April 16th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Greens fracture over anti-Israel policy

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Nation braces itself for tough Budget

RURAL AFFAIRS: Farmers hit by supermarket price war

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Why a carbon tax is self-defeating

SRI LANKA: Kevin Rudd silent on the plight of the Tamils

AUSTRALIA'S COLD WAR: Evatt, not Spry, responsible for security predicament

MIDDLE EAST: Libyan impasse the result of multiple policy failures

HEALTH CARE: ObamaCare's assault on the family

UNITED NATIONS: New attack on free speech and religious freedom

EUTHANASIA: "Unproductive burdens" still have a right to live

CULTURE: Tolerance enforcers try to ban the word "Easter"

EDUCATION: Schools need to devolve to evolve

OPINION: Labor's carbon tax will destroy our advantage

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Killing the unborn is wrong, say 78 Argentinean obstetricians

BOOK REVIEW: The geopolitics of energy

BOOK REVIEW: Butcher laureate of the 20th century

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New attack on free speech and religious freedom

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, April 16, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently praised a UN Human Rights Council declaration urging the international community to end violence against homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals.

On March 22 she said: “Today 85 countries from every region of the world joined together in a historic moment to state clearly that human rights apply to everyone, no matter who they are or whom they love.”

Of course, people should never suffer violence because of whom they love, but laws against assault apply to everyone. It is not only homosexuals who are attacked because of whom they love, Heterosexual men also get beaten up by heterosexual men because they are both after the same woman.

Clinton added, “Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights”, thus revealing the UN body’s real agenda, an incremental step towards same-sex “marriage” and penalties for anyone who opposes formal recognition of homosexual relationships, e.g., landladies who do not wish to rent to homosexual couples.

Chuck Colson, a leading US Christian commentator writes: “The greatest threat to religious liberty and free speech in the United States is on the attack again … the ruthless, methodical attacks by gay-rights groups on anyone who disagrees with them.

“Last year … we created an iPhone app for the Manhattan Declaration. The app would allow users to read, sign and share the Manhattan Declaration and its defence of human life, traditional marriage and religious freedom. Apple said the app was ‘free from objectionable material’.

“But when a group that supports so-called ‘gay marriage’ protested that the Declaration promoted ‘hate’ and ‘homophobia’ and was ‘anti-gay’, (which it wasn’t), Apple removed the app from its iPhone store.”

Now, says Colson, the gay-rights groups have another target: Exodus International, a Christian ministry that aims to free people from homosexuality. “A left-wing group called Change.org placed enormous pressure on Apple to discontinue the Exodus app. … Here’s what they said, and I quote: ‘Exodus’s message is hateful and bigoted’.

“A reviewer … said it was ‘as dangerous to Christianity as al-Qaeda is to Islam’. This kind of libel would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. …

“So now, in their eyes, and apparently also in Apple’s, not only is standing for traditional marriage verboten, so is helping people who no longer want to live a homosexual lifestyle. What’s their rallying cry now? ‘Once you’re gay, we’ll make you stay’?

“But it’s not just about apps. It’s about freedom of speech, the ability to participate in the marketplace of ideas. The gay-rights groups have shown their fangs. Victory in the courts or in the legislatures is not enough for them. They want to silence, yes, destroy those who don’t agree with their agenda. So they target Christian groups and corporate America to do just that.” (BreakPoint, March 24, 2011).

In Australia, ANZ Bank and IBM withdrew their advertising from OnLine Opinion, a forum which conscientiously presents both sides of controversial issues, because it published an article by pro-family campaigner Bill Muehlenberg criticising same-sex marriage.

In opposing the UN Human Rights Council declaration, the Vatican’s Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi said: “People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behaviour between people of the same sex.

“When they express moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatised, and worse — they are vilified, and prosecuted. …

“The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.” (Catholic News Agency, March 22, 2011).

Meanwhile a radical transgender rights bill is being fast-tracked through the legislature of the US state of Maryland. The bill, once passed, will use the force of law to impose cross-dressing, transgenderism and a range of related behaviours onto society against the will of citizens with traditional or religious beliefs. It will require all Maryland employers, including government agencies, to hire, promote and include cross-dressers in every part of the workplace without discrimination, and provide “diversity” training in businesses. Business-owners will be helpless — under threat of lawsuit or punishment — not to have men in dresses waiting on customers.

The laws will extend to public schools and day-care centres, which will legally be unable to turn away cross-dressers and “transgenders” from teaching or working with children.

It will require transgenderism, cross-dressing and related behaviours to be considered legally normal. Thus, activists will be able to compel schools to have transgender assemblies and activities including library books promoting transgenderism.

All real estate transactions will be covered — people will have no choice when renting or selling homes.

The Maryland bill defines “gender identity” as “a gender-related identity or appearance of an individual regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth”. Transgender employees will no longer be restricted to using either male or female lavatories in stores, restaurants, bars, schools, day-care facilities or other places of employment.

Employers may not require a genetic test to determine the actual gender of an employee or applicant.

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.



Benjamin Mann, “Vatican official at UN decries ‘attacks’ on Catholic beliefs”, Catholic News Agency, March 22, 2011.
URL: www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-official-at-un-decries-attacks-on-catholic-beliefs/

Charles Colson, “iPhone app attack: Next up, Exodus International”, BreakPoint (US), March 24, 2011.
URL: www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/16706

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