Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
Open letter to the people of Australia peopleto the people of Australia people - from the World Congress of Families.
2. Homosexual activist Alex Greenwich calls for Kevin Andrews to 'withdraw' from conference
"A protest by the Coalition to Beat Back The Right will begin at 8am on Saturday morning (find details here), the marriage equality crusaders of Equal Love will take over at 11am, and a light-hearted rainbow family-friendly event called the Block Party Against Hate will happen outside the Conference venue from 12:30pm."
The Equal Love Facebook page promotes their protest - click here.
Their 'Events page' posts more reports and a Media Conference opposing the event held today - click here.
The 'Block Party' Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/events/314960375331061
The protesters obviously have inside information - with some of their people signing up to attend the conference. An email from the Conference Secretary is quoted on the 'Pauline Pantsdown' Facebook page about the venue to be notified on Friday night - and PP asks those who have registered and been accepted to contact him (see PP Facebook post here and also here). They say 'participants may be 'bused' to another venue - and now they are raising funds to hire a bus to follow the WCF bus!
And so much for a 'peaceful protest' - at the Media Conference, one group planning to protest says they plan to 'blockade the meeting' to PREVENT people from attending...
Organiser Debbie Brennan said they would “make it very difficult for them. We’re going to be blockading as much as we can, we’re going to make it very hard to get in”.
Article: World Congress of Families: protesters vow to shut down conference, Guardian, 28/8/2014.
7. Human Rights Campaign - REPORT against WCF
Finally.... the pro-homosexual group Human Rights Campaign has released a 20 page report about the World Congress of Families and their positions, policies and activities. It seems to have attracted the HRC attention becasue their next international meeting will be held in the USA for the first time - in Salt Lake City.
Needless to say, this report has generated even MORE criticism... being quoted by Alex Greenwich and Greens Senator Larissa Waters this week....
I'll leave you to have a look at the 20 page report:
So much for free speech!
However, there are always important articles addressing some of the issues we deal with.
In this report, I’ve included several articles form the past couple of weeks….
- Mark Durie on Islam
- Tareq al Suwaidan saying different things to Western and Islamic audiences
- Divorce and suicide
- Harry Potter and ‘acceptance’ of stigmatised groups
- Tim Blair visits Lakemba
- John Stackhouse – ‘Peace in Islam means submission’
1. Mark Durie – Dhimmitude and dissimulation in Islam
Another excellent article by Mark Durie about dhimmitude in Islam and the three choices offered to people under Islamic conquest, and most recently in Iraq by Islamic State (convert, pay the ‘jizya’ or be killed).
Mark also writes about dissimulation – a form of deception in which one conceals the truth – where he highlights the ‘nice’ way some Western writers have written about the ‘tax’ imposed on non-Muslims.
If you haven’t read Mark’s excellent book, The Third Choice, then PLEASE read this excellent article…
Mark notes that “would-be jihadis are flocking to Syria and Iraq” and writes,
“Why is this so? How did the Arab Spring, hailed by so many armchair western commentators as the next best thing for the Middle East, blossom bright red into a torrent of blood?
"Part of the answer is that the West is in the grip of theological illiteracy. It has stubbornly refused to grasp the implications of a global Islamic revival which has been gaining steam for the best part of a century. The Islamic Movement looks back to the glory days of conquest as Islam’s finest hour, and seeks to revive Islamic supremacy through jihad and sacrifice. It longs for a truly Islamic state – the caliphate reborn – and considers jihad to be the God-given means to usher it in.
"This worldview was promoted in compelling, visionary terms by Indian scholar Abul A’la Maududi, whose writings continue to be widely disseminated by Islamic bookshops and mosques across the West.”
FULL ARTICLE – click here.
Mark wrote an additional article in response to a piece that reported Christians in Iraq were ‘asking to pay the jizya’.
Article: Christians are 'asking' to pay jizya: reflections on the Islamic State, Mark Durie, 14/8/2014.
2. Islamic speaker – saying different things to different audiences…
On the subject of Islam, it is important to note that some Islamic leaders will say ONE thing to a Western audience and ANOTHER thing to a Muslim audience.
The case of Tareq al Suwaidan is a good example. He is a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait.
Recently, MEMRI translated a message he gave in the Middle East. This five minute video shows him speaking in the Middle East.
Pamela Geller said, “Islamic supremacist savagery on full display. Note how he keeps repeating that they don’t want a ceasefire. Yet Obama, Kerry and other Western leaders keep pushing Israel to accept one — to give Hamas time to use the millions Obama just announced he is giving them to rearm and regroup.”
This same Tareq al Suwaidan toured Australia in 2012 giving a number of lectures – including at mainstream venues such as Monash University’s Robert Blackwood Hall.
Rowan Callick had this very insightful article in The Australian, pointing out the differing messages he gives…
Article: Mixed messages from touring Muslim lecturer, The Australian, 7/6/2012.
In 2010, he was also speaking in Australia - doing a fundraising tour for the 'Australian Islamic Mission' to raise funds for the building of a mosque.
This is the Islamic group that is providing the funds to build the MOSQUE in Bendigo. They claim to be 'moderate - but have used this man to raise funds!!!
INFO on that tour - online click here.
He was brought to Australia by ‘Human Appeal International" promoted as an Islamic aid charity – however, 7.30 reported …
“NICK McKENZIE: Back in Sydney, another indication that Australian charities are feeding extremist organisations. This building houses a branch of Human Appeal International, an Islamic charity based in the United Arab Emirates.
A 1996 CIA document states: Human Appeal International probably acts as a fundraiser for the Palestinian extremist organisation Hamas.”
A Gatestone article analyses the link between HAI and Hamas.
In Australia, Hamas's Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) is listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation – but not Hamas itself (source).
3. Divorce and suicide
Even more reason to work at keeping marriages together – various research studies have shown a higher risk of suicide for divorced men than for married men.
In this short article, Jennifer Johnson reflects on the death of Robin Williams, and the suicide of her own father – both of whom had been divorced.
She cites research that found “for men who get divorced, their risk for suicide is twice that of married men, according to a study titled, “Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study,” by Augustine J. Kposowa (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2000). Located here.
Article: Robin Williams’ Divorces, and His Suicide, Jennifer Johnson, 13/8/2014.
Recent research study…
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Family Studies found that “The results of a multivariate logistic regression analysis determined that, controlling for the psychiatric, social, and economic predictors of suicide completions, recent divorce increases the odds of death by suicide 1.6 times, compared with 1.3 times for distal divorce.”
Study: Recency of Divorce, Depression, and Suicide Risk, July 2013.
4. Harry Potter - and increasing acceptance of others – including LGBT
Along with all the previous reasons for not supporting the Harry Potter books, here is some new research which highlights that ATTITUDES of children can be changed by these books – specifically to become more ‘accepting’ of others!
The Independent reports, “A recent study has found that “reading JK Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter stories improves attitudes toward stigmatised groups such as LGBT people, immigrants and refugees, because of the process of “perspective taking” that children undertake during the stories.”
The Independent’s claim that the study shows that attitudes to LGBT people are improved is rather a stretch… The study only mentions the word ‘gay’ once (referring to attitudes in Italy).
As to what the study found, the ‘General Discussion’ states, “Results from one experimental intervention and two cross-sectional studies show that reading the novels of Harry Potter improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups among those more identified with the main positive character (Studies 1 and 2) and those less identified with the main negative character (Study 3). We also found evidence for the role of perspective taking as the process allowing the improvement of out-group attitudes.”
Of course, since homosexuals are one group that are seen to be ‘stigmatised’, the Independent is just extending the inference of the study results.
In fact, author Jessica Rowling has previously said she ‘had always thought of Dumbledore as gay’. She has said, “I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the wizarding world. So you have the intent to oppose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity, which is this great fallacy, but it crops up all over the world”.
Article at The Independent…
STUDY: The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23/7/2014.
5. Islam in Australia – Tim Blair visits Lakemba…
An insightful article by columnist Tim Blair… about life in Lakemba in Sydney’s west…
Article: Last drinks in Lakemba: Tim Blair takes a look inside Sydney’s Muslim Land, Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph, 18/8/2014.
6. ‘Peace under Islam requires submission’
An insightful article by John Stackhouse, a scholar, public communicator and theologian from Regent University in Canada.
When he appeared on Q & A recently he was the only one expressing these views about Islam. The article appeared in The Australian the following week. He responded to a comment from a Liberal MP, Sussan Ley, who said, “Islam is a religion of peace…”
The article begins,
“MUSLIMS are all terrorists.”
“No, no: Islam is a religion of peace.”
While these wild oversimplifications continue to be bandied about (mostly by non-Muslims), violence racks the Middle East, South Asia and much of Africa in the name of Islam. Meanwhile, many Muslims, like their neighbours of other outlooks, recoil in horror.
A few basic facts will help us all, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, get past the stereotypes to understand the history of Islam and the events that alarm us here and abroad.
First, Islam is indeed a religion of peace, but in a crucially qualified sense. The root word of both “Islam” and “Muslim” is “s-l-m”, which is also the root for “salaam” or “peace” — but it most basically means “submission” (to God).
Article: Peace under Islam requires submission, The Australian, 18/8/2014.
Cinema details: See http://themoviefreedom.com/cinemas/ then choose your state.
The 'Story' from the film website...
Two men separated by 100 years are united in their search for freedom. In 1856 a slave, Samuel Woodward (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and his family, escape from the Monroe Plantation near Richmond, Virginia.
A secret network of ordinary people known as the Underground Railroad guide the family on their journey north to Canada. They are relentlessly pursued by the notorious slave hunter Plimpton (William Sadler). Hunted like a dog and haunted by the unthinkable suffering he and his forbears have endured, Samuel is forced to decide between revenge or freedom.
100 years earlier in 1748, John Newton the Captain of a slave trader sails from Africa with a cargo of slaves, bound for America. On board is Samuel’s great grandfather whose survival is tied to the fate of Captain Newton. The voyage changes Newton’s life forever and he creates a legacy that will inspire Samuel and the lives of millions for generations to come.
This has been a very busy week - on Thursday I appeared before the Senate Committee conducting an Inquiry into the Greens' 'Recognition of foreign marriages Bill' (aimed at recognising HOMOSEXUAL foreign same-sex marriages). I represented the National Marriage Coalition, along with Bill Muehlenberg. As well as the actual presentation, we spent a lot of time preparing an Opening Statement.
... Then there was the submission to the Senate Inquiry into euthanasia/assisted suicide.
We've also been working on the Guidelines about 'Special Religious Instruction' in Victoria and advocating to get amendments to the Ministerial Direction 141 and the Education Department Policy Guide. We're pleased to announce that the Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, has now released an AMENDED Ministerial Direction - and the Education Department has published a REVISED Policy Guide.
The Policy Guide has REMOVED the statements about OTHER religious activities being banned at schools and now states that those lunchtime activities are allowed.
The revisions to the Ministerial Direction remove some of the more onerous restrictions that had been placed on SRI and clarifies that students can distribute religious material.
In this News Update, we highlight the situation around Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and the important developments surrounding the proposed anti-terrorism laws, with the Prime Minister meeting Muslim groups and the varying reactions from Muslims.
Read the News Update:
News Update - 22 August - 18C, homosexual surrogacy, Islam and terrorism laws, marriage and more
One key question is, 'If Christians are supporting homosexuality, what is happening to their views on other social and moral issues?'
In his latest research, Mark Regnerus found that are "More than seven times" as many churchgoing Christians who SUPPORT same-sex 'marriage' think pornography is OK compared to churchgoing Christians who don't support same-sex 'marriage'.
Similarly, "Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights."
Note - Mark highlights the trends, but notes that support for homosexual 'marriage' doesn't automatically mean support for any or all of these things!
The main article to read is this one by Mark Regnerus...
The data TABLE is also BELOW.
If you have time to read just ONE item, read Mark's article:
Sociologist Mark Regnerus is analysing the data from the recent "Relationships in America survey," which surveyed 15,738 Americans aged 18-60. The full research will be published in September, but Mark made a presentation at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s leadership summit recently. His research highlights the difference between churchgoing Christians and Christians 'in name only'.
Watch presentation: Mark Regnerus - Sex in America: Sociological Trends - 1.5 hours.
First some good news
Russell Moore highlights the fact that Mark, in his presentation, says he found that "Evangelical Christians ages 18 to 39 are resisting liberalizing trends in the culture."
On the question of same-sex 'marriage', only 11% of young evangelicals who regularly attend church support 'marriage' for homosexuals - and only 5% thought that co-habitation was "acceptable".
Article: A Sexual Revolution for Young Evangelicals? No., National Review,9/7/2014
Concerning results - support for same-sex marriage - effect on morality
In a detailed article at The Public Discourse, Mark asks, "What is the sexual and relational morality of Christians who accept the moral legitimacy of same-sex marriages?"
In this article, Mark looks at churchgoing Christians (attending church at least three times a month) and compared their responses to a range of questions concerning their attitudes to pornography, pre-marital sex, adultery, multiple relationships and abortion. He says, "I assess a set of sexual and relational attitudes of Christians who support—and Christians who oppose—same-sex marriage.Primarily, this exercise concerns the attitudes of all churchgoing Christians who express support for same-sex marriage."
Mark found that Christians who support same-sex 'marriage' are more likely to 'accept' other sexual sins...
The summary of Mark's excellent article states, "Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions."
Here's the summary table:
"So what do the numbers say? The table above displays the share of each group who either “agree” or “strongly agree” with the seven statements listed above. At a glance, there is a pretty obvious fissure between Christians who do and do not oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven times as many of the latter think pornography is OK. Three times as many back cohabiting as a good idea, six times as many are OK with no-strings-attached sex, five times as many think adultery could be permissible, thirteen times as many have no issue with polyamorous relationships, and six times as many support abortion rights..."
Mark notes that support for homosexual 'marriage' doesn't automatically lead to support for these other immoral practices...
"I’m not suggesting any “slippery slope” sort of argument here, implying that a shift in one attitude will prompt lock-step adjustments in others. In reality, our moral systems concerning sex and sexuality tend rather to resemble personalized “tool kits” … Instead, the results might be better interpreted as a simple story of social learning from quite different reference groups—those sets of people we use as a standard of comparison for ourselves, regardless of whether we identify as a member of that group.”
Read Mark's article:
Here is a media report about Mark's research...
Surprise: Pro-Gay-Marriage Christians Reject the Rest of Christian Teaching about Sex and Marriage, Too, National Review, 11/8/2014.