Thinking about Critical Race Theory

Albert Mohler reflects on Critical Theory in conversation with James Lindsay, and also in his The Briefing for 9th September 2020.

As well, Stand to Reason has a helpful introduction to Critical Race Theory:

“Critical Theory divides the world into two groups: the oppressors and the oppressed. Those groups are made up of smaller cultural groups defined by race, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, etc. When this worldview focuses on race, it’s called Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT divides people into groups by race, the white oppressors and the oppressed non-whites…”

Sydney Anglicans, religious schools declare support for Latham discrimination bill

“A number of powerful interest groups including the Sydney Anglican Diocese, the Association of Independent Schools and Catholic Schools NSW have declared support for One Nation leader Mark Latham’s bill to amend the state’s discrimination laws in favour of religious freedom. …”

– Report from The Sydney Morning Herald.

ACT’s conversion therapy ban puts practitioners at risk

“The Sexuality and Gender Identity Conversion Practices Bill, introduced into the ACT Assembly a couple of weeks ago, has become embroiled in controversy. It arises out of lobbying by members of the LGBT community to ban ‘conversion therapy’, in the context of past practices seeking to change people’s sexual orientation. However, the main controversy about the bill concerns its prohibition of what it describes as ‘gender identity conversion practices’…”

This story from The Canberra Times highlights concerns – others have been raised by The Australian Christian Lobby.

Freedom for Faith Submission on the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality Bill) 2020

Freedom for Faith has published their Submission on the NSW Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality Bill) 2020.

Read it here. (Link via Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia.)

See also the submission from David Ould at St. John’s Parramatta.

Conversion Therapy laws and religious freedom

“Australia has seen two recent initiatives by local Parliaments aimed at what are often called ‘conversion therapy’ practices.

No-one supports coercive electro-shock or other oppressive practices imposed on someone without their consent, to change their sexual preferences or identity. But the problem with the recent legislative proposals is that the laws do not target these practices alone (as to which it is hard to find any evidence of them occurring in Australia in recent years), but seem to reach further and to prevent religious groups sharing the teaching of their faith. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster looks at some of the implications of the recently-passed Queensland and ACT legislation.

On Toppling Statues

“Surely one of the most striking images of this extraordinary year was the toppled statue of Edward Colston being rolled through the streets of Bristol, England by a furious mob, in June.

The statue had been erected in 1895 (174 years after Colston’s death) in recognition of his philanthropy. In his lifetime, Colston had endowed the city with schools, hospitals, homes for the poor as well as churches, including Bristol Cathedral.

But a significant proportion of Colston’s wealth came from the slave trade…”

Terrific article by Kanishka Raffel. Suitable for sharing as a conversation starter.

(Image: St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.)

Why workplaces need religious freedom, too

“The COVID-19 pandemic has indefinitely delayed the introduction of the Commonwealth Religious Discrimination Bill, which would have provided protection against religious discrimination in the workplace. With Federal reform on pause, One Nation MP Mark Latham has introduced a bill to the NSW Parliament, which will protect people of faith (and no faith) from discrimination. This Bill has been referred to a Joint Select Parliamentary Committee…

The Sydney Diocese will be making a full submission to the Joint Select Committee with a detailed analysis of the Latham Bill. The committee is inviting individuals to submit comments about the Bill via an online questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F8KFWXB. This closes on August 21. I encourage you to complete this short survey to indicate your support for these protections against religious discrimination.

– Bishop Michael Stead writes about an important bill on religious freedom. (Emphasis added.)

The Gathering Storm over Human Life

“The culture of death seems to advance hour by hour in the United States—this is no mere political issue or policy debate; this is an issue dealing with real lives, real human beings, legally murdered on a massive scale.”

– In this excerpt from his new book, Albert Mohler calls for Christians to think and act clearly in protecting human life.

Hagia Sophia and the Signs of the Times

“The Byzantine Cathedral Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was built in 537AD by Emperor Justinian and remains one of the world’s most recognised and beautiful buildings. It is deservedly a Unesco World Heritage site: a museum of immense beauty and historical significance.

Although I have never had a chance to visit Istanbul and to walk inside this magnificent building, I have long dreamed of wandering along its marble floors, admiring the mosaics and being entranced by the dome above.

But this museum is no more. …

What is happening in Turkey should serve as a reminder for churches not to take for granted the time we have to live and serve and to preach Jesus Christ as Lord. …”

– Murray Campbell sees an important lesson for churches in current events.

The Importance of Understanding History

From John Anderson:

“John talks to Professor Geoffrey Blainey, Australia’s most prominent historian, on the importance of a thorough understanding of history, and the dangers associated with establishing too narrow a worldview.”

Christians, of all people, should have an interest in history, and how it shapes the culture into which we want to speak the gospel. Watch at johnanderson.net.au.

Some recent US Supreme Court decisions on law and religion

“The approach of the official end of the judicial term in the US Supreme Court has seen a number of important law and religion-related decisions handed down in the last week.

We have seen decisions relating to access to abortion; to whether the US government can require religious bodies to fund abortion and contraception; to the provision of state funds for religious schools; and to the question of whether discrimination law can be applied to teachers of religion at religious schools. …

Each of the four cases here would warrant (and no doubt will produce) detailed academic commentary. But here I will simply flag the case and the general outlines of the reasoning for those who want to read more.”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster notes four important decisions made by the US Supreme Court.

Hidden behind the bannered slogan

“Being truthful makes a person or a group trustworthy. To be trusted, an openness and honesty is required. To present a truism but then hide other agendas may attract listeners at first, but when what is hidden is exposed, trust will be lost, cynicism will grow, and the community will be wounded.

As a church leader I should know. I have felt betrayed by the hidden evils perpetrated by the groomers and paedophiles that have haunted the darker corners of church history.

Perhaps, naïvely, I thought such evil could not exist where Christian slogans were so righteous. While the slogan may be right and good, life offers evidence of the insidious nature of those who hide behind slogans with ulterior motives. …”

– Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers cautions against naïvety.

Amazon cracks down on book warning about Trans craze victimizing teen girls

“Late last week … Amazon banned a major conservative publishing company from purchasing ads to promote a book warning about the dangers transgender ideology poses to young women and girls. …”

– Report from PJ Media.

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