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Pages tagged "wallace"
ACL commends MPs who supported orphans’ rights
· September 09, 2010 10:00 AM
For release: September 9, 2010
The Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby strongly commended the minority of NSW Parliamentarians who supported the rights of orphans and children given up for adoption to a mother and father.
“Throughout history it seems propaganda has intermittently triumphed over what is right or logical”, said Jim Wallace.
“Today is such a moment, all the sadder for the issue at stake – the best interests of the most vulnerable orphaned or relinquished children.”
“This debate has been waged by the gay and lesbian activists with smart marketing strategy, the usual deception and complete disregard for anyone else’s rights” said Mr Wallace.
“The real issue here has never been, as claimed, about children in same sex families, but the right of wards of the state to expect Government to uphold the until now timeless principle, that adoption is about children, not adults. About finding mothers and fathers for children tragically denied them – not children for adults, heterosexual or homosexual.”
“The media must also accept a large part of the responsibility for this outcome. It has been totally uncritical of the gay agenda, and by that failed to expose the real issue at stake – one that would definitely not have public support outside inner city cafes,” said Jim Wallace.
“Adoption is about children.”
Mr Wallace hoped the MPs who only narrowly missed defeating this in the Lower House because of two absences, would maintain their resolve to see that the next debate on the obvious need to regulate surrogacy, would not be used to camouflage this aggressive gay agenda yet again.
“In QLD we now have surrogacy available to even a single man,” said Mr Wallace. “Clearly this should not happen; children are not pets to be had at a whim.”
“I sincerely hope that those who have shown the moral fibre so otherwise increasingly missing in the NSW Parliament at large, will continue to uphold the real best interests of the child, without being duped by this aggressive and selfish gay rights agenda.”
“It was hard to imagine the NSW Parliament sinking even lower in the average person’s esteem, demonstrating even more lack of moral authority, but this has surely done it,” he said.
The ‘Greenslide’ is a backslide into paganism
· September 02, 2010 10:00 AM
The far-left so-called environment party represents a serious threat to our way of life, warns ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace writing in the
magazine out in newsagents tomorrow. In an opinion piece which is featured on the magazine’s front cover, Jim writes:
“In recent weeks, Bob Brown has triumphantly announced a ‘Greenslide’. But it is yet another reflection of how our democracy has become determined by the highest bidder, rather than the most deserving.
The Senate race was so unequally framed that Brown was able to present the Greens, without doubt the hard left of Australian politics, as a genuine alternative to the two major parties, and to continue the deception that this party is about what is natural and is above our tainted mainstream politics.
It was an attractive argument for an electorate presented with such a negative campaign by the major parties. But even a cursory glance at the Greens, their ideology and record in politics, makes a complete mockery of any claim to genuine third party status in Australian politics.
The Senate competition between the minor parties was unequal because only the Greens could amass the cash to promote their cause via a TV campaign. Together with the abandonment of the environment as an issue by the major parties and the political football status given to refugees by the Coalition and the ALP, this made for quite an opportunity. An incredible number of people voted Green as an alternative, without any real idea of what they stand for and almost certainly little empathy for many of their incoherent policies.
This is, after all, a party that simultaneously holds policies supporting pornography and prostitution that fuel the sex trade, while all the time feigning support for women and the most vulnerable.”
To read the full article please click
, or the magazine can be purchased at newsagents for $8.95.
Jim Wallace appears on ‘Sunrise’ and ‘7PM Project’
· September 02, 2010 10:00 AM
continuing today in the NSW Lower House about Independent MP Clover Moore’s same-sex adoption bill, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace has appeared on two national television programs to explain why the legislation is not in the best interests of children.
Last night Jim appeared on Network Ten’s ‘7PM Project’ and answered questions from a panel including newsreader Carrie Bickmore and comedians Dave Hughes and Charlie Pickering on the topic. Please click
to watch the video.
This morning at 7.10 am Jim appeared on Network Seven’s ‘Sunrise’ program and took part in a debate with gay activist Rodney Croome on the topic ‘Should same-sex couples adopt?’ Please click
to watch the video.
A conscience vote on the bill is expected to be taken today in the Lower House, after debate continued late into the night yesterday. ACL’s NSW Director David Hutt watched the debate from the gallery – something which was noted by one MP, with another MP who is against the legislation quoting from an ACL letter to MPs on the topic.
It is important that Christians continue to make known to NSW parliamentarians our concerns about the legislation – which would deny adopted children the benefit and role modeling of both a mother and a father. If you live in NSW please go to our ‘Kids Rights Count’ campaign at
and let your political representatives know about your concerns with the bill. This campaign needs to continue strongly, as even if the legislation is passed by the Lower House it can still be defeated in the Upper House.
Jim Wallace post-election blog
· August 23, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Following a frenetic federal election campaign, the results are still uncertain, with the lead changing as final counting is completed and our heading for the first hung parliament Australia has experienced in 70 years.
Tony Abbott is to be congratulated on his achievement in bringing the Coalition to such a competitive position, but there will be many days of vote counting and negotiations ahead before either he or Julia Gillard will know who will lead the nation. For Christians it is an important time to pray and ask that a Godly influence be brought to bear on whichever side of politics is ultimately in a position to claim victory.
are saying, we may have to wait up to 10 days to learn whether Labor or Coalition will be able to form government with the support of independent and Greens MPs.
The outcome is certainly not predictable, even though three of the independents are in seats formerly held by the National Party and ideologically these MPs tend towards the conservative side. But all three (who in the past have had some divisions with the National Party) are making it clear that their allegiance is up in the air, and the broadband policy of both parties is sure to be a feature in negotiations with these rural independents. The new Greens MP for Melbourne, Adam Bandt, has made clear his support for Labor. The
result of voting in the West Australian seat of Hasluck could also greatly influence the outcome.
One factor that will greatly impact the character of the new parliament , although not unexpected, is what Greens’ leader Bob Brown is calling a
. The Greens will clearly hold the balance of power in the Senate from July next year, with Mr Brown claiming his party will end up holding nine seats in the Senate in total – this includes the lead candidate in NSW Lee Rhiannon (who proudly hails from a communist family) taking a Senate seat with the help of Sex Party preferences.
Obviously the Greens are relishing their increased position of power but there are some real concerns for the community here when you consider the party’s radical social agenda and their unwillingness to subject these social policies to Christian scrutiny when it came to replying to the ACL’s questions to political parties. Even in the last couple of days, the new Greens Member for Melbourne has listed support for same-sex marriage as one of his top issues, whereas this was one of the questions the Greens declined to respond to with our questionnaire.
Among other election results that may be of interest to Christians is the fact that, sadly, Liberal Senator Guy Barnett – a champion of Christian issues in Parliament over many years – appears unlikely to retain his Tasmanian seat which is tipped to go to Labor following a significant swing to Labor in that State.
Commentators are also indicating that Family First senator Steve Fielding appears likely to have lost his place, although there is a possibility that John Madigan from the socially-conservative Democratic Labor Party may pick up a Victorian Senate seat (following a Senate absence of 36 years).
Meanwhile in South Australia, two men of faith – Family First’s Bob Day and Liberals’ David Fawcett appear to be battling it out for the sixth Senate spot in that State. Elsewhere Family First hasn’t fared so well, although it has recorded a slight swing in first preferences to achieve 2.20 per cent of the vote while the Christian Democratic Party recorded 0.67 per cent.
There have also of course been many other permeations from the election results which I have not canvassed here – some of which will become clearer as counting continues.
Regardless of the final outcome, one particularly encouraging aspect of the 2010 federal election has been the willingness with which both sides of politics engaged with the Christian constituency. This is something we hope will continue as a new minority government is formed.
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Thurs Aug 19
· August 19, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
The much anticipated ‘town hall meeting’ in Brisbane between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott has again confirmed that Saturday will be a tough contest, with honours going, in most commentators view, pretty evenly.
For us the most disappointing aspect of it was to see Tony Abbott saying that the ISP filter would slow the internet down, something that trials prove is not right. It has been proven to slow it by only 1/70th of the blink of an eye.
However the purpose of today’s blog is to discuss the Senate, where it seems that the Greens are on track to hold the balance of power, something we believe is no more in the Christian interest than having parties from the far right of politics holding it like One Nation or the Citizens Electoral Council.
We have pursued this issue of the Greens’ suitability to hold the balance of power on the basis of what we believe has been a deceptive attempt to attract Christian votes, and a conviction that our non-party partisan principles do not extend to ignoring lack of truth in politics.
The reality is that the Greens attempted to mask their policies on a lot of issues of concern to Christians by simply not responding to some 18 of 24 questions in our questionnaire, despite the fact that both their formal policies and record at both state and federal level made it clear they had formal policies or parliamentary track record on them.
While there are clearly some policy positions on refugees, poverty and the environment that will be attractive to us as Christians, it is a matter for each of us to assess whether the degree of difference with other parties’ policies on these issues is enough to overlook the often anti-faith parliamentary record of the Greens, and the weight of policies in this election which are inconsistent with a faith position for most evangelical and orthodox Christians.
The Greens’ track record includes attempts to remove prayer from parliament, sponsorship and support for all manner of anti-life agendas including abortion on demand till birth, cloning, RU486 and euthanasia – almost always taking the extreme position on these issues. They blindly support the gay agenda at both state and federal level, regardless of how it conflicts with the rights of children in homosexual adoption or surrogacy for instance, and have attempted to introduce gay marriage legislation and pledged to pursue it again.
In Victoria they were responsible for causing a government review that had an objective of removing the right of churches and Christian organisations to discriminate in employment so that they can employ Christians in, for instance, Christian schools. The ACT Senate candidate confirmed only this week the stance that if you receive government funding you should not be able to discriminate in this regard.
Many of the Greens’ policies display an incredible incoherency, with for instance their stated concern for women and the environment completely at odds with their support of pornography and prostitution – two of the most obvious ways through which women are demeaned and exploited, particularly through the sex trafficking they fuel.
What then are the options?
Clearly the Coalition and the ALP have candidates in the Senate and are keen to maximise their presence there and the policy considerations are the same as for your decision in the House of Representatives.
You should never underestimate the power of influence of Senators into the parliament and government in general, with Tasmania’s Senator Guy Barnett an example of a Senator who has repeatedly influenced wider parliamentary discourse positively through parliamentary committees and other forums, including playing the key parliamentary role in securing marriage as between a man and a woman in the Marriage Act.
Helen Polley and Eric Abetz are two other Tasmanian Senators with strong Christian track records, and of course there are more in the other states.
Obviously Family First and the Christian Democratic Party will rate high in the consideration of many Christians, with both having clearly pro-family, pro-Christian policies which you can
check of the preference arrangements
will show where these parties’ preference flows will go, a consideration if you are planning to vote above the line.
But remember your vote is not wasted by voting for one of these parties, as long as you are happy with the preference flow they allocate. Remember too you can allocate them yourself by voting below the line, but missing even one square will invalidate your vote.
Both these parties have upper house parliamentary experience and have been very effective in NSW, for the CDP and SA for Family First. In addition Family First's voting record in the Federal Senate has been pretty much exemplary.
To understand Senate voting better,
view this video
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Mon Aug 16
· August 16, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Despite the disillusionment by most people at the negativity of election advertising, both major parties have made announcements in the last 48 hours that benefit family and marriage.
Julia Gillard used her campaign launch to announce an increase in Family Tax Benefit Part A that is aimed at helping parents with the additional costs of teenage children living at home and still undergoing education. The change will effectively mean that families will receive an additional $4,000 per year for each teenager in education. She said that her aim was to encourage parents to be able to encourage teenagers to stay at school and improve their education, and is an initiative that should definitely help in that regard.
On the weekend the Opposition Shadow Minister for Families Housing and Human Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews, announced that the opposition would provide a $200 voucher for couples intending to marry for use on pre-marriage training or parenting courses. They hope it will increase the take up rate of available services which they believe will help to keep families together and children from being the victims of broken families. The announcement was made at the Marriage Coalition conference, an initiative of the AFA with other family groups.
In another shot at Greens policy, the Greens were criticised by an indigenous academic for policies inconsistent with indigenous advancement. Referring particularly to their support for Qld’s wild rivers legislation, which prevents indigenous owners developing aboriginal land on the Cape,
noted: "Professor Langton said Australians who voted for the Greens because they believed they were the most sympathetic towards indigenous rights were mistaken. "The Greens party hasn't stood up on indigenous rights on the Wild Rivers Act. They either agree with indigenous rights or they don't," she said. "They can't say they are standing up on indigenous rights and support the denial of the right to economic development.""
Federal Labor was also supportive of the Qld legislation with only Tony Abbott committing to oppose it.
Family First’s Qld Senate Candidate Wendy Francis also had criticism for the Greens in committing to support the fishing industry and recreational fishing if elected. Referring to the fishing industry around Cairns in particular she said: "the Greens don’t care about them and the minor fishing parties are too small to realistically be able to do anything."
I am certainly sympathetic to the Greens position on both these issues from a stewardship point of view, but again, it is a matter of whether their policies are showing the necessary balance as their critics are highlighting.
An interesting day, but Labor may have won the last Monday of the election with an additional $4,000pa per teenager.
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Sun Aug 15
· August 15, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
The acknowledgement by Julia Gillard that the general
dissatisfaction with State Labor governments is hurting Federal Labor
should send a strong message to all parties that they cannot afford to confuse their brand name.
While state party organisations are usually very autonomous, it is inevitable that voters will not make this distinction and perhaps even important that parties are made to show more consistency across the jurisdictions.
Certainly Christians in Victoria and Qld have seen state Labor governments introduce, propose or test a number of legislative initiatives that have offended them. The list between just these two states ranges over even late term abortion, surrogacy for two men or even a single man, and threats to the right of churches and church bodies to discriminate on employment.
In NSW we are now facing a state Labor Government in its death throes looking to legalise homosexual adoption, and remove the long established status of scripture in schools, by introducing competing programmes.
Wherever they have been present, the Greens have invariably played a key role in the championing of this type of legislation – a role very important to take into consideration given the consequences for many Christian moral concerns should they hold the balance of power in the Senate.
But the Coalition does not have a clean slate either, with the WA Barnett government, dragging its heels on what was a clear election promise to fully investigate the Swedish model for controlling prostitution – a system which criminalises the purchasers of sex, rather than its real victims, the sex workers.
Brand name is important, we shouldn’t excuse state / federal inconsistencies too easily, but instead demand of all parties that they set a national standard on the highest party performance in terms of policies, values and conduct.
In further confirmation of their anti-marriage agenda, the Greens have this weekend announced that they will be
seeking to force a conscience vote on gay marriage
within the first year of the new parliament – one of the 18 issues they failed to be honest with Christian electors with on our
While some Christians may place other issues higher in their reckoning, this, together with the history of the Greens legislative agenda in state parliaments mentioned above, should have us all looking at the alternatives in the Senate. There is a broad field including the major parties, Family First and the CDP – a good reason to start studying if you haven’t already, the parties’ responses to our
on this site.
Over the last days of this campaign I will draw your attention to some of the policy differences between the parties and also comment more on the all important race for the Senate.
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Sat Aug 14
· August 14, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Today’s revelation that the Coalition now trails Labor on a two party preferred basis may say more about the style of this campaign than anything else.
Modern politics has become a 24/7 media event and at no time is that more so than during an election campaign. The result is that party strategists adopt an approach that minimises the risk of losing, rather than strategising to win – the concern always being that a media gaff might derail their candidate’s campaign.
Unfortunately we, the voters, are invariably the losers in this. The often stilted performance by candidates more concerned to hide their real selves than project them, leaves you and I none the wiser about who they are or what they stand for. It has effectively neutralised leadership and the contending claims on what should be statesmanship, as a major factor in the election, and particularly between the two leaders of the major parties.
Ms Gillard clearly identified at the end of last week that this approach was taking her nowhere and it was reflected in the polls that put the Coalition ahead. The press at the time was full of: “Who is the real Julia?” However she is widely reported as having decided to put her minders advice aside and run on her intuition.
This has clearly paid dividends and it is now only to be hoped that, in the interests of giving us real choice, Tony Abbott will do the same.
Julia Gillard is well known for her charm and warmth by those close to her, but equally anyone who knows Tony Abbott knows that he has the refreshingly attractive quality for voters of exuding “what you see is what you get.” For Christians of course there is the added attraction of a strong Catholic faith.
If he too decides that coming off the ropes in the last round means its more up to him and his intuition than the advice of minders, we could yet have the close election we were promised.
Jim Wallace begins daily election blog, reaffirms ACL purpose
· August 12, 2010 10:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_2173" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jim Wallace"]
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
I am back in Canberra after time on the trail from Melbourne to Wellington (NSW ) and Perth over the last week and with a computer down! However I now plan to blog this page at least once a day in the lead up to the election.
I feel it is necessary to reaffirm the purpose of ACL in this election and something of how we seek to go about that – a purpose consistent with our vision and mission.
We see our mission at ACL as to bring Christ’s influence into Government and work at both federal and state level to do that and even sometimes into councils.
Wanting to influence government we are non-party partisan, because a consistent Christian influence cannot be achieved if we, or the church, allows itself to be captured by one side or the other, or worse still decides that God is a card carrying member of any particular party.
You might be thinking that we have been very outspoken on the Greens of late, but our non-party partisanship does not extend to denying truth, we reserve the right to be critical of any policies with which we disagree from any party and of any deception in the political process.
The Greens failure to declare their known anti-Christian policies in responses to the
, while only answering questions they thought appealed to Christians was deception, it was a failure of truth in the political process and could not be let go unchallenged.
But our main business as a Lobby is to secure those policies from all parties that will make government after the election more Godly, more Christian.
The political process is responsive to the Christian constituency because it realises that it is a large one and its political effect can be felt throughout Australia to varying degrees. Despite the claims of some commentators, politics is wise enough to recognise that there is more that unites this constituency than divides it and at election time we are not voting about theological differences – that’s for bishops' crooks at twenty paces at other times!
At elections ACL conducts Make it Count events, inviting both the Leader and the Opposition Leader to put their case and to answer questions from denominational and other para-church leaders to both ensure the Christian constituency knows who it is choosing between, and also to impress on the political system that this is a very large, committed and engaged electorate. The level of Christian leadership involvement and church participation in either the physical or webcast audience, has invariably proved this, and in a way that few others can.
At the same time elections provide a heightened sensitivity to constituent demands or concerns. We shouldn’t be cynical about this, it is the reality of the democratic process and provides an opportunity to secure undertakings from politics.
As a Lobby we do this, first through direct approaches to parties between and before elections, but also through the ACL election questionnaires – the responses to which are now physically available in booklet form in over 5000 churches around Australia and of course
on this website
However in the ebb and flow of the election campaign, opportunities arise to either extract or strengthen undertakings from the parties.
This opportunity presented itself last week, in two areas where we felt Labor’s commitments fell short of what Christians would want and we saw scope to improve them– marriage and chaplaincy.
We had had a longstanding invitation to the PM to provide an interview with me, to replace the now irrelevant address given by Kevin Rudd at the Make it Count event with Mr Abbott only days before he was deposed. There is little doubt that the discussion about the PM’s atheism that occurred during and before that week, made her keen to engage the constituency and particularly to strengthen their appeal to Christians – again, you can be cynical, but for me, democracy in action.
I flew to Melbourne and conducted
, which I hope you have all watched. We had proposed and honoured the protocol that we would give her an opportunity to introduce herself to the constituency, ask the same questions we did of Tony Abbott on the night, but reserve the right to ask follow on questions. We also made it clear we were particularly concerned to strengthen their commitments on marriage, chaplaincy and the sexualisation of society.
In the event this interview elicited commitments on all three, but I am particularly pleased that it not only achieved a commitment to chaplaincy, but to retaining its faith base.
Now in the interest of being non-partisan, it is very important to say that the Coalition’s positions on all these three were unequivocal from the start and attractive to Christians. While there are still differences in the party policies, we certainly did not have to approach the Coalition to make them more attractive.
As for the leaders' addresses, it is equally important that you now view both. Julia Gillard declares her atheism honestly, but also her high regard for people of faith and her appreciation of the role of the church. Tony Abbott’s address makes his faith and its importance to him clear, as he does its importance to Western civilisation. I found Julia Gillard a very engaging and warm individual and, as I always have, Tony Abbott equally engaging and one of the most refreshingly forthright of politicians.
You have everything here in their performances and the parties’ replies to help you form your opinion.
Tomorrow we will talk more about developments.
Conservative Christian? Make that ‘radical’
· August 11, 2010 10:00 AM
Writing in the August/September edition of
Magazine, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace challenges concepts that Christians are rather conservative.
Below is the first part of the article. To read the full article please go to pages 10-12 of the free digital
magazine by clicking
CONSERVATIVE, WOWSERS, KILLJOYS, OUTDATED…these are just some of the words often used to put down Christians who seek to put forward their views and influence society.
Not too long ago Greens’ Senator Sarah Hanson-Young used two of these terms to try to disparage both Australia’s former Prime Minister and Opposition Leader for what she sees as their Christian viewpoint.
“Unfortunately we have both major parties led by conservative men who have outdated views, ideological views on this issue,” Ms Hanson-Young told ABC radio during yet another Greens’ push to get gay marriage legalised in Australia (thankfully a highly unsuccessful push).
It’s a good tactic of course – using labels to put down your opponents and to try to appear progressive and forward-thinking. With many other Christian organisations and church spokespeople, the Australian Christian Lobby is on the receiving end of this kind of tactic all the time.
But the ironic thing is that if you take a considered look at the role of Christians in history and as a countercultural force in society today, you will find that Christians are far from ‘conservative’ and are, in fact, the real ‘radicals’.
The Christian church itself began as a persecuted minority movement, many of whose leaders were unjustly imprisoned, tortured and executed for their faith – and for going against the will of the ‘establishment’.
As we look back through history, we see that it was Christianity that challenged the pagan nature of Rome and Greece over such practices as infanticide, abortion and gladiatorial sports, and gradually – sometimes spectacularly – brought about change.
It was Christian campaigners, motivated by their faith, who worked to institute public hospitals, public schooling, the Red Cross, and hospices for orphans and the poor – all radical changes when first introduced.
There are countless other examples of Christians who fought against accepted societal norms – the conservative position - to bring about far-reaching change which still impacts our lives today.
Take, for example, the great campaign against slavery in Britain which was based on the activism of socially aware Christians in the Clapham Sect working together with politicians, and is best remembered through the work of William Wilberforce.
This campaign developed into a wide reform program which included prison reform, educational provision, an end to repressive government of the colonies, animal welfare, and upholding the rights of Indigenous people in the British colonies.
Then there was the English statesman and devout Christian, Lord Shaftesbury, who attended Wilberforce’s funeral in 1833 and himself went on to become a great social reformer. As a Member of Parliament he was successful in changing working conditions in the factories that powered Britain’s Industrial Revolution and thereby alleviating injustices such as the employment of women and children in coal mines, and young boys as chimney sweeps.
to read more (pages 10-12 of
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