AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT ASKED TO DO MORE FOR GROWING HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has renewed calls for the Australian Government to do more to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq. ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton, said that as well as considering military options for dealing with the international security threat caused by Islamic State (IS), greater attention needed to be paid to the growing humanitarian crisis. ‘This is the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War,’ Mr Shelton said. ‘Frankly, Australia’s response has been inadequate. Millions of people have been displaced by this conflict and Australia ought to be doing much more to address this crisis.’ Mr Shelton renewed calls for the Australian Government to adopt a response similar to the Howard Government’s ‘Kosovo Solution’, which offered temporary asylum for people affected by that conflict.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton called for the annual humanitarian intake to be doubled from 13,700 to 27,400. “We welcome Mr Abbott’s indication that Australia is to do more. The government is right to give priority to persecuted religious minorities. However, the magnitude of this crisis demands a more substantial act of generosity. “This is the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II and our response is inadequate. “We recognise that Australia can’t solve this crisis but it can shoulder more of the burden, given that we are a wealthy country with capacity, particularly in regional areas. This crisis did not start with a boy being washed up on a beach. Away from the television cameras, people have been suffering for years and our response as a nation has been inadequate,” Mr Shelton said.
Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop Dr Glenn Davies also called on the Federal Government to develop a comprehensive response to the Syrian refugee crisis. “One of the most significant characteristics of a civilised society is the way it treats its most vulnerable. In our own country we have sought to address the needs of all who suffer a disadvantage that is not common to the ordinary working Australian. However our world is larger than Australia, so our vision for vulnerable persons ought to be larger.” Dr Davies said. The Archbishop called on the government to respond to the crisis being played out by the media. “Our TV screens are awash with images of desperate people fleeing war torn areas in Syria and Iraq. While it is pleasing to see how the German Chancellor has responded to this humanitarian crisis with an open invitation to settle within her borders, not all countries have shown the same generosity.
The devastating picture of three year old Aylan Kurdi lying lifeless on the beach seems symbolic of the tragedy of the region even though tens of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis have been slaughtered by the advance of terrorism. Ironically it was Stalin who declared, a million deaths is a statistic, but a single death is a tragedy.” The Archbishop wants an increase in the refugee quota from present levels. “I request the Prime Minister to order a return to an increased refugee quota of 20,000 per annum and I ask that urgent consideration be given to this, as well as other measures Australia could take to alleviate the suffering caused by the Syrian crisis. I call on our churches and all Christians for urgent intercessory prayer for those who are suffering and displaced. Jesus himself experienced the displacement of family and home, so his followers should also be welcoming of strangers Dr Davies said.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LOBBY WILL NOT ACCEPT TOLERANCE – THEY DEMAND COMPLETE ACCEPTANCE
There were howls of protest from the same-sex marriage lobby when Sydney’s Daily Telegraph recently reported parents objecting to a documentary on gay families being compulsory viewing in a Sydney high school. Senator Penny Wong tweeted that this was “bullying”, automatically classing as bullies parents wanting to teach a different value system to the same-sex marriage lobby. Fairfax media’s Brisbane writer, Rebecca Shaw, who describes herself as a well-adjusted lesbian in her 30s, wrote an article saying, “I won’t accept your ‘tolerance’” and demanded “complete acceptance” (The Age, August 30, 2015) Effectively, Shaw demands that all those who believe in man+woman marriage must now abandon their beliefs and accept the view that marriage is between any two people with any combination of numerous sexual orientations and sexual identities.
If the same-sex marriage lobby can make such demands on everyone, then why can’t the Labor Party demand that all Liberals must abandon the values that make them Liberals and must embrace only Labor values? Why can’t anti-religious secularists demand that Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists – all people who hold religious beliefs – “completely abandon” their beliefs and “completely accept” secular beliefs? Rebecca Shaw’s demand for complete acceptance is a demand for complete uniformity of beliefs to create a homogenised society. Complete acceptance of one value system destroys diversity and creates uniformity. It is authoritarianism. Has the same-sex marriage lobby lost its pride in diversity? The ground rule for a liberal democracy is tolerance of another person whose views differ to yours.
You can disagree with your neighbour’s values but tolerate your neighbour who believes them. You can disagree with your neighbour’s lifestyle without inflicting vitriolic abuse, hatred, bullying, denigration and threats of legal action. This is most clearly demonstrated by civil debate between opposing groups. The demand for “complete acceptance”, not just for same-sex marriage but also for the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) into anti-discrimination law, is itself “intolerant”. “Complete acceptance” abandons diversity for universal conformity. If realised, this demand moves society from a liberal democracy to an authoritarian state where only one belief system is promoted by government and the institutions that make up the state. When democracies cease to be tolerant, they can quickly become tyrannical.
LABOR’S DECISION TO EXPEL SUPPORTERS OF MAN-WOMAN ONLY MARRIAGE A NEW ERA OF INTOLERANCE
The recent decision by the Labor party to expel parliamentarians who advocate man-woman only marriage is being criticised as a new era of intolerance. The decision means that in two Parliaments time, Labor MPs and Senators who vote against redefining marriage will be expelled from the party. Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said this was devastating for the millions of ethnic, indigenous and religious Australians who will never support a state-imposed redefinition of marriage. Mr Shelton went on “If this is the principle Labor forces on its own people, what impact will it have on dissenters when it is next in power? Will there be freedom of conscience to choose not to provide services to same-sex weddings? Will Christian, Muslim and Jewish schools be allowed to teach children a definition of marriage that the party of Government expels parliamentarians for supporting?
Mr Shelton continued ”Will they be reported to the human rights commissions in the same way the Archbishop of Hobart was for distributing Christian teaching on marriage? Labor’s decision confirms all the fears dissenters to same sex-marriage have about the political ideology behind the issue and where it is taking our nation.” Mr Shelton said it was now more important than ever that the Liberal Party retained marriage as its party position. “Many Australians expect the Liberal Party to have a policy position supporting man-woman marriage” Mr Shelton said. “The big difference between Labor and Liberal is that Liberal members are not expelled if they vote against party policy. “Labor has now made itself unattractive to future candidates who believe in marriage between a man and a woman,” Mr Shelton said. “This will result in a future Labor caucus being less representative of the general population.”
CHRISTIANS TO RALLY ACROSS AUSTRALIA IN SUPPORT OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
Christians are invited and urged to attend rallies in cities across Australia in support of Biblical Marriage on Sunday 20th September 2015 at 2 pm.
This united show of strength may be the only opportunity for the “silent majority” to express their views in this public way in support of marriage and for it continuing to be defined as being solely between a man and a woman?
In Paris and Rome, similar rallies attracted hundreds of thousands of people. people who were concerned about the threat to marriage.
UNITY AUSTRALIA has been set up to provide a UNITED forum for all groups, Christians and people of goodwill who support the traditional nature of marriage – and don’t want it re-defined or ‘expanded’ to include any two people of the same sex. Rallies are being held in CAPITAL CITIES – Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide. For information on these rallies please go to www.unityaustralia.org
Do homosexuals want marriage as we understand it or do they want to transform and destroy it?It is critical Christians speak up and urge the government not to tamper with marriage.”