Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has introduced a Bill to legalise euthanasia into the state parliament.
The Bill, called the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013, has been co-sponsored by the Greens Nick McKim. The Bill allows assisted suicide and euthanasia.
The Bill is not limited to terminally ill people - it allows 'euthanasia and assisted suicide' for people who have other progressive illnesses that cause 'suffering'.
Read the Bill: Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2013
Under pressure, the Premier has now admitted that the Bill would allow 'death tourism' with people coming to Tasmania for the purpose of euthanasia - they would only have to be in the state for 10 days!
If you live in Tasmania PLEASE ACT NOW by contacting your MPs - see the ACTION section below...
The Bill will begin to be debated in October when parliament resumes - the House of Assembly sits from 15 October (source).
Articles and resources on the proposed legislation:
Paul Russell of HOPE
Paul has written about the Bill - In his first piece, he writes that the Bill is about BOTH euthanasia AND assisted suicide but comments, "The bill does not even refer to euthanasia by name and only passingly refers to assisted suicide in a clause that effectively says that this is not assisted suicide."
His second item notes that the premier has admitted that people from OTHER places could have 'euthanasia' within 10 days of arriving in Tasmania!
* When living is a failure - 30/9/2013. In this article, Paul critiques an Opinion piece that accuses those who oppose the Bill of spreading 'fear'.
Family Voice has put out a Media release . . .
Tas euthanasia bill: depressed people could suicide within 10 days, 30/9/2013.
The FAVA Tasmanian officer, Jim Collins, said, "Anyone suffering from a “progressive medical condition” causing persistent suffering that is “intolerable for the person” could qualify, according to Clause 11. This means people suffering from treatable diseases like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis could apply, if they say their suffering is intolerable. Treatable depression can greatly influence a patient’s perception of suffering, but the bill does not require assessment or treatment by a psychologist or psychiatrist.”
Real Dignity Tas has a You Tube channel with information about the issue
Watch the recent 3 minute video with Prof Nicholas Tonti-Filippini on the dangers of the Bill - click here. Previous videos - posted here.
US Bioethicist, Lawyer and commentator, Wesley Smith, comments on the Tasmanian Bill:
Tasmania Seeks Broad Medicalized Killing License - National Review, 27/9/2013.
Euthanasia bill put forward in Tasmania, The Age, 26/9/2013.
Tasmania bill to make euthanasia legal could lead to ‘death tourism’, Mercury, 30/9/2013.
Giddings admits euthanasia bill could bring in "death tourism", Mercury, 1/10/2013.
Please read the articles above.
Please contact your MPs...
If you live in Tasmania, please contact your MPs in the House of Assembly and your ONE Member in the Legislative Council.
Ask them to vote AGAINST this Bill. Click here for MP Contact details.
Also posted on our CAMPAIGN page.
Last week the ACT government introduced a Bill to legalise ‘marriage’ for homosexuals into the ACT Legislative Assembly (on 19 September). It is called the ‘Marriage Equality Bill’.
Homosexual lobby groups are actively campaigning to get this Bill passed - and to encourage the federal government NOT to oppose it. We MUST ACT NOW if we want to protect marriage!
The ACT only has ONE House - the Legislative Assembly – it is made up 8 ALP members, 1 Greens Member and 8 Liberal Members. The Labor Party is in power with the support of the Greens MP. The Bill is expected to pass since it is a Labor government Bill and the Greens MP will support it.
ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell claims that the Report from the NSW Parliament’s Inquiry into same-sex ‘marriage’ found that a state 'could' enact marriage for homosexuals because the federal Constitution, which covers marriage legislation, was ONLY about marriage between a man and a woman, not about marriage between two people of the same gender. Of course, this is the argument run by the pro-homosexual groups and their ally, law professor George Williams. The NSW Report acknowledged that this could be CHALLENGED in the High Court and that the outcome was NOT CERTAIN.
The situation regarding territories is different to that in the states. The federal government has some power over the Territories and can overturn Territory laws in some circumstances.
With the AFL Grand Final this weekend and the Brownlow Medal awarded this week, football has been in the news.
Whilst we don’t usually follow football, we did watch a game or two on TV whilst visiting family last weekend. Then we saw the last part of the Brownlow Medal count on Monday night.
Gary Ablett Jnr was favoured to win, but the result was very close. Just prior to the final round, he was two votes behind – he scored three points, giving him the Brownlow Medal for the second time.
During his speech, he said he actually wanted to get just two votes so that his former Geelong teammate Joel Selwood could have shared the medal.
He said that his father, Gary Ablett Snr, was the ‘best footballer he had ever seen play the game’, adding, ''Now that I've got two (medals) I guess I can give him one.''
We've been in touch with Gary Snr over the years, including talking with him as he prepared a feature article which was printed in the Herald Sun a few years back (on faith, morality and evolution).
In his speech, Gary Jnr thanked his family and girlfriend – and then said ''I want to thank God, because without him I couldn't be up here tonight."
We commend Gary for his forthright acknowledgement of God in his speech.
In their report, the Herald Sun noted that Gary “has become more attentive to religion in recent months.”
Back in May 2013, Gary Ablett Jnr posted a photo on social media, of he and two teammates having a pre-match prayer – the photo was accompanied by the verse, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Cor 10:31) Read media report.
Last week, on the Footy Show, Gary Ablett was questioned by Sam Newman about his faith and about that post.
Sam Newman was in 'serious mode', as he assured Gary the question was genuine and that he was 'a believer'! Gary explained about the Gold Coast Suns club chaplain, the pre-game prayer sessions and the weekly Life Group where they read the Bible, discuss issues and pray!
Watch the 3 minute segment on the Footy Show – click here.
It is encouraging to see a young man being forthright about his faith. Well done, Gary!
Phyllis Chesler, author and feminist, tells her shocking true story of life as a ‘bride’ in Afghanistan. She exposes the treatment of women under Islam in Afghanistan. Phyllis Chesler married an Afghan man she met at college in the USA in 1961. When they arrived in Afghanistan she found she was to live in a compound with her husband’s father, his three wives, children and servants.
This short article, adapted from her new book, provides an overview of her story – her treatment, the 'forced conversion', the increasing violence and her eventual escape from Afghanistan...
Phyllis concludes, “ I've never told this story in detail before, but felt that I must now. Because I hear some westerners preach the tortured cultural relativism that excuses the mistreatment of women in the name of Islam….
"I understand firsthand how deep-seated the hatred of women is in that culture. I see how endemic indigenous barbarism and cruelty is and unlike many other intellectuals and feminists, I don't try to romanticize or rationalize it.”
The article is adapted from her book, which will be published on 1 October, 2013. The book provides more detail of life after her return to the USA.
Article: My life of hell in an Afghan harem - Phyllis Chesler, Herald Sun, reprinted from New York Post, 23/9/2013.
Book: "An American Bride in Kabul" – to be published 1 October, 2013.
Read review, overview and details at Amazon - click here.
The civil war in Syria has been going on for two years. As part of the 'Arab Spring' movement that has occurred across the Middle East, forces opposed to the Syrian government have actively agitated for change. Jihadi elements have joined the 'rebel' forces.
In the resulting civil war, thousands of people have been killed and many people have fled the country.
Christians are increasingly being persecuted in Syria.We urge you to continue praying about the situation in Syria.
Chemical weapon attack - response by President Obama
In recent weeks, the debate about Syria has intensified following the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria. Whilst some have claimed that the attack was carried out by the Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, against the rebels, others have claimed it could have been carried out by the rebels themselves.
The reality is that no-one knows WHO used the chemical weapons.
Just this week The Guardian reported that a German paper cites German intelligence sources stating that President Assad was not involved. Read article.
By the end of August, US President Obama had concluded that the Syrian government had carried out the attacks and that action should be taken. At the same time, Russia and China walked out of a UN Security Council meeting that was discussing a possible military strike against the Assad government. See CNN article here.
An important factor is that President Obama made a statement, in August 2012, that a 'red line' that would lead to action in Syria was the use of chemical weapons.
As Judge Jeanine Pirro says, in this brilliant 10 minute video from 'Justice' on Fox News, the 'red line' is really a 'green light'! She provides a startling challenge to the arguments put by President Obama on the conflict.
A MUST-WATCH!Click here.
Elizabeth Kendal, of Religious Liberty Monitoring, also highlighted Obama's 'red line' speech in a post last Thursday (5/9/2013).
She wrote, "President Obama's "red line" speech was little more than a piece of political theatre aimed at establishing a platform of moral high ground from where the US-NATO could safely (politically if not practically) launch a military strike on Syria. It also signaled to the rebels exactly what the US would require if it was to justify and legitimise a military intervention on their behalf.
If a US military strike on Syria eventuates, it will be nothing other than an act of naked aggression in pursuit of economic and geo-strategic ends. To call such an intervention "humanitarian" or "moral" is duplicitous in the extreme...."
Read Elizabeth's insightful article:
The Humanitarian/Moral Intervention: an exercise in duplicity
-- and jihad comes to Maaloula village (Syria)
The article includes an account of jihadi attacks on a Christian village in Syria.
Read Elizabeth's other important articles on the issue:
President Obama announced he wanted to carry out a military strike against the Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, because he claimed that the regime had used chemical weapons against the rebels. British Prime Minster David Cameron, initially supported him and took the issue to the Parliament - BUT they voted AGAINST Britain being involved in a military strike against the Assad government. When it became obvious that other nations weren't supporting a military strike, President Obama decided that he would take the issue to the US Congress to ask them to vote on the proposed action. Several media sources have criticised the changing arguments used by President to justify a military strike (see Bloomberg and Slate article Obama in the Box).
Media reports suggest that most Americans do not want the government to get involved in military action against Syria - people are concerned about the repercussions (since President Assad has said that Syria would retaliate if a military strike was carried out) as well as getting involved in another war in the Middle East.
President al Assad did an interview with CBS about the issue this week where he mentioned retaliation - see here.
President Obama is scheduled to give an 'Address to the Nation' today (Tuesday) to try and generate support for his proposal.
See media report.
The reality is that a civil war is going on in Syria....
During the recent federal election campaign the question of military intervention was raised. When Kevin Rudd talked about a military strike, Tony Abbott's response was to urge extreme caution - he said that the conflict was not "goodies versus baddies but baddies versus baddies".
Greg Sheridan, the Foreign Editor for The Australian, wrote, "TONY Abbott was entirely sensible to be cautious about offering support for a military strike on Syria. The Opposition Leader's description of the conflict as involving not "goodies versus baddies but baddies versus baddies" was a small part of a sophisticated answer stressing the dangers of military action, the unpredictable consequences, the need for proportionality and the danger of doing more harm than good."
Article: Tony Abbott's caution on Syria shows he knows the dangers, The Australian, 3/9/2013.
Act for America, led by Brigitte Gabriel, says, "The President and some in the US Congress want us to believe that US involvement in Syria is solely about the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.
But, as is so often the case in the Middle East, the reality is not that simple – as you’ll see when you watch the riveting news story below about Turkey supporting jihadists who are going to Syria.
Whacking a hornet’s nest with a stick – even just one time – usually ends up causing a lot of unnecessary pain. We need to avoid that strategy in Syria. We don’t need to be dragged into their civil war where our enemies are fighting our enemies."
Video News Report about jihadist involvement - click here.
Russia's proposal - Syria should 'hand' over chemical weapons...
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has refused to support military intervention in Syria.The G20 Meeting in Russia last week discussed possible alternatives and consequences.
An important breakthrough in the situation has occurred today. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has proposed an alternative - that the Syrian government could hand over its chemical weapons to "international supervision" so they could be stored and destroyed.
Already the Syrian government has responded positively. The proposal, which initially followed an 'off the cuff" remark by US Secretary of State John Kerry, has now been supported by a number of European leaders, including Britain's David Cameron, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, "I'm considering urging the Security Council to demand the immediate transfer of Syria's chemical weapons and chemical precursor stocks to places inside Syria to places where they can be safely stored and destroyed."
Read media report: Syria welcomes Russian proposal to surrender chemical weapons as Assad warns US over strikes, Radio Australia, 10/9/2013.
* Please pray that common sense prevails in this situation, which is essentially a civil war within Syria.
* Pray for wisdom and restraint by world leaders.
* Pray for Christians who are being persecuted in the midst of the unrest.