Abortion bill to be introduced into NSW State Parliament this week — Public Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Public Statement

I appeal for a respectful debate concerning abortion and I urge MPs to use their conscience vote to reject this bill. It is not appropriate to rush this bill without widespread community consultation.

Abortion is available in New South Wales and the criminal code provisions have not prevented women from seeking abortions. Rather, the law strengthens the protection of women from pressure, medical malpractice and safeguards the consciences of doctors. In the rare cases that criminal sanctions have been applied, it was clear the circumstances warranted prosecution.

Further, the laws are being proposed at a time when those who wish to speak against abortion, including many women, are being denied that opportunity.

In particular, signs sponsored by the Emily’s Voice group were recently ordered off buses for simply stating a medical fact – that an unborn child’s heart is beating at four weeks.

When has a democratic society prevented the publication of facts?

A respectful debate needs to hear all sides of the issue, including those who wish to speak on behalf of those yet to be born.

Dr Glenn N Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, 29 July AD 2019.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

See also: ‘Speak on behalf of those yet to be born’ – SydneyAnglicans.net.


Controversy surrounding Emily’s Voice billboard.

The last death throes of cultural Christianity and what’s next — with Phillip Jensen

“Former Anglican Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen says to understand the issues fronting Christians today we will best start with understanding the history.

Phillip, who now heads up Two Ways Ministries, takes us on a helicopter journey through fifty years of cultural and Christian history…and considers where to from here?”

– Whether you were there, and remember it, or weren’t and don’t, this is a fascinating overview of the last 50+ years, with gospel encouragement for the future.

Watch Phillip at The Pastor’s Heart with Dominic Steele.

Proposed Victorian Bill is likely to harm not help women

“The State of Victoria wishes to be at the vanguard of the sexual devolution. Sadly, Victoria is already becoming an unsafe place for vulnerable children who struggle with gender dysphoria.

Just as with the recent passing of euthanasia laws, concerns expressed by the medical fraternity were overlooked in favour of radical political and gender theorists…

In their latest effort, the Victorian Government has decided that transgender women are being discriminated against under current laws.”

Murray Campbell in Melbourne warns about the proposed Victorian legislation.

Open Letter from the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Australia

“Dear friends,

I’m sure you are aware of the current discussion about freedom of religion legislation.

There is a great opportunity at present for us to have a positive influence in the legislative process, and I’m calling on you to consider how you can respond and encourage your congregation to get involved as well.

I’m suggesting three ways in which you can act:

1. I urge you to read the pastoral letter (Download from here) and consider distributing it to your congregation, asking them to contact their federal MP.

2.  I’m inviting you to download and print the petition (Download from here). As you do, please consider collecting signed copies of the petition and arranging for them to be mailed to Senator the Honourable Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, PO Box 886, Wollongong NSW 2520. (Note that only originals of the signed petition may be submitted to the Senate, so copies must be mailed).

3.  I also draw your attention to an excellent briefing paper released this week by Freedom for Faith (Download from here). It will help you understand some of the complexities of the discussions about freedom of religion. It is aimed at ministers and leaders, so please circulate it to anyone you think would be interested. (Note that while Freedom for Faith supports the appointment of a Freedom of Religion Commissioner, while the submission the Presbyterian Church made the Ruddock enquiry was cautious about that proposal).

with warm regards,

Rev John P Wilson BSc, DipEd, BTh, DMin
Clerk of Assembly, PCV
Moderator-General, Presbyterian Church of Australia.”

– Also posted at presbyterian.org.au. Download all files (Zipped archive.)

No forgiveness for Folau’s sins

“It is testament to the blinkered arrogance of political correctness, and of those who do its bidding, that these people could not see the profound moral contradiction at the heart of their chilling statement. In the name of preventing ‘vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality’, they vilified Folau on the basis of his religion. …”

– Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, writes this opinion piece in today’s The Australian.

Freedom of faith and Israel Folau — Public Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

“Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith-DNA that we speak out about the salvation that is only found in Jesus, whatever the cost. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media.”

Archbishop Glenn Davies has issued a public statement on Israel Folau and the issue of Freedom of Speech, Conscience and Belief.

Full statement follows:

“Israel Folau’s right to express his faith and act according to his conscience is of fundamental importance in any democracy, and it is of great concern to many Australians that this right is being denied and vilified. Many are wondering whether they will be next. No-one should suppose that there are not deeply held views on either side of this issue. But at the moment, only one side is being heard. The way in which Folau’s motives have been impugned and his avenues of support have been cut off smacks of a new and ugly Australia where dissent from narrow cultural views is not tolerated.

The original post on Instagram canvassed some basic tenets of the Christian faith. It was not the entire Christian message, but it was posted without malice and from a place of deep conscience and concern. It encompassed all people, for we are all liars. It was posted with respect and with urgency. It had nothing to do with rugby and it should have been his right as a citizen to speak of what he believes without threat to his employment.

Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith-DNA that we speak out about the salvation that is only found in Jesus, whatever the cost. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media. I admire the resolute way he has given his personal testimony.  Why, in the diversity of views in modern Australia, is that faith to be silenced – the faith from which springs so much of the values and virtues of our own civilisation, let alone the charitable works of many Christian churches across our land.

Ultimately, this will not be decided in the media. The clear support of ordinary Christians has been ignored, marginalised and silenced. Many commentators (and many politicians) have failed to understand the precious nature of conscience and belief and its power in the lives of ordinary Australians. Loud, intolerant voices swamp the quiet faith of many. But I pray that what Israel Folau is going through may shine a light on an issue which is vital to our democracy and of crucial importance for Christians – freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to live according to our faith.”

Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
25 June AD 2019.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Australian Christian Lobby donates $100,000 to Israel Folau

“In the wake of GoFundMe’s removal of Israel Folau’s fundraiser, the Australian Christian Lobby has today donated $100,000 to his legal defence and is assisting Israel Folaul to launch an alternative fundraising site. …

–  Read it all here.

Update: Israel Folau’s donations surge past $600,000 after GoFundMe ban – ABC News.

“The Australian Christian Lobby’s Israel Folau support fund looks set to surpass the sacked rugby star’s previous GoFundMe campaign total of $750,000 in just 24 hours.

Donations have poured in at a rate of almost $1,000 per minute with the fund now worth more than $675,000…”

(Editor’s note: The Anglican Church League and the Australian Christian Lobby share the same initials, but are different organisations.)

How might Folau’s court case impact religious freedom?

“A victory in his case would be helpful as sending a message that believers have the freedom to speak in accordance with their faith, even when saying something that offends. And perhaps in persuading employers that they should not try to rely on over-broad “codes of conduct”. …

If he loses his case, it will in my view send a message to corporate Australia that they can require uniformity of opinion on controversial topics. It may lead to further restrictions on what Christians can say in public.”

The Gospel Coalition Australia speaks with Associate Professor Neil Foster about the decision by Israel Folau to begin legal proceedings against Rugby Australia.

Voluntary euthanasia to begin in Victoria as assisted dying laws take effect this week

“Patients will take a glass, mix the drug with two liquids provided by the pharmacist and swallow the mixture. …”

– The latest developments in Victoria. ABC News.

‘Israel Folau launches extraordinary attack on Rugby Australia’

“Just days after Israel Folau launched legal action against Rugby Australia the fallen rugby star has hit out at the entire RA board.

In a scathing letter that has been published by The Daily Telegraph, Folau has demanded answers on how intimate details of his Code of Conduct hearing, which was meant to be private, came to fall into the hands of prominent rugby journalist Jamie Pandaram.

Ironically that letter has now made its way into the hands of The Telegraph and been published for all to see. …”

– Story from News.com.au.

Folau test case expected to set a precedent for workplaces

“A senior Sydney Anglican Bishop wants Wallaby Israel Folau’s unlawful dismissal test case to challenge whether workplace code of conduct agreements impinge on employees’ expression of religious beliefs.

Bishop of South Sydney Michael Stead, said religious leaders were closely watching the Folau case in the Fair Work Commission which he said had implications for workplaces nationally. …”

– Story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

Further reflections on the Israel Folau affair

“In a previous post I commented on the events surrounding celebrity rugby player Israel Folau’s posting on social media of a meme stating that various groups of sinners, including ‘homosexuals’, were destined for hell unless they repented and put their trust in Jesus Christ. He was immediately threatened with dismissal by his employer, Rugby Australia (‘RA’), a threat subsequently implemented through an internal tribunal finding that he was guilty of a high level breach of the RA ‘code of conduct’.

It seems an appropriate point to comment on recent developments and to clarify what it seems Mr Folau’s legal options are. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law, looks at some of the options which might be available to Israel Folau, should he wish to pursue them.

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