Abortion, Obscenity and Free Speech

“Sometimes a powerful visual image is what is needed to shock us into action. But can an image be so powerful and horrifying that it becomes “obscene” and hence unlawful to use in public?

That, it seems, is now the view being taken in Victoria of a particular type of image: pictures of unborn babies who have been killed. While the decision of a Victorian court, it may be followed elsewhere in Australia. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster (Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle) discusses the decision in Victoria, and implications for free speech.

Image: Australian Christian Lobby.

Why Princeton’s snub of Tim Keller should outrage progressives

“If you’re a conservative evangelical Christian who feels called to ministry, you’re welcome to attend Princeton Theological Seminary. But you’re not worthy of honor there. That’s the message sent by PTS’ president, Craig Barnes, today. …

If Christians like Tim Keller are unworthy of honor and deserve to be marginalized, American Christianity is in serious trouble. …”

– Jonathan Merritt writes at Religion News Service.

Related: What Hath Amsterdam to do with Princeton?Reformation21.

“In 1898 B.B. Warfield invited the Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper to deliver six lectures at Princeton Seminary for the inaugural Stone Lectures. These lectures were eventually bound and printed as Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism. In these lectures, Kuyper discussed what he believed to be the manner by which a Calvinist and Reformed worldview ought to be applied to quite a number of spheres of life.

The inaugural Stone Lectures forever linked the theology of Dr. Kuyper with Princeton Seminary. This connection was further solidified in the creation of the Kuyper Prize, awarded by the Kuyper Center for Public Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.”

The history and theology behind Princeton’s decision not to honour Tim Keller

Albert Mohler unpacks Princeton’s decision not to award the Kuyper Prize if it means giving it to Tim Keller.

How showing a picture of a dead foetus has become a crime

“Showing a picture of a dead foetus in public is now a crime following a ruling in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Tuesday which will strengthen the hand of the abortion industry lobby across Australia, warns the Australian Christian Lobby.’…

– from The Australian Christian Lobby.

‘Gay rights activists target IBM executive’

“Marriage equality advocate IBM Australia is being targeted by ­militant gay rights activists who have condemned the company over a senior executive’s links to a ­Christian organisation. …

The social media campaign comes after the same activists shamed Adelaide brewer Coopers into pledging allegiance to Australian Marriage Equality after its ties with the Bible Society were ­exposed.

– Report from The Australian. (paywalled)

Beer, Bibles and free speech in Australia

“The Bible Society of Australia has recently celebrated its 200th birthday – a significant milestone in a country whose European settlement only took place about 230 years ago. It decided to celebrate the event by way of connecting with popular Australian culture – and in a fairly secular country, a key aspect of that culture is beer!

So in a creative move, the Society formed a partnership with Coopers, a long-established but slightly “niche” brewery, to arrange the release of cans of “Coopers Light”, a low-alcohol beer, with Bible verses on the cans. (The link was all the more appropriate because the motto of the Society was “Live Light”. Coopers also claims to be “Australia’s longest living family brewery”, having been established in 1862.)

So far, so good …”

– At MercatorNet, Neil Foster recounts the disturbing tale of the “Keeping it Light” video.

Coopers outrage ‘over the top’, Liberal MPs say

“The two Liberal MPs involved in a video which sparked outrage over Coopers Brewery’s links with The Bible Society have hit back, calling the public response ‘over the top’ and the brewer’s backdown ‘spineless’. …”

ABC News report. Image: ABC.

‘Beer and Bibles: brewery cops same-sex marriage backlash’

“Coopers has been copping a bit of flack over a video produced with the Bible Society in which two MPs debate same-sex marriage. …

– Story from ABC’s Triple J Hack.

Related: 1. Press release from Bible Society. 2. A good drop for the Good Book.

Update: Coopers Brewery distances itself from Bible Society’s marriage equality video, faces backlash – ABC News.

Religious Free Speech in Australia: CDF v Gaynor

“Can a reserve member of the Armed Forces make controversial, religiously motivated, political comments on a private website contrary to Defence Force policy?

Sadly, the answer provided by the recent decision in Chief of the Defence Force v Gaynor [2017] FCAFC 41 (8 March 2017) is, No, not without having their service terminated. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster (Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle), looks at an important free speech issue in Australia.

Philip North crisis: ‘Good Disagreement’ has become ‘bad bullying’

“When the house that has been painstakingly constructed on the sand falls flat, there is nothing to rejoice over. Discernment works better when unclouded by the sin of taking and giving offence.

Bishop Philip North’s election to the Diocese of Sheffield was a litmus test. … a serious test for the much vaunted ‘Good Disagreement’ that Archbishop Justin Welby has staked his archiepiscopal strategy on.

It has all gone badly wrong.

– Dr Gavin Ashenden guest posts at Archbishop Cranmer.

“Beauty and the Beast fans in Sydney welcome ‘queer’ twist in remake of classic tale”

“Hundreds of fans have lined the streets outside Sydney’s iconic State Theatre to welcome US actor Josh Gad, one of the stars in the remake of Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast. …”

ABC report.

Related: The Facts about Beauty and the Beast Disney Movie – Amy Bevin (h/t Tim Challies.) Image: ABC TV.

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