Helping Christians to make a difference
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Helping Christian families to make a difference
The police just about outnumbered the protesters at the World Congress of Families regional conference in Melbourne on Saturday. Even the mainstream media reported that only about 50 to 60 protesters were there (a few more came for the ‘Block the Hate party’ at lunchtime but they all went home at 2.30 pm). The protest organisers, who held their Media Conference on Thursday at Trades Hall, had said there would be ‘thousands’ attending, but that didn’t eventuate. Perhaps there were other things keeping them busy - like marches against the federal government’s Budget in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on Sunday.
After a venue change the conference went ahead, with more than 300 delegates. There were some excellent speeches. All MPs except Fred Nile pulled out from speaking and attending, which was disappointing. The police did a great job with security and protecting delegates. Congratulations to Babette Francis for her persistence and organisation of the event in spite of the opposition.
The media were there in force – ABC, SBS, Channel 9, Channel 10, Channel 7, The Age, Herald Sun, Guardian, and even the homosexual paper Star Observer! However, their reports tended to focus on the controversy and the protesters rather than the actual CONTENT of the speeches!
Links to media reports below.
Lifesite News reported on the event. DVDs of the speakers will be available in a few weeks.
Overall, it was a great day with some excellent speeches!
Venue change – Politicians and clergy CANCEL!
With a number of venues being deemed ‘unsuitable’ for size or security reasons and commercial venues backing out because of harassment and threats of continuing protests against FUTURE events such as weddings (as well as the protest on the day) (see our Briefing last Friday for full details), Danny Nalliah of Catch the Fire Ministries, offered his venue in Hallam. As it turned out, the property is fenced and provided appropriate security for the event. There are few venues that provide seating for 400 - and can be defended at a double gateway!
Unfortunately, some of the pro-life Liberal politicians – Kevin Andrews and Robert Clarke - pulled out at the last minute, on the grounds that it was being held at the Catch the Fire premises and they objected to some of Danny's views as reported in the media. Bernie Finn, the Victorian Liberal politician who opposes abortion, was supposed to speak about the ‘March for the Babies’ – and presumably the violence by protesters at last year’s March. He pulled out, citing his family’s concerns for his safety.
Babette Francis, the organiser of the event, said she was ‘just hiring a venue’ when no other hotels were prepared to rent their premises and was very disappointed that they didn't support the event. Some speakers were critical of the politicians for cancelling their attendance, when they had committed to speak to delegates. Two Catholic clergy who were listed as speakers didn’t show up either!
Protesters loud and abusive
The protesters were typically loud and abusive, screaming slogans of ‘hate’ and ‘bigot’ at delegates as they arrived. Some protesters had registered as ‘delegates’ and people were checked against the list as they entered (by me). A couple of people were a bit too ‘obvious’ – having been told to dress as ‘conservative Christians’ one wore a white suit, and another wore a teal taffeta suit! After questioning about what group they were with or how they came to be there, I let them in – after all, we are in favour of free speech, and were happy to have people attend if they wanted to listen and engage in genuine debate and discussion! However, the woman in the white suit obviously didn’t want to do that – she made a scene after Hon Rev Fred Nile arrived, charging onto the stage and pouring red paint over herself. She was duly escorted from the premises.
Bill Muehlenberg provided a graphic account of her screaming while being evicted, in his account of the event!
The protesters continued with their chanting and speeches for a while – but it all quietened down once the delegates were inside. One organiser asked for people to suggest chants for everyone to repeat – after two or three chants there was deathly silence as they had run out of ideas! Two protesters were arrested during the protest.
Speeches and media reports
Inside the conference, everything went smoothly and there were no further disruptions. Everyone heard a number of excellent speeches, providing information and evidence about a range of topics – from euthanasia to marriage, from abortion to sex education. Dr David van Gend and Dr Mark Durie stepped in at the last minute and gave excellent presentations. David spoke on euthanasia legislation and the impact on vulnerable people.
Mark spoke about the family and freedom of speech, and quoted an article published last week by Bettina Arndt, a former ‘sexologist’, who wrote about how the research shows that the best environment for raising children is a home with a married biological mother and father!
Article: Society wedded to fallacies on families, The Australian, 23/8/2014.
Bettina Arndt wrote, “The casualisation of families is one of the major factors entrenching disadvantage for children in this country. Yet no one wants to talk about it.”
Arndt noted that Kay Hymowitz, “A renowned family scholar with New York’s Manhattan Institute”, who spoke at a Centre for Independent Studies conference on the Gold Coast last weekend, “reports a sense of deja vu witnessing the struggle Australia is having in coming to terms with the essential truth about family life: namely that children do better with two parents, particularly married parents.”
But did the media report on Mark’s speech or those comments?
The same thing happened regarding Dr Angela Lanfranchi’s speech on the link between abortion and breast cancer. Angela made a detailed presentation, citing numerous scientific studies that had been published in peer-reviewed medical journals…
The ABC and SBS journalists stayed for her introduction and then LEFT.
You wouldn’t want to actually hear what was said, would you?
The Age journalist, who was there all day, tried to imply that it was only Dr Lanfranchi’s own ‘research’, stating “Controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lafranchi was one of the headline acts, pushing her research suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer.” No mention of the worldwide studies… or anything else!
“From 1957 to 2013 there have been 72 epidemiological studies of the ‘abortion breast cancer link’ differentiating induced from spontaneous abortion –
- 56 studies show a positive correlation
- 33 studies are statistically significant to the 95th percentile."
The Guardian journalist must have missed that – she reported, “She cited only studies involving rats to support her claims.”
IF YOU WANT to know what Dr Angela Lanfranchi says to her critics, as well as the evidence to support her claims, read Family Voice's Media Release about her meeting in Adelaide yesterday. Link below.
Andrew Bolt was highly critical of the actions of the protests – but began his blog post with the comment, “More frightening than the views of the people inside the World Congress of Families is the intolerance of the protesters outside…”
The journalist from homosexual paper Star Observer was there, and I had a chat with him – he said everyone had been really nice to him. His report was quite reasonable – as expected, he wrote that speakers mostly referred to concern about 'non-traditional families’ which he took as a ‘code word’ for LGBTI – all except Fred Nile, of course, who mentioned homosexuality!
In fact, as one person commented, the journalists must have all been at a DIFFERENT CONFERENCE!
The protesters like to refer to the World Congress of Families, and in fact anyone who says that marriage and the natural family are best for society, as the ‘hard right’ and nasty and ‘bigoted’. But the reality is that they are the ‘hard left’. These protesters protest against anything and everything and are well-known to police.
Unfortunately the name-calling and antagonism is getting worse. The World Congress of Families posted an article online addressing claims of ‘hate’ made by the protesters, and the recent ‘Report’ by the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-homosexual activist group. They address the question, ‘Is the World Congress of Families hateful?’ and answer with a resounding ’No!’
On one point, opponents claim that the WCF ‘supports Russia’s anti-gay laws’.
But as Larry Jacobs, the Managing Director of the WCF, pointed out, they had nothing to do with the passing of the law, but the WCF has spoken about media misconceptions of the law, which is “aimed solely at protecting minors from dangerous influences including drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, prostitution, heterosexual pornography, and solicitations for “non-traditional sexual relations”. The last category was added in 2013 and the “law provides only a civil penalty for violations”. See WCF statement link below.
As Larry said, homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, and there are still ‘gay bars in Moscow’.
As for why opponents saying the WCF is hateful, they state, “It’s a political weapon – a way to stigmatize family advocates and silence dissent.”
Did the media report on that?
Freedom of speech is under increasing threat in our nation. Often it seems that the loudest voices get heard – or as they say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil!”
One disappointing response was from Tim Wilson, Australian Human Rights Commissioner, who was appointed to promote freedom of speech. Although he didn’t attend the event, he was highly critical of views expressed by the World Congress of Families. As an open homosexual who supports same-sex ‘marriage’, he criticised the fact that the WCF supports the “natural family”. His main point was that we should have freedom of speech and the protesters should allow free access to people to hear such views. He wrote, “The agenda of the Congress sits well outside the mainstream of Australian public debate.”
He went on to say, “Seeking to silence different views does nothing to stop them. Instead they should be given a platform and exposed to the full light of day. If they are absurd, it will not take long for them to attract the ridicule they deserve.”
He's just launched a national CONSULTATION on free speech - read more here.
If we don’t continue to stand up for what is good and noble and true, the forces against us will continue to get louder. We must remember that there were more of us than there were of them.
- Protester storms stage at World Congress of Families, The Age, 30/8/2014.
- Protesters block entry as World Congress of Families starts in chaos, Guardian, 30/8/2014.
- WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES CONFERENCE GOES AHEAD AMIDST PROTESTS, MP CANCELLATIONS, Star Observer, 30/8/2014.
Andrew Bolt: The hecklers and screamers are even more intolerant, Andrew Bolt, 31/8/2014.
Collation of media reports of WCF Melbourne event (Google News) – click here.
IS THE WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES HATEFUL?
Questions and Answers On World Congress of Families
Bill Muehlenberg’s report:
WCF, Freedom and Democracy Versus the Fascists, 30/8/2014.
Lifesite News –Politicians flee World Congress of Families event in Melbourne as media criticism continuesPoliticians flee World Congress of Families event in Melbourne as media criticism continues, 29/8/2014.
IF YOU WANT to know what Dr Angela Lanfranchi says to her critics, as well as the evidence to support her claims, read Family Voice's Media Release about her meeting in Adelaide yesterday.
Open letter to the people of Australia peopleto the people of Australia people - from the World Congress of Families.
2. Homosexual activist Alex Greenwich calls for Kevin Andrews to 'withdraw' from conference
"A protest by the Coalition to Beat Back The Right will begin at 8am on Saturday morning (find details here), the marriage equality crusaders of Equal Love will take over at 11am, and a light-hearted rainbow family-friendly event called the Block Party Against Hate will happen outside the Conference venue from 12:30pm."
The Equal Love Facebook page promotes their protest - click here.
Their 'Events page' posts more reports and a Media Conference opposing the event held today - click here.
The 'Block Party' Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/events/314960375331061
The protesters obviously have inside information - with some of their people signing up to attend the conference. An email from the Conference Secretary is quoted on the 'Pauline Pantsdown' Facebook page about the venue to be notified on Friday night - and PP asks those who have registered and been accepted to contact him (see PP Facebook post here and also here). They say 'participants may be 'bused' to another venue - and now they are raising funds to hire a bus to follow the WCF bus!
And so much for a 'peaceful protest' - at the Media Conference, one group planning to protest says they plan to 'blockade the meeting' to PREVENT people from attending...
Organiser Debbie Brennan said they would “make it very difficult for them. We’re going to be blockading as much as we can, we’re going to make it very hard to get in”.
Article: World Congress of Families: protesters vow to shut down conference, Guardian, 28/8/2014.
7. Human Rights Campaign - REPORT against WCF
Finally.... the pro-homosexual group Human Rights Campaign has released a 20 page report about the World Congress of Families and their positions, policies and activities. It seems to have attracted the HRC attention becasue their next international meeting will be held in the USA for the first time - in Salt Lake City.
Needless to say, this report has generated even MORE criticism... being quoted by Alex Greenwich and Greens Senator Larissa Waters this week....
I'll leave you to have a look at the 20 page report:
So much for free speech!
However, there are always important articles addressing some of the issues we deal with.
In this report, I’ve included several articles form the past couple of weeks….
- Mark Durie on Islam
- Tareq al Suwaidan saying different things to Western and Islamic audiences
- Divorce and suicide
- Harry Potter and ‘acceptance’ of stigmatised groups
- Tim Blair visits Lakemba
- John Stackhouse – ‘Peace in Islam means submission’
1. Mark Durie – Dhimmitude and dissimulation in Islam
Another excellent article by Mark Durie about dhimmitude in Islam and the three choices offered to people under Islamic conquest, and most recently in Iraq by Islamic State (convert, pay the ‘jizya’ or be killed).
Mark also writes about dissimulation – a form of deception in which one conceals the truth – where he highlights the ‘nice’ way some Western writers have written about the ‘tax’ imposed on non-Muslims.
If you haven’t read Mark’s excellent book, The Third Choice, then PLEASE read this excellent article…
Mark notes that “would-be jihadis are flocking to Syria and Iraq” and writes,
“Why is this so? How did the Arab Spring, hailed by so many armchair western commentators as the next best thing for the Middle East, blossom bright red into a torrent of blood?
"Part of the answer is that the West is in the grip of theological illiteracy. It has stubbornly refused to grasp the implications of a global Islamic revival which has been gaining steam for the best part of a century. The Islamic Movement looks back to the glory days of conquest as Islam’s finest hour, and seeks to revive Islamic supremacy through jihad and sacrifice. It longs for a truly Islamic state – the caliphate reborn – and considers jihad to be the God-given means to usher it in.
"This worldview was promoted in compelling, visionary terms by Indian scholar Abul A’la Maududi, whose writings continue to be widely disseminated by Islamic bookshops and mosques across the West.”
FULL ARTICLE – click here.
Mark wrote an additional article in response to a piece that reported Christians in Iraq were ‘asking to pay the jizya’.
Article: Christians are 'asking' to pay jizya: reflections on the Islamic State, Mark Durie, 14/8/2014.
2. Islamic speaker – saying different things to different audiences…
On the subject of Islam, it is important to note that some Islamic leaders will say ONE thing to a Western audience and ANOTHER thing to a Muslim audience.
The case of Tareq al Suwaidan is a good example. He is a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait.
Recently, MEMRI translated a message he gave in the Middle East. This five minute video shows him speaking in the Middle East.
Pamela Geller said, “Islamic supremacist savagery on full display. Note how he keeps repeating that they don’t want a ceasefire. Yet Obama, Kerry and other Western leaders keep pushing Israel to accept one — to give Hamas time to use the millions Obama just announced he is giving them to rearm and regroup.”
This same Tareq al Suwaidan toured Australia in 2012 giving a number of lectures – including at mainstream venues such as Monash University’s Robert Blackwood Hall.
Rowan Callick had this very insightful article in The Australian, pointing out the differing messages he gives…
Article: Mixed messages from touring Muslim lecturer, The Australian, 7/6/2012.
In 2010, he was also speaking in Australia - doing a fundraising tour for the 'Australian Islamic Mission' to raise funds for the building of a mosque.
This is the Islamic group that is providing the funds to build the MOSQUE in Bendigo. They claim to be 'moderate - but have used this man to raise funds!!!
INFO on that tour - online click here.
He was brought to Australia by ‘Human Appeal International" promoted as an Islamic aid charity – however, 7.30 reported …
“NICK McKENZIE: Back in Sydney, another indication that Australian charities are feeding extremist organisations. This building houses a branch of Human Appeal International, an Islamic charity based in the United Arab Emirates.
A 1996 CIA document states: Human Appeal International probably acts as a fundraiser for the Palestinian extremist organisation Hamas.”
A Gatestone article analyses the link between HAI and Hamas.
In Australia, Hamas's Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) is listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation – but not Hamas itself (source).
3. Divorce and suicide
Even more reason to work at keeping marriages together – various research studies have shown a higher risk of suicide for divorced men than for married men.
In this short article, Jennifer Johnson reflects on the death of Robin Williams, and the suicide of her own father – both of whom had been divorced.
She cites research that found “for men who get divorced, their risk for suicide is twice that of married men, according to a study titled, “Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study,” by Augustine J. Kposowa (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2000). Located here.
Article: Robin Williams’ Divorces, and His Suicide, Jennifer Johnson, 13/8/2014.
Recent research study…
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Family Studies found that “The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis determined that, controlling for the psychiatric, social, and economic predictors of suicide completions, recent divorce increases the odds of death by suicide 1.6 times, compared with 1.3 times for distal divorce.”
Study: Recency of Divorce, Depression, and Suicide Risk, July 2013.
4. Harry Potter - and increasing acceptance of others – including LGBT
Along with all the previous reasons for not supporting the Harry Potter books, here is some new research which highlights that ATTITUDES of children can be changed by these books – specifically to become more ‘accepting’ of others!
The Independent reports, “A recent study has found that “reading JK Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter stories improves attitudes toward stigmatised groups such as LGBT people, immigrants and refugees, because of the process of “perspective taking” that children undertake during the stories.”
The Independent’s claim that the study shows that attitudes to LGBT people are improved is rather a stretch… The study only mentions the word ‘gay’ once (referring to attitudes in Italy).
As to what the study found, the ‘General Discussion’ states, “Results from one experimental intervention and two cross-sectional studies show that reading the novels of Harry Potter improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups among those more identified with the main positive character (Studies 1 and 2) and those less identified with the main negative character (Study 3). We also found evidence for the role of perspective taking as the process allowing the improvement of out-group attitudes.”
Of course, since homosexuals are one group that are seen to be ‘stigmatised’, the Independent is just extending the inference of the study results.
In fact, author Jessica Rowling has previously said she ‘had always thought of Dumbledore as gay’. She has said, “I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the wizarding world. So you have the intent to oppose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity, which is this great fallacy, but it crops up all over the world”.
Article at The Independent…
STUDY: The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23/7/2014.
5. Islam in Australia – Tim Blair visits Lakemba…
An insightful article by columnist Tim Blair… about life in Lakemba in Sydney’s west…
Article: Last drinks in Lakemba: Tim Blair takes a look inside Sydney’s Muslim Land, Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph, 18/8/2014.
6. ‘Peace under Islam requires submission’
An insightful article by John Stackhouse, a scholar, public communicator and theologian from Regent University in Canada.
When he appeared on Q & A recently he was the only one expressing these views about Islam. The article appeared in The Australian the following week. He responded to a comment from a Liberal MP, Sussan Ley, who said, “Islam is a religion of peace…”
The article begins,
“MUSLIMS are all terrorists.”
“No, no: Islam is a religion of peace.”
While these wild oversimplifications continue to be bandied about (mostly by non-Muslims), violence racks the Middle East, South Asia and much of Africa in the name of Islam. Meanwhile, many Muslims, like their neighbours of other outlooks, recoil in horror.
A few basic facts will help us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, get past the stereotypes to understand the history of Islam and the events that alarm us here and abroad.
First, Islam is indeed a religion of peace, but in a crucially qualified sense. The root word of both “Islam” and “Muslim” is “s-l-m”, which is also the root for “salaam” or “peace” — but it most basically means “submission” (to God).
Article: Peace under Islam requires submission, The Australian, 18/8/2014.
Cinema details: See http://themoviefreedom.com/cinemas/ then choose your state.
The 'Story' from the film website...
Two men separated by 100 years are united in their search for freedom. In 1856 a slave, Samuel Woodward (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and his family, escape from the Monroe Plantation near Richmond, Virginia.
A secret network of ordinary people known as the Underground Railroad guide the family on their journey north to Canada. They are relentlessly pursued by the notorious slave hunter Plimpton (William Sadler). Hunted like a dog and haunted by the unthinkable suffering he and his forbears have endured, Samuel is forced to decide between revenge or freedom.
100 years earlier in 1748, John Newton the Captain of a slave trader sails from Africa with a cargo of slaves, bound for America. On board is Samuel’s great grandfather whose survival is tied to the fate of Captain Newton. The voyage changes Newton’s life forever and he creates a legacy that will inspire Samuel and the lives of millions for generations to come.
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