Voluntary assisted dying bill passes lower house of NSW Parliament

“The voluntary assisted dying bill successfully passed the lower house of parliament, with 52 MPs in favour and 32 against.

Both Premier Dominic Perrottet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns were in the chamber to vote against it. …”

– Report from ABC News.

Australian “conversion therapy” laws and religious freedom

From Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia:

I recently presented a paper to a legal seminar which summarised the effect of three Australian laws on “conversion therapy” and their impact on religious freedom. The paper can be downloaded here: “Religious Freedom, Australian ‘Conversion Practices’ Laws & the Enforceability of Court Orders“.

Image: Diocese of Sydney.

The Green Captivity of the Church

“Even as I pressed the send button I knew it was a risky moment. And so it proved to be.

As soon as the article was published on a Christian website, there were cries of ‘heretic’, ‘he should lose his job’, ‘how unloving and unChristlike’, ‘cancel him’!?

What was the crime? What heresy was I expounding?

I had dared to suggest that perhaps the Climate Change debate was not over, and there were lots of questions that still had to be answered, and that we should approach the subject with a great deal more humility. …”

– At The Wee Flea David Robertson has republished a piece he wrote for AP (Australian Presbyterian magazine).

See also this article to which he links:

The Church must preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not climate change – William Philip, The Tron Church, Glasgow.

Biden Administration seeks to strip right from Christian Colleges to operate according to Historic, Christian Beliefs on Gender

In his The Briefing for 18 November 2021, Albert Mohler warns about “a moral revolution of unprecedented nature”.

Listen here. He covers the topic in the first 9 minutes and 40 seconds.

“Forcing Religious Institutions to become coercive extensions of State power”

“…The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has filed suit against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. The case is now formally known as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary vs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The suit has been filed before the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Now, we entered that suit along with the sister institutions to take a stand for religious liberty. Because that vaccine mandate, handed down by the administration, would effectively turn religious institutions into coercive arms of the administrative state.”

– In his The Briefing for 10th November 2021, Albert Mohler reveals that The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is going to court over vaccine mandates in the US.

See also:

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

From Meat to Meta: Facebook’s Disincarnate Dreamworld

I knew that I found something about Zuckerberg’s invitation to the metaverse profoundly disturbing, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was about Facebook’s new incarnation that made me so uneasy. Then I realized: the problem is that it is not an incarnation at all. …

Zuckerberg’s utopia is one without bodies, without the material, without weight. It is Exhibit A in what Charles Taylor calls the modern prejudice for ‘excarnation,’ the idea propounded by Descartes and others that we need to distance ourselves from embodiment in order to arrive at a clear understanding of things.…”

– The Gospel Coalition Australia has published this thoughtful piece by Chris Watkin reflecting on last week’s announment from Mark Zuckerberg.

(Image: Practical Wireless, July 1974.)

The Church has something distinctive to say about climate change – if only it would say it

“It’s only day one of COP26 and I suspect many people are already fed up of the endless news, constant commentary, and, to be frank, all the depressing ‘doom and gloom, turn or burn, end of the world is nigh’ rhetoric. …”

– In a piece he wrote for Christian Today, David Robertson highlights the emptiness of the message of COP26, and the glorious message Christ’s people have. He sees that Romans 8 has the perfect message for COP26.

Southern Cross November 2021

In December, printed copies of Southern Cross, the magazine of Sydney Diocese, will again be available in churches.

The November issue is online-only, and is now available. Download your copy at magazine.sydneyanglicans.net

Be sure to read “Christians speak out against assisted suicide” –

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has urged Christians to speak up against the assisted suicide bill, which he calls “a momentous shift in medical practice and community expectation”

The bill, introduced into the NSW Parliament in October, uses the terminology of “voluntary assisted dying” but the Archbishop says it goes beyond the physician-assisted suicide it would legalise.

“It marks the final abandonment of one of the cornerstones of Western civilisation: the sanctity of life,” the Archbishop says. “Advocates of Voluntary Assisted Dying – a deeply misleading cluster of words – have emphasised not the sanctity of life, but quality of life as subjectively experienced, and the primacy of autonomous choice.”

The Archbishop, senior bishops and Christian medical groups have pointed out several ways the bill would not provide extra choice, as proponents argue, but would have a flow-on effect to all those battling terminal illness. …

– Read it all on page 5.

New Zealand Assisted Dying Bill comes into force on November 7

“In a salutary piece of information recently, I learned that doctors assisting the death of pertinent patients in New Zealand would receive the sum of $1087.20 … to bring about the death of these people. I was shocked…”

– Charles Tyrell, former Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson, writes to The Church Times (copy via Anglican Mainstream).

Victorian Religious Exceptions Amendment Bill introduced

“As previously foreshadowed (see my analysis of the proposals when first announced here) the Victorian government has introduced a Bill into the Parliament of that State seriously limiting the religious freedom of religious bodies and individual Victorian citizens.

The Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 2021 (Vic) was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on October 27 and the second reading was moved on October 28.

The Bill is a serious attack on the religious freedom of Victorians, especially to send their children to faith-based schools reflecting a religious world-view.

The Bill amends the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (“EOA”), which is of course Victoria’s main anti-discrimination legislation. One of the primary ways that Australian law provides protection for religious freedom at the moment is by way of “balancing clauses” that recognise that this right is an important internationally protected human right, which is not always simply subjected to other rights. But these clauses are regularly characterised as “exemptions” or “exceptions”, and when this is done they are painted as reluctant concessions to the most important claims (not to suffer discrimination). Hence the apparent plausibility of removing these “exceptions”.…”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Associate Professor Neil Foster takes a close look at this “serious attack on the religious freedom of Victorians”.

See also:

Victoria and the Gradual Reversal of Constantine – Murray Campbell

“It took almost 300 years for Christianity to be no longer deemed dangerous and criminal. In the space of 5 years, basic Christian ideas have been maligned and even made illegal in my State of Victoria.”

Back to the Word

“I’m just about ready to give up the rational conversational approach to social intercourse and to start quoting straight Bible to people.

The further we go, the more reason isn’t working anymore. In these sputtering last gasps of the Enlightenment, language itself is deconstructing before our eyes. …”

– At World Magazine Andrée Seu Peterson says we need to rethink our approach.

And Australia comes in for dishonourable mention.

Link via Tim Challies.

NSW voluntary assisted dying bill delayed until 2022 after referral to Upper House committee

“Opponents of the voluntary assisted dying bill in New South Wales have been accused of playing politics after a vote on the legislation was delayed until next year…”

– Report from ABC News.

The Final Stone – A Response in Defence of Bishop Rod Chiswell

“Last weekend the Australian published a deeply disturbing piece about an Anglican bishop and a revolt against him from one small church in his diocese. …”

David Robertson at The Wee Flea shares his take on last weekend’s front page story in The Weekend Australian Magazine.

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