Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
News from this week... a wide range of issues .... chaplaincy, Safe Schools Coalition, abortion in WA, ACCESS, Paid Parental Leave and more...
The High Court of Australia has handed down a unanimous decision today, ruling that the funding of the Chaplaincy programs in schools by the federal government is INVALID.
The main emphasis of the case has been about the funding of the program - rather than the program itself! The case was brought by Toowoomba man, Ron Williams.
The High Court has ruled that the funding of the $244 million chaplaincy program is INVALID – because the legislation is “not supported by a head of constitutional power”. In other words, the Commonwealth doesn't have the power under the Constitution to provide the funding in the way it has...
When the High Court considered Mr Williams' previous challenge to the funding of chaplaincy programs in 2010, the High Court ruled that the funding was invalid because it was not supported by specific legislation passed by the parliament. The Gillard government then introduced legislation to support the funding of the program.
Today's High Court decision has ruled that legislation is invalid as it is “not supported by a head of constitutional power” referring to Section 61 of the Constitution.
The decision also considers the notion of "benefits to students" and ruled that the chaplaincy program does not meet these conditions as set out in Section 51 of the Constitution:
"Providing at a school the services of a chaplain or welfare worker for the objective described in the FMA Regulations is not a provision of "benefits to students" within the meaning of s51(xxiiiA) of the Constitution."
The full decision highlights the Questions asked by the High Court and the answers, accompanied by their reasons.
The Summary provides a ONE PAGE overview of the decision.
The decision means that the funding of a wide range of federal government programs is in question – the federal government will have to re-consider HOW it funds private schools, universities, hospitals and local roads!
School chaplaincy program declared invalid by High Court, The Australian, 19/6/2014.
HIGH COURT Judgment Summary:FULL High Court DECISION:
Paul Raeburn has an article in Scientific American that is adapted from the book:
How Dads Influence Teens' Happiness
Commentary on the research...
Janice Shaw Crouse, Executive Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, has written an excellent article highlighting Mr Raeburn's analysis of the research, stating Mr Raeburn found, "we acknowledge a father’s “authority and economic stability” in children’s home lives, but we don’t always take into account all the many other ways that dads contribute to the well-being of their children."
These include the benefits from the involvement of a father in the child's life with less behavioural problems in primary schools and less criminal behaviour later on; increased language development; higher graduation rates from college; less sexual risk taking and lower death rate of infants.
Janice goes on to comment on an initiative endorsed by President Obama to address fatherlessness - however, instead of encouraging marriage, it attempts to provide mentors for fatherless children. The report defines 'family' very broadly, "saying that “families today are headed by opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples, single parents, grandparents, and other family members” and proposes 'substitute fathers'! (read article on this 'initiative')
Janice concludes, "The research is very clear that children definitely do need a father, and preferably their biological one, and not just any man. They need involved, hands-on fathering that cements the connection to the man responsible for their birth. There’s nothing new about this need, of course, but recent research has shown us some fascinating wrinkles on the old themes. Fathers, the new research reveals, bring certain factors to parenting that are irreplaceable. Mentors and father-figures are needed, but they are not sufficient to meet a child’s need to experience the touch of their dad’s hand, his unconditional love and his voice reassuring him or her, “You are my son, you are my daughter … and I love you and am proud of you.”
CROUSE: New research reminds us why fathers matter
What’s different about dads in kids’ upbringing?
By Janice Shaw Crouse, Washington Times, 12/6/2014.
"This paper examines the evidence that HIV and HCV transmission is impacted by harm reduction (HR) policies and to evaluate the benefit to drug users and the community from these policies.
"Surveys show that HIV is primarily transmitted through unsafe sexual activity, while HCV was almost exclusively transmitted by unsafe drug injecting. The reviews of the studies in NSPs and HCV and HIV showed there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate any benefit of NSPs in the transmission of HCV or HIV. Prevention should target those at risk of acquiring the viruses and should involve providing education, risk reduction counselling, HIV and HCV screening and substance abuse treatment. For HCV counselling should be focused on drug treatment, while for HIV the focus of prevention should be on screening and education of safe sex practices. In both cases those found to have viral infections need to be counselled to reduce the risk of HIV and HCV transmission to others. They should also be offered counselling on treatment, safe sex and drug use practises reducing alcohol usage and other STDs."