“Send a strong message to our Parliament” — Stand for Life Rally, Hyde Park, Sunday 15 September

Archbishop Glenn Davies has written to all clergy in the Diocese of Sydney concerning the “misleadingly entitled” Reproductive Health Reform Bill 2019, which he says, “in its current form [will] do great damage to our society in the legalisation of the death of innocent lives in the womb”.  Read more

‘Liberal MP threatens to derail Berejiklian’s government over abortion bill’

“A New South Wales Liberal MP has threatened to defect to the crossbench, potentially derailing Gladys Berejiklian’s stronghold, if ‘essential amendments’ are not made to the state’s abortion bill…”

– Report from Nine News.

Legal Reflections on The Religious Discrimination Bill

Akos Balogh from The Gospel Coalition Australia spoke with Neil Foster (Associate Professor of Law at the University of Newcastle), about the Morrison Government’s proposed Religious Discrimination Bill –

“Going into the last election, the Morrison Government committed to implementing most of the recommendations of the Ruddock Review on Religious Freedom. In particular, they promised that they would move quickly on a ‘Religious Discrimination Bill’, and refer issues around the religious exemptions applying in other discrimination legislation (especially, but not solely, related to religious schools) to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC).

They have now started to keep their promise by releasing, on August 29, an Exposure Draft Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 (‘RD Bill’), along with two other Bills making related and associated amendments. …”

Read the full interview here.

‘Ground-breaking’ winner at NSW Premier’s History Awards

“A book exploring The Bible’s complex influence on Australia’s political and pop culture landscape, from colonisation to the Bra Boys, is among the major winners of this year’s NSW Premier’s History Awards. …”

– Story from The Sydney Morning Herald.

See also:

2019 Winner Judges’ Comments

“Meredith Lake’s The Bible in Australia is a book of remarkable originality. Formidably researched yet carrying its scholarship with an enviable lightness of touch, this is a ground-breaking cultural and social history.”

What happened in Boga needs further analysis and appropriate action

“What happened in Boga needs further investigation, like getting a cure to a patient who requires serious diagnosis, laboratory tests and examination.

You have heard about what happened in Boga the morning of last Friday when the Islamist ADF rebel group invaded Boga. That invasion caused a lot of pain, suffering, fear and trauma. What is the source of all this? Many people are having no answers to the question.”

–  Bishop William Mugenyi Bahemuka gives some important background to the attack on Boga a week ago. At the GAFCON website.

Protest against the abortion-to-birth bill — Saturday 7th September

The Australian Christian Lobby is encouraging a massive protest against the “abortion-to-birth bill” outside Liberal Party State Council meeting next week.

They write, “This is the first time the party has come together since the election. The Premier and numerous MPs will be in attendance. We need your support to show the tsunami of opposition against the radical abortion-to-birth bill!”

8.00am Saturday 7th September
Outside the Main Foyer
International Convention Centre,
14 Darling Drive, Sydney NSW 2000.

You could consider letting church members know about this on Sunday.

Details at their website.

New Commonwealth Religious Freedom Laws

“The Commonwealth Attorney-General has released Exposure Drafts of a package of Federal Bills designed to improve religious freedom protections under Australian law, along with associated explanatory information. The legislation responds to the recommendations of the Ruddock Panel into Religious Freedom, released late in 2018. Public comment has been invited by 2 October, 2019.

The main item is the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 (“RDB”), which broadly replicates the existing pattern of anti-discrimination laws enacted by the Commonwealth, but picking up for the first time at the Federal level the “protected characteristics” of “religious belief or activity”. Two ancillary Bills propose consequential amendments to other legislation, add some specific matters to be taken into account in objects clauses for other discrimination laws, and slightly amend or clarify the laws on charities and marriage.

The RDB is a lengthy document (68 clauses over 52 pages), with some complexities that will need to be unpacked. But I would like to offer a brief overview and an initial response, which will be followed up later by more detailed comments about particular issues. I can say, however, that it looks like being a worthwhile and helpful change which in general will further the cause of religious freedom (for both believers and non-believers) in Australia.…”

– Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law, offers an initial opinion at Law and Religion Australia.

Toronto church celebrates

Christ Church, Deer Park’s Church on Tap community celebrates Pride month on June 14 with a Eucharist, followed by a drag show in the parish hall.”

– From page 9 of The Anglican, September 2019 (PDF file may download to your device), published by the Diocese of Toronto in  the Anglican Church of Canada.

Link via Anglican Samizdat.

Gafcon Tanzania formed. Biblical Marriage Reaffirmed. Bishops not going to Lambeth.

“15th August 2019

A COMMUNIQUE FROM GAFCON TANZANIA

We, the undermentioned ten bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, meeting at Holiday Inn, Dar es Salaam, on the 14th August 2019, after prayerful discussion, hereby issue this Communique. …”

– Read it all at the GAFCON website.

Vocal NSW church leaders join anti-abortion campaigners

“Triumphant anti-abortion campaigners rallied outside the New South Wales Parliament last night, boasting they have the people power to ensure legislation to decriminalise abortion in the state gets voted down.

Their hopes have been buoyed by Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s decision to delay an upper house vote on the bill until next month.

Leaders of Sydney’s Catholic and Anglican churches and the Australian Christian Lobby urged the crowd to pressure MPs to vote the legislation down.”

– Story from ABC Radio’s AM.

Freedom19 Conference

Freedom for Faith’s Freedom19 Conference is planned for Wednesday 4th September at NSW Parliament House in Sydney.

Details and booking here.

Norwich Cathedral: Bishop delivers sermon from helter-skelter

“The bishop had climbed to the top of the helter-skelter before edging halfway down the slide, where he stopped to deliver his sermon.

He then received a loud cheer as he whooshed to the bottom. …”

– Story from BBC News. Photo: Bill Smith / Norwich Cathedral.

‘Choose Life’ written in sky over Sydney as NSW Parliament goes into abortion tailspin

“NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made an 11th-hour decision to delay a vote in parliament on a bill that would decriminalise abortion, appearing to cave in to the concerns of Liberal colleagues. …”

– Report from ABC News.

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