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Pages tagged "religious freedom"
ACL National Conference a huge success
· October 10, 2012 11:00 AM
ACL's National Conference - which took place last weekend in Canberra - was the best one yet. Delegates were privileged to have such a high calibre of speakers from which to draw and learn from; Shadow Families Minister Kevin Andrews, former attorney-general Robert McClelland and Professor Greg Craven were amongst other professionals who spoke on the issue of
Religious Freedom in a Secular Democracy.
Mr Andrews spoke of the importance of preserving the traditional construct of marriage, in light of his new book entitled 'Maybe, I Do.' He highlighted the successful conclusion of the marriage debate in Parliament and said that most MPs would now take the view that this issue has been settled for some period of time.
Mr McClelland addressed delegates on the deterioration in the quality of political debate, declaring it as "un-Australian". He spoke of the importance of renewing a sense of decency and respect in political circles, and that this is truly what the Australian people want to see from their politicians.
Political editor of
newspaper Dennis Shanahan spoke also on the nature of political journalism and what this means for religious freedom.
Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, gave a memorable address in which he explored the historical and cultural challenges that now face freedom of religion in a secular democracy.
For all those who attended, we hope you had a thoroughly enjoyable and engaged time. It was a privilege having you share in this wonderful occasion.
Podcasts of the speakers' addresses will be available on our website shortly for those who were unable to attend.
Paul Henderson on The Political Spot
· October 09, 2012 11:00 AM
Paul Henderson is a worldview expert and education consultant. He was one of the speakers at the Australian Christian Lobby's National Conference in Canberra, speaking about religious freedom from a philosophical perspective. ACL’s Daniel Simon caught up with him at the Conference to talk about his speech.
Kevin Andrews on The Political Spot
· October 09, 2012 11:00 AM
Liberal Member for Menzies the Honourable Kevin Andrews was one of the speakers at the Australian Christian Lobby's annual National Conference in Canberra. He spoke about religious freedom in a historical context. ACL's Daniel Simon caught up with him at the Conference to talk about his speech.
Jim Wallace addresses Bridge Church on the definition of marriage
· October 09, 2012 11:00 AM
On the weekend of the 22nd & 23rd of September, ACL's Managing Director Jim Wallace addressed Bridge Church in Melbourne on the definition of marriage and the importance for Christians to make a stand in ensuring the preservation of the union as between a man and a woman.
To listen to the sermon, click on the link below:
ACL's Jim Wallace writes in Eternity Newspaper
· September 27, 2012 10:00 AM
ACL's Managing Director Jim Wallace has had an opinion piece published in Eternity Newspaper entitled
Church must decide on whether it can remain silent.
See below for a copy of Mr Wallace's opinion piece.
The successful defence of marriage in the Federal Parliament has been blamed by same-sex activists on a host of reasons with no more substance than their arguments for marriage.
Of course the fact that the Coalition didn’t allow a conscience vote is prime among these, when even in a free vote it would have failed in the Lower House. But the hypocrisy of this claim runs much deeper.
Less than a year ago both major parties were committed to the biological reality that marriage is between a man and a woman. And it was only the very lack of a conscience vote for left union delegates at the Labor National Conference that put this truth under threat.
It is to Labor’s shame that it would be as hypocritical as to hound Abbott for the lack of a conscience vote in the Coalition, when the majority of the Australian Labor National Conference were not given free votes on it themselves.
It was here too that the tactics of demonisation so evident in this campaign, first surfaced. Highly respected Labor figures like Joe de Bryun were heckled and mocked with the skilful orchestration of Rainbow Labor. A tactic same sex activists have repeated to empty the public space of alternate voices here, just as they have overseas.
With a deftness that can only come from well resourced intent, it successfully labelled any opponents with the hate language of “homophobe”, “bigot”, “gay haters” and “propagators of hate”, when all the time they were the only ones in the debate using such language.
It simply defies reason and any sense of impartiality in the media at large, that the church, which comes to its position on marriage from a love of children and the desire to see them grow and flourish in the biological identity which by God’s grace they are created, should be accused of any motivation but love. Certainly at ACL that is our sole motivation, we would not by our very motivation in Christ, use the language of which we have been accused.
But this tactic has worked well for these activists overseas of course. Amsterdam’s Chief Rabbi was sacked and a Spanish Catholic Bishop threatened to be charged with hate speech for simply exercising both their freedom of religion and conscience by voicing their faiths’ positions that marriage is between a man and woman – something that should not surprise a church which knows that the world rejects truth.
However it is the effect on individuals of this tactic which is most shameful, with gay activism increasingly prepared to pursue dissenting voices to their professional and personal ruin.
A Canadian sports commentator was recently fired for tweeting “I believe in the TRUE meaning of marriage”. And in one of the saddest cases, America’s most successful Olympic gymnast Peter Vidmar was stripped of the honour of being chef de mission for the 2012 Olympics team by gay activists vitriol at his prominent support of marriage.
The next round of this debate must be conducted in a way that the merits of opposing views can be put forward without fear of public demonisation.
We must also ask ourselves whether the automatic default to conscience votes on difficult issues is really appropriate. The conscience vote has traditionally been for life issues, but should its use be so generally applied that in the end parties won’t have to tell us where they stand on any moral issues at elections, as if morality is a private matter with no public consequences.
It is the immorality of our legalised prostitution which drives the demand that causes some 800,000 women and girls to be trafficked across borders every year in a tragic trade netting criminals thirty two billion dollars annually. And the greed Christ taught as immoral, that drives an unfunded future debt in the West that has it caught in a spiral of immediate excessive gratification that will not only effect its own future generations, but will increase its blindness to the inexcusable inequality in a world in which those God loves die daily of starvation and preventable illness.
A conscience vote also exposes individual parliamentarians to the direct lobbying of individuals. This would be attractive if the process hadn’t been poisoned by gay activism to mean isolation by fear of public demonisation. This is a combination not helpful to democracy, but toxic for it.
But perhaps the biggest question to come out of this whole debate on marriage is for the church itself.
It must decide whether in a world replete with examples of this unreasonable gay activism using same sex marriage to relentlessly pursue the church and its very freedom to preach the Gospel it can remain silent and cowered. But more importantly, do we have the freedom to deny God’s very purpose for marriage, and if we do, what of Christ do we deny next?
The Wau Wau Sisters: Offensive show in Brisbane funded by government
· September 24, 2012 10:00 AM
Does freedom of speech include the freedom to offend? And to joke at another’s expense? Yes.
Second question – should State and Local government then fund a play that sets out to offend? No
Irreverent, sacrilegious and foul-mouthed. That is how the latest show is described featured in the Brisbane Festival. Of the finale, the sisters’ version of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper, the Courier Mail on the weekend quote the performers, “Why not re-invent one of the most infamous dinner parties on Earth with the hosts being a two-headed female Jesus?”
The Wau Wau sisters make it clear that they are not worried about offending anyone and say that their show is about freedom, tolerance and inclusion – and about having a laugh.
Queensland’s religious vilification laws ask the following question as a guideline as to whether the laws apply. Could it incite hatred (serious contempt or severe ridicule)?
Would the State or Local government ever consider funding a movie such as “The Innocence of Islam” which is currently receiving world-wide condemnation? Surely not! And rightly so. Neither should they fund this play which ridicules the Christian Messiah, Jesus Christ.
to find out more about the Brisbane Festival and the Wau Wau Sisters' show.
Persecution of Christians: Dr Patrick Sookhdeo speaking at Barnabas Fund event in Sydney
· September 24, 2012 10:00 AM
Barnabas Fund warmly invites you to attend special 'Proclaim Freedom' events in Bankstown and Parramatta, where its International Director, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo will tackle the question:
"How can we remain silent while Christians are being persecuted?"
Barnabas Fund exists to provide practical aid for the Church where Christians face persecution, discrimination or disadvantage in various countries around the world.
We encourage you to support the work of the Fund by attending this event in light of the persecution Christians face daily around the world.
Details for the events are below.
Tuesday 16 October 2012
Revesby Presbyterian Church
55 Tower Street, Revesby NSW
Wednesday 17 October 2012
St. John's Cathedral Hall
195 Church Street, Parramatta NSW
Jim Wallace & Dan Flynn attend opening of new Coptic church in Victoria
· September 19, 2012 10:00 AM
On Saturday 15 September, ACL's Managing Director Jim Wallace and ACL Victorian Director Dan Flynn were among the guests of His Grace Bishop Suriel at the grand opening of the Saint Mina & Saint Marina's Coptic Church in Hallam, Victoria. Guests included numerous Federal and State MP's and Councillors from the City of Casey.
In March 1993, the late Coptic Pope visited the site in Hallam to lay the foundation stone and famously declared that "just as our Lord Jesus Christ was born in a manger, so too we will build the church in this cattle shed".
The unrelenting efforts of the congregation has resulted in the completion of a $6 million three story church which is a prominent landmark in the City of Casey. The new church is the home parish to approximately 600 families. Many of these families have recently arrived in Melbourne after fleeing persecution in Egypt.
Father Abanoub Attalla, the Parish Priest of St Mina & St Marina, was warmly acknowledged for his pastoral leadership of the families and youth of the Coptic community in Hallam and integration of Egyptian refugees. Presenting the inaugural "Key of the City of Casey" to Bishop Suriel, the Mayor of Casey, Cr Sam Aziz praised him for his strength of leadership and example saying he had showed courage in standing “ against those whose superficial quest for so called political correctness constantly outweighs their moral integrity".
In keeping with these convictions, Bishop Suriel has been a prominent supporter of traditional marriage and recently signed a statement delivered to the Federal Parliament, together with 19 of Australia's denominational leaders and 267 other church leaders, urging the Parliament to protect the Marriage Act. The statement says:
"Marriage is the lifelong commitment and faithful union of one man and one woman. As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family because it secures the relationship between biological parents and their children."
Lyle Shelton on The Political Spot
· September 11, 2012 10:00 AM
Lyle Shelton is the ACL's Chief-of-Staff. He spoke with Daniel Simon about religious freedom, the ACL National Conference, and Julia Gillard's decision to withdraw from the conference following Jim Wallace's comments about the health risks of homosexuality.
MR: Leading UK QC warns teachers who refuse to teach gay marriage will be sacked
· September 11, 2012 10:00 AM
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has renewed its concern about the consequences of same-sex marriage after a
senior UK QC advised
that teachers could possibly be sacked for refusing to endorse it in the classroom.
An expert on religious freedom and human rights, Aidan O’Neill also advised that parents would not be able to pull their children out of lessons if they object to them being taught about gay marriage.
“It is naïve for our government to think that religious freedom would not be challenged in Australia if the definition of marriage is changed,” ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said.
Not only does Mr O’Neill mention the influence it would have on education systems, he also refers to the most serious consequence being felt within the church where vicars and priests could be taken to court if they refuse to conduct a gay marriage ceremony.
“The Government must bring this issue to a head through a vote in the Parliament next week,” Mr Wallace said.
“It is totally irresponsible for a government to create a legal vulnerability to people in the exercise of their fundamental human right of religious freedom and conscience.”
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