Anglican Future Conference — Super Early Bird Registration now open

Get in early to register for the National Anglican Future Conference 2018, to be held in Southbank, Melbourne, 6th – 9th September.

Register here.

High Court upholds rejection of inter-state vilification orders

“In a Federation like Australia, different jurisdictions (States and Territories) may have different rules on what amounts to ‘discrimination’ or ‘vilification’, and how those things interact with religious freedom. One of the pressing issues here in recent years has been whether there will be a ‘race to the bottom’ in freedom of speech on religious issues, with one jurisdiction in particular, Tasmania, raising deep concerns with a very broad prohibition on causing ‘offence’ related to matters such as sexual orientation.

Today the High Court of Australia, on appeal from NSW, has affirmed the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal that State and Territory ‘tribunals’ (non-judicial panels usually used in discrimination issues) have no jurisdiction to impose penalties on residents of other Australian jurisdictions under their own local laws. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Assoc. Professor Neil Foster looks at today’s decision.

Archbishop Davies interviewed on 2GB about Israel Folau and freedom of speech

Archbishop Glenn Davies spoke with Ben Fordham on 2GB about Israel Folau and freedom of speech today.

Worth hearing – Listen at the link.

Cricket scandal a lesson in forgiveness — Archbishop Glenn Davies

On Easter Sunday morning at the Cathedral, Archbishop Glenn Davies spoke of forgiveness in the context of the Cricket scandal.

Nine News had this report. Reuters had another.

Food, perhaps, for conversation at work today?

Update on Tathra bushfire disaster from Bp Stuart Robinson – updated

As he prepares to conclude his time as Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn, Stuart Robinson has posted the latest on the Tathra bushfire disaster

“Archdeacon Carol believes around 100 homes are now being listed as having being destroyed. This means many hundreds of people are homeless. …”

Update:

The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid has opened an emergency appeal to respond to the fires in the Southern New South Wales beach town of Tathra. – Details.

“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.

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.

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.

What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits?

Psalm 116 verse 12 –

“What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits towards me?”

These words were read by the Rev. Richard Johnson, Chaplain to the Colony, on Sunday 3rd February 1788, at the first Christian service to be held after the arrival of the First Fleet.

It’s a good question to ponder.

Prominent Anglicans honoured

“The Reverend Dr David Claydon and Lawyer Garth Blake are among Sydney Anglicans named on the 2018 Australia Day Honours list.

Included in the list are 641 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia who have been recognised for contributions and service to fellow citizens in Australia and internationally. …”

SydneyAnglicans.net has the details. (Thanks to Ramon Williams for the photos.)

God, History and Australia Day

“I arrived in Australia at the age of seven, in October 1972.  I am tremendously thankful for Australia. I share the experience of thousands of migrants from dozens of countries that Australia has offered freedom to pursue countless opportunities, with few barriers put in my way on account of where I came from.  Most of all, here, God made himself known to me through his gospel, and my local church nurtured my faith.

I am struck therefore with the painful contrast between my experience and that of so many indigenous people of Australia. …”

– Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, reflects on Australia Day and how Christians should think of it. At SydneyAnglicans.net.

Preparing for the Ruddock Review

“The Ruddock Review has the potential to produce a legal framework, at the federal level, which will undergird a new societal compact for the religious freedom of people of faith and their organisations in an increasingly irreligious society. …

The terms of reference for the Panel are broad, and crucially include the interaction of Commonwealth and state law. …”

– Check the Freedom for Faith website to be informed about submissions to the Ruddock Review.

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