Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
In May 2015, the Victorian Legislative Council agreed that the Legal and Social Issues Committee would conduct an Inquiry into “the need for laws in Victoria to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices.”
This includes discussion of both euthanasia and palliative care.
The motion was put forward by the government as an ‘alternative’ to a push by the Greens - to legalise euthanasia and to ask the Victorian Law Reform Commission to conduct an Inquiry. For our report on the failure of Greens MLC Colleen Hartland’s motion, click here.
We encourage Victorians (in particular) to make SUBMISSIONS to the Inquiry – submissions close on 31 July 2015.
In your submission / letter, please SUPPORT increased resources for palliative care and OPPOSE the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
There is also concern about Advanced Care Directives, because a statement that you don’t want ‘medical treatment’ could be interpreted in ways that you don’t support, including the removal of food and water – see here, for some information.
Your letter doesn’t have to be long– just express your view in a reasoned manner.
It is VITAL that we express our concerns about the lack of safeguards in ‘euthanasia legislation’. Elderly people are vulnerable to pressure form society that they are a ‘burden’ as well as from family members.
For information on the issue – and arguments for opposing euthanasia, you might check out these websites:
The ‘other side is having their say – we must act!
I mentioned this Inquiry last month. At that time, the majority of submissions were from individuals SUPPORTING euthanasia – they are often very SHORT, telling a sad story or saying they want to die at a time of their ‘own choosing’. I looked at the submissions again this week – there are now 84 submissions – I randomly chose six of the additional 50, and they ALL supported euthanasia!
The Committee has called for submissions which must be made by 31 July, 2015.
The Committee is holding PUBLIC HEARINGS – with various organisations and individuals making presentations.
They begin tomorrow, 23 July, in Melbourne.
Other hearings will be held in Geelong (29 July) and Warrnambool (30 July) and a further hearing in Melbourne on 5 August, 2015.
Sources of information…
Click here to see the Committee’s Inquiry webpage (click on tabs for further information).
Click here for the Terms of Reference (what the Inquiry is about). Also posted below.
Click here for ‘Submissions’ made to the Committee.
Click here for information about ‘Public Hearings’.
You can send it by:
ONLINE – esubmission – use the form on the Committee’s website – click here.
POST - Lilian Topic, Secretary, Legal & Social Issues Committee Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne VIC 3002.
Click here for the Committee’s page on making a submission.
On 7 May 2015 the Legislative Council agreed to the following motion:
That pursuant to Sessional Order 6 this House requires the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into, consider and report, no later than 31 May 2016, on the need for laws in Victoria to allow citizens to make informed decisions regarding their own end of life choices and, in particular, the Committee should —
(1) assess the practices currently being utilised within the medical community to assist a person to exercise their preferences for the way they want to manage their end of life, including the role of palliative care;
(2) review the current framework of legislation, proposed legislation and other relevant reports and materials in other Australian states and territories and overseas jurisdictions; and
(3) consider what type of legislative change may be required, including an examination of any federal laws that may impact such legislation.
20 July 2015
A Greens MP in the ACT Legislative Assembly wants to ban prayer and protests outside Canberra’s abortion clinic by establishing an ‘exclusion zone’ with hefty penalties. Shane Rattenbury introduced legislation TODAY, which will be voted on later in the year. Full details in article BELOW.
Two things you can do…
1. Vote NO in the online poll at the article in the Canberra Times
– click here now (or on article title below).
When I started writing this email, there were 666 votes – with 51% supporting a ban and 49 % opposing it.
Now there are 831 votes – with 47% yes and 53% voting NO!
Please ADD your vote!
2. SIGN a petition re ‘exclusion zones’
Please SIGN (if you have not already done so) and promote the Change.org petition against Rattenbury’s earlier proposal of a 150 metres ban that ACT Right to Life initiated some time ago.
The petition now has 723 signatures – please sign it! Click here.
Article and POLL: Shane Rattenbury prepares to ban anti-abortion protests outside Canberra's abortion clinic, Canberra Times, 20/7/2015.
17 July 2015
Another round of news – just when I think it is finished, another item comes in – this time, it was that the Victorian government has just appointed a ‘Sexuality and Gender Commissioner’!
Please pray as you read!
15 July 2015
The battle against the legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ continues unabated.
This week, more churches and church leaders have supported the proposal to have ‘civil marriages’ for any two people, performed and registered by the state, with churches having a ‘separate’ church ceremony for those who want it.
After discussing the developments, Peter felt led to write an article, exposing the compromise and encouraging everyone to stand for the TRUTH and to keep fighting to retain God’s design of marriage between a man and a woman.
A selection of articles on a range of current issues… with several on the last topic of transgenderism.
1. STUDY: Worse consequences when MIXING marijuana and alcohol
A recent study looked at the effect of using BOTH marijuana and alcohol at the same time…
A media report asked, “Is it a worse idea to use marijuana and alcohol together than alone? A study published in May and picked up by Scientific American has answered that question for what scientists say is the first time.”
“Researchers write in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research that no study has previously "directly compared those who use cannabis and alcohol simultaneously versus concurrently (i.e., separately) in the adult general population." What they found: People who both smoke marijuana and drink alcohol are twice as likely to indulge in both at the same time, with a press release stating they, "had the heaviest drinking patterns in terms of quantity and frequency." And that simultaneous use roughly doubles their odds of driving drunk over those who were just drinking, according to data from National Alcohol Surveys of more than 8,600 people in 2005 and 2010.
Partaking in both alcohol and pot simultaneously also doubles their odds of engaging in behavior that leads to negative social consequences (think arrests, work problems, fights, etc.).
What study author Meenakshi S. Subbaraman would like to see come out of her research: that "as the cannabis industry continues to grow, manufacturers will consider some sort of warning label related to increased risks when mixing alcohol and cannabis." Scientific American also points to a second study, published in the spring in Molecular Psychiatry, that exposed another downside to marijuana use.
It found, at least among chronic pot smokers, users are more likely to remember things incorrectly, even if they've abstained from using for a month, compared to people who don't smoke at all….
The Study: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Article: Study looks at what happens when you mix pot, booze, Newser, 6/7/2015.
2. Countering the MYTHS About Redefining Marriage
A helpful short article on the re-defining of ‘marriage’, by Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council in Washington DC, USA.
For each of the ten myths, Peter gives a brief statement on the REALITY!
Great resource which will assist in arguing against the legalisation of homosexual ‘marriage’.
3. Sex Slavery and the Islamic State
Mark Durie highlights the practice of Islamic State using ‘sex slavery’ – and goes on to examine the wider issue regarding Islam itself and the use of ‘slaves’ and sex…
Article: Sex Slavery and the Islamic State, Mark Durie, 3/7/2015.
4. Transgenderism - and Bruce Jenner
It didn’t take long for Bruce Jenner to ‘reveal himself’ as a woman called ‘Caitlyn’ in a Vanity Fair feature article, after publicly announcing he wanted to transform himself into a woman.
Of course, the media love the story and are always encouraging… despite the fact that one CANNOT change oneself into the opposite sex.
In his initial interview, Bruce Jenner said he is a Christian, so it is important, in responding to this issue, that we consider how we should respond as Christians to transgenderism. We believe that God made us male and female and that we cannot change that. Mutilating our bodies does not magically change us from one to the other.
Here are some responses to Bruce Jenner’s situation, the first from Walt Heyer, who himself went down that path before realising that wasn’t God’s intention or design:
Walt, who has reverted to living as a man, has talked openly about his deep regret for having a sex change operation and living as a transgender woman and offers advice to Bruce Jenner. He says, “Changing genders is short-term gain with long-term pain. Its consequences include early mortality, regret, mental illness, and suicide.”
An article in Breitbart states, “Clinical studies would seem to confirm Heyer’s conclusions. A review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transgenders carried out in the UK in 2004 found “no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.”
Article: REPENTANT TRANSSEXUAL WARNS JENNER: THE ‘HANGOVER’ IS COMING, Breitbart, 3/6/2015.
Walt’s Personal Story - I Was a Transgender Woman, Public Discourse.
Walt’s Website: Sex Change Regret
Dr Gary Cass of Defend Christians
Gary considers how Christians and the church should approach this issue. Gary also notes that the decision to ‘change gender’ affects all the family.
Article: God loves Bruce Jenner?, Dr Gary Cass, 9/6/2015.
Dr Paul McHugh
Dr McHugh was involved in the transgender sex reassignment surgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, which was the first American medical centre to do ‘sex reassignment surgery’. However, after a study, in the 1970s, “comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not”, they STOPPED doing the surgery.
He writes, “Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as "satisfied" by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn't have the surgery. So we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a "satisfied" but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.”
An enlightening article by Jesse Johnson, the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He highlights the flawed claims of the transgender movement which “seeks to differentiate between one’s biological sex and the concept of gender”.
After showing this is really Gnosticism in practice, he explores three areas: Understand the motivation is to rebel against God, and to force you to approve of their rebellion; Understand the difference between sex and gender and Be a voice of reason.
Article: Transgendered Gnosticism, Jesse Johnson, The Cripplegate, 4/6/2015.
Bill Muehlenberg writes about Bruce Jenner
“The Bruce Jenner (not Caitlyn Jenner) photo shoot for Vanity Fair tells us about a tortured soul who needs help and therapy, but not praise and endorsement…”
Article: Bruce Jenner and trans sanity
A compelling article, which includes an account, written in The New York Times, of a young woman who had a sex reassignment surgery at age 18, to ‘change from being a male to a female’.
David writes, “And so begins the Times’s exploration of the new trend of helping even children “transition” from male to female, through puberty-delaying drugs early in childhood culminating in surgery that permanently damages their bodies while they are still teenagers. There’s a word for this — barbaric. The Times, however, chooses a different way to describe it — the “transgender moment.” The way it describes this moment, however, should give even the most ardent activist pause, especially when the “moment” imposes intense ideological pressure on parents to indulge troubled children — putting them in the hands of doctors who profit from their pain. And if you think that these “doctors” are simply helping kids who’ve always identified as trans, think again. . .”
Article: Mutilating Teenagers, to Thunderous Applause, David French, National Review, 17/6/2015.
Finally – an article expressing concern over a ‘ban’ on therapy to address gender
This article is from ‘the other side’ – from Alice Dreger, Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics, who actually supports the ideas of transgender, homosexuality and so on.
The writer considers the situation in Canada, where “the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is now considering the “Affirming Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Act,” known as Bill 77.”
They are concerned that legislation to ‘affirm one’s chosen gender’ and to ban therapy which helps children deal with gender issues might actually force parents, and the children themselves, into thinking they HAVE to act to ‘change gender’ by drugs and surgery, even when they are quite young.
She writes, “So, under this bill’s current form, if a seven-year-old male said he feels he’s a girl, then the clinician would have to effectively accept that he’s a girl. If the child indicates a belief that s/he’s a straight girl, then even if the clinician thinks the patient might be a gay boy—that the child might, with good familial and social support, grow up to be a well-adjusted gay man without the need for sex-altering surgeries or lifelong hormone replacement therapy—the clinician must not “change or direct” the child’s understanding.
But by not “changing or directing” the child’s understanding—by “affirming” a “transgender” identity as soon as it appears—the clinician might actually be stimulating and cementing a transgender identity.”
The writer tells Jess’ story… as a child and teenager Jess felt uncomfortable with being ‘female’. She writes, “Jess thinks that if, back then, a clinician had said to her, “you are transgender,” that might have made sense to her. She might have chosen to take puberty-delaying hormones that would have kept her from ever developing the anatomy and physiology typical for adult females. She might have followed up with some surgeries. But would that have been the right route for her?”
A discussion about sexuality and gender follows… Jess says she now identifies as “a genderqueer gay person with a female body” and is happy that she doesn’t need to have surgery or take replacement hormones!
Perhaps all those parents taking their children to the Royal Children’s Hospital’ Gender Clinic for hormones and changing gender need to read this article!
Article: The Big Problem With Outlawing Gender Conversion Therapies, Wired, 4/6/2015.