MARGARET COURT CAUSES FIRESTORM WITH HER COMMENTS ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Former world tennis No.1 Margaret Court has taken to Christian radio to dismiss the contents of fellow former professional Martina Navratilova’s open letter which labelled her a “racist” and “homophobe”. Defending herself against the accusations made by Navratilova in an open letter written for Fairfax Media, Court defended her stance against same-sex marriage: “I think marriage is so important and children are so important. My thing is just about the definition of marriage. “They (the LGBT community) can do what they want to do. I’ve got nothing against them. Just don’t touch the definition in a Bible marriage” Court said. “I don’t dislike Martina personally at all, or any other women players. I’ve got nothing against gay people. I’ve got them in the church. I’ve also got over a hundred Africans in my church and they know I love them.”
Court’s public opposition to same-sex marriage has sparked furious debate around whether the show court named in her honour at Melbourne Park should be changed. Navratilova launched a stinging attack on the former world number one in an exclusive open letter published by Fairfax Media, calling the Australian a “homophobe” and accusing her of demonising the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and a racist and a homophobe,” Navratilova wrote in her open letter. She went on to say it was time for a name change to the Margaret Court Arena at the Melbourne Tennis Centre. In her latest comments, Court told listeners: “If the people want my name on there, then it’s up to them. I won more grand slams than any other man or woman.
Vision Christian Radio on whose station the comments were made by Court, issued a statement claiming that the media were engaging in a firestorm of sensationalism over Pastor Court’s public stance about marriage, this time choosing to focus on a few words she spoke during an interview on their station. The statement said “In doing so they have demonstrated their true colours and how they are in stark contrast to Vision. During the hour-long 20Twenty interview, Neil Johnson graciously gave Ps. Margaret room to fully articulate her position as a Christian leader who has dared to stand up and say ‘this is what the Bible says’. She went to great lengths to reiterate her love for all people, but at the same time stress her core message ‘don’t mess with marriage!’
However what we have seen in these major media outlets has been just a selective little sliver of what was really said, missing critical elements of the actual truth in order to build a sensational headline. Although we would rather have the attention of the world’s media for different reasons, it does highlight the critical nature of our work at Vision. As you know, we can’t do this on our own. We want to be a strong voice of Truth and Hope in the marketplace but we cannot do it on our own. We need you to be with us on this journey. We know you believe in what we’re doing! We know you believe in the truth and hope of the Scriptures. We know you believe in the transformative power of God. Please stand with us as we need you!
CONFUSING GENDER IDEOLOGY NOT FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN
The Australian Christian Lobby has called for the immediate scrapping of the controversial Safe Schools program from Victorian special needs schools. It follows revelations that special needs children would be compelled to undertake the complex and dangerous gender theory program as part of the Victorian Government’s mandatory rollout in all secondary schools by the end of 2018. ACL Victorian director, Dan Flynn, said teaching teens with intellectual disabilities that their gender was fluid would put these vulnerable children at high risk of manipulation. “The gender theory espoused through Safe Schools is difficult for any child to grasp, but teaching children with special needs that they may have been born into the wrong body puts them at great risk of developing gender dysphoria,” Mr Flynn said.
“Vulnerable minds should not be exposed to the dangerous and radical teaching that gender is how you feel inside, regardless of your sex.” Mr Flynn said there was growing evidence that children with mental illness were susceptible to gender dysphoria. “Instead of encouraging this confusion, the Victorian Government should be doing what it can to protect the children in their care,” he said. Writing for Quadrant in December 2016, Western Sydney University professor of paediatrics, Dr John Whitehall said a study of Dutch children with dysphoria aged four to eleven revealed 52 per cent had associated psychiatric problems with diagnoses including anxiety, phobias, mood disorders, depression, attention deficit disorder and oppositional behaviour.
Dr Whitehall quotes an Australian study of 39 dysphoric children which found behavioural disorders were observed in a quarter, and Asperger syndrome was found in one in seven of the children. “The Victorian Governments need to clarify their intentions around this teaching of contested ideology to vulnerable children as there is significant concern about it breaching their duty of care,” Mr Flynn said. The ACL believes Safe Schools should be replaced in all schools and that genuine anti-bullying resources, not based on radical gender ideology, should be introduced in its place. “The Government’s unwillingness to listen on this issue is setting up a showdown with parents,” Mr Flynn said. “Of further concern to parents is the Victorian Government’s policy that no parent can withdraw their children from Safe Schools teaching. There is a rising chorus of Victorians against the program with more than 11,000 Victorians already signing an ACL petition calling for parents to have the right to remove their children from the program.”
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed a decision by the WA Director of Liquor Licensing to refuse an application to introduce topless women as so-called adult entertainment in a bar in Merriwa, in Perth’s north. The ACL, along with other community groups, churches, and individuals submitted objections to the proposal from the pub, The Sixty30, warning of the harm and criminal activities such “entertainment” was known to attract. ACL WA director, Dahlia Messiha said it was disappointing that while so many were working to build respect for women, a pub wants to objectify and demean women in pursuit of profit. “In a society where women are fighting to be equally treated as men, it is difficult to fathom how a business would want to undermine this work by seeking to introduce “entertainment” which portrays women as sexual commodities,” Ms Messiha said.
In its submission, ACL warned against having such a bar in close proximity to five schools, one of which was only 400 meters from the bar. “The ACL congratulates the Director for making a decision in the interests of women, children, and the community of Merriwa, a suburb which already held a high rate of alcohol-related crime,” Ms Messiha said.