gender symbols

A Tasmanian bill which would allow parents to refuse to list a child’s gender on their birth certificate has been deferred until March next year.

If the legislation were to be passed, persons 16 or older will also be able to legally change their gender on their birth certificate by simply filling out a statutory declaration.

Before and during the plebiscite, we were told repeatedly that there would be no adverse consequences to redefining marriage. And yet, just a year after removing gender from marriage, LGBT activists are seeking to remove gender from society altogether.

The good news is we still have time to fight this radical Tasmanian proposal!

action

Your URGENT action is needed to preserve religious freedom in Australia.

FamilyVoice Australia is deeply concerned about the proposals in the ALP-sponsored private Bill to amend the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 currently being debated in the Senate (watch LIVE here for updates). 

The Bill will remove some clauses which have previously provided protection for Christian organisations to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Law Professor and popular legal commentator Neil Foster points out that the Bill, which started out as an agreed measure to stop religious schools from expelling gay students on the basis of their “orientation” alone, “has a number of other serious consequences for religious freedom, not only for schools but for churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious organisations (such as, for example, University student ministries.)”

The Coalition have 30 senators. Labor have 26 and the Greens have 9. This means Labor and the Greens represent 35 votes and all bills only need 38 votes to get it passed. Hence we would need 8 of the remaining 10 cross bench senators to oppose the bill for it to be blocked in the senate.

ACTION: Write to your Senators NOW to ask that they reject Labor's dangerous Sex Discrimination Bill, which would rip apart religious freedom across Australia. Or at the very least, they should pass the government’s recommended amendments to the bill.

A sample email template is provided below courtesy of popular Christian blogger Akos Balogh. Click here for a helpful “contact page” which allows emails to be sent to Senators on the Parliament house website.

Points that could be made include:

  • No religious schools want to be able to expel same sex attracted students on the grounds of their sexual orientation alone.
  • However, the current ALP-sponsored Bill goes far beyond dealing with this problem, and will seriously reduce the religious freedom of religious schools to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.
  • The Bill is also so widely framed that it removes protections for all “religious bodies” in relation to “education”, and this has the potential to make it unlawful for churches, mosques and synagogues to teach the doctrines of their faith to their own members.
  • It would be best if legislation was not rushed through at the last minute. Parliament should wait until the Ruddock Report has been released and there is time for careful consideration and consultation before making any amendments in this area.

Dear Senator [x],

I hope you are well.

I am a [INSERT YOUR STATE] voter, and am writing to express my deep concern about the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018.

I understand the motivation behind the Bill (namely, to prevent students being expelled from religious schools merely on the basis of their sexuality).

However, these are the reasons why I think it is not a solution to public perceptions and concern about the expulsion of gay students from Christian schools.

1) Current public discussion has been built on a lie – faith-based schools have made it clear that students are not being expelled simply on the basis of their sexual orientation. Even the initial media reporting on the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock report (from the likes of the SMH) did not allege that students were or had been expelled merely for being gay.

2) However, the current ALP-sponsored Bill goes far beyond dealing with this problem, and will seriously reduce the religious freedom of religious schools to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.

3) The removal of section 38(3) will remove religious freedom protections for the ‘provision of education’ – having far broader impact than has been claimed.

4) The Bill is also so widely framed that it removes protections for all “religious bodies” in relation to “education”, and this has the potential to make it unlawful for churches, mosques and synagogues to teach the doctrines of their faith to their own members.

5) It would be best if legislation was not rushed through at the last minute. Parliament should wait until the Ruddock Report has been released and there is time for careful consideration and consultation before making any amendments in this area.

6) International law to which Australia is a signatory recognises religious freedom as a fundamental human right and accords it the highest possible protection - not just to holding a belief but expressing that belief, including through the establishment of schools based on those beliefs.

Please consider the legal issue outlined, in the following blogposts from Associate Professor Neil Foster, faculty of Law at Newcastle University:

https://lawandreligionaustralia.blog/2018/12/01/government-amendments-to-religious-schools-bill/
https://lawandreligionaustralia.blog/2018/11/29/alp-bill-on-religious-schools-and-students/

In summary: there are enormous weaknesses with the Bill as it stands – and the government amendments are still problematic. If there is no urgent crisis that needs to be addressed, then why rush this Bill through Parliament? Why not wait until the Ruddock Report has been fully released?

Yours sincerely,
[Insert your name and home address]

gender 800

The Left has always been underhanded with its use of language.

For a long time, Left-wing social reconstructionists have understood the power of words in attractively packaging political ideologies detrimental to the wellbeing of society and the freedoms that we enjoy.  One obvious example is the frequent use of the deceptive phrase “marriage equality” rather than “homosexual marriage.”

As the gender confusion movement is founded on the basis of the lie that there are more than two genders, it feels the need to police those who bring biological reality back into the public conversation.

This is where two trendy terms “misgendering” and “deadnaming” – which, of late, are being used as weapons in the cultural Marxists’ efforts to hijack language -  come into the game.

Earlier this week, in an effort to further crackdown on free speech, Twitter banned “misgendering” and “deadnaming.”

“Misgendering” is when someone refers to another using a pronoun associated with that person’s real gender and not their fake gender. 

According to GenderTerror.com:

Intentionally misgendering someone is an attack. Our genders and identities are constantly up for debate and misgendering a trans* person is a reminder of that. Misgendering us is a reminder that our identities are considered fragile, something to be bent and broken to the will of the cis people who wish to abuse us. When someone cannot get to us, they go in through our hearts and our minds. They dig deep. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can leave just as permanent scars. This includes something such as perpetual misgendering and denial of one’s self.

Not surprisingly, the gender confusion movement paints itself out to be the victim when, in reality, it is the perpetrator punishing dissenters who refuse to be coerced into using approved “transgender” speak.

How about “deadnaming”?  That’s when a person who is confused about their gender is called by the name they were given at birth instead of the name that is associated with their new fake gender. 

The Huffington Post, an unashamed gender-confusion-peddling tabloid, claims that “deadnaming a trans person is violence.”

Hearing or seeing one’s old name can induce a visceral sense of terror that no matter how much progress one makes in their transition, the person they used to be (or pretended to be) is still there.

If it were just cultural policing of these “offences” that would be bad enough.  But more concerning is that the gender confusion movement is seeking to co-opt the state into policing truth and undermining our right to free speech through the invention and manipulation of language.

As George Orwell wrote in the classic manifesto 1984, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”

In the face of such a hostile and ruthless movement we must remain strong and continue to speak truth to power.

voting melb

The voters of Victoria have a momentous opportunity this Saturday to rid the State (and the nation) of truly wretched euthanasia legislation. The current law is due to come into effect next year, but it will be repealed if enough pro-life candidates are elected.

Since the major parties tend to treat the life issues (such as abortion and euthanasia) as conscience votes, it is imperative that voters choose candidates, not major parties, when voting. The major parties have some candidates who are pro-euthanasia and others who are pro-life.

Your careful and considered vote on Saturday could make all the difference.

Candidates we understand to be pro-life include the following:

FOR THE LOWER HOUSE (THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY):

ALP: Anthony Carbines, John Eren, Marlene Kairouz, James Merlino, Tim Richardson, Natalie Suleyman.

Australian Liberty Alliance: Siobhann Brown.Democratic Labour Party: Arthur Bablis, Victor Bennett, Jennifer Bowden, Kathryn Breakwell, Stephen Campbell, Dermot Connors, Fi Fraser, Liz Freeman, Sami Greiss, Nathan Keen, Des Kelly, Leon Kofmansky, Helen Leach, Michael Long, Ross McPhee, Peter Mulcahy, Peter O’Brien, Tony O’Brien, Peter Phillips, Joseph Purtill, Edward Sok.

Liberals/Nationals: Neil Angus, Brad Battin, Gary Blackwood, Tim Bull, Neale Burgess, Robert Clark, Peter Crisp, Michael Gidley, David Hodgett, Andrew Katos, Tim McCurdy, Cindy McLeish, Danny O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, John Pessuto, Richard Riordan, Dee Ryall, Steph Ryan, Ryan Smith, Tim Smith, David Southwick, Bill Tilley, Heidi Victoria, Nick Wakeling, Peter Walsh, Graham Watt, Kym Wells.

Independent: Russell Northe.

FOR THE UPPER HOUSE (THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL):

ALP: Melina Bath, Nazih Elasmar, Adem Somyurek.

Australian Liberty Alliance: Indhira Bivieca Aquino, Mark Brown, Francine Cohen, Terri Franklin, Russell Gomez, Daniel Jones, Kaylah Jones, David Maddison, Daniel Macdonald, Ewan McDonald, Kenneth Nicholls, John Reisner, Ralf Schumann, Royston Wilding, James Wylie, Avi Yemini.

Democratic Labour Party: Benjamin Cronshaw, Jackie Gwynne, John McBride, Chris McCormack,
Larry Norman, Jeremy Orchard, Padraig O'Hea, Michael Palma, Mark Royal, Peter Stevens, Lucia De Summa, Joel van der Horst, Walter Villagonzalo, Jarred Vehlen.

Liberals/Nationals: Georgie Crozier, David Davis, Bernie Finn, Margaret Fitzherbert, Wendy Lovell, Josh Morris, Craig Ondarchie, Luke O’Sullivan, Inga Peulich, Gordon Rich-Phillips.

Shooters & Fishers: Jeff Bourman, Daniel Young.

Independent: Rachel Carling-Jenkins

Authorised by C. Newington, FamilyVoice Australia, 4th Fl, 68 Grenfell Street, Adelaide SA 5000

asia bibi

Bibi’s crime and subsequent acquittal

The coverage of Asia Bibi’s recent trial, acquittal and release has been fairly comprehensive - but since her release the trail has gone quiet. Where is she and in what circumstances?

Asia Bibi is a Christian mother of five children, from very poor circumstances. She was working in a field with other local women when a dispute arose because she was accused of drinking from the same vessel as the other (Muslim) women. This dispute led to an accusation that she had insulted Mohammed.

In Islam a non-believer is not permitted to touch or share a drinking vessel with Muslims as Islam teaches that they are unclean. This law led to the angry scene in the field which resulted in her arrest and imprisonment for over eight years.  

Her imprisonment was in solitary confinement and she prepared her own food because of the constant threat of poisoning.

Recently the Pakistani Supreme Court acquitted Asia owing to a lack of substantial evidence to support the accusation of blasphemy against Mohammed. There was the expected outrage which led to the conditions that she is not allowed to leave the country and further legal action against her may yet occur. Because of the threats to her life, she was not released but moved to an undisclosed prison destination for her own protection. 

Out of prison but not yet free 

Then one night it is alleged that a vehicle came to the prison and whether it was connected to her release or not cannot be substantiated but when daylight came, Bibi was no longer in the prison. Her location now is unknown and remarkably she has remained undiscovered.

To Australians who enjoy the great freedoms of faith, association and expression, the case of Asia Bibi is almost beyond comprehension.

Western nations that enjoy Christian foundations are keen to uphold the rule of law and we take seriously such articles as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

That Declaration includes the right of freedom of religion: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance” (Article 18).

While Pakistan was one of the first signatories to the Declaration, it is no simple matter to incorporate the values of the Declaration into the culture of Islamic nations. To conservative Muslims, Islamic Law (Shariah) is above all other jurisprudence. It is above the law of the land and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Shariah is not just a religious or moral influence. It is a legislative reality that regulates daily life and practice well beyond rituals such praying and washing. It specifically regulates relationships between Muslims and non-believers with a very strong assumption about the supremacy of Islam.

When Muslims are in the social minority as they are in Australia, there is an acknowledgement of the laws of the land and general adherence. But for the traditionalists, the Islamic ideal is always in mind - that society will change when Islam gains the ascendancy. 

As for the plight of Asia Bibi and her family, the fact that she has not been discovered and lynched is a very good sign. But Asia and her family need more.  We might wish that the Pakistani government would securely deliver Asia Bibi and her family to safety in a Western nation but this story is not likely to follow the Western path.  

Calls for Asylum

Several Western governments are under pressure to offer asylum to Asia Bibi and are weighing the political and social implications of intervening. What will be the reaction of local Muslims in such a host country? How will authorities keep the family safe? Can the Christian church be relied upon to provide social support without showcasing Asia Bibi? Will militant Islamists react with violence and murder? What would happen to relations with other Muslim majority nations who provide oil, buy technology and provide employment to the West?    

Meanwhile, Asia Bibi and her family are from among the very poor. They are virtually illiterate and have no language apart from their mother tongue. If their freedom and safety is to be accomplished it would be better for it to happen in a way that causes as little disruption and loss of face as possible. 

Call for prayer and discreet diplomacy

While there is a place for political pressure, let us not neglect the value of discreet approaches and above all Christian prayer. And as we pray, remember that the freedoms we enjoy are very fragile and require careful protection.

Although Australia endorses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and we have pledged ourselves to defend freedom, we are seeing legislation emerge that will undermine our commitment to freedom of religion.

Christian prayer is an often misunderstood practice. The assumption of some is that it is like a spiritual generator that increases ‘spiritual mass’ in a given situation. So it follows that the more we pray the greater the mass, the greater the result.  I suggest that prayer is the personal engagement of a Christian with God through Christ. In prayer, God is very much the Senior Partner. We do not come to demand or even persuade. We come to listen and learn his position on any given matter, and then to align ourselves with Him in faith.

The term ‘vigil’ reminds us that prayer is waiting and watching for God’s leading in a given situation such as Asia and her family. Some think prayer is like writing an email, pressing ‘send’ and assuming the matter is now resolved. It may be but prayer is about changing the one who prays as well as the pressing need. In this case, Bibi’s need is making us mindful that religious freedom is a great treasure and an inalienable human right for all, not just ‘for us’.  Perhaps we have been too casual about it, too thankless and too irreverent. 

It may not be your habit or tradition, but I’m suggesting you light a vigil candle (or set up a little tea candle) in the window of your home, your church, on your desk at work or in some place to remind you to pray and where others may see it. Place her name there and make space in your life to remember her and her family until we know that they are safe – whether in the arms of loving friends… or in the arms of Jesus which is far safer.  

Here are some prayers to reflect upon in this vigil:

  • Our Father, we ask you to intervene for Asia Bibi and her family. Grant them safety and security so they may live peaceful and productive lives.
  • God of the Nations, we pray for influence to come upon the nation of Pakistan that they would take seriously their human rights obligations.
  • Father, we acknowledge we have not always valued the freedom and equality of all citizens as we ought.  As our own nation becomes increasingly complex socially we ask you to teach us all to manage our differences respectfully and successfully.  
  • We give thanks for our freedoms and recognise they come in large part from the Christian heritage of previous generations. Help us to serve you and our nation well so that those who succeed us will benefit from our faithfulness to Christ and from how we lived and communicated his good will for our society.