Liberal Member for Longman Wyatt Roy’s call for a doubling of Australia’s humanitarian intake should be heeded, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
Mr Roy’s call comes a week after the Coalition’s junior partner, The Nationals, voted unanimously in favour of an urgency motion seeking an increase at its Federal Council meeting in Canberra.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said 19,500 people had signed ACL’s on-line petition calling for an increase in the wake of the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
“The Government deserves credit for stopping people smuggling, halting the deaths at sea and removing children from detention,” Mr Shelton said.
“But the problem of 51 million displaced people in the world is massive and has been further exacerbated by the persecution of hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.
“While Australia’s refugee intake of 13,700 is generous on a per capita basis, much more needs to be done to help suffering people.
“Extraordinary brutality requires extraordinary generosity and Australia, as a relatively wealthy nation, is well-placed to do more.”
Mr Shelton said Mr Roy was right to point out the escalating persecution of Christians in north Africa and the Middle East.
While resettlement of refugees was necessary, the international community should also be ultimately seeking to establish safe havens for Christians and other persecuted religious minorities so that they could return to their homes in Syria and Iraq.
“The Islamists’ goal of purging Christians, Yazidis and other Muslim minorities should not be allowed to stand,” Mr Shelton said.
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the public apology by Wicked Campers for its inappropriate slogans but says harsher penalties need to be introduced to prevent re-offending.
ACL’s spokesperson on the dignity of women Wendy Francis said that although the campervan company has apologised for the latest slogan “In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it”, it’s important for state governments to recognise the urgent need of law reform to keep outdoor advertising in line with community standards.
“Although an apology from Wicked Campers is a welcome move, what’s stopping the company from again plastering sexist and misogynistic material on their vans in a year’s time?” Ms Francis said.
“The self-regulatory system of outdoor advertising is clearly not working. Our children and young people will continue to be exposed to sexualised and degrading content in our public space if penalties are not introduced on companies like Wicked Campers and future offenders,” Ms Francis said.
The promise by Wicked Campers to remove slogans of an “insensitive nature” on their vans over the next six months is again another failure to the community.
“Objectifying and degrading women is a serious matter. If Wicked Campers truly understood this, they would remove the slogans immediately, not wait six months to do so,” she said.
“The sexualisation of our everyday environment is contributing to a culture where there is an increase in sexual assaults, eating disorders in young children, and depression.
“Many sexist slogans, including those Wicked Campers have been responsible for, promote violence against women, which is sadly a massive problem in our country.
“A report published in the Lancet medical journal earlier this year revealed that incidents of sexual violence against women in Australia is more than double the global average,” Ms Francis said.
The recent uproar against the campervan company was triggered over the weekend when a Sydney mother launched an online petition after her 11-year-old daughter spotted the latest slogan on a van in the Blue Mountains.
The change.org petition to “Eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery” has reached over 127,000 signatures to date.
The Australian Christian Lobby is again calling on state governments to introduce laws regulating outdoor advertising in light of a recent Wicked Campers slogan degrading women.
ACL’s spokesperson on the dignity of women Wendy Francis said the latest slogan from the campervan company – which read, “In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it” – undermines a woman’s worth.
“Time and again, we have seen Wicked Campers ignore calls from the Advertising Standards Bureau to keep its slogans in line with community standards.
“Our children and young people will continue to be exposed to such inappropriate content if our governments fail to intervene,” Ms Francis said.
A Sydney mother recently launched an online petition calling on the Brisbane-based company to remove its slogans, after her 11-year-old daughter spotted the latest slogan on a van in the Blue Mountains.
The change.org petition to “Eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery” has now reached over 90,000 signatures.
Ms Francis said no parent wants their child to be exposed to material that objectifies or demeans women.
“The sexualisation of our everyday environment is causing an increase in sexual assaults, eating disorders in young children, and depression.
“A report published in the Lancet medical journal earlier this year revealed that incidents of sexual violence against women in Australia is more than double the global average.
“Governments across our nation need to open their eyes to the harm that companies like Wicked Campers are causing against vulnerable members of society,” she said.
In April this year, ACL called on the Queensland Government to introduce outdoor advertising laws to keep the public square in line with community standards.
A more nuanced debate about changing the definition of marriage is needed, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
Polling showing support for legislative change fails to ask people about the knock-on effects, ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said today.
"Does the polling ask people if they are comfortable with children being taken from their biological mother or father.
"Are Australians happy for fellow citizens who believe in man-woman marriage to be sued in the courts or driven from their jobs because of their beliefs, as is now happening in other jurisdictions?"
Mr Shelton said it was all well and good to mount emotional arguments about love as Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyohjelm did yesterday.
"But if as a country we decide to support changing the definition of marriage can we all look in the eyes of a child and tell her that she cannot be raised by her biological mother.
"Are we really happy for dissenters to face legal sanction, as has occurred in Colorado, Washington State and New Mexico in the United States?
"We must ask how these consequences improve liberty.
Mr Shelton said Senator Leyonhjelm wanted to deregulate marriage.
"Does that mean he would support 'marriage equality' for 'throuples'? Where does this end?
“There are countries which allow other definitions of marriage such as child marriage and polygamy.
"Should we deregulate these as well? So many questions, so little debate.
"The debate Australia has been having about changing the definition of marriage has been very shallow.
"We need to be careful that we don't get caught up in a popular culture wave that leaves our nation, and most importantly children, with unintended consequences," Mr Shelton said.
ACL supported the removal of discrimination against same-sex couples in 2008 but like the then Labor Government, stopped short at changing the definition of marriage.
Polling conducted for ACL by JWS Research after the last election showed that same-sex marriage was a low order issue for voters.
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