British PM: Gay marriage is not enough

“School children should learn about LGBT issues in sex education classes, Theresa May has said, as she declared there is ‘much more to do’ after introducing same-sex marriage.

The Prime Minister also reiterated plans to make it easier for people to ‘change sex’ at an LGBT awards dinner last night.

And she challenged countries that did not share the same views on LGBT issues. …”

– Story from The Christian Institute. Image: tmay.co.uk.

Euthanasia: Bill passes Victoria’s Lower House after 24-hour debate

“Victoria’s controversial voluntary euthanasia legislation has been passed in the Lower House of Parliament after a marathon debate that lasted more than 24 hours. …

The bill will now go to the 40-member Upper House, where the numbers are also tight, for debate in a fortnight.

If it gets through the Upper House, terminally ill people over the age of 18, in severe pain and with only a year to live will be able to access lethal drugs.”

– Story from ABC News.

Please reject euthanasia: Church to Victorian Parliament

Here’s a media release from the Diocese of Melbourne:

October 20 2017

Please reject euthanasia: Church to Victorian Parliament

Melbourne Anglicans have pleaded with the Victorian Government not legalise medically assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.

The church’s synod discussed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill last night at their annual synod at St Paul’s Cathedral as a few blocks away Victorian MPs debated the bill in State Parliament.

Medical ethicist Denise Cooper-Clarke told the synod the bill’s proposed safeguards were inadequate, that it was inherently discriminatory, and that improved palliative care was a much safer and more compassionate way to address “bad deaths”.

She said the bill would fundamentally change attitudes to suicide at a time when the Government was trying to reduce youth suicide

Social Responsibilities Commission chairman Gordon Preece noted that media coverage advocating euthanasia was usually accompanied by links to BeyondBlue and Lifeline – an odd contradiction.

The synod voted to urge the Government to better resource palliative care, especially in regional and remote communities, Aboriginal communities and nursing homes, and to provide more palliative care training for health professionals. It resolved to oppose introducing a legal framework for “assisted dying”.

Dr Cooper-Clarke said the legislation would not cover only the small number of extreme cases but a much broader range of circumstances, where the suffering of the patients may not involve severe pain or physical symptoms at all. Overseas studies had shown pain was not the primary reason for requests for assisted dying but psychological factors: depression, hopelessness, being tired of life, loss of control and loss of dignity

“Elderly, frail and sick patients are especially vulnerable to implied or explicit messages from relatives that they are a burden and that they would be ‘better off dead’. It is naïve to assume that people always have the best interests of their relatives at heart. Elder abuse is prevalent in our society,” she said.

“Many people support assisted dying because they believe it is a compassionate response to suffering. But how is it compassionate to agree with someone who is so distressed that they wish to end their life that yes, their life is not worth living, and yes they would be better off dead?”

Don’t do it: Paul Keating in 11th hour bid to stop euthanasia laws

“Paul Keating has made a dramatic last-minute bid to stop Victoria’s Parliament from approving voluntary euthanasia laws as state MPs prepare for their third late-night debate before a vote he characterised as ‘a threshold moment’ for the entire country.

The 73-year-old, who was Australia’s 24th prime minister and has virtually unrivalled status within the Labor Party, slammed the ‘bald utopianism’ underlying the case for change, which assumed rules would never be bent by doctors and families when it becomes more convenient for carers or financial beneficiaries to see a gravely ill person die sooner. …”

– Story from Mark Kenny in The Sydney Morning Herald.

See also: Paul Keating: Voluntary euthanasia is a threshold moment for Australia, and one we should not cross. – SMH.

“No matter what justifications are offered for the bill, it constitutes an unacceptable departure in our approach to human existence and the irrevocable sanctity that should govern our understanding of what it means to be human. …

Once this bill is passed the expectations of patients and families will change. The culture of dying, despite certain and intense resistance, will gradually permeate into our medical, health, social and institutional arrangements. It stands for everything a truly civil society should stand against.”

Now teaching Christian doctrine at a church school is ‘extremist’. Move over Monty Python.

“Are you sitting comfortably in your ‘safe space’? Do you have your ‘trigger’ alarm ready? Then we shall begin. There is a shocking story coming out of darkest Kent. The Christian equivalent of an Islamist madrasa is being set up in a normal decent English school, teaching children hateful and extremist ideology.

These extremists have been spouting hate, abuse and according to one small group of parents, causing their children to be ‘exposed to potentially damaging ideology’.

One concerned parent shared their trauma with the press:

‘No one minds Nativity plays and Bible stories but considering most of the parents at the school aren’t practising Christians I think the feeling is that it’s all too much.’ …”

– David Robertson, minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee, writes at The Wee Flea on the latest ‘anti-extremist’ development in the UK.

See also these comments from ‘Archbishop Cranmer’.

‘Faith protections doomed under Yes vote’ — John Howard

“John Howard is warning that broad protections for religious freedoms are unlikely to pass the Senate if the Yes vote wins, following Labor’s decision to back a same-sex marriage bill proposed by West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith.

The former prime minister — a key campaigner against gay marriage — argued the decision by Labor to lock in behind Senator Smith’s bill was an ‘added reason’ for Australians to vote No in the $122 million postal survey … saying a Yes outcome could force faith-based schools, charities and social-service providers to close or change the way they operate. …”

– Story from The Australian. (Subscription.) Photo: ABC.

Lyle Shelton National Press Club Address

The Australian Christian Lobby has published an abridged version of Lyle Shelton’s address to the National Press Club in September 2017.

You can also watch the full address at the link. (Image: ABC TV.)

Life as God’s gift

“An ongoing push in Australian parliaments for euthanasia or ‘assisted dying’ has been unanimously rejected by Sydney’s Synod on its first sitting day.

As the NSW Parliament prepares to consider a new Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, Synod also called on state MPs to reject the legislation and prioritise the improvement of palliative care, encouraging Anglicans across the Diocese to contact their local member as well as engaging in any public debate on the issue. …”

– Judy Adamson reports at SydneyAnglicans.net. (Photo: Anglican Media Sydney.)

Related: Earlier posts on euthanasia.

Sydney Catholic Archbishop says religious believers could lose their jobs

“Religious believers would be vulnerable to discrimination suits and some could lose their jobs, promotions, businesses and political careers if same-sex marriage is legalised, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney says. …”

– Story from The Australian (subscription).

See also: Same-sex marriage: Governments should ‘keep out of the bedroom’ Catholic Archbishop says – ABC News.

Responding to the Transgender Revolution

“… In light of such a divide, and the social, medical, political, and legislative changes being wrought by the widespread acceptance of transgender claims, Christians have an urgent need to search the Scriptures carefully and prayerfully to see how God would have us think about and respond to such revolutionary developments.

The main purpose of this essay is to begin such a search and to outline such a response. However, before we embark on this task, it will help us, firstly, to clarify a number of key terms that are a basic part of the current discussion and, secondly, to probe a little more deeply into contemporary gender theory and where it is taking us as a culture. …”

– Here’s a very helpful article by Rob Smith, republished at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

‘Anglican Bishop of North West Australia threatens to ditch registering marriages if Yes prevails in SSM survey’

“The conservative Anglican bishop of north-west WA is threatening to abandon registering marriages if the Yes vote prevails in the same-sex marriage survey and religious protections are weak.

Criticising the Federal Government’s handling of the postal survey, Bishop of North West Australia Gary Nelson said details of the legislation should have been released before the vote began. …”

– Story from The West Australian.

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