Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
This has been a very busy week - on Thursday I appeared before the Senate Committee conducting an Inquiry into the Greens' 'Recognition of foreign marriages Bill' (aimed at recognising HOMOSEXUAL foreign same-sex marriages). I represented the National Marriage Coalition, along with Bill Muehlenberg. As well as the actual presentation, we spent a lot of time preparing an Opening Statement.
... Then there was the submission to the Senate Inquiry into euthanasia/assisted suicide.
We've also been working on the Guidelines about 'Special Religious Instruction' in Victoria and advocating to get amendments to the Ministerial Direction 141 and the Education Department Policy Guide. We're pleased to announce that the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, has now released an AMENDED Ministerial Direction - and the Education Department has published a REVISED Policy Guide.
The Policy Guide has REMOVED the statements about OTHER religious activities being banned at schools and now states that those lunchtime activities are allowed.
The revisions to the Ministerial Direction remove some of the more onerous restrictions that had been placed on SRI and clarifies that students can distribute religious material.
In this News Update, we highlight the situation around Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and the important developments surrounding the proposed anti-terrorism laws, with the Prime Minister meeting Muslim groups and the varying reactions from Muslims.
Read the News Update:
News Update - 22 August - 18C, homosexual surrogacy, Islam and terrorism laws, marriage and more
One key question is, 'If Christians are supporting homosexuality, what is happening to their views on other social and moral issues?'
In his latest research, Mark Regnerus found that are "More than seven times" as many churchgoing Christians who SUPPORT same-sex 'marriage' think pornography is OK compared to churchgoing Christians who don't support same-sex 'marriage'.
Similarly, "Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights."
Note - Mark highlights the trends, but notes that support for homosexual 'marriage' doesn't automatically mean support for any or all of these things!
The main article to read is this one by Mark Regnerus...
The data TABLE is also BELOW.
If you have time to read just ONE item, read Mark's article:
Sociologist Mark Regnerus is analysing the data from the recent "Relationships in America survey," which surveyed 15,738 Americans aged 18-60. The full research will be published in September, but Mark made a presentation at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s leadership summit recently. His research highlights the difference between churchgoing Christians and Christians 'in name only'.
Watch presentation: Mark Regnerus - Sex in America: Sociological Trends - 1.5 hours.
First some good news
Russell Moore highlights the fact that Mark, in his presentation, says he found that "Evangelical Christians ages 18 to 39 are resisting liberalizing trends in the culture."
On the question of same-sex 'marriage', only 11% of young evangelicals who regularly attend church support 'marriage' for homosexuals - and only 5% thought that co-habitation was "acceptable".
Article: A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No., National Review,9/7/2014
Concerning results - support for same-sex marriage - effect on morality
In a detailed article at The Public Discourse, Mark asks, "What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages?"
In this article, Mark looks at churchgoing Christians (attending church at least three times a month) and compared their responses to a range of questions concerning their attitudes to pornography, pre-marital sex, adultery, multiple relationships and abortion. He says, "I assess a set of sexual and relational attitudes of Christians who support—and Christians who oppose—same-sex marriage.Primarily, this exercise concerns the attitudes of all churchgoing Christians who express support for same-sex marriage."
Mark found that Christians who support same-sex 'marriage' are more likely to 'accept' other sexual sins...
The summary of Mark's excellent article states, "Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions."
Here's the summary table:
"So what do the numbers say? The table above displays the share of each group who either “agree” or “strongly agree” with the seven statements listed above. At a glance, there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is OK. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights..."
Mark notes that support for homosexual 'marriage' doesn't automatically lead to support for these other immoral practices...
"I’m not suggesting any “slippery slope” sort of argument here, implying that a shift in one attitude will prompt lock-step adjustments in others. In reality, our moral systems concerning sex and sexuality tend rather to resemble personalized “tool kits” … Instead, the results might be better interpreted as a simple story of social learning from quite different reference groups—those sets of people we use as a standard of comparison for ourselves, regardless of whether we identify as a member of that group.”
Read Mark's article:
Here is a media report about Mark's research...
Surprise: Pro-Gay-Marriage Christians Reject the Rest of Christian Teaching about Sex and Marriage, Too, National Review, 11/8/2014.
Read the News Update:
News Update - 15 August - Visas, WCF 'sponsors', Update on 18C and SRI and more
He has some very pertinent questions for them... on a range of Islamic beliefs such as jihad, sharia law, martyrdom, child marriage and dhimmitude...
[To visit Dr Brown's website, click here.]
Christians being beheaded. Muslims slaughtering Muslims. Schoolgirls being kidnapped. Schoolboys being burned alive.
These are the images of Islam that we see on the news day and night, but we are told repeatedly that this does not represent true Islam. Instead, we are told, these atrocities are examples of radical Islam, committed by savages who know nothing of the real faith, people who misuse the Koran for their own malicious purposes and who represent perhaps 15 percent of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.
That would mean that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving, with no desire to take over the world violently or enforce their religion on others by means of the sword.
Of course, I fully understand that there are many “moderate Muslims” who are not true Muslims any more than many liberal Christians are true Christians. In other words, they are nominal believers only.
But there are certainly many Muslims who claim to uphold the Five Pillars of Islam and who feel that they, and not the radical Muslims, are following in Muhammad’s footsteps. And they would explain that while it is true that their prophet engaged in violent acts of war and that the Koran calls for harsh treatment of the enemies of the faith, this is no different than the book of Joshua in the Old Testament – something that happened in the past but is not to be repeated today.To be sure, the moment I speak up about a controversial issue that is happening today, such as Israel’s right to defend itself against Islamic terrorists, my social media pages are flooded with Jew-hating comments made by angry Muslims, expressing sentiments like, “the decimation and annihilation of Israel is coming soon inshaalllah [Allah willing]. End of Israel will be fact I'm sure.” And, “Can somebody resurrect Hitler? [The Jews] are chosen. Chosen to be killers. Rapists. Racist. Murderers and worshippers of satan . . .”
Do they represent the true spirit of Islam, or are these some of the 200-300 million “radical Muslims”? (By the way, whether “radical Islam” is normative or not, it is, without a doubt, a massive threat to the world today.)
As for the “moderate Muslims,” whom I don’t seem to hear from as much, the ones who do write do not seem not to be that religious, based on the sentiments they express.
I’m aware that statements have been made by respected Islamic leaders renouncing violent jihad, but for the sake of clarity, I’d like to ask some simple questions which, I believe, can be easily answered.
If you uphold the Five Pillars of Islam and believe in the divine inspiration of the Koran and the reliability of the Hadith, I’d love to hear your responses to these questions...."
Click the title of Michael's article to read the questions...
Understandably a lot of people are VERY UPSET about this BROKEN PROMISE - and that includes us.
As one commentator said, maybe they were trying to appeal to the conservatives AND the ethnic and Muslim communities at the SAME time. The 'conservatives' want strong terrorism laws and don't want the 'race hate law' (S 18C)on 18C. Ethnic and Muslim communities DO want the current 'race hate' law and DON'T want stronger terrorism laws!
BUT neither group was happy with the compromise!
Do we really have to compromise on free speech to try and get 'unity? If we do, it is a bad sign of what lies ahead.
In 2012, Mark Steyn, who was prosecuted under Canada's hatred law, toured Australia as a guest of the Institute of Public Affairs.
Mark, who says he shared a stage with Tony Abbott during the tour, is critical about the BACK-FLIP.
He wrote an article, The "Needless Complication" of Free Speech, in which he says,
"Free speech is never a "needless complication" - and certainly not compared to all the other "complications" you'll be burdened with in lieu of it. I hope Aussie readers will support the IPA's campaign for freedom of expression - at least until I get down, there in a few months to kick up some free-speech dust all over again."
The important thing here is that Canada's 'hatred law' is "now deceased" - it has been REPEALED!
Read Mark's recent article... The "Needless Complication" of Free Speech, 9/8/2014.