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MAJORITY BACK FAITH-BASED RIGHTS

By Australian Newsletter

Polling shows that two-thirds of the population believe Australian laws must protect the “universal human right to hold and practise religious beliefs.”  70% of Australians support the right of faith-based educators to recruit staff willing to uphold the religious ethos of a school.  Commissioned by the Christian Schools Alliance, the poll comes after the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader recently offered their views on the dispute between Rugby Australia and Israel Folau over his religious views on homosexuals.  The findings will increase pressure on Labor to explain how it would prevent activist teachers from undermining the values of faith-based educators.

Labor has told religious schools it’s policy is to remove key protections for religious schools from the Sex Discrimination Act to better protect teachers from being discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation.  The pledge has raised concerns among Christian educators, who fear they will be legally exposed if they move against teachers who seek to undermine promotion of a traditional view of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  The survey of more than 2000 people across the country found that 70% of Australians support the “right of a religious school to employ teachers and other staff who support the values and beliefs of the school”.

National executive officer of Christian Schools Australia (CSA) Mark Spencer said the poll confirmed “resounding support” for schools to hire staff who shared the beliefs of the schools they taught in.  “These results are consistent with the policy views of the CSA, and should serve as a reassurance for policymakers and politicians,’’ he said.  “Australians back Christian schools and are very supportive of protecting their values.”  The poll also found 66 per cent of respondents thought our “laws should uphold and protect the universal human right to hold and practise religious beliefs”.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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‘EXPERT’ SAYS ALL AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS SHOULD PROMOTE GENDER FLUIDITY

By Australian Newsletter

The Herald Sun has reported on a new guide for teachers which promotes gender fluidity to our kids.  Australian schools should adopt a non-binary approach to gender in a bid to support and educate ‘genderfluid’ and ‘genderqueer’ students, the new guide for teachers says.”  So-called “leading gender expert” Damien Riggs believes that even schools without students who identify as non-binary should “shift focus away from binary gender segregation because it is useful for all students”.  According to Riggs, schools should fly rainbow flags, teach about and advocate for gender fluid students. He also urges teachers to stop using gendered pronouns.

 “Prof Riggs has contributed to more than 150 publications about gender, sexuality and mental health.  He is also a psychotherapist working with transgender children under 12, which informed the contents of the guide.”  Kirralie Smith, spokeswoman for Binary, suggests this is just a taste of what is to come.  “Schools are increasingly becoming places of indoctrination rather than education,” she said.  “Radical gender activists are emboldened by the lack of opposition to their agenda.  The policy platforms of the Labor Party and the Greens Party include a number of promises to promote radical gender ideology in schools. 

Source: Binary

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6 WAYS ATHEISTS ACCIDENTALLY PROVE GOD EXISTS

By Feature Articles

Frank Turek is a Christian speaker and apologist who is passionate about the truth. Determined to make a strong, well-reasoned case for God, he tackles the big questions of life and combats atheists head-on. In his book, “Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case,” Turek argues that much of the reasoning put forth by those attempting to disprove God is fundamentally contradictory.  In a new video posted to his Facebook page, Frank addresses the logical framework commonly used by atheists by taking us through a simple acronym: CRIMES. Causality, Reason, Information and Intentionality, Morality, Evil and Science.

In a short and snappy exposition of each element, Turek highlights the major flaws in atheist reasoning.

1. Causality

“Why is the universe so orderly, if there is no God, no mind out there ordering all this?” Turek asks. “Why are the natural laws and forces so consistent? Because there is a mind behind them. When atheists use this to try and disprove God, they are actually stealing from God to argue against him.”

2. Reason

“If we are just molecules in motion, and there is no immaterial realm, how does reason exist? We’re just reacting. We’re nothing but moist robots,” he explains. “So, ironically, atheists who claim to be beacons of reason have made reason impossible by their worldview of materialism.”

3. Information and Intentionality

Turek says information is the “idea that there is a message, and where there is a message it always comes from a mind.”

But, he notes, the “greatest message that’s ever been discovered is in the human genome — and atheists are saying that message doesn’t come from a mind!” “They write books filled with information, claiming information doesn’t come from a mind,” he says.

“Intentionality has to do with the idea that the world is goal-directed,” Turek explains. “Why doesn’t an acorn become a starfish? Because it’s goal-directed to become an oak tree. Why do the planets go around the sun? Because of gravity? Yeah, but why is gravity doing what it does? If you go back far enough, you are ultimately going to arrive at a sustaining creator who holds all this together.”

4. Morality

“There can’t be any objective right or wrong unless God exists,” Turek declares. “When atheists say they have certain moral rights, they are actually stealing from God to say he doesn’t exist.”

5. Evil

“They’re saying there is too much evil in the world,” he says. “Well, there can’t be evil unless there’s good, but there can’t be good unless God exists. So, when atheists are complaining about evil, they are actually proving God exists. God, by definition, is the “ultimate standard of good.” “They are stealing from God in order to argue against him,” he claims.

6. Science

“The atheists are saying ‘we are the champions of science.’ Science is impossible if atheism is true,” Turek says. “If materialistic atheism is true, and we are just moist robots, then we can’t really know anything about the real world. We can’t depend on the cause and effect nature of reality because there is no mind behind it.” Turek notes that if atheism is true, we have “no warrant to believe anything we learn from science.” “You know what makes science possible? God. So, when they are doing science, they are actually stealing from God in order to argue against him,” he says.

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NEW RESEARCH REVEALS SHOCKING EXTENT OF AUSTRALIA’S SCHOOL BULLYING CRISIS

By Australian Newsletter

Going to school is a ‘bottleneck’ through which all Australians pass.  Currently, one in six Australians go to school.  Yet despite the constant improvement in school facilities, education curriculum, teaching methods and training, bullying is a serious problem in Australian schools.  The Make Bullying History Foundation surveyed 692 students in 2018 and found that four in every five students (80%) believe bullying is a serious problem at their school.  Arguably, that makes it a national crisis.  More students have been bullied than those who haven’t, with 59%,  2.3 million students nationally, saying they’ve experienced bullying, and one in five experiencing it weekly.

Four in every five students recognise the seriousness of the issue, with 80 percent saying it’s a problem in their school, and 20 percent saying it’s an extremely serious, or very serious, problem.  While cyberbullying is a growing problem, the most common form is still verbal (50%) followed by physical (20%).  The challenge for schools, though, is that many incidents are not reported.  One in seven students don’t speak to anyone about the bullying they suffer and of those who do speak up, they most often talk to parents (27%) and friends (24%).

The good news is that anti-bullying seminars do have an impact.  Of the high school students who have attended a seminar, before the event, less than half (46%) would have said they were very confident or extremely confident in handling bullying, but after the seminar, this number grew to a healthy three quarters of students (75%).  In other words, the seminar gave kids and teens a real confidence boost.

Students are a key part of the solution.  One in five high school students admitted to having bullied another person (20%), but after attending a seminar, 83% said they are now likely to step in and stop bullying if they see it.

Brett Murray, CEO and co-founder of Make Bullying History, said students are very proactive on the issue when they’re given the chance.  “I’ve had countless conversations with young people in the context of the anti-bullying seminars that I run, that share the pain that bullying has incurred on their life, and unfortunately this trauma is repeated daily in thousands of young lives across Australia,” he said. “I have found students to not only be incredibly attentive on the topic of bullying, which is such a priority for them, but this generation of young people are also increasingly empowered to step up and stop bullying.”

“A key component of this is empowering them with change the culture in their school and equipping them with the right training and empowering them to be proactive.”  The Make Bullying History Foundation surveyed students who had attended one of their seminars during 2018, with 840 people commencing the survey and 692 completed.  This article was supplied with thanks to McCrindle, a team of researchers and communications specialists who discover insights, and tell the story of Australians – what we do, and who we are.

Source: Hope 103.2

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QANTAS BARS RELIGIOUS LEADERS FROM CHAIRMAN’S LOUNGE

By Australian Newsletter

Qantas has quietly purged several Australian religious leaders from its Chairman’s Lounge as part of a drive to create efficiencies and reward the biggest spenders on the airline.  It is believed the airline has been working on reducing the Chairman’s Lounge list for up to four years.  Religious leaders across faiths have received letters removing them from the exclusive list over the past several years.  While Cardinal George Pell has been stripped of membership, it is understood the purge is wider than just the convicted Catholic, who has been jailed for child-sex offences.

Qantas does not comment on who is on the list and senior church leaders have either declined to respond, or simply declared they are not on the list.  The Australian media has contacted several Catholic and Anglican archbishops to determine the extent of the purge.  Sources said the Qantas letter referenced the fact the purge related to religious leaders across faiths and was not related purely to the Catholic Church.  The purge began several years ago but has not been reported.  Anglican primate of Australia Philip Freier is overseas and the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, is not a member of the Chairman’s Lounge.

Qantas’s purge is believed to have started before the same-sex marriage debate and was part of a long-running strategy.  The Chairman’s Lounge is considered the peak club for high flyers but would-be members can’t buy their way in and are invited by the Qantas hierarchy based on their suitability.  Benefits include free alcohol and food, showers and communications facilities.  Club memberships extend to members of parliament, chief executives and celebrities but Qantas increasingly has focused its attention on CEOs and those who have significant control over flight expenditure.

The decision to purge religious leaders has raised the eyebrows of some, with the major churches spending millions each year on travel.  The Catholic Church has health and education networks worth billions of dollars and its senior clergy and staff are constantly travelling to Rome for meetings and development programs.  The Anglican Church’s welfare programs are in place across Australia and it also has a significant schools network.  Controversy about the membership intensified after journalist Phillip Adams, who coined the phrase “Spirit of Australia” for Qantas, had his lounge membership withdrawn.’

The Weekend Australian columnist, Radio National broadcaster and former advertising executive was dismayed when told by Qantas, which came after Senator Fraser Anning was expelled from the Chairman’s Lounge based on the censure motion passed against him over his Christchurch shooting massacre commentary.  “Because of age and decrepitude, I haven’t been using it much at all, but that’s not the point,” Adams said.  “I was hardly cluttering up the facility and I was really quite surprised because I do have a large media footprint.”

Source:  Compiled by Australian Prayer Network

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AUSTRALIA ELECTS A NEW GOVERNMENT

By Australian Newsletter

Editorial staff of the Australian Prayer Network have returned to Australia from overseas prayer assignments to the reality of an unexpected win for the Liberal National Coalition in the recent Federal election.  In what was a surprise for most Australians the former Government was returned with an increased majority thus maintaining a significant history of Christian Prime Ministers who have occupied the senior political position in our country.  Scott Morrison himself described the victory as a “miracle”.  A miracle of course is an act of God, so in saying that he was acknowledging the part that God played in the victory.

Thank you to all who engaged with us during the 35 days of prayer we called prior to the election, asking for God’s will to be done in and through the election process.  We can now see what that looks like in reality.  The cleaning out of much of the old guard on both sides of the Parliament gives opportunity for the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition to both bring renewal to their parties and the Government/Nation as a whole and to escape from the revolving door of leadership change that has dogged our Federal Parliament over recent years.

The return of the Coalition opens the door for considerable reform to be enacted to protect freedom of speech and religious freedom in our nation, which many feared would come under pressure had the Labor/Greens parties occupied the majority position in Parliament.  It will however require all of us to continue to pray for Prime Minister Morrison and his parliamentary colleagues as they grapple with the many issues that face our nation at present.  We must also pray for the opposition Labor Party which will hopefully learn from this that we are still at heart a conservative Christian nation not wanting to jettison the Christian values that have undergirded our laws since European settlement, and align their future policy decisions to that reality.

A nation is at its strongest when there is a strong God fearing Government in control, kept honest by a strong God fearing Opposition and supported and informed by a strong Christian conscience.  We as the Church in Australia need to rise into our position as the visible and audible prophetic witness of God to the whole nation.  When all 3 of those pillars are in place is when we will see our nation return to its former pathway of godly laws and values which will direct our path back to prosperity and a biblically informed national character.  Let us pray that God will guide our path towards that objective in the days to come.

Source:  Compiled by Australian Prayer Network

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