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Pages tagged "politics"
Council’s rainbow capitulation a worry for parents concerned about ‘Safe Schools’ ideology
· May 10, 2016 10:00 AM
The Brisbane City Council’s capitulation to rainbow ideology will be of concern to every parent who does not want to see their children taught by “Safe Schools” that their gender is fluid, Australian Christian Lobby Queensland Director Wendy Francis said today.
The Council’s foray into same-sex marriage and programs against so-called “transphobia” are a far cry from its core business of roads, rates and rubbish.
Ms Francis said most people don’t know what ‘transphobia’ is because they are not afraid of other people but they were concerned that Lord Mayor Cr Graham Quirk’s signing on to these political programs would further embolden the promoters of the so-called “Safe Schools” program.
“Parents all over the nation have been shocked by the so-called Safe Schools program teaching children as young as four through the Gender Fairy story book that their gender is fluid,” Ms Francis said.
“The Queensland Government continues to keep a secret list of schools which have signed on to the Safe Schools agenda to allow boys identifying as girls to use the girls’ toilets at school.
“Parents have not bought into the idea that teachers should be discouraged from using ‘he’ and ‘she’ to describe children at school.”
Ms Francis said the Brisbane City Council’s sign-on to rainbow politics and its agenda to stamp out alleged “transphobia” would cause parents to worry that society was caving in to the idea that they were no longer free to accept the biological gender of their children.
“The Council should stick to providing good roads, collecting our rubbish and keeping our rates low. If the Coalition is elected, the people will have the opportunity through a plebiscite to make their views on the rainbow agenda clear,” Ms Francis said.
Media contact: 02 6259 0431
New Director of St Mark's National Theological Centre talks about politics
· July 15, 2014 10:00 AM
Dr Andrew Cameron is the new Director of St Mark's National Theological Centre in Canberra. Dr Cameron has an interest in politics, ethics and public engagement and the ACL's Katherine Spackman caught up with him after his commissioning service to discuss the church's engagement with the state.
Catholic University Assoc Prof discusses euthanasia and the good life
· July 15, 2014 10:00 AM
Associate Professor Patrick McArdle is the Campus Dean at the Australian Catholic University in Canberra. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about euthanasia since the debate has re-emerged following news reports that euthanasia advocate, Dr Philip Nitschke, supported a 45 year old man's decision to commit suicide despite knowing he was not terminally ill. There is a 5 minute interview
and an extended 9 minute interview below (click the play button).
Why politics needs you
· June 26, 2014 10:00 AM
Valedictory speeches give an all-too-rare glimpse of the humanity of our parliamentarians.
If someone is giving one, it means they have either lost an election or have achieved the holy grail of politics – retiring at a time of one’s choosing.
These speeches are often inspirational and nostalgic but always emotional.
The Parliament is like a giant boarding school. When people leave, everyone notices.
Last week I wrote about outgoing Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell’s valedictory speech.
With the Senate changing from July 1, the past week has seen more speeches, mostly by Labor Senators.
Valedictories shine light into the soul of parliamentarians and showcase what is good about our system of government.
Family, staff and comcar drivers are all thanked, sometimes through choking voices and watered eyes.
After 18 years in the Senate, the President John Hogg, also of Queensland, made a statement about his time in politics.
The Labor veteran has stood firm on many issues of concern to the Christian constituency and singled some of these out in his speech.
The difficult issues go to the issue of conscience. The hardest thing that I believe we all as members of parliament deal with is our conscience. We get some major challenges indeed. I look back on some of the issues that I have been asked to think about, vote about and speak about: euthanasia; stem cell research; cloning; RU486; same-sex marriage. My views are not necessarily shared on those issues by every other senator in this place or even some but, having a diversity of views is healthy. When those issues and their like are part of your DNA, you cannot expect people to walk away from their conscience. People—and I do not care what side of politics they are on—who have a view different to me are entitled to it. That is a fundamental of our system
Senator Hogg’s words are a subtle but important appeal not to allow political correctness to marginalise and silence people who have these views.
One Senator whose views are polar opposite to Senator Hogg’s is defeated Labor Senator Louise Pratt from Western Australia.
With her partner, Aram Hosie (who identifies as transgender), in the public gallery, Senator Pratt used her
to promote redefining marriage and the denial of human rights to the unborn.
I support the end of discrimination in the Marriage Act – not because it affects me, although it does affect me, but because equal rights for all Australians has always been a touchstone for me, in all aspects of my political involvement. I can assure you that that will remain the case in the future. More than 65 per cent of Australians agree with me. If this parliament truly reflected the views of those who elect us, marriage equality would be a reality.
“I support the right of women to make their own reproductive choices and not have government make those choices for them – and 80 per cent of Australians agree with me. I have been equally opposed to laws that force women to bear children when they do not want to and laws intended to prevent women from bearing children when they wish to...
Laws were finally changed in Victoria in 2010, finally giving women like me, regardless of their marital status, regardless of the gender of our partners or whether we have partners at all, access to the same legal rights to treatment as married women in this country.
Despite attempts to characterise views such as mine as radical, every piece of research in this country demonstrates that these views are shared by a majority of Australians. They are mainstream views, and it is those who deny them that are the extremists in our country
.” (Emphasis added)
I’m not sure 65 per cent of Australians would agree with same-sex marriage if the debate included discussion about its consequences for children losing a parent.
Senator Pratt and Aram are having a bab
y through assisted reproductive technology.
Also, I doubt 80 per cent of Australians, if properly informed of Victoria’s abortion-to-birth laws, would support those either.
It is disappointing that Senator Pratt thinks marriage between a man and a woman is “extremist”.
Other notable Labor departures from the Senate are New South Wales Senators Ursula Stephens, South Australian Don Farrell and Queenslander Mark Furner.
All have been strong advocates for the poor, indigenous, the unborn and the rights of children to a mum and a dad.
Senator Stephens burst into an Irish folk song at the end of her
, adding poignancy to her departure.
Senator Farrell was influential in convincing former Prime Minister Julia Gillard to hold the line on marriage.
Senator Furner will contest the Queensland State seat of Ferny Grove at the next Queensland election.
movingly of his participation in a Senate inquiry into petrol sniffing in indigenous communities.
“I believe we are responsible for the living standards of the first Australians,” Senator Furner said.
As can be seen from the radically different worldviews on display (and this from within one political party), it is vital that people with Christian values participate in the democratic process.
Senator Hogg was kind enough to give ACL’s Communications Director, Katherine Spackman, an
for the Political Spot in the President’s suite in the Senate this week .
In light of all that is written above, Senator Hogg’s words are a wake-up call to Christians.
“Do not place your faith, hope and trust in people such as myself. We need more than faith, hope and trust. We need your active participation in our democratic processes.”
Outgoing Labor Senator John Hogg reflects on his 18 years in public life
· June 24, 2014 10:00 AM
In one of his last interviews as a parliamentarian, retiring Catholic Labor Senator and President of the Senate John Hogg, speaks to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about his time in politics. His comments are a challenge to Christians as he urges people not to place their faith, hope and trust in parliamentarians. He says parliamentarians need people's active participation in the democratic process to "get out there, speak your mind and shape the policies parties are developing and forming". He says that offers as much support to parliamentarians as other means. The link below is an extended interview of 9 minutes. There is a
of 5 minutes available as well.
For politics to work, trust is vital
· May 08, 2014 10:00 AM
One of the disappointing features of modern politics is that it is almost expected that promises will not be kept.
There is a desperate need for public respect to be restored to our political class.
Their work on our behalf is too important to be traduced.
The Abbott Government looks set to break its promise about no new taxes with the so-called deficit levy.
Financial responsibility is of course vital and our generation must not be leaving a burden for the next.
The small target strategy of political campaigning means that both sides approach elections by trying to be as small a target as possible.
In the last campaign, this meant that the Coalition made promises about reigning in government expenditure with the unrealistic expectation that this could be done without cuts to key areas or tax rises.
With the budget approaching next week, this is exposed.
An election promise that was broken last week with little media fanfare was on overseas aid.
Both Labor and the Coalition have for years been crab-walking away from its Millennium Development Goal promise to raise our overseas aid to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015.
But before the election, the Coalition promised to raise aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI, although it could not say when it would get there.
Last week it was announced that aid would be de-coupled from GNI and capped at $5 billion.
This means that our generosity to the world’s poor cannot grow as our nation’s prosperity grows. It is a breach of an election promise.
All of us make commitments at times that we need to retract because of changed circumstances sometimes beyond our control.
But this should be accompanied by repentance and humility.
Parliamentarians are trapped by a merciless ‘gotcha’ style of journalism and public discourse which leaves little room for these concepts.
The apathy of most people towards politics also facilitates this unreal discourse.
And when it comes to an issue like aid – designed to help people overseas in extreme poverty – our preoccupation with our own prosperity means a promise like this can be breached with very little political consequence.
Labor’s seemingly unwillingness to pursue the Government on this suggests it is complicit in the decision to scale back our aid promise. It certainly deferred billions of dollars of promised aid in the past two budgets.
Principled public leadership is hard but we must find a way to see it restored in our political culture.
This should be a priority of all involved in public life. The next generation will thank us if we achieve it.
The life of former Tasmanian independent Senator Brian Harradine
· April 22, 2014 10:00 AM
In this special edition of the ACL's radio program, The Political Spot, ACL's Katherine Spackman chats to Father Frank Brennan and former staffer Melinda Tankard Reist about the life of former Senator Brian Harradine. Mr Harradine was Australia's longest serving independent Senator. He recently passed away at the age of 79. Radio package 15 minutes.
ACL's MD Lyle Shelton on the Political Spot about election results
· September 10, 2013 10:00 AM
Lyle Shelton is the MD of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he discusses the election outcome.
Lyle Shelton on the Political Spot about political parties' responses to election questionnaire
· August 27, 2013 10:00 AM
Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about political parties' responses to the election questionnaire the ACL has put to political parties. The questions and responses can be read on
The interview with Mr Shelton can be listened to
The election and the big issues Christians care about
· August 06, 2013 10:00 AM
By Lyle Shelton, Managing Director
In the lead-up to the election, the ACL Team and I will be providing commentary and information to assist Christians cast an informed vote on September 7.
ACL never tells people who to vote for, but we do encourage Christians to consider carefully candidate and party positions on issues of concern to them.
So what are the political issues that Christians care most about? We asked this as part of the 2011 National Church Life Survey.
The top four by a long way were:
1. marriage/family support
2. domestic poverty and disadvantage
3. poverty in the developing world
These have all featured in recent political debate and some even in the early days of this campaign.
Yesterday, those lobbying to change the definition of marriage pressed their case with an
that they were surveying candidates
ACL is also working to ensure voters know where candidates stand on marriage and we are urging people to vote for a candidate, regardless of party affiliation, who will uphold marriage between a man and a woman (see related
With Prime Minister Kevin Rudd changing his position and making it an election issue, this will be a key one for Christians to watch over the next five weeks.
Homelessness and poker machine addiction are top of the issues of domestic poverty and disadvantage.
St Vincent de Paul Society
have been out very early in the campaign to make sure the homeless are not forgotten.
Expect to see Rev Tim Costello and the Churches Gambling Task force raising the need for gambling reform.
Before the election starter’s gun was fired, the Government last week released a major economic statement which showed a further massive blowout to the budget.
Top of the list to find savings was yet
(effectively a cut) of our overseas aid. Christians have been very active in lobbying for our nation to keep its Millennium Development Goal promise.
That both sides of politics are relaxed about cutting aid to plug the budget is disappointing.
Rev Costello said we must never balance the books on the backs of the poor.
Finally, abortion is the issue that most people in politics go out of their way to keep quiet about.
The NCLS survey showed that this is the biggest issue of concern for 15-29 year old Christians. It seems young Christians are more pro-life than ever.
Abortion is sadly not expected to feature in the federal election campaign although the Democratic Labour Senator John Madigan unsuccessfully tried to have a bill banning abortions based on gender selection voted on just before Parliament rose in June.
The DLP, Family First, Christian Democratic Party, Australian Christians and the new Rise Up Australia Party are sure to campaign on this but it will most likely be at the fringes of election debate.
ACL has submitted its traditional election questionnaire to the parties and we hope to publish their answers on this
within at least two weeks of the election.
The Australian Prayer Network is encouraging Christians to pray. For a list of daily election campaign prayer points and Bible verses, please click
Keep coming back to this site for more commentary and please encourage your friends to take a close interest in the election.
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