Declining to make a same sex wedding cake is not discriminatory

“A recent decision by a California Superior Court Judge holds that a bakery cannot be required by discrimination law to make a same sex wedding cake, where the owner has a religious reason for declining to do so. In Department of Fair Employment and Housing v Cathy’s Creations Inc(Cal Sup Ct, Kern Cty; BCV-17-102855; Lampe J, 5 Feb 2018) Judge Lampe refused an injunction against Cathy Miller, proprietor of Tastries Bakery, which would have required her to create a wedding cake for the same sex wedding of Mireya and Eileen Rodriguez-Del Rio. The basis for the decision was the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the judge holding that creating a wedding cake was a constitutionally protected form of “free speech”.

The decision is possibly subject to appeal, and it is not, of course, binding on Australian courts. But it provides an excellent example, in my view, of how the case can be made for protecting the free speech and religious freedom rights of small businesses involved in the artistic creation of items designed to celebrate same sex weddings. …”

– Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

My submission to the expert panel on religious freedom — Lionel Windsor

“The Expert Panel on Religious Freedom in Australia is taking submissions until 14 February 2018. Here’s my submission …”

– Dr Lionel Windsor, lecturer at Moore College, and one of the ACL’s clerical vice-presidents, has shared his submission – at Forget the Channel.

Please don’t forget the deadline for submissions.

Related: Assoc. Prof. Neil Foster’s submission.

Jordan Peterson: an antidote to chaos?

“If you use the internet enough to have found this blogpost, you will almost certainly have seen references to That Interview between Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman.

If you haven’t watched the full half-hour exchange (like 5.5m already have), go and do so now. I’ve wagered with half a dozen people who claimed not to be interested that if they watch just five full minutes of the interview, they could then close it down if they so wished and I wouldn’t nag ever them again to see it. They have all watched the whole thing from start to finish. A one-word text, five minutes in, from my initially sceptical brother: ‘Hooked.’ …”

– At Church Society’s blog, Tom Woolford considers Jordan Peterson and his message. What should Christians think?

Be heard on religious freedom

“A Federal Government review into religious freedom in Australia is currently underway, with public submissions closing on February 14. The review panel, chaired by the Hon. Philip Ruddock, has been asked to examine whether Australian law adequately protects the human right to freedom of religion. …

It is vital that all those concerned about the protection of religious freedom in Australia make their voices heard.”

– Bishop Michael Stead, Chairman of the Religious Freedom Reference Group, writes at

See also: Please Speak Up For Religious Freedom – Aust. Christian Lobby.

Submission to Religious Freedom Review — Assoc Prof Neil Foster

Associate Professor in Law, Neil Foster, has made his submission to the Religious Freedom Review Panel available for you to read. He writes,

“The Religious Freedom Review Panel, chaired by the Hon Philip Ruddock, has invited submissions from all Australians on the protection of religious freedom in Australia. …

Those who are interested in the area may find it helpful to see the sort of topics that I think ought to be addressed.”

– Check it out at Law and Religion Australia, and consider making your own submission.

UK education chief inspector suggests Anglican theology is extremist

“In trying to isolate the Christian Institute as an extremist organisation in her speech to the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership on Thursday (1/2/18), the head of UK schools inspectorate, Ofsted, was actually attacking historic Anglican theology. …”

– Julian Mann writes on a disturbing trend in the UK, at Anglican Mainstream. (Also see links at the end of that article.)

Martyn Iles new Managing Director for Australian Christian Lobby

The Australian Christian Lobby has announced that Lyle Shelton is finishing as Managing Director to go into politics and to stand for office at the next election.

He said, “Now, ACL [Aust Christian Lobby] is necessarily non-party-partisan. That’s a great strength, and I agree with that. So, for that reason, I will be making a further announcement about the specifics of what I am doing in a day or two.  … But I … am not leaving the battle for the values that I hold dear…”

In this video, he speaks about his decision, and Board Chairman Jim Wallace introduces the new Managing Director, Martyn Iles.

Related: We Need Thousands To Write To Ruddock.

Transgender liturgies?

“Recent headlines reported: ‘Church of England bishops have blocked the introduction of a new prayer celebrating a transgender person’s change of sex’.

It became clear, however, that matters are regrettably rather more complicated than that. …”

Church Society’s Tim Edwards responds to the Church of England’s House of Bishops’ advice on welcoming transgender people into church using the existing Affirmation of Baptism service.

House of Bishops seeking to change Church of England doctrine by stealth — Reform

Some background:

“In July last year the Church of England’s General Synod passed a motion brought forward by the Blackburn Diocesan Synod. This motion declared,

‘….that this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.’

In advance of this February’s General Synod the House of Bishops has responded to this motion in GS Misc 1178, An update on ‘Welcoming Transgender People.’”

– from Anglican theologian Martin Davie. (Read it all.)

In the document, the House of Bishops also states,

“The motion also called on the House of Bishops to consider whether the recognition of a transgender person’s new identity was a moment which should be marked in a particular way in worship. …

the House notes that the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, found in Common Worship, is an ideal liturgical rite which trans people can use to mark this moment of personal renewal.” (emphasis added)

Read the House of Bishops document here. (PDF)

Reform comments on the what amounts to a repurposing of ‘Affirmation Baptismal Faith’ –

“Liturgy and doctrine cannot be divorced. … to use ‘Affirmation of Baptismal Faith’ in the way envisaged in this document is to change Church of England doctrine by stealth.

Read it all.

Michael Kellahan next guest on The Pastor’s Heart

Freedom for Faith’s Michael Kellahan is the next guest on The Pastor’s Heart – to be streamed live on Facebook tomorrow (Tuesday 30th January 2018) at 2:00pm.

From Dominic Steele:

“With submissions to the Ruddock inquiry into Freedom for Religion being given amazingly tight deadlines, Michael’s been responsible for co-ordinating a ‘heavy weight’ response to the inquiry on behalf of a series of leading Protestant churches.”

Watch live, and also see or hear replays at The Pastor’s Heart on Facebook – or

Iowa University Christian student group reinstated by judge

“…it used to be widely accepted that a person who is heterosexual in ‘orientation’ may legitimately choose not to indulge their sexual preferences, by living in chastity outside marriage, or indeed in celibacy if so called to this option (for example, if marriage is not entered into).

That such honourable choices seem unbelievable to many in the highly sexualised world of the secular West, does not mean that they are not made all the time. Why then is it not possible to accept that an organisation may be perfectly happy to accept as a member a person of homosexual orientation, so long as that person indicates that they undertake not to act on their sexual preferences?  …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Assoc. Prof. Neil Foster provides some details from the American case, and then asks the legitimate question above.

Abortion, Canada, and the relentless wave of Authoritarian Secularism

“I love taking Claude (family greyhound) for an early morning walk through the streets of Parkdale and Mentone, and to listen to the Bible as we go. Today in the Psalms, I was struck by Psalm 8:2, which says,

‘Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.’

Afterward, I was catching up on the news and heard a report about a recent announcement by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Organisations applying for Government funding for the Canadian Summer Jobs program, must now sign an attestation that they support abortion. …”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne looks at the Canadian example as a foretaste of what Christians in Australia can expect.

← Previous PageNext Page →