Rainbow Connection: SSM and Religious Freedom

During Australia’s same sex marriage debate, one group (on the “NO” side) continues to claim that religious freedom will be put at risk should SSM be legalised. The other group (on the “YES” side) continue to insist such concerns are unfounded and are mere red herrings – that the only issue at stake is the happiness of people who want to marry their same sex partner.

But what is the reality?

 

I heard an interview* on ABC radio this morning that made it clear that any protection of religious freedom will ONLY be applied to religious institutions and not to Christian individuals.
Bringing out the now clichéd example of a cake maker refusing to supply a cake for a same sex wedding, it was made clear that they will be guilty of breaking anti-discrimination laws and will be subject to prosecution.

 

My own view of that is that it is the EVENT being “discriminated” against – not the people involved. I’m sure the cake maker would be willing to bake cakes for anyone as an individual – just not willing to bake a cake for an event that compromises their religious beliefs.
To take a step to the side – should a cake maker (religious or otherwise) be legally required to supply a cake promoting (legal) extreme right wing groups or other political views that challenge their conscience, or would their refusal be deemed prosecutable discrimination?

 

Apart from that hypothetical and now clichéd example, we have current cases to look at (not exclusively religious), such as the one described in this story:

A petition with more than 2000 signatures has likened doctors who oppose marriage equality to racists and accused them of contributing to “increased depression.”

The open letter accompanying the petition was written by Perth medical student Carolyn O’Neil and accused more than 400 doctors of adding to “increased depression, anxiety, self‐harm, and suicidal behaviours.”

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/37005078/doctors-opposing-marriage-equality-slam-petition-against-them/

 

This follows a situation that I mentioned in an earlier post, where a doctor was being subjected to a petition calling for her to be struck off the medical register.

A woman that appeared in the advertisement for the ‘no’ camp in the same-sex marriage debate is now at the centre of an online campaign to have her medical licence stripped.

The online petition has just over 6,000 signatures and calls for a “review of the registration of Dr Pansy Lai”.

Dr Lai, a GP in northern Sydney, appeared as one of three mothers in the Marriage Coalition advertisement that first aired at the end of last month.

She told The Australian she has been inundated with phone and social media threats since the ad was released and said she had reported one threat to police that she would be shot “this week”.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/36946222/online-petition-wants-dr-pansy-lai-from-sydney-deregistered/

 

In recent weeks I’ve kept an eye on several discussions in the media around the topic of same sex marriage and have found very strong anti-Christian attitudes being shown that don’t line up with the assurances that religious freedom won’t be reduced.
The problem with those assurances is what “religious freedom” actually means to those making them. The nature of that “freedom” is being defined by those who won’t be needing it – by the irreligious, the non-believer, and at times those who are actually hostile to all kinds of religious belief.

Those people have NO qualification for understanding the reasons why Christians (or adherents of other religious beliefs) might not agree with same sex marriage. To have that understanding they would need to recognise what it means to believe in a God who has revealed what HE requires of His creation – that it is GOD’s standards that count – not man’s ever changing whims.

Genuine Christians believe in a very REAL God and desire to commit their lives to Him and His ways – to them “religion” is not a mere interest, a hobby – an alternative to sport or any other past time. Their relationship to God is the most important part of their life: in fact it IS their life.

_______________________

* http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/same-sex-marriage-hate-speech-santow/8884594

How I Became Fake News by Brennan Gilmore

I think this is a very significant article (thanks to Chris for the link). I recommend you don’t just read the excerpts below, but go to the link and read the whole article.

I was initially going to post this as a comment on an earlier thread, but decided the content is too significant to risk it being missed.

Did I actually have to worry that the president of the United States might launch an investigation against me because I happened to capture footage of a white supremacist terror attack and spoke publicly about what I saw? I realized I couldn’t rule it out, and that frankly scares the hell out of me—for my family, but particularly for our country.
Over the past week, I’ve seen personally the very real damage that these conspiracy theories have on our public discourse. The danger is not necessarily that a large number of people will believe them in their entirety. Instead, it’s that they muddy the waters on issues that should be about right and wrong. This is truly dangerous. If we are to get beyond this current acute manifestation of the cancer of American racism and begin to heal, the right must join with the left to excise the malignancy of white supremacy from our politics and society. Conspiratorial thinking and confusion on what is real make this much harder.

in this story, there are not two sides.

I know what I saw on Saturday, and I know which side was responsible. I saw a man who identified himself as a Nazi purposefully drive his car into a group of protesters.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/21/fake-news-charlottesville-215514

Kenyan’s chickens coming home to roost.

Who would have thought that a Moslem African, masquerading as a Hawaiian born, American President could be so devious?

Lucky that Trumpism has arrived so the Alternative Facts can be brought to light via his favourite media source.

 

” conservatives are pushing another conspiracy theory—that President Obama helped bring down Pope Benedict 16th—to replace him with a more sympathetic pontiff, Pope Francis.”

 

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/pope-francis-and-obama:-a-peculiar-conspiracy/8355226

 

 

Lies, Hypocrisy and Deja Vu. (from the Evangelicals’ choice): Addendum

Fact check: what did Trump’s tweets about Obama’s ‘wiretaps’ mean?

Trump accuses former president of illegal wiretapping – claims that appear to be based on rumors circulating in rightwing media about a ‘silent coup’

 

On Saturday morning, without presenting evidence, Donald Trump
accused former president Barack Obama of illegal wiretapping.

Using Twitter, the president also mounted a defense of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions and his meetings with the Russian ambassador.

The six tweets appeared to originate with rumors circulating in rightwing media, especially talk radio and Breitbart News – recently run by Steve Bannon, now the president’s chief strategist – about a “silent coup” against Trump, by members of the Obama administration.

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/04/fact-check-trump-obama-wiretap-tweets-rumors

The Last Trump: Lies, Hypocrisy and Deja Vu. (from the Evangelicals’ choice).

Vice-president Mike Pence used a personal email account to discuss security issues as governor of Indiana and was hacked last summer, it was reported on Thursday…
…The revelation comes after a bruising election campaign in which Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state was a recurring theme. Commenting on an FBI investigation last September, Pence told NBC’s Meet the Press that the Democrat was “the most dishonest candidate for President of the United States since Richard Nixon”.

But now it is his own email system under scrutiny.

full article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/02/mike-pence-personal-email-hacked-aol-governor

And déjà vu from the Trump camp after the recent “resignation” of Michael Flynn.

US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions has removed himself from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, following revelations he twice met with the Russian ambassador and did not say so when pressed by Congress.

Earlier, Mr Sessions had denied meeting Russia’s US ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during the presidential campaign, despite the Justice Department saying two meetings took place.

“I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false,” Mr Sessions said earlier.

full article here:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-03/sessions-denies-meeting-with-any-russians-during-campaign/8320826

and where/when will it end?

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was with Gen. Michael Flynn when he met with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition, making him the latest figure to receive scrutiny for unreported contacts with the diplomat.

full article here:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/jared-kushner-meeting-flynn-russian-ambassador-article-1.2987334

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

The Last Trump: (Friday 17th February) More from the Evangelical’s choice.

Presidential checklist:

mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

 

Trump’s remarkable press conference: world wrap with Matt Bevan

from here:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/trumps-remarkable-press-conference-world-wrap-with-matt-bevan/8278830

time

Donald Trump’s anti-press conference would be funny – if it weren’t so scary.
article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/16/donald-trump-press-conference-media-criticism-not-funny
Donald Trump news conference: what was all that ‘ranting and raving’ about?
article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/16/trump-news-conference-recap-issues-breakdown
‘There is such hatred’: Trump swipes at everything in manic 77-minute blasting of media
article here:
https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/34436744/donald-trump-attacks-press-over-fake-news-in-77-minute-press-briefing/#page1
Fake news and real journalism

from:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/fact-based-journalism/8275630

 

And watch this brief video. Take careful note of what is actually asked by the questioner, and then see whether the question and the tone in which it was asked has any relationship to the answer given and the attitude in which it was given.

 

 

Brief CNN Summary of the Press Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

 

______________

 

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

 

 

 

Father of Alternative Facts (who is YOUR Father?)

A new term has entered the lexicon—’alternative facts’.

It was used by Donald Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway to defend those claims by the administration that the crowds at Trump’s inauguration last month were bigger than Barack Obama’s in 2008.

Media organisations have loudly and regularly called out US President Donald Trump for falsehoods over the last 18 months.

from here:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/does-fact-checking-work-in-an-era-of-alternative-facts/8271272

And from the audio at that site:

[Trump’s] supporters don’t care what he says, they don’t care whether he’s telling the truth or not… whatever he says it doesn’t matter. Whether he’s caught as a misogynist, whether he’s caught lying about a whole bunch of issues, they don’t care because they can see him as their saviour, so the facts aren’t really an issue…

And from here: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/2/15/rep_ted_lieu_to_introduce_bill

From congressman Ted Lieu:

… when you have a president that lies pathologically, that believes in alternative facts, it suggests to me there is a problem. I don’t know the extent of that problem.


To the “evangelicals” who voted for and continue to support Trump. Do YOU care about your favoured president’s attitude to truth?

Or do you also push aside the clear message of the following and what it says about the source of lies?

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

 

Who is YOUR Father?

 

________________________

Also see:

“Don’t call it post-truth. There’s a simpler word: lies”

We’ve been calling this “post-truth politics” but I now worry that the phrase is far too gentle, suggesting society has simply reached some new phase in its development. It lets off the guilty too lightly. What Trump is doing is not “engaging in post-truth politics”. He’s lying.
Worse still, Trump and those like him not only lie: they imply that the truth doesn’t matter…

from:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/16/not-post-truth-simpler-words-lies-aleppo-trump-mainstream

And:
“Truth is evaporating before our eyes”
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/19/truth-is-evaporating-before-our-eyes

Last Trump (of week ending 11 Feb 2017)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump denounced a treaty that caps U.S. and Russian deployment of nuclear warheads as a bad deal for the United States, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official with knowledge of the call.

When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said.

Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favoured Russia. Trump also talked about his own popularity, the sources said.

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-call-putin-trump-denounced-obama-era-nuclear-000102995.html

 

And this from ABC Radio:

 

from : http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/details-of-trump-putin-call-reportedly-leaked/8258042

 

 

 

ALSO:

Trump may have undermined the legal case for his immigration ban in 2 major ways

President Donald Trump’s past comments about a “Muslim ban” and the hasty rollout of his immigration order targeting seven Muslim-majority countries may undermine the government’s legal arguments for upholding the order, law experts say.

Legal challenges to presidential executive orders are almost always “an automatic win” for the government, William Stock, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Business Insider on Wednesday.

But the lawsuits against Trump’s immigration order seem to be an exception for two major reasons, Stock said. “The first is 12 months worth of statements about a ‘Muslim ban.’ The second is the president’s habitual mistatements of facts and statistics that I really think have caused the court to look upon his claims about the national security imperative for this order with great scepticism.” [my emphasis – onesimus],

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/trump-muslim-ban-comments-could-affect-his-standing-in-court-2017-2?r=US&IR=T

 

 

I wonder when the discomforts of unequal yoking will be recognised and acknowledged by “evangelicals”.

By willingly “yoking” yourself to another, you effectively share the responsibility and “credit” for the actions that are carried out.

1984 “Surging”

Sales of George Orwell’s dystopian drama 1984 have soared after Kellyanne Conway, adviser to the reality-TV-star-turned-president, Donald Trump, used the phrase “alternative facts” in an interview. As of Tuesday, the book was the sixth best-selling book on Amazon.

Comparisons were made with the term “newspeak” used in the 1949 novel, which was used to signal a fictional language that aims at eliminating personal thought and also “doublethink”. In the book Orwell writes that it “means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them”.

See article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/24/george-orwell-1984-sales-surge-kellyanne-conway-alternative-facts

The inevitable outcome in an age of relativism where truth is seen as something subjective.

Truth and Lies: Consequences

A long time ago I said the Todd Bentley “revival” was a clear dividing line. It was so far from the truth that it was no longer deception. It was a clear choice between truth and lie.

I see the same thing being displayed with the Obama situation. I have seen “christians” accepting and promoting clear and blatant lies about Obama, and even when evidence is show to prove they have been wrong, they choose to hold onto the lies.

That is a serious situation with eternal consequences.

I am not a supporter of Obama and this has nothing to do with political preference.

14 Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.

15 [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating).

Revelation 22:14-16 (AMP)