Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
The use of illegal drugs is still a problem in Australia.
The 2012 United Nations World Drug Report has found that 'Australians and New Zealanders are the biggest recreational drug users in the world'. Annual use for all drugs except heroin, “remain much higher than the global average”.'
Cannabis and cocaine use are on the rise in Australia - but ecstasy use is declining, according to the Report.
Read a media report: click here.
Read the 2012 United Nations World Drug Report
Click here for UN article. Click here for the full UN Report.
The real question is, "Why do people take drugs?"
Is it to mask painful experiences, is it to find meaning in life is is to to find a new 'high'?
As Christians, we have true hope and meaning through faith in Jesus Christ. Let's share the message!
The Report recommends that the Marriage Act be changed to allow any two people to marry.
Greens same-sex 'marriage' Bill
The Senate Inquiry was initiated to investigate a Bill put by the Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young.
Committee recommends same-sex 'marriage'
The Committee has recommended that the Parliament change the Marriage Act to allow homosexuals to 'marry'. The main Recommendation (No 4) says "The committee strongly supports the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 and recommends that it be debated and passed into law."
Two changes recommended
The Committee does make two recommendations for changes to the proposed Bill.
One of these is that the definition of 'marriage' in the Bill should be amended to read "The committee recommends that the definition of 'marriage' in item 1 of Schedule 1 of the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 be amended to mean 'the union of two people, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'.
The other recommendation is that the Bill should include some protection for ministers of religion with respect to performing marriages (Section 47). "The committee recommends that the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 be amended to include an application, or 'avoidance of doubt', clause which expressly provides that the amendments made by Schedule 1 of the bill do not limit the effect of section 47 of the Marriage Act."
However, we know that exemptions are always a problem - they can always be appealed against - and they can always be removed at some later date.
Earlier this month, the Danish parliament legalised same-sex 'marriage'. The law forces the state Lutheran church to perform same-sex 'marriage' ceremonies in their churches. The law allows for a particular priest to refuse to do so (apparently one-third are opposed) but in that case the bishop has to provide another priest who will carry out the ceremony in the church.
Recommends a 'conscience vote'
The first of the four recommendations is that all parties should allow a conscience vote on the issue. Of course, advocates of same-sex 'marriage' realise that this is a necessary condition for passing the Bill because they know they don't have the numbers if ALL the Coalition MPs vote against it. If the Coalition continues to totally oppose same-sex 'marriage' they know they won't have the numbers.
NOW is the time for ACTION!
Please contact your Senators to ask them to vote against the legalisation of same-sex 'marriage' - and contact your federal MP and the Party leaders as well!
Click here for MP contact details.
The Australian High Court has handed down its ruling about the legitimacy of the national Chaplaincy program. The case was brought by a Toowoomba parent, Ron Williams, who objected to the Chaplaincy program on two grounds - Commonwealth funding and the impact on religious freedom.
The High Court ruled that the Chaplaincy program is legal - but the current funding arrangement by the Commonwealth is "illegal" under the Constitution.
Mr Williams argued that, since the constitution says the Commonwealth cannot apply any 'religious test" for officers of the Commonwealth, the chaplaincy program was illegal, since chaplains were 'religious'.
The High Court rejected his claim, ruling unanimously that the Chaplains are NOT employees of the Commonwealth - rather, they are employed (in Queensland) by Scripture Union Queensland. So at least this part of the ruling was good news!
On the funding issue, the High Court ruled that, since there was no legislation establishing the Chaplaincy program, then the Commonwealth acted outside its power in funding it. The Commonwealth had argued the payments were supported by the executive power given by Section 61 of the constitution, which says the executive power "extends to the execution and maintenance of this constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth".
The majority of the court ruled that Section 61 did not empower the Commonwealth to enter into the funding agreement for chaplaincy. [Age, SMH, Aust 20/6/2012] This ruling could have wide-ranging implications for Commonwealth funding of a range of programs - including roads! The federal government is reviewing the decision.
Scripture Union Queensland CEO Peter James noted, "The Court left open the option for the Government to continue funding either under new legislation or a grant of funds to the states and territories".
The government says they are committed to continuing the chaplaincy program. Earlier this year the government changed the scheme to include student welfare workers (announced Sept 2011, commenced Jan 2012). They also expanded the scheme to provide for an additional 1,000 schools (making a total of 3,555), with funding budgeted to the end of 2014. The additional 1,000 schools were announced by the Education Minister on May 24, 2012. Mr Garrett said that 65% of the schools asked for a Chaplain whilst 35% asked for a student welfare worker.
The federal parliament is currentlyconsidering same-sex 'marriage' - with two separate private member's Bills and Inquiries by the House of Representatives and the Senate.. The House of Representatives Committee, that is currently considering two different Bills on this matter, released its Report this week. [The Senate one is due to be published on 25 June, 2012,]
The Committee didn't make a recommendation as to whether this should be legalised. However, the Chair of the Committee, Graham Perrett (Labor), fully endorsed same-sex 'marriage' in the Foreword to the report and in his other comments in the Report. Two Labor MPs opposed the proposals, two Liberal MPs opposed it, and the Greens MP Adam Bandt supported it (of course!)
The Bills were briefly debated when they were introduced - then debate was adjourned until after the winter recess - in mid-August.
On Adam Bandt's Bill - he was the only one to speak in favour (speech).
SIX MPs spoke against it - Stuart Robert (Liberal), John Murphy (Labor), Darren Chester (Nationals), Scott Buchholz (Liberal), Shayne Neumann (Labor), Deb O'Neill (Labor).
On Stephen Jones' Bill (he is an ALP Member, but it is a private member's Bill)
Those speaking for the Bill: Melissa Parke (Labor), Tanya Plibersek (Labor), Andrew Leigh (Labor).
Those speaking against the Bill: Scott Buchholz (Liberal), Stuart Robert (Liberal).
For details of the Inquiry into these two Bills, see our campaign page - click here.
To read the Committee's Report - click here.
The impositions on free speech are increasing. Those with politically incorrect ideas are being shut down. Governments are enacting more and more vilification laws and hate speech laws.
Topher is a young man who has made short documentary films of a range of topics. His earlier films were under the heading 'Topher's Unpopular View' (on You Tube).
See his website for details of his work - www.topher.com.au
Topher (Chris Topher Field) is now making a three part series called 'The Forbidden History of Unpopular People'.
He has just completed Part 1..."Why Free Speech is worth the price".
Watch it now - link below...
This excellent film is 12 minutes long - he starts with the story of the doctor who found that washing hands between patients actually saved the lives of mothers and babies.The doctor was shunned and rejected... but we now know his ideas were true!
(Of course, as a Christian, he based those ideas on the Biblical hygiene laws of the Old Testament)
Topher follows with an impressive list of people who spoke up! He talks about vilification laws and hate speech - and then discusses the Finkelstein report that recently recommended a new (federal) Media Council to monitor and control the media (including blogs and social media!).
This is a 'MUST WATCH film - it is fast moving and cleverly made.
Watch the film - Topher asks that we watch it on 'The Forbidden History' website.
Click here to watch it now.
Topher is now preparing parts 2 and 3 (and fundraising to produce them). They cover the topics of terrible taxes and big government.
See his website for details.