News Update - 2 May 2014 - Child abuse, abortion, euthanasia, Tess Corbett & more

News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200Some of the key news items from the past fortnight....
Please read, pray about and take action where appropriate (as in supporting our 'chappies' and prayer). Think of it as a 'mini Journal'!
Also available as a pdf for reading/printing/distributing: News Update - 2 May 2014
God bless you!

News Update – 2 May 2014

Australian News

1. Vic: Women who acquired hepatitis following abortions settle case
2. Sexual abuse of children BY children is increasing
3. Euthanasia – Rodney Syme admits providing drugs & challenges LAW
4. Homosexual ‘Outgames’ in Darwin – 10-16 May
5. Vilification case – Tess Corbett appeals vilification decision
6. High Court challenge against Chaplaincy program
7. ‘Defence Force Conservative Action Network’ formed
8. National Commission of Audit REPORT
9. Marriage and de facto relationships – differences in LAW

Overseas News

1. UK: Euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation proposed
2. UK: Nursery worker sacked over stand on homosexuality
3. UK: Politician ARRESTED for quoting Winston Churchill
4. The Netherlands – Some pharmacists refuse to supply euthanasia drugs

On the Issues

Google – on banning ads for pregnancy centres

Coming Events

International Day of Prayer for Madeleine and All Missing Children – Sun 4 May


Australian News

1. Vic: Women who acquired hepatitis following abortions settle case
A group of 50 women have settled a legal case they brought against a Croydon abortion clinic – the total settlement amount is $13.75 million. The women were infected by the anaesthetist James Latham Peters, who was addicted to the drugs used in the anaesthetic.

Many reports DON’T MENTION that this was an ABORTION clinic – they referred to the ‘medical clinic’ or ‘Croydon Day Surgery’. [See The Australian, ABC, The Age.]
AAP referred to it being an ‘abortion clinic’ at the END of their article – this is included in the Herald Sun, Guardian and West Australian reports.

In 2013, James Latham Peters was jailed for 14 years, with a non-parole period of 10 years, ‘after pleading guilty to 55 counts of negligently causing serious injury’.

Article: Victims of drug-addict anaesthetist James Latham Peters infected with hepatitis C reach $13.75m settlement against Croydon Day Surgery, Herald Sun, 28/4/2014.

2. Sexual abuse of children BY children is increasing
Dr Freda Briggs recently warned that children as young as five are exhibiting problem sexualised behaviour – which is often caused by them watching pornography on the internet. Children are also increasingly carrying out sexual abuse of other children… Dr Briggs has also called for more education for social workers to deal with vulnerable children and has said children need to be better protected.Dr Briggs was then interviewed on ABC AM (link below).

Dr Briggs, Emeritus Professor, Education Arts and Social Sciences Divisional Office, University of South Australia, published some of her work in this area as a book in 2012 – click here for details and here for an OVERVIEW of the book.

Articles: Fears about prevalence and response to sexual abuse among school children, ABC AM, 30/4/2014.
UniSA Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs says social workers need more training to deal with vulnerable children, Advertiser, 8/4/2014.
Internet porn a hazard for primary pupils, says Freda Briggs, The Australian, 14/4/2014.

Read Family Voice’s Media Release – 14/4/2014.

Read an interview with Dr Briggs where she explains what needs to be done to protect children.

3. Euthanasia – Rodney Syme admits providing drugs & challenges LAW
Melbourne doctor Rodney Syme, who actively campaigns for euthanasia to be legalised, has made a public admission that he provided drugs to a man, Steve Guest, who later killed himself in 2005. On the ABC PM program, he said, “I essentially provided him with a lethal dose of Nembutal.”

Syme says he has revealed his action in order to CHALLENGE the Victorian law, which outlaws euthanasia. He WANTS a court challenge and wants the Victorian Law Reform Commission to review legislation. The VLRC can only review legislation if a case is referred by the Attorney-General – thankfully, the Victorian government has said it has NO plans to do so.
Meanwhile, Victoria Police Homicide Squad has re-opened it investigation into the death of Steve Guest.
Report: Euthanasia advocate admits supplying lethal dose of drug to man who killed himself, ABC PM, 28/4/2014.

4. Homosexual ‘Outgames’ in Darwin – 10-16 May
The homosexual Outgames are being held in Darwin from 10-16 May. One of the sponsors of the 3rd Asia Pacific Outgames is Airnorth, a local airline – they are giving out free passes to the Yolngu people to attend the activities.

Kris Schlyder, Coordinator of the Australian Indigenous Prayer Network, writes, “We need to pray that the hearts of the Yolngu people, Darwin’s Christians, and heterosexual unbelievers will be moved to avoid attending the 3rd Asia Pacific OutGames out of curiosity. And, most important, we need to pray for salvation and healing for the LGBTI people attending the games events.”

5. Vilification case – Tess Corbett appeals vilification decision
In October 2013, we reported that Tess Corbett, a candidate for the Australian Christians party at the last federal election, and formerly a candidate for the Katter Party, had been found GUILTY of vilifying homosexuals by the NSW Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. The complaint was made by homosexual activist Gary Burns, who has made many similar vilification complaints. As Bernard Gaynor writes, “Tess' crime is that she said she did not want paedophiles to use anti-discrimination laws to gain the same rights as homosexuals.”

Tess has appealed against the decision – the appeal was heard this week, on 30 April. Bernard has been assisting Tess, and says, “Please keep Tess and her legal team in your prayers and thank you to all those who have generously donated to allow this appeal to go ahead.”
Media reports:
October 2013:  Court orders Tess Corbett to apologise, SMH.
May 2014: St Paul quoted in Katter Party candidate's fight against vilification finding, Canberra Times, 1/5/2014.
Nov 2013: Barrister says forced apology wrong in Corbett case, The Standard, 30/11/2013.  

6. High Court challenge against Chaplaincy program
Next week, on 6-8 May, the High Court in Canberra will hear a complaint that challenges the funding of the national Chaplaincy in schools program. Scripture Union Queensland, which provides chaplains in Queensland, is defending the case.
Read our report from last week – click here.

There are THREE things you can do…
1. SIGN the Statement of Support on the ‘Back our Chappies’ website (if you haven’t done so yet). Click here.
They are aiming for 100,000 signatures – they currently have nearly 83,000.
2. Pray for SUQld and the legal team representing them.
3. ASK all your Christian friends (and churches) to SIGN the Statement and PRAY.

7. ‘Defence Force Conservative Action Network’ formed
Bernard Gaynor reports, “after discussions and feedback from a large number of officers, soldiers, family members of Defence personnel and veterans that I am forming the Defence Force Conservative Action Network (DEFCAN).”

The group will assist defence force members hold and defend conservative social values. The first action the group has taken is to seek permission for defence force personnel to attend pro-life and pro-marriage rallies in uniform. Bernard writes, “Defence has no option but to grant this request, given the precedent set with uniformed participation at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the support provided to the Defence Force Gay and Lesbian Information Service. Failure to do so would be hypocritical and make a mockery of Defence’s diversity policy. It would be nothing short of discriminatory.”
Read Bernard’s statement: Join the Defence Force Conservative Action Network


8. National Commission of Audit REPORT
You’ve undoubtedly heard about the National Commission of Audit (NCOA) releasing their report this week… dealing with proposed spending cuts to deal with the deficit…
The NCOA was commissioned by the government to investigate possible ways of dealing with Australia's budget deficit. The government will now consider the Report.

Find out what it really says!

Website: National Commission of Audit
Media Release: National Commission of Audit Releases Review of the Activities of the Commonwealth Government
(This includes a summary of the Report)

9. Marriage and de facto relationships – differences in LAW
A recent legal case in Australia has highlighted the differences in the law relating to married and de facto relationships. In this particular case, the Judge decided the couple was NOT in a de facto relationship – even though they had a child, bought a house and lived together!

Mind you, the woman has been claiming Centrelink benefits as a single mother, and the man said they had separate bedrooms and lived together out of ‘convenience’.

Family law in Australia changed in 2009
Prior to 2009, couples living in a de facto relationship did not have access to the Family Court for the division of property. If there are children involved then custody matters are dealt with by the Family Court (also prior to 2009).
Following legislative change, they can use the Family Court for property settlements – HOWEVER, the person must be able to PROVE that they were ‘in a genuine de facto relationship with their former partner which has broken down’ – there are numerous criteria that must be met (see Fact Sheet below).

The FULL decision: Benedict & Peake [2014] FCCA 642 (11 April 2014)
: De facto couples have differences to married counterparts, judge says, The Australian, 23/4/2014.

Official government information from ‘Family Law Courts’ website:
De facto Relationships click here.
FACT SHEET: Property division when de facto relationships break down

COMMENT: This case – and the Fact Sheet – demonstrate the benefits of a man and woman being married. Marriage provides protection to women and children as they DON’T have to PROVE their relationship exists. We desperately need a transformed culture that supports and promotes marriage and its benefits for woman and children (and men and society!) as well as being what God designed as being the best for us.

Overseas News

1. UK: Euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation proposed
The UK House of Lords is currently debating an ‘assisted suicide’ Bill. In March, Prime Minister David Cameron said that he would NOT support the Bill. Noting that he had opposed similar Bills in the past, he said. 'But my worry has always been about whether people will be unfairly pressurised. But it’s a matter of conscience.’

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, also said he opposed the legislation.

Read reports at Paul Russell’s blog: here about David Cameron’s statement and here for a Telegraph editorial.

2. UK: Nursery worker sacked over stand on homosexuality 
Sarah Mbuyi, a Christian nursery worker, says she was sacked because she refused to read stories about same-sex couples to children. She is also accused of harassing a lesbian colleague, but as Christian Concern point out, the lesbian asked Sarah about her views on homosexuality and she responded politely. The Christian Legal Centre pointed out that David Cameron’s views on faith are “failing to play out”!
Article: Christian nursery worker 'sacked after refusing to read gay stories to children', Telegraph, 19/4/2014.

3. UK: Politician ARRESTED for quoting Winston Churchill
The moral of this story… Be CAREFUL WHO you QUOTE…

The Blaze reports “Paul Weston, a member of the GB Liberty Party, and current candidate for the South East England constituency of the European Union Parliament, delivered a speech in Winchester, a part of his constituency, in which he quoted from Winston Churchill’s 1899 book, “The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan.” In particular, Weston quoted Churchill on the topic of Islam. As a result of his speech (and his refusal to stop speaking), Weston was arrested. . .”

Read The Blaze article to find out what Winston Churchill wrote…

If you quote Winston Churchill on this topic, you could go to jail in modern-day Great Britain, The Blaze, 27/4/2014.
UK politician arrested for quoting Churchill, could face two years in prison, American Thinker, 28/4/2014.
Quoting Winston Churchill’s criticism of Islam contributes to U.K. politician’s arrest, Washington Times, 29/4/2014.

4. The Netherlands – Some pharmacists refuse to supply euthanasia drugs
A good development – the issue of conscientious objection is an important one…

Michael Cook, of Bio Edge, reports, “Although euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands,  are refusing to supply the lethal drugs needed to carry it out.

“According to the investigative TV program Altijd Wat Monitor, this does not necessarily happen because of religious objections to euthanasia. Some pharmacists do not know the doctors who approved the euthanasia; others do not agree with euthanasia for conditions like dementia or depression. “A pharmacy is not a shop where deadly drugs are just handed over,” a spokesperson for the pharmacists’ association said.”
But the Green MP objected, saying pharmacists should comply with doctors’ requests.

Article: Some Dutch pharmacists refusing to supply euthanasia drugs, Bio Edge, 27/4/2014.

On the Issues

Google – on banning ads for pregnancy centres
A furore has erupted in the USA, with NARAL, the main body advocating abortion, claiming that Google has ‘banned’ ads for some pro-life pregnancy centres. NARAL objected because these ads came up when one searched for ‘abortion’.  NARAL claimed that some ads were ‘deceptive’ and had lobbied Google to remove the ads.
I’ve been asked by some readers about this, as Citizen Go has a petition on it… but it doesn’t have the FULL story…

On 28 April, Life News reported that NARAL was claiming victory, stating that many ads for pregnancy centres had been 'pulled' by Google. NARAL's email also said they were putting pressure on OTHER Search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, to also ban such ads. The news was reported in the Washington Post.

BUT, and this is where it is important to know what is really happening…
Two days later, Life News published another post. Many of the main pregnancy help centres said their ads had NOT been PULLED. It turns out that Google said they were pulling ‘deceptive’ ads. NARAL hadn’t complained about ALL ads – they had complained about ‘deceptive’ ads that inferred that the centre provided ‘abortions’ but when someone approached them they counselled AGAINST having an abortion.

One pro-life writer said he knew of NO centres that had their ads pulled. Heartbeat, a major network of centres, said they are always totally honest in their ads and are never ‘deceptive’. 
It is not known HOW MANY ads Google pulled - if any!
NARAL has tried, through the courts, with limited success, to mandate that crisis pregnancy centres state they do NOT perform abortions. Now they are putting pressure on Search engines!
Read Life News’ second report click here.

Coming Events

International Day of Prayer for Madeleine and All Missing Children – Sun 4 May
Please pray for Madeleine McCann and all missing children. Please also pray for the families of the children in their distress of not knowing what has happened to their children. Click here for details.


News Update - 17 April 2014 - euthanasia, Bendigo Bank 'piggy banks', same-sex 'marriage' and more

Newspaper-dog shutterstock-SmThis week we cover a wide range of issues- from euthanasia to Islam, from same-sex 'marriage' to vilification of Christians to the legalisation of marijuana.

Read the item on the latest news regarding the Bendigo Bank closing an account for a group that opposed a mosque...
An incredible irony - the Bank's mascot is a PIG and they have 'PIGGY accounts' for schoolchildren. Not very 'tolerant' and 'inclusive' to Muslims!

At this Easter time we remember the enormous sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us by dying a cruel death on a cross in our place! It was all part of God's amazing plan.
From this side of the resurrection, we can rejoice in the knowledge that JESUS ROSE from the dead on the third day and HE LIVES!


News Update

Australian News

1. WA: Hon Nick Goiran moves motion that criticises euthanasia
We congratulate Hon Nick Goiran, a member of the WA Legislative Council, for moving a Motion last Thursday (10 April) regarding euthanasia. The motion noted that Belgium “recently authorised the direct killing of children through euthanasia” and that “euthanasia or assisted suicide is now routinely performed in Belgium and the Netherlands on persons with no terminal illness but with psychiatric disorders such as anorexia or depression or with disabilities such as blindness”.

The Motion also stated that, “Dr Philip Nitschke during a recent visit to Perth offered instruction in methods of suicide including how to illegally obtain pentobarbitone, a schedule 8 poison, and how to use nitrogen as an undetectable means of ending life”.
The motion went on to “condemn the practice of child euthanasia”, “commend palliative care”, “affirm the value of every human life” and “endorse suicide prevention”.
Read Nick’s motion and speech – click here for Hansard (p 15)
It’s easier to read here on the ‘NO Euthanasia’ blog.

2. Former Tasmanian Senator Brian Harradine dies
When we first started Salt Shakers and attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Canberra, we were privileged to meet Senator Brian Harradine. For many years he stood firm for life and opposed abortion – we recall him saying often that all a tiny developing baby needed was ‘food and shelter’.

Brian Harradine died this week at the age of 78 after a long illness.
A family spokesman said, “Brian Harradine was a great politician of the old school who connected with people from all walks of life.”
He was involved in many areas of politics, and particularly focused on representing his state of Tasmania.

In his final speech in the Senate, he said, “Is it not the case that all legislation is a reflection of a moral position? It is why I have maintained that the true measure of our society and our civilisation is not how rich, powerful or technologically advanced we are. Simply, it is how we treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us. It underpins my unwavering defence of pro life, pro human values against the despondency of abortion and euthanasia.”
Mr Harradine is survived by his wife Marian and his 13 children and stepchildren. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.
Article: Long-serving Tasmanian Senator Brian Harradine dies after long illness, Mercury, 15/4/2014.
Click here for a wide range of ‘News’ articles.

3. Age pension and election ‘promises’
With recent talk about the government possibly raising the age for ‘age pensions’, Nationals MP Darren Chester urged the federal government to take the matter to an election – he reminded the Prime Minister Tony Abbott that he had made a promise prior to the last federal election, that that age would NOT be raised!

The following day, Tony Abbott announced that he will keep his election promise and that the aged pension conditions will not be changed.
Articles: Take age pension plan to election: Nats MP, 15/4/2014.
Poll vow to see pension reform put on hold, The Australian, 16/4/2014.

4. Furore over Adelaide Muslim imam’s ‘hate sermon’
Muslim preacher Sheikh Sharif Hussein is being criticised for comments made in a videotaped sermon last year. In the sermon he “accused Australian troops, whom he called “crusader pigs”, of helping to rape tens of thousands of women in Iraq.”

The Advertiser reports that he has also “publicly prayed for the slaughter of Hindus and Buddhists.”
Police in South Australia say he hasn’t broken any laws!
The question of ‘racial hatred’ has been raised By Cory Bernardi… an important issue when we are currently discussing the federal ‘Racial Hatred’ law…
ArticleAdelaide-based Sheikh Sharif Hussein free to preach race hate, The Advertiser, 13/4/2014.

5. Australian Muslim teenagers and fighting in Syria
The Australian recently reported that, “TEENAGE Australians, including at least one high school student, are having their passports withheld by ASIO amid fears they will use them to travel to Syria and fight with banned ­jihadist groups.”
Article: Children caught in Syria crackdown, The Australian, 3/4/2014.

6. Mocking Christians and Muslims
Columnist Sam de Brito reflects on the different outcomes when a person mocks Christians and mocks Muslims. Last week we mentioned the shooting attack on Nathan Abela – Sam compares that with comedian Joel Creasey who made extremely insulting remarks about Christians (and Hillsong in particular) as part of a comedy routine!
Article: Mock Christians, get laughs, mock Muslims, get bulletsSMH, 4/4/2014.

7. Bendigo Bank – bans - and PIG mascots & PIGGY ACCOUNTS!
The ‘No Mosque for Bendigo’ Facebook page has had a huge audience in the past week (a ‘reach’ of more than 216,000).
In their response to people who complained about the closure of the group’s account, Bendigo Bank noted that there was ‘violence’ on the page…. But the posts mostly report on violence associated with Islam.

Andrew Bolt asked, ‘Who else will they ban?’
He wrote, “Indeed, the Bendigo Bank should tell us who else will have their accounts closed - porn merchants, drug dealers, wife beaters, Islamist extremists, tax cheats, Greenpeace activists, vandals, hoon drivers, habitual drunks, thieves and people who spit on the pavement. Where does this stop? Where was the reputational damage for the bank in even maintaining the account? Who in the community protested, or was this just the work of some sanctimonious Bendigo Bank official who thought he or she could misuse their power to punish opinions with which they disagreed?
Ban Bendigo Bank until it allows its customers to freely engage in public debate.”

Read Andrew’s post: Ban Bendigo Bank

Bendigo Bank piggy bankNow for an IRONY…
I went into Bendigo Bank this week, and registered my concerns, and there were PIGS everywhere – yellow pig money boxes collecting money for various charities.

And a big sign on the wall advertising ‘Piggy accounts’ – yes, when I inquired, that is what they call their SCHOOLCHILDREN’s accounts!

ABendigo Bank pignd, yes… Bendigo Bank has a large PIG MASCOT – click here to look at LOTS of images.

You’ve probably guessed where I am going with this. . .
There have been numerous complaints by Muslims in Britain and elsewhere about people have pigs anywhere, including as ‘piggy banks’ – because Muslims don’t eat pork or bacon and consider pigs to be offensive.

It’s a wonder that Muslim groups haven’t started complaining to Bendigo Bank about having a PIG as a mascot!

Of course, we are happy to have 'piggy banks' as they are a traditional shape for money boxes!

I looked online when I got home - one online commentator has already picked this up.
The Morning Mail has a somewhat satirical article – proposing the Bank change their mascot to “Abdul the Camel” and showing how people might qualify for an account at the Bendigo Bank (by having REALLY politically correct views on everything!).

When I was at the Bendigo Bank, I asked for a ‘PIGGY BANK’ – I now have my very own ‘Bendigo Bank piggy bank’! I thought I’d get one before they all get thrown in the BIN! They could become 'collectable'!

The question is: ‘Just HOW tolerant and inclusive is Bendigo Bank REALLY being?
See last week’s News Update for more info.
If you want to politely CONTACT Bendigo Bank about their decision, click here for their contact page.

8. Bob Carr and religious lobby groups – Andrew Bolt responds
When Bob Carr released his book this week, and spoke on TV, he mentioned that he thought the Jewish lobby was a worry because of their influence on the previous Labor government's policy regarding Israel.
Andrew Bolt responded, saying that he thought the ISLAMIC lobby groups were much more worrying…
Article: Jewish lobby is not the most worrying problem, Andrew Bolt, 13/4/2014.


Overseas News

1. UK: Anglican homosexual clergyman ‘marries’ and creates controversy
The Church of England is facing a controversy after a homosexual clergyman, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, has married his male ‘partner’. This was in direct defiance of statements from the church that they would not accept clergy being in a same-sex ‘marriage’ and would not perform same-sex ‘marriages’.
Jeremy Pemberton is currently a chaplain at a hospital – he was formerly a parish priest and is “a divorced father of five children”.

The problem is that the Church of England had already allowed Anglican clergy to enter a ‘civil partnership’ with a same-sex partner – so long as they ‘remained celibate’!

One Anglican priest said, "People are looking to the Church to enforce its teachings and discipline. The clergy have taken vows of obedience in  public and they ought to live by that. Canon Pemberton should be stripped of his right to function as a clergyman. This is a test of the authority of the bishops and a critical test for Archbishop Welby.”
Article: First gay clergyman to wed plunges Church into crisis: Archbishop under pressure to sack canon who flouted ban on same sex marriage

2. USA: Judge in Ohio orders state to recognise same-sex ‘marriage’
A Federal Judge in Ohio has ruled that Ohio MUST recognise same-sex ‘marriages’ performed in other US states – despite 62%of people in Ohio voting to pass a “constitutional amendment in 2004 defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
Thankfully, the state Attorney-General plans to appeal against the decision.
Article: Federal Judge Issues Sweeping Marriage Ruling in Ohio, Citizen Link, 14/4/2014.

3. USA: George Soros, money and drugs
The Washington Times reports that “Billionaire philanthropist George Soros hopes the U.S. goes to pot, and he is using his money to drive it there.
With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere. Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings….”
Article: George Soros’ real crusade: Legalizing marijuana in the U.S., Washington Times, 14/4/2014.

4. UK: Muslim Brotherhood moves HQ from London to Austria
Last year, the Muslim Brotherhood was EXPELLED from Egypt following the coup.
They set up their headquarters in London.
Now Prime Minister David Cameron has set up an investigation into terrorism – and particularly the views of this group. And the Muslim Brotherhood ahs announced they are moving to Austria!
Article: Muslim Brotherhood moves headquarters from London to Austria after Cameron announces terror investigation, Daily Mail, 12/4/2014.

5. UK: Birmingham school and Islamic prayer ‘speakers’
A Birmingham school is being investigated following claims that £70,000 was spent on speakers for the playground to broadcast the ‘Islamic call to prayer’! Read report.

6. USA: United Methodists dispute about same-sex ‘marriage’
This report from the USA shows a denomination being torn apart over the issue of same-sex ‘marriage’… read it and be informed.
The United Methodist Church has already had several ‘trials’ of minsters who have ‘married’ homosexual couples AGAINST the policy of the church.
The Bishop in New York has now stopped such trials and wants a ‘CONVERSATION”!

Several ministers have performed a same-sex ‘marriage’ for one of their children (one who has already been ‘defrocked’ is Frank Schaeffer, the son of [conservative evangelical] Francis Schaeffer of L’Abri) and one female minister is living in a same-sex relationship.
Article: Methodists Debate Punishing Pastors Who Perform Same-Sex Marriages, Christianity Today, 13/3/2014.

On the Issues

Recent media reports about Jesus having a ‘wife’ - DEBUNKED!
You may have seen recent reports that “Harvard divinity professor Karen King had unveiled a 4th-Century Coptic script [actually a papyrus fragment] at a conference in Rome. She said researchers had identified the words ‘Jesus said to them, “my wife”,’ which might refer to Mary Magdalene.”

As Bill Muehlenberg reports, this is not a new topic for Karen King. But even she acknowledges that the scrap of papyrus is very unclear and far from definitive – the mainstream press often just broadcast the ‘headlines’.

Bill highlights the controversy, quoting from Albert Mohler, New Testament scholar Ben Witherington and Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts. Simon Gathercole of Cambridge said: “Jesus has female disciples in the canonical gospels, who support his ministry (Luke 8), and who are part of his entourage generally. There is no reference to marriage of any kind, which is striking in a biography.”

Read Bill’s article for a good overview and links to these articles: The Wife of Jesus?

Ongoing Campaigns...

Federal racial hatred law - Submissions by 30 April
Please remember to work on your SUBMISSION regarding the proposed changes to the federal 'racial hatred' law. Submissions close on 30 April, 2014.
Click here for our CAMPAIGN page.


News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Just when we think we are managing to deal with the current issues, along come another half-dozen!




News Update - 11 April 2014

Australian News

1. Imam fined $500 for performing ‘marriage’ of 12 year old GIRL 

Recently we reported that an imam at a mosque in Newcastle had performed a ‘marriage’ between a 12 year old girl and a 26 year old man (see News Update, No 6). The imam, Muhammad Riaz Tasawar, who was in Australia on a ‘religious workers visa’, has pleaded guilty to solemnising the marriage and has been fined just $500.

This is an incredibly low penalty. The maximum penalty is just six months jail, which seems rather too little a penalty for breaching the law in this way!

Apparently the imam carried out the ‘marriage’ in the girl’s home, without the permission of the mosque’s governing body, the Islamic Centre of Newcastle. The imam has been sacked – he was placed in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre and is likely to be deported.

Article Imam Muhammad Riaz Tasawar fined $500 after performing marriage of 12-year-old girl,, 3/4/2014.

2. Blasphemous show at Melbourne Comedy Festival – ‘Come Heckle Christ’
In February we reported that the blasphemous show ‘Come Heckle Christ’ was being performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival – we also noted that it had been a part of the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival. In the show, people are encouraged to hurl abuse at the figure portraying the character of Jesus Christ. (See our report.)

Now the show is part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival – this is a more mainstream event. The show was performed on 6 April and will be performed again on 20 April.

The Melbourne Comedy Festival is being sponsored by mainstream organisations such as the Victorian government, City of Melbourne, Herald Sun, Channel Ten, ABC 774, Ticketmaster and a whole host of other supporters – see list below.

WHY are all these organisations supporting this show which sets out to deliberately offend and vilify?

See the program for the Melbourne Comedy Festival – click here.
Read the webpage for the ‘Come Heckle Christ’ event – click here.
View list of sponsors – click here.

Contact the Comedy Festival – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click here.

To contact [some of the] sponsors, click on these links:
Premier Dennis Napthine – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Herald Sun – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact page here.
Channel Ten -
ABC 774 –

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">
3. New group formed - Mayors supporting homosexual ‘marriage’ 
The Byron Shire Council (Mullumbimby, NSW), representing only 29,000 citizens, has drafted a statement of ‘marriage equality’ which supports homosexual ‘marriage’. They are seeking contributions from their community to the draft.

Then they plan to ask Mayors from AROUND AUSTRALIA to sign this ‘Proclamation of Local Government Support for Marriage Equality’ – and send it to Prime Minister Tony Abbott!

The Byron Shire Council already provides a “symbolic Byron Shire Certificate of Marriage when requested for same sex marriage ceremonies within the Shire.”

Article: Byron seeks support from Aussie mayors for gay marriage, Northern Star, 4/4/2014.

Byron Shire Council website – click here.
If you want to let them know you disagree – click here for their contact page.

4. Religious education in Victorian schools

In February there was media report about Bibles being handed out at Torquay College (a primary school in Victoria). Some Year 6 students received ‘Biblezines’ which contained the text of the Bible as well as additional articles, including one on sexuality. They were apparently provided by local churches as a ‘graduation gift’.

Access Ministries, which runs Christian Religious Education (CRE) in Victorian primary schools, said that they were immediately withdrawn, on the day, when it was realised they contained additional material (original article).

The school has now ‘suspended Christian religion education’ whilst an Inquiry is being conducted by the Education Department.

Article: Inquiry into religious instruction in Victorian schools, The Age, 9/3/2014.

5. Bendigo Bank still plans to CLOSE account of group opposing mosque
Last week we reported that Bendigo Bank had told the ‘No Mosque for Bendigo’ group that they had to close their account because the group’s activity was “inconsistent with the bank’s values”.

A controversy erupted, especially on social media – this was covered by the ABC’s World Today program on 6 April. In response to the controversy, Bendigo Bank issued a statement. They then defended their position in an interview on the ABC’s ‘World Today’ programon 8 April.

Local councillor Elise Chapman has accused the bank of trying to be the 'moral police'.
Q Society have told their supporters they have closed their Bendigo Bank account.

In another development, Bendigo Bank was the MAJOR sponsor of ‘Earth Hour’ this year – click here.

Statement from Bendigo Bankclick here.

The ‘No Mosque for Bendigo’ Facebook page - click here.

Article by Bernard GaynorBanking on Islam, 5/4/2014.

World Today: Bank's values judgement prompts backlash, ABC World Today, 6/4/2014.

Article: Bank orders anti-mosque account to be closed, Bendigo Advertiser, 7/4/2014.

Article: Bendigo Bank closes mosque opponents' account, ABC, 7/4/2014.

World Today: Bendigo Bank stands by decision to close account of anti-mosque group, ABC World Today, 8/4/2014.

If you want to politely CONTACT Bendigo Bank about their decision, click here for contact page.


6. Violence in Sydney – man concerned about Islam is fired at
A number of violent attacks have occurred in Sydney in recent months – involving gangs, drug trafficking and more. Whilst the media will report on these ‘offences’ there is reticence to use any word that might identify some of the perpetrators as followers of Islam.

However, when the leader of a group that is concerned about the influence of Islam is shot at, the word Islamic is used – ‘anti-Islamic’, that is.

Nathan Abela, the leader of the Australian Defence League (ADL), which often stridently objects to the spread of Islam, was portrayed as a ‘racist’….
But what about the people who fired eight shots into his apartment, injuring his shoulder as he ducked for cover?

Article: Sydney police probe anti-Islamic posts, Ninemsn, 4/4/2014.
Article: Anti-Islamic extremist group member targeted in shooting, SMH, 4/4/2014.

Bill Muehlenberg wrote about the Bendigo bank and the attack on Nathan Abela.
Australian Sharia and Dhimmitude, 6/4/2014.


7. AFL and other Aussie sports codes UNITE for 'anti-homophobia' campaign
Yes, it is everywhere. Last year the AFL had a campaign against 'homophobia'. In January the AFL announced 'counselling' for players about homophobia and an education campaign called 'Respect and Responsibility' - read about that here.

The NRL has also launched its own campaign against homophobia – aimed at “silencing those who discriminate against an individual based on their sexual orientation” - click here.

This week the AFL chief Andrew Demetriousaid that the AFL is 'ready to embrace their first openly gay player' (click here for article).

Now they have combined with a variety of other sports to commit to have policies in place by August this year to 'combat homophobia' - the timing is planned to coincide with the 'Bingham Cup', the 'world cup of homosexual rugby union'.
The organisers of the Bingham Cup claim they are responsible for this development!
Click here for article.
Read what they all said - click here.

Overseas News

1. Africa, AIDS and the UN Commission on the Status of Women
African delegates at a United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meeting on AIDS have abandoned the resolution that had already been ‘negotiated’. Last minute amendments were made and passed. They claim that the conference was ‘hijacked by progressives’!

“African delegates had tailored the resolution to address HIV/AIDS as a public health tragedy. The U.S., European and a few Latin countries view the disease as a platform to de-stigmatize sex in any form….”
No surprise there!

Article: Africans abandon AIDS resolution at UN after hijacked by “sexual progressives” from US and Europe, Lifesite, 27/3/2014.


2. USA: Supreme Court refuses to hear ‘photographer’ case
The US Supreme Court has decided NOT to hear a case about whether a Christian couple, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin, who are wedding photographers, were legally able to refuse to film a ‘commitment ceremony’ for a homosexual couple!

The New Mexico Supreme Court “rejected the Huguenins' arguments that using Elaine's artistic ability in recording the event would violate her religious beliefs.” Now the US Supreme Court has refused to review their case, even thought it hinges on ‘free speech’ which is protected by the US Constitution.

Todd Starnes concludes, “The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case sends a chilling message to Americans who oppose gay marriage, said Jordan Lorence, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney who represents the Huguenins.

"I believe militant gay rights groups will start targeting churches that own fellowship halls. I believe they will start targeting pastors who preach against homosexuality. And I believe they will go after individuals who attend those kinds of churches.

"It’s not out of the realm of possibility that one day Americans could be forced to answer this question: Do you know or have you ever been a member of a church that opposes gay marriage? The religious cleansing of America has begun.”

Supreme Court declines photographers' appeal, Baptist Press, 7/4/2014.
Do gay rights trump religious rights? Supreme Court won't hear wedding photographers' case, Todd Starnes, Fox News, 7/4/2014.


3. Update: World Vision USA
One Board Member of World Vision USA has resigned over the reversal of their policy on same-sex ‘marriage’. Jacquelline Fuller was also the director of corporate giving for Google Inc and said she did not agree with the new World Vision USA HR policy.

For the record, I’ve also given a link to an article by Michael Brown – he was the first person to break the story about the initial World Vision USA position.

Article: World Vision Board Member Resigns Following Charity's Reversal on Same-Sex Marriage for US Employees, Christian Post, 4/4/2014.

Article: The Apostasy of World Vision Embracing Gay Marriage, Michael Brown, Christian Post, 25/3/2014.


4. Update: Mozilla – and those SUPPORTING same-sex ‘marriage’

This week we reported that Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla, had been forced to resign because he had given $1,000 to a campaign supporting ‘Proposition 8’ to keep marriage between a man and a woman.

Why isn’t there ANY fuss about all the people who SUPPORT same-sex ‘marriage’?
People who hold traditional views on this matter are being ostracized.

Have a look at this very interesting article. It lists the TOP 23 supporters of homosexual ‘marriage’ in the USA – many have provided HUGE amounts of financial support – including to the OPPOSING side of Proposition 8!

Ironically, in talking about internet browsers, two of Google’s co-founders donated $140,000 in 2008 to OPPOSE Proposition 8 (and support same-sex ‘marriage’)!

Article: The Top 23 Gay Marriage Supporters in Business Today, Benzinga, 26/6/2013.

5. Update: Mozilla and World Vision – ‘homosexual rights’ & BUSINESS
Several articles this week, from NON-Christian sources, have commented on the increasing frequency of homosexuals activists targeting BUSINESSES.

One writer said, “debates over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual Americans have been waged in courtrooms, congressional halls and at the ballot box. Now the boardroom is becoming the next battleground as two major – but very different – private institutions, World Vision U.S. and Mozilla, have had to answer for internal decisions that had repercussions for the gay community."

In the second article, Casey Cep analyses the homosexual rights movement and these two recent controversies, and says, “For the new moral majority in support of gay rights, there is an unexpected challenge: to live with dissent while continuing to advance the cause of equality.”

- The Gay Rights Battle Moves to the Boardroom, US News, 8/4/2014.

- What comes after the gay-rights victory?, New Yorker, 4/4/2014.


On the Issues

Rob Bell and Oprah Winfrey on a national tour…
Bill Muehlenberg writes, “When you get Rob "No Hell" Bell and New Age promoter Oprah Winfrey together on a national tour, you know this is diabolical deception big time. Be forewarned.”
Article: Bell and Oprah lovefest – no surprises here


Ongoing campaign

Federal ‘Racial hatred’ laws – submissions close 30 April 
Don’t forget to start preparing your submission to the federal government’s proposed amendments to the Commonwealth racial hatred law. 

Submissions CLOSE on 30 April, 2014.

Some interesting articles:

We can speak for ourselves, thanks, Herald Sun, 6/4/2014.
A woman born in America of Iranian parents, writes that some imams and Waleed Aly don’t represent her – she discusses the ‘free speech’ issue.

The Canberra Declaration team are encouraging everyone to urge the government to fully repeal Section 18C.

In their email this week, they stated, “According to Brendan O'Neil, a visiting editor from UK who will be speaking in Sydney this week on 'The New Enemies of Freedom', modern hate speech legislation was born just before World War II.   A ban on hate speech helped the Nazis rise to power during the Weimar Republic of the 30s.  And it was the authoritarian Soviet Union under Stalin that called for laws against hate speech to curb fascist hysteria.  

Then again in 1948, when world leaders gathered to put together the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Soviet Union argued to include stipulations for hate speech in the section on free speech.  The free Western nations seeing this as "extremely dangerous" were able to block this.  And so we see that hate speech laws began with atheistic governments while the free West vigorously opposed them.”

They also noted “The Canadian Parliament has now repealed the vilification law under which Mark Steyn was harassed.”

Mark Steyn said, "the process is the punishment", a sentiment we would endorse!

Article by Brendan O'Neill...
How a ban on hate speech helped the Nazis, The Australian, 29/3/2014. 
He begins...
"WHAT could an eccentric Swedish pastor, a drunk British student and Brigitte Bardot possibly have in common?
All have been imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment for saying offensive things about minority groups."


News Update - 4 April 2014 - Sex 'not specified', WA election, New G-G, Mosques, 'marriage' in UK, Fred Phelps dies

News with hand-SXC-1109654 23086232 320x200Catching up on news from the past week or two.
As always, it is a matter of selecting a range of news from the vast amount I have to choose from!

I've put the News Update into a pdf document so you can print it out to read or distribute as well as posting on our website!



News Update - 4 April

Australian News
1. Kevin Andrews address: “Make it Mutual”
2. “Sex - not specified” – decision by High Court
3. WA Senate election
4. New Governor General – Peter Cosgrove
5. Mosque proposed for Bendigo – and protests

Overseas News
1. UK: First homosexual ‘marriages’ take place
2. UK: Labour would appoint ‘gay rights envoy’ if elected
3. USA: Chick-fil-A STOPS talking about same-sex ‘marriage’
4. Christian MP in Vanuatu
5. USA: FBI removes SPLC ‘hate groups’ list
6. The importance of truth AND love – Fred Phelps dies
7. UK liberalises laws on abortion
8. UK Update – from Christian Concern

On the Issues
Update on the ‘Noah’ film

Ongoing campaigns
Racial hatred – submissions on proposed amendments


News Update - 4 April

Australian News

1. Kevin Andrews address: “Make it Mutual”
Kevin Andrews, the federal Minister for Family and Community Services, recently gave an excellent address at the National Press Club to the “Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals”.

In the speech, Kevin highlighted the history of the ‘mutual societies’ and contrasted it with the current government welfare situation. He referred to the ‘Beveridge Report’ from the UK… “In both Britain and Australia, the Beveridge ideals of a lighter-touch safety net was swept away by an ambitious but bureaucratic welfarism in which social insurance models were replaced by state-run entitlements programmes. . . “
A very insightful look at ‘what is’ and ‘what used to be’…
Address - National Press Club Address - “Make it Mutual”– 17/3/2014.

2. “Sex - not specified” – decision by High Court
We’re all used to filling in forms that asks us to state whether we are ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ (the question used to be labelled ‘Sex’ but is increasingly referred to as ‘Gender’).

But that could all change – with the High Court ruling this week that a person called ‘Norrie’ can use the term ‘Sex – Not specified’ and that the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages must register her ‘sex’ in this way.

Norrie was born a biological male, but had gender re-assignment surgery to become a 'woman'. However, Norrie wanted to NOT have a specified ‘male or female sex’.

The Registry initially issued a new birth certificate with ‘Sex – not specified’ then later withdrew it and replaced it with one saying ‘Sex – not stated’. Norrie objected and took the complaint to the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal and lost – then lost at appeal, but won at the NSW Court of Appeal. The Registrar then took the case to the High Court. The Court’s summary (below) outlines the case.

Of course, the Bible tells us, in Genesis 1:27, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Article: Neither man nor woman: Norrie wins gender appeal, SMH, 2/4/2014.


FULL Decision - NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie [2014] HCA 11 (2 April 2014)

3. WA Senate election
Click here for information on our website about the WA Senate election.
Includes candidate lists, Group Voting Tickets and the Christian Values Checklist.
Click here for summaries of the PREFERENCE flows.

4. New Governor General – Peter Cosgrove
The new Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, has begun his duties. With the recent introduction of knighthoods, he is now ‘Sir’ Peter Cosgrove.

We congratulate him, as well as congratulate the outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce, for their dedication to civic life in this important role of Governor-General.

Te Governor-General's official title is “His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)”

Visit the Governor-General’s official website – click here.

5. Mosque proposed for Bendigo – and protests
Many residents in Bendigo (Vic) are upset about plans for a large mosque to be built in the city. Councillors are reported to unanimously say they have no religious or cultural objections to the mosque being built. The issue was reported in local papers in January 2014.
A Facebook page was set up to oppose the mosque – called ‘No Mosque in Bendigo’. They have been told this week that their bank – Bendigo Bank – is closing their account. They state: “CLOSE BANK ACCOUNT: Friday we received notice to close our Bendigo Bank account—because caring about the safety of our community is not considered in keeping with the banks values of "Diversity" and "Inclusiveness".”

The Australian Defence League is planning a “protest rally” in Bendigo in April.

From a different angle, Bernard Gaynor posted an article from ‘Melodious Ocean’ which is run by a Buddhist. The writer highlights the battle for dominance in Bendigo between Buddhists and Muslims. The Buddhists are currently building “The Giant Stupa of Universal Compassion”.

Facebook page – ‘No Mosque in Bendigo’ – click here.

Media reports
- Bendigo's first mosque in pipeline, Bendigo Advertiser, 10/1/2014.
- Residents relaxed about proposed mosque, 12/1/2014.
- Group rallies against mosque proposal, 14/1/2014.
- All welcome at new mosque, 17/1/2014.
- Hate group rallies to halt mosque, Bendigo Weekly, 1/3/2014.
- Bernard Gaynor: Why Islam must push its presence into Bendigo

Overseas News

1. UK: First homosexual ‘marriages’ take place
The first homosexual couples ‘married’ last weekend under the UK’s new law that allows any two people to ‘marry’. Currently if two homosexuals already have a ‘civil partnership’ they can’t marry. However, the government is changing the law to allow them to ‘marry’ – it is expected to be changed by the end of 2014.
Media reports:
- Britain's first same-sex marriages take place as PM speaks of 'powerful message', Guardian, 29/3/2014.
- Civil partners must wait until late 2014 to marry in the U.K., GayNewsNetwork, 31/3/2014.

Comment from Christian Concern:
Dismantling traditional marriage: a regressive step for society

2. UK: Labour would appoint ‘gay rights envoy’ if elected
Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party in the UK, recently told a homosexual magazine, “I’m going to appoint an envoy on these issues, around the international agenda of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] rights, because I think it’s a really important issue for an incoming Labour government.” 
Article: Labour would appoint gay rights envoy to tackle international discrimination, says Ed Miliband, The Independent, 27/3/2014.

3. USA: Chick-fil-A STOPS talking about same-sex ‘marriage’
We’ve previously reported on the stand taken by Chick-Fil-A on the issue of same-sex ‘marriage’.

But now they have decided to ‘stop talking about the issue’. The leader of Chick-Fil-A, Dan Cathy, who is a Christian, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that ‘he’s learned lessons’ and now wants to stay out of the battle. He’s also apparently stopped donating to groups that support traditional marriage! See media report here.

He says it isn’t because of the homosexual activists complaining about his statements …. Or the boycotts. Hmmm!

Meanwhile, homosexual activists are celebrating the change of mind – see here.
But there is politics in LGBT circles too, with some not wanting to support Chick-Fil-A just yet – read that article here.

4. Christian MP in Vanuatu
One of our readers from Vanuatu has asked us to pray for a Christian man, Andrew Napuat, who is expected to be elected to the parliament on April 16, 2014.
Please pray that Andrew is elected and will ‘make a difference’ for God in the Vanuatu parliament.

5. USA: FBI removes SPLC ‘hate groups’ list
Defend Christians reports that, for many years, the Southern Poverty Law Center has published a list of ‘hate groups’ that oppose the normalisation of homosexuality – the list included mainstream organisations such as “American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Liberty Council, Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition and the National Organization for Marriage.”

Some sections of the US government had relied on those lists – and they were used in US Army training materials!

Defend Christians has “worked to lobby Congress to restrict federal law enforcement from relying on the biased SPLC reports”. Now Dr Gary Cass reveals that the FBI has removed the list from their website!
That’s a good first step! Read their report – click here.

6. The importance of truth AND love – Fred Phelps dies
When we speak about the Biblical position on homosexuality, some homosexual activists claim that anyone who has any objections to homosexuality is ‘like Fred Phelps’, of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church in the USA. Fred and his followers have engaged in extremely offensive actions, such as holding posters stating ‘God hates fags’ at funerals of AIDS patients and holding protests at the funerals of US servicemen killed in action.
We have repeatedly said that we oppose such actions.

In everything we do or say, we must remember to ‘speak the truth in love’.

Fred Phelps died recently - Joe Dallas, a former homosexual now involved in ministry, reflects on Fred Phelps’ life and actions, and how the fact that there was an audience for his comments contributed to the situation…
Article: Fred Phelps: The Symptom of our Sickness, Joe Dallas, 21/3/2014.

7. UK liberalises laws on abortion
The UK government, a coalition of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, has recently CHANGED the regulations relating to abortion.
Dr Peter Saunders, of Christian Medical Comment, writes, “Prime Minister David Cameron has presided over the largest liberalisation of abortion practice since the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967. Under his leadership, former health minister Andrew Lansley, working closely with abortion providers and senior figures at the Department of Health, has managed to smuggle in what is in effect a nurse-led abortion service without the issue ever being discussed in parliament and without the knowledge of most of his own party colleagues.”

Read his article for the full story… Dr Saunders provides a great overview of HOW the regulation has been changed, in ‘stepwise fashion’, to now allow nurses, as ‘Members of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) to play a role in seeking information from the woman’ to replace doctors!

Article: David Cameron presides over largest liberalisation of abortion practice since 1967 Abortion Act, Peter Saunders, 12/3/2014.

8. UK Update – from Christian Concern
Do you receive ‘Christian Concern emails’ from the UK?

They provide very informative updates on what is happening in the UK and elsewhere. To sign up, fill in your email address on the front page of their website – click here.

Here are items from the past couple of weeks from their ‘Weekly Update’ emails:

Traditional views on sexuality silenced by new liberal "censoriousness", says Lord Neuberger 
Britain’s most senior judge has warned that traditional views on sexuality are being shut out of debate as part of a liberal “censoriousness” about what views can be expressed in public.  Read more >

Christian guesthouse owners seek justice in Europe rather than UK
Two Christian guesthouse owners, Jeff and Sue Green, who have been accused of discriminating against same-sex couples by offering double rooms to married people only, are taking their case directly to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. In the meantime, they have decided to ONLY offer single beds! Read more >

UKIP U-turn on same-sex 'marriage'
Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party has reversed party policy on same-sex 'marriage', announcing that if UKIP wins the next General Election, it will recognise same-sex couples as legally married and strip traditional Christian wedding ceremonies of their legal status. Read more (Telegraph) >

Watch a moving video message to mothers carrying a child with Down's syndrome
At Christian Concern, we are urging supporters to view and share a moving video aimed at encouraging mothers who are expecting a baby with Down's syndrome, and who may be considering an abortion. 
The video, by the campaign #DearFutureMom, hears from 15 young people with Down's syndrome who describe how fulfilled their lives are and how they have added to the happiness of their families.
View the encouraging message for mothers in support of the life of the unborn here >

Miracle baby survives repeat abortion attempts 
A baby who was born at 24 weeks after miraculously surviving a number of abortion attempts is alive and healthy two years later, it has been revealed.
Read more.

On the Issues

Update on the ‘Noah’ film
After sending our email on the new ‘Noah’ film, a number of readers told me about the column by Andrew Bolt. Andrew, who isn't a Christian, highlights the fact that it doesn’t follow the Biblical account – doesn’t mention ‘God’ once - and promotes ‘green environmentalism’, where the ‘Creator’ is killing humans for destroying the planet!
Andrew’s column: The Noah film is afloat with extremism      

Several other very good reviews… for your information…

* Graphic of the problems with the movie – click here.

* Albert MohlerDrowning in Distortion — Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”

* Dr Brian Mattson: Sympathy For The Devil – and follow up here.
A stunning analysis of the film – Brian highlights the Gnostic and pagan elements of the film, along with Kabbalah references (a form of Jewish mysticism). He highlights the use of the serpent, including ‘Noah’ wrapping serpent skin around his arm…

He says, “So let me tell you what the real scandal in all of this is. . . The scandal is this: of all the Christian leaders who went to great lengths to endorse this movie (for whatever reasons: “it’s a conversation starter,” “at least Hollywood is doing something on the Bible,” etc.), and all of the Christian leaders who panned it for “not following the Bible”… Not one of them could identify a blatantly Gnostic subversion of the biblical story when it was right in front of their faces.”

* The review by Summit discusses what is Biblical and unbiblical about the film – including Gnostic and Kabbalah references. Summit talks about how Christians can use the film to engage in conversation with non-Christians.
Summit: How Should Christians Approach ‘Noah,’ America’s Number One Film?

- What’s Wrong with Noah? This review, by Movieguide’s Kat Butler, highlights the references to the Book of 1 Enoch – but shows that even this reference is then badly distorted.

Ongoing campaigns

Racial hatred – submissions on proposed amendments
Visit our Campaign page for information on making a submission on the proposed changes to the Commonwealth ‘Racial Hatred’ laws. Submissions close April 30, 2014.
An interesting article in The Australian:
Survivor wary of ‘velvet totalitarianism’
Professor John Furedy has spoken out in support of the changes and against the current law. As a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust in Hungary, he experienced both Nazism and Communism. He says speech needs to be free so that we don’t end up with ‘velvet totalitarianism’ where people are fearful of speaking up. He said, “the only protection against stupid speech is better speech.”


News Update - 20 March 2014 - elections, slavery, abortion, Islam, child pornography...

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200Another week where almost every area that we cover has been in the news....

News Update

Australian News

1. Election results – Tasmania and South Australia

The Liberal Party has won government in Tasmania – they have won at least 14 of the 25 seats in the House of Assembly – with a 12% swing. The new Premier is Will Hodgman.
Since the previous numbers were almost equal, with Labor only forming government with the support of the Greens, the swing to the Liberals has meant a sizeable majority for them.
Homosexual lobby group Australian Marriage Equality is already saying they will hold the Premier to his pre-election commitment that he would allow a conscience vote on a same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill.

Click here for the official results to date on the Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) website. Or click here for the TEC website.
Media report: Premier-elect Will Hodgman tells political opponents to face up to election loss, ABC, 18/3/2014.

South Australia
The result in South Australia was very close. In fact, the outcome is still undecided. It may be that two Independents will hold the key to which of the major parties, Labor and Liberal, will be able to form government. Yesterday (Tuesday 18) Adelaide Now reported, “About 3 per cent of votes were counted – between 860 and 1600 votes in each seat – reducing the total still to be counted to 28 per cent. At the end of the day’s counting, a hung parliament continued to be the most likely outcome. Labor still looked likely to win 23 seats and the Liberals 22. Two seats have been won by independents to make the total of 47 seats.”
Electoral Commission of South Australia website – click here.
Recent media report - Liberals gain ground in South Australian election, Adelaide Now, 18/3/2014. 

2. Andrew Forrest and the abolition of slavery
We all recall that William Wilberforce, the British MP who was motivated by his Christian faith, actively worked for the end of the slave trade and banning the owning of slaves.
Now Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest has set out to tray and eradicate modern-day slavery.
This report from the SMH says, “At the Vatican on Monday West Australian iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest launched the Global Freedom Network - a new organisation led by the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar in Egypt. The network aims to free the world's estimated 30 million slaves, and has set itself specific, ambitious targets to achieve this.”

For Andrew Forrest, it was a personal experience of his daughter’s, followed by him meeting the victims of child sex trafficking, which led him to start this organisation.

We would all like to see the end of child sex trafficking and of slavery in general – let us pray that the group focuses on the goal of eliminating slavery and not on some multi-faith agenda with Islam.
Article: Andrew Forrest's dream to stop all slavery, SMH, 18/3/2014.

3. Abortion in Victoria – Bernie Finn’s comments
The media has highlighted comments made by Victorian pro-life MP Bernie Finn.
Some of the media just quoted a statement about rapists and those involved in incest using abortion to remove the ‘evidence’. But Bernie also said, "I've spoken to a number of women who have been raped and then had abortions and they told me that from their point of view having an abortion was like being raped a second time. I don't think abortion is acceptable under any circumstances and I don't see why we should be killing babies for the crime of the father."
Meanwhile, Geoff Shaw, the Independent MP who holds the balance of power, has said he is drafting a private member’s bill to remove the restriction on doctors’ consciences.

Article: State MP Bernie Finn says there is no acceptable reason for abortion, The Age, 18/3/2014.

4. Bernard Gaynor – article about his comments on Islam & homosexuality
We’ve regularly reported on Bernard Gaynor’s comments on Islam and homosexuality – now journalist Paul Sheehan has written about the situation…
Bernard spoke at the recent ‘Symposium on Islam and Liberty’ in Melbourne about Islam and the Australian Defence Forces. One of the reasons Bernard has been under investigation by the ADF is because of his comments about Islam and violence.
To see how important Bernard’s warning is, read the following item, about the death of an Australian Muslim army officer fighting for the REBELS in Syria and being killed…

- The text of Bernard’s speech at the Symposium:
The Australian Defence Force & Islam | Bernard Gaynor

- Bernard’s post about the ADF and Islam from June 2013:
The Australian Defence Force protects Islam | Bernard Gaynor

- Article by Paul Sheehan: Criticising Islam, gays sets army major up for a fall - SMH, 17/3/2014.

5. Former Australian soldier killed whilst fighting for Syrian jihadis
An Australian Muslim who was a soldier in the Australian Defence Forces has been killed whilst fighting with rebel Islamic groups in Syria.
According to an interview with the Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert, and other media reports, Caner Temel went AWOL (absent without leave) more than three years ago, in September 2010.
Mr Robert noted that if the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) can’t find someone within 28 days then they are ‘discharged’.

Caner Temel, also known as Abu Moussa, was recruited by Islamic jihadi groups in Syria. The former soldier, from western Sydney, was a ‘combat engineer’ with some training in arms and explosives. He served in the ADF for 17 months. He was ‘killed two months ago two months ago while fighting alongside the fundamentalist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.’
Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert gave the facts of the situation on ABC Radioclick here for the interview (4 minutes).

Articles: Ex-soldier killed in Syria, Caner Temel, trained in arms and explosives, The Australian, 19/3/2014.

6. Child pornography: Australian victims in US child porn ring
Another disturbing revelation of child pornography. . . Thankfully, the authorities have busted this ring that distributed child pornography around the world!

Some of the victims came from Australia. One media report said, “US authorities have arrested and charged 14 suspects in the secret, members-only online network, which had more than 27,000 subscribers. . . Investigators said the website's juvenile victims, who numbered more than 250, reside in five foreign countries and 39 US states’. . . Authorities said the victims, were, for the most part, boys between the ages of 10 and 17. . . the illegal website contained more than 2000 shared webcam-captured videos of mostly juvenile boys enticed by the website's operators to produce sexually explicit material.”
Article: Australian victims in massive US child porn ring, The Age, 19/3/2014.

7. More promotion of homosexuality…
a) Two men and surrogate twins
The Today show on Channel 9 has featured a story about two homosexual men and their surrogate twins…
The two men used a surrogate in Thailand: two eggs were harvested from one woman - each egg was fertilised by one of the men, the embryos were implanted in two separate surrogate women who carried the two babies.
Things are getting more weird by the day...
Story segment: Modern Family, Today, Ninenmsn, 18/3/2014.

b) Same-sex ‘marriage’ – another celebrity lesbian gets ‘engaged’
Although same-sex ‘marriage’ is not legal in Australia, high profile people continue to get ‘engaged’ – perhaps for the political statement it makes. We’ve recently had Christine Forster, the sister of Tony Abbott. The latest is model, singer and TV presenter Ruby Rose…
Article: Wedding belles: Ruby Rose is engaged to Phoebe Dahl, SMH, 18/3/2014.

c) Glossy fashion magazines featuring lesbian poses
Yes, in women’s fashion magazines – women posed in sexualised photographs…
Article: Fashion has a weird thing about lesbians, Daily Life.

8. Paedophile priest pleads guilty to 30 MORE charges
Gerald Ridsdale, a former Catholic priest who is already serving a long jail sentence for multiple child sexual abuse offences, has pleaded guilty to 30 more charges.
In a shocking testimonial, the court heard that Ridsdale told a nine-year-old altar boy that he was doing 'the Lord's work' as he abused him.
Article: Priest called abuse the 'Lord's work', Sky News, 18/3/2014.

9. Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
The Royal Commission continues. This week the Commission has investigated a paedophile bus driver who worked for St Ann’s Special School (for disabled children), which was run by the Catholic Church in Adelaide. The Commission heard that Brian Perkins already had a criminal record for sexual abuse when he began working at the school - St Ann's Special School.

Brian Perkins sexually abused up to 30 boys from the school in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Perkins was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 10 years in jail where he died in 2009.

Some of the families of victims have taken a civil case against the Catholic Church but it has dragged on for 12 years. In February 2014 the Catholic Church released a statement on the St Ann's situation. The following article includes the statement made by Archbishop Philip Wilson in February 2014 which outlined his apology to victims and their families and payments made to victims.

Article: Royal commission: Family fight Catholic Church after abuse by paedophile bus driver, ABC, 17/3/2014.
Royal Commission website – click here.
Case Study 9 – St Ann’s Special School – click here.

Overseas News

1. Arizona, USA – Homosexual group complains about marriage amendment
In 2008, voters in Arizona passed an amendment to the state’s constitution that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Last week, Lambda Legal, a homosexual group, filed a complaint on behalf of same-sex couples – they claim the law violates the state Constitution. A similar complaint was filed earlier this year.

Fortunately, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is defending the constitution’s definition of marriage.

Citizen Link reports that homosexual activists are BUSY trying to change the definition of marriage in a number of states in the USA: “Earlier today, a legal group filed what is now the fourth lawsuit challenging Indiana’s marriage statute. These complaints follow the state General Assembly’s approval earlier this year of a weaker version of a proposed marriage amendment. And earlier this week, the ACLU filed suit against Florida; eight same-sex couples, who married outside the state, want Florida to recognize their unions. The District of Columbia and 17 states have redefined marriage by legislation or court order.”
Article: Same-Sex Couples Challenge Arizona’s Constitutional Marriage Amendment, Citizen Link, 14/3/2014.

2. USA: Case of HIV transmission from woman to woman
A rare case of HIV being transmitted from a HIV-positive woman to her lesbian partner has been recorded in the USA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the official US health body, said that the 46-year-old woman “likely acquired” human immunodeficiency virus while in a monogamous relationship with an HIV-positive female partner in Texas. She had no other sexual partner in the preceding six months and had no other risk factors (such as injection drug use, organ transplant, tattoos, acupuncture or unprotected sex with multiple partners).

This report says, ‘The CDC warned that although such cases are rare, “female-to-female transmission is possible because HIV can be found in vaginal fluid and menstrual blood”.’
Article: US reports rare case of woman-to-woman HIV transmission, AFP, 14/3/2014.

The official CDC report:
Likely Female-to-Female Sexual Transmission of HIV — Texas, 2012 – 14/3/2014.

3. Hobby Lobby goes to the Supreme Court to fight for religious freedom
The owners of US firm ‘Hobby Lobby’, David and Barbara Green, are Christians who started the chain of art and craft stores in 1972. Today they employ 28,000 people in more than 500 stores.

They have refused to pay for abortion drugs under the new ‘Obamacare’ program – Citizen Link writes, “The Obama administration required for-profit businesses to offer potential abortion inducing drugs in employee health plans by August 2012. Nonprofits — many of which are faith-based — had a so-called safe-harbor from the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate until January.”

The US Supreme Court will hear the case next week on March 25 – if the court rules against Hobby Lobby, the fines could be more than $1 million a day. David Green says he would rather close the company than comply! There are currently more than 90 lawsuits on this matter - courts have granted 52 injunctions, halting the mandate for 33 for-profit businesses and for 19 non-profit organizations. Last year, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted Hobby Lobby a temporary reprieve from the mandate.

Article: Hobby Lobby Heads to Supreme Court Next Week — to Fight for Religious Freedom, Citizen Link.

On the Issues

The movie ‘Frozen’ – what is it about?
The latest Disney movie ‘Frozen’ is based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, 'The Snow Queen'.

Moveieguide, the Christian ministry which reviews films and assesses their Christian content, has written a review about the film, explaining why they have given it the “Teddy Bear Award for Best 2013 Movie for Families.” They highlight comments by one pastor and a Mormon woman who claimed it was promoting homosexuality and same-sex ‘marriage’ – and explain why they reject those claims!

They write, “The press, including the left-wing propaganda website Huffington Post, has jumped all over this story, probably to make people of faith and values look as bad and as ignorant as possible. Respectfully, MOVIEGUIDE disagrees with the Christian pastor and the Mormon lady.”
The article concludes, “Ultimately, FROZEN is a validation of Christian truth, not a politically correct piece of leftist propaganda.”

Read what they say… Does FROZEN Promote a Politically Correct Agenda?, Movieguide, 14/3/2014.


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