Monthly Archives

March 2021

NATIONAL MOTHER OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2021

By Australian Newsletter

FamilyVoice Australia has launched its National Mother of the Year Awards in recognition of International Women’s Day (March 8). “FamilyVoice has always supported the belief of recognising the maternal service and sacrifice mothers make as an integral part of the traditional* family unit. In this regard, they have chosen to fill the void left by Barnardo’s Australia given that they will sadly no longer offer the Mother of the Year Award,” said Greg Bondar, national coordinator for the awards. Mothers are an amazing group of people, changing the world in a variety of ways every single day. From volunteering in classrooms to testifying in the public arena, mums are making a difference in their communities, workplace, churches, and beyond.

“FamilyVoice wants to continue the tradition of recognising outstanding mothers who are passionate about making the world a better place for children and families and for the benefit of the next generation,” added Mr Bondar.

Details of the Awards:

When:

FamilyVoice will announce the winners in each category during the week of Mothers’ Day each year commencing Sunday 9 May 2021.

Categories:

  • Young Mother of the Year – up to 25 years of age
  • Mother of the Year – Open age
  • Grandmother of the Year Award – Open age

Purpose:

  • To honour and recognise mothers through the ‘Mothers of the Year Awards’
  • To highlight the importance mothers play in the development of the child and family
  • To recognise that mothers make a positive impact at home, work, church and in the wider Australia community

Awards:

  • A Certificate and sponsored Prizes to each winner and presented by a Sponsor/Supporter

Applications & Nominations:

Nominations are now open. Go to www.familyvoice.org.au to complete a nomination and to pay the administration fee.

Mother of the Year Awards eligibility requirements:

  1. A nominee for FamilyVoice Mother of the Year must be the mother of one or more children.
  2. She should embody those traits highly regarded in mothers such as loyalty, fidelity, community spirited and display the ability to strengthen family relationships.
  3. She should exemplify in her life and conduct the power of a mother’s inner strength to deal with the successes and challenges in life.
  4. She should also exhibit an interest in her community by participation in programs and services that enrich mothers, children and/or families.
  5. There is a $10.00 administration fee which is refundable to the winner(s).

Source: FamilyVoice Australia

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WRONG SEX PRE-BORN BABIES ABORTED

By Australian Newsletter

A Queensland IVF clinic receives 2 to 3 inquiries every week about gender selection, with some patients reportedly aborting their preborn baby after a blood test revealed the baby was the “wrong sex”.  Fertility Group director Dr David Molloy said that dozens of IVF patients support his legal push for IVF gender-selection. “I think couples come to me because they know I have always been an advocate of gender selection, but the National Health and Medical Research Council upheld the ban on non-medical gender selection in its 2017 review,” Dr Molloy told The Courier Mail. “This move disappointed a lot of Queenslanders and we are still lobbying for change,” he said. Part of Dr Molloy’s argument for change is that parents who have an all-consuming desire for a boy or a girl can become so disappointed with the outcome that they end up in psychiatric care.

Molloy said “I have seen hundreds of patients who are disappointed when they hear of the gender of the child they are expecting but it doesn’t mean they don’t adore the baby when it arrives. For most, the disappointment passes quickly however some do end up broken and in psychiatric care,” he said. FamilyVoice Australia spokesman Darryl Budge says that sex-selection abortion is a further attack on the sanctity of life. “All Australian states have legalised abortion that is allegedly justified for the mother’s mental health or because tests on the baby point to an unwanted disease or abnormality,” Darryl Budge said.  “This legally translates to the erasure of a preborn baby’s right to life by the mother’s own preference for her quality of life.”

Source: FamilyVoice Australia

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JOHN HOWARD SAYS SCHOOLS NEED TO BE ABLE TO TEACH THE FAITH AND HIRE BELIEVERS

By Australian Newsletter

Religious freedom means schools should have the right to teach the principles of their faith and not “employ somebody who is barracking for the other side” says former Prime Minister John Howard. He was answering a question from Greg Bondar, who heads up Family Voice in NSW, during a webinar sponsored by that organisation. Howard said, “There is a woke culture, I accept that. The way it has to be fought is for people in authority to take it on. There is a tendency, occasionally, when something is absurd, to get a section of the public service circulating a memorandum saying how you have to describe family relationships in the future. Any suggestion that you have to drop off the use of words like mother or father is ridiculous and I would like someone in authority to bang it on the head every time that arises.”

Howard went on “The reality is that the great bulk of the Australian community thinks it is nonsense. They have a common sense appreciation of what is genuine tolerance and what is an attempt to alter society.” Howard specified that he thought that his description reflects the view of 80% of the Australian community. “They believe in the sort of society we have. We have just demonstrated to the world that we can handle a common challenge as well as any other society. There can’t be a lot wrong with a country that can do that.” In his talk Howard described his disappointment at the result of the marriage plebiscite, saying “but it is now the law.” He sees real concern for whether religious freedom would be respected in the aftermath of that debate.

However “many people I have spoken to, many adherents or churchgoers, some strong believers, say to me ‘look I don’t feel that my freedom of religion and therefore my freedom of speech is under threat. I don’t feel that at all and I think that people who run around saying it is under threat are exaggerating the situation’.” Howard disagrees. “I understand that point of view and I am not saying on the surface that they are wrong. But I think there are two things that came out of that debate on same sex marriage that need to be addressed. “I am hopeful that when the government finally produces its legislative formula to deal with this issue, that it is the absolute right of faith-based schools, whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic or the like, to teach the precepts of the faith which guides that school and guides the institutions that run those schools.

“I think it is quite reasonable for the schools to seek to employ those that give ‘general assent’ … to the precepts.” “I think it is quite reasonable for the schools to seek to employ those that give ‘general assent’ – to use a wonderful expression of the Anglican Church about the 39 articles in their statement of faith – to the precepts. “It does not mean in the case of a Catholic school that the school has a right to require a certain level of mass attendance, or this or that form of religious adherence. But it it does entitle the school to say that ‘you have come to work for a Catholic school where parents send their children to a Catholic School to be educated in that framework, and we are not going to have you criticising that framework, undermining the fundamental beliefs.’

Howard notes there are many discussions about what constitutes “undermining” or “general assent” but he regards what he is saying as common sense. Political parties are largely exempt from anti-discrimination legislation as regards employment. He uses the example of Victoria where it is expressly said in the anti-discrimination law that parties don’t have to employ people who “are barracking for the other side.” “Well if you accept the common sense of that, why can’t you accept the common sense that religious schools are entitled to require a ‘general assent’ to the beliefs of the particular religion that inspires the teaching of that school…?” “They should not be about to impose unreasonable demands. But schools should be able to say that if you work with us, you need to support the flavour of the team. I think that is common sense.”

A second related area, the former PM raised was the right of parents when a school teaches against their moral code. “They have a right not only to object to it but to take action to prevent it occurring.” “Those are the two areas that I believe need attention in the wake of the debate on same sex marriage. The general right of people to preach the Christian gospel in churches or schools, I don’t think is under threat.” In the Q and A session he reiterated this point, in arguing for a targeted legislative solution to the issues he raised. “I don’t think it is credible to say there is a frontal attack on religious freedom. That runs the risk of losing credibility.” Rather, he notes, “There is a creeping intolerance in society towards faith-based schools, and attempts will be made to put restrictions on them. I think they should be resisted.”

There’s a “general attempt to diminish the impact of Christianity in our society – what I might call the Western Canon” the former PM believes. “It is intimately tied up with the Christian religion because Christianity has been at the heart of the development of Western society.” Howard is the chair of the Ramsey Centre for Civilisation which promotes studying the impact of Christianity, both the Reformation and the Catholic church, as well as Rome and Greece. In attempting to get Ramsey courses adopted he found “there is no doubt that in our universities there is a growing movement, in certain universities, to censor dissent.” He cites the Ridd case which involves “an unfashionable view” on climate change.

“In the end you can’t legislate individual cases, you have to have a climate in society that respects individual opinion, that honours the traditions of our society and a proper understanding of where we came from.” The former PM argued that freedom of speech and the other fundamental freedoms are essential to Christianity. “It’s important to understand when talking about freedom,” Howard told the webinar, “in this country, there is a fundamental link between freedom of speech and individual freedom and the Christian Religion. “The essence of Christianity is the direct link between the individual and God.  People’s faith and religious affiliation is a very personal thing, and is not the sort of thing that can be determined by the state. It can be determined by a family or by a community organisation. In that sense Christianity is quite distinctive.”

Howard says that freedom is essential for Christianity to flourish.  “When I think of freedom of speech, the fact that it exists does not mean it is not under threat. There are many things in our society that exist under threat and we can imagine only too readily what they are. “I think particularly of two remarkable and pithy expressions. One of them is the famous one of Voltaire ‘I don’t agree with what he says but I will defend to the death his right to say it.’ Now that is a very direct, simple, lucid and enduring definition of what freedom of speech is all about.  “How often have you found yourself in vigorous disagreement with even a close friend or close relative and at the end of the discussion someone says ‘I don’t agree with you, but you have a perfect right to say it’? Now that tells us how fundamental freedom of speech is to our society.”

There is a creeping intolerance in society towards faith-based schools, and attempts will be made to put restrictions on them. Howard said that freedom of speech is a privilege that needs to be “carefully used”. It is capable of abuse. “Now I have a view about a free society that not everybody, even in my own political party and my side of politics, believes. Not those who want to write everything down. I think that the things that guarantee, as much as any political arrangement can guarantee free speech and freedom in a society, rests on three things. “Firstly, you do need, for all its flaws, a vigorous and robust parliamentary system. You need a contest of ideas. The political combat in our society is fundamentally a contest of ideas. It is not a public relations beauty contest, it is a contest of ideas. Once political parties lose sight of that fact, they get into trouble.

“The second thing we need very importantly in our society, and we have it, and once again, for all its flaws, is an incorruptible judicial system. Our judges are not biddable.  They by and large do the right thing. They make mistakes, but we have a court structure that means mistakes made at a lower level can be corrected at a higher level. “The final thing we have, which we should remind ourselves of repeatedly, is a free media. A free media can be very aggravating to politicians. There were many occasions when I was in politics when I was irked by what was said in the media. But in the end, it will find its balance. “Those three things, if you have them, can guarantee freedoms and freedom of speech in particular.”

Howard pointed out that charters of rights do not  guarantee freedoms. “What does guarantee them are the institutions of society which allow for a vigorous exchange of ideas and a prosecution of contesting points of view. Howard described the “danger of protecting certain groups” from offensive language causing others to be prevented from expressing their points of view. “I think there is a balance to be found in this area. Language which is designed to incite violence or wrongdoing against others, should be sanctioned by the law. But language which merely expresses opinion, even in a vigorous, and offensive way, is not something that should be sanctioned by law. ” Howard said he had problems with section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act because it allows prosecution for speech people found offensive, but that was a difficult balance to strike.

Source: FamilyVoice Australia

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CHRISTIAN GROUPS UNITE TO PAVE THE WAY FORWARD AFTER COVID

By Australian Newsletter

In an overwhelming display of support, Australian Christian organisations have pledged their commitment to the Prime Minister to help with the nation’s recovery. An alliance of Christian community organisations has pledged to help those most in need in a post-COVID world. The organisations have released a joint letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The letter vows a commitment to working with government, individuals and communities as they battle the social and economic challenges brought on by COVID-19. The organisations include Mission Australia, Catholic Social Services, Anglicare and World Vision Australia. “We write to express our commitment as Christian leaders and Australian citizens to support, in a spirit of faith, hope, and love, in the sustaining and recovery of communities across the country,” the letter reads.

The letter, which was handed to the Prime Minister, was welcomed by both sides of politics. Labor leader Anthony Albanese addressed the Christian organisations during a reading of the letter at Parliament House.  “So many roads lead to the parable of the Good Samaritan, what is the lesson that Jesus teaches us in it?” Mr Albanese said. “It is that we shouldn’t walk past those who are in need or suffering. That our care for others should be neither conditional nor transactional. That is the lesson that can light the path that lies before us.” Citing the two World Wars and the Great Depression, CEO of Mission Australia James Toomey said that Australian Christian community organisations have always been at the forefront of restoration in the wake of crises. He vowed it will be no different this time.

“We are committed to rolling up our sleeves, supporting our communities and working together through these challenging times so that everyone is included in the recovery ahead,” Toomey said. The letter pledges to help those most affected by the ravages of the pandemic: “To walk alongside those who struggle with the anxiety of unemployment, to teach skills and train in ways that enable fulfilling and life-affirming work.” The CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia Dr Ursula Stephens said that faith-based organisations provide “more than half” of all welfare services in Australia. “We recognise the vital role we can all play in restoration in response to the impacts of COVID-19,” Dr Stephens said. We look forward to discussing with Government where the areas of greatest need lie and how we can best work together in the recovery ahead.”

Source: Hope 103.2

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A DOCTOR SAYS KIDS ARE HAVING PANIC ATTACKS OVER USING THE TERMS “BOY” OR “GIRL”

By Australian Newsletter

Queensland doctor Thomas Lyons was conducting an eyesight test with six children when he said he made the discovery. He showed the children drawings of animals and people and asked them what they saw. Dr Lyons said four of the children refused to use the terms ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ while all six of them became stressed. “These children, without the knowledge or permission of the principal and parents, had been taught by teachers that the words ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ had some kind of bad magic and to utter them would somehow harm people,” said Lyons. “Watching a six-year-old have a panic attack over use of gender identifying language is disturbing,” he added. It comes in the wake of the Australian National University directing staff to say ‘chestfeeding’ instead of ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘gestational parent’ in lieu of ‘mother’.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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OVER 700 LANGUAGES NOW HAVE A COMPLETE BIBLE

By Australian Newsletter

The number of languages with a complete translation of the Bible has broken through the 700 barrier, according to the latest figures from Wycliffe Bible Translators. The entire Bible is now available in over 704 languages, while 1,551 have a complete translation of the New Testament. A further 1,160 languages have a portion of the Bible translated. James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, said: “These are encouraging figures, and show how the task of translating the Scriptures into the world’s languages is making significant progress, even in the midst of a global pandemic. “We are so thankful to God for his ongoing provision for and blessing on the work of Bible translation in these difficult times.”

The work of translating God’s word has continued in spite of the upheaval this past year from the coronavirus pandemic. While some teams have managed to continue working face-to-face, others have moved their work online with the help of state-of-the-art translation software. “Seeing how translation teams have adapted to their new circumstances in order to keep the work going is truly inspirational. Crucially, it means that we are still making good progress in getting the Scriptures to those who do not have them in their language,” Poole said.  The 704 languages with a complete Bible translation encompass around six billion people around the world, leaving around 1.5 billion without a Bible in their own language.

Current projections estimate that in the next 15 years, all people groups will have at least some portion of Scripture available in their own language, while 95% will have a complete Bible, and 99.95% will have a New Testament. Poole continued: “Each new translation is exciting because it means more people are able to access the Scriptures in their own language. That accessibility is key to helping people truly comprehend the gospel message, and to seeing lives transformed by Jesus. “We are fast approaching a key milestone in world history. These projections provide fresh inspiration and motivation for people to get involved in the work of Bible translation. “Wycliffe remains committed to the urgent and long-term work of achieving these aims, and continues to work so that the Bible might be accessible to all people in their own languages.”

Source: Christian Today Australia

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AUSTRALIAN MP PROPOSES BILL TO PROTECT BABIES BORN ALIVE DURING ABORTIONS

By Australian Newsletter

George Christensen, the Liberal National Party member for Dawson, last week released a draft bill aimed at saving babies who are born alive during botched abortion procedures. The Human Rights (Children Born Alive Protection) Bill 2021 would require a medical practitioner to provide medical care to a child born alive during a late-term abortion, just as they are mandated to with any other newborn. “I am asking my parliamentary colleagues, and in fact, our entire community to consider the painful question: ‘what happens to a child born alive during a late-term abortion?’” Christensen said. “The uncomfortable truth is that the child is left to die.” The federal government’s current advice to medical practitioners faced with a baby born alive during an abortion is to “not offer treatment”.

George Christensen rightly points out that this is a breach of two international agreements to which Australia is a signatory: the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The proposed legislation would penalise doctors with a fine of over $400,000 if they failed to provide appropriate care to a baby born alive during a failed abortion procedure. Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and Liberal senator James McGrath have offered their support for the bill. George Christensen has provided a consistent pro-life voice to Australia’s federal parliament since his election in 2010. The media’s opposition to Christensen’s proposed bill was swift, shrill and predictable.

One online publication sought comment from Catriona Melville, the deputy medical director of Marie Stopes Australia (the Australian equivalent of Planned Parenthood), referring to her as a “leading abortion care expert”. “It’s really nonsensical,” Melville said in reference to Christensen’s draft bill. “He’s proposing creating policy for a circumstance that by the nature of the procedure wouldn’t occur. It’s making noise without benefitting anybody involved in the process.” Melville had ignored the other document released by Christensen: a summary of research from the Parliamentary Library which documents hundreds of known cases of Australian babies born alive during abortions. Christensen’s bill clearly responds to a very real and pressing issue.

Source: Canberra Declaration

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