CultureWatch

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

Let’s Get Those Lousy Christians

May 25, 2012

OK, so the militants are not saying it quite as clearly as that, but this is exactly what they are after: to fully and finally shut down the churches – at least all churches which still take the Word of God seriously. The radical secularists and homosexual activists know that they must silence Christianity if their social engineering agendas are to proceed.

Thus in their push to remake society in their own image, they know they must ensure that Christians are stripped of their rights: rights of conscience, religious freedom, and freedom of speech – to name a few. These are all under direct threat because of the activists.

This is especially seen in what they say about rights and discrimination laws. Some of them deceptively say that they may allow a few “exemptions” for churches, but they are lying through their teeth. They know full well that if the state has the power to make exceptions and exemptions, then the state has the power to take them away.

Thus any proposed legislation which speaks about such exemptions must be resolutely opposed. I dealt with this in detail here: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/02/09/let%E2%80%99s-con-those-gullible-christians/

But what is even far more frightening is how many activist groups which have come out and admitted that they do not want any religious exemptions whatsoever. Dozens of these activist groups have insisted that radical agendas should proceed, and church groups should be granted no exemptions at all. They have been quite candid about all this.

One simply has to read their submissions for example. The recent inquiry into anti-discrimination laws has been very revealing in this respect. In one submission after another the militants have admitted that they do not want there to be any religious exemptions, and all religious folks must fully comply with their agenda, or face the consequences.

But don’t take my word for it – simply read the submission. But, you say, I don’t have time to go through all these many submissions. OK, fine, then we can thank those who have, and make use of their findings. One such brave soul is Pat Byrne who has taken upon himself the thankless and daunting task of reading all these submissions.

And what he has unearthed is quite shocking. He shows how the activists are almost unanimous in their objection to any exemptions for religious bodies. The activist groups have effectively declared war on religion. Byrne begins his article on this as follows:

“The Gillard Labor Government’s inquiry into new anti-discrimination legislation has become the source of a concerted attack on churches, independent schools and government funding to church-based welfare organisations. In keeping with ALP promises made at the last federal election platform, the department of federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon is holding an inquiry into consolidating the Commonwealth’s four separate anti-discrimination laws — the Racial Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, Disability Discrimination and Age Discrimination acts — as well as the Australian Human Rights Commission Act (1986) and provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009.

“Ms Roxon issued a discussion paper inviting comment on a number of questions, including issues relating to possible exemptions clauses for churches and community organisations in any new anti-discrimination legislation. The Attorney-General promised that exemptions would be allowed.

“However, The Australian newspaper’s national opinion writer Paul Kelly, in commenting on similar politicians’ assurances that churches would be exempt from any new same-sex marriage law, warned that only a fool would accept the idea that ‘exemptions’ for the churches would be effective and lasting.”

He provides plenty of quotes from the activist groups. Most have made it crystal clear that they want all church groups and religious bodies to have no freedom of conscience or freedom of religion in so many crucial areas. Here is just a sampling of these many statements:

-Legal Aid Queensland: “… argues for the removal of those (i.e., religious) exemptions”.

-Legal Aid NSW: “… does not support the retention of any exemption on religious grounds”.

-Public Interest Law Clearing House (Vic) Inc: “The Consolidated Law should include no exemptions for religious organisations in relation to the protected attributes of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

-Discrimination Law Experts Group: “We recommend that the religious exceptions be repealed.”

-ANU College of Law “Equality Project”: It “rejects permanent exemptions on religions grounds for institutions or individuals”.

-Human Rights Law Centre: “These exemptions are manifestly inappropriate and inconsistent with Australia’s human rights obligations and international best-practice.”

-HIV/AIDS Legal Centre: “Remove entirely any religious exemption to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

-The National Association of Community Legal Centres: “The consolidation bill should not provide for religious exemptions in relation to the protected attributes of sexual orientation or gender identity.” However, if there are exemptions, they “should not be applicable to organisations or services in receipt of public funding”.

-Young Workers’ Legal Service [SA unions]: “… religious institutions would be required to ‘opt-in’ for exemption under federal anti-discrimination laws”.

-Australian Lesbian Health Coalition: “There should exist no blanket exceptions or exemptions for religious bodies.”

-National LGBTI Health Alliance: “Religious bodies should not be granted exemptions from anti-discrimination legislation for their activities in the provision of services, such as aged care, health services and education.”

-The Diversity Council of Australia “… does not support general exemptions for religious bodies for any acts and practices”.

-Lesbian and Gay Solidarity (Melbourne) says that the federal government must “withdraw its religious exemptions from all its anti-discrimination laws”.

-Equality Rights Alliance: “… exceptions for religious organisation … should not be included in the consolidated Act.”

-Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) says there should “be no religious exemptions in the new consolidated anti-discrimination law”.

-The Coalition of Activist Lesbians Australia Inc. recommended “the complete removal of exemptions for religious organisations with regards to sexual orientation”.

-Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group said that it “does not support any legislative exemptions or exceptions that are specific to sexual orientation of gender identity and presentation”.

-Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby said that it “opposes any exemption granted to religious bodies that would permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

-Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia said: “Legislation should remove automatic exceptions for religious and other bodies from all anti-discrimination legislation, and that if any exceptions are made that they be limited to a two-year period, with no automatic extension of exemptions.”

-Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Embracing Equality: “Excluding special measures, there should be no religious exemptions or exceptions to Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws.”

-The Australian Sex Party: “The Consolidated Act should not include religious exceptions that apply to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity…. If the Act does include religious exceptions, they should apply only to the ordination or appointment of priests, ministers of religion or members of a religious order.”

And these are just some of the statements being put out by these groups. What they are saying is that their radical agendas should be fully enforced by the heavy hand of the law, and any religious persons or groups that dare to disagree should be dealt with swiftly and harshly.

So much for equal rights for all. So much for religious freedom. So much for freedom of speech and conscience. This is more Big Brother radical activism. This is a secularist jihad being declared against religion in general and Christianity in particular. If all these activist groups get their way, be prepared for plenty of fines, prison time, and job losses.

And that is exactly what is happening all over the West as these activists get their way. See here for example where I provide over 50 recent examples of this very thing: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/05/15/homosexual-marriage-everything-will-change/

So a war has been declared against faith. Will people of faith – and lovers of freedom – wake up to this and respond, or will we just sit by and allow the end of religion in Australia?

newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=5191

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19 Responses to Let’s Get Those Lousy Christians

  • Thank you always, Bill, for keeping us up to date on these diabolical issues.

    Believers shouldn’t be alarmed by these events, after all, ole Nic couldn’t get Christ and he’s now after the “Woman”. That’s ok, Christ said that this would occur and he said not to be alarmed for these things must happen.

    Christ didn’t create any extra anxiety in his followers by asking them to directly go head to head with the Roman government. He admonished Believers to receive the Holy Spirit and choose to follow him by putting aside their old ways. By doing this, we are at odds with ‘Rome’ anyway without going out of our way to give ‘Rome’ some stick; much as most of us would like to do.

    I for one don’t believe that there is only one day of salvation for the world and that if Believers don’t reach ALL of the LGBTI during these people’s life span that they are finished forever. If God is relying solely on us to do the conversions then we are pretty much condemned for doing such a pathetic job. What do you think the old Festival days and “harvests” signified in duality and meaning? Can Believers honestly say that there isn’t any “shadow” meaning in the Festivals and Harvests of the Old Covenant for today?

    On a separate issue; I know your spirit of intent in saying “the end of religion in Australia?” However, if religion died the world would be a better place. As a result, there would be no doubt more wheat than tares. After all, when things become so tough that Believers are thrown in jail for openly communing with God, will we have sufficient ‘oil’ to say, “forgive them Lord, for they do not know what they are doing”?

    Grant Squelch

  • Thanks Grant

    As I have said often before, yes, persecution does separate the sheep from the goats and when it occurs it can have that good effect. But of course we are never told to seek it or pray for it in Scripture. And religious freedom is also well worth standing up for and fighting for. So as always we need the biblical balance here. We should stand up and fight for our freedoms, and not be glib about losing them. But if and when the real persecution comes, we must go through it and trust God to bring good out of it.

    I have written an entire article on this issue: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/03/09/on-persecution/

    Thanks again for your thoughts
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • This goes to the whole issue of whether economic freedom can be separated from religious freedom or freedom of conscience. Once the government has reserved the right to decide who we can hire and who we can fire on seemingly innocuous industrial matters then it is a short step for them to enforce their morality on religious organisations and churches.

    As Milton Friedman pointed out, you can’t separate economic freedom from human freedom and political freedom or religious freedom.

    Damien Spillane

  • Hi Bill, religious freedom is under attack on more fronts than we know. South Australian pollies are seeking to introduce a private member’s bill, the Assisted Reproductive Treatment (Equality of Access) Amendment Bill 2012, which is designed to allow access to IVF for lesbian couples and single women. This bill is being pushed by Ian Hunter MLC, a long-time homosexual activist before he entered parliament in 2006. He is currently Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion in the Weatherill Labor government. So the true intent behind the bill is to pave the way for SSM.

    To highlight just how much out of touch with the people these pollies are, consider the following comments:

    “However, during debate in the Legislative Council, the bill’s supporters soon made it clear that their ultimate agenda was more than just extending access to IVF; it was primarily concerned with promoting the cause of same-sex marriage.”

    “neither the welfare of the children potentially created through this legislation, nor the fact that lesbian couples cannot act as both mother and father to a child, was addressed by the bill’s proponents”

    “Although almost 60 per cent of SA’s MLCs (12 out of 21 voting members) voted in favour of the bill, a 2009 Galaxy Poll showed that 86 per cent of Australians believe that children should ideally be raised by their biological mother and father.”

    “The support in South Australia’s upper house for a bill that would create fatherless children demonstrates the influence that homosexual activists wield in the corridors of power and also how out of touch politicians are with the majority of their voters”.

    “How can these parliamentarians purport to represent the will of the people when they not only oppose the majority of Australians but also dismiss their views as “bigotry”, “discrimination” and comparable to racist fear-mongering?”

    What do they think will happen when they create a fatherless society, curtail the effects or influence of religion on society and allow SSM?

    Fred Merlo

  • Fred, I appreciate your comments re the South Australian Bill currently before our Parliament. Martin Hamilton-Smith has said that he will vote against this Bill, as he believes that children should be brought up by both Mother and Father, and that we would be creating a Fatherless society if this Bill were to be implemented – it is well worth reading Hansard for his full reply. Most telling, however, is in his closing remarks he states how surprised and disappointed he is that he has not heard from any religious group – Christians, Jews or Muslims who disagree with this proposed Bill. This is a telling indictment on the Church and just goes to show how little most Christians actually care about the decline of freedom in this Country. By the way, I have written to both my local MP and to Mr. Hamilton-Smith to ask them not to support this poisonous Bill.
    Many thanks Bill for bringing some of these matters to our attention – sometimes many Christians are simply not aware of what is going on in our Society!
    Joan Davidson

  • Secularists give the impression that if Christians just do everything they say the world will be a much better humanist place. It’s a bit desperate how they want to be so controlling. Rather than turn the world upside down to suit their limitations, why don’t they address the problem of how to deal with an inferiority complex about feeling a second class citizen when there is no need to feel this way. True Christians wish no one any harm. Admittedly missionary zeal in bringing Christianity to other cultures has been judged to be unwanted and patronising. Christ did not actively convert but spoke in parables. Christians have not tried to control secularists, the aggression comes from the secularists. What are they going to do without Christians to persecute? It was Christianity that brought to the ancient barbarian world the proposition that financially, physically and socially unequal people should be equal in law. The assault on the family is statist and anti human, ushering in the Big Brother regime of our worst nightmares. The assault of spirituality is an impertinent invasion of personal space by the Thought Police.

    Rachel Smith

  • Thanks for this very useful information Bill. I think that somewhere in God’s plan, all this has a place, fits in, is taken into account in his eternal creative “NOW” outside of time. As limited temporal creatures, we’re part of it all with our appointed roles, each part important, however small. So we must be fully engaged and active in the battle but with discernment.
    Can anyone tell me where to find a scripture verse which runs “Do not pray against this, for it must come”. I’m wondering if my recollection is wrong because I can’t find it.
    I’ve always taken it to mean we have to go through the great tribulation before the end. Not praying against it, so far as I’m concerned, doesn’t mean not acting against, fighting to minimise or praying to withstand it.
    You are a vital source of information Bill — may God protect you and ensure your continued freedom to keep us informed. Even five years ago a prayer like that would have seemed over dramatic in this country — not anymore.
    Anna Cook

  • Thanks Anna. There are some passages where we are told not to pray for others. Mostly it is Yahweh telling a prophet not to pray for rebellious Israel. Here are some of these passages:

    1 Sam 2:25 If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.
    Jer. 7:16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
    Jer 11:14 “Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
    Jer. 14:11 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not pray for the well-being of this people’.”
    Jer. 15:1 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!
    1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • HI AM WRITING FROM MY HUBBYS COMPUTER AND WILL BUY HIM A NEW MONITOR – its opaque and old and hard on the eyes – all that aside it has been a while since I have kept myself up to date with your valued blogs – thank God for articulate people on the side of the Lord – having said that – I sensed that if the anti Christian lobby are successful maybe God will use that for His glory – when the communists threw out all the missionaries from China – the church went underground and flourished – I think our comfortable Christianity, christian buildings can be seen as air conditioned clubs that perplex the public whose taxes pay for our comfort. What happened to the Acts churches who met house to house and gave all for the needy. Until we get some real persecution the church will be seen as corporate, with salaried staff and CEO pastor, whose office is equivalent to big business executives – not biblical – Christianity conducted this way will never see the world saved for Jesus – I have come out of corporate life and what perplexed me over 20 years ago was the need for the church to be carnal and copy worldly success instead of making disciples and making sacrifices. It wanted executive titles ugh! I welcome any persecution to the point of death to awaken a sleeping and materialistic religion (which can at times be seen as an elitist club of charismatic professionals) rather then a face to face heart to heart fellowship who meet to give God the glory rather than people. We baptised a lovely lady from China today who the lord brought to our door 6 months ago – when she returns to China she will take a Christianity without a building or program but one based on coffee table ministry where disciples are made and not professionalised. let’s face it, when persecution comes and it will, there will be no air con offices and large auditoriums but rather small gatherings that the Lord will multiply virally – where faith and mercy, grace and love will be seen in our charity to others – houses and families of hope – all this to give God the glory and not our religious scaffoldings.
    Ilona Sturla

  • Thanks again Bill for getting onto very important issues. It’s easy to feel “down” about the criticism and persecution that occurs in our MSM. I am so grateful for your contributions on this website and the informed comment you set out. Just recently you posted some suggestions that individuals like me could use to stand up to critics etc. Could you please send me the Title of the post?
    Brian Hoffman

  • Rachel Smith wrote “Christ did not actively convert but spoke in parables.”

    Rachel, whereas it may be true that Jesus OFTEN spoke in parables, the story of the Samaritan women of the well and many others indicates that Jesus did actively convert. Even his calling of his disciples could be considered conversion.

    Graeme Cumming

  • Ilona wrote a lot of great stuff that I thoroughly agree with!

    ‘Cept “the public whose taxes pay for our comfort.”

    Remember, we are also “the public” and pay our taxes. The charitable arms of many churches give away far more than their tax emempt status allows them.

    Apologies to Bill, Ilona and Rachel if I am starting to sound like I am “moderating!”

    Graeme Cumming

  • Bill,

    Any idea where these submissions can be accessed in their original format?

    Pat and yourself have done a great job in putting together this summary, but I must admit I’d like to see the original as well.

    Graeme Cumming

  • Thanks Bill for the texts – I’ll check them out – quite alarming some of them – no doubt the context will help me understand.
    Anna Cook

  • For over 100 years now the church has gradually given up areas of ministry to the state, starting with education and moving through health and welfare. They surely welcomed the “helping hand” of the state when times were tough, maybe not realizing that unlike the church, the state can be made up of believers and unbelievers and the prevailing moral thrust of the state depends on the current make-up of those 2 groups. So now the trap into which church organisations have been unwittingly lured into over such a long time is finally snapping shut. I am so grateful for just a little true saying we were taught many years ago in relation to education. “This is the state speaking If we assist, we insist”. It is so easy to make the mistake of believing that the state will always be on God’s side, keep their commitments etc. But it appears that the gloves have finally come off in “the fight against religion”. It is now a matter for the church to regain its understanding what its responsibilities are and how to instruct the state about its boundaries. I believe Bonhoeffer had something very good to say about that, I have to find it again.
    The good thing is though that, if the other side recognizes the church as its enemy, then we have the opportunity of giving them a run for their money. Let them find their enemy with teeth and armour on. That will only happen if the church makes its stand on the gospel 1 Cor 15:1 and 2, not by seeker friendly appeasement policy.
    Grant, I believe there is a difference between fighting for freedoms and worrying. You can fight for your freedom and leave the outcome to God, thereby not having to worry. I read somewhere
    “we are not called to win all our political battles, but to obey.”
    Jesus spoke the truth boldly before Pilot and even asked the reason for what he was hit for in the “trial” before the Sanhedrin. Being submissive to the will of God does not make you a coward.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • Pleasee forgive me if I am wrong, but I seem to remember that God warned his people of impending judgment before the axe fell. In other words, the axe doesn’t need to fall if you man up and do what is required.

    As we see, so often they ignored the advice and continued on their merry way and the end result was things like years of captivity in Babylon.

    I can’t help feeling that we are being warned today by God through his prophets. Bill is not the only one. I have read similar commentary from all over the world.

    Are we listening? Seems not. Will the axe fall? Most probably. Will the end result be better or worse for us? Probably better as we get rid of the candy floss.

    Having said that, I do believe the axe need not fall…if we will put 2 Chronicles 7 v 14 into practice but I feel that somehow it is a case of “Babylon, here we come.”

    Roger Marks

  • Thanks to Graeme Cumming for his comment regarding Christ often speaking in parables and actively converting. One of the great things about Bill’s debate forum is that you can exchange ideas and look and learn. I can see the point you make and it has widened my understanding. I have a lot more reading and learning to do, that’s for sure!

    Rachel Smith

  • Thanks Graeme, you are kind – may i suggest with respect that we were not asked by jesus on his last day on earth to be a charitable arm but rather to make disciples which will result in charity to the needy, widows etc., while ever the world sees a corporate christianity extend its charitable arm the lines become muddied and we are still seen as raking in money (albeit) for good cause rather than growing a faith community, love in action in our neighbourhood and not in the pew, said with love and after living in Asia for a year and being a misso back home….
    Ilona Sturla

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