Yes, it was all there – the creativity, love, community spirit, the inspiration of song and music, international cooperation, national spirit recovering from tragedy, engineering, ingenuity, seemingly faultless programming and coordination, the emphasis on fair play and sportsmanship, the honour and excitement and sheer joy of being there in a spirit of freedom, the honour of being human.
Yes, it is a great honour and privilege to be human.
We share that honour with the Son of God who came in our likeness.
To be created in God’s Image with all that means, to share that with others, to see it in others – even just a little peek – is such a privilege and joy. And yes, it means all peoples and races and tribes and tongues. And yes, it means in all states of disability and dependency. And yes, it means from the beginning of life to its natural conclusion. And yes, it means that a new-born baby is worth more than a pig. And yes, it means that a babe in the womb also has that Image even though we cannot yet see its evidences.
And as we get excited by the Olympic spirit let us also get excited by the display of what it means to be human as evidenced by that spirit and what it means to be created in the Imago Dei.
And yes, let us get excited and motivated defending what it means to be human in the alienated and our most vulnerable, for all at risk, and renew our efforts for the unborn, for life itself.
The Greens strategy was to preference ‘progressive’ parties first. That’s code for supporting same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia and open borders. But we knew where we stood from the outset. So the poor results were really no surprise in this electorate where the Sex Party ran as the third choice.
What was disappointing was the turnout at the ACL candidate forum. After other community groups had 120-130 locals turn out to meet the candidates and hear their views, the Christian forum attracted less that 20 locals, and with 13 candidates at this event, the audience almost mirrored the candidates. This unfortunate trend continued on election day with the Sex Party and Berhan Ahmed having 4-5 volunteers at each booth, with Australian Christians thankful for the faithful one volunteer at each booth who stood in some cases for 8-10 hours without relief.
We did achieve our goal and were a voice for those who have no voice; especially in this electorate. But we hope that in the next election a greater portion of the church may stand with us in this vigil for the most vulnerable in our society.
Interview: Ray Moran, National Director of Australian Christians, with John Cleary on the religious hour Sunday 22nd July.
ABC’s PM program asks why some church leaders have objected to the name of the new party Australian Christians.
Maria Bengtsson and Ray Moran answer questions about the name and the upcoming by election for the seat of Melbourne.
When asked why Maria was contesting the election, she stated
“This is an opportunity to be a voice representing Christian values and concerns and offering a genuine choice to voters. It is an opportunity to exercise freedom of speech and ensure real tolerance remains for all views. We are concerned to be a voice for the greater good and this is an opportunity.
As a person who has worked for a number of years in the health industry I am concerned about the root causes of many of societies problems. eg dishonesty that leads to fraud, exploitation of vulnerable people and mismanagement of taxpayer’s money.
I would like to see a cultural shift to honesty and integrity which means refocusing from selfishness and demanding personal rights toward more concern for others in need. The message of self sacrifice is not popular however I believe it’s what has built Australia and it’s this value I would like to foster. eg. Same-sex couples should consider sacrificing fulfilling their own desires for the perfectly natural and healthy desire of a child to have a mum and a dad. Other candidates may want to please various lobby groups to get votes. I believe giving the next generation the best opportunity in life means I won’t be able to please every lobby group.”
by Elizabeth Kendal
Without a doubt, the greatest lie being told about the Syrian conflict is that it is being waged by President Assad against ‘the Syrian people’.
This is pure propaganda. In December 2011, just three months into the crisis, the Qatar Foundation conducted a major poll inside Syria to assess
the level of support for Assad. (This was before al-Qaeda and other international Salafi jihadists started flooding in, making the crisis
worse.) As an advocate of regime change in Syria, Qatar was embarrassed by the results and so buried them. When eventually leaked, the results
revealed that 55 percent of Syrians supported President Assad and 68 percent of Syrians disapproved of Arab League sanctions. This makes
perfect sense, considering that religious minorities make up 25 percent of Syria’s population (Christians are 10 percent) and at least one-third of
all Sunni Muslims would be nominal or secular urbanites who likewise do not want to live in an Islamic State. So the main division in Syria is not
between Assad and the rest, but between Sunni fundamentalists (including foreign Salafi jihadists) and the rest, i.e. the majority of Syrians.
This is asymmetric warfare: a battle between two unequal forces. The jihadists who quickly hijacked the original protest movement are no match
for the Syrian military. Consequently this battle would have been over long ago except that forces keen to counter the Iranian-Shi’ite ascendancy
by means of regime change in Syria are arming, training and funding the jihadists. These forces are the US – Saudi Arabia – Gulf Arab axis plus
neo-Ottoman Turkey. As noted by Robert D Kaplan and Kamran Bokhari (Stratfor Intelligence), Assad’s removal will doubtless hasten Syria’s
(and Lebanon’s) slide into chaos, not slow it. Despite what the US – Saudi – Gulf Arab axis says, this is exactly what it intends with the aim of
crippling or at least tying up Iran’s allies – the Syrian Army and Hezballah – ahead of a military strike on Iran. The US seems to have no
long-term perspective and nobody seems to care about the plight of millions of Middle Eastern Christians.
Propaganda is critical in asymmetric warfare. The weaker force (the jihadists) cannot win on their own and need to have a power stronger than
the other side intervene on their behalf. To secure a ‘humanitarian intervention’ the weaker force will inflate and falsify civilian casualty
figures and even create civilian casualties through the use of human shields and ‘false flag’ operations. ['False flag' operations are those in
which the terrorists are disguised as elements of the other side.] The Houla massacre has since been proved to be a ‘false flag’ operation,
committed by Free Syrian Army forces claiming to be pro-government ‘thugs’. The dead families were pro-government, mostly non-Sunni,
civilians. US-NATO will not intervene militarily as they did when they bombed Belgrade in 1999 and Tripoli in 2011 – two cities full of civilians
- unless and until they can make a military intervention palatable to voters back home. Hence the US administration’s peddling of jihadist
propaganda! But the US must find another way to contain or engage Iran, for their present strategy necessitates the totally unacceptable sacrifice
of millions of Middle Eastern Christians.
According to church sources inside Syria, Christians are increasingly being targeted and driven out of their homes and districts. Some 138,000
Christians have fled Homs, where Christians have been terrorised and churches have been looted and occupied by rebel forces. At least 9,000
Christians fled the neighbouring western city of Qusayr after the leaders of a rebel faction issued an ultimatum that was repeated from mosque
minarets. In areas under rebel control, intolerant, hard-line Sunni fundamentalism is making Muslim-Christian coexistence impossible. For the
jihadists, neutrality is not an option, and Christians (and Muslims) refusing to support the jihad are being tortured, expelled and murdered.
In a fatwa, Sunni cleric Adnan Arour warned Syrian loyalists: ‘We will chop you up and feed you to the dogs.’
For more, see The Syria Crisis: cutting through the propaganda (11 July
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL -
* redeem this crisis to build up the Church both in numbers – as people come to faith – and in faithfulness – as believers learn to look to and
trust the LORD of hosts. ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ (from Isaiah 30:15 ESV)
* stretch out his arm to guide Christians fleeing jihad and terror, leading them where to go, shielding them under his hand, providing all
their needs and fending off those who would harm them.
* turn the hearts of US-NATO leaders who are supporting the jihadists; may they turn from this strategy – give up on it, find another way -
and put human life before economic and geo-strategic gain; may they become a force for peace, not death. ‘The king’s heart is a stream of
water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.’ (Proverbs
LONDON, UK, July 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Mega-search engine company Google, well known for its endorsement of homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,” announced a new international campaign over the weekend focused on forcing their homosexual ideology on countries that they describe as “homophobic.”
Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, Google’s head of diversity, made the official announcement during the Global LGBT Workplace Summit in London on July 7, and indicated that the initiative, called “Legalize Love,” debuted in Poland and Singapore that day because Poland does not recognize same-sex couples and Singapore has laws against sodomy.
“The ‘Legalize Love’ initiative will promote human rights and tackle employment discrimination in countries with anti-gay laws on the books,” Google said in a written statement, according to CNN.
The campaign will eventually expand to every country where the company has an office, said Palmer-Edgecumbe, but first will “focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist,” adding that “Singapore wants to be a global financial center and world leader and we can push them on the fact that being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
“We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work,” Palmer-Edgecumbe said, according to the homosexual professional networking site Dot429.
According to Dot429, Google’s strategy involves “developing partnerships between companies and organizations to support grass-roots campaigns.”
Panelists at the Global LGBT Workplace Summit included Bob Amnnibale of the international financial conglomerate Citigroup, Harry Gaskell of the professional services firm Ernst & Young (http://www.ey.com/), and Claire Lucas of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), who all praised Google’s homosexual initiative against Poland and Singapore.
Lucas said, “What we have found is that a partnership between corporations and the US government is very powerful. We are working with some NGOs and some corporations on a global LGBT partnership. The corporations are co-funding with the US government these civil society organizations around the world.” USAID is well known for pushing contraception, legalized abortion, and sterilization on developing countries all over the world in its population control programs.
Bob Amnnibale, an openly homosexual Citigroup executive, said, “The fact that Google is so virtual and its appeal is very wide and young demographically means it can help spread messaging very, very quickly,” while Harry Gaskell noted the weight of financial clout that could be exerted on the governments of small countries by wealthy companies.
“If you are trying to change something, governments can exert diplomatic power, NGOs can martial facts and arguments, but corporations martial economic power. That is something even the most passive of countries will listen to,” he told the summit according to Dot429.
Dot429 had stated in their original coverage that the “Legalize Love” campaign was launched by Google “with the intention of inspiring countries to legalize marriage for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people around the world.”
Google subsequently issued a correction statement saying the Dot 429 report was “inaccurate” and that the campaign is not specifically targeted at marriage equality laws.
“Legalize Love is a campaign to promote safer conditions for gay and lesbian people inside and outside the office in countries with anti-gay laws on the books,” said a Google spokesperson in the statement.
However, Google has given support to same-sex “marriage” initiatives in the past, including strongly opposing Proposition 8, the successful 2008 referendum in California that banned same-sex “marriage,” and supporting a 2011 lawsuit seeking to nullify the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the U.S. federal law that protects marriage as between a man and a woman.
M E D I A S T A T E M E N T
9 July 2012
Melbourne by-election 21 July 2012
Maria Bengtsson – a strong voice for the most vulnerable
We are living in a culture of competing voices where every group is lobbying for ‘rights’ – whether for endangered species, bike lanes, tunnels or a bigger slice of the budget – but rarely for the most vulnerable among us.
It is tragic that our environment may be abused through neglect or exploitation and we should be concerned about this. However while lamenting the consequences of mismanagement and seeking to improve environmental performance, it is ironic that one of the greatest violations to life itself is shamelessly approved as just another ‘right’.
To date this year in Victoria, over 8,000 babies have been aborted, some of these at full term. In some instances, given another day or so these full term babies would be able to exercise their own voice to plead for a fair go but in Victoria the womb does not provide this protection. And neither do vulnerable young women have the real freedom of choice to know the health risks or alternatives to abortion. While premature babies are viable and survive from about 20 weeks, there is no requirement to provide medical assistance for babies who survive abortion. Those who advocate for this are referred to as ‘progressive’.
The most vulnerable extend to our elderly, who we hear are too often being denied hydration, the basic provisions of food and water, and referred to hospices instead of hospitals when all they may require is life saving antibiotics.
Australian Christians is compelled to be a strong voice for these most vulnerable in our society. And we are compelled to protect the basic freedoms many Victorians agree are being eroded.
The national launch of the federal party Australian Christians in Perth March 7, 2012 was followed by the Melbourne launch on March 16 and Launceston March 21.
Australian Christians (AC) has been established to be a viable alternative to the two major parties and a voice for the estimated 2.7 million Christian voters. As a major voting block, AC will contribute to the conversation about what constitutes Australian values and family, and will advocate for the preservation of freedoms.
If elected we will be a voice of freedom in three areas:
Freedom of Speech – we would advocate for the repeal of Victoria’s Racial & Religious Tolerance Act that stifles freedom of speech and honest debate.
Freedom of religion –we would advocate to amend the Victoria Charter of Human Rights and implement the SARC (Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee) recommendations in order to protect freedom of conscience and belief for faith-based organizations’.
Freedom of Conscience – we would advocate for amendments to the abortion legislation to allow doctors and nurses the freedom to not be involved in the abortion industry it if contravenes their conscience.
We will be a voice for those whose voice is being silenced.
Media Contact: Vickie Janson 0411 298 464
Schools to dump ‘just say no’ program on drugs, booze’ (Herald-Sun)
[“Permissibility, availability and accessibility - all increase consumption.” Dalgarno Institute.]
Is the Victorian State Government really abandoning the option of a) informing young people of the best practice option of abstinence? Or b) Empowering young people to have the ability of not having to take up alcohol at a young age? Really!?
If it is, then not only is the emerging generation in trouble, but the Government is ignoring even the conservative advice of the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) alcohol consumption guidelines of which guideline three states… For children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option – Parents and carers should be advised that children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important.
http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/your-health/alcohol-guidelines/ Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education must focus on promoting the Not Having To option as there is NO safe limited of alcohol (or other drug) consumption for the developing brain, which is doing so until about 23 to 25 years of age. To reference Professor Rob Moodie – ‘to the developing brain – every drink does it damage.’
Reporter Amy Oliver of the UK’s Daily Mail, quoting new research published in the Lancet only this April, stating…
“Too young to cope? Scientists have discovered people don’t become true adults until they’re 24. But the research suggests the adolescent brain is ill-equipped to deal with the effects of drinking and drug-taking and less able to assess risk. As a result more adolescents die from injury caused by accidents where, often unnecessary or excessive risks were taken, than anything else…”
The imperative of AOD Education cannot simply be managing the aftermath of consumption – it must be maximising the ability of the most vulnerable of our community to resist the pressure to take up alcohol or other drugs in the first place.
The keys to AOD education in the schools are three fold… a) Good solid and well backed research b) Information delivered/packaged in an engaging pedagogy and most importantly c) addressing the predicative issues that inform alcohol and other drug uptake. When you help students fully comprehend not only the issue of substances themselves, but more the ‘why’ of uptake/use, then you have an excellent starting point.
However, underpinning all this work is the issue of resiliency. The key factor that needs to be addressed is the falling resiliency of an emerging generation that is often bullied by a technocracy lead egocentric hedonism and a growing disconnect from sustainable meaning and nurturing functional relationships/models.
AOD education for the young cannot be conducted in isolation from community values/behaviours either. It is imperative that the message to the emerging adult is not one of ‘oh you’re going to do it like a grown up, so let’s help you become one of us’. Rather it must be an adult population that models care and value for the young person, giving them the best opportunity and example to experience a substance free adolescence and a shot at not having to become a lifelong user of alcohol or any other drug for that matter.
The Dalgarno Institute and its growing coalition have been delivering successful AOD education based on these principles for years, all whilst continuing to promote the idea of abstinence as not only a viable and attractive, but ultimately best option.
PATRICIA KARVELAS THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 27, 2012
AUSTRALIANS are comfortable with multiculturalism and racial diversity, but an overwhelming number of people have expressed concerns that Muslims are not integrating and are coming to Australia to impose their values on the nation. A far-reaching bipartisan federal parliamentary inquiry into the nation’s acceptance of culturally diverse communities, due to report in August, will conclude that the largest issue facing the nation is the acceptance of Muslims, who many Australians fear have an agenda not at one with the country’s values.
Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou, who chairs the inquiry, has told The Australian her committee believes the country needs strong political leadership to address the crisis over Islam.
She said the committee looking at multiculturalism would not extend “rights” and would not recommend the introduction of a multicultural act because people resented being told what to think.
The strengthening of laws has been on the agenda and this is the first time it has been ruled out.
“No, the multicultural act won’t happen, and neither is sharia law,” Ms Vamvakinou told The Australian.
“I think we do not need to prescribe things and I felt that people resent that there is this prescription for behaviour and this issue is too important to the broader community to let it fester.
“Australians are comfortable with multiculturalism. We don’t think a multicultural act will help multiculturalism. People don’t need new laws here.”
Instead of increasing laws, Australia needed to address how it could continue the positive elements of multiculturalism “without creating the sense of new rules being imposed”.
She said her committee was looking at recommending that the issue of Islamic acceptance engage political leadership because of alarming levels of discomfort with Muslims.
Ms Vamvakinou also said the committee had been overwhelmed by complaints that the multicultural system was failing to equip new Australians with language skills and suitable work.
She said the system was not helping migrants and refugees at the front door, particularly by failing to provide adequate language tuition and also by failing to recognise migrants’ unique qualifications.
“Clearly, there is a belief among some people that there is a worldwide agenda for Islamists to bring their values into Australia. There is a view that multiculturalism is a way for Muslims to come in and impose their views under the guise of multiculturalism.
“Our approach is not to ignore this. There is a section of the community that thinks this way. We think we need strong leadership on this because it emerged as a big issue. We have to balance this between people’s fears and the real facts,” she said.
Ms Vamvakinou said her committee would try to present the government with a unified response, rather than one that has dissenting reports by politicians of different views. “In the past decade, multiculturalism was a political football and I think that caused a lot of damage,” she said.