CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

When the Thought Police Come Knocking on Your Door

Apr 17, 2010

Let me tell you in advance something you will need to know. If in the near future you notice that no new articles are being added to this website, and no new comments are being posted, there will be one very good reason for this: I will be in jail, or fighting a lengthy court battle, because of Victoria’s new EOC law which was just passed.

Now I realise that for my many enemies this will be tremendous news indeed. But for those at least concerned about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience, this should be a very worrying development.

And to be honest, I am perfectly aware that there will be some Christians as well who will see the closure of this website as a good thing: “Yes, Bill was just too radical, and too much of a trouble maker. It is probably a good thing he has been put away. He was giving Christianity a bad reputation”.

Of course I will not find such attitudes surprising. Jesus had warned about these very things. He told his disciples to be ready for the coming persecution: “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you” (John 16:1-4).

Not only have we been forewarned about coming persecution, we have also been forewarned in Scripture about the great apostasy in the last days. Jesus asked this question: “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

An indication of this great falling away can be measured in part by the way the Christian community in Victoria responded to this bill. I would hazard a guess that at least 90 per cent of Victorian Christians did not even know this bill was being debated, and perhaps 90 per cent of those who did, did nothing about it. And dare I say there were even some Christians who actually supported the bill!

Jesus also warned that if his disciples would not speak out, then the very stones would (Luke 19:40). One of those stones is secular Melbourne commentator Andrew Bolt. He is at it again: defending Christianity while most Christians remain silent. Surely the church stands condemned when such things happen.

Bolt had a great piece on why this new law is such bad news. He said, “Victoria’s equal opportunity police were just not getting enough complaints to work with. So this foolish Labor Government this week unleashed them to go invent some more, passing even more oppressive Equal Opportunity laws.”

He goes on to quote from the Commission’s own files about how they set up the Christian group Catch the Fire Ministries back in 2002 by secretly planting three Muslims in a Christian gathering, so they could trap them under the new Racial and Religious Vilification law.

That kind of KGB-type activity will now only get much worse, now that the EOC has been given even greater search-and-destroy powers. The draconian powers will soon rival those of the East German Stasi. Indeed, the EOC will now have:
-The power to enter a church or meeting for the sole purpose of assessing what is said.
-The right to demand that a religious organisation hand over files.
-The right to compel church folk to attend a hearing at the Commission without any complaint being made.
-The power to initiate a complaint of discrimination.

One Christian who has been aware of this horrible legislation is Rev Dr Mark Durie. He has written a lengthy evaluation of this new law. Let me offer a few snippets from his important piece:

“The issue is particularly pointed for Christian schools, because thousands of students in Victoria attend schools where up until now every member of staff has been required to adhere to religious and ethical principles as part of their employment contract. Tens of thousands more attend schools where there has been a tradition of favouring teachers who share the religious and ethical values of the school. Since the passing of this new bill, it is unclear whether these employment arrangements have now become unsustainable.”

His entire article deserves careful reading. But let me present his closing paragraphs: “Clearly religious rights cannot simply trump all other rights. Some religious practices are illegal and should always remain so. But what the past decade of watching Victoria’s attempts to regulate religious manifestations has convinced me – first through the lamentable outcome of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001, and now through the Equal Opportunity Bill 2010 – is that the Victorian Labor Government has little clue about the problems inherent in requiring our secular tribunals and courts to rule on doctrinal issues. There is a desire that religious bodies and individuals be more accountable, but little clue about how to do this efficiently and effectively.

“In watching all this unfold, the weak response of churches to these threats to religious harmony has been disappointing.

“If the Equal Opportunity Bill is as bad as I believe, then possibly the very best thing that can happen now is for some high profile Equal Opportunity cases to be started up, making use of the new religious provisions, pitting secularist-minded complainants against religious respondents. The doctrinal issues will prove to be controversial and divisive, even within religious communities, and the public will be divided as the cases progress through the inevitable appeal processes. The problem of conflicting and irreconcilable presuppositions about the role of religion in life will cause the government to founder on the shoals of controversy and outrage, as both sides discover that the law has not provided the legal clarity which everyone had hoped for.

“I do hope I shall be proved wrong.”

Sadly I do not think he is wrong. This is a case of the secular state wading into religious and theological issues, effectively telling religious groups what they can and cannot believe, what they can and cannot do – all in the name of equal opportunity of course. This will provide lots of equal opportunities for atheists and other groups seeking to undermine the work of the Christian church and the spread of the gospel.

Overt persecution of the Christian church in Australia is not necessary. The same impact can be achieved by covert persecution. Simply wrap your attack on Christianity in concepts like “equal opportunity” and “anti-discrimination” and the secular forces will be able to shut down the church just as effectively as passing a law declaring Christianity to be illegal.

A few final questions remain: will you at least visit me when I am in prison? Will you pray for me, and for others who will not bow the knee to Baal? What will you do, Christian friend? Where will you stand? Are you now ready to face the music, or will you, like Peter, deny our Lord to avoid persecution?

blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/victoria_sets_loose_its_discrimination_witchhunters/
www.smac.org.au/blogs/vicar/2010/04/equal-opportunity-law-revisited.html

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97 Responses to When the Thought Police Come Knocking on Your Door

  • For those wondering how the vote went in the Victorian Upper House on Thursday:
    -All the Liberals and Nationals and the DLP voted against it.
    -All the Greens and Labor voted for it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I am with you, Bill. I pray the Lord will give me strength to endure and stand with the People of God in this dark hour into which we have entered. Pray that it may be the last battle before our Lord returns in glory.
    God bless those in Parliament who opposed this Bill, and have now pledged to repeal it once in office. May God’s curse rest upon the Labor Party and the Greens who supported it. Let it be clear to all Biblical Christians: a vote for the Labor Party is a vote for tyranny and persecution.
    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  • Thanks Murray

    Yes, how any biblical Christian can claim to support Labor and the Greens as they relentlessly pursue this secular jihad against Christianity is beyond me.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, let me say this – I am already praying for you and if I lived in Victoria I would come and visit you in prison as well. For all we know – our cyber conversations could be the subject of these laws right now – I would hope that if anything happens to you like you described above, that the “church” would stand up and fight – I do not know what to think to be honest – although these things were foretold, it is still a shock when they happen – as I said in previous submissions – I think the church is about to be sifted and I think it could potentially get very ugly indeed. I will be praying that God will light a fire under the backsides of Christians so they will get cracking and start to stand up and be counted – it is funny you know, but a few years ago I could see the political correctness starting to manifest itself a little bit at my church and I was always conscious of it – we have a great youth minister there who tells it like it is and frankly we need more people like this in the pullpits – I think too many people in church seem to think that we all have to be meek and mild and not rock the boat but look at the contrast to that and Jesus’s example – we have along way to go and a lot to do if we are to be taken seriously again. Anyway Bill, you know what you have believed, keep on believing it and as my mum used to say – ” Do not let that little light in your heart go out”. I will keep corresponding with you into the future.
    Steve Davis

  • Many thanks Steve

    Yes far too many Christians do not want to rock the boat, get out of their comfort zones, and unashamedly stand up for Jesus. We have a Scripture on this: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9).

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hope you enjoy my company Bill because I’ll be in the cell next to you!
    Jonathan May

  • Bill,
    It is funny you mention that verse in Luke because that is one of the things that always I think about when faced with issues like this- it is pretty frightening and you would think that Christians would be conscious of this – imagine being disowned by Jesus! Anyway, I’m now off to email Peter Jensen and Fred Nile and we will see what they come back with.
    Steve Davis

  • I read this expecting it to be a how to deal with the reader being sent to prison, not you… but you’re probably right unfortunately. Time to start teaching how to deal with persecution in the church in Australia…
    Felicity Shepherd

  • Thanks Jonathan

    I appreciate the support. But let’s work and pray like mad so that we do not have to find ourselves in such a situation.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Felicity

    Yes I am afraid you are right. Some teaching from the pulpit on how to live without religious freedom may be quite necessary indeed. Learning from church history, or seeing how Christians in places like China operate would be a start.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I listen to a conservative talk show host called Michael Savage who was banned in Britain for his views (called The Savage Nation). I don’t know if I can agree with all his views but he paints a very dark world as socialism appears to take over (If not already). It is through him I truly appreciated free speech. Through Savage alone I wonder if the world as I know it could crumble in my lifetime as freedoms seam to disappear every day. I don’t understand why so many people apparently on the left hate conservatives. I never noticed this before until the past year. I thought we all believed in free speech. But it does explain all the attacks on religion, especially Christianity. Now, it appears, especially in the USA that there is now a split between Liberals and Conservatives, unprecedented in history.

    I remember having a conversation with a Pastor nearly ten years ago and asking him why people were not going to church etc. I remember being unsatisfied with his answer when his reply ‘that’s the million dollar question’. I now look back and wonder if he was being obtuse. Now I know there are people who hate Christianity and want religion disappear. All throughout the media for years and years I constantly read anti Christian articles, now to the point I will not read their papers any more. I will hope that I will never deny my faith in Christ as it is slowly growing more and more as I no longer watch the rubbish on television or in films. I walk to church on Sundays and pass people eating their breakfast in café’s, who are not thinking about God. Let alone that their freedoms may one day disappear. I hope I am wrong. I just want to worship God in peace. But if Christianity disappears from mainstream society, the world will miss it. The people who hate Christianity don’t realize how much influence it has on Western Society as was written in a book by a Thomas E Woods How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilisation. But I am sure there will be many people who will continue to stand up for their beliefs, even during the darkest times. But don’t the people who pass these laws that single out organizations like religious institutions realize that they could be next?

    Carl Strehlow

  • Does anyone else smell Saul Alinsky? If anyone doesn’t know who that is, get his book Rules For Radicals. This is not the end, just the start of the beginning. Bill you know in whom you believe, and that He is able to keep that which you have entrusted to Him untill that day. It is impossible that offences will not come, but woe to the man by which they come. This will effect everyone, not just Christians.
    Joshua Ferrara

  • Thanks Joshua

    Yes you are quite right about Alinsky. For those not familiar with him, I mention him here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/08/14/telling-lies-for-social-engineering/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, are you truly expecting a call from the thought police sometime *soon*? I don’t doubt that it could happen, but is it very likely, do you think?

    If it came to pass, I would come to visit you in prison, when I next went into Victoria. Better than that, I would write publically against such persecution; to politicians and media etc.

    Because Christians elsewhere in the world are persecuted for their faith to the very death (and often torture beforehand) I have tended to be reticent to speak of “persecution” of Christians in this country, but I have certainly seen that this is where things are headed for all of us. We are not likely to be put to death, but robbed of jobs, hounded out of society, sent to prison – yep, that will all happen.

    Hilary Gilbert

  • Thanks Hilary

    Judging from the regular hate mail that I get, I am sure someone is already contemplating laying charges or launching an investigation. Christians are already being sent to prison throughout the Western world for the sorts of things mentioned in this article.

    As to: “robbed of jobs, hounded out of society, sent to prison – yep, that will all happen” – sounds like persecution to me.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • This is it isn’t it? To be honest iv’e been waiting for this. I feel i was born for this. We stand firm and fight thats what we do and if we lose our jobs, we help each other. When Steven was stoned to death, he was looking up to the heavens and smiling, he felt no pain.
    Our GOD is an awesome GOD.
    Daniel Kempton

  • Bill

    I don’t suppose moving yourself, your site and your family to another state would help? I suspect it won’t and I can understand the impulse not to flee persecution.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Shame on the pollies for passing this law and most of all;
    SHAME ON THE CHURCH FOR TOLERATING IT!

    Damien Spillane

  • Bill – there will be thousands & thousands, perhaps millions who will stand with you as there were when the two Danny’s were persecuted. May God bless you brother for your willingness to speak the truth. 15th of April is a sad day in our nation. We must never forget that everything that takes place in our world is a result of spiritual warfare. Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ has already won the victory – through His death and resurrection!

    Chris Cullen

  • Thanks for the encouragement Chris. Yes we must bear in mind passages like 1 Kings 19:18: “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I feel the need to reiterate something I said as a comment to a different post, regarding the conduct of Christians in organizing themselves in accordance to the patterns of secular organizations. ie “the organized church”

    I think one of the key vulnerabilities to Christians is the access they give to the secular authorities by forming themselves into “businesses” which are legal entities subject to secular laws. When a Christian assembly gathers privately in imitation of the first-century church, I think it will find much of these vulnerabilities will disappear. Visible churches and Christian businesses will be hit HARD by laws such as the one mentioned in this article. Its a sad fact that Christians have gotten so comfortable co-existing among the godless within their society. And in so doing, have “been conformed to the patterns of this world”. The Bible explicitly warns against such actions, and says that we are to be set apart. I’m not suggesting living in a monastery, but our gatherings CAN be held in private, where the secular authorities cannot reach. We must take steps to hide ourselves and our gatherings.

    If we wish to form educational facilities then it becomes much more sticky. As far as I know, “home schooling” is still allowed in Australia, which is what we are planning on doing. Having a “Christian School” employ only Christians, I suppose you could take steps to just make it very undesirable for nonbelievers to want to be a part of it. Like make the pay VERY low, and offer a variety of incentive bonuses that make up for it, but structure it so only the Christians end up getting these bonuses. In fact, a “Christian school” could simply be a conglomerate style homeschool. Homeschooling is private and nobody can force you to hire them at your house to teach your child. If 50 Christians agreed to group home-school in a rented facility, and offer donations to the teachers as their “pay” then what’s the difference? Its not a business then and EOC laws wouldn’t apply. There’s a lot of ways around the EOC type laws if you get creative. Also, as far as I know, teachers have to follow a school’s curriculum, and if they refuse, they can be dismissed. If the curriculum is Christ centered, an unbeliever is unlikely to want to participate. These are just some random thoughts on the matter, as I’m sure the subject of schools is likely to be one of the few objections to my suggestion that Christians cease and desist participation in the business patterns of the secular world.

    As for shutting down a blog because of its content, surely that would open up a whole can of worms which would lead to a large number of sites being shut down for their content. Surely it can be demonstrated that a Christian blog is no more offensive than, say, a porn site, and as is the argument there, you can simply assert: People are not FORCED to visit and read…

    Nathan Schellinger

  • Just picking up on this theme about teaching in our pulpits about how to live and function as Christians without religious freedom, there needs to be clarity, I believe, on the following:
    1. The duty and propriety of civil disobedience in the face of a hostile state. Many Christians are confused on this very point, and think in the light of Rom.13:1-7 and 1 Pet.2:13-17 that the Christian duty is to obey the state in all and every detail and to its every decree and ordinance. The balance of Scripture is forgotten: the Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh, Daniel disobeyed Darius, the apostles disobeyed the Jewish Sanhedrin, and the Early Christians disobeyed Nero and the subsequent Roman emperors. They forget that the orderly state of Romans 13 can – and often has – become the demonic state of Revelation 13.
    2. Christians have a double citizenship: one in this world, the other in heaven (Phil.3:20). Paul used his Roman citizenship when it suited his purpose as a preacher of the Gospel to do so (Acts 16:37-38; 22:25; 25:11-12), but his, and our primary status is citizens of the heavenly realm. This means that when the state becomes demonic (Rev.13) the heavenly citizenship is the only really important one. Christians must learn to ‘let go’ on their cherished British or American heritage, or whatever.
    3. Under persecution the hope and prospect of Christ’s Second Coming looms much larger, as it should always, but most especially in such times. This must be held up before our congregations prominently, as it is in the NT, where is is mentioned in all but four books of the NT (the exceptions being Galatians, 2 & 3 John, and Philemon). The Second Coming has always been the comfort of suffering Christians down through the years, and there must be a similar emphasis now, albeit WITHOUT the unnecessary accoutrements of Dispensational charts etc. of which the NT knows nothing.
    These are just some observations I would make as to a teaching programme for these times. I would welcome other contributions.
    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  • Thanks Damien

    No, moving won’t help. Other states are all heading in this direction, and Labor federally wants more of these sorts of laws as well. It is happening all over the Western world. We either stay and fight, or we simply remain quiet, not rocking the boat, hoping to live a comfortable and non-controversial life.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Nathan

    The issue of Christian groups receiving government funding is an important one. All such groups need to ask themselves: are they compromising the gospel to get these funds? When governments fund something, they get to pull the strings and call the shots. A case might be made that it is better not to receive any government funding. But that issue is a complex one, and needs further discussion.

    As to porn sites vs Christians sites, I can tell you right now: the militant secularists are working overtime to see all Christian influence eradicated, at least in the public arena – including blog sites like this – while they will fight to the death your right to view the most vile and degrading porn. The Victorian government is not far off from this position.

    Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago the police closed down a re-enactment of the crucifixion in Geelong over the Easter weekend. Yet just days ago an offensive work of “art” in Melbourne was defended by our elites, including Mayor Doyle. He defended the right of artists to offend the public!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Murray

    Yes the issue of civil disobedience is a very important one, I discuss it here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/02/christians-and-civil-disobedience/

    Christians better start thinking long and hard about this issue, because laws in Australia – and the West – are becoming increasingly anti-Christian. We will need to decide, as Peter did, where we stand in this regard: “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you [the authorities] rather than God” (Acts 4:19).

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Very well said, Murray.

    I would even take it another step in that direction, and suggest we are only the citizens of Heaven, yet ambassadors to the country in which we live. As ambassadors, we have certain privileges and responsibilities to represent our true homeland.

    As for Romans 13, I used to be very bothered by that passage until I realized that it is commonly misinterpreted. If you read it you notice that it very carefully describes the attributes of a proper “authority”. Namely, it rewards those who do good and punishes those who do evil. Our secular governments do the exact opposite, so I think its safe to assume that these are not true “authorities” as defined by Romans 13. In fact, the key is to know the difference between a “power” and an “authority”. Evil organizations can have power, but only God has and grants true authority. Power uses force to get its way, but authority is something that can only be bestowed from God himself. This brings into focus the term “powers and principalities” which refers to forces of evil. No, I fully agree with Murray’s statement about our duty to civil disobedience, which sadly most organized churches discourage. God’s rules and standards of living are spelled out clearly in Scripture. We need no other laws written by men to live full and good lives. Man cannot serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.

    Nathan Schellinger

  • Bill,

    Thank you again for your perceptive analysis of the crisis situation not only in Victoria but also on what could come to the rest of Australia.

    Your post is another alert for the church to equip believers through a ministry of cultural apologetics in which you are actively involved. How many Bible colleges and other Christian colleges are equipping God’s people to be cultural apologists?

    I agree with other posters that the church is vulnerable through its lack of systematic teaching from the pulpit.

    Perhaps the day is not too far away in Australia when we will need to do as the Chinese Christians have done — go underground as house churches. And the Chinese church has prospered (from the information available to me).

    May the Lord bless and encourage you. I pray that the Lord will strengthen you for these difficult days ahead and cause you not to remain silent.

    Spencer Gear

  • Many thanks Spencer

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Of course I will pray for you Bill as I already do from time to time.

    Perhaps this will finally be the straw that breaks the camels back and people will see finally what is going on.

    Look what happened in America when the left over reached and the Tea Party movement got started. Perhaps this idiotic and fascist legislation will cause something similar to happen hear?

    Jason Rennie

  • Well spoken (written) Bill and commentators. Somehow I don’t think it would serve their purposes to jail you or any of us who speak out. As I see it the greater likelihood is being hit with a hefty fine. What are your thoughts on this and how to deal with it?
    Lindsay Smail

  • This is indeed a sad day for Victoria and all Australia. I wrote to ten local politicians and got five replies but it was “too little too late”. I don’t think house groups alone is the answer: local councils have sometimes clamped down on them when they got too large and there were complaints from neighbours. Similarly home schooling, while justifiable, exists precariously due to compulsory school attendance laws.

    I hate to say it, but someone will have to go to jail before these laws get seriously exposed. Our opponents will choose their targets carefully, trying to find groups that other Christians are unlikely to support.

    But ultimately “we must obey God rather than men” while continuing to pray for our governments (1 Tim.2;2) and “do good to all people” (Gal.6:10)

    Jon Newton

  • “I would hazard a guess that at least 90 per cent of Victorian Christians did not even know this bill was being debated”

    To be fair, Bill, I think that 90 per cent of Victorians full stop did not know this bill was being debated. The media has said next to nothing about it. Just go to Google News and search for “Victoria Equal Opportunity” or something to that effect, and there will be few (if any) relevant hits. Certainly none from the major news sources.

    As for Christians, they can’t be expected to know about something when their leaders aren’t talking about it. As such the lack of action is a failure of the church’s leadership to communicate on matters important to their people moreso than the failure of Victorian Christians to act.

    Jereth Kok

  • This may be one of the last pieces that I submit to your site, showing the state of what used to be a country on the map but which now no longer exists, before I get that knock on the door at four in the morning?

    PROFILE OF (SIR) IAN MCKELLEN
    Since 1997, Ian Mckellen, a founder member of Stonewall, has never ceased to work tirelessly and quietly in promoting gay ideology and values. According to the Christian Institute, “Actor and homosexual campaigner Sir Ian McKellen has revealed the level of influence ‘gay rights’ group Stonewall exerted on Tony Blair’s policies while he was Prime Minister. Speaking at Stonewall’s annual ‘Equality Dinner’ fundraiser, Sir Ian recalled meeting Tony Blair on behalf of Stonewall three months before his election as Prime Minister( 1997). “I reeled off Stonewall’s demands, and he nodded, wrote them down and put a tick by them all. Then he said we will do all that,” he said…A flood of ‘gay rights’ legislation was introduced during Mr Blair’s time in Downing Street.”
    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/tony-blair-did-stonewalls-bidding-says-ian-mckellen/

    In June, 2008, Ian Mckellen, following the success of at least two years of Homosexual legislation: the Sexual Orientation Regulation; the Gay Adoption Bill; the Incitement to Homophobic Hatred Bill and the anticipated Incitement to Homophobic Speech Amendment, gave a spirited rendition, by way of celebrating the repeal of the blasphemy laws, of the poem, “The Love That Dares To Speak Its Name,” by James Kirkup, in a Spanish restaurant off the Tottenham Court Rd, London: http://freethinker.co.uk/2008/06/22/blasphemys-dead-so-sod-you-god/
    Have a read and be shocked.

    In September 2008, just a few months after his delivery of the above poem, (Sir) Ian started his schools’ anti -homophobic bullying campaign at the St George’s School, Harpenden, and Hertfordshire. He is reported as saying, in the Telegraph “I’ve been busy at quite a few schools recently. I went to a wonderful co-ed faith school in Harpenden. They were Christians and absolutely determined that their pupils did not discriminate. They invited me to come and give prizes to 13-year-olds in front of the parents and to talk, partly, about being gay. I said that we were all part of a minority group – be it for being short or tall or fat or thin, or having red hair or whatever. I said, ‘Hands up who thinks they are part of a minority group,’ and all the hands went up.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/news/newstopics/celebritynews/3068490/Sir-Ian-McKellen-takes-gay-tolerance-message-to-schools.html

    A year later, Mckellen could be found, being invited into a number of schools, giving “hints and tips” about homophobic bullying, including that of the Severn Vale School, Gloucester
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbz202FpmlA
    I asked the head teacher whether he had identified the 72 gay students that he claimed must be in his school. Answer: “No.” I also asked him whether he was gay. He answered in the negative, saying that he had children!! I discovered that the one suicide that had occurred at the Severn Vale School had nothing to do with homophobia; indeed, nothing to do with bullying.

    A week or two before this Ian Mckellen also visited the Perry Beeches School in Birmingham, to talk about homophobic bullying and equality. In 2007, two years ago, The Sun Newspaper reported that the headmaster, Liam Nolan had been fined a thousand pounds and fifteen hundred pounds court costs, for outraging public decency. “A Gay head teacher is to keep his 64,000-a-year job despite being convicted over a sex act with a man in a park. Liam Nolan, 39, was spotted by undercover cops with 58-year-old jobless builder John Brown. Both men denied outraging public decency, with Nolan insisting: I know the place is used for gays to gather, but I just went there for a walk to clear my head and relieve myself. Nolan was appointed at Birmingham’s 880-pupil Perry Beeches secondary school in April while awaiting trial. A jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court heard he had left his live-in partner at his flat in Birmingham city centre to go to the park at Sandwell Valley, near West Bromwich, last June. Police saw him and Brown engaged in oral sex.”
    http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/mail/news/tm_headline=&method=full&objectid=19248238&siteid=50002-name_page.html
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08031409.html
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1184254/Vigilante-filmed-gay-dogging-attempt-shame-men-stopping-spared-jail.html
    http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2009/11/17/allow-us-to-have-sex-in-public-places-says-militant-homosexual-group/
    ?
    This is a letter from the lesbian Sue Sanders from Schools Out who describes Lian Nolan’s behaviour as “extra curriculum” fun:
    http://blog.schools-out.org.uk/blog/_archives/2007/6/16/3025810.html

    And here is Sue Sanders urging teachers and those in education to go out and change the world.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy5ebZ1IOQo&feature=related

    One wonders what Sue Sanders would have to say about the extra curriculum activity of chief executive of the LGBT Scottish Youth?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1178354/Gay-rights-campaigner-led-double-life-leader-paedophile-ring-carried-catalogue-child-abuse.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfsBEMFgqGs

    Are the children at the Perry Beeches school taught, how to perform consensual, committed, safe, oral sex, in public spaces, during sex education classes?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfsBEMFgqGs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43sbtkQM6zc
    http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/communications/news/2009/november/sir-ian-mckellen-anti-bullying.aspx

    Every secondary school in Britain is due to receive a controversial DVD from the homosexual campaign group Stonewall. The interactive DVD contains a one hour 45 minute feature film, entitled FIT, which the campaign group claims will challenge homophobic bullying. The production of FIT was partly funded by the Government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families.
    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/plan-to-send-gay-film-to-every-secondary-school/

    Plans are afoot to turn a controversial ‘gay play’ aimed at children as young as eleven into a DVD to be distributed to every school in the country. The play, commissioned by homosexual lobby group Stonewall, hit the headlines yesterday as parents expressed concern that the drama is inappropriate for their children: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/plan-to-send-proud-to-be-gay-dvd-to-every-school/

    The head master of Perry Beeches School, Liam Nolan is amongst those appearing at this event, at the British Library: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/at_school/3772.asp

    Perry Beeches school, a former struggling secondary school in Birmingham has indeed risen to top of the class for the second year running – with the help of the University of Cumbria. It suffered a highly critical Ofsted inspection in 2007, and faced the real possibility of closure. Since then, with assistance from the University of Cumbria, its fortunes have been transformed. Twelve months after the inspection, Perry Beeches was named England’s most improved school – a title it’s also claiming for 2009 following August’s impressive GCSE results. The University of Cumbria is leading a pilot development in the north-west region by the Teacher Development Agency to make teaching into a Masters Level profession.“
    http://www.cumbria.ac.uk/AboutUs/News/Press%20Releases/2009/September/PR580.aspx

    But who is in charge the head of Diversity at the Training Development Agency for schools which is the agency that has responsibility for the recruitment and training of over 40, 000 teachers every single year and ensures the continuing professional development of teachers within the system? Why Pav Akhtar, a gay Muslim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTwR5LCem3M

    Do you know any good lawyers Bill?

    David Skinner, UK

  • Bill;

    Do they allow prisoners to visit other prisoners?
    There are other ramifications to this that go way beyond what we initially think. How will this affect security clearances? How will this affect directorships of businesses? Getting a passport even?
    However, I don’t think there are enough prison cells in Australia to hold all the potential prisoners, and just think of the evangelism opportunities we will have: Captive Audiences!

    Robert Wickstead

  • It is sad indeed that these laws have been passed. I guess in reality we knew they would.

    I guess when sites like this are shut down, and people such as yourself Bill, or people like Andrew Bolt, even though not Christian, are silenced by such ridiculous laws, that we will see Christians stand up fiercely on mass once more for what is right.

    Perhaps this is exactly what is needed to wake a sleeping church. Certainly the many warnings by Bill and others over many years have not roused Sleeping Beauty!

    George Kokonis

  • Nathan, a number of things you say are very good, but a caution, please.

    Home education is now encumbered by regulations for obtaining approval in all jurisdictions in Australia. The extent varies between States, but at a minimum it is now “illegal” to withdraw a child from school without obtaining permission, and for a child turning 6, it is “illegal” to not enrol in a registered school or obtain permission to homeschool.

    The offence is to not have the permission, rather than to fail to educate them. Therefore
    a) a number of the ideas you have are already caught by current provisions, or would be impractical I am sorry to say

    b) almost any new ideas for cicumventing regulations will be discovered and dealt with – more overtly as the opponents of the truth are emboldened.

    Victoria, the last hold-out state, fell in 2006-07. We fought hard, but it was an uphill battle, partly because the political scene was vastly different compared to 1992-93, and partly because a lot of comfortable Christians, semi-Christians and non-Christians did not understand the potential risks involved, and undermined the defence case. Now these are a lot clearer, but it’s too late to make an immediate change.

    If you want to contact me about home education, the battles we have fought and where you can get curriculum, I give Bill permission to pass my email address to you.

    John Angelico

  • When I read, the other day, about the clown who set up an adultery “service” and had the unmittigated gall to pretend he was saving marriages, I thought how his actions are similar in style to those of the brumby government in Victoria (notice I use a small ‘b” in brumby. The “leader’s” name can serve the purposes of a noun and an adjective – quite easily done is the case of the premier. These phonies pretend they are being fair, when in fact they are being unfairly discriminating. Don’t hold your collective breaths waiting these political cowards to clamp down on any Muslims real soon. I have always believed that too many so called Christian are ALP or Green first and Christians fourth. I have written in letters to newspapers on many occasions that Labor people treat their Godless politics as a religion. Unfortunately many of the conservatives, in Australia treat their politics as a hobby. Having said that, I congratulate those who voted against this skulduggery in Victoria. You are in my prayers
    If the religious leaders in Victoria do not speak out strongly and pulicly on this horrendous decision by the Victorian Socialist goverment, then they will aswer to god, as will the Labor politicians.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Bill I pray for you daily as well as for a number of others who are also called to work at the battlefront in the spiritual warfare which appears to escalate daily. There is a verse which says “Do not pray against this for it must come.” I think that’s it and I take it to mean we must go through all that has been prophesied as salvation history unfolds. I think it’s very natural to question our own abilities to “stand firm and hold fast ” as we are exhorted to do. I have concerns about my ability to face martyrdom, something I thought about as a child reading Bible stories and the lives of the saints. What was once just speculation no longer seems such an utterly unlikely scenario but I believe God equips us to do whatever he asks of us. The apostles were an unlikely lot before the descent of the Holy Spirit and , by grace, they did a pretty impressive job. What He did in those ordinary men He can do in us. There is an army of prayer warriers standing with you Bill, be sure your Lord who loves you will have that in hand. I’m one of them and have recruited two dozen or so others. I hope everyone who prays for you is also recruitng as many as possible. The final outcome is known , we just need courage as we live the details. God bless you Bill and all those you love .
    Anna Cook

  • If they charge you Bill then I recommend that we all request that we be changed too. Any law that goes against my conscience and my right to practice my religious beliefs is non-binding as far as I am concerned.
    Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of all therefore he is above all, even civil authorities and governments.
    Where in the Bible does it say that we must never disagree with anyone and make them feel guilty? Your enemies attack you Bill because deep down they know what you say is right.
    God bless you and keep up the great work.
    Madge Fahy

  • I guess this proves once and for all why the left in politics are just so dangerous. It’s a pity more people don’t see that. I understand it’s very politically incorrect (churchily correct?) to side one particular economic or political viewpoint as more Biblical than another. Yet, with careful consideration and thoughtful application of the Bible surely Bill it becomes clear the left (traditionally) have always been opposed to Biblical values. Keep it up.
    Keith Jarrett

  • Thanks Keith

    And for what it is worth, your comment is the 15,000th to appear on this site. Congratulations! Take yourself out to dinner or something!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • 15,000 hey! An honour Bill, an honour in itself. If I may, please let me share an encoraging poem I happened upon the other day as means of celebration.

    Be Strong!
    We are not here to play, to dream, to drift
    We have hard work to do and loads to lift;
    Shun not the struggle—face it; ‘tis God’s gift.

    Be Strong!
    Say not, ‘The days are evil. Who’s to blame?”
    And fold the hands and acquiesce—oh shame!
    Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God’s name.

    Be Strong!
    It matters not how deep entrenched the wrong
    How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
    Faint not—fight on! Tomorrow comes the Song.

    Be Strong!
    We are not here to play, to dream, to drift
    We have hard work to do and loads to lift;
    Shun not the struggle—face it; ‘tis God’s gift.

    Be Strong!
    Say not, ‘The days are evil. Who’s to blame?”
    And fold the hands and acquiesce—oh shame!
    Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God’s name.

    “Be Strong”, written by Maltbie Babcock (d. 1901)

    Keith Jarrett

  • Dear Bill M.

    The truth of the matter above all of these sayings which have been sent back to you is this. For the LORD was always yearning with zeal for His house (the church of Christ). To send some body who will not compromise or be bothered even to the point of death. For to be absence from the body is to be present with the Lord Jesus Christ whom was slain for every tribe, tongue and nations. Therefore I hereby do take your advice in touching to all rights in the Lord, for far be it from me to stop evangelizing around the traffic lights, train stations and outside local churches. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God. Wherefore Bill, what do you have to say pertaining to this words that I have written? Love to hear from you.

    Sunday Babatunde Teniola

  • Thanks Sunday
    Amen brother! Keep on preaching and never give up. You are a great example to us all.
    Blessings,
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • John, thanks for the heads up regarding home schooling!

    I would indeed appreciate further discussion with you on the topic. Bill, if you can find a way to send me John’s email address please do so. 🙂

    We did look into home schooling when we started researching Australia to make sure we could do it, and I’m pretty sure it was ok to do and that all the government does to get involved is annual progress checkups to make sure that your child is actually learning things and progressing.

    Nathan Schellinger

  • Geeze Bill, if supposed ‘christians’ find you ‘too radical’ I doubt their salvation lol, you’re normal!!! Anyways, what a sad day it is for Victoria, and what a sad day it will be for all those who voted Labour or Greens when they stand before the Lord! Although I am not residing in Victoria I do head two churches there and am the legal director, thus it affects me significantly, but the moment they play games with us we go underground, off the grid and off the radar simple! Otherwise my friend, I’ll race you to see who can get their jail section saved first lol. Stand firm, we trust in God, and we all should have counted the cost before we embarked on this unknown journey. Act 21:13: “Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
    I am ready!
    Blessings, Dorian Ballard

  • Dear Bill,

    You are of course correct.

    It is no great surprise that this blow should fall on this nation first in Victoria. The case of the deliberate set up of the two Danny’s is a classic illustration.

    There are now many forms of covert descrimination against Christians in this country to which many of us have been exposed. This is simply the latest in a very long line of carefully considered gradualism.

    Your analysis of the emaciated and emasculated – shameful – gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which has been preached is correct. It is idolatours and satanic, and those peforming in this duty against the true Gospel of the Living God will One Day be held to account. It breeds weak Christians who are not involved in either the culture of the community, and who do not know how to – or why they should – suffer.

    Compare the Chinese church and its schools in how to take persecution and torture, including jumping out of first story windows with your hands bound.

    What ever happenned to Paul’s “and I wish also to share Christ’s sufferrings and go with him even to death that I might know the power of His Resurrection in my body.”

    Or Jesus’s “No man can be my disciple unless he take up his cross and follow me.” Today’s grossly and unashamedly self-indulgent church would do well to consider that crucifixion then was no theory or rare occurrence in first century Palestine. The roads were lined with crosses back then. When Jesus uttered these words it was walk in sound surround judgement time.

    And one day we too will meet those who went through this themselves – like Peter.

    I wonder how todays’ foremost preachers and profiteers of prosperity will feel when they meet Peter and the rest who were tortured and matyred??? In the Message translation there are many references to such false preachers of self-interest.

    Did this happen to them because they were more sinful than us or less godly? Look at the church in Smyrna which was commended for its faithfulness, and then obliterated by persecution….

    God bless you always in Christ Jesus,

    Stuart Reece

  • Hi Bill
    Hebrews 12 talks about things being shaken and it could well be that we will see in the not too distant future a considerable shaking taking place in the church.

    However, ‘the church’ is a large, general term and there are many people currently claiming they are speaking on behalf of ‘the church.’ There are voices such as your own who proclaim biblical truths – often to the chagrin of other so-called Christians. However, there are many individuals, as we often see on this site, who would claim to be Christian but who are more aligned to worldly thinking and values rather than those espoused in the Bible.

    In the last couple of articles, yourself and Salt Shakers have been mentioned as ‘voices’ who will be top of the hit list to silence following the passing of the latest Bill in Victoria. So, it will be interesting to see who the ant-theists really do come after first.

    They might go after what they see as a ‘soft’ target as I suspect they initially saw the Two Dannys as being, i.e. people who the ‘nice’ people in the church don’t really like or agree with and who are seen as almost an ’embarrassment.’

    Conversely, they might go for those they see as most effective in holding up their own cause.

    I certainly don’t see you (or Salt Shakers) falling into the first category, and so if they do come after you first, it will almost be a compliment!

    However, for those groups or churches who are happy to appease or accommodate some or all of the homosexual demands and ‘compromise’ what the Bible teaches, they should be aware that voices such as your own are not an ’embarrassment,’ but rather the first part of the defences that are holding back the full fury of the anti-theists.

    Roger Birch

  • Dear Bill, although I am not christian I will pray for you in my own way. You have taught me alot and you must always remember that the greatest support you have is from God (which you already know). There is a saying of God (in Sufism), “If people want to bring you down if I dont allow it they can’t, if people want to rise you up if I dont allow it they can’t”. Take care Bill.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Dear All
    Just a few scriptures to start:
    Rom 4v15 + 5v13 – Where there is no law there is no transgression. Paradoxically, we have only enjoyed religious freedom in this country because there has been no law regarding religious freedom. As soon as the secular state brings in laws regarding religion, religious freedom in its true sense evaporates for everyone.

    How should the secular state deal with religious issues?
    Acts 18v14-16. Gallio is a perfect example. Religious people plotted to have Paul punished by secular law but the secular ruler (Gallio) was too smart for them. He said – I will be no judge of such matters’ and threw them out. If only all secular authorities were as wise as Gallio.

    How has the secular state dealt with religious issues?
    1. Jesus. Luke 23v4. Religious men accused Jesus of religious crimes before Pilate. Pilate (secular judge) testified that he found no fault with Jesus yet, because Pilate wanted the popular support and saw that the mob wanted blood, he allowed the secular state to execute an innocent man (a punishment that the religious troublemakers could not invoke).
    2. Paul. Acts 21v27 – end of Acts. Paul was arrested by the secular state on trumped up religious charges made by religious troublemakers. From this point, he spent the rest of his life in custody and was eventually executed. Following his arrest, the religious charges were heard by the secular courts numerous times but, although he was never found guilty, he was never released. A reading of the various trials reveals that the motives for holding him had to do with bribery, politics and pleasing the crowd.

    My Conclusions:
    The state legal system is not competent to hear matters based on religious law, since secular law and religious law are two completely separate types of law and competence at one does not lead to competence at the other. Like Gallio said, unless some major crime or misdemeanor has been committed, its just a squabble about words and names and customs and traditions and the state court system should refuse to intervene. The problem with the state dabbling in religion is:
    1. that religious trouble makers and/or the secular state can keep these legal proceedings running for as long as they wish (Paul spent years in jail)
    2. The secular politicians can curry favour among certain demographics by playing religious games. Pollies want votes and will do whatever the mob wants.

    I do not hold out much hope that a high profile religious case set before the secular court will be ‘the best thing that can happen’. The problem is that, even if it is thrown out, the defence will have costs a lot of money and the results will just be swept under the carpet because the pollies do not wish to admit they are wrong. If the examples of Jesus and Paul are considered, there is always the real possibility of a major miscarriage of justice.

    Andrew Shearer

  • Bill – I certainly hope that Christians will take an uncompromising stand, even if it means losing our freedom. Yet, will we? Our record does not look very encouraging. The reality is that the Christian community has now lived for decades with specialised centres for the killing of children operating openly in our midst, and has done relatively little to stop that continuing. Will we care more about these other things than we have shown we care about the killing of children?

    A small group I am involved with in Queensland, Protect Life, has been carrying out non-violent direct action at Brisbane’s abortion “clinics” for some years. (see http://www.protect-life.info) At the moment I am literally awaiting a knock on the door to be taken away to jail for six months or so (for refusing to pay fines over this). But don’t be too afraid of jail: from my experience it is generally not as bad as some people seem to imagine, but it can be tough on your family.

    Graham Preston

  • Thanks Andrew

    Yes you are right. While God is able to bring good out of evil, no one wants to go through the witch hunt and kangaroo court the two Dannys did. They ended up spending around 5 years and around a half million dollars in defending themselves. Eventually an appeals court threw out the case, but it was an expensive and time-consuming affair.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Graham

    Yes you have been an Aussie hero in this regard, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude. You have probably spent more time in jail because of your Christian convictions than anyone else in Australia. We salute you.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill M.

    Do not worry yet at all Bill, for who can bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies – has He not said or will He not do it good, or has He not spoken and will He not bring it to pass. Let him who has ears hear: My God will not let you down Bill, for He will lift you up and make you stand. My view is that even in the darkest night in prison His light will truly shine (overwhelm) you in your inner most being. Giving you the fortitude in life to face all steps of obstacles, not so I will be praying you go to prison but that God and His angels who see His face will keep you strong and solidified in Christ Jesus.

    Yours in Faith,
    Sunday Babatunde Teniola

  • Thanks Sunday

    Yes whatever happens we can count on God’s presence and protection. He does not guarantee that we will avoid all suffering and persecution, but he does promise to be with us in such circumstances.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • As usual another top article Bill.
    I am not sure I can visit you in jail because I might be in there myself.
    I blitzed my northern Victorian politicians over this but to no avail as labor has the numbers.
    I think I have said this before but when the church fails to rightly discern the word and instead sells itself out to follow a worldly wisdom in its lust for success and acceptance, then God takes that thing it has put a false hope in and uses it in-turn to inflict judgment.

    I found Ezra Levant’s comment from his book “Shakedown” (about what has happened with similar EO human rights laws in Canada) interesting when he states even though one may be innocent, once one is forced into taking part in a remediating process under equal opportunity, Human rights law that process ends up being the punishment.
    You might find what prof Dean Gotcher, founder of the Authority research institute, has had to say in identifying the “process” being used these days all over the world to bring non-compliers like those on this blog under control.

    Gotcher (in my opinion) rightly traces this back through Hegel and the Greek philosophers to the garden of Eden where Satan first influenced man to question “Has God said”. Today it is an art form: http://authorityresearch.com/ (click on the two booklets on the right hand side.)
    I believe Gotcher has done the church a great service in exposing in detail the method being used upon people to force them into compliance, it is in our schools tragically our churches, with things like purpose Driven, meetings where the government consults with the public, and so on. I have even had it inflicted on me as an electrician during meetings, to consult with us in the trade about change. Gotcher points out that for one to even be involved in the process is to already be defeated.

    Rob Withall

  • Thanks Rob for the tip about Levant’s book. I will have to order a copy thru amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shakedown-Government-Undermining-Democracy-Rights/dp/0771046197/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271661385&sr=1-1

    I suggest that everyone else do so as well, before the book is banned.

    If my website is still running in days to come, I will hopefully do a review of this important volume.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Do not forget the Church historically and in overseas countries has grown strongest under oppression. It was born under adversity and many of the disciples were martyred for the cause. Why do we imagine that the Church is meant to prosper under peace from the authorities?
    The Church in most cases has grown fat, lazy and soft. Do we delude ourselves that there is no consequences from the abuses occurring in Church institutions?
    Bill, if you go to jail you will be in great company. Let the authorities come, I hope that I will have the courage of my convictions and the day of judgment will come on this land Bill.

    Praise the Lord
    Steven Eldridge

  • Hi Bill,
    Thank you for another well written and frankly disturbing article. I’m curious however, in the U.S. they have the “Separation of Church and State” policy? that the Atheists bandy about so regularly, despite the fact that the founding fathers were talking about keeping the State out of the Churches business and not the other way around. Do we have anything like this at all in Australia in our constitution, etc. that could be used to defend our rights to free speech/liberty, etc. as Christians?
    Thanks.
    Glen Grady, Brisbane

  • Thanks Steven

    Yes I certainly am aware of how persecution purifies the church and separates the men from the boys. Thus if it happens, God can use it for great good. But as I have said so many times, we are nowhere in Scripture encouraged to seek persecution. Indeed, we should all thank God when genuine religious liberty exists, and we should all seek to work for the preservation of those freedoms. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience are all tremendously important goods which we should not take for granted, and which we should not allow to be stolen away from us without putting up a very good fight.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Glen

    All that Australia has on this is the following: “The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.” (Section 116 of the Australian Constitution).

    It is quite similar to what we find in the First Amendment of the US Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

    The phrase, “wall of separation between church and state” came from Thomas Jefferson in 1802. It is nowhere found in the US Constitution. Jefferson used it in a letter to a group of Baptists in Connecticut with whom he was having a dispute. But in later correspondence and political rulings he clearly affirmed the thrust of the First Amendment.

    But the secularists in Australia are nonetheless trying their hardest to drive religion out of the public square.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • All very disappointing. Now to respond appropriately at the next Victorian state election in October 2010. Hate to say it but maybe some litigation in the months leading up to the election might stir the Church community into action so we’re not subject to another 4 years of Brumby bullying.
    God bless you Bill.
    Anthony McGregor

  • Thanks Anthony

    But respectfully, and sadly, if the case of the two Dannys did not greatly stir up the Christian community in Victoria (there were even some Christian groups who supported the witch-hunt against them!) then I am not sure that further crackdowns on the church we will wake up much of the church. Indeed, a dead church does not need to wake up – it needs a resurrection!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Bill, I didn’t realise that’s where it came from.
    Does it define what they mean by the “free excercise” part, as it seems to me that all of these new laws surely are contravening this provision, or am I simply misunderstanding?
    Thanks.
    Glen Grady, Brisbane

  • Thanks Glen

    But now you are asking the million dollar question. I am not a lawyer, but surely some of these new laws being passed are getting close to contravening Section 116. This is where we need some Christian lawyers – or any objective lawyer – to help us out here.

    Indeed, we all need to think and pray about a very vital need here: In the US there are all sorts of Christian legal defence groups which exist to deal with these very sorts of issues. When Christians are unjustly or falsely charged with some crime (a hate speech crime, eg.), there are plenty of groups who will come to their aid in the courts, and many have won their cases.

    There are no such groups in Australia, but we desperately need them. Are there any Christian lawyers and/or legal people out there who are willing to donate some of their time and money to getting such a group going?

    With laws like the one just passed in Victoria, Christians are going to need as much Christian legal aid as possible. Indeed, any retired Christian legal eagle might consider how he or she can help in such a cause as this.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks again Bill for your spot on comments,

    What we see now is only a taste of what is still to come. But let us not take our eyes of the Lord and focus to much on the problems. You have no control over the problems in the flesh and the problems will sink you.

    We are fighting against the rulers of darkness of this age – Ephesians 6:12
    Therefore take up the armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day – Refer to Ephesians 6:13-18

    All we see now happening is very much according to God’s agenda and right on target. As born again believers we have become a temple of the Holy Spirit and No EOC police can come in. The world is traveling at great speed towards the Great Tribulation and God’s judgement on the nations is imminent and I believe rather sooner than later. As Christians we are heading for Heaven (it pays to focus on that). Make sure that you’re on the right journey.

    God Bless you all,
    Robert Seghers

  • This is indeed dangerous legislation – the additional powers for the EOHRC to ‘investigate’ and demand documents and for people to appear at ‘hearings’ are draconian.
    Then they have power to initiate the investigation (Equal Opportunity Bill 2010, Part 9, P 108), write ‘enforceable undertakings’ (S 144), issue ‘compliance notices’ with threat of further action (S 146) and ask the Tribunal to ensure you comply with it (S 147).
    And if you don’t? The legislation itself won’t send you to prison, but if you fail to obey VCAT then you could end up in prison!

    Mind you – it could have been worse.
    The Gardner review into the Equal Opportunity Act ALSO RECOMENDED:
    1. That the EOHRC have powers of entry, search and seizure [Page 18, Rec 70] (that is, coming to your office and entering and taking documents!) and
    2. A full Equality Act (as in the one just passed in the UK).
    Just wait – if we get Labor and Rob Hulls back in power, you might get MORE ‘amendments’.

    Then there is Mr Hulls review of ‘hate crimes’. See our Campaign page, with links to the review: http://www.saltshakers.org.au/take-action/campaigns
    A retired Supreme Court judge is reviewing hate crimes, and is asked to consider two documents – the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities AND a document called ‘With Respect’ written by the pro-homosexual ministerial advisory committees for the Attorney General and Health Minister. THEY RECOMMEND a new section in the EO Act – a ‘vilification’ type leaw based on sexuality. A law to prohibit ‘homophobic harassment’!

    BUT they don’t want the one that prohibits ‘inciting hatred’ as in NSW, Qld, ACT and Tasmania, like the provisions in the awful Racial and Religious Toelrance Act. No they say – “the requisite requirement of incitement has proved to be a major stumbling block in successfully defending claims as a strict interpretation of the requirement involves a level of proof almost impossible to satisfy”. So instead they WANT a hate crime law that defines ‘harassment’ as “harassment be defined as ‘conduct that offends, humiliates, intimidates, insults or ridicules another person’.”

    So next time you “insult” or “offend” someone you will all be in BIG trouble! Then we really will all be in jail!

    Jenny Stokes, Salt Shakers

  • Hi Bill
    I have just re-read (very quickly!) the Appeal Court decision in the case of the 2 Dannys and the case wasn’t ‘thrown out’ out you suggested above.

    Whereas the Appeals judges found that VCAT had erred in just about every decision, The conclusion read:

    “114 For the reasons given, I would allow the appeal and set aside the orders of the Tribunal. I would remit the proceeding to the Tribunal, to be constituted by a different member, to be heard and decided again without the hearing of further evidence.”

    So, it was the Tribunal’s *Orders* that were overturned but the case itself was referred back to VCAT to be re-heard. It was only an out-of-court settlement that prevented the case continuing.

    Several basic issues remain from the case:
    1. The 2 Dannys were never actually ‘cleared’.
    2. The lawyers for those making the complaint stated in the hearing that “truth is not a defence”
    3. Even though the Tribunal erred on all but one finding, Justice Nettle (from the Appeals Court) actually stated “the way in which the appellants conducted their case below made the task for the Tribunal extraordinarily difficult and, in the circumstances, the fashion in which the Tribunal dealt with the matter is in my view worthy of high praise”. So, even though they misquoted Daniel Scott on numerous occasions, VCAT were still highly praised and all their errors effectively blamed on the way the 2 Danny’s conducted their case!
    4. One such ‘error’ – Judge Higggins’ (the original VCAT judge) statement that Daniel Scot had said that “all Muslims were demons” – was broadcast virtually all round the world. It is not my place to say whether this was defamation, but it certainly lodged a very negative impression of Ps Scott in the minds of many who would, reasonably, assume the Judge’s comments to be accurate! I may not be qualified – or game – to say it was defamation, but I would hardly say an inability to read accurately from a transcript was worthy of high praise!
    5. Despite over $500,000 being spent on a defence, the law was never actually tested – at least not to conclusion!

    When a law such as the Racial and Religious Tolerance ACT is so ill-defined (I have yet to read the new Act) and is left to the judiciary to sort out and produce its own precedent, and, staggeringly, truth is not a defence, and, even more staggeringly, those enforcing the Act can get virtually every ruling wrong – even misquoting from a transcript they demanded – then there are some very serious obstacles any Christian brought before VCAT will need to clear!

    Roger Birch

  • Thanks Roger

    Yes you are quite right in all that you say. I was a bit too quick and reckless in my choice of words there. But it is a good thing, as it resulted in your helpful addition here to this discussion.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi
    My husband told me to have a look whilst he went for a walk to get used to the idea of prison. I hope you all wrote to members of parliament ahead of time. Jenny did a good job reminding us as did “Free to Believe”. I grew weary in well doing but as a timid person I did try. And are you all going to prepare for prison or see who is willing to change it at the next election?
    Katherine Fishley

  • Bill,
    Pray and do what God leads you to do. His will remains supreme over ours.

    “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects,, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (Col 1:9-12)

    We will all need to remember Bill more frequently in our quite times and prayer that the will of God is done in Bill’s life and mission.
    Barry Koh

  • Many thanks Barry
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • When responding to the ‘thought police’, close legal advice is imperative from the outset. The recent Victorian legislation has the potential to be so ‘draconian’ and ‘un Australian’ that it will surely transgress some traditional Common Law principle, Constitutional principle or whatever, which I do not have the competence to even contemplate.

    What I do know is that the advice of competent legal Counsel is imperative from the outset. Should any response to some order or request under the legislation be made at all, and if so – what?

    The average person or association confronted by some ‘investigation’ or ‘request for information’ or ‘request for records’ or ‘request for statement’ etc. wouldn’t have a clue as to how to respond because the legal issues are sure to be complicated and completely obscure to the average person.

    In my view, any response to any action at all by the Commission under the legislation needs to be expertly handled from the outset after expert advice has been received.

    I have no idea of course what advice would be given in any circumstances, but Jesus under intense questioning ‘made no further answer so that Pilate was astonished’. On that occasion, silence was the right ‘advice’!

    ‘Silence’ must be considered as an option – not necessarily the advisable course.

    And no doubt time for responding by a respondent to any requirement for action will be limited. Whether validly limited or invalidly limited, I have no expertise to give an opinion.

    Legal advice takes time.

    So I express my willingness to make a small donation towards the legal costs which will inevitably be incurred from the outset by any respondent, if a response is to be handled wisely.

    If some fund for Legal Defence is set up, I will make a small donation.

    David Shearer

  • Thanks David

    Yes you are quite right: a Christian legal defence fund clearly needs to be established. Thanks so much for offering to contribute to such a fund. Who would like to see something like this established, and who is willing to get involved to make it happen?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Perhaps the church, that for too long in the west has assumed that the rest of society still informed by Christian values and morals, is slowly waking up to the awful truth that another religion, another ideology has assumed dominance in which there is no place for Christianity. Unlike the Christian faith that can be formerly taught and whose principles can be articulated; hence one can tell whether one is veering either away or towards it, the new ideology is absorbed through osmosis, through the mass media. No one can articulate or explain it; one can only repeat its mantras. “Four legs are good and two legs are bad.”

    We have had it too good for too long. We have become indifferent to the eternal fate of those around us; indeed, like the pagans around us, we have ceased to believe what the Bible says, preferring instead to put our own interpretation on it, or to dismiss great chunks of it as being irrelevant in the 21st century: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FCNKwHRCQM

    When Christian values and morality oppose those of the new ideology in the courts of justice, the new ideology will override those of Christianity – every time. Christian values will be deemed to be merely the eccentric expression of medieval custom and tradition, whilst the rights of the 21st, progressive individual will be deemed to be absolute and objectively true.

    David Skinner, UK

  • I often can’t help wondering if I’m not being unspiritual, divisive and carnal challenging Australian Church leaders to be more active in societal issues. But let’s look at the facts:

    Fact 1: Silence by the majority of professing Christians regarding these type of bills. That can only mean that week in – week out in Sunday Christian assemblies across all denonimations around Australia, these issues are simply not being addressed. The pastors are responsible to God here. Through some warped and twisted theology these types of issues are simply ignored. The Church shouldn’t ignore these issues just for its own sake, it should fight against these laws through love for their non-Christian neighbours.

    Fact 2: Jesus warned about about the coming apostasy.

    May God bless keep all Christians like you Bill safe from harm’s way from the coming Great Tribulation. May he grant these wicked shepherds mercy and repentance.
    May God have mercy on us all.

    Sean Cahillane

  • Dear Bill Muehlenberg,

    Do not see it best to give up because of all these calamities which of course wants to swallow you up. But be of good cheer, smile at the storm, rejoice and the joy of the LORD will rise up within you with healing (healing in your ministry), for it all comes from the inside first. You see you have to have a vision-call upon the name of the LORD YAHWEH my Lord of righteousness and He will surely lift you up with His right hand of righteousness in JESUS name. (AMEN). We love you and we will be praying for you with the manifold of God’s wisdom.

    Yours in Christ, the Holy One of Israel, which is and which was and more over the one which is to come,

    Sunday Babatunde Teniola

  • robbed of jobs, hounded out of society, sent to prison – yep, that will all happen

    Certainly this would be persecution, but it just hasn’t happened on a great scale here – yet. It will though.

    Hilary Gilbert

  • In the UK, just prior to the general election, thirty senior Christian leaders launched the ‘Westminster 2010: Declaration of Christian Conscience’ on Easter Sunday – an equivalent to the Manhatten Declaration. This is a rallying call to UK Christian voters and fellow travellers to send a clear message to those seeking election, on the 6th May, that they need to take notice of their vote. With four million regular church attendees in Britain, the move has real potential to have a significant impact on who is elected.
    Or has it? After just two weeks guess how many have signed up? A million? A hundred thousand? Fifty thousand? Answer: 26,000, whereas 82,000 people have signed a petition asking the government reconsider moving British Forces Post Offices from mainland Europe. The enemy must be laughing.

    http://www.westminster2010.org.uk/sign/

    David Skinner, UK

  • I bet if Labor gets in again the Equal Opportunity bill will be ramped up a great deal.

    I should think Christians need to fight to keep Labor out of office next election as much as possible.

    Damien Spillane

  • Bill, I reiterate what another supporter said earlier. The following scripture speaks for itself:
    “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the Holy angels”. Luke 9:26
    How could we forsake our Lord and Saviour, when He has paid such a high price?
    Theresa Lokan

  • Hi Bill, Thanks again for your response, I think we need another Clarrie Briese at times like this, (Ref; the defence of (AIG, now CMI)). I think the idea of a Christian legal defence fund is a great idea, not sure of the logisitics of how to set it up in the first place, nor, how it would work in practice, perhaps this would need to be discussed with some of the U.S. Christian organisations who have already performed those sorts of defence work there? Also how would we allocate money for it, some sort of trust fund perhaps? There’s probably other people here who would have a far better idea than I on how to do this, but, it’s only a matter of time until it’s needed.
    Glen Grady, Brisbane

  • Sean,
    Your points are well taken. There is a responsibility on pastors to be abreast of issues, and not just concerned with next Sunday’s sermon, or should I say pep talk, devotional ditty, or Christianised psychoanalysis.
    I am tired of hearing, when I go for worship in certain churches, some ignorant elder or even a pastor praising the Lord for our religious freedom in this country, when under their very noses that freedom is being eroded.
    Wake up, Australia! Wake up, Christian people! There is a war on, and right now the enemy is winning without much of a fight from our side at all.
    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  • Bill I sent a copy of this to Dr Szoke the EO commisar and quoted to her form the website the comments about the need to be “fair and balanced with religious organisations”. I then said that I felt that given her agency’s implication in the two Dannys case, that I remained skeptical as to her ability to be impartial.
    Murray Adamthwaite is quite correct that we have dual citizenship but the one in heaven is the more important one. Francis Schaeffer in THE CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO states that Christians can escape to safer areas, call upon other officals in one level of Government when another jurisdiction impedes freedom or resist – the latter by civil disobedience or courts.
    Damien is correct, Labor needs to be fought and to be kept out of office, as well as the Greens need to be challenged and also kept out of office – the latter I regard their policies as being a toxin in the political bloodstream of Australia.
    Yet you watch the UCA as a body come down on the side of Labour and the Greens. “I tremble for my country when I remember that God is Just” (Thomas Jefferson?).
    Wayne Pelling

  • To Murray Adamthwaite,
    An excellent point you raise regarding ministers needing to keep abreast of developments in our society – I think we are now seeing just how important this is!
    Steve Davis

  • I suppose the only good point is that hate sermons from mosques can be monitored.
    Peter Dodd

  • Sorry to hear Bill. Will ask my group to pray for you.

    Peter – I was wondering about that. I must confess I have not been following this issue as much as I should, but if the EOC law “protects” people from all religious offence, has there been much up cry from the Muslim, Buddist, Taoist, etc communities?

    Han Wei Koay

  • Thanks Peter

    But recall that it was the EOC working in collaboration with Muslims that set up the two Dannys. The truth is, the real target in all this is born-again Christians who take their faith seriously. I don’t think any other religious groups will have anything to worry about. Nor will lukewarm Christians who have a privatised faith and who will never rock the boat, preferring instead to be men-pleasers instead of God pleasers.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • To Peter Dodd,
    I trust your comment was tongue in cheek?
    Also as per Bill’s latest reply to you, I wonder what the connection is between the EOC and the Muslims? Why the Muslims specifically? What, if any, arrangement is there between the 2 groups that the public does not know about?
    Steve Davis

  • Getting back to the ides of a Christian defence fund: Such a fund would require some kind of a board (presumably involving some legal experts) of Christians to make decisions on how best to look after the funds (presumably store money in an interest bearing account), raising money and distributing it appropriately where there is a need. Meeting fairly regularly with flexibility to meet at short notice in a crisis. There would need to accountability and integrity, so that people can be confident that the money they give would be spent appropriately.

    Help from people involved in funds of this kind e.g. in US, on how to avoid mistakes would be helpful there.

    But that’s thinking things through from a human perspective.

    It’s something to pray about as to what is the way forward, but it does sound like a good idea.

    Matt Vinay

  • Surely there must be some Christian lawyers out there? I think we need to start praying and asking God to send us someone who will start the ball rolling?
    Steve Davis

  • Looking at some of the responses above, I thought it might be worthwhile to provide a very brief ‘refresher’ of the 2 Dannys Case for those who either don’t remember or are unaware of what happened. As they say in the RSL: “Lest we forget.”

    A Muslim employee of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), May Halou, was the person identified during the hearings as the one who encouraged the three, white Muslim converts to attend the seminar being conducted by Daniel Scott (some 6 months after 9/11). In the hearing transcript, she is quoted as saying to one convert “I’ve seen some advertising for this seminar. I have some concerns about it. I’m not able to go. Would you be free to go along?”

    The Uniting Church and the Catholic Church wished to join the complaint against the two Dannys, the Uniting Church because it supported interfaith dialogue and were working with the Muslims and the Catholic Church because “the official policy of the Catholic Church urges Catholics to acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among Muslims and also their social life and culture.”

    Patrick Joseph McInerney, a “Catholic Priest and Missionary” was used as an ‘expert witness’ against the 2 Dannys, as was Prof Gary Bouma, a professor of sociology (not theology!) at Monash.

    It should be noted that the testimony of ALL the complainants and their expert witnesses was deemed credible and yet NONE of those supporting the 2 Dannys were deemed credible (along with the 2 Dannys themselves of course). Dr Mark Durie was deemed not to have had any formal training in Islam and, furthermore, had helped the 2 Dannys in the preparation of their case and so was biased. There was no analysis of the TYPE of ‘qualifications’ the so-called experts actually had.

    None of the 3 Muslim converts attended the full seminar and it is noteworthy that their complaint was expanded after it was lodged to include the whole transcript, even though none of them listened to the whole thing themselves.

    The case stretched out over about 5 years and cost over $500,000 to defend. It is not known what the costs, if any, were to the Muslim complainants. During that time, the initial findings by Judge Higgins listed 19 incidents supporting the complaint. As I mentioned in an earlier post, in his initial judgement, Judge Higgins incorrectly stated that Ps Scott had called all Muslims demons, a comment that was reported all around the world.

    The Orders handed down by Judge Higgins would have virtually gagged the 2 Dannys from saying almost anything for life! They would have also had the effect of virtually shutting down any analysis of Islam by Christians in Victoria and, remember, this law was actually used to prosecute someone resident in NSW!

    The Appeals Court finally overturned the Orders, but did not actually throw out the case, rather referring it back to the Tribunal for another hearing under a different judge. However, they did show that 18 of the 19 findings listed by Judge Higgins were incorrect! Despite this, as I also said earlier, he gave them high praise!

    The case was finally terminated when there was an out-of-court settlement and so was never re-heard by the Tribunal.

    So, I am highly sceptical not only of the ability of the legal system to be a fair arbiter in cases of this nature, but also that the church will get roused should anyone supporting the views on this site be charged. It didn’t happen before – in fact just the opposite happened and many people claiming to be Christian actually tried to put the boot in – so why should it happen now.

    My thoughts go to Jesus’ comments in Luke 16:31 at the end of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus when He said “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”

    Roger Birch

  • To all those including Bill, who have asked about Christian lawyers and a defence fund, check out
    http://rfi.asn.au/index.php where Kingdom Defence Trust and the Religious Freedom Institute have “merged”.

    Kingdom Defence Trust was originally formed after a number of court battles over Christian home education and Christian school education.

    John Angelico

  • Thanks John

    But it seems that nothing newer than stuff from 2008 can be found on the site. So are they still alive and well and active?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • What troubles me Bill, is that we don’t look at things from a secular point of view. What should we fight for? What should we defend? The Word tells us we are involved and relate to the world on a different heavenly plane. In one sense it is good that the secular world accepts Christianity but there has been a heavy price paid.
    The Church has developed huge institutions with enormous assets but what has this got to do with God? Jesus will return in his time and I see nothing in scripture to say we should waste time defending assets and worrying about secular things.
    When it was popular to amuse the masses by throwing people in with lions or burning them alive, people still accepted Christ and took their chances. Are we really worried about a bit of legislation?
    The empire that persecuted Christians eventually converted (and then the rot began).
    Steven Eldridge

  • Thanks Steven

    I have already addressed this issue. The ability to worship freely, to be able to freely evangelise, etc., are tremendous goods and are great gifts from God, and in no way should be taken lightly. Our forefathers paid with blood for these liberties, and we should not be cavalier about them.

    And to be honest – and with all due respect – the only people I find glibly talking about “Are we really worried about a bit of legislation?” are those who may not be impacted by it, or may not have to suffer as a result of it. As I said, the 2 Dannys had to spend over a half million dollar on defence fees – money which could have been used for the work of the Kingdom. And they wasted time on this court case on and off for five years. The enemy is quite happy to get us bogged down in court cases so that we are not free to do the work of the gospel.

    I don’t know if you have your own family, but if more laws like this are passed are we end up in prison, it will not be very pleasant. Being gang raped, and isolated from your loved ones, and so on, are very real prices to pay. Nor should we be glib about the punishment being just fines, or shutting down our ministries, etc. All of this is something to be greatly concerned about.

    I believe we all should be concerned about religious freedom in this nation, and should all be fighting for it. This has nothing to do with “looking at things from a secular point of view” as you suggest, but at the very least, being good stewards with what God has given us.

    As I have said elsewhere, sure, persecution can be good for the church in that we stop playing games then and we finally start getting serious about our faith, but we are nowhere told in Scripture to seek persecution and try to bring it on.

    Remember, ‘righteousness exalts a nation’ and we are to seek the well being of the nation we find ourselves in. Part of that is to work for religious freedom, and not be flippant and cavalier about it. Sure, the church always faces the danger of becoming overly institutionalised and worldly, but that is no reason to just throw the towel in, and capitulate to the anti-Christian agendas of the state.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill –

    don’t the new powers that you mention in your post relate to employment matters – that christian schools or other organisations may be asked to justify why they need to have certain religious criteria for a particular post? Not that I would agree with that, but it’s got nothing to do with the already-dreadful Racial and Religious Tolerance Laws.

    I’m concerned that your post could potentially give the misleading impression that the new laws extend the powers of the EOC in relation to the RRT laws, which as far as I’m aware, they don’t.

    So unless you have become an employer of some sort,. why exactly are you expecting a knock on the door from the “thought police”?

    Ben Palmer

  • Thanks Ben

    But like so many others, my ministry does not take place in a vacuum. I have all sorts of connections with Christian employers, so indirectly at the very least I will be impacted by this new law. But more importantly you miss the point of my writing. My main concern is to show that this is simply another nail in the coffin of Christian free speech in the public arena. This is simply the latest in a long line of laws which have very real implications for all vocal believers. And it is not the last either. Victorian Attorney General Rob Hulls is also looking at hate crimes legislation as well. See here for example: http://www.saltshakers.org.au/take-action/campaigns/620

    Thus this is simply part of a much bigger assault on religious freedom.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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