2010 March Journal
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Summary of the articles and information in the Journal.
Summary - Salt Shakers Journal March 2010
Editorial (full version below)
This month the atheists are in Melbourne for a 'global conference'. Peter also gives honour to Dr Neil Ryan and discusses his 13 year contribution to Salt Shakers.
Atheism, Truth and Reason
In this article, Roger Birch discusses the Global Atheist Conference and unpacks a quote from Richard Dawkins by defining the terms used and offering a logical conclusion to their faith system.
Global Atheist Conference
There is Information about the conference and a prayer point for the attendees.
Muslim prayer rooms; More nude photos; Queensland: Surrogacy; Sexting;
Federal and State Elections
This article covers the elections in Tasmania and South Australia on March 20th and the issues involved. There is also an update on the possibility of other elections for this year.
Child abuse statistics
There is a rise in the number of children that have been removed from their families by authorities because of abuse. This article quotes from the Child Protection Australia 2008-2009 report and discusses the findings.
Christianity & Politics: Tony Abbott
Jenny Stokes discusses the attacks on Tony Abbott by the media and includes other sources in order to define his actual views.
This is a short update on the new look web site and Cameron's efforts to send out weekly emails highlighting articles and forum discussions.
Bendigo Stupa and the Buddhist Revival
Ruth Webb warns Christians of the dangers involved in Buddhist practices and they way that they have filtered into schools, churches and society. She informs us about the plans for a very large Stupa (temple) to be built in Bendigo.
Euthanasia - and Nembutal
This article highlights the fact that Nembutal is a border-controlled substance, that those importing it can be imprisoned and that it is used to aid suicides. Statistics are included.
A voice for life
The screening of an amazing ad at the Superbowl, about the miraculous birth of Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, angered Pro-abortion groups.
Update: mardi gras
This update encourages readers to protest to Mr Rudd about his support for the mardi gras and includes information on the sponsors of the event.
New Website: 'Pornography Harms'
This very informative website was launched in February and it provides data on the devastating effects of pornography. Links to peer-reviewed research articles are also provided.
Correction - religious instruction in schools
Good news: that the government has rejected (not accepted, as previously reported) the proposal that there would be teaching on humanism in the 'religious instruction' program in Victorian primary schools.
The Netherlands - warning about euthanasia
Patrick B. Craine from Lifesite News highlights the consequences of legalising euthanasia and not focussing on palliative care first. He also mentions the 'slippery slope' that has opened the way for euthanasia of newborns and the mentally ill.
Orwell and Huxley Revisited
This article is an extract from Neil Postman's book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, which compares George Orwell's book 1984 with Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World.
Geert Wilders on trial; USA: Tolerance - or not; UK: Pregnancy tests for girls; UK: Christian loses appeal on cross.
This month the atheists are in Melbourne for a 'global conference (see page 4). Whenever I [Peter] think of atheists I'm reminded of a conference I attended at the UN in New York a few years ago. As we discussed issues relating to family, one person stood up and said something like , "We humanists [atheists by another name] are interested in the family too, because this life is all there is and we want it to be the best it can be".
Early in February we said 'goodbye' to Neil Ryan, a dear friend and a member of Salt Shakers Board for over 13 years.
Because we know there is more to life than just this life here on earth, his family organised a colourful celebration rather than a sad farewell.
Neil was a very strong support to us and a great source of spiritual strength and encouragement to us and our whole team. They rarely missed our weekly 6.30 am (now 7.30am) Thursday morning prayer breakfast.
We first came to know Neil as a great prayer warrior on our regular prayer buses to the City and the Dandenongs. He was always willing to lead in spiritual battle and was a strong encourager to others to speak out their petitions to the Lord. Driven by the knowledge that 'satan roams the earth like a roaring lion' he was never afraid to roar back but always because he cared so much for those caught up with the spirit of this age.
I approached Neil and his wife Dawn to join the Salt Shakers Board at the end of a prayer bus trip in 1996 and they readily accepted. Little did I know at that time that they had stepped down from another ministry just weeks earlier, and were waiting to see what God would call them to do next. It was definitely God's timing.
Dr Neil Ryan was a world leader in the research of stress fractures in aircraft but he soon turned his vast research capabilities towards the stress fractures in society. A society rapidly moving away from its Judeo-Christian heritage and Christian morality.
We valued the background work he did on so many issues. His copious emails, with links to research papers and issues are already being sorely missed.
The Federal Senate and other governments will be among the losers from Neil's departure - his regular submissions to them on a wide range of issues relating to faith and family were always full of wise words and sound research. Sadly, his wisdom was all too rarely reflected in the politically correct, social engineering outcomes so often adopted by today's governments.
Neil and Dawn were like a Mum and Dad to us and all those they came into contact with, regardless of age. Their focus was always on God and others before themselves.
Neil's life and his witness touched everyone he came in contact with, even through the suffering of the last few months.
He was ready to meet his maker and his Lord and we can rejoice in the assurance that his life goes on for eternity and we will see him again one day.
Our prayers and support go to Dawn and the family as they continue to live without a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Neil will be greatly missed by us all, he was a true man of integrity.
The best epitaph we can give Neil is to aspire to do as he did and serve our Lord Jesus Christ in every area of our lives.
Yours in His service
Peter and Jenny Stokes