Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
- The recent ‘debunking the myths’ conference addressed calls to ban assistance to people who want to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.
- Some new research is analysed by Dr Christopher Rosik of NARTH
- Homophobia and transphobia… more 'phobia' words!
- Criticism of transgender surgery by Dr Paul McHugh
- A Christian perspective on sex and gender
1. UK Conference – ‘debunking the myths’ re changing same-sex feelings
The recent conference organised by Core Issues Trust and Christian Concern in London and Ireland was a great success!
Christian Concern reports, “Keynote speakers at a ‘Debunking the myths’ conference in London told the audience that objections to therapy for people who want to lose or reduce unwanted same-sex feelings, were based on political grounds rather than grounded on empirical scientific evidence. The conference highlighted the loss of freedom for UK citizens to seek professional help to change unwanted homosexual feelings. The conference was organised in response to the instruction from the Health Minister, Norman Lamb, that NHS England should block the health service providing such therapy. The conference also challenged the decision to ban change therapies, by professional bodies such as the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy.”
The keynote speakers included Dr Christopher Rosik, President-elect of the US National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), Anne Paulk, CEO of Restored Hope Network and Professor Robert Gagnon, of Pittsburg Theological Seminary….”
2. Dr Christopher Rosik reviews new studies on SOCE
An important Research Report by Dr Rosik - he analyses three new studies that he says will be used by those who oppose ANY attempt to assist people with unwanted same-sex attraction – or SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts)…
Dr Rosik writes, “Because this research is assuredly going to be uncritically trotted out in professional and lay discussions about SOCE, it is important that these studies be evaluated critically so that those concerned with clients’ rights and therapeutic choice are knowledgeable about what these studies actually tell us. This is the purpose of the present review. In what follows, I will analyze each study, providing a brief description and more in-depth critical discussion, before closing with some general observations.”
3. Homophobia and Transphobia
The use of the word ‘phobia’ is growing. As well as the misused name ‘homophobia’, activists are now promoting the word ‘transphobia’…
This article is an example of how prevalent these terms are…
Article: Homophobia vs Transphobia, Montreal Gazette, 17/6/2014.
4. Dr Paul McHugh criticises ‘transgender surgery’
The former head of the psychiatry section at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr Paul McHugh, has said for years that surgery is NOT the answer for people who experience transgender feelings.
A recent article by Dr Paul McHugh sets out the case for NOT doing sex re-assignment surgery. This is particularly significant, since Johns Hopkins Hospital regularly performed transgender (transsexual) sex re-assignment surgery – they STOPPED doing the operations when they realised that that the surgery wasn’t resolving the problems.
His comments about psychiatry in general are noteworthy – as they apply to any help for the 'mind' being requested... “Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned. Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry's domain; declaring them off-limits would eliminate the field.”
The problem is that it seems one can ask for ANY help you want from a psychiatrist or counsellor – EXCEPT help to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction!
Dr McHugh’s article was promoted by a recent decision by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) review board, which ruled that it is 'no longer reasonable to exclude such surgeries because they were experimental or risked serious complications'. The case was brought by Denee Mallon, a 73 year old US Army veteran. The decision means that US Medicare can now pay for transgender surgery.
Article: Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution - a drastic physical change doesn't address underlying psycho-social troubles, Wall Street Journal, 12/6/2014.
Lifesite reported on the article:
Former Johns Hopkins head psychiatrist: ‘transgender surgery isn’t the solution’, Lifesite, 17/6/2014.
Article: Psychiatrist heaps fuel on fiery transgender debate, Michael Cook, BioEdge, 14/6/2014.
Article: Medicare ban on sex reassignment surgery lifted, AP, 30/5/2014.
5. A Christian perspective on ‘transgender’ - from creation.com
An article from Creation Ministries, written by Dr Kathy Wallace in October 2013, highlights the fact that God made male and female. Two follow-up articles respond to comments made by readers – including the difference between sex and gender…
- Male and female He made them …
- George Jamieson / ‘April Ashley’: A ‘model’ life for the ‘gender reassignment’ brigade?
- Transgender arguments hinge on sex versus gender – can you choose?
An article in The Australian last week, ‘It is the young flesh they want’, highlights the marriage of young girls within Islam – and what is occurring in Australia. The article covers marriage of children, forced and ‘arranged’ marriages, as well as shame, duty and ‘honour killings’. It makes compelling reading.
Just one paragraph: “On best estimates, the number of girls in Australia being forced into marriage here or overseas is in the hundreds every year. Girls as young as 12 or 13 are disappearing from schoolyards, packed off to the countries of their parents’ birth to wed men they have never met, while others are taken from their homes in southern Asia and the Middle East and brought into Australia to marry. The National Children’s and Youth Law Centre has identified 250 cases of under-age marriage over the past 24 months, while Sharobeem, who was herself married to a cousin at the age of 14, says there are at least 60 child wives living in south-western Sydney alone.”
Mark Durie responded, noting that it contains very good information – however, he picks up one statement from Jennifer Burn of Anti-Slavery Australia who stated, “The Koran does not support child marriage...”
Mark has written an excellent article showing how the Koran DOES support child marriage.
Article: ‘It is the young flesh they want’, The Australian, 14/6/2014.
Mark Durie’s response: The Koran and Child Marriage, ME Forum, 14/6/2014.
2. Australian Muslims fighting in Iraq
We're previously reported that Australian Muslims have joined Islamic groups, including ISIS, that are fighting in Syria. The Australian reports that at least one of these men, "convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf" from Australia, who "who served three years and 11 months over his role in the 2005 Pendennis terror plot", left Australia illegally last year and is believed to be fighting with ISIS in Iraq.
The latest report reveals that some of the Australians, including Sharrouf, are believed to be participating in gruesome massacres of captured Iraqis - photos have been posted on social media.
Some other Australian Muslim men have been shown on video urging Australian Muslims to join them to fight in Iraq...
There are proposals for increased power for the government and police to deal with Australians travelling to fight in these conflicts: "The federal government’s Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Bret Walker SC, yesterday urged the government to consider revoking the citizenships of dual-nationals fighting in Syria and Iraq. Mr Walker also used his latest report, tabled in federal parliament yesterday, to push for ASIO to have the power to temporarily suspend passports at short notice, and for evidence laws to be loosened. . ."
Simon Benson writes in the Daily Telegraph that Australia is the "largest per capita source country for for jihadists going to fight in Syria and now Iraq."
Article: Aussie jihadi in Iraq conflict, The Australian, 19/6/2014.
Article: Aussie jihadi in Iraqi executions, The Australian, 21/6/2014.
Article: ‘Australian jihadist’ calls for Muslims to join fight in chilling video, The Australian, 21/6/2014.
Article: The vipers are poised to strike, Daily Telegraph, 20/6/2014
3. Andrew Bolt on Islam...
Andrew has a column today on the 'holy war' in Iraq... and a blog piece listing the events around the world connected to Islamic ideology...
Column: This holy war cry is a wake-up call
ANDREW BOLT HERALD SUN JUNE 23, 2014
Australian Khaled Sharrouf is believed to have joined the jihadists in Iraq.
WHO let these jihadists into our country? Must we run this danger, just to boast our immigration system isn’t racist?
“We will always have, a non-discriminatory immigration policy,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared three years ago.
Admirable in principle. But how wise in this Age of Terror?
Consider. More than 150 Australians, many of Lebanese descent, have joined jihadists fighting in Iraq and Syria, and will pose a danger to us on their return.
One, Khaled Sharrouf, lived on a disability pension in Sydney but was last week pictured apparently in Iraq, waving the flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, whose Sunni jihadists are shooting and beheading countless unarmed Shia Iraqis.
In another Facebook photo, believed posted by fellow Australian jihadist Mohamed Elomar, Sharrouf poses with a gun next to slaughtered Iraqi civilians. ..."
4. Bendigo Council APPROVES MOSQUE proposal
Last week Bendigo Council in Victoria approved plans for the building of a mosque by a 7-2 vote. The meeting was attended by around 200 people, with some people vocally objecting. The Council received 432 objections to the mosque. Some residents objected to the building of any mosque because of concerns about Islam;some neighbours objected to traffic flow.
Zaky Mallah, "a Sydney activist once jailed under Australia’s anti-terrorism laws", made a You Tube video, saying ‘‘The system is on our side. ‘And the funny thing is, you can’t do anything about it.’’ He said he hoped the Muslim 'Call to Prayer' would be broadcast "full blast" at 4 am!
The group opposing the building of the mosque posted at 'Notice of Demand' on their Facebook page and is expected to appeal against the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The Age has now run an article claiming the Q Society was involved in 'rganising' the protest against the mosque in Bendigo... Q Society responded saying they provided information to local residents at their request...
Article: Legal challenge looms over Bendigo mosque plan, The Age, 19/6/2014.
Article: Bendigo mosque: Council approves construction despite fiery public meeting, ABC, 19/6/2014.
Article: Q Society spreading anti-mosque message in Bendigo, The Age, 21/6/2014.
5. Donating to Islamic charity – Australia Post
A controversy erupted last week over a $2 million donation by Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour to the Islamic Museum in Australia, which has been set up by members of his family and where he is a patron.
The issue wasn’t over whether he gave a donation… anyone can make a donation!
It is alleged that he asked Australia Post to make the donation DIRECTLY to the Museum from his bonus – so instead of paying it to him (and him making the donation) the money was paid to the Museum by Australia Post. This action implicates Australia Post as being a financial supporter of the Museum.
The question was raised about tax liabilities and whether Mr Fahour paid the tax on the $2 million – Australia Post and Mr Fahour need to be transparent about how the donation was paid and how the tax situation was affected…
Article: Australia Post donates boss Ahmed Fahour’s $2m bonus to Islamic Museum of Australia, Herald Sun, 18/6/2014.
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: