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Good News Update 114                                   21 November 2014

 Our Religious Freedom is Under Threat
 
  

The Victorian state election on 29 November could be a crucial turning-point for religious freedom in Australia. We therefore strongly urge Christians across Australia to become informed and pray.  Any loss of religious freedom in Victoria is a loss for all Australia. 

 

Eight political parties contested the last Victorian state election in 2010.  This year, as shown in the alphabetical listing provided by The Age, a record 21 parties have registered. 

  

This assortment of major, minor and micro parties (including the Australian Sex Party, the Basics Rock 'n Roll Party and the Voluntary Euthanasia Party), not only gives the voter many more options, but, through preference voting, it is possible for minor and micro parties to win seats and even the balance of power with a relatively small number of primary votes. 

 

To help you become informed so you can pray, and help others pray, please take some time to study the Christian Values Checklist. It will also help voters make their own decision on how to vote. 

 

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Please circulate this Checklist as widely as possible - especially to your contacts in Victoria.  
You can simply forward this Good News Update or you can 
download the Checklist here and send it by EMAIL or PRINT it and then post it or distribute it by hand at church! 

 

The last state Labor government, that had been in power for 11 years, had passed some of the world's most shocking abortion laws in the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.  They also passed the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 which violates religious freedom by forcing religious organisations to employ people who don't share their values. In stark contrast, these same political parties would never accept legislation that forced them to employ people who did not agree with their policies.

 

When the Coalition unexpectedly won the 2010 state election, they made a good start by removing the unreasonable employment test in the Equal Opportunity Act. Once again religious organisations had the right to employ people with their values. Labor, however, has promised that if it is returned to government it will re-introduce the employment test. Labor will also resume its Safe Schools Coalition Program which tramples religious freedom of school children and their parents with the forced indoctrination of young children to accept homosexual and transgender behaviour as normal.

 

Please watch this video by the Australian Christian Lobby in which Rev. Mark Durie explains how religious freedom is under threat or read a summary here. 

 

How Labor's religious schools policy will hurt Christian schools and organisations
Why religious freedom in Australia is under threat - 4 mins

In regard to the sanctity of human life, which is highlighted in the Canberra Declaration, the Coalition government, first under Ted Baillieu, then under Denis Napthine, has been a major disappointment.  It made no formal attempt to amend Victoria's abhorrent Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.  This includes their failure to repeal Section 8 which violates the religious freedom of conscience of doctors and health workers by forcing them to give abortion referrals as featured in Good News Update 83.

 

It is therefore critical that the Greens, with their strong support of abortion and euthanasia and curtailment of religious freedom, fail in their bid to hold on to the balance of power in the upper and lower houses.   

 

Dangerous developments such as these, and the lack of action by the current government, are why three minor parties are determined to work together to be a voice for Christian values in both houses of Parliament.  These are the Democratic Labour Party (DLP); the Australian Christians (AC formerly the Christian Democratic Party); and the Rise Up Australia Party (RUAP).

 

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These three parties, all included in the above Checklist, have recently co-signed a Public Assurance of Cooperation, in which they undertook to direct their respective voting preferences according to shared Christian values rather than the strategic advantage of their own parties.

 

Salt Shakers points out that "voting for a smaller party FIRST will let the BIG PARTIES know that you are unhappy with their performance on moral issues ...".  Their six emails on the Victorian state election give excellent information and advice on how to make your vote count for Christian values. 

 

Please pray for the Victorian state election and that religious freedom will be preserved there. 
 
Please pray that God will move in the hearts of Australians to cherish and protect our religious freedom.

Yours for Preserving Religious Freedom in Australia,

 

David Rowsome and Warwick Marsh


 

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