Weekend Wrap for 28 June 2020
The proposed voluntary assisted dying legislation in Tasmania is getting a lot of attention. Get the latest news on that issue and others of concern to secular-minded Australians in this new edition of the Weekend Wrap.
Don’t forget that the Weekend Wrap, which aims to help secular-minded Australians keep abreast of the latest news on current issues, is also published on our Facebook page!
At the National Level
The Jehovah’s Witnesses and other organisations that are yet to flag an intention to sign up to the National Redress Scheme to support survivors of childhood sexual abuse will be "named and shamed" and suffer heavy consequences, the federal government has warned (The New Daily).
The publisher of Cardinal George Pell’s 1,000-page journal, written while he was in jail for 13 months on charges of child sex abuse, is calling for donations to support the publishing of the journal and help cover Pell’s legal costs (SBS).
Jewish groups have lauded the Morrison government’s stance at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after it was the only country to vote against all five resolutions targeting Israel (Australian Jewish News).
The ABC department behind the investigative series Revelation, which looks into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, is facing major budget cuts (ABC).
The Australian Christian Lobby claims that more than 7,000 Australians have written to their state and federal health minister seeking an independent inquiry into what it claims is a "surge" in children being referred to 'gender clinics' (ACL).
Around the Country
TAS: The state Labor opposition has indicated its members of parliament will back the voluntary assisted dying legislation currently being drafted by Independent Mike Gaffney (WIN News).
TAS: The Australian Christian Lobby today called on the state’s Labor Party to pull back from its stated intent to support Mike Gaffney's proposed voluntary assisted dying legislation, arguing that it should support efforts to improve palliative care instead (ACL).
TAS: Speaking at a conference hosted by the Australian Christian Lobby, Liberal Senator Eric Abetz has urged Christians to become “political activists” in rallying against voluntary assisted dying (The Examiner, paywalled).
TAS: Front-runners in the race to become the next representative for the electorate of Rosevears in the state’s north say they are yet to make up their minds on how they would vote on voluntary assisted legislation (The Examiner).
VIC: Reason Party leader Fiona Patten will push for the removal of charitable tax exemptions for Victorian institutions that refuse to sign up to the National Redress Scheme.
VIC: A Liberal member of parliament has called for an independent inquiry into the treatment of Cardinal George Pell by the state’s police and justice systems, along with the ABC (Catholic Weekly).
TAS: A Tasmanian family that was ordered to pay more than $2 million to the ATO for refusing to pay income tax on the grounds that it went "against God's will" have closed their popular honey business (ABC).
NSW: A complaint that was made to the state’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal against a Queensland woman who shared an Australian Christian Lobby petition on Facebook has been withdrawn (Eternity News).
NSW: The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the withdrawal of a complaint against a Brisbane mother at the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, saying it was disappointing that the “worthless claim” got so far (ACL).
NSW: In response to the establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate Mark Latham’s religious freedom bill, the Australian Christian Lobby has claimed that “religious freedom is under threat” in the state, with people of faith facing “increased hostility in the workplace and public life” (ACL).
VIC: A Melbourne Catholic secondary school is to start giving preferential placement to students who attended Catholic primary schools, due to the continuing decline in enrolments at Catholic primary schools in the state. The social decline of traditional religion and the social stigma associated with the Catholic Church in the wake of the royal commission into institutional sexual abuse are among the reasons cited as driving this fall. (The Age).
ACT: A pastor found not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman during 'prayers of deliverance', despite the judge ruling the offences had been "proven beyond a reasonable doubt", had told a friend of the woman that the matter was "between [him] and the holy spirit" (ABC).
SA: The Australian Christian Lobby is ralling its supporters in the state to reject new abortion legislation that would introduce safe zones around clinics, arguing that people need to be able to “offer help” to women entering a clinic (ACL).
ACT: The Australian Christian Lobby has criticised the territory’s government for conducting a “clandestine review” into concerns about gay conversion practices, saying it has failed to consult the public (ACL).
QLD: Alison Courtice, a champion for secular public education, has spoken out about being sexually harassed by a male barrister who is now a judge (Courier Mail).
Commentary and Analysis
John Sandeman questions whether Mark Latham is the ‘new Fred Nile’, having rapidly risen as a favourite of conservative Christians (Eternity News).
Philippa Martyr explores the place of women in the power structures of the Catholic Church and the potential for change (Catholic Weekly).
That's it for another week!
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