Days for Life Perth, it begins at 7pm at Rotunda One in Kings Park (just south of the War Memorial). There will be a walk to the Parliament, followed by a rally. If you live in Perth please plan to attend – and let your WA friends know it is on!

3. Vic: Geoff Shaw, abortion and balance of power
A political furore is continuing in Victoria. The Napthine Coalition government refused to say if they would allow debate on Independent MP Geoff Shaw’s Bill to amend the abortion law (article).

Geoff Shaw recently said he would support a Labor motion of ‘No Confidence’ in the government. Last week he was found by the parliament’s Privileges Committee to have misused his car and entitlements. The Committee has proposed that he should repay money (just under $7,000) – but the Committee found that he wasn’t ‘corrupt’.

Following the Privileges Committee report, the Labor opposition is talking of siding with the Coalition government, in a vote on the Report, to expel Geoff Shaw from the parliament!

4. QLD: Father REMOVED from birth certificate – replaced by lesbian
The Supreme Court in Queensland has made a ruling to REMOVE a biological father from a birth certificate… the truth, it seems, is NO LONGER the TRUTH!
The report in the Brisbane Times begins, “A Queensland man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple will have his name removed from their children's birth certificates in a first for the state. The biological mother's de facto partner will instead be listed as a parent under recent changes to state laws that give more rights to same-sex couples….”
Article: A Queensland gay couple win birth certificate battle, Brisbane Times, 29/5/2014.

Media release from Family Voice: Queensland Supreme Court wipes out a child’s father, 30/5/2014.

5. QLD: Govt rejects Bill on Muslim face covering
Independents and minor parties in Queensland want a Bill to require Muslim women to remove burqas/veils/face coverings in order to prove their identity – but the government has rejected the move…
Article: Queensland rejects push to make Muslim women remove burqas, The Guardian, 22/5/2014.

6. NSW: ‘NCAT’ established
Up until January 1 this year there were 20 different Tribunals operating in New South Wales. Now they have been combined as the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). There are separate divisions in NCAT - Consumer and Commercial Division, Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division, Guardianship Division and Occupational Division.
See new structure here.

Please pray for those responsible for implementing this new Tribunal structure.
A similar process was undertaken in Victoria – the main problems we’ve encountered relate to discrimination, vilification and equal opportunity law!

7. Police warn Muslim community about threat of ‘jihad’
The head of the NSW Counter Terrorism Squad, Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein has told the leaders of the Sunni Muslim community that they haven’t done enough to DISCOURAGE young Muslim men from going to Syria to join the ‘jihad’.

The article states, “Authorities worry that when the conflict ends, they will face a wave of trained, battle-hardened extremists, some of whom could attempt to strike at targets here in Australia.” The Australian reports that, “More than 150 Australians are believed to be actively involved in the conflict in Syria.”
Article: Muslim community ‘too lax’ on jihad risk, The Australian, 29/5/2014.

8. Keysar Trad wants to be in POLITICS – of (almost) ANY sort!
Controversial Muslim leader Keysar Trad, once the translator and spokesman for former mufti Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly, has announced that he wants to run for politics – and has approached the Labor AND Liberal Parties!

After leaving the employ of Hilaly, he founded the nice-sounding Islamic Friendship Association of Australia.

Hopefully the political parties all have a CLOSE look at his background – his work with Sheikh Hilaly, his support for polygamy (or more correctly polygny - one man, multiple wives – also here), his failed legal defamation challenge (also here).

Then there’s his work as translator and writer for radical magazine ‘Nidal ul Islam’, the magazine of the ‘Islamic Youth Movement’. His writings included this statement, "the criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us." (source)

Is this the sort of person we want in Parliament?
Article: Sydney Muslim community leader Keysar Trad sounds out Labor, Liberals for federal seat, ABC, 28/5/2014.

9. NSW: Two women on trial for ‘female genital mutilation’ of girls
Two Muslim women – a mother and a retired nurse - have been committed to stand trial for ‘female genital mutilation’ of the woman’s two daughters aged 6 and 7. The pair face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail if convicted. The Daily Telegraph reports, “Sheik Shabbir Vaziri is charged with being an accessory to the circumcision ritual, allegedly telling locals to lie to police about the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the community…”
Article: Sydney sheik, mum and nurse to face mutilation judgment, Daily Telegraph, 24/5/2014.

10. SA: Documentary on Islam shown to school students
A documentary on Islam, produced by the University of South Australia, is being shown to high school students in a bid to ‘address cultural misunderstandings’…
Of course, the group responsible for the documentary is the “International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding”, led by Professor Abdou Maliq Simone…
Article: New documentary addresses misunderstandings about Muslims, ABC, 31/5/2014.

11. Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support program
One of the consequences of family breakdown and divorce is the payment of ‘child support’ – the federal government has a ‘Child Support Program’ which requires non-custodial parents to contribute to the support of their children.

The federal parliament’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is currently conducting an Inquiry.  
See Inquiry website for full details.

The Committee is inviting three types of responses:
1. An online questionnaire “enables people with an experience of the Child Support Program to make a personal contribution to the inquiry.” Questionnaire – click here.

2. Public hearings - open to the public. These include “community statement sessions, at which individuals may make short statements to the Committee about the inquiry’s terms of reference.”

3. Submissions from stakeholder groups and experts that directly address the terms of reference. These close on Friday 13th June.

Overseas News

1. USA: President Obama proclaims June to be “LGBT Month”!
Yes, in an official statement, “President Barack Obama on Friday proclaimed June as being the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month, after celebrating that his administration is also extending family and immigration benefits to legally married gay couples and calling for more freedoms for gays in the workplace.”
He stated, "I, Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month."

The President will host a ‘Pride Celebration’ at the White House on 30 June – he has held one of these EVERY year since he was elected! But homosexual activists claim he is going further by talking about the ‘progress made’ and the Supreme Court rulings on marriage.

Article: President Obama Proclaims June LGBT Month; Celebrates Extending Immigration, Family Benefits to Gay Couples, Christian Post, 2/6/2014.
Statement from President Obama – Presidential Proclamation -- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2014, 30/5/2014.

Homosexual paper report – click here.

2. USA: NEW Scout leader supports homosexual scout leaders
Robert Gates, the newly elected head of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), helped overturn the ban on homosexuals in the military when he was Defense Secretary in 2010. He was chosen for the BSA post in October 2013, two months before the BSA implemented a policy change allowing boys who self-identify as homosexuals to participate in Scouting.

In comments made recently, he said that, had he been in leadership at the time, he would have pushed to allow homosexual Scout leaders: “In all candor, I would have supported going further, as I did in opening the way for gays to serve in the CIA and in the military.” quoted Gates as admitting, “I was prepared to go further than the decision that was made. I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters.”

He then said that he is prepared to accept the current position – to avoid fracture and a possible split in BSA. But for how long will he accept the position???

Article: Robert Gates, Who Helped Dismantle DADT, Elected to Lead Boy Scouts, New American, 27/5/2014.

3. UK: Court rules that Catholic couple CAN’T OBJECT to adoption of their children by a homosexual couple
Christian Concern report expressed concern at the decision: “Britain's most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, has ruled against a Slovakian Catholic couple seeking to stop two of their children being adopted by a same-sex couple…”

The couple objected, saying that it would be impossible for the children to keep their Catholic beliefs if they were raised by a homosexual couple.

Andrea Williams, of Christian Concern commented, “We do not know all the details as to why adoption was deemed necessary but leaving that aside, this case raises profound concerns. Why is it not possible to accommodate the beliefs of the natural parents and act in the best interests of the children? Why are these beliefs about marriage, which the government claims are protected, being trampled on? It is causing great present distress to the parents and as they have outlined is likely to cause great distress to the children in the future. Why not seek adoptive parents who share the beliefs of these parents?"

This is an incredible decision, where a judge can rule that children from this background can be ADOPTED by a homosexual couple with totally different beliefs! And without permission from the parents.

4. Pope invites Muslim and Jewish leaders to ‘Pray for Peace’
Controversy erupted recently with the Pope visiting the Middle East and meeting with the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas – he called Abbas a ‘man of peace’ (source - transcript of the Pope’s speech here.).

Interestingly, the Pope’s visit coincided with a campaign against a Christian school in east Jerusalem which had said Muslim girls could not wear the hijab at the school and at graduation ceremonies (Gatestone commentary).

There was more concern expressed when the Pope invited Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to a meeting at the Vatican on June 8th to ‘pray for peace’. They have both accepted the invitation. The Pope plans to have a Muslim cleric and a Jewish rabbi to lead prayers along with him!
Read more – Time report

A major concern here is that, whilst one might meet with Muslims, it is quite another matter to PRAY with them – as they are praying to Allah, a very different God!


News Update - 23 May 2014 - Politics, same-sex 'marriage', drugs, CRE, Nigeria ...

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200So much is happening... some of the news from the past fortnight...
Please read, pray and act...


Australian News

1. Vic: Family First preferences and the Liberal government
The Victorian state election will be held in November – many groups are starting to think about policies, alliances and candidates.

Family First has told the Liberal Party that they can’t ‘rely’ on getting Family First preferences, as it has in the past, because of its ‘failure to tackle housing shortages and safeguard manufacturing jobs, as well as introduce reforms on abortion and adoption’.
They are talking to Labor as well – and plan to allocate preferences on a candidate-by-candidate basis.
However, Labor's record on the abortion law in Victoria is hardly something to commend it!
Article: Family First puts Denis Napthine on notice, The Australian, 21/5/2014.

2. Recognition of ‘foreign’ same-sex ‘marriages’
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is again putting forward a Bill (Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014) to legally recognise same-sex ‘marriages’ that are performed overseas. The Bill was also put forward prior to the last election.

Of course, the title of the Bill is misleading - the REAL intent of the Bill is to recognise HOMOSEXUAL ‘marriages’ – a marriage between a man and a woman is ALREADY recognised (source)!

The Marriage Act specifically prohibits recognition of same-sex ‘marriages’ – only marriages that would be valid under Australian law are recognised as legal marriages Section 88D).
The law specifically states that a ‘union’ solemnised in a foreign country between two men or two women “must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.” (Section 88EA)

On 15 May, the Senate sent the Bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

Read the Bill – Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014

Submissions invited: The closing date for submissions is 31 July 2014. The reporting date is 3 September 2014. Click here for the Inquiry homepage.

3. Tasmania: decriminalisation of marijuana
In early May a public Forum was held in Hobart to discuss the decriminalisation of marijuana/cannabis. The Forum was held by the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania (ATDC). (See info about Forum here)

One of the main aims was to discuss, “what are the pragmatic conditions that need to exist to actually consider something like decriminalisation [of cannabis].”

What was the outcome?
Not surprising! A week later a report said that a group of high profile academics, doctors and police are now calling for the decriminalisation of marijuana – and asking that cannabis be moved from the ‘criminal justice system to the health arena’.

Thankfully, the Tasmanian government spokesman said, “The government has no plans to decriminalise cannabis.” Labor said it “was a matter for the new government to determine''. The Greens and Clive Palmer want it to be a ‘health issue’.

FamilyVoice’s Tasmanian state officer Jim Collins said, in a Media Release, “Those pushing to decriminalise cannabis need to face the facts: a soft approach leads to more drug abuse, not less.” He pointed out that the legalisation of cannabis in Colorado has resulted in huge problems.”
Article: Push to decriminalise cannabis, Examiner, 11/5/2014.

4. Vic: New 'Ministerial direction' for CRE in schools
The Victorian governments Department of Education has released a 'Ministerial Direction' from the Education Minister Martin Dixon, with new guidelines for the presentation of Special Religious Instruction in Schools. They will take effect from Term 3.
The Guidelines provide information about processes to be followed by schools, parental permission and the conduct of the program in schools.
Read the Guidelinesclick here.   Minister's Direction statement - click here.

Access Ministries, which provides Christian Religious Education under the SRI program, is currently consulting with the Department of Education about the impact of the new guidelines. Read their Media Release.  Please pray for these negotiations.

5. Latest ‘fundraiser for homosexual ‘marriage’ group AME
The main homosexual activist group campaigning for homosexual ‘marriage', Australian Marriage Equality, has come up with a new fundraising idea – a RING that represents homosexual ‘marriage’.Celebrities have been spotted wearing the ring and promoting it on social media!
Article: Celebrities take to social media in support of the Mondial Australian Marriage Equality ring, Daily Telegraph, 14/5/2014.  

6. ABC Religion writer criticises Andrew Bolt for comments about Waleed Aly
We recently reported that Andrew Bolt had criticised Waleed Aly, prominent Muslim media commentator and , for NOT mentioning that the Nigerian group Boko Haram is an ISLAMIC group.

Andrew reports that Scott Stephens, religion editor for ABC Online, and a former Uniting Church minister, “has published an astonishing paroxysm of abuse – a true shock-jock sermon”. The article also lauded the benefits of Islam – Andrew wrote, 'Scott ‘rapturously praises as embracing “conscientious humility, the devout hesitation before the inscrutability of the Divine”.’
Article: On being denounced for blaspheming against Islam and Waleed Aly, Andrew Bolt, 16/5/2014.

7. NSW: Mike Bair’s education at Regent College
NSW Premier Mike Baird studied at Regent College, a Christian theological school in Canada, in 1994. Now that Mike is the NSW Premier, that connection is suddenly being investigated by the Sydney Morning Herald – perhaps in an effort to see what makes Mike Baird ‘tick’.

The journalist describes Regent as “a haven for arch-conservative social views.”  He quoted form the speech given by Iain Provan, a professor at Regent College, to the recent graduating class…

Perhaps the last part is instructive…
“Despite Regent’s dedication to dissolving the gulf between personal morality and public life, to advocating for tangible virtues over mushy values, Baird says it is not his job or intention to legislate on behalf of his own moral code. It’s not clear if that would satisfy Provan, who ended his speech to graduates of Regent with the command: “Don’t be safe. Don’t be polite. And certainly don’t be nice. Be good. Be Godly. And be very, very dangerous.”
Article: Mike Baird's dangerously virtuous education, SMH, 10/5/2014.

Overseas News

1. Nigeria – attacks continue – please pray
There are ongoing attacks and increasing violence in Nigeria. The Christian schoolgirls are still missing. Several bombs went off in Jos this week.

Another attack that didn’t make the mainstream press was an attack on a car containing four Christian men. The car was riddled with machine gun fire. The driver, Rev Emmanuel Razack, the leader of the local Christian Faith Ministries Bible School, called the Christian Faith Institute, was killed. The other three men had their belongings stolen and were marched into the forest. The men were Kent Hodge, an Australian (from Deniliquin, NSW) who works with Christian Faith Ministries in Nigeria; Dr Sydney Paul, a doctor who was visiting from Deniliquin and a local pastor.

Please pray
Please pray for Kent, who is staying on in Nigeria, and his wife Ruth (who is home in Australia), for the others involved in the shooting and abduction, for Emmanuel’s wife and children and for the wonderful work being done through Christian Faith Ministries..

Emmanuel will be buried this Saturday. Emmanuel is a former Muslim – his father, who was an imam, became a Christian less than two years ago, shortly before he died.

Ruth Hodge said, “Christian Faith Ministries’ work aims to help stop the violence by connecting communities. The only way to solve this is to bring communities together, and that’s what we’re trying to do. If we can bridge the gaps, we can hopefully wipe out the violence.’’
Kent and his team are working with people affected by the bomb blasts in Jos.

Articles in local Deniliquin paper:
- Deniliquin doctor's ambush terror in Nigeria, Deniliquin Pastoral Times, 16/5/2014.
Bomb blast a bit close, DPT, 23/5/2014

2. USA: British imam Abu Hamza convicted on terrorism charges
A court in New York has convicted Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, on terrorism charges. Abu Hamza is a former imam at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London – he who was convicted in the UK and served a prison term there. He was then extradited to the USA and tried. Charges included helping to orchestrate the violent 1998 kidnappings of 16 American, British and Australian tourists in Yemen; trying to create a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore.; and supporting terrorism by sending one of his followers to train with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He faces life in prison when the sentence is handed down on September 9, 2014.
Article: British Cleric Is Convicted in Terror Trial, New York Times, 19/5/2014.

3. Vanuatu – Thanks for your prayers for Andrew Napuat
Recently we asked you to pray regarding the election in Vanuatu, where a Christian man, Andrew Napuat, was running for election. Although he wasn't elected, he came second. At 31 years of age, he was the youngest candidate and was competing against twelve older politicians. My contact says, “God has plans so I know that the answer to all our prayers was "Wait" as God has a perfect timing for everything. We want to thank you for all the prayers.”

4. USA: Religion PROTECTS against tyranny!
Interesting article from the Alliance Defending Freedom: “Recent decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District acknowledge the Founding Fathers conviction that religion protects us from the tyranny of anarchy and unrestrained government. It’s no secret that many of our founding documents reflect a conviction that there is an authority higher than government….”
Article: Courts Acknowledge Religion Protects Against Tyranny, ADF, 16/5/2014.

5. Nintendo CAVES IN – re homosexual relationships in GAME
When Nintendo launched its new Tomodachi Life simulation game in Japan last year it contained an ‘error’ - male characters could marry each other and raise children. Nintendo issued a ‘patch’ to fix the problem and stop that happening!

But GLAAD, the US homosexual activist group complained about the ‘fix’ – and Nintendo has now ‘apologised’ for their action – for "failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life" which is due for worldwide release next month.
Within a few days, Nintendo had caved in totally – they have now committed to INCLUDE same-sex relationships in any future game in the Tomadachi series!

- Nintendo apologises for failing to include same-sex relationships in simulation game Tomodachi Life, Christian Today, 12/5/2014.
- Nintendo Pledges to Include Gay Marriage in Next Tomodachi Game, Christian Post, 12/5/2014.

6. USA: same-sex 'marriage' – Oregon and Massachusetts
A federal district judge has struck down the Oregon constitutional marriage amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Voters approved the amendment in 2004. The judge is ‘openly homosexual’ – but refused to stand down from hearing the case!
Read Citizen Link report: Judge Redefines Marriage in Oregon

It’s a decade since same-sex ‘marriage’ was legalised in Massachusetts. Citizen Link and the Massachusetts Family Institute provide an insightful commentary on the past decade.
Article: Commentary: A Decade of ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ in Massachusetts, 19/5/2014.

7. UK: David Cameron – ‘undermining Christianity'
An opinion poll published last weekend found that more than one third of voters (34%) believe that 'David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country'.
As UK voters vote in European Parliament elections, this report by Christian Concern looks at the actions of PM David Cameron – on marriage, life and Islam - that contribute to this result.
Article: 'David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country' say 1 in 3 voters

Coming Events

National Day of Thanksgiving - Saturday 31 May, 2014
For FULL details of the National Day of Thanksgiving including events held around the nation, posters, cards, fliers, messages of support, resources etc...
Visit the National Day of Thanksgiving website.

Visit Salt Shakers website page for the NDOT - click here.

This year the theme is 'Transport & Travel" and 'Neighbours' - click here.



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