News Update - 13 June - Homosexual 'marriage', 'Safe Schools Coalition' expands, Senate 'reform', Meriam appeal . . .

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200Another host of news and issues from Australia and around the world. Time for that coffee or tea and catch up on recent events...
News Update 13 June 2014

Australian News

1. Child of lesbian writes to PM Tony Abbott on same-sex ‘marriage’
Orlando Burcham, an 11 year old boy, has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the topic of same-sex ‘marriage’. He called Mr Abbott’s stance ‘pathetic’!

Mr Abbott has politely replied, stating his opposition to any changes to the Marriage Act.

Whilst it might be reasonable for a child to write to the PM, what happened next has made it into a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN by ACTIVISTS!

Orlando’s mother, Cordelia Troy, is a lesbian, who ‘married’ her partner in New York. She is also a member of the Liberal Party and a Councillor in the Hunter Valley. She is campaigning for homosexual ‘marriage’ to be legalised.

The letter by Orlando, and the response from Tony Abbott was POSTED on Facebook – and then reported around the world.
This article, from has the story AND copies of the letters!
Inspired by his mum, 11-year-old Orlando Burcham writes to Tony Abbott about gay marriage, calls his stance pathetic

2. ‘A Current Affair’ - ACCESS and CRE - Chaplaincy - ‘Homophobia’ claims
Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ is the latest group to criticise ACCESS Ministries and their Christian Religious Education program.
Would you expect a fair and balanced report – sorry, that isn’t what they provided!
They accuse them of being a ‘secretive, fundamentalist group’ with ‘cult-like behaviour’. The segment features a school principal, Joe Kelly and parent Lara Woods who is associated with FIRIS – Fairness in Religion In Schools. Apparently she uploaded one of the ACCESS books to the FIRIS website and ACCESS asked her to take it down - and she is upset!

Please pray for those involved with ACCESS Ministries and for many people who are instructors for CRE in primary schools in Victoria.
ACA Segment: Evangelist ministry converts kids but refuses access, ACA, 11/6/2014.

Recently the Gay News Network and MCV complained about the funding of chaplaincy programs in schools – they claim that some groups associated with the provision of chaplains to schools have run ‘homophobic campaigns”. They highlighted the involvement of a person in NSW who has “ties to Hillsong” – and mention that Rob Ward, the former Australian Christian Lobby Victorian State Director, is now the “General Manager of Development and Communications at ACCESS Ministries, and has campaigned against same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption.”

Article: Chaplaincy program to fund groups with links to homophobia, GNN/MCV, 26/5/2014.

3. Perth: Walk and Rally for Life
Around 700 people attended the Walk and Rally for Life this week – in cold weather! Congratulations to the members of parliament attended and/or spoke: They included Hon Nick Goiran MLC, Hon Michelle Roberts MLA, Dr Graham Jacobs MLA, Margaret Quirk MLA, Peter Abetz MLA, Hon Kate Doust MLA, Bill Johnson MLA, Glenys Godfrey MLA, Tony Krsticevic MLA and Frank Alban MLA. Senator elect Joe Bullock was also present. Read ACL’s report.

4. Senate reform… Inquiry and recommendations on ‘Voting for the Senate’
Following each federal election, a parliamentary Inquiry is held into election procedures. This is conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
During this Inquiry the election procedures for the Senate have been examined due to criticism of ‘Senate voting’ after the 2013 election and consideration of a Bill to reform Senate voting proposed by SA Senator Nick Xenophon. 
They have NOW released an Interim report on 'Senate Voting Practices' - see below.

Much of the criticism related to the election of a number of candidates being elected with very small primary votes, and the use of ‘group voting tickets’ to allocate ‘preferences’ by parties.

Some people/parties complain about the allocation of preferences and how ‘voting above the line’ and compulsory preferential voting means that our vote can go to people we don’t support. Others complain that people with VERY SMALL personal votes can get elected through the distribution of preferences. Click here for election commentator Antony Green’s comments to the Inquiry.

The problem is that the bigger parties seem to want to CHANGE the system to STOP candidates for small parties getting elected!

Some people propose OPTIONAL preferential voting ‘below the line’ and keeping the ‘1 above the line’.

We support the principle of ADDING preferential voting ABOVE the line (as well as keeping it below) to allow people to number the parties in their order of preference, which would perhaps alleviate the reliance on some of the questionable preference deals!

The Parliamentary Library has prepared an informative Briefing Paper on the issue: The Senate voting system: issues and suggestions for reform

The Committee has now released an ‘Interim Report’ – the Committee recommended that some changes be made: “Recommendations from the inquiry include tripling the number of party members needed to register a party, and changing the rules in the Senate so voters are not obliged to number every box.”
Media report: Parliamentary inquiry recommends Senate voting overhaul, ABC, 9/5/2014.

INQUIRY: Read the details about the Inquiry and the REPORT at the Committee’s webpage – click here. Actual Interim report – click here.

5. 'Safe Schools Coalition' goes NATIONAL! Promotes homosexuality...
We’ve had the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ in Victoria since 2010. It was “founded as part of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria within the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society at La Trobe University”. These two groups are fully supportive of homosexuality – in fact many of the researchers are homosexual – more on that next week…

The Coalition encourages schools to be supportive of homosexuality, campaigns against ‘homophobia and transphobia’ and urges schools to establish ‘Queer Straight Alliances’. So far, 132 schools in Victoria are part of the Coalition.

NOW the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ program is being rolled out across Australia – starting on Friday 13 June - by the Foundation for Young Australians, which was a supporter of the Victorian Coalition.

Read all about the new national ‘Safe Schools Coalition Australia’ program at FYAclick here.

The launch coincides with the Foundation’s “National Safe Schools Symposium”.

The program is being funded federally by the federal Department of Education.

6. Transsexual students: push to allow them to CHOOSE TOILETS
One of the proposals related to the expanded Safe Schools Coalition: allowing transsexual students to CHOOSE which toilets and change rooms they use.

The program also encourages schools not to divide students into ‘boys and girls’ to avoid upsetting “gender diverse students” – challenges ‘homophobia’ - establish ‘diversity groups – and display POSTERS about “same-sex relationships, transsexuality, bisexuality and intersex”.

Article: Push for transsexual students to use the toilets they choose, Herald Sun, Susie O’Brien.

7. DEFCAN challenges Defence involvement in homosexual Mardi Gras
Bernard Gaynor reports that “The Australian Defence Force’s future involvement in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been thrown into doubt by a decision acknowledging that military personnel cannot attend political events in uniform. A senior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Buxton, has refused permission for Defence personnel to attend a separate event, the March for Babies in Melbourne, because Defence policy forbids uniformed involvement in political activity.”

Bernard, who has set up a conservative group called DEFCAN, argues that it would be inconsistent for the Defence Force to then allow members to participate in the mardi gras parade IN UNIFORM since the mardi gras has ‘political objectives’!

Only time will tell if the Defence Forces agree!

Media Release: Defence involvement in Gay Mardi Gras in doubt, 4/6/2014.

Overseas News

1. Malaysia: Muslims sue Cadbury over pork-tainted chocolates
A Malaysian Islamic group, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), is suing Cadbury because DNA tests on some Cadbury chocolates have shown that they included pork DNA!
Of course, Cadbury has prided itself on its ‘halal certification’ here in Australia (which is supposed to mean no pork!)

Article: Malay group to sue Cadbury over pig DNA chocolate for ‘mistreating’ Muslims, Malay Mail Online, 26/5/2014.

2. US Bus ads - highlighting the Quran's statements on Jews and US aid to Islamic nations
A campaign by the American Freedom Defense Initiative is attracting a lot of media attention. The AFDI has placed ads on buses in Washington DC - they highlight the Quran's statements on Jews and the amount of US aid given to Islamic nations.

Pamela Geller notes, "This campaign does so many things. First, it exposes the long-kept secret of the collusion between the Third Reich and the Muslim world. Second, it exposes the vicious anti-Semitic material in Islamic texts and teachings. Third, it informs people that two-thirds of all U.S. foreign aid goes to Muslim countries."

The ads have been run as a RESPONSE to ads on the SAME buses a while back by American Muslims for Palestine, which called for an end to US aid to Israel...

Article: USA Today: "Islamic Jew-hatred ads roll out on D.C. streets"

3. USA: United Methodist Church divided on homosexual ‘marriage’
The United Methodist Church in the USA is in the midst of a conflict over the issue of homosexual ‘marriages’ and the church’s position on homosexuality.

A group of 80 pastors who oppose the acceptance of homosexuality have called for a division in the church because of the issue. A group of clergy in Georgia responded by calling for UNITY (here).

There have been ‘trials’ of ministers in the UMC because they have supported and blessed homosexual relationships. One bishop is calling for the church members to “Declare a moratorium on celebrations and trials regarding same-gender unions” until the Church decides on a position. Annual conferences in the church are considering the issue.

Article - Overview of the issue:  Same-gender debate rekindles schism talk, UMC News, 29/5/2014.

4. Massachusetts: Counselling re unwanted homosexual feelings
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a Bill to BAN counselling for young people who choose to deal with unwanted homosexual feeling.

Mass Resistance report that a lobbying push by them has “derailed the Bill”!
REPORT: Bill in Massachusetts to ban counseling on homosexuality for youth -- derailed after MassResistance lobbying push!

5. USA: US Army colour guard marches in LGBT Pride Parade
The US Department of Defence has approved, for the first time, a colour guard presenting the American flag as well as each flag of the military, to march in the Capital Pride parade in Washington DC on Saturday 7 June 2014.

Apparently Capital Pride has requested ‘colour guards’ in the past but were refused…
Article: Another Historic Obama First As US Army Colour Guard Forced To March In LGBT Pride Parade, NTEB News, 6/6/2014.

Report at Washington Post – click here.

6. Meriam Ibrahim: Appeal being heard by Sudanese Court

The hearing of the appeal against the death sentence handed down to Miriam Ibrahim has commenced in a Sudanese court. Three judges are hearing the appeal.

The government has said that Meriam’s ‘acquittal’ and release depends on the ruling of the Appeal Court!

Defend Christians points out that, if Meriam loses the appeal, her children (who are American citizens) would probably be taken away and given to a Muslim family in accordance with sharia law.

Article: Sudan Court Hears Appeal of Apostasy Death Sentence, WSJ, 10/6/2014.

7. Google stops ads for ‘sexually explicit material’
In a win for lobby group Porn Harms and Morality in Media, Google has announced that it will stop accepting ads for sexually explicit pornography. The statement comes two weeks after Porn Harms met with Google executives…

Family Voice congratulated Google and said, “Early last month Google announced it had removed all pornographic apps and most sexual apps from Google Play.  The Microsoft search engine Bing has gone one step better.  Its searches are filtered as the default, unlike Google, which requires users to opt in for filtered searches.”

Article: Google Out of Porn Biz?, 6/6/2014.


News Update - 6 June 2014 - D-Day, Geoff Shaw, Birth certificates, Islam and more

News mike Fotolia 57267122 320x200In the week we send a Prayer Update (and not a News Update) there always seems to be so much to report on the following week!

News Update – 6 June 2014

Australian News

1. D-Day – 70th anniversary of D-Day landing - 6th June
A time to reflect on our freedom and pray about our nation and be thankful for those who fought to protect Christian values.

Canberra Declaration write, “On June 6, 1944, at 6.30 am, the Allied invasion of enemy-occupied Europe began - a day that proved to be one of the greatest turning points in world history. On that day in World War II, over 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel in over 5,000 ships and landed along an 80 km stretch of coast in Normandy, France. Another 24,000 airborne troops were dropped behind enemy lines in the early hours of the morning to support the amphibious invasion - the largest in world history! About 3,000 Australians took part on D-Day. The majority of these were members of the Royal Australian Air Force, with smaller numbers serving with the Royal Navy and British Army.”
Bill Muehlenberg shares some spiritual lessons from D-Day…. D-Day: Courage for the Battle

2. WA: Walk and Rally for Life – Tuesday 10 June 2014
The annual ‘Walk and Rally for Life’ will be held in Perth next week. Organised by the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life and 40 Days for Life Perth, it begins at 7pm at Rotunda One in Kings Park (just south of the War Memorial). There will be a walk to the Parliament, followed by a rally. If you live in Perth please plan to attend – and let your WA friends know it is on!

3. Vic: Geoff Shaw, abortion and balance of power
A political furore is continuing in Victoria. The Napthine Coalition government refused to say if they would allow debate on Independent MP Geoff Shaw’s Bill to amend the abortion law (article).

Geoff Shaw recently said he would support a Labor motion of ‘No Confidence’ in the government. Last week he was found by the parliament’s Privileges Committee to have misused his car and entitlements. The Committee has proposed that he should repay money (just under $7,000) – but the Committee found that he wasn’t ‘corrupt’.

Following the Privileges Committee report, the Labor opposition is talking of siding with the Coalition government, in a vote on the Report, to expel Geoff Shaw from the parliament!

4. QLD: Father REMOVED from birth certificate – replaced by lesbian
The Supreme Court in Queensland has made a ruling to REMOVE a biological father from a birth certificate… the truth, it seems, is NO LONGER the TRUTH!
The report in the Brisbane Times begins, “A Queensland man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple will have his name removed from their children's birth certificates in a first for the state. The biological mother's de facto partner will instead be listed as a parent under recent changes to state laws that give more rights to same-sex couples….”
Article: A Queensland gay couple win birth certificate battle, Brisbane Times, 29/5/2014.

Media release from Family Voice: Queensland Supreme Court wipes out a child’s father, 30/5/2014.

5. QLD: Govt rejects Bill on Muslim face covering
Independents and minor parties in Queensland want a Bill to require Muslim women to remove burqas/veils/face coverings in order to prove their identity – but the government has rejected the move…
Article: Queensland rejects push to make Muslim women remove burqas, The Guardian, 22/5/2014.

6. NSW: ‘NCAT’ established
Up until January 1 this year there were 20 different Tribunals operating in New South Wales. Now they have been combined as the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). There are separate divisions in NCAT - Consumer and Commercial Division, Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division, Guardianship Division and Occupational Division.
See new structure here.

Please pray for those responsible for implementing this new Tribunal structure.
A similar process was undertaken in Victoria – the main problems we’ve encountered relate to discrimination, vilification and equal opportunity law!

7. Police warn Muslim community about threat of ‘jihad’
The head of the NSW Counter Terrorism Squad, Assistant Commissioner Peter Dein has told the leaders of the Sunni Muslim community that they haven’t done enough to DISCOURAGE young Muslim men from going to Syria to join the ‘jihad’.

The article states, “Authorities worry that when the conflict ends, they will face a wave of trained, battle-hardened extremists, some of whom could attempt to strike at targets here in Australia.” The Australian reports that, “More than 150 Australians are believed to be actively involved in the conflict in Syria.”
Article: Muslim community ‘too lax’ on jihad risk, The Australian, 29/5/2014.

8. Keysar Trad wants to be in POLITICS – of (almost) ANY sort!
Controversial Muslim leader Keysar Trad, once the translator and spokesman for former mufti Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilaly, has announced that he wants to run for politics – and has approached the Labor AND Liberal Parties!

After leaving the employ of Hilaly, he founded the nice-sounding Islamic Friendship Association of Australia.

Hopefully the political parties all have a CLOSE look at his background – his work with Sheikh Hilaly, his support for polygamy (or more correctly polygny - one man, multiple wives – also here), his failed legal defamation challenge (also here).

Then there’s his work as translator and writer for radical magazine ‘Nidal ul Islam’, the magazine of the ‘Islamic Youth Movement’. His writings included this statement, "the criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us." (source)

Is this the sort of person we want in Parliament?
Article: Sydney Muslim community leader Keysar Trad sounds out Labor, Liberals for federal seat, ABC, 28/5/2014.

9. NSW: Two women on trial for ‘female genital mutilation’ of girls
Two Muslim women – a mother and a retired nurse - have been committed to stand trial for ‘female genital mutilation’ of the woman’s two daughters aged 6 and 7. The pair face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail if convicted. The Daily Telegraph reports, “Sheik Shabbir Vaziri is charged with being an accessory to the circumcision ritual, allegedly telling locals to lie to police about the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the community…”
Article: Sydney sheik, mum and nurse to face mutilation judgment, Daily Telegraph, 24/5/2014.

10. SA: Documentary on Islam shown to school students
A documentary on Islam, produced by the University of South Australia, is being shown to high school students in a bid to ‘address cultural misunderstandings’…
Of course, the group responsible for the documentary is the “International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding”, led by Professor Abdou Maliq Simone…
Article: New documentary addresses misunderstandings about Muslims, ABC, 31/5/2014.

11. Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support program
One of the consequences of family breakdown and divorce is the payment of ‘child support’ – the federal government has a ‘Child Support Program’ which requires non-custodial parents to contribute to the support of their children.

The federal parliament’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is currently conducting an Inquiry.  
See Inquiry website for full details.

The Committee is inviting three types of responses:
1. An online questionnaire “enables people with an experience of the Child Support Program to make a personal contribution to the inquiry.” Questionnaire – click here.

2. Public hearings - open to the public. These include “community statement sessions, at which individuals may make short statements to the Committee about the inquiry’s terms of reference.”

3. Submissions from stakeholder groups and experts that directly address the terms of reference. These close on Friday 13th June.

Overseas News

1. USA: President Obama proclaims June to be “LGBT Month”!
Yes, in an official statement, “President Barack Obama on Friday proclaimed June as being the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month, after celebrating that his administration is also extending family and immigration benefits to legally married gay couples and calling for more freedoms for gays in the workplace.”
He stated, "I, Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month."

The President will host a ‘Pride Celebration’ at the White House on 30 June – he has held one of these EVERY year since he was elected! But homosexual activists claim he is going further by talking about the ‘progress made’ and the Supreme Court rulings on marriage.

Article: President Obama Proclaims June LGBT Month; Celebrates Extending Immigration, Family Benefits to Gay Couples, Christian Post, 2/6/2014.
Statement from President Obama – Presidential Proclamation -- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2014, 30/5/2014.

Homosexual paper report – click here.

2. USA: NEW Scout leader supports homosexual scout leaders
Robert Gates, the newly elected head of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), helped overturn the ban on homosexuals in the military when he was Defense Secretary in 2010. He was chosen for the BSA post in October 2013, two months before the BSA implemented a policy change allowing boys who self-identify as homosexuals to participate in Scouting.

In comments made recently, he said that, had he been in leadership at the time, he would have pushed to allow homosexual Scout leaders: “In all candor, I would have supported going further, as I did in opening the way for gays to serve in the CIA and in the military.” quoted Gates as admitting, “I was prepared to go further than the decision that was made. I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters.”

He then said that he is prepared to accept the current position – to avoid fracture and a possible split in BSA. But for how long will he accept the position???

Article: Robert Gates, Who Helped Dismantle DADT, Elected to Lead Boy Scouts, New American, 27/5/2014.

3. UK: Court rules that Catholic couple CAN’T OBJECT to adoption of their children by a homosexual couple
Christian Concern report expressed concern at the decision: “Britain's most senior family judge, Sir James Munby, has ruled against a Slovakian Catholic couple seeking to stop two of their children being adopted by a same-sex couple…”

The couple objected, saying that it would be impossible for the children to keep their Catholic beliefs if they were raised by a homosexual couple.

Andrea Williams, of Christian Concern commented, “We do not know all the details as to why adoption was deemed necessary but leaving that aside, this case raises profound concerns. Why is it not possible to accommodate the beliefs of the natural parents and act in the best interests of the children? Why are these beliefs about marriage, which the government claims are protected, being trampled on? It is causing great present distress to the parents and as they have outlined is likely to cause great distress to the children in the future. Why not seek adoptive parents who share the beliefs of these parents?"

This is an incredible decision, where a judge can rule that children from this background can be ADOPTED by a homosexual couple with totally different beliefs! And without permission from the parents.

4. Pope invites Muslim and Jewish leaders to ‘Pray for Peace’
Controversy erupted recently with the Pope visiting the Middle East and meeting with the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas – he called Abbas a ‘man of peace’ (source - transcript of the Pope’s speech here.).

Interestingly, the Pope’s visit coincided with a campaign against a Christian school in east Jerusalem which had said Muslim girls could not wear the hijab at the school and at graduation ceremonies (Gatestone commentary).

There was more concern expressed when the Pope invited Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to a meeting at the Vatican on June 8th to ‘pray for peace’. They have both accepted the invitation. The Pope plans to have a Muslim cleric and a Jewish rabbi to lead prayers along with him!
Read more – Time report

A major concern here is that, whilst one might meet with Muslims, it is quite another matter to PRAY with them – as they are praying to Allah, a very different God!


News Update - 23 May 2014 - Politics, same-sex 'marriage', drugs, CRE, Nigeria ...

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200So much is happening... some of the news from the past fortnight...
Please read, pray and act...


Australian News

1. Vic: Family First preferences and the Liberal government
The Victorian state election will be held in November – many groups are starting to think about policies, alliances and candidates.

Family First has told the Liberal Party that they can’t ‘rely’ on getting Family First preferences, as it has in the past, because of its ‘failure to tackle housing shortages and safeguard manufacturing jobs, as well as introduce reforms on abortion and adoption’.
They are talking to Labor as well – and plan to allocate preferences on a candidate-by-candidate basis.
However, Labor's record on the abortion law in Victoria is hardly something to commend it!
Article: Family First puts Denis Napthine on notice, The Australian, 21/5/2014.

2. Recognition of ‘foreign’ same-sex ‘marriages’
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is again putting forward a Bill (Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014) to legally recognise same-sex ‘marriages’ that are performed overseas. The Bill was also put forward prior to the last election.

Of course, the title of the Bill is misleading - the REAL intent of the Bill is to recognise HOMOSEXUAL ‘marriages’ – a marriage between a man and a woman is ALREADY recognised (source)!

The Marriage Act specifically prohibits recognition of same-sex ‘marriages’ – only marriages that would be valid under Australian law are recognised as legal marriages Section 88D).
The law specifically states that a ‘union’ solemnised in a foreign country between two men or two women “must not be recognised as a marriage in Australia.” (Section 88EA)

On 15 May, the Senate sent the Bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

Read the Bill – Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014

Submissions invited: The closing date for submissions is 31 July 2014. The reporting date is 3 September 2014. Click here for the Inquiry homepage.

3. Tasmania: decriminalisation of marijuana
In early May a public Forum was held in Hobart to discuss the decriminalisation of marijuana/cannabis. The Forum was held by the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania (ATDC). (See info about Forum here)

One of the main aims was to discuss, “what are the pragmatic conditions that need to exist to actually consider something like decriminalisation [of cannabis].”

What was the outcome?
Not surprising! A week later a report said that a group of high profile academics, doctors and police are now calling for the decriminalisation of marijuana – and asking that cannabis be moved from the ‘criminal justice system to the health arena’.

Thankfully, the Tasmanian government spokesman said, “The government has no plans to decriminalise cannabis.” Labor said it “was a matter for the new government to determine''. The Greens and Clive Palmer want it to be a ‘health issue’.

FamilyVoice’s Tasmanian state officer Jim Collins said, in a Media Release, “Those pushing to decriminalise cannabis need to face the facts: a soft approach leads to more drug abuse, not less.” He pointed out that the legalisation of cannabis in Colorado has resulted in huge problems.”
Article: Push to decriminalise cannabis, Examiner, 11/5/2014.

4. Vic: New 'Ministerial direction' for CRE in schools
The Victorian governments Department of Education has released a 'Ministerial Direction' from the Education Minister Martin Dixon, with new guidelines for the presentation of Special Religious Instruction in Schools. They will take effect from Term 3.
The Guidelines provide information about processes to be followed by schools, parental permission and the conduct of the program in schools.
Read the Guidelinesclick here.   Minister's Direction statement - click here.

Access Ministries, which provides Christian Religious Education under the SRI program, is currently consulting with the Department of Education about the impact of the new guidelines. Read their Media Release.  Please pray for these negotiations.

5. Latest ‘fundraiser for homosexual ‘marriage’ group AME
The main homosexual activist group campaigning for homosexual ‘marriage', Australian Marriage Equality, has come up with a new fundraising idea – a RING that represents homosexual ‘marriage’.Celebrities have been spotted wearing the ring and promoting it on social media!
Article: Celebrities take to social media in support of the Mondial Australian Marriage Equality ring, Daily Telegraph, 14/5/2014.  

6. ABC Religion writer criticises Andrew Bolt for comments about Waleed Aly
We recently reported that Andrew Bolt had criticised Waleed Aly, prominent Muslim media commentator and , for NOT mentioning that the Nigerian group Boko Haram is an ISLAMIC group.

Andrew reports that Scott Stephens, religion editor for ABC Online, and a former Uniting Church minister, “has published an astonishing paroxysm of abuse – a true shock-jock sermon”. The article also lauded the benefits of Islam – Andrew wrote, 'Scott ‘rapturously praises as embracing “conscientious humility, the devout hesitation before the inscrutability of the Divine”.’
Article: On being denounced for blaspheming against Islam and Waleed Aly, Andrew Bolt, 16/5/2014.

7. NSW: Mike Bair’s education at Regent College
NSW Premier Mike Baird studied at Regent College, a Christian theological school in Canada, in 1994. Now that Mike is the NSW Premier, that connection is suddenly being investigated by the Sydney Morning Herald – perhaps in an effort to see what makes Mike Baird ‘tick’.

The journalist describes Regent as “a haven for arch-conservative social views.”  He quoted form the speech given by Iain Provan, a professor at Regent College, to the recent graduating class…

Perhaps the last part is instructive…
“Despite Regent’s dedication to dissolving the gulf between personal morality and public life, to advocating for tangible virtues over mushy values, Baird says it is not his job or intention to legislate on behalf of his own moral code. It’s not clear if that would satisfy Provan, who ended his speech to graduates of Regent with the command: “Don’t be safe. Don’t be polite. And certainly don’t be nice. Be good. Be Godly. And be very, very dangerous.”
Article: Mike Baird's dangerously virtuous education, SMH, 10/5/2014.

Overseas News

1. Nigeria – attacks continue – please pray
There are ongoing attacks and increasing violence in Nigeria. The Christian schoolgirls are still missing. Several bombs went off in Jos this week.

Another attack that didn’t make the mainstream press was an attack on a car containing four Christian men. The car was riddled with machine gun fire. The driver, Rev Emmanuel Razack, the leader of the local Christian Faith Ministries Bible School, called the Christian Faith Institute, was killed. The other three men had their belongings stolen and were marched into the forest. The men were Kent Hodge, an Australian (from Deniliquin, NSW) who works with Christian Faith Ministries in Nigeria; Dr Sydney Paul, a doctor who was visiting from Deniliquin and a local pastor.

Please pray
Please pray for Kent, who is staying on in Nigeria, and his wife Ruth (who is home in Australia), for the others involved in the shooting and abduction, for Emmanuel’s wife and children and for the wonderful work being done through Christian Faith Ministries..

Emmanuel will be buried this Saturday. Emmanuel is a former Muslim – his father, who was an imam, became a Christian less than two years ago, shortly before he died.

Ruth Hodge said, “Christian Faith Ministries’ work aims to help stop the violence by connecting communities. The only way to solve this is to bring communities together, and that’s what we’re trying to do. If we can bridge the gaps, we can hopefully wipe out the violence.’’
Kent and his team are working with people affected by the bomb blasts in Jos.

Articles in local Deniliquin paper:
- Deniliquin doctor's ambush terror in Nigeria, Deniliquin Pastoral Times, 16/5/2014.
Bomb blast a bit close, DPT, 23/5/2014

2. USA: British imam Abu Hamza convicted on terrorism charges
A court in New York has convicted Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri, on terrorism charges. Abu Hamza is a former imam at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London – he who was convicted in the UK and served a prison term there. He was then extradited to the USA and tried. Charges included helping to orchestrate the violent 1998 kidnappings of 16 American, British and Australian tourists in Yemen; trying to create a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore.; and supporting terrorism by sending one of his followers to train with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He faces life in prison when the sentence is handed down on September 9, 2014.
Article: British Cleric Is Convicted in Terror Trial, New York Times, 19/5/2014.

3. Vanuatu – Thanks for your prayers for Andrew Napuat
Recently we asked you to pray regarding the election in Vanuatu, where a Christian man, Andrew Napuat, was running for election. Although he wasn't elected, he came second. At 31 years of age, he was the youngest candidate and was competing against twelve older politicians. My contact says, “God has plans so I know that the answer to all our prayers was "Wait" as God has a perfect timing for everything. We want to thank you for all the prayers.”

4. USA: Religion PROTECTS against tyranny!
Interesting article from the Alliance Defending Freedom: “Recent decisions from the Supreme Court of the United States in Town of Greece v. Galloway, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District acknowledge the Founding Fathers conviction that religion protects us from the tyranny of anarchy and unrestrained government. It’s no secret that many of our founding documents reflect a conviction that there is an authority higher than government….”
Article: Courts Acknowledge Religion Protects Against Tyranny, ADF, 16/5/2014.

5. Nintendo CAVES IN – re homosexual relationships in GAME
When Nintendo launched its new Tomodachi Life simulation game in Japan last year it contained an ‘error’ - male characters could marry each other and raise children. Nintendo issued a ‘patch’ to fix the problem and stop that happening!

But GLAAD, the US homosexual activist group complained about the ‘fix’ – and Nintendo has now ‘apologised’ for their action – for "failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life" which is due for worldwide release next month.
Within a few days, Nintendo had caved in totally – they have now committed to INCLUDE same-sex relationships in any future game in the Tomadachi series!

- Nintendo apologises for failing to include same-sex relationships in simulation game Tomodachi Life, Christian Today, 12/5/2014.
- Nintendo Pledges to Include Gay Marriage in Next Tomodachi Game, Christian Post, 12/5/2014.

6. USA: same-sex 'marriage' – Oregon and Massachusetts
A federal district judge has struck down the Oregon constitutional marriage amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Voters approved the amendment in 2004. The judge is ‘openly homosexual’ – but refused to stand down from hearing the case!
Read Citizen Link report: Judge Redefines Marriage in Oregon

It’s a decade since same-sex ‘marriage’ was legalised in Massachusetts. Citizen Link and the Massachusetts Family Institute provide an insightful commentary on the past decade.
Article: Commentary: A Decade of ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ in Massachusetts, 19/5/2014.

7. UK: David Cameron – ‘undermining Christianity'
An opinion poll published last weekend found that more than one third of voters (34%) believe that 'David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country'.
As UK voters vote in European Parliament elections, this report by Christian Concern looks at the actions of PM David Cameron – on marriage, life and Islam - that contribute to this result.
Article: 'David Cameron has undermined Christianity in this country' say 1 in 3 voters

Coming Events

National Day of Thanksgiving - Saturday 31 May, 2014
For FULL details of the National Day of Thanksgiving including events held around the nation, posters, cards, fliers, messages of support, resources etc...
Visit the National Day of Thanksgiving website.

Visit Salt Shakers website page for the NDOT - click here.

This year the theme is 'Transport & Travel" and 'Neighbours' - click here.



News Update - 9 May - Abortion in Vic, Chaplaincy, Waleed Aly on 'Boko Haram', Pennington on drugs, Outgames...

News with hand-SXC-1109654 23086232 320x200Just a few items today - but some to act on... abortion in Victoria, chaplaincy, drugs and racial hatred laws. 

Plus an Update or two on the situation regarding the abduction of Nigerian Christian women and girls by Islamic group Boko Haram... and Waleed Aly not mentioning the group is 'Islamic'!
Waleed didn't even blame 'Islamism' - he just didn't have ANY reference at all!
If you didn't read Mark Durie's article this week on 'Islamism' and Islam, read it here.



News Update – 9 May 2014

Australian News

1. Abortion in Victoria - PLEASE express your views!
Yesterday we reported that Independent MP Geoff Shaw is planning to introduce a private member’s Bill to remove SIX sections Victoria’s Abortion Law Reform Act (read that report). Geoff is visiting the USA in the coming weeks to study various state abortion laws (a well as light rail developments) (source).

There is something else you can do… as well as contacting the Premier and your own MPs and congratulating and encouraging Geoff on his proposed amendments.

Geoff encourages us to “Get online and send letters to editor or go on talk back…” to support his proposed amendments.
You can make Comments on the Herald Sun and Australian articles and phone the ABC, 3AW etc.

Susie O’Brien has a BLOG and an ARTICLE that OPPOSE the proposed changes. There are few comments so far – in fact quite a few oppose Susie. ALL four comments on the article oppose Susie’s views! To comment you need to ‘register’ (free).
It’s an opportunity to have YOUR SAY!

2. Chaplaincy High Court challenge – short DAILY video reports
SU Queensland has reported on the High Court Challenge that happened this week. They thank everyone for their encouragement and support and say that the hearing went well – their legal team outlined the important contribution that chaplaincy makes in schools.

The final statements from the plaintiff are being made today (Friday 9 May). The decision will probably not be handed down for some months.

The BEST way to find out what happened at the High Court is to watch SUQld’s THREE short 2 minute videos – one on each day of the hearing!
Click here – the three videos are at the top of the page.

3. Waleed Aly on Boko Haram – NO MENTION of ‘Islamic’
Andrew Bolt wrote this week about Waleed Aly’s response to questions about the abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls by Islamic group Boko Haram on Ten’s The Project.

Andrew began by noting how ‘accepted’ Mr Aly is: “WALEED Aly is the model moderate Muslim, used by the media to persuade us we have little to fear from Islam but our own bigotry. His rewards have been great. Once the spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria, he is now an ABC radio host, a Channel 10 co-presenter and an Age columnist. He is even a politics lecturer at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, despite having no doctorate and having qualified in engineering and law.”

On The Project, Waleed Aly was asked about the group, Boko Haram.
Andrew reports, “Not once in his answer did “Muslim” or “Islamic” pass Aly’s lips.
“They are a really, really hard group to define because they are so splintered and so diverse,” he said. “What we do know though is that the broader movement is a terrorist movement and they’ve been wanting to overthrow the Nigerian government and establish a government of their own. But beyond that, this particular group, who have done this particular thing, it’s hard to identify who they are and they might just be vigilantes.”

Andrew goes on to say exactly who Boko Haram are and their Islamic connection.

We agree with Andrew – this is an appalling response for a man who is supposed to be a lecturer in ‘Global Terrorism’.
The media get to AVOID the TOUGH questions.
As Andrew concludes, “Aly protects the media class from having to confront the difficult: is Islam a threat? What have we imported and what danger would we run by importing more? No wonder he’s done well.”

Article: Waleed Aly avoiding the obvious truth, Herald Sun, 7/5/2014.

4. Homosexual ‘Outgames’ in Darwin - 10-16 May
Please continue to pray… 

From last week's News Update: 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. David Pennington stills calls for legalised drugs
Many years ago, in 1995-96, the Kennett government held an Inquiry into drugs. The Chairman of the Premier’s Drug Advisory Council was Professor David Pennington – he called for the decriminalisation of cannabis use (source).

Later, in 2002, David Pennington was the public face of the campaign to introduce five DRUG INJECTING ROOMS in Victoria. Thankfully they were NEVER established, following an extensive campaign against them that we were involved in. The Bracks government dumped the policy prior to the election! (Source)

Last Friday, we saw him on 7.30 Victoria – he’s still promoting a LIBERAL attitude to drugs. He was calling for a ‘policy re-think’ and ‘radical changes in Victoria's approach to illicit drugs’.  He still claims "Prohibition does not work" and wants drugs legalised, saying there are ‘better ways to deal with it.” He is also connected to the ‘Drug Policy Institute’.

We still disagree with him!

Interview: Drug law reformer calls for policy re-think, ABC, 2/5/2014. Six minutes.


6. Racial hatred laws – VIC and NSW governments OPPOSE changes!
In a shock move, the Liberal governments of Victoria and New South Wales have said they SUPPORT the current federal racial hatred law – and OPPOSE any changes to Section 18C of the RDA.

Since 18C protects against ‘offending and insulting’ we couldn’t believe that these governments would make those statements in their submissions.

Click here for article and here for official joint statement (posted on J-Wire, the Jewish News service - includes endorsements by Jewish and ethnic groups - which have been lobbying for Section 18C to remain!).

ACTION: Contact NSW and Victorian Premiers and Attorneys-General to express your concern about S 18C and your support for the proposed changes to remove 'offend and insult'.

Premier Denis Napthine - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Attorney-General Robert Clark – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Premier Mike Bairdclick here for email contact form.
Attorney-General Brad Hazzard - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

7. Racial hatred laws and free speech – Brendan O’Neill article
A good article from Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online – he calls for the abolition of the Australian Human Rights Commission in order to PRESERVE and maintain freedom of speech.

We heartily agree with this statement: “Australia’s Human Rights Commission must be one of the worst cases of Orwellian doublespeak in the modern world. It has the word rights in its name yet in practice this vast bureaucratic outfit that is funded by government to the tune of $25 million a year does far more to thwart freedom than it does to promote it."
Article: Abolish the Human Rights Commission, and return us to the Enlightenment’s positive values, Brendan O’Neill,  The Australian, 3/5/2014.

Overseas News

1. Update: Nigerian girls… BIGGER problem of abduction & forced marriage

Elizabeth Kendal, of Religious Liberty Monitoring, notes that there has been another abduction of 8 girls in Nigeria and that the problem is WIDESPREAD...

In her RLPB 259 Update, which added RLP Bulletin 257 and RLP Bulletin 258, Elizabeth reminds us, “While the Borno abductions have captured international headlines, it is important to realise that the phenomenon is neither new nor unique. In Raqqa, Syria, young girls including Christians are also being seized and forcibly married to Salafi jihadis (see RLPB 250, 4 March). [Salafis imitate Muhammad who took women as war booty and slaves and gave his followers permission to have sex with any woman their right hand possessed (Qur'an, Sura 23:5,6).] As noted in RLPB 258 (30 April), thousands of Christian Pakistani and Coptic (Egyptian) girls are trafficked across religious lines every year, being abducted, converted and married to Muslim men with complicity from local police, courts and government officials all working to hasten the decline of Christianity through the removal of its child-bearers.”

Elizabeth notes that, “Even if these Pakistani and Egyptian girls manage to escape they cannot get their religious identity restored because the Islamic state will not permit apostasy (leaving Islam). According to Sharia Law, a Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man, leaving the forcibly converted girl with no other option than to flee and risk her chances as a refugee. This is what contemporary persecution looks like - violent and life-destroying. Please pray for the persecuted!”

INTERVIEW: Elizabeth gave a comprehensive overview of these abductions, killings and forced marriages, in a 10 minute interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman – click here.

2. Satanic Monument in Oklahoma being built
In January 2014 we reported that the Satanic Temple had announced they were planning to erect a monument depicting Satan – along with two children – on the lawns of the Oklahoma Statehouse. They launched a fundraising campaign – and received $30,000, more than they needed.

Now an artist is preparing the sculpture in New York – it will then be cast in bronze – and placed near a sculpture of the Ten Commandments.
Read the article to see the sculpture:
First look at the Satanic monument being built for the Oklahoma Statehouse, NTEB, 2/5/2014.

3. What next? Man sues to 'marry' his computer (with porn)!
Yes,  man in Florida is suing ... The Telegraph writes, "Chris Sevier, a man from Florida, believes he should be allowed to wed his Macbook.

Mr Sevier argues that if gays should be allowed to marry, then so should other sexual minorities. Mr Sevier states he has fallen in love with a pornography laden computer. “Over time, I began preferring sex with my computer over sex with real women,” he told a court in Florida. . ."
In Utah, the case put by Mr Sevier was "an attempt to put a spanner in the works of a 'gay marriage' case..." 
He cited cases of people marrying' other things - a woman marrying a dolphin and a Chinese man 'marrying a cardboard cut-out of himself!
Apparently, "the courts in Florida and Utah, found his legal arguments unpersuasive."
Article: Florida man demands right to wed computer, Telegraph, 7/5/2014.

As for people 'marrying' objects and themselves...
There's the 2013 case of an Australian woman 'marrying' a bridge in France - complete with wedding dress and vows!
And the case of a woman who married herself - and another one here.
And this woman married the Eiffel Tower! I could go on...

On the Issues

Global warming – then ‘climate change’ – NOW ‘climate DISRUPTION’!
We had 'global warming' - then 'climate change'... 'Climate disruption' is the NEW name for 'global warming' in the latest report from the third National Climate Assessment in the USA! See article.

The National Climate Assessment report:
Official US government page - click here.

The Third Climate Assessment report - click here.

Various responses have been made….
A good response by Myron Ebell on the Global warming blog - click here.

He commends other responses: "There are many other serious problems with the third National Climate Assessment (as there were with the first two).  My CEI colleague Marlo Lewis discusses a few of them at Fox News.  And here are good posts by the Cato Institute’s Pat Michaels, the Heritage Foundation’s David Kreutzer, and WattsUpWithThat’s Tony Watts.”
Dr Roy Spencer's response to the Report: click here.


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.

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