“Irrational and illogical” to believe that sexual orientation can never change: Federal judge

“A judge of the Federal Court of Australia, Justice Jagot, handed down a decision recently in which her Honour said that a Tribunal’s reasoning, based on the assumption that a person could never change their sexual orientation, was “affected by illogicality of the kind required to constitute jurisdictional error” …

The decision … was a sharp reminder that bureaucratic decisions must be based on evidence and not pre-conceived policy stances. The comments may have wider implications for arguments that are often unthinkingly presented about the possibility of someone changing their sexual orientation. …”

– Assoc Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

Two Churches Struggling with (Gender) Identity

“… the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland have both responded to the Scottish government’s proposals to allow people to self-identify as whatever gender they wish – without medical or psychological help and without having to have lived as the gender they wish to be for a couple of years. …

The Church of Scotland have… produced a 30 page ‘pastoral advice’  booklet which they have sent to every congregation. …

The trouble with this booklet is that it is government propaganda, promoting Queer Theory, with the blessing and backing of the State church.”

– Read all of David Robertson’s post at The Wee Flea.

‘Intersectionality, the Dangerous Faith’

“The demise of religion among American youth is greatly exaggerated. It turns out that America isn’t raising a new generation of unbelievers.

Instead, rising in the heart of deep-blue America are the zealots of a new religious faith. They’re the intersectionals, they’re fully woke, and the heretics don’t stand a chance. …”

– David French in The National Review.


Student mob smashes window in protest against Jordan Peterson – LifeSite. (Language warning in associated video.)

Wearing the Rainbow Badge

“Christians in Ancient Rome were regarded with deep suspicion.

In a nutshell, they did not attend the pagan temples or participate in their rituals and activities.

These were the centres of community. Participation made you ‘one of us.’ It was a seal of acceptance in society.

To walk away from it all was practically an act of subversion.

These people did not belong. They weren’t part of the fraternity. They were not part of society.

They were the subject of suspicion and rumour.…”

– Martyn Iles, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, writes this commentary.

(Photo: The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP / Facebook.)

Debate or theatre?

“I love our political process and I love the freedom we have in Australia to engage in it. There are many places in the world where old men cling to power without regard to the people. By comparison, Australia’s democratic governance is transparent, consultative and accountable. …

Last week I represented the PCA before the Ruddock Review Expert Panel – a panel charged with the responsibility of constructing an acceptable parliamentary legal framework for the protection of religious freedom in Australia. …”

– Presbyterian Moderator-General, John Wilson, reflects on his meeting with the Expert’s Panel, and encourages Christians to pray for Members of Parliament.

Slipping into the slumber of the Spirit

“Do you want to square an ethical circle? Then insist that holy matrimony can only be between people of the opposite sex, and, at the same time, approve monogamous, life-long sexual relationships between people of the same sex.

Very strange? Well, the argument in favour goes like this: …”

– GAFCON General Secretary Dr Peter Jensen asks when will the churches of the west wake from their slumber?

(Photo: The Pastor’s Heart.)

Will we be Free?

“Until last week, Sky News’ Paul Murray supported the same-sex marriage campaign.

But the goodwill is fading. Speaking on his nightly program, Murray conceded what we have always forewarned: rainbow advocates are now asking for all protections for religious freedom to be ‘blown up.’

That is, the scant protections that already exist. Not new ones.

Murray agrees that there are people in the activist parts of the rainbow movement who will force churches to marry same-sex couples and deny Christian schools the right to hire staff who share their faith. …”

– Martyn Iles, the new Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby writes about the battle ahead, and shares his organisation’s submission (PDF) to the Expert Panel on Religious Freedom.

Church Nightmare a Wake-up Call on ‘Tolerance’

“It’s absolutely crazy.” That’s all Pastor Jeremy Schossau [Metro City Church in Detroit] could say about all that his church has endured in the last several days. From shutting down their social media to being on a heightened security alert, the congregation of Riverside, Michigan never dreamed this much hate could exist over such a simple, Bible-based workshop.

“People have literally threatened to kill me and my family, to burn our house down, to burn our church down, to assault the people of our church and our staff.” … At one point, Metro City Church was getting 40 messages a minute. …

All Metro City church wanted to do was walk families through what the Bible has to say about the issue of gender and sexuality. And for that, legislators want Pastor Schossau to be formally investigated. …”

– A disturbing story from the Family Research Council. Link via the American Anglican Council.


Amid downriver church controversy, Michigan lawmakers propose conversion therapy ban.

Explanatory videos from the church.

When heresy is accepted in the Church of England

“If one is to claim that a certain teaching is heretical, we need to be clear what we mean by the term.

Alister McGrath writes, ‘Heresy arises through accepting a basic cluster of Christian beliefs – yet interpreting them in such a way that inconsistency results. A heresy is thus an inadequate or deficient form of Christianity. By its very deficiency, it poses a threat to the Gospel.’ The reason why heresy gains traction in the church is because it contains at least an element of truth; as such it is parasitic on orthodoxy. ‘In the Catholic faith, we recognise that a heresy is not so much a false doctrine as an incomplete doctrine. It has rejected part of the truth and is representing what is left over as the whole truth. But what a heretic usually ends up doing is attacking the greater truth.’

Jayne Ozanne illustrates this well.

In July 2017, Ozanne placed a private member’s motion to the General Synod meeting in York (GS 2070A) calling upon the Synod to effectively repudiate the practice of conversion therapy for those who experience same sex attraction. …”

– Melvin Tinker takes a sobering look at a very important topic.

Top image from Jayne Ozanne’s persuasive speech at the Church of England General Synod, 8th July 2017. (Youtube.) How persuasive was it?

See the voting result for the Private Member’s Motion.

The full text of the Private Members Motion may be found here.

Religious Freedom Implications of Same Sex Marriage in Australia

“I am presented a paper at a conference on “Freedom of Religion or Belief: Creating the Constitutional Space for Other Fundamental Freedoms” … The paper, “Protection of Religious Freedom under Australia’s Amended Marriage Law: Constitutional and Other Issues” is linked here for those who are interested: Freedom of Religion or Belief paper Foster.

I argue that, while some religious freedom rights are protected under the amended marriage law, there are some serious gaps in protection for some involved deeply in the celebration of same sex weddings, and also a failure to deal with a range of other issues, such as the ability of faith-based schools to operate in accordance with their fundamental commitments in both engagement of staff and teaching pupils, and whether people who conscientiously believe that same sex relationships are not best for human flourishing will be penalised in the workplace or elsewhere.

I note that at least one State in the US has enacted legislation to deal with these issues, which has survived one challenge in the US Supreme Court, and I recommend that Australia seriously consider also legislating in this way.”

– Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

‘Yes’ victors seek abolition of all church exemptions to anti-discrimination laws

“Religious schools should be forced to hire LGBTI teachers and all church exemptions to anti-discrimination law should be abolished, the “yes” campaign has told Philip Ruddock’s religious freedom inquiry. …”

– Report from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Update: Here’s a Media release from the Coalition for Marriage, February 14, 2018:

Equality Campaign reneges on No consequences promise

The organisation that led the push for same-sex marriage has conducted itself in bad faith and reneged on its promise to the Australian people of ‘no consequences’, the Coalition for Marriage today.

“The Equality Campaign made its case to the Australian people on the basis that a change to the marriage law would have no consequences,” Coalition for Marriage spokeswoman, Monica Doumit said today. “Their submission to the Ruddock Review has shown this to be a lie.

“They have belled the cat. And now we can see the full extent of their agenda to wind back fundamental freedoms.

“It’s disappointing, but unsurprising that they waited until the day submissions for the Ruddock Review closed before showing their true colours.”

During the plebiscite campaign, Prime Minister Turnbull said: “I just want to reassure Australians that as strongly as I believe in the right of same-sex couples to marry, even more strongly, if you like, do I believe in religious freedom.”

“It now rests with Prime Minister Turnbull and every single one of the MPs who said gay marriage would not threaten religious freedom to ensure that protections for religious freedom are strengthened.

“Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten now owe it to all Australians to spell out how they intend to protect religious freedoms in the face of a strengthened and emboldened radical LGBTI lobby that is seeking to undermine Australians’ fundamental freedoms.”


Image: Religious Freedom Review Submission. (closes today)

Submissions to Religious Freedom Review closing Wednesday 14 February!

Michael Kellahan, from Freedom for Faith, posted the above video last week.

From the Religious Freedom Review Expert Panel’s web page:

“The Expert Panel welcomes submissions from the public addressing the matters set out in the terms of reference until 14 February 2018. You can make a submission below by filling out the form and/or uploading a file.” (emphasis added)

Considering making a submission to the Panel? Time is running out!

Here are some relevant links:

Submission to Religious Freedom Review – Assoc. Professor Neil Foster shares the submission sent in his personal capacity.

My submission to the expert panel on religious freedom – Dr Lionel Windsor.

Be heard on religious freedom – Bishop Michael Stead.

Please Speak Up For Religious Freedom – Australian Christian Lobby.

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