Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
One of the things we often hear is "Religion and politics don't mix". Of course, it is often said as a way of claiming that Christians shouldn't be involved in politics.
Of course, everyone has a worldview that informs their beliefs and actions. It might be atheism or secular humanism or it might be based on religious beliefs - such as Islam, Buddhism or Christianity (mind you, atheism itself has a belief about religion!)
On Monday night, 17 October, Foreign Correspondent aired a program called The Mormon Moment. It highlighted the fact that two of the candidates for the Republican nomination for the US president in 2012 are Mormons - Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman (a former Governor of Utah).
The program focused on the issue of polygamy. Although the mainstream Mormon church (or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has rejected polygamy (this actually occurred in 1890 - see Mormon source), it was a major teaching of the founder of the Mormons, Joseph Smith.
Several 'Fundamentalist Mormon groups' in Utah still practice polygamy. The program showed several polygamous Mormon families in various 'Fundamentalist Mormon' communities.
Watch the program: The Mormon Moment.
For evangelical Christians, there are other issues that need to be considered. Al Mohler of the US Southern Baptists, has written an insightful article outlining some of those issues.
First, he addresses the question "Is Mormonism part of Christianity?".
He notes that Joseph Smith, the founder, claimed that Christianity had been corrupted and was only re-instated when Smith was given new revelations in 1829. Smith also claimed that the Book of Mormon was God's final revelation - not the Bible. Albert Mohler compares particular doctrines of the Mormons and Christianity (sin, salvation, Trinity, God) to further highlight the point that Mormonism is not Christianity. He says "From a Christian perspective, Mormonism is a new religion, complete with its own scripture, its own priesthood, its own rituals, and its own teachings. Most importantly, those teachings are a repudiation of historic Christian orthodoxy - and were claimed to be so from the moment of Mormonism's founding forward. Mormonism rejects orthodox Christianity as the very argument for its own existence, and it clearly identifies historic Christianity as a false faith."
Albert then goes on to look at how evangelical Christians might address the issue of Mormon candidates running for political office.
He asks "So, how do we move from this knowledge to the question of our social and political responsibility? Can a faithful Christian vote for a Mormon candidate?"
He contrasts the situation with that of Christians living in an Islamic nation.
Read the article: Mormonism, Democracy, and the Urgent Need for Evangelical Thinking
What happened to the idea of the public debate of ideas?
It seems that some ideas are fair game - but if you engage in discussion of ideas when they concern certain 'protected classes' of people then you need to be prepared to defend yourself (often at great expense) in Tribunals and courts.
A couple of weeks ago, the Federal Court handed down its verdict on Andrew Bolt, who had written articles about "fair-skinned aborigines" and "identity". Some aborigines who were named in his article took the case under the federal Racial Discrimination Act.
Most states have anti-vilification laws based on a range of attributes. In Victoria, such laws ban the inciting of hatred, severe ridicule etc.
They cover religion and race. We all know about the infamous Catch the Fire case!
Some states have similar laws based on sexual orientation or gender identity - NSW, Tasmania, Queensland and the ACT.
Recently, Dr David van Gend found himself fronting up to mediation at Queensland's Anti-Discrimination Commission.
He wrote an article in the Courier Mail on 29 June, 2011 opposing homosexual 'marriage'. The paper published another article supporting same-sex 'marriage' at the same time. Read both articles online - click here.
A NSW activist from Gay Dads NSW found one part of it 'offended' him - so he complained to the Anti-Discrimination Commission in Queensland- Dr Van Gend had to take time off work, obtain legal advice and front up to the Commission for a 'conciliation', all at his own expense. Meanwhile, the complainant didn't attend the 'conciliation' - he participated by a 'conference call'.
During the mediation Dr van Gend said: "You are an activist from Gay Dads NSW. I am an activist for family values. We disagree. But why do you think you can set the thought police on to me? It is so uncivil."
The complaint has now been dropped - but the angst and expense it caused is unacceptable.
This isn't the first case of 'homosexual vilification' accepted by the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland.
A few years ago, Sarah Champness wrote an article in the Queensland Catholic Leader. A homosexual lobby group made a complaint - initially said they were 'offended and insulted' - on being told by the Commission that the law didn't cover that but covered 'incite hatred, etc' the group CHANGED their complaint to include the new words!
The case continued - went to conciliation and eventually they dropped the complaint against Sarah, but pursued claims against the Catholic Leader. Eventually they got a 'Letter to the editor' printed!
It is time for these vilification and discrimination laws to be abolished!
Senator Ron Boswell spoke about this case in the Senate last week - click here to read his speech.
Read Miranda Devine's column - Call off the thought police, 16/10/2011.
A slightly different version in the Herald Sun.
Read Bill Muehlenberg's column on this... Truth Telling is now hate speech
Read Angela Shanahan's column: Discrimination police indulging in gay abandon
Well the House of Representatives has passed the 18 carbon tax' Bills. Now they go to the senate in early November.
The federal government, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard, claim that the 'science is settled' on 'climate change' (that used to be 'global warming'!
But is it?
Andrew Bolt interviewed three scientists - Prof Bob Carter, Professor Peter Ridd & Professor Garth Paltridge - last week and compares Julia Gillard's statements with their answers!
A 10 Minute segment.. as Peter says, whatever you think of climate change or Andrew Bolt, you must watch what the scientists say!
Click on 'Read More' to read the full E-News we sent out on this today ...
More than 2,000 people marched through Melbourne streets to the Victorian Parliament last Saturday, October 8.
The March for the Babies marks the anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Law Reform Act by the Victorian parliament on October 10, 2008.
Several people gave inspiring speeches on the parliament steps - Cindy Collins, a pro-life activist from the USA who shared about the hurt she experienced from an abortion. MPs also spoke of their concern about the removal of conscience rights for doctors and medical staff, the lack of informed consent for women, the fact that abortion is legal right up to birth and the lack of parental notifications if minors ask for an abortion.
All of these things need to be repealed.
Will you join the March for the Babies next year?
Book the date NOW - Saturday October 13, 2012
Cameron, our Resistance Thinking and video co-ordinator, filmed the whole march and the speeches at the rally.
The following short video (2.5 minutes) shows highlights of the March and encourages you to join the March for the Babies next year.
Toward the end of the video, MP Bernie Finn is shown speaking outside an abortion clinic during the march to the parliament.
Various UN agencies and other groups tell nations they have to legalise abortion because it is required under international law.
But it isn't.
Now an authoritative document, called the San Jose Articles has been launched...
The Articles identify that life starts at conception, and that life must be protected.
In particular, the Articles note that no UN Treaties specify a 'right to abortion' - and that agencies that say so go beyond their mandate.
They also state that development aid should not be based on a nation's position on abortion.
Read a report on the launch at Lifesite News - click here.