Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
Last Friday, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) handed down its decision on homosexual ‘marriage’ – the case revolved around whether there is a ‘right’ to homosexual ‘marriage’ in the US Constitution.
The majority of the Supreme Court found in favour of homosexual ‘marriage’ – it was a close decision – 5:4.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a brilliant dissenting report. He wrote, “[T]his Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be… The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. . . The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with “[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife.”
Many commentators called it a ‘political decision’ rather than a ‘legal judgement’ – and said the Judges had found a ‘right’ to marriage for homosexuals when marriage isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution! Four of the Justices were known to be liberal on moral issues.
It was certainly a sad day for the USA – and activists here in Australia are increasing their efforts to try and get our federal parliament to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’ here. The main homosexual lobby group, Australian Marriage Equality, put out a Media Release, celebrating the decision, and stating,
“The US Supreme Court will provide even more momentum for marriage equality in Australia than the Irish referendum. It confirms Australia’s place as the only developed English-speaking country that doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry. It opens us up to international ridicule for banning same-sex marriages while places like Alabama and Mississippi allow them.”
“The combined pressure from all these sources may well be enough to tip the Government into allowing a free vote and tip the numbers in parliament into a majority.”
Malcolm Turnbull also stated that the decision will ‘add to the momentum’ in Australia to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’ (article).
The 103 page DECISION by the US Supreme Court – click here.
Justice Roberts dissenting report is included in the decision – click here for some key quotes form his brilliant response.
Here are some insightful articles:
Dr Peter Jones
Dr Peter Jones, of Truthxchange, highlighted the decision and considered the impact on apostate churches and the church as a whole – he starts out considering a quote, “the body of Christ is queer”, by an ordained bi-sexual female, Layton E. Williams, in the PC(USA)!
Well worth reading…
Article: The body politic is queer, 26/6/2015.
National Organisation for Marriage (USA)
The National Organisation for Marriage responded, through Brian Brown, the President. Brian said,
“I've now had the chance to read through the 103 page opinion of the US Supreme Court purporting to redefine marriage, and I am even more upset to read the articulated "rationale" for this terrible decision than I was when I was on the steps of the US Supreme Court this morning and initially heard of their conclusion.”
In a formal statement, Brian said,
“Though expected, today's decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute….
He wrote, “The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today's ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority….”
Brian also encouraged Congress to act so that people who object to providing services for homosexual weddings are not discriminated against.
Statement: National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Issues Statement Following US Supreme Court Decision on Marriage, NOM, 26/6/2015.
Bill Muehlenberg wrote about the decision, including quotes from several conservative writers who are all upset and concerned about the decision:
Article: SCOTUS Declares War on Marriage and Family, 27/6/2015.
Bill has since written several more articles on the fallout from the SCOTUS decision – click here.
Peter on Facebook
Peter wrote the following on Facebook when the decision was announced:
4 wise men v 5 fools - so the fools win
That is what happened in the Supreme Court of America yesterday when they gave the green light to immorality and the death of marriage.
Sky News reports the judges reason boiled down to 'Marriage has been a core institution in society since ancient times, 'but it has not stood in isolation from developments in law and society."
They were right. Marriage has changed, but ALWAYS for the worse, and they just took it further down the slippery slope.
On their reasoning there is now nothing stopping the push reaching polygamy - love and 'equality' are now the justification for anything.
A number of Inquiries are currently being held by federal and state governments. They provide an opportunity for YOU to have YOUR SAY on what happens in our society.
We can always be SURE that those advocating for change will make submissions – for instance, on the Inquiry regarding euthanasia and palliative care in Victoria, currently 28 of the 37 submissions call for euthanasia to be legalised!
Although the Inquiries talk about making ‘submissions’, these can be either short or long. A few paragraphs (or even just one) expressing your concern and your point of view is often all that is needed… For those involved in ministries or those who wish to make a bigger contribution, you may want to make a submission that is several pages long.
This email provides a brief overview of FOUR current Inquiries/Discussions– and a detailed report on the FIRST one, on Citizenship – which closes on 30 June 2015.
The second, on the conduct of the Victorian election, closes on 8 JULY.
Submissions for the Halal certification and ‘End of Life Choices’ in Victoria Inquiries close on 31 July 2015.
Detailed overviews of THESE TWO will be provided in the next couple of weeks.
Information about all FOUR Inquiries, including links to Inquiry webpages, is given below so you can start preparing submissions for those you want to make a contribution to!
1. Federal – Citizenship
The federal government is asking for submissions on their Discussion Paper about ‘citizenship’ – it includes reflection on the meaning of ‘citizenship’ and discussion of the removal of Australian citizenship from people involved in terrorist activities (including fighting with ISIS/Islamic State).
The government is putting forward legislation this week to remove citizenship from people who have DUAL citizenship. See details BELOW.
Submissions for the DISCUSSIONS PAPER close on 30 June.
More details on this Inquiry BELOW.
2. Victoria – Conduct of the Victorian election
The Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee is holding an Inquiry into the conduct of the 2014 Victorian election. This could include the conduct of the poll, type of voting, potential fraud and multiple voting, lack of photo ID at poll and so on.
Submissions close on Wednesday 8 July 2015.
Click here to see the Committee’s Inquiry webpage.
3. Federal - Halal certification (and other certification of food)
In March 2015, Senator Cory Bernardi called for a Senate investigation into the certification of food – including Islamic halal certification (see our March report).
The Inquiry is being conducted by the Senate Economic References Committee.
The Inquiry covers all types of certification of food…
Click here for the Inquiry webpage.
Click here for the Terms of Reference which outlines the scope of the Inquiry.
4. Victoria – ‘End-of life choices’ Inquiry
In May 2015, the Victorian Legislative Council agreed that the Legal and Social Issues Committee would conduct an Inquiry into “the need for laws in Victoria to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices.”
This includes discussion of both euthanasia and palliative care.
We encourage people to SUPPORT increased resources for palliative care and to OPPOSE the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The Committee has now called for submissions which must be made by 31 July, 2015.
Click here to see the Committee’s Inquiry webpage (click on tabs for further information).
Responding to the ‘Citizenship’ Discussion Paper
In late May, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that there would be a ‘community consultation’ about Australian citizenship. Mr Abbott appointed Mr Philip Ruddock, who is a former Immigration minister and current Liberal MP, as a ‘special envoy for citizenship and community engagement’.
Whilst part of the discussion will revolve around the removal of citizenship for people who fight for terrorist organisations, the Discussion Paper also includes the citizenship test and pledge, and increasing the understanding of what it means to be an ‘Australian citizen’. (Read article.)
In recent weeks the federal government has proposed removing citizenship from people who fight overseas with groups such as ISIS/Islamic State. A huge amount of media and political commentary ensued, particularly as to whether this would apply to people who only have Australian citizenship, especially before the public consultation was held. In the end, there was a distinction made between people who have DUAL citizenship of Australia and another nation and people who ONLY have Australian citizenship.
The government has decided to proceed with legislation – with bipartisan support – that removes Australian citizenship from people with DUAL citizenship who are found to have engaged with fighting with proscribed terrorist groups and for other-terrorist-related offences. The current law already provides for this for people who go overseas to fight with a foreign army against Australia.
Other matters, and the consideration of citizenship more generally are still the subject of the Discussion Paper – see BELOW.
The proposed legislation regarding citizenship
The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill was tabled in parliament this morning (24 June 2015).
In a media report today, The Australian summaries the Bill’s provisions…
“proposes three new mechanisms by which dual-nationals would be stripped of their citizenship, with aggrieved people able to seek review by the Federal Court and ultimately the High Court. The first mechanism extends the existing prohibition on serving in the armed forces of a country at war with Australia to include people who “fight for, or are in the service of, a specified terrorist organisation overseas”. “A declared terrorist organisation will be a subset of those which are prescribed for the purposes of the Criminal Code. The (Immigration) Minister will declare those organisations that are opposed to Australia or Australia’s values, democratic beliefs, rights and liberties,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told parliament.
“The second way a suspected terrorist would lose citizenship is through engagement in “certain terrorist conduct”, defined as: engaging in international terrorist activities using explosive or lethal devices; engaging in a terrorist act; providing or receiving training connected with preparation for, engagement in, or assistance in a terrorist act; directing the activities of a terrorist organisation; recruiting for a terrorist organisation; financing terrorism; financing a terrorist; or engaging in foreign incursions and recruitment.
"The third way a terrorist would lose citizenship is following a conviction for certain offences under the commonwealth criminal code. They are: international terrorist activities using explosive or lethal devices; treason; urging violence against the constitution; urging violence against groups, urging violence against members of groups; advocating terrorism; espionage and similar activities; foreign incursions and recruitment; treachery; sabotage; inciting mutiny; assisting prisoners of war to escape; unlawful drilling; destroying or damaging commonwealth property; or terrorism, except offences relating to associating with terrorist organisations, control orders and preventative detention orders.”
The BILL is online at the APH website – Second Reading Speeches will be added…
Article: Coalition terror bill outlines how dual-nationals would lose citizenship, The Australian, 24/6/2015.
The Inquiry and Discussion Paper
The Discussion Paper aims to reflect on the meaning of “citizenship”. Mr Ruddock said the consultation and Discussion Paper aimed to “reaffirm the nature of our society’’
The Discussion Paper says: “In a world in which terrorists are reaching out to our community, we cannot be complacent about our future as a strong, safe and cohesive society. It is time for a national conversation about the role of citizenship in shaping our future.’’
The Discussion Paper
The webpage for the Discussion paper, on the Immigration Department website, outlines the purpose of the consultation…
Submissions are invited… and close on 30 June, 2015.
The Introduction and Subject headings are provided below.
Click on this following heading to read the Discussion Paper – click ‘Expand All’ to read all sections at once.
From the website....
Citizenship is a cornerstone of Australia’s inclusive and pluralist democracy. Together we have built a modern nation on the idea that people can get ahead if they are prepared to ‘have a go’. Still, in a world in which terrorists are reaching out to our community, we cannot be complacent about our future as a strong, safe and cohesive society. It is time for a national conversation about the role of citizenship in shaping our future.
There are many ways to become an Australian citizen. Regardless of how we gain it, Australian citizenship is an extraordinary privilege requiring a continuing commitment to this country. Australian citizens enjoy privileges, rights and fundamental responsibilities.
We need to ask ourselves whether the responsibilities of Australian citizenship are well enough known and understood. Do we do enough to promote the value of citizenship, particularly among our young people? Have we got the balance right between the safety of our community and the rights of the individual? How should we deal with citizens who act against the best interests of our country?
As a nation, we have found unity in our diversity and respect in our differences. We should continue to welcome people to make this country their home. That is non-negotiable. But our welcome cannot be a one-way street. All Australians should respect the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and mutual respect. Regardless of our heritage, as citizens, our first duty is to Australia.
What does the threat from terrorism mean for our efforts to realise a strong, safe and prosperous nation? How might we all develop a greater appreciation of Australian citizenship and its privileges and obligations?
Questions are included throughout this paper as conversation starters. Your views on these and other thoughts you have on the value of citizenship in Australia are important. The Commonwealth Government wants to hear from you.
The other sections of the Discussion Paper are:
Making a submission…
The website says…
You can submit your views on this paper by 30 June 2015 to:
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 25
Belconnen, ACT 2616
19 June 2015
A round-up of news from the week…
The News Update includes:
- numerous items relating to homosexual ‘marriage’ in Australia.
- a commentary on the Q and A documentary and panel discussion promoting homosexual rights last night (with lone Christian Rev Fred Nile on the panel to oppose the LGBTIQ agenda)
- mention of the Magna Carta being signed 800 years ago this week (see FINAL item!).
All of these would merit a separate E-News – but I don’t like to send too many emails to fill your Inboxes, so please forgive me for the lengthy post – and browse to read the items that interest (or concern) you!
16 June 2015
Last week, Tony Campolo, a well-known US evangelical, announced that he now FULLY SUPPORTS homosexual relationships in the church: “I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church”.
Given that he has gradually moved to the ‘progressive’ end of Christianity, and been a supporter of the ‘emerging church’, this is not really surprising – but it is instructive to look at HOW and WHY he changed his mind.
- After examining what he has said, and WHY he changed his mind, I give links to articles by Michael Brown, Albert Mohler and Bill Muehlenberg.
Over the past 20 years, Tony Campolo has maintained that he does NOT support the full acceptance of homosexuality. However, he supported the ‘you can be a homosexual but be celibate’ line – he outlined that position in his book ‘Twenty Hot Potatoes Christians are afraid to touch’ (originally published in 1988) when he said that he employed ‘celibate homosexuals’ in his ministry.
Over the past 15 years or more, Tony Campolo and his wife Peggy have been held up as ‘role models’ by those actively campaigning for homosexuality to be accepted in the church.
Why is that?
Because Peggy has endorsed the FULL acceptance of homosexuality by the church. This interview from 1996 showed Peggy already fully supporting homosexual relationships (posted on Freedom to Be).
Homosexual activists have used this to contend that a husband and a wife (and thus other committed Christians) can hold these two opposing positions. Of course, they would have wanted Peggy to ‘win over’ her husband!
15 June 2015
Last week the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) released a report calling for the removal of all ‘discrimination’ related to “sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex”. In fact, they have introduced another acronym to represent this expression – SOGII…
The report was launched by Attorney-General George Brandis.
This is how the Commission introduces the report on their website…
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Australia continue to face unjust state-sanctioned discrimination, unacceptable levels of violence, harassment and bullying and a lack of visibility of the issues that directly affect them in accessing essential services, according to a new report released today by Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson.
Resilient Individuals: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Rights National Consultation Report was officially launched by Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis.
The report recommends urgent law reform at all levels of government, and outlines new initiatives of the Australian Human Rights Commission on sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex (SOGII) rights.”
HREOC states that “marriage equality has been a prevailing focus” of the national ‘discussion’ – and the Report recommends that the Marriage Act be changed to allow homosexual ‘marriage’.
The Report also calls for action at state and federal level to address “bullying, harassment or violence on the bases of their gender identity or sexual orientation”.
Regarding gender identity, they are asking for “alternative options to be identified to enable children under the age of 18 to access hormone treatment, rather than requiring a Family Court Order”. [Children can already obtain so-called’ puberty blockers without going to the Family Court, due to a precedent set by a ruling from a Family Court judge – but currently they have to go to the Family Court to access hormones art around age 16.]
Tim Wilson promotes the homosexual agenda
It was disappointing, but perhaps not surprising, to read that the Report was released by Tim Wilson. He was appointed as the ‘Commissioner for Freedom’ by the Abbott government because of his opposition to the racial vilification law, Section 18C of the Racial Hatred Act – and for his supposedly ‘conservative’ credentials…
However, Tim Wilson is openly homosexual with a partner (article here). Although he USED to oppose homosexual ‘marriage’, suggesting in 2008 they could have ‘civil unions’, he now fully supports it! He spoke at the Press Club in March 2015 (info here), and at a ‘Marriage Equality’ rally in Melbourne on 13 June, 2015 (along with Bill Shorten, Penny Wong, Victorian Liberal MP David Davis –and Rev Carolyn Francis from Collins St Baptist Church! [See AME Media Release]