Sunday, December 11, 2016

The non-church replies

The Uniting Church has replied below to accusations that it has abandoned Christianity.  And their message is clear enough:  "We are just a do-gooder organization now". 

The central aim of Christians, starting from Christ himself has always been to lead people to salvation from "kolasin", the everlasting cutting off (Matt. 25:46).  We know what John 3:16 says:  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life". Being saved into eternal life is the basic Christian offering. But the very word "salvation" is not mentioned below.  The only mentions of anything religious are the two vague phrases: "faith and life in Christ" and: "the way of Christ in the mission of God.".

The accusations aimed at the church organization are clearly correct. They have lost the faith.  They are not even pretending to be a Christian church now.  People will have to look elsewhere for the evangel of Christ

Something else that the Sallies have not learned from their Bibles is the advice that even a fool who holds his tongue will be accounted wise (Proverbs 17:28).  They clearly should have shut up about the whole thing.

As we have seen, their approval of "Safe schools" angered a lot of Christians and conservatives. And now their retraction of that approval has angered the Left, who are vowing never again to donate to the Sallies. It's unlikely that they ever did anyway but they will undoubtedly find some way to bring heat to bear. So the Sallies are now the ham in a very unhappy sandwich

Today’s Daily Telegraph has run a series of inaccurate and vexatious news items about the Uniting Church and our Uniting community services agency in NSW and the ACT. The accusation on the front page of the newspaper that the Church is removing Christ and religious symbols is totally incorrect.

The explicit Christian commitment to people in the care of Uniting Church agencies remains the same as it has for the last 40 years. Our Church, since its beginning, has borne witness to a unity of faith and life in Christ which transcends cultural and economic, national and racial boundaries. The work of our agencies is a crucial expression of our continuing faith and mission. The Uniting agency in NSW and the ACT states clearly on its website “Christ invites us to serve humanity by creating an inclusive, connected and just world.”

Uniting, the largest provider of social services in NSW and the ACT, changed its brand name last year. This decision was taken to ensure that awareness of our services reaches more of the vulnerable and disadvantaged people we seek to serve.

Preparation for moves towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the shift to self-managed care were important considerations in this decision. Other church agencies are considering adopting the Uniting brand.

The Daily Telegraph articles also misrepresent the Church’s very real concern for survivors of child sexual abuse. The suggestion that branding decisions are “a desperate bid to distance itself from child sex abuse scandals” is completely false and despicable.

The Uniting Church has acknowledged, apologised and expressed our deep regret to those children who were sexually abused in our care. We are committed to working with survivors to make amends for what happened in the past.

Our formal apologies to survivors predate the Royal Commission by many years. Yet the Daily Telegraph takes survivor group comments out of context to conflate an allegation about a “culture of denial”. The representative quoted in the article has since verified to the Church that she told the journalist that she would not provide comment on specific institutions.

I would like to thank the many Uniting Church members and supporters who have condemned the Daily Telegraph for its disgraceful coverage. Their ongoing support and commitment is a significant endorsement of the effectiveness of our work as an inclusive justice-oriented Church seeking to follow the way of Christ in the mission of God. [Christ said to "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matt. 6:33).  THAT is the way of  Christ, not secular do-gooding]


Indigenous man's disability pension claim denied twice despite medical evidence he deserved it

And the Left love bureaucracy!  They must.  They keep creating more of it

An Indigenous man has had his claim for the disability pension refused twice despite having lost an eye, parts of his jaw and his nose as a result of cancer treatment.

The 64-year-old man from a remote community in the Northern Territory never attended school and is unable to read or write in English.

Mr A - as he was identified in a report by the commonwealth ombudsman into accessibility of the disability support pension by remote Indigenous people - had major surgery as part of his cancer treatment which involved the removal of one eye, his lymph nodes, substantial portions of his upper jaw, loss of his nasal cavity and extensive skin grafts from his leg, in addition to undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He first claimed the disability support pension shortly after surgery.

The claim noted that he was predominantly in a wheelchair, could not eat or drink, had severely restricted breathing and severe generalised weakening.

His doctor noted that he required 24-hour care and needed assistance will all of his daily living activities.

However, a government pension assessor who spoke with Mr A only by phone said "current and future treatment may significantly improve symptoms of (Mr A)'s condition."

The assessor made no attempt to contact medical staff treating Mr A and his claim was subsequently rejected.

Mr A lodged a second claim six months later, when his condition had deteriorated to a point that he was being fed through a stomach tube.

The second assessor looked at Mr's existing file, did not contact any of the medical staff treating Mr A and refused the claim.

It wasn't until a lawyer stepped in to help Mr A that a government review officer granted him a pension, backdating payments to when the first claim was made.

An investigation was never launched with the ombudsman, despite a request from Mr A's lawyer, as his claim had been granted.


Fremantle to reinstate Australia Day citizenship ceremony on January 26

The City of Fremantle has caved in to federal government pressure and agreed to reinstate its Australia Day citizenship ceremony on January 26 rather than on its “culturally inclusive alternative event” to be held two days later.

The backdown came after Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke last week threatened to strip the left-leaning Fremantle council of its power to hold citizenship ceremonies if it went ahead with the move on January 28.

The government stepped in after WA Liberal MP Ben Morton raised concerns that the cancellation of the January 26 ceremony would deny new Australian citizens the honour of having their citizenship recognised on Australia’s national day.

Mr Hawke today welcomed the council’s decision to reinstate the citizenship ceremony on Australia Day.

“The newest citizens in Fremantle will be offered the choice of attending a citizenship ceremony at Fremantle Town Hall on Australia Day, or the next scheduled ceremony at Fremantle Arts Centre on March 14th 2017, as normal,” he said.

“I commend Mayor Brad Pettitt on this common sense decision that will ensure our newest citizens will have the opportunity of having their citizenship conferred to them on our national day, Australia Day, alongside thousands of others.

“The government’s view is that citizenship ceremonies are non-commercial, apolitical, bipartisan and secular.

“They must not be used as forums for political, partisan or religious expression or for the distribution of material which could be perceived to be of a commercial, political or religious nature.

“Australia Day is our national day and is a perfectly appropriate and suitable choice for an Australian citizenship ceremony to be held.”

Dr Pettit said the City of Fremantle would write to all new citizens to inform them of the option of attending the ceremony on Australia Day or March 14.

He said the council’s alternative Australia Day event on January 28 would include an informal recognition of the many migrants who had made Fremantle their home.

“Our council made the decision to provide the option of attending a culturally inclusive event on 28 January,” he said.

“We are receiving strong support from our community, and beyond, about this decision.

“This was never about the timing of the citizenship ceremony — it was included in the ‘One Day’ program as we felt that new citizens would enjoy the opportunity to be welcomed to our community at such a large and exciting event.

“While the feedback from new citizens was that they would be happy to be conferred citizenship at the ‘One Day’ event, the Federal Government has not supported a ceremony on this date.

“We welcome Australians celebrating, in whichever way they see fit, the wonderful and diverse place in which we live.”


Why Big Mining loves Big Green

The Labor/Green coalition in Australia has declared war on coal, oil and gas. So why is Big Mining not fighting back?
BHP Billiton is a big producer of coal, oil, gas, iron ore, copper, nickel and uranium. Rio Tinto is a big producer of uranium, coal, iron ore, copper and aluminium. Glencore is a big producer of coal, copper, zinc and nickel. And Shell is big in oil, gas and bitumen, manufactures biofuels, and generates peak power with natural gas.

These companies employ competent geologists, physicists and chemists who could tell them that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not the primary driver of climate. They must know there is no scientific justification for the green war on hydro-carbon fuels - but none of these big miners speak out against this baseless war on their products. Some even waste shareholder funds producing glossy brochures promoting the green agenda.

Big Mining is not that dumb. Their climate concern is more motivated by self-interest - they see long-term profits flowing from the silly green agenda. They are also political cowards.

 Wind and solar power are indeed “free”, but to extract electricity from them is not free – it needs turbines and solar panels, generators and transformers, transmission towers and power lines all of which boosts demand for metals like steel, copper, zinc, nickel and rare earths.

Moreover, wind and solar are very diffuse power sources and need large areas of land together with webs of access roads and power lines in order to generate significant power.

The heavy machinery needed for construction, maintenance and dismantling these green power networks provide more demands for petroleum and mining products. Before one watt of green electricity is generated for consumers, green power has boosted demand for most products of Big Mining.

Green power also needs back-up power ready to swing into action immediately the wind drops or clouds obscure the sun. This is great news for reliable energy suppliers capable of rapid backup, which usually means gas. So Big Gas loves Big Green and is secretly delighted by the war on coal. Lead, nickel, cadmium and lithium miners are also delighted with the soaring demand for energy-storing batteries.

Intermittent energy producers like wind and solar also cause destructive fluctuations in electricity supply and prices – prices can fall to zero on a sunny, windy afternoon, but soar during still, sunless periods. Coal power stations cannot adjust quickly to this destructive variability in electricity prices and will be sent broke, thus providing even more markets for gas.

Big Gas is thus delighted to secretly support the war on coal as it will do wonders for the demand for gas; but they fail to understand that once Greens have destroyed coal power, they will then turn their green guns on to gas.

Uranium producers love the greens. They know that if coal and gas are banned from power generation, and all hydro-power sites are “world-heritage protected”, all that is left to stabilise the electricity grids of modern society is nuclear power.

Even coal producers see short-term benefits in supporting inane green ideas like carbon capture and burial. This would greatly increase the amount of coal needed to generate the electricity consumed to collect, separate, compress, transport and bury exhaust gases as well as to refine and fabricate all the metals needed for gas collectors, compressors and pipelines. Long term, the main beneficiaries of this industrial silliness will be nuclear power and uranium miners like Rio and BHP.

So Big Mining can extract benefits from green energy while earning political credits. And their PC executives can polish their green credentials in their suburban circles by supporting the silliness.

On the debit side are the usual victims - taxpayers and consumers of coal, oil, gas, electricity and metals; and employees and shareholders of industries being forced to close or emigrate because of expensive or unreliable electricity supply.


Doctor and his wife win $1m after being tasered by W.A. cops

Sheer thuggery. Catherine Atoms and Robert Cunningham were walking past the Esplanade Hotel at night in November 2008 when they stopped to help a man lying in bushes nearby. Police arrived shortly afterwards and tasered the couple, before handcuffing them and charging them with obstructing a public officer. The charges were later dismissed. The biggest disgrace is that all the watchdogs failed to bark.  It should never have got to court. There clearly is an official culture of protecting the police, right or wrong. 

A law professor and his wife who were yesterday awarded more than $1 million in damages after an unlawful arrest have told how they risked going bankrupt to expose how they were treated by police officers.

Robert Cunningham and Catherine Atoms wept in the District Court yesterday as their eight-year battle resulted in a judge announcing the massive payout.

Judge Felicity Davis found they were assaulted, tasered, unlawfully detained and maliciously prosecuted by police after stopping to help a stranger on a night out in Fremantle in 2008.

But it was a hollow victory, with Ms Atoms’ career as a community engagement consultant in tatters.

She was put into “performance management” in her relatively new job after being charged by police and by the time a magistrate threw the case out 18 months later, she was on her way “out the door”.

The bulk of damages — $1.024 million — were awarded to Ms Atoms for loss of earnings and the distress and back injury she suffered, with $110,000 awarded to Dr Cunningham.

Judge Davis told the court that she calculated percentages of liability for individual officers and the State and made an order for “aggravated damages” against one officer, Simon Traynor.

The police were represented by government lawyers and supported by the Police Union, which is considering an appeal.

WA Police Union President George Tilbury said:"The WA Police Union will assess Judge Davis’ reasons when they are published on Thursday, December 15. WAPU will consider the merits of an appeal and continue to support the officers involved".

Outside court, the couple told The Weekend West that they would have been financially devastated by legal costs of the other parties if they had lost the case.

“We would have had to file for bankruptcy, that’s what was on the line for us,” Dr Cunningham said.

“We had to sue both the State and the individual who had separate legal counsel, so we would have been subject to two sets of legal costs of an 18-day trial.”

Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms took the action after all of their efforts to hold the officers to account failed — a police internal investigation cleared them of wrongdoing and the Corruption and Crime Commission agreed with the outcome, refusing to instigate its own inquiry despite criticism by its then parliamentary inspector.

“I have a great sadness that the legal system pushes you into dollars and cents when that’s not always what it’s about,” Dr Cunningham said.

“We were concerned about the systemic issues and how less privileged people in society may be subject to this type of behaviour by the police on a regular basis and all of the consequences that flow from that.

“People lose faith in the justice system. They lose faith in the good police officers serving our State.”

Ms Atoms said she would take no satisfaction from the decision unless it sparked change. “I think it’s important to recognise that a lot of people experience far worse,” she said.

“If justice is so out of reach for us, how far out of reach is justice for the broader public?”

Dr Cunningham called for the CCC to finally hold its own investigation of the case.

“From our personal experience, we’ve learnt that unfortunately the CCC does not appear to be fulfilling its mandate of successfully overseeing the activities of the WA Police service,” he said.

“Until we have some confidence that this kind of thing is less likely to happen as a result of this, through some sort of systemic review, then we haven’t been fully successful in this action.”

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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