A religious freedom bill introduced by NSW MP Mark Latham is “long overdue and will help to safeguard freedom and faith,” according to Christian advocacy group FamilyVoice Australia.
“FamilyVoice Australia urges all NSW political parties to allow debate and a conscience vote on Mark Latham’s freedom bill that is long overdue and will help to safeguard freedom and faith,” said FamilyVoice spokesman Greg Bondar.
“The bill is based on the recommendations of the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review that is yet to see any legislative outcome,” he said.
Mark Latham’s bill is designed to amend anti-discrimination legislation to protect the expression of religious belief or activity. Currently, anti-discrimination protections in NSW beyond relate to citizenship, gender, sexuality, race, disability, etc but not religious faith. The bill is currently under review in the NSW Parliament.
The Latham bill is critical for all NSW Australians in the wake of the recent decision in which the anti-discrimination board rejected a complaint filed by serial litigant Gary Burns.
“We support Latham’s move to require the President of the Anti-Discrimination Board to reject claims that are frivolous, vexatious, misconceived or unsubstantial,” Greg Bondar said.
“But we also want a rejection of cases that are clearly money-grabbing.”
In a recent rejection of the action against Israel Folau by Gary Burns, the Anti-Discrimination Board rightly threw out the case as vexatious since it was founded on a collateral purpose, as a means to pressure the respondent to settle.
“Since money-grabbing cases should not be considered by the Anti-Discrimination Board, its President must be required by black letter law to refuse such cases,” Greg Bondar said.
“While FamilyVoice Australia does not approve of the use of anti-discrimination remedies to alleged instances of injustice, and although it does not support the use of quasi-judicial tribunals, any reform of their process is welcomed.
“Anti-discrimination legislation is a fundamentally flawed approach to handling the healthy tensions that arise in society as people engage in dialogue.
“However, while such tribunals and processes persist, their reform, as far as can possibly be achieved, is needed.
The Christian and conservative communities of NSW have been the victims of the current process which has been used as a political weapon by progressive left-wing dominated ideological opponents to natural law."
“The people of NSW welcome Mark Latham’s amendments which will ensure that only complaints of genuine discrimination are heard by the Board” added Greg Bondar
FamilyVoice confirms its support and will urge the NSW government and the Opposition parties to support Latham’s bill ensuring that the Anti-Discrimination Act is a true and fair reflection of the remedies available against discrimination rather than a platform for political anti-Christian activists.
Further Details: Greg Bondar NSW State Director – 0411 854 115
A city council in the US state of Mississippi has issued a new order that lifts the city’s unconstitutional ban on drive-in church services during the coronavirus crisis.
It comes after legal action by Alliance Defending Freedom representing the local church.
According to ADF, the church voluntarily withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order against the city Wednesday after the Greenville council’s decision.
The legal action against the council had the support of the US Department of Justice.
The US Department of Justice had filed a Statement of Interest in support of a church in Mississippi that held parking lot worship services.
“The City of Greenville fined congregants $500 per person for attending these parking lot services – while permitting citizens to attend nearby drive-in restaurants, even with their windows open. The City appears to have thereby singled churches out as the only essential service (as designated by the state of Mississippi) that may not operate despite following all CDC and state recommendations regarding social distancing,” said US Attorney-General William Barr before the order was reversed.
“As we explain in the Statement of Interest, where a state has not acted even-handedly, it must have a compelling reason to impose restrictions on places of worship and must ensure that those restrictions are narrowly tailored to advance its compelling interest. While we believe that during this period there is a sufficient basis for the social distancing rules that have been put in place, the scope and justification of restrictions beyond that will have to be assessed based on the circumstances as they evolve.”
According to the ADF:
The lawsuit came about after members of Temple Baptist Church drove to the church’s parking lot on a Wednesday night and stayed in their cars, as the church instructed, with their windows rolled up while listening to Pastor Arthur Scott preach a sermon over a low-power FM radio frequency from a microphone inside the empty church building. Despite the fact that no one left their cars, which numbered fewer than 20, eight uniformed police officers arrived at the service and issued tickets of $500 per person for violating the mayor’s ban.
“Public officials are right to care about public health and safety during the coronavirus crisis, but they are wrong when they treat churches more harshly than others in government orders related to it,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker.
“We commend Greenville for dropping its unconstitutional ban, which prohibited drive-in church services but allowed similar types of activities, such as eating at drive-in restaurants. That overreaching ban wasn’t necessary to protect health and safety. It only served to unnecessarily violate Americans’ freedoms protected by the First Amendment.”
ANZAC Day is the principle memorial occasion in our national life. Perhaps this year it will resonate across the nation in an even deeper way than usual.
The ANZAC legend and the values associated with the early ‘diggers’ have been a guiding light to successive generations of service personnel and the entire nation. In difficult times, when we go looking for that underlying sense of who we are as a nation, when what is needed is the willingness to make sacrifices for others, we earth back to the spirit of ANZAC.
ANZAC Day reminds us of our history and of how our identity was formed, not through victory in battle, but through perseverance and mateship under extreme conditions.
This year is poignant because the coronavirus reminds us of the 1918 Spanish Flu that spread across the globe as soldiers returned from the conflict in Europe. What a terrible irony that some would survive such horror only to die from influenza.
Perhaps no more characteristic of the spirit of ANZAC is the quote from Scripture “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (NIV) (John 15:13). The quote originally referred to Jesus giving himself to save the world from its own sins. It was easily borrowed when the ANZACS engaged in a conflict against forces intent on destroying the ideals of life and freedom so central to Western democracy and its Judeo-Christian ethical foundation.
The developments in armaments were to transform battle into unthinkable carnage. The price paid in sons and daughters in that war and all since is certainly deserving of this memorial day in reverie, “lest we forget”. May it cause us all to consider what the suffering was for and what our defense personnel have been defending for over a century now – this privileged way of life.
The association of wartime sacrifices with the symbol of Christ’s death are very strong in our tradition. The fact is that it’s not in our nature to honour either their sacrifice or His with our every breath and deed. How thankful I am that the message of Christ is of the faultless dying for the ungrateful and unworthy.
For me, the Sunday morning walk to the Communion rail is a ‘lest we forget’ moment – when sorrow at my selfishness will give way in wonder at Christ’s immense love and forgiveness. The Bread and the Wine break the silence like Reveille, lest we forget that the sacrifice of Christ did not end in death. With Him and in Him we are awakened to the gift of our Risen Saviour – the sure and certain hope of life that triumphs over death forever.
Finally, here at FamilyVoice Australia we are encouraging families, Sunday schools and students to explore the often-overlooked meaning of Anzac Day, with its strongly Christian symbolism.
Please click here to enjoy our Anzac Day resources.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has capitulated to the demands of transgender activists and refused to call an inquiry into experimental gender treatments on children.
“It is important we have a nationally consistent standard of care that is evidence-based and with appropriate safeguards to protect the interests of the patient,” a spokesman for Mr Hunt told The Sunday Age.
Without evidence, the spokesman went on to claim that “in recognition of the risks of further harm to young people, the government does not intend to establish a national inquiry on this matter.”
The reality is that a national inquiry will not do harm to young people confused about their gender. The real harm that is taking place is the risky gender medical treatments on children which have life-changing consequences.
In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of teenagers being treated for gender dysphoria.
Research has found that most children who are confused about their gender accept their bodies at later stages of development.
There is also a growing movement of former “transgender” individuals who are “reverting” to living as their biological gender, known as “detransitioners”.
Highlighting the experimental nature of gender treatments on children, The Sunday Age reported Mr Hunt’s spokesman as saying that the government is considering funding research on the long-term outcomes for young people with gender dysphoria.
Instead of conducting an open and transparent inquiry to determine long-term outcomes, the Health Minister will select a body to develop a treatment framework that will bolster the non-evidence-based approach that is contributing to the explosion in high risk procedures.
This resource is designed to help students and families understand the largely forgotten spirituality that is at the basis of Anzac Day commemorations which are held each year on 25th April.
This lesson highlights several Christian elements that are foundational to Anzac Day commemorations (including the bugle calls, Rising Sun Badge and flag ceremony). It promotes the Ode of Remembrance along with the “Greater love” saying of Christ and the patriotic song God Bless Australia.
Get ready to play these YouTube video clips:
Print Commemorating Anzac Day.
Print the Anzac Day crossword and obtain safety pins and sprigs of rosemary. During the lesson (or at another time) Anzac biscuits may be baked.
Give each person a sprig of rosemary and a safety pin, so it may be worn near the left shoulder. Run the two videos to provide historic and contemporary reflections on the Anzac tradition. Recite the “Greater love” statement of Christ, using the time-honoured King James Bible version:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)
Invite everyone to repeat that quotation, in turn (emphasising the tongue’s placement for “hath”). Recite the Ode of Remembrance (dating from WWI), then repeat it with everyone echoing each line:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. Lest we forget.
Highlight aspects from the resource: Commemorating Anzac Day.
Have someone read this statement using a loud and authoritative voice, as a prelude to inviting everyone to tackle the crossword - using a pencil to write in capital letters for maximum neatness:
Anzac Day is held on 25th April to honour all our military personnel. Among them was John Simpson, who (with his donkey) rescued wounded soldiers at Gallipoli (a battlefield in Turkey), exemplifying the “Greater love” words of Christ, recorded in the Gospel of John (the Fourth Gospel). Australian soldiers carry a rifle with a bayonet, and wear the slouch hat (decorated by emu feathers) with upturned brim affixed by the Rising Sun Badge (with the Crown of King Edward the Confessor on which is the cross). Anzac Day is highlighted by the wearing of sprigs of rosemary (a herb associated with remembrance), enjoying Anzac biscuits and watching the clash of AFL traditional rivals Essendon and Collingwood.
Families, schools, Sunday School groups, youth groups and churches may enjoy making Anzac biscuits (that originally were called Soldiers’ Biscuits), perhaps using the following recipe from Wikipedia, that reproduces an original recipe provided by Bob Lawson, an ANZAC present at the Gallipoli landing.
Makes about 35 biscuits.
Services at dawn [or mid-morning] traditionally commemorate Anzac Day using the following timings, depending on where the observers reside. These Dawn Service and mid-morning service timings relate to Adelaide, where the sun rises on Anzac Day at about 6:58 am:
6:30 [10:30] Lower the flag to "half - mast", followed by hymns, prayers and any reflection;
6:58 [10:58] Recite the Ode of Remembrance (with the last line echoed) as the sun rises;
6:59 [10:59] Play The Last Post bugle call - as the instruction to soldiers to sleep (at night or in death); 7:00 [11:00] Keep one minute of silence - denoting dead soldiers asleep;
7:01 [11:01] Play The Rouse bugle call, instructing soldiers to rise from sleep and death [raise the flag]; 7:02 [11:02] Quote the words "Lest we forget" (echoed by everyone present);
7:03 [11:03] Sing (or listen) to the playing of the National Anthems of Australia and New Zealand.
|6:58 Adelaide||6:10 Brisbane||6:35 Canberra||6:53 Darwin|
|6:54 Hobart||6:55 Melbourne||6:44 Perth||6:25 Sydney|
The Order of Proceedings (above) can be adjusted to suit the timing of the sunrise Dawn service times depending on where you live.
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