Calvinistic Political and Social Organisation (CPSA)

Small meetings have been held at the Mt Nasura Free Reformed Church aimed at reigniting the CPSA which was formed many years ago by members of the FRCA. Early in January Rev Berends from the Canadian Reformed Churches spoke about what is occurring in Canada politically and the role the churches there are playing. In Canada a full time director has been appointed to the Association for Reformed Political Action. At the meetings it was discussed that there is a need for greater awareness among the church members of what was occurring socially and politically, particularly in Australia. It was also felt that more needs to be done in making politicians and other organisations aware of what our views are. The CPSA is already working on its first submission for the Freedom of Religion and Belief inquiry. Watch this space for more developments with the CPSA.

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POSTED 30 Jan 2009
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Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984

A senate report on the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 was released in December and has several areas of concern for the ACL by failing to close a loophole in the Act which has paved the way for single women and lesbians to receive IVF. The report recommends removing exemptions which allow religious bodies and religious schools to recruit staff who share the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the religious organisation, which includes the ordination of ministers, and the appointment of teachers.

Christian Schools Australia, the peak body for Christian Schools, said in a statement that it would continue to campaign to maintain the status quo. For their report visit: http://www.csa.edu.au/briefing_item.php?newsid=669

Another recommendation reflects the ALP’s commitment to removing discrimination against same-sex couples, proposing “marital status’ to be replaced with ‘marital or relationship status’ throughout the Act. This opens the possibility of people challenging restrictions on IVF, adoption and surrogacy on the basis or sex or (marital) relationship status.

These recommendations will now be subject to a 12 month consultation process, to be overseen by the Attorney-General’s Department. For the report visit: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/sex_discrim/report/index.htm

See www.acl.org.au or www.saltshakers.org.au on ways to get involved in the consultation process.

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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Surrogacy

The Australian Christian Lobby reports that a discussion paper called “A Proposal for a National Model to Harmonise regulation of Surrogacy” has been released that examines the harmonisation of Australia’s surrogate parenting laws. Released this week by the Standing Committee of Attorneys General, or SCAG as it is known, the paper seems to take its lead from legislation rushed through the Victorian Parliament late last year giving lesbians access to IVF and homosexual men access to surrogacy arrangements. The deadline for submissions is April 16.

To read the paper visit: http://www.scag.org.au/lawlink/scag/ll_scag.nsf/pages/scag_currentprojects

Click then on the link “surrogacy consultation” to open the word document.

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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Gambling

An inquiry is underway by the Australian Government Productivity Commission into Gambling. It is calling for submissions by March 31, 2009. A draft report will be finalised in July/August with the final report expected to be released November 24, 2009. Among other things it is seeking comment on the social and economic impacts of gambling. Read the issues paper to get a better understanding of what gambling is doing in Australia. See: http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/gambling-2009/issuespaper

To see how WA laws compare to other states and more info on gambling provided by the Federal Government read” A National Snapshot of Harm Minimisation Strategies’: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/aboutfacs/programs/gambling/

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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Geert Wilders

The Economist Jan 22, 09: Prosecutors in the Netherlands said they would put on trial a Dutch member of parliament, Geert Wilders, on charges of making anti-Islamic statements. Mr Wilders, who last year released a film, “Fitna”, which attacked the Koran, said it was a black day for freedom of speech.

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009

Letters to the editor

Saltshakers offers the following hints to those that write letters to the Editor:
* Short letters are best – no more than 150 words
* Deal with one issue only, write as soon as the issue appears in the newspaper.
* Don’t ramble. Think about your most important point and make it succinctly.
* Use light humour where appropriate and don’t ‘preach’ – don’t quote chunks of Bible verses – put it in your own words – God won’t mind as long as it is what He meant!!
* Always be polite, don’t get personal except when referring directly to another person’s letter – even then, deal with the issue not the person.

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009

Child welfare

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report, “Child Protection Australia 2007-8” that shows a 115% rise over 10 years in the number of children that need out-of-home care. It has risen from around 14,500 children in 1998 to 31,166 in 2008. The Federal Government is developing a National Child Protection Framework which will be tabled before the Council of Australian Governments in coming months. Visit: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/Internet/tanyaplibersek.nsf/content/child_protection_report_21jan09.htm

A copy of the report is here: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/10687

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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Abortion/medicare funding

Last Sunday at the Free Reformed Church of Armadale many people signed a petition in support of disallowing Medicare funding for second trimester abortions. Tasmanian Senator Guy Barnett aims to table the petitions in Federal Parliament. To download the petition go to: http://www.guybarnett.com/Articles/downloads/Petition-to-disallow-@-16.9.08.pdf or call: 03 6334 1755

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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Peter Costello

Mr Costello gave a Christian Australia Day message talking about Australia’s Christian heritage and quoting parts of the bible. To see video: http://catchthefire.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/pipi-title-1.mp4.

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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Foreign aid/abortion

One of the first acts on his first day for new US President Obama was to overturn a Bush policy to ban overseas aid being used to fund abortion in poor countries. This has put enormous pressure on Australian PM Kevin Rudd to follow suit. Johannesburg Catholic archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale speaking at the plenary assembly of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference this week warned of continuing attempts to legalise abortion and in vitro fertilisation in African countries, with the African Union’s Maputo Protocol and the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. “Do Church leaders have a say in these complex moral issues of the day or are we simply left to the mercy of unscrupulous campaigners?”Archbishop Tlhagale asked in conclusion.

To read his speech visit: http://www.sacbc.org.za/docs/Opening%20Address%20final%20Archbishop%20Buti%20Tlhagale%20Jan%202009.pdf

Action: The ACL says it is vital we email our Federal politicians this week as they resume parliament and urge them to use foreign money to protect women and babies, not to have them aborted. To find out how to get involved and find out more visit: http://www.makeastand.org.au/campaign/index.stw?campaign_id=17

For a viewpoint in favour of providing abortion aid read former democrat leader Lyn Allison’s article: http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/everyone-has-the-right-to-choose-how-they-plan-a-family-20090127-7qwx.html

and ACL managing director Jim Wallace’s response: http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/life-means-something-20090128-7ryx.html?page=-1

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POSTED 29 Jan 2009
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