Your Guide to Current Issues on Family, Life and Society

Roger Cook

FamilyVoice Australia is deeply disappointed that WA Health Minister Roger Cook announced a euthansia bill and pro-euthanasia expert panel.

The panel's so-called “community consultation” will rely on incomplete and flawed research as the Sanderson End of Life Choices report which fails to mention data on overseas experiences such as in Oregon, USA.

"A government that sends an inherently conflicting message that doctors can both kill and care for vulnerable dying patients is fundamentally not to be trusted," said WA State Director Darryl Budge.

"Mr Cook fails to realise that doctors will not have a legal obligation to follow through with high quality palliative care.

"Furthermore, doctors themselves will most likely choose the path of least cost and encourage patients towards assisted killing.

"WA already has an above average suicide rate, recording 15.8 suicides per 100,000 people, compared with 12.6 nationally, in ABS figures released in September.

"Data from Oregon shows the suicide rate has climbed steadily since euthanasia was legalized in 1997 and in 2016 was 5% higher than the national average."

For all media enquiries, please contact Darryl Budge on 0468 454 507

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By Darryl Budge

A new study on a 12,000-person dataset by the Institute for Family Studies has found that the happiest married people are faithful to one partner.

This is the first study to examine whether sexual history impacted the quality of marriages. Other studies have found that those who marry as virgins have the lowest divorce rates.

The study found that 71% of men and 64% of women with one lifetime sexual partner were “very happy” in their marriages. This slid below 65% of men and 60% of women who had 2 or more lifetime sexual partners.


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The results of the IFStudies.org study show a dramatic decline in marital happiness for those with two or more lifetime sexual partners.

Why should we be surprised by this? Detaching sex from marriage, and committed lifelong love from sex, has been hurting people for thousands of years. Eventually we must confront reality – something which no study or philosophy can reverse.

Moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt (who is not a Christian) has observed in his book The Happiness Hypothesis, “True love exists, I believe, but it is not—cannot be—passion that lasts forever. True love, the love that undergirds strong marriages, is simply strong companionate love, with some added passion, between two people who are firmly committed to each other.”

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This graph of the U.S. General Social Study dataset shows the number of people with one sexual partner has declined dramatically over the last 100 years.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13 that "love is not self-seeking... it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

God's Word also warns in Proverbs 6:32 that immorality is self-destructive: "He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself."

"Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body," says 1 Corinthians 6:18.

There is no running from reality.

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FamilyVoice Australia is concerned that 600 schools across the nation are receiving anti-bullying training from the Project Rockit organisation that (according to The Australian, 24/10/18) is a group that has an “active role in sexuality and gender politics”.

The group runs workshops in primary and secondary schools to tackle bullying online and in schools. Founded by Melbourne sisters Lucy and Rosie Thomas 12 years ago, the organisation has influenced more than 200,000 students.

“Schools considering this program should firstly obtain the permission of parents, since classrooms exist to serve mums and dads in their natural role to train and educate children,” said FamilyVoice National Secretary David d'Lima.

“Parents should be concerned that their children are being exposed to programs whose leaders hold behaviours and philosophies contrary to what parents may want for their children.”

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Perhaps the answer is that Western civilisation was emerging from a time when children were still regarded as chattel – to be seen and not heard, not to be spoilt or doted upon because some childhood disease might snatch them away and leave us with an unliveable grief. 

Whatever the reason, the National Apology holds us to account - children must be loved and protected. Sorry is not enough, nor is an institutional response if it does not spring from a new national appreciation of the preciousness of every child no matter how young, how foreign, how unwanted, how naughty or nice, whether born or unborn. This moment must not be lost to politics or ideology. We must seize it while our hearts are illuminated with humility. 

The Prime Minister repeated the comment that this apology was being made in humility.  At this time it is as if the crimes committed are beyond forgiveness. These crimes must be paid for. The children must be compensated. The perpetrators must be punished.  These were crimes against humanity – powerful adults preying upon powerless children. This was predatory. This was merciless. This was totally indefensible. Inhuman.  

This is a moment for institutions to strengthen their codes of conduct, to reduce the opportunity for abuse and to compensate victims.  As we implement the National Redress Scheme we will reflect upon the value of every child, or anyone else who is unable to defend themselves.  We will weigh up the cost to society of turning a blind eye or a deaf ear. We will search for the moral strength, for the social commitment to ensure it never happens again. If we will allow it, this can be a moral watershed for the nation.

When the grieving time has lessened sufficiently for other conversations, we may ask if there are any other situations remotely like this?  Are we collectively allowing anything else that we will profoundly regret in days to come? Are we dehumanising someone else and in the process dehumanising ourselves? In this moment of illumination, other memories may be standing in the shadows of our minds, some personal, and some collective. 

And how much better our private lives and public conversation would be if the silent witnesses were not there?  And they can be sent away but not without a name, the light of truth, personal humility and willingness to make our peace with God and Man and to fix what can be fixed. Dare we use this moment in time to make peace with someone, especially someone in our own families that we may have offended? 

Imagine a gentle flood of reconciliation moving across our land, bringing grace and forgiveness to families and communities as a heartfelt response to the suffering of so many children in our institutions. Their suffering would not be in vain.   

Join 3000 Australians in our Cleanfeed Campaign for safer internet for young Australians: https://familyvoice.org.au/cleanfeed/cleanfeed-campaign

 

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Reflecting upon the Centenary of Armistice Day, 11th November 2018.

The impact of World War One on our young nation was huge and is still being felt today. Australia was a very Christian nation in the early Nineteen hundreds. There had been some large spiritual revivals, the churches were full and there was an expectancy of a glorious future ahead.  And then came the Great War… 

The Population of Australia at the outbreak of the Great War was about 4.5 million. (In the Census year 1911 the popuation was 4.45 million.)

330,000 young men went to war and 2,500 women served in the field as nurses. 

60,000 young soldiers lost their lives and of the nearly 272,000 Australians who survived the war, 170,000 suffered from wounds or illness.

In 1938, there were still 77,000 incapacitated soldiers and 180,000 dependants still on pensions. 

Every family, every town and community endured years of grief and loss and the nation carried the cost of war pensions and care of the incapacitated.

The impact on the family life and faith of the nation was very deep. The psychological impact - what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) greatly affected private and family life. Returned soldiers generally kept silent about their war-time experiences. They did not or could not talk about their sense of loss - not just of mates, or health but of confidence in political and religious leadership.  They would resort to their local RSL where other returned soldiers understood their silence. 

Many of those killed had been active members of churches. Many who survived ceased to attend church or engage in social life. It was hard to explain the Great War as a triumph of good over evil.  Some chose to redirect their energy toward a more humanitarian approach – to doing some social good as evident in the growth of Legacy and other service organisations. 

The issues that had engulfed the world were not resolved by the Great War. The Great Depression soon followed with high unemployment and men separated again from their families in search of work. All too soon the world was once again at war.

There is a strong case for the view that the Christian Church lost faith too. Certainly their hope for a better world arising from Christian mission and revivalism had not occurred. The formal training institutions were soon producing church leaders more focused on the social gospel. 

The loss of faith that we see today is in some ways the result of what happened one hundred years ago. Back then, it was silent and personal. Now it is strident and public. A common cultural narrative now is that those wars were follies. They were fought to defend Western Imperialism (and Christianity) which is now viewed by revisionists as a primary reason for all that’s wrong in the world. There is a selective blindness to the horrors of Communism, Fascism and other religious cultures. 

The reality is that Christians are susceptible to the political and ideological narratives of their time. This is a powerful reason why we use Scripture as the final authority for what we believe and how we live – not just in terms of personal faith but also in terms of public faith – the causes we support and the way we spend our time and money.  

Our current conflicts are more ideological than military but their impact can be painful and divisive. The role of Scripture is as vital as ever in this age of fake news and false science.  Let’s end this reflection in prayer together.

Our Father in Heaven, as we remember that it is one hundred years since the end of the First World War on Sunday 11th November, we pray the nations will rediscover Christ as the Prince of Peace. 

We pray for older Australians who still remember the impact of the loss and grief upon their family. 

We pray for world leaders - that they will be sobered by reflecting upon the Great War and resolve to be people of peace and good faith.

We pray for our nation, that we will not squander the privileges of peace. We pray for those in our parliaments - that they will not allow the desire for political advantage to hinder what is best for our Nation and our States. 

We pray for your church in this nation. We pray you will help us reach all generations and people of all ethnic and cultural communities with the Gospel of Christ.

We pray especially for the younger generations, remembering that those who served in the Great War were once young too and full of prospects. Help them Father to hear your call and to find You as their Saviour and Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Source: National Australian Archive ( http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/snapshots/shell-shocked/index.aspx