Monthly Archives

April 2020

NSW BOARD DECLINES COMPLAINT AGAINST FOLAU

By Australian Newsletter

A discrimination complaint lodged by a gay rights activist against rugby star Israel Folau has been declined by the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB) on the grounds it was “vexatious”.  Campaigner Garry Burns wrote to the board in December complaining about Folau’s infamous Instagram post in which he warned hell awaits homosexuals.  Mr Burns also complained about the player’s comments in a video church sermon linking droughts and bushfires to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in late 2017.  But ADB president Annabelle Bennett has written to Mr Burns “declining” the complaint because it was vexatious and “a flagrant abuse of process such that no further actions should be taken”.

She found Mr Burns had not pursued the complaint under the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act “in order to avail himself of the processes afforded under the legislation but for a collateral purpose, as a means to pressure the respondent to settle with him”.  The president wrote that the inference was that the settlement sought by Mr Burns was “directed to the payment of money”.  She noted the activist had disregarded the confidential nature of the process by issuing a media release which stated, in part:  “Fellas, I’m just like a vicious Alsatian dog.  Once I grab hold of the leg, I don’t let go until the bone is bare and bloodied.  One way or another, I will get that remedy from Mr Folau.”

Source: Nine News

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COSTELLO RIGHT TO REVOLT AGAINST POKIES DURING COVID 19

By Australian Newsletter

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has warned for many years of the dangers posed by poker machines in Australia.  The ACL supports the recent call by Rev. Tim Costello for all state and territory governments to keep pokies switched off for good.  “Reverend Costello is absolutely right, this is a once in a lifetime moment,”  ACL Chief Political Officer Dan Flynn said, “Pokies have sucked the life out of problem gamblers and reduced the strength of our communities.  Public venues are now reeling from closure due to social isolation.  We need them to rebound strongly for the sake of both community and the economy.”

Rev. Costello points out an ACT plan to grant venues $15,000 for every pokie surrendered, and the ACL calls on all states and territories to put pokies out of business.  “When community life emerges from our COVID-19 slumber, what do we want filled – the gaming lounges, or the dining rooms?” Mr Flynn asked.  “Now is time to press a hard reset on pokies, and make a fresh, positive start to community life.”

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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PRAYING FOR OUR NATION DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

By Australian Newsletter

We invite all of our members to continue to pray for our people as the Corona 19 pandemic continues to impact our nation and the nations of the world.  This week let us pray:

* For the National Cabinet and the medical and economic advisory bodies that guide them, as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic and for restoring the economy of our nation on the way out of this crisis.  Give thanks for the many victories already won and for those still to come.

* For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity:  Pray that God would give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.

* For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information:  God, help them to communicate with openness and integrity leaving aside the political ideology that brings confusion and stops the advance to recovery.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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CHRISTIAN COLLEGE SETTLES WITH FORMER TEACHER OVER SAME-SEX BELIEFS

By Australian Newsletter

Ballarat Christian College has settled with a former teacher who claimed its teachings against same-sex marriage discriminated against her, with principal Ken Nuridin saying the case has taken an enormous toll on his small school.  Rachel Colvin’s case against the school has been held up by faith-based communities as a key example of the need for a religious discrimination act following the 2017 same-sex marriage postal survey.  As a result of the settlement, Ballarat Christian College in Victoria will not have to change its Statement of Faith defining marriage as a union between a man and woman and it has made no concessions on those teachings.

It is understood Ms Colvin will receive an undisclosed amount for loss of income and damages and will receive a positive employment reference from Ballarat Christian College.  Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination bill is still to be tabled in parliament after drafts have come under sustained attacks from both faith-based and LGBTI groups.  Mr Nuridin said that the school would continue to stand by its teachings on marriage.  “Our College provides a high quality Christian education in accordance with our beliefs,” he said.  “The claim has detracted from the ability of a small school like ours to focus on what is important, the education of our students”

Christian Schools Australia director of public policy Mark Spencer said the government needed to bring on its religious discrimination bill to protect schools like Ballarat Christian College.  “We are calling on the Commonwealth Government to ensure that the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill clearly protects Christian schools from these sorts of claims,” he said.  “Christian and other faith-based schools must be able to engage staff who share their beliefs and are equipped to teach those beliefs” he said.  The case showed the need for increased protections for faith-based schools.

Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) chief political officer Dan Flynn called on the government to bring forward its final bill.  “The sad reality for this school is that it took steadfast determination not to buckle under the pressure of a well-resourced legal attack,” he said.  “To the school’s credit, they stood by their principles.”  “This case underlines how the religious freedom debate must make faith-based schools’ legal rights crystal clear.  “The ACL calls upon the government to ensure a case like Ballarat Christian College never happens again.”  Following same sex marriage being legalised in 2017, the school amended its Statement of Faith through its constitution outlining its position on marriage.

The teacher formally notified the school of her objections to the statement in a letter on August 14, and was directed to meet with the chaplain and a female member of the school leadership to discuss her views.  The college indicated she was free to hold her views personally but was required to support and teach in accordance with the beliefs of the school, which Ms Colvin was allegedly unwilling to do.  As well as the positive reference for Mrs Colvin, the payout, and the school’s secured right to keep teaching against same-sex marriage; the parties will issue a statement of ‘mutual regret’.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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DRAG QUEEN STORY TIME CANCELLED

By Australian Newsletter

Wagga Marketplace had jumped on the rainbow bandwagon.  They were planning on forcing shoppers to walk past Drag Queen Story Time for kids, with some glitter crafts and finger buns on the side as a part of the recent Wagga Wagga Mardi Gras.  The management of Wagga Marketplace didn’t count on the fact most people go to the shops, to well, shop!  To get milk and bread and if they are lucky enough some toilet paper!  They don’t go there to get their daily dose of indoctrination.  The people of Wagga began contacting the centre and the good news is, the drag queen story time event was canned!

Despite the Mardi Gras eventually being cancelled due to the threat of coronavirus, the shopping centre still went ahead with some planned events.  Through their Facebook page they encouraged people to still do glitter and feather themed crafts, decorate finger buns and go to the nail bar.  But no drag queen story time.  A local resident of Wagga said the centre had received many complaints and decided to pull the pin.  Drag Queens are not for kids.  They belong in bars and adult only venues.  The social media pages of drag queens are often filled with explicit and highly sexualised content.  They are men dressed in degrading stereotypes of women.  Why would anyone want to expose children to that?

But even if for one minute there was reason to do it, it should be a private, ticketed event that parents pay for.  But of course they wouldn’t get a big crowd or make much money.  So, instead, they thrust their ideology down our throats by using rate payer funds to host drag queen story time in libraries.  A totally inappropriate use of rate payer funds.  Wagga Marketplace attempted to foist their controversial ideological viewpoint onto innocent consumers going in to pick up a loaf of bread.  But people power won out and the only drag queen performances during Mardi Gras weekend in Wagga Wagga were in a bar.

Source: Binary

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PRAYING FOR OUR NATION DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

By Australian Newsletter

We invite all of our members to continue to pray for our people as the Corona 19 pandemic continues to impact our nation and the nations of the world.  This week let us pray:

* Pray that God would heal the sick and infected.  That He would sustain bodies and spirits and contain the spread of infection.

* For our vulnerable populations asking God to protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease.  Ask Him also to provide for the poor, and those without family support.

* For the young and the strong:  Ask God to give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease.  Inspire them to help.

* Giving thanks to God for the way the disease is being brought under control in Australia, for our leaders who are leading us through this pandemic and for our health workers who are ministering to the sick and dying.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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UPDATE ON VICTORIAN ABORTION LAWS

By Australian Newsletter

Following the recent passing of extreme abortion laws in New Zealand (as reported in International News last week) it is time to have a look at how the laws in Victoria are operating.  Amongst the jurisdictions in the world that have abortion legislation, prior to the passing of the New Zealand legislation, Victoria had the most extreme law.  The law in Victoria allows for abortion right through to birth on physical, psychological and social grounds when approved by two doctors; this can be the abortion operating surgeon and anaesthetist.  This has, in practice, allowed for abortion on demand, for any reason, right through to birth in Victoria.

Ahead of the legislation being introduced in Victoria in 2008, abortion activists claimed that, although abortion would, in practice, be allowed for any reason, doctors would ensure that the vast majority of abortions would only occur in rare circumstances, such as when a baby had a condition where they would either die in the womb or shortly after birth (a fatal foetal abnormality or life-limiting disability), similar claims are currently now being made about the proposed NZ abortion law by abortion campaigners and MPs in New Zealand.  Data from the 12 years of the law being in operation in Victoria shows that this has not been the case.

Right To Life UK’s Public Affairs team have undertaken an extensive analysis of published abortion data on late-term abortions in Victoria from The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality.  This data shows that since the law changed in 2008, 1,418 late-term abortions (between 20-weeks’ gestation and birth) have been performed, allowed by doctors for ‘psychosocial’ reasons – these were terminations where the baby did not have a disability and the abortion was performed on social grounds.  In 2011, one of these abortions on social grounds occurred at 37 weeks.

Under New Zealand law currently, abortion is allowed post-20 weeks on very strict grounds (when the abortion is “necessary to save the life of the woman or girl or to prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health”).  This strict law has meant that abortions post 20-weeks are rare, for example 72 abortions occurred after 20-weeks in New Zealand in 2017.  Victoria has a population that is only 32% larger than New Zealand’s, but the number of abortions that occurred post 20-weeks were much higher, 323 or 348.61% higher than the number that occurred in New Zealand that same year (published data for Victoria has not been released for 2018 yet).

Another side effect of the very high late-term abortion rate in Australia is that scores of babies have been left to die after being born alive during a number of ‘botched’ terminations.  The Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity reported that in 2012 there were 53 ‘terminations of pregnancy’ after 20 weeks ‘resulting in live birth’.  By contrast, a 2008 report for England and Wales found that 66 infants were born alive after NHS terminations in one year.  While these figures are comparable in number, Victoria’s population of 6.36 million is just a tenth of the size of the population in England and Wales.

A Channel 7 news report, broadcast on April 17 2010, reported that there had been a large increase in late-term abortions being performed at the Royal Women’s Hospital since the introduction of the 2008 Abortion Law Reform.  Presenter Jennifer Keyte stated how “midwives and doctors feel traumatized” by having to perform so many late-term abortions at the Royal Women’s Hospital.  Journalist Louise Milligan said that there had been some ‘alarming requests’ for late-term abortions, including a request for a termination at 32 weeks because the baby had a cleft lip.

The new abortion law in New Zealand is even more extreme than the law in Victoria, making it the most extreme abortion law in the world.  It would allow abortions between 20-weeks’ gestation and birth with the go-ahead from just two health practitioners (this could include nurses and midwives) rather than the higher threshold of two doctors that are required in Victoria.  In the proposed New Zealand legislation the Abortion Legislation Committee widened the criteria to include “overall well-being”, making it even easier for abortions to happen between 20 weeks and birth in New Zealand.  These are undefined terms and it will be up to the healthcare practitioner as to how they interpret them.

Source: Right to Life

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GEORGE PELL WALKS FREE AFTER HIGH COURT OVERTURNS HIS CONVICTION

By Australian Newsletter

Catholic Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for child sex abuse has been overturned in the High Court resulting in him being released from Barwon Prison in Victoria where he was serving a six-year sentence.  The court’s decision this morning was unanimous.  Pell has always maintained that he was innocent, and his appeal to the High Court was his last chance at having his conviction quashed.  Pell, now 78, has been in prison since being found guilty in December 2018 of five charges, including one that the Cardinal had sexually abused two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990s.  He was Melbourne’s Archbishop at the time.

The complainant had made his report to Victorian Police in 2015, and the matter had to go before the County Court of Victoria twice in 2018, when the first jury failed to reach a verdict.  In 2019, Pell appealed to Victoria’s Court of Appeal.  That bid was unsuccessful.  At that court hearing, Pell’s lawyer, Bret Walker SC, argued the sexual offence was not possible because of the robes Pell wore, and his location in the church, which at the time was full of people.  Prosecutor Christopher Boyce QC argued however that the complainant was “a very compelling witness”, “clearly not a liar”, “not a fantasist”, and “a witness of truth”, who knew the layout of the priest’s room where the abuse was said to have occurred, a room off-limits to choirboys.

During the two days of legal arguments at the High Court last month, Pell’s lawyers argued that the appeal court had failed to properly weigh up evidence that put his guilt in doubt.  A summary of the court’s decision, stated that the jury, “acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant’s guilt”.

Source: Hope 103.2

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PRAYING FOR OUR NATION DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC

By Australian Newsletter

We invite all of our members to continue to pray for our people as the Corona 19 pandemic continues to impact our nation and the nations of the world.  This week let us pray:

* for those working on the development of a vaccine that they would succeed in record time.
* for all Australians to remain calm and act wisely obeying all instructions put out by our Governments as difficult as that may be.
* for the Australian economy to be protected from long-term damage.
* that our leaders and decision makers would be given great wisdom to know when to impose restrictions upon us, but also to know, and have the courage to lift them, at the appropriate time.

For those who wish to pray for our nation in greater depth, we strongly encourage you to sign up to the National 24 Hour Prayer Watch which is now in its 21st year of maintaining continuous prayer over our nation. For those wanting more information and/or to sign up to the Watch please go to www.ausprayernet.org.au/members/24-hour-prayer-watch/

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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