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Thursday, 24 May 2018 21:41

Face-Coverings and Testimony in Court

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Should a Muslim woman who wears a face covering for religious reasons, be entitled to give evidence in court with her face covered? This important issue, which has been discussed in other common law jurisdictions, has now been considered in the NSW Court of Appeal, in Elzahed v State of New South Wales [2018] NSWCA 103 (18 May 2018). The Court concluded that no error had been shown in a ruling by a trial judge, that Ms Elzahad was not entitled to keep her face covered while testifying.

The activists and their supporters are always telling us to relax and ease up – they insist that what they want will have no impact on anyone else. They tell us that what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is not the business of anyone else. They say nothing will change when things like homosexual marriage are legalised. They accuse us of being alarmists and fear-mongers. They tell us to just shut up because they are entitled to do what they want, and we should just butt out since it will have no impact on us.

Abortion activists are at it again, attempting to introduce bubble-zones around New South Wales abortion facilities. As stated many times on this website, these so-called 'safe-access zones', also known as exclusion zones, are designed to stop advocates for life from offering assistance to desperate women who feel pressured to abort their children. They also hamper the freedom of political communication which should exist in a free society like Australia. Exclusion-zone law, very similar to that being proposed in New South Wales will be under the scrutiny of the High Court of Australia this year due to our legal challenge. Any politician who is realistic about the fiscal and time constraints that apply to our parliamentary system wouldn't dream of introducing legislation that has a constitutional cloud hanging over it.

Monday, 23 April 2018 21:02

Teachers: The Red Cent Rules

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There are older teachers around today that are as depressed about modern education as many of the Tavern's customers. Most ordinary punters, both dads and mums consumed with work, send their kids to what passes for schools, whether they like it or not, to have their little chaps and chapesses spend more time with a (very possibly) uneducated moron than they do with themselves. It is a bleak picture. Older folk remember many of their early years' teachers with affection and gratitude, but few kids today will have such pleasant memories.

In a Federation like Australia, different jurisdictions (States and Territories) may have different rules on what amounts to “discrimination” or “vilification”, and how those things interact with religious freedom. One of the pressing issues here in recent years has been whether there will be a “race to the bottom” in freedom of speech on religious issues, with one jurisdiction in particular, Tasmania, raising deep concerns with a very broad prohibition on causing “offence” related to matters such as sexual orientation. Today the High Court of Australia, on appeal from NSW, has affirmed the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal that State and Territory “tribunals” (non-judicial panels usually used in discrimination issues) have no jurisdiction to impose penalties on residents of other Australian jurisdictions under their own local laws.

The controversies over the so-called Safe Schools programs in Australia are simply a reflection of a much bigger war. For many decades now activists have sought to target our children especially through the school system. Various sex education programs and the like have been used to push radical sexual agendas. All this did not just happen. It has been promoted and pushed by sexual ideologies and ideologues who have been active since early last century. The sexual revolutionaries have been quite busy, and they helped pave the way for things like the contemporary Safe Schools programs.

The leftist mainstream news media fabricated a digital curtain around Manus Island and the successful offshore detention policy. The story they told was of cruel bullying of poor victims, violating the most basic human compassion. But what’s on the other side of that curated curtain? Michael Coates tells us what he witnessed first hand, without the sugar coating.

Monday, 02 April 2018 19:30

A Tale of Two Men - and Two Faiths

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[Apr 1, 2018. Photo credit Herald Sun]

 Today is Easter Sunday. Christians the world over celebrate the most important event in human history: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the heart of this event is one person giving his life for others, so that they might live. This is self-sacrificing love at its greatest.
Monday, 26 March 2018 17:37

Reflections on the Crucifixion

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Written on Easter Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Tavern has been closed since three of the clock yesterday. I have been with others in the Crypt, as His body was in His Crypt.  And I am reflecting on what happened. I am grateful to James H and to Dr Davis for a better understanding of the physical. Many have seen the film 'The Passion of the Christ'. The actor playing Christ did a brilliant job. Jim Caviezel. He too adds to our understanding. But the 'visual', just as the Gospel accounts needs contemplation and we do that with words in our heads. So I hand some over to you. What continues is Heavy Reading.

I have written often now on the deep decline of the UK, and now we may be safe to say it is just about officially dead. At the same time it is banning and detaining brave individuals who dare to speak out about the evils of sharia law and the war on freedom, UK officials are covering up and making excuses for diabolical rape gangs, most of them Muslim. As to the free speech bans, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been banned from entering the country in the past, all for daring to warn about the dangers of political Islam. And more recently figures like Martin Sellner and Brittany Pettibone from the UK and Lauren Southern from Canada are getting similar treatment. While they are being excluded from the country or banned from speaking out, the UK continues to keep its doors wide open to Islamic immigration, giving Muslims privileged and preferential status.

“Political Posting Mumma”, Marijke, tells Dave about the International Sex Ed Sit Out Day scheduled for 23 April 2018. Click here to see more from Dave Pellowe at his website, Pellowe Talk. Because of the transgender activists successfully brainwashing children in public schools, parents are now getting their kids stripped from them!! This is so out of control! Join us for Sex Ed Sit Out on April 23rd. #SexEdSitOut

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 22:38

Signs of the Times

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I think one of the issues with the recent revision of marriage is that many people found it hard to understand how the meaning of words can change change so quickly.

Words are seemingly increasingly fluid today - much like gender is regarded in certain circles. ‘Equality’ and ‘marriage’ were the two key words to undergo revision in 2017 in Australia, and it is no mistake that Yes groups connected these words in simple slogans with the overall aim of promoting ‘love’ to help stimulate revision.

Love is Love?

For example, take the University of Sydney advertising campaign in 2017 that was presumably linked in to the marriage debate: “Unlearn Love”.

The meaning could be taken several ways, but I am sure that the university was not saying that the love of two men is not love. I believe they were saying that married love is not what you always thought it was, and that now the new idea is to challenge the status quo and develop new ideas and ways of expression.

I always find it helpful in this new era of re-defining words to ask people when they say anyone can be married to ask them what marriage is and gently probe their response. Usually most people have a restriction on who can marry (not-with standing that most pro Yes Marriage voters would not have even been aware of the restrictions in Section 23 of the Marriage Act).

There is also a lack of definition when one probes the meaning of the word ‘love’ today. Perhaps defining ‘love’ is now too difficult or exclusionary? It is much easier to say, ‘Love is love’, and to sing about it than think about what it means. Perhaps those of us in the church could help the wider society learn more about the types of love mentioned in the bible? We need to be reminded of some of the hard sayings of Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5: 43-44)

   

Marriage and Gender

Newtown in inner-city Sydney was one of the few local areas that had a significant number of local businesses and groups involved in publicly supporting the Yes vote. Among hundreds of signs and slogans in Newtown, this sign about gender was the clearest in its revisionist context. The move away from the understanding of marriage as a natural biological union from which children are produced and nurtured centres marriage on a form of romantic love where individual fulfilment is the key to that love. Sameness is promoted rather than complementarity. It reminds me of the part in Seinfeld where Jerry in contemplating marriage realised what he was looking for all along – himself.

Ridicule of Belief

I am wondering if understanding of, or even basic awareness of the deepness of belief for people of faith could become increasingly rare in wider society? I know that Newtown is a rarefied context, but is the issue broader?

On the day of the marriage survey announcement a mural was proudly unveiled on the back of the Botany View Hotel in Newtown, Sydney.

Presumably the designer Scott Marsh had in mind an exemption from the Additional Safeguards Act that was in place during the marriage survey up until and including 15 November 2017, namely that part that mentioned “a communication communicated solely for genuine satirical, academic or artistic purposes; or” (Division 1, Subdivision A, Section 6, 4 (b) Marriage Law Survey Additional Safeguards Act 2017) as Marsh chose to celebrate the day by denigrating two prominent Catholic figures as well as the Catholic faith. Tony Abbot was illustrated wearing a bridal dress and tiara along with an allusion to performing a sexual act with the straw in the bottle of wine, as well as being depicted placing his hand down the pants of a buffed up Cardinal George Pell who was depicted as a lifeguard wearing a rainbow swimsuit. Not unexpectedly, this mural prompted considerable reaction. Within 24 hours the mural had been splashed with white paint and then later painted over with black paint, with some wording left (The Happy Ending). Groups representing differing viewpoints converged, including (mainly Maronite) Christians who wanted to pray and witness to their faith. This development led to a local police presence, albeit to ‘keep the peace’ between the different groups. In the days following people added to the black canvas with a wide range of insults, swearwords as well as blasphemous comments and praiseworthy comments about Jesus. This whole saga continued for several weeks, with regular blackening out, though by February 2018 the graffiti language decreased markedly as activists presumably have moved onto to other causes.

One intriguing aspect from some of my discussions around the area was that while people were very upset at the perceived ‘vandalism’ of the mural, some could not understand that the mural had been offensive in the first place.

 

True Rainbows

I have been able to capture some lovely images of natural rainbows in Newtown. One was in 2009, and one in February 2018. These rainbows always provide a measure of hope and help me to continue to reflect on a holy and living God, our creator and redeemer.

The 40th annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Sydney recently. Bill Muehlenberg looks at how Australia's public broadcaster, the ABC, is grooming children by introducing them to LGBTI ideology. Here are three truths you can take to the bank: -The radicals on the left have long known the value of targeting our children. -The ABC is a radical left outfit actively pushing the homosexual agenda. -Homosexuals have long been keen to recruit children into their militancy. All three of these truths I have been documenting for years now. For example, I have written numerous pieces now on the Australian broadcaster and how it pushes every leftist agenda item there is. And in my books I carefully document how children are being targeted by the homosexual activists. It is called recruitment. The militants know that if they can bypass parents and their unwanted values, and directly access children, they have a much better chance of winning them over to their various causes. This is standard operating procedure with the left.

Thursday, 15 February 2018 09:24

How Close to Broke Are You?

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The poor and the middle class in the western world are not as far apart as some might imagine. There are many folk who stand at the Tavern's bars who would be very hard done to find a few hundred bucks at short notice. Many seemingly 'middle class' could be wiped out overnight by an unexpected expense. How are you doing? Close to skint occasionally?

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 10:45

The Changing Face of Marriage

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It is my pleasure to join a wonderful group to help Australians think about and hopefully challenge some of the trends in this seemingly modern society.

I thought I would start with some comments about marriage, given it was the dominant issue for public policy discussion in 2017 (even if most Australians did not realise the public policy implications).

It is sobering to reflect how quickly one of the fundamental aspects of marriage moved from ‘naturally assumed’ to incidental.

Saturday, 30 December 2017 13:22

Our Top Ten Posts of 2017

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2017 was a landmark year for Australians, and for Victorians in particular. In fact, it was a triumph for the cultural revolution and its minions. Marriage was redefined and Christians endured an unprecedented attack on their faith, which is not openly scorned in the public square. the Catholic Church in particular was targeted, as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse became a witch hunt designed to humiliate Catholics, while failing to offer true healing to victims of abuse. Queensland and New South Wales managed to stave off the decriminalisation of abortion, while Victoria legalised assisted killing. The incidence of violent crime is rising, particularly among immigrants who refuse to assimilate. Our two major parties are almost indistinguishable in their policies and both incapable of leading our country into the future. But one great result has risen in response to this tidal wave of immorality and persecution: Christians are banding together, getting involved and becoming emboldened to fight evil head-on.

Thursday, 28 December 2017 17:07

Responding to the Islamisation of the West

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Throughout much of the West major cities have large concrete blocks placed around high-traffic pedestrian areas. So what is that all about? Works of modern art? Not quite – they are security bollards. Security from what? Well, sadly, from basically one thing: jihadists who wish to mow down innocents in the name of their political ideology. So the West is responding to this crisis – not by dealing with the root causes – but by running with band aid solutions. Instead of acknowledging that we have an Islam problem, as Tony Abbott recently pointed out, and taking appropriate steps to deal with this, we try rather useless harm minimisation approaches.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 20:43

Never Mind the Bollards

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[This article was updated on 28/12/17 to include the latest violent-crime incidents - Kathy.] Victorians were outraged to hear of yet another act of senseless violence which occurred only a few days before Christmas in the CBD. A car deliberately ploughed into pedestrians, injuring 19 people, including children. Fortunately, no-one was killed this time - unlike a previous similar episode which saw 6 civilians murdered and 30 injured. This attack came hot on the heels of other violent acts around Melbourne: gangs roaming Werribee and St. Kilda, terrorising neighbourhoods, threatening police but with not a single arrest being made.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 20:09

Islam and the Death of Sweden

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[Although the Swedish Prime Minister claimed earlier this year that his country will no longer accept mass immigration from terrorist nations, it may well be a case of too little, too late. Bill looks at the impact of Islamic immigration on Sweden: a dangerous social experiment that has had disastrous consequences. This article first appeared on Culture Watch as "Islam, Immigration and the Death of Sweden." 

[A topic as broad as the one suggested by my title is of course far too much to do justice to in a short article. But I can highlight a few brief themes here. And let me try to tie in a few recent specifics (such as the war on marriage) with the overall bigger picture I have written often about the death of the West, and about how civilisations die. As I have repeatedly noted, it takes a long time to build a culture or civilisation, but their collapse can happen relatively quickly. We are now seeing this being played out in the West. Much of the West is the direct result of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Of course other earlier influences would include ancient Greece and Rome, and more recently, things such as the Enlightenment.

Sunday, 26 November 2017 21:01

The Feminine Genius: Maternity

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This post is a part of a Feminine Genius series written by 4 different bloggers, and is the final post of the Marian Virtues Series. You can find the start of the series and the list of articles in the introduction post. If you're not a Catholic, or simply want to find out more about the Feminine Genius, please read the introduction post first. All quotes below are from the encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem, by Pope St. John Paul II.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:35

The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom

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[Photo credit: xT3ddotcom - still taken from video] I had the pleasure of hearing the wonderful Gabriele Kuby speak on her book,  The Global Sexual Revolution,  last weekend. This is the second time I've heard Dr. Kuby speak about her groundbreaking book, which is subtitled, 'The Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom.'  That phrase alone speaks volumes about the gender ideology and sexualised culture that is perverting our children, marriages and family life.

Monday, 13 November 2017 18:53

Marxism and Historical Amnesia

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When Santayana told us to never ignore the lessons of history lest we repeat its mistakes, he could not have been more correct. And those who do study history see his advice being played out – that is, ignored – all the time: historical mistakes are being replicated constantly for the very reason that we do NOT study history and learn from it. One of the most frightening examples of this is our historical amnesia when it comes to communism. A century of communism should confirm to everyone that this has been one of the worst, bloodiest and most deplorable political ideologies ever. Yet plenty of folks who should know better (such as university students, etc) are utterly clueless. Certainly most Western young people seem totally unaware of recent history, and are therefore heading over the cliff in repeating its mistakes.

Saturday, 11 November 2017 10:45

Lest We Forget to Honour the Past

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A Nation that dishonours its past does not deserve a future. One could see that as something of a judgement but in fact it is a simple consequence. At times in any Nation's history an extreme effort is called for and its success is honoured. It must be honoured. But we live in - as the Chinese say - 'interesting times', (read, 'difficult') and Britain's leaders, both political and 'media' are deliberately dishonouring Britain's extreme efforts. This will not end well. In the Tavern we take a minute of silence at 11am on November 11th. It is the day we remember those that fell in the First World War.  Many young people do not even know of that war because their 'educators' do not want it remembered.  Others, too, do not want it remembered, let alone honoured. It is scandalous. Simon Jenkins....the Guardian, of course.

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 20:27

This is What Progressives Think About Your Freedoms

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One of the major differences between conservatives and progressives is that we demand protections for all citizens, whereas in general, progressives demand rights for their adherents exclusively. This difference has been particularly noticeable during the campaign for marriage equality, although it shows up across the board. Progressives have taken to openly criticising us for our desire to preserve our freedoms. Gay rights activist, Rodney Croome, goes so far as to say that for conservatives - whom Croome refers to as the radical right -  the fear of losing freedoms is actually an attempt to gain power:

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