Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
26 May 2015
The referendum in Ireland on whether to include homosexual ‘marriage’ in the Constitution has been passed. The ABC reports, “All of Ireland's 43 constituencies except one voted in favour of the measure, with the final figures showing 62 per cent of votes in favour of the change and 38 per cent against.”
Only 60.5% of people turned out to vote. See Referendum webpage – click here.
On the Ballot Paper, the question only asked about whether they approved of the amendment contained in a specific ‘Marriage Equality’ Bill. The actual change was to add Article 41.4, which will read "Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex." (Source)
In our Prayer Focus (which will be published on Thursday this week) Peter comments on the outcome, in particular reflecting on the campaign run by the ‘No’ side. They emphasised the issue of ‘children’ – of how endorsing homosexual ‘marriage’ would affect children. However, as we have pointed out before, homosexual couples can have children without having ‘marriage’. In many jurisdictions, and in many Australian states, homosexuals can adopt, provide foster care and have access to IVF without being ‘married’ (as Tony Burke notes in his statement – see below).
But Peter asks, ‘What of the relationships themselves?’ – no-one wants to speak about that, or else they will be accused of being hateful and ‘homophobic’.
[Read Peter’s comments in the Prayer Focus on Thursday!]
In this report we discuss the impact of the Irish referendum vote on Australia and the responses of various political leaders, note that another Labor MP has ‘changed sides’ and conclude with two helpful commentaries from Ireland – the first about two homosexual men who OPPOSED homosexual ‘marriage’ and the second one talking about the role of the media and the campaign…
We also encourage you to take ACTION, and contact your federal MP and Senators…
The impact on Australia…
As a result of the vote, there is increased pressure here in Australia to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’ through a parliamentary vote (the following quotes are from this ABC article). The question of a referendum was rejected by the political leaders and homosexual advocates since marriage is not defined in or Australian constitution – and the High Court has ruled (in 2013) that the federal parliament has the power to legislate regarding marriage. As one legal person said, a referendum in Australia would be ‘one big opinion poll’, and parliament would still need to pass a law on the matter!
The homosexual advocates are working overtime at the moment – we NEED to be contacting our MP and Senators to ask them to NOT support homosexual ‘marriage’
– click here for MP/Senator contact details.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s response
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out a referendum on the issue. He said, "Questions of marriage are the preserve of the Commonwealth Parliament. Referendums are held in this country where there's a proposal to change the constitution. I don't think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect."
The ABC reported that “Mr Abbott reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage and said it is a matter for the Coalition party room to decide whether MPs get a conscience vote, should legislation come before parliament.”
Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten
Labor’s Bill Shorten has said he opposes holding a referendum on the issue – however, he is pushing for the Prime Minister and the Parliament to “deal with” the issue and have a vote.
Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm
Sen Leyonhjelm says, “I think what's happened in Ireland is going to be good for [the] potential of my bill to get through and get a positive vote."
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young again called on the parliament to hold a vote on homosexual ‘marriage’ and also for the Coalition to allow a ‘conscience vote’.
Rodney Croome, leader of Australian Marriage Equality, says there are no constitutional changes needed, as marriage is not defined in the constitution, and so they don’t support a referendum. They just want a vote – and are lobbying VERY hard to get MPs to change their minds. Last month Chris Bowen and Ed Husic changed their mind to now support homosexual ‘marriage’.
Another Labor MP changes his mind – Tony Burke
Since the Irish vote, Labor MP Tony Burke has said he has now changed his stance and will vote FOR ‘marriage equality’.
Read Tony Burke’s statement – click here. He says he supports homosexual ‘marriage’, because “As this debate drags on in Australia it is becoming harsher and angrier rather than kinder and gentler. This is coming from both sides.”
In other words, he thinks that by having a vote and supporting homosexual ‘marriage’, the issue will ‘go away’ and people will be nicer to each other!
Naturally AME celebrated this ‘victory’!
Another Labor ‘supporter’ - Kristina Keneally
Former NSW Labor Premier Kristina Keneally (who writes that she is Irish, Catholic and Australian) celebrated the result in Ireland, opposed a referendum for Australia, called for a parliament vote on homosexual ‘marriage’, opposed Tanya Plibersek’s call for a ‘forced ‘Yes’ vote for Labor MPs, and ended up suggesting a ‘plebiscite’.
Basically this would be a very expensive opinion poll that is non-binding. She concludes, “But it might just be a way for the Australian people to burst through, just like their Irish brothers and sisters, and bring about real and lasting change.” (Read article)
Two helpful and interesting commentaries on the Irish referendum…
During the campaign, two Irish homosexual men campaigned for a ‘No’ vote… Paddy Manning (a Catholic) and Keith Mills (an agnostic)…
Read the Mercatornet report: Two gay campaigners against same-sex marriage in Ireland, 18/5/2015.
Breda O’Brien’s commentary notes that the media highlighted aspects of the campaign they wanted to push. She writes, “The No campaign was left with the unenviable task of pointing out the consequences of amending the Constitution on the family. They were rubbished and derided at every turn as scaremongers and purveyors of red herrings…”
Article: Breda O’Brien: An inconvenient truth about the same-sex marriage referendum, Irish Times, 25/5/2015.
2 May 2015
Every week brings new challenges and new issues for us to understand and deal with… this week is no exception!
Read the News Update:
20 May 2015
I regularly receive articles relating to many of the issues we deal with – and feel compelled to share them with you. Here are some from the past month or so…
The dangers of Gardasil causing early menopause, the links between abortion and breast cancer and the impacts of abortion on adolescents and young adults and their children, the teaching of ‘jihad’ (and Christianity) in Australian school textbooks – and a revealing story by a lesbian mother about how she copes with being the ‘other mum’.
On the Issues
1. Is the Gardasil vaccine safe for your daughter?
We have consistently warned of the medical problems arising from the use of the Gardasil vaccine, used to vaccinate children and adults against HPV (human papilloma virus), as a possible ‘preventative action’ against cervical cancer.
This article by Carolyn Moynihan from Mercatornet contains alarming information about early menopause in teenage girls in NSW… the article refers to studies done by an Australian doctor, Dr Deidre Little, in rural NSW – the results have been published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports, October to December 2014.
“Dr Deirdre Little is a vaccination supporter. She employs a nurse in her medical practice in northern NSW to vaccinate children and adults. But when a teenage girl consulted her after her periods had become irregular then stopped completely following Gardasil injections, Dr Little found that the girl's ovaries had failed, leading to menopause at age 16 - an event so rare there were no figures for it.
“Dr Little investigated possible causes. What she found deeply concerned her - in particular, the lack of adequate trials before Gardasil was routinely given at taxpayers' expense to Australian girls and boys in their very early teens. The trials were sponsored by the makers of Gardasil, and the "placebo" control injection was not the salt solution that it should have been, but part of the vaccine. The effect of the vaccine on rat ovaries was not properly tested.
“Read the full report by Carolyn Moynihan and decide for yourself whether the benefits outweigh the possible risk of permanent sterility:
Article: How safe is Gardasil for young girls?, Carolyn Moynihan, Mercatornet, 4/5/2015.
2. On being the ‘other Mum’ in a lesbian relationship
We often report on problems concerning homosexual parenting and the flawed research. In contrast, this article is promoting lesbian couple parenting and is written by the lesbian partner of a biological mother – but it helps to understand another aspect of the debate – to know what they ‘think’ as she copes with being the ‘other mum’!
When the child is taunted for not having a father he calls her ‘Dad’ – and later stats calling the fathers of other children ‘Mama’.
Article: How I learned to embrace being 'the other mum', Adele Levine, Daily Life, 13/5/2015.
3. Abortion and breast cancer link – ‘young women must be told’
The American College of Pediatricians has made a statement calling for women to be informed about the link between abortion and breast cancer—at the same time recognizing the medical establishment has been reticent to admit the connection.
"Although the medical community has been reluctant to acknowledge the link, induced abortion prior to a full term delivery, and prior to 32 weeks of gestation, increases the likelihood that a woman will develop breast cancer," the physicians' organization stated on April 7. "This risk is especially increased for adolescents."
"The American College of Pediatricians urges women to 'Know your ABCs,' since abortion appears to be linked to breast cancer," it said. The "ABC" acronym refers to the "Abortion-Breast Cancer link." The College's December 2013 study Abortion and the Risk of Breast Cancer: Information for the Adolescent Woman and Her Parents, formed the basis for the release.
The study found an increased incidence of metastatic breast cancer in U.S. young women between the ages of 25 and 39. Coupled with other studies from China, India, and Romania their findings demonstrate a greater risk of breast cancer as abortions increased, what they called a, "dose effect" showing a breast cancer becomes more likely with each subsequent abortion. . .”
Read article: Pediatricians group: Young Women Must be Told of Abortion-Breast Cancer Link, Breaking Christian News, 22/4/2015.
Media Release from American College of Pediatricians:
Know Your ABCs: The Abortion Breast Cancer Link, 7/4/2015.
4. Induced abortion – risks that may impact adolescents, young adults & their children
"The American College of Pediatricians has also released a Position Statement, Induced Abortion: Risks That May Impact Adolescents, Young Adults, and Their Children.
"The College urges women who are contemplating an abortion to become aware of the many risks associated with the procedure. The statement presents the results of a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on induced abortion. In addition to the harsh reality that abortion intentionally ends the life of an unborn child, extensive medical and sociological data demonstrate it also poses significant health risks for the pregnant woman and her future children. . ."
Media release: Induced Abortion: Women have a Right to Know, 12/5/2015.
Position Statement: Induced Abortion: Risks That May Impact Adolescents, Young Adults, and Their Children (Feb 2015)
5. Australian school textbooks – jihad and Christianity
Kevin Donnelly recently wrote about a number of school textbooks being used in Australian schools – that are undermining Christianity and glossing over Islamic jihad events …
He writes, “Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI, in Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity and Islam, details the rising tide of secularism that seeks to banish Christianity from European history and the public square. While the situation in Australia appears nowhere near as dire, it is the case here that Christianity is often misrepresented and undermined….
He specifically addresses these textbooks…
“Such is not the case with textbooks such as Jacaranda’s SOSE Alive 2 (2004), Oxford University Press’s Big Ideas Australian Curriculum History 8 (2012), and Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools (2010), published by the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at Melbourne University….”
We have previously written about the distortion of history in some of our school textbooks – Kevin’s article provides a good review of what is being printed and taught in our schools.
Article: School textbooks gloss over jihad and undermine Christianity, The Australian, Kevin Donnelly, March 28, 2015.
A longer version of the article was published in the April edition of Quadrant:
The Place of Religion in a Secular Curriculum, Quadrant, April 2015.
(This article was originally available only to subscribers but is NOW ONLINE).
Critiques of ‘Learning from one another’
We have regularly criticised the ‘Learning From One Another’ book. It has been written by Muslims with an aim of presenting a favourable view of Islam – it has been accompanied by ‘training’ of teachers in how to teach the principles to their students.
The actual 120 page document:
Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools
Information about the program at NCEIS – click here.
Vickie Janson has written a short RESPONSE to this – click here to read it.
Recently Daniel Scot has published a detailed critique of the ‘Learning from one another’ book.
Elizabeth Kendal has written an excellent review of Daniel Scot’s book:
Daniel Scot’s, Critique of LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER
18 May 2015
Being thankful to others is an important part of living in a community. Saying ‘Thank You’ is the focus of the annual Australian National Day of Thanksgiving (NDOT). This year it will be held on Saturday 30 May, 2015 (the day before ‘Pentecost Sunday’).
The NDOT team have chosen two groups of people to specifically pray for and thank (and well as thanking everyone!) [source]
Churches get involved in a wide range of activities – breakfasts, morning teas at work or in the community, ‘acts of kindness’ such as food and gardening for others.
* Order a free "Church Info Pack" for more information and ideas as to how your Church can be more involved in the NDOT – to order, go to www.thanksgiving.org.au
Schools can get involved – the NDOT organisers suggest that each class could do an ‘act of kindness in the community’, invite people from the 2015 targeted group/s to your school to thank them and to learn more about what they do in the community, and get each student to send 1 or 2 cards and ribbons to someone they want to say thank you to…
* Order a free electronic "Schools Info Pack" by going to www.thanksgiving.org.au for more information.
As individuals, we can send a ‘Thank You’ card, do a ‘random act of kindness or thanks’, hold a neighbourhood BBQ and help out in community or church events.
For FULL details of the National Day of Thanksgiving including events held around the nation, posters, cards, fliers, messages of support etc...
Visit the National Day of Thanksgiving website.
You can sign up for their Newsletter on the website.
Visit Salt Shakers website page for the NDOT - click here.
The NDOT website says, "The National Day of Thanksgiving is a unique opportunity for Australians to celebrate and give thanks for our God given heritage as a nation, and to demonstrate the values of honour, respect, thankfulness and gratitude towards our fellow man. It is a day for Australians to pause as a nation and say thank you to God, and to each other for those many things we often take for granted, those things that really make our lives worth living. Let us use this Day each year to be a blessing to those who have been a blessing to us. National Day of Thanksgiving is run by a non-denominational group of volunteers across the country.”
The National Day of Thanksgiving committee has prepared a variety of resources, including cards and ribbons that you can purchase to give to someone to express your thanks - that might include your MPs, or those who work in the community, your children’s teachers or the mailman. In fact, anyone you want to thank!
Online resources – DVD, posters etc
There is a DVD, printable info packs, posters and name tags, logos and audio community service ads.
Click here for Resources.
Products – cards, balloons and ribbons
Thanksgiving Day Cards, Balloons and Ribbons are available from Koorong stores Australia wide from March to the end of May each year. You can purchase from a Koorong store near you or go to www.koorong.com to place an online order.
These are ALSO available from the National Day of Thanksgiving website – click here to view them and to order.
Downloads – Church and School info packs…
Links all available on the front page of the NDOT website – click here.
For a Church Info pack, click here.
For a School info pack, click here.
All the news for the week - halal, childcare, bombs, elections and more...
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