National Press Club speech by Karina Okotel

The Sydney Morning Herald has published the speech given at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday by federal Liberal Party Vice President Karina Okotel.

Some Reflections on the Global South Primates Meeting

“Many of you will have read the statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee from their meeting in Cairo this past weekend. In the swirl of the weekly news cycle, it’s easy to look at this statement as just another murmur from the background of Anglican geopolitics.  I’d like to offer a few thoughts about why their statement should be considered newsworthy.

First, let’s remember that the Global South Primates include the Archbishops or principal Bishop-leaders of the largest Anglican Churches in the world – Nigeria (in terms of real average Sunday attendance in church), Kenya, and Uganda for starters.  They include those leaders of the Gafcon movement – which plants the future of a renewed Anglicanism around a common confession of faith, the Jerusalem Declaration.

But the Global South movement existed before Gafcon, and includes those provinces in that part of the world that have not yet joined Gafcon, like Southeast Asia, but have for many years stood firmly on the authority and clarity of the Bible as the ultimate authority within the councils of the Church. That’s a big deal. …”

– Canon Phil Ashey, President of the American Anglican Council, puts last week’s Global South communique in perspective.

Must read: Deception on freedom of religion key to SSM Yes case

“We are being put on notice. You would have to be politically blind to deny the reality (an option many politicians have deliberately chosen). The post-same-sex marriage battle is already under way. This is because while many people genuinely see same-sex marriage as an issue of non-discrimination, this was never its essence. It is an ideological cause seeking fundamental changes in Western society, laws and norms. It will continue apace after the law is changed.

Marriage equality is an ideology and ideologies, by nature, do not settle for compromise victories. As Benjamin Law says in Quarterly Essay: Moral Panic 101: “It might be stating the obvious but same-sex marriage is far from the final frontier in the battle against homophobia.” The struggle will continue — in schools and in institutions. Law says the two biggest LGBTI issues are Safe Schools and same-sex marriage. …

The pretence by Yes case politicians that the plebiscite has no consequences for the Safe Schools program treats us like fools. …”

– Paul Kelly, writing in The Australian (subscription) argues that freedom of religion will be one of the first casualties of same-sex marriage. Read it all.

Same-sex marriage is a test of Australian maturity that we may not pass

“It’s time not just to focus on who will win the marriage war, but how we are going to live with the peace.

For good or ill, the legislation of same-sex marriage in Australia became inevitable once Labor made it party policy. Irrespective of what happens with the postal plebiscite, Labor will achieve government at some stage.

There will be no peace until same-sex marriage is enacted in a way that can’t be undone. It will be on the day after the change — or rather, in the decades after — that Australia will face an important test of its maturity as a civil and civilised society. …

in my own Anglican tradition, simply reading the prayer book preface to the service of matrimony will become a politically controversial act. Here, for example, is the opening of the second order for marriage in An Australian Prayer Book: …”

– Robert Forsyth, retired Bishop of South Sydney, has had this opinion piece published by the ABC.

Tony Abbott on why same sex marriage would fundamentally change society

“We shouldn’t lightly change what’s been the foundation of our society for generations; and, if we do, it should only be after the most careful weighing of all the consequences. Yet if the polls are to be believed, we are about to discard the concept of marriage that has stood since time immemorial in favour of a new concept that would have been scornfully rejected even by gay people just a generation ago. …”

– Tony Abbott MP writes in The Sydney Morning Herald.

John Anderson argues for a No vote

“Former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson says, ‘We need to be honest, and we have the right to ask the hard questions. The evidence here and abroad suggests that it would be naïve to think it’s simply about marriage’.”

– An important video message from John Anderson – on Facebook.

John Howard kickstarts No SSM case

“John Howard has called for ­proposed same-sex marriage legislation, including full protections for parents, religion and free speech, to be produced before the postal survey vote closes in ­November, as he launches his support for the No campaign.

The former prime minister said yesterday it was disingenuous for the Yes campaign to argue that changing the law to ­include same-sex marriage did not affect other rights and that the survey involved a simple yes/no question. …”

– Dennis Shanahan writes in The Australian (Subscription.) Photo: ABC.

General Synod Day 3 – More bills, less lunch, less Jesus

“As the afternoon kicked in we turned to considering issues surrounding future ministry, particularly two related debates around future structures and what are being called “pioneer ministries”. …

As we heard about the need to being doing ministry beyond the Sunday service it seemed like some people were, for the first time, grappling with what many of us simply call “evangelism”. But even then the struggle to actually be clear on the overall aim was soon going to manifest itself. …

I moved the following amendment:

after the words “The General Synod”, add:

“, captivated by the declaration of Christ that repentance for the forgiveness of sins be preached in his name to all nations”

Readers will recognise the language as being a direct citation from Jesus’ final charge to his disciples in Luke 24.47. Not controversial, surely?…”

– David Ould reports on the third day of General Synod, meeting in Maroochydore. Tragically, it seems the gospel of the Lord Jesus was narrowly voted down.

Territorial Anglicanism?

“The ordination of Bishop Andy Lines as missionary Bishop to Europe by 50 Bishops including 11 Primates has upset some Anglicans.

They protest that this action opposes the 4th Century Canons of Nicaea, though it is not clear how those Canons apply to this situation, nor what authority they have today.

The claim is made that Anglicanism is opposed to having more than one Bishop in one territory. This claim is less plausible when seen in the light of the reality of Anglican practice …”

– Church Society has republished this opinion piece by Dr. Peter Adam. It first appeared in The Melbourne Anglican.

Related: Loose Canons? Andy Lines and the Canons of Nicaea – Dr Mark Smith.

‘An expression of love for same-sex attracted people’

“This past week I was part of an effort that put America’s theological and moral fault lines fully in view. I was a signer of something called the Nashville Statement, a document adopted by a group of evangelical Christians seeking to reaffirm traditional Christian values on sexuality.

Within hours, the vitriol in response to our document showed why such clarification is necessary. …”

The Washington Post has published this opinion piece by Albert Mohler.


The Bee Explains: What Is The Nashville Statement?The Babylon Bee (Satire.)

Fascinating Political Times

“I had the good fortune of reading Eric Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in my holidays.

In a vacuum of leadership Metaxas writes, ‘…the German people clamoured for order and leadership. But it was as though in the babble of their clamouring, they had summoned the devil himself…’

Nations can do that when good people do nothing. Without even realising, with a little slumber, a folding of the hands you can allow the summoning of a devil that has a nation reap the whirlwind. …”

– Rick Lewers, Bishop of Armidale, writes of the disarray our nation is facing. Where can stability and hope be found?

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