Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

“Dying and death is not a new phenomenon: we have always become ill, suffered, were going to die and someone else could have killed us.

So why now, at the beginning of the 21st century, after prohibiting euthanasia for thousands of years and when we can do so much more to relieve suffering than in the past, do we suddenly think that legalising it is a good idea? I propose a major cause is a catastrophic failure of collective human memory and collective human imagination.

Let‘s look at the approaches taken on each side of the debate. …“

– An important article by Margaret Somerville, Professor of Bioethics in the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia, in The Guardian.

Photo courtesy University of Notre Dame Australia. (h/t SydneyAnglicans.)

Cornerstone Presbyterian Church Legal Defence Fund

“A separate Church Legal Defence Fund bank account has been established by the Board of Management of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, a congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

The account is for receiving donations towards the legal costs of defending our Church against an anti-discrimination action brought against us in July this year. …”

– Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Hobart explains why they taken this step.

Related:

“Roger Franklin checks a submission by former Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal boss Robin Banks … Worryingly, she says the religious view of morality must submit to ‘community standards’…” – Herald Sun.

Why we should vote ‘No’ in the survey on same sex ‘marriage’

“Australia is in the midst of a critical decision about one of the major building blocks of community life: marriage and the family.

A great deal of money (including public money) and effort is being expended on the case for a change to allow people of the same sex to marry. To many it seems that the case for change is unassailable, in some measure because its advocates have been able to link their proposal to treasured notions of ‘love’ and ‘equality’. …”

– Moore College Principal Dr Mark Thompson shares his reasons at Theological Theology.

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.

John Howard criticises Malcolm Turnbull over handling of postal survey

“Former prime minister John Howard has criticised the Turnbull Government’s handling of the same-sex marriage survey, calling for the details of any bill to be released before the vote. …”

– Report from ABC News.

Free speech and vilification in the marriage law postal survey

“Australia is involved in a debate about whether same sex marriage should be introduced. The question is being put to the electors in the form of a voluntary postal survey, the question in which is simply: ‘Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?’

The original intention of the current Government had been to put this question to the people of Australia in a compulsory plebiscite. This option being defeated twice in Parliament, the postal survey has been designed to be run without explicit authorising legislation. However, once it was decided that the survey would proceed, concerns were expressed that the debate might contain misleading and deceptive advertising, which would usually have been dealt with under the electoral laws (but since the survey was not being run under those laws, no such protections applied for the survey.) In addition, concerns were expressed about hateful and harmful speech on both side of the debate.

In response to these concerns, the Commonwealth Parliament today (in a rare example of swift bipartisan action) saw the introduction and enactment of the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Act 2017(which has now received the Royal Assent, and become Act No 96 of 2017). The Act will come into operation on Thursday 14 September, 2017 (tomorrow, as I write.) …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster has published some important information about legislation coming into effect tomorrow.

Anyone who plans to comment publicly on the plebiscite and related issues would do well to read it.

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.

Praying together this Sunday

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has urged churches to set aside this Sunday as a day of Praying together for Marriage.

The Archbishop foreshadowed the initiative in this month’s edition of the Diocesan magazine, Southern Cross, which includes a prayer Dr Davies wrote for the day.

The Australian newspaper last week reported the initiative, set down for this Sunday, September 17th. …”

– Read the story from SydneyAnglicans.net, and please be encouraged to pray.

Related: Archbishop Davies’ prayer.

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.

Same-sex-­marriage postal survey without detail a ‘blank cheque’

“Malcolm Turnbull has been ­accused of handing a ‘blank cheque’ to the parliament after the government declared it would not move to provide religious protections before the same-sex-­marriage survey is finalised.

Senior ministers yesterday confirmed that no bill outlining ­religious protections would be ­endorsed by the government until after the result was declared, arguing it would only be required should a Yes vote be returned.

The decision flies in the face of a warning from former prime minister John Howard, revealed in The Weekend Australian…”

– Story from The Australian. (Subscription.)

Related:

Andrew Hastie MP is interviewed on The Bolt Report, 11 September 2017.

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