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Religious & Moral Persecution

Nile apologises for homophobic email

SSO – December 21, 2009

NSW MLC Fred Nile has had to apologise after the adult son of a Christian Democrat official sent obscene homophobic and anti-Islam emails to a Muslim community activist.

Nile apologises for homophobic email

Mal Mac Rae, a heterosexual and former Baptist who converted to Islam, had sought to clarify questions about Nile’s military service, provoking an enraged response from Douglas Darby, son of CDP campaign manager Michael Darby.

The Sydney Morning Herald published anti-Islamic sections from the emails, which referred to Muslims as child molesters and gang rapists, and encouraged Australian Muslims to move to Afghanistan, “where Australians are allowed to shoot you people”.

However, the SMH deemed the homophobic sections of the emails too obscene for its readership.

Homophobic abuse directed at Mac Rae by Darby included:

“You are filled with hate and Leb cock. The only thing you are open to is semen.”

“Fuck off to Afghanistan and have your fantasy of being date-raped by the Afghan police come true.”

“Ignore the Koran and wash the caked-on faeces, semen and blood from your arse with actual soap.”

Despite this Darby claimed in an email, “Islamists are homophobic. I am not”.

The email exchange was cc’ed to around 45 other people including members of the CDP and the Muslim community, leading Nile to issue an apology on behalf of his party. View article and comment


Gay ex-Brethren given rapist drug

SSO – December 21, 2009

A former member of the Exclusive Brethren says he was encouraged to seek medical treatment to suppress his sexuality and prescribed a drug used to treat sex offenders.

Gay ex-Brethren given rapist drugCraig Hoyle grew up among the Brethren in Invercargill, New Zealand, and battled to accept his sexuality as a result of the group’s teaching.

At age 18 he confessed his sexuality to a Brethren minister, and said he was brought to the attention of a Bretheren leader on a tour of NZ Brethren congregations.

Hoyle claims the Brethren leader suggested he speak to a senior Brethren who was a doctor and cousin to the sect leader.

“[He] said there’s medication you can go on for these things,” Hoyle said.

Hoyle said he met with this doctor the following day.

“The concept that was explained to me was that homosexuality could be changed but that you couldn’t change it yourself.

“You just had to hold out on faith that maybe one day God would change you,” Hoyle said.

Read More and Comment


Tassie Catholic schools take step back

SX – December 17, 2009

The Apple Isle risks taking a backward step as religious schools try to make discrimination against students legal.

Gay activists in Tasmania have labelled a recent proposal by the Catholic Church to gain an exemption from the Anti-Discrimination Act as a “Bigot’s Charter”.

Rodney Croome, advocate for the GLBTIQ community, said the exemption has the potential to be abused and called for an investigation into the Catholic school system which by admission is already discriminating against non-Catholic students. Read more and Comment


Anti-gay Aussie politician says he’ll retire… in 2015

GayNZ News – November 12, 2009

Planning to rertire: Rev Hon Fred Nile.jpg

The right-wing Australian politician and clergyman – who famously encouraged his flock to pray for rain when each Sydney Mardi Gras came around – has announced he won’t be standing for re-election in 2015, ending a career spanning three decades.

Fred Nile, 75, is the founder of the Christian Democratic Party in New South Wales, and has been in the Legislative Council since 1981 – its longest serving member.

Nile was often quoted as saying homosexuality was a “lifestyle choice” which he disagreed with, labelling same-sex activity “immoral, unnatural and abnormal.”

He described Sydney’s iconic Mardi Gras Parade as “a public parade of immorality and blasphemy” which reinforced “the worst stereotypes.”

View article


Father of the house, Rev Fred, to retire

SMH – November 12, 2009

AFTER 28 years as the NSW Parliament’s leading morals campaigner, the Christian Democrats’ MP the Reverend Fred Nile will not seek re-election and plans to leave politics at the end of his term.

One day after his former Christian Democrat colleague, Gordon Moyes, announced he had joined Family First, Mr Nile told the Herald he did not intend to stand again when he is up for re-election in 2015. He will then be 81 and will have spent 34 years as an MP.

Mr Nile said he was yet to inform members of the CDP and had not nominated a successor, although there would be about 60 potential candidates.

They include a Christian broadcaster, Ross Clifford; a former chairman of the Australian National Council on Drugs, Salvation Army Major Brian Watters; and a retired police chief inspector, Gary Raymond. Both Mr Watters and Mr Raymond have previously stood as CDP candidates.

However, Mr Nile firmly ruled out a former Liberal, Michael Darby, who is now the CDP’s campaign manager.

Asked about his achievements, Mr Nile lamented that he was often typecast as a morals campaigner by the media. ”People say Fred Nile is obsessed with sex. But I have a wide range of issues.” In particular, he nominated his role in securing laws that restrict the display of tobacco products in shops and restricting smoking in cars. He was also proud of campaigning to have X-rated films banned for sale in NSW.

It is not the first time Mr Nile has said he intended to leave the NSW Parliament. In 2004 he announced a tilt at the Senate, but returned to his position in the NSW upper house after attracting only 100,000 votes. View entire article


Family First gets MP in NSW parliament

SMH – November 10, 2009

Family First now has a presence in the NSW parliament, with independent upper house member Gordon Moyes announcing he has joined the party.

Dr Moyes, 70, had been a member of the Christian Democrats but was expelled in March after infighting with the party’s only other MP, the Reverend Fred Nile.

He became an independent but Family First said in April they had spoken with Dr Moyes about joining the party. On Tuesday the NSW MP confirmed the move.

“Family First is a much better fit for anyone who is Christian and democratic,” he told reporters, while taking a shot at Mr Nile.

“Family First is not a Christian party but it is based on family values.”

Dr Moyes entered NSW parliament in 2002, replacing Mr Nile’s wife Elaine Nile.

But years of infighting with Mr Nile saw him expelled from the party.

In February this year, Mr Nile called on Christian Democrat supporters to pray for Dr Moyes to resign from NSW parliament.

Dr Moyes hit back, saying Mr Nile, 75, was too old to be in parliament and had moved the party away from its Christian roots into a party based on anti-Muslim, anti-gay, extremist views.

Asked how he thought Mr Nile would react to his membership of Family First, Dr Moyes replied: “I don’t know what Rev Nile will think about it but I certainly know how he reacts, and he will react as normal.”

Dr Moyes said a process had already begun to recruit members and upper and lower house candidates for Family First for the 2011 state election.

He said the party was likely to do a preference deal with the Liberal Party at that poll. View entire article


Gay adoption case to go back to Tribunal

CathNews – November 02, 2009

The Catholic and Anglican Churches are praising a decision that overturned a finding favouring a gay couple’s bid to become foster parents, with Sydney’s Cardinal George Pell calling it a “helpful” step “in the right direction”, said The Daily Telegraph.

The couple, who were refused access to the Wesley Mission’s foster care agency because they are homosexual, had successfully pleaded their case to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, they were awarded $10,000 and the Wesley Mission told to change its practices so it didn’t discriminate.

A highly critical appeal panel has however quashed that decision and ordered the original tribunal to hear the case again.

Magistrate Nancy Hennessy instructed the tribunal to take into consideration whether monogamous heterosexual couples are the norm for “Wesleyanism” and whether they might have had to reject the couple in order to preserve their beliefs and not offend people in their religion.

“It is important to protect people from unjust discrimination but it is ridiculous to claim discrimination every time we show a preference for some people over others,” Cardinal Pell is quoted as saying in support.”Anti-discrimination laws should not be used to change how church agencies organise themselves.”

View Article and comment


Churches welcome gay bans

The Daily Telegraph – November 02, 2009

CHARITIES and religious groups could discriminate against gay people or anyone else who might offend their values after a landmark decision quashed a finding in favour of a gay couple who wanted to become foster parents.

Both the Catholic and Anglican churches have praised the ruling and…

Cardinal George Pell said ‘anti-discrimination cases threatened churches’ ability to do charity work’.

The couple were refused access to the Wesley Mission’s foster care agency because they are homosexual.

They took their case to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal and were awarded $10,000 and the Wesley Mission told to change its practices so it didn’t discriminate.

The charity appealed and a highly critical appeal panel overturned the decision and ordered the original tribunal to hear the case again.

The panel headed by Magistrate Nancy Hennessy even instructed the tribunal to this time take into consideration whether monogamous heterosexual couples are the norm for “Wesleyanism” and whether they might have had to reject the couple in order to preserve their beliefs and not offend people in their religion.

Wesley Mission and the couple both declined to comment, as the case must now be reheard, however Cardinal Pell hailed the move as a great win for freedom of religion.

“The decision is very helpful, a step in the right direction,” he said.

“It is important to protect people from unjust discrimination but it is ridiculous to claim discrimination every time we show a preference for some people over others.

“Anti-discrimination laws should not be used to change how church agencies organise themselves.”

Read more


Bad publicity brings Mercy Ministries undone

ABC PM – Meredith Griffiths reported this story on October 28, 2009

Months of bad publicity and an investigation by the ACCC has forced the closure of a controversial counselling program linked to the large Pentecostal church, Hillsong. Some former clients of Mercy Ministries claim they were denied professional help but instead were exorcised and told simply to repent their sins.

MARK COLVIN: A controversial counselling centre linked to the evangelical Hillsong church says bad publicity has eroded its funding to the point where it’s now shutting down completely.

PM understands that the consumer watchdog the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has been investigating Mercy Ministries. The reason: media reports that young women seeking psychological and medical support were instead essentially enrolled in a bible program. Some young women say they couldn’t leave the treatment centre and that staff would “exorcise” them. But Mercy Ministries denies those claims.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The Hillsong church released a statement last night saying it’s cutting ties with Mercy Ministries to protect the reputation of the church.

Read full ABC PM transcript


Film director accuses Scientology of homophobia

Pink News • October 26, 2009
Paul Haggis has left Scientology (Photo: David Shankbone)

A Hollywood film director has left the Church of Scientology, citing the religion’s opposition to gay marriage.

Paul Haggis, who directed the 2005 film Crash, was a member of the church for around 35 years.

His resignation letter to spokesman Tommy Davies was leaked to the media.

In it, he attacked the church for supporting Proposition 8, the initiative that banned gay marriage in California last year. The San Diego branch of the religion had supported the move and made a number of homophobic statements.

“I called and wrote and implored you, as the official spokesman of the church, to condemn their actions,” he wrote. “You promised action. Ten months passed. No action.”

He continued: “The church’s refusal to denounce the actions of these bigots, hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly. I can think of no other word. Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.”

Haggis added that he could no longer remain part “of an organisation where gay-bashing was tolerated”.

The Church of Scientology is known for its anti-gay stance and has been accused of trying to turn gay people straight.

L Ron Hubbard, the religion’s founder, wrote that gay people are “perverts”, “quite physically ill,” and “extremely dangerous to society.”

Scientologists claim that he later changed his view on the issue of homosexuality. View article


Christian woman may sue after police investigate ‘gay hate crime’ letter

Pink News • October 26, 2009

The letter called gays 'sodomites'A woman who complained about a gay Pride march in Norwich has said she may sue the police and local council after she was investigated for possible hate crime.

Pauline Howe, 67, wrote the letter to Norwich city council to complain about a Pride march she saw.

In the letter, she described gays as “sodomites”. She added that homosexuality had “contributed to the downfall of every empire” and was a major cause of sexually transmitted infections.

Howe added: “It is shameful that this small, but vociferous lobby should be allowed such a display unwarranted by the minimal number of homosexuals.”

She was then warned in a letter from Bridget Buttinger, the council’s deputy chief executive, that she could face charges for hate crime. Read more


Catholicism on trial: Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry attack church’s record on gay rights

Pink News • October 21, 2009

Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens argued the Catholic Church was not a force for goodThe Catholic Church is not a force for good in the world: that was the overwhelming verdict after a heated debate this week. Stephen Fry and author/journalist Christopher Hitchens opposed the motion, while Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, supported it. Adrian Tippetts gives his view of the debate.

During the two-hour showdown, organised by Intelligence Squared at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Hitchens and Fry mercilessly and articulately lambasted the church for its record of homophobia, child abuse and anti-semitism, as well as its stance on contraception.

Christopher Hitchens wasted no time in living up to his reputation as a bulldog debater: “On the institutionalisation of rape and torture, the maltreatment of children in their care, [the current pope] Joseph Ratzinger said: ‘It is a very serious crisis which demands us in the need for applying to the victims, the most loving pastoral care.’ Well, I’m sorry, they have already had that.”

Hitchens tore into the Vatican for its refusal to hand over Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Archbishop of Boston, to Massachusetts police for questioning about his role in the child abuse scandals. “Here is a man wanted for the promotion, protection, covering up and defence of people whose crimes against children are too revolting to specify,” he fumed. “Yet he is acting as vicar of the American Catholic Church in Rome, personally appointed by the Pope and in 2005, even joining the Conclave, to decide who the next pope should be.” Read more


Catholic adoption charity to challenge gay ruling in the High Court

Pink News • October 14, 2009

Religious adoption agency Catholic Care is to argue its case for banning gay people from its services in the High Court early next year.

The Diocese of Leeds agency will appeal against a Charities Commission ruling which said it could not discriminate against gay couples.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007 outlawed discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities and services, including adoption. Read more


‘Evil spells are being cast on parliament’

AAP – October 12, 2009

A FORMER political running mate of Family First senator Steve Fielding says dark forces are casting spells on Federal Parliament.

Catch the Fire Ministries pastor Daniel Nalliah has organised a “prayer offensive” to combat evil forces including witchcraft, homosexuality and abortion.

The discovery of a “black mass altar” at Mount Ainslie in Canberra by a group of school students had inspired him to organise a prayer gathering at the area on Saturday.

“The type of altar discovered on Mount Ainslie pointed to a black mass and the work of dark forces wanting to cast spells on Australia and federal parliament,” Mr Nalliah said.

“These days people don’t think the devil is real but we have seen the bad effects of the spiritual being known as Satan and we believe there is a spiritual fight over the nation of Australia being fought in the heavens.”

Asked what evidence of Satan there was in parliament, Mr Nalliah said: “The number of politicians who have serious marriage problems.”

Legislation supporting homosexuality, abortion and a push for a bill of rights were other areas where Mr Nallian said the devil was having influence.

“Me trying to explain it to you is like trying to teach a cricketer how to play soccer,” Mr Nalliah said.

He said 100 Christians from across Australia would be at Mount Ainslie this weekend.

“Our main reason for going to Mount Ainslie is to pull down the strongholds of the devil to repent and pray against any evil done in our land including the adverse effects of witchcraft, homosexuality and, of course, the devastation of abortion, so that God will save our land.” Read more


Christian council worker sues after being sacked for homophobic email

Pink News • October 7, 2009

A Christian council worker who was sacked for sending a homophobic email is suing her former employers.

Denise Haye, 25, worked at Lewisham Council’s legal services department.

Last September, she used her work email address to send an email to Rev Sharon Ferguson, head of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement.

She wrote that Rev Ferguson should be “ashamed” of herself and that homosexuality was “not normal” and a sin. Citing the importance of repenting in the “last days”, Haye added, in capitals, “the wages of sin is death”.

Speaking to The Voice, Haye admitted she had used her work email address but said she did not realise her name would be visible and claimed she had sent the message out of working hours.

She added: “It wasn’t with any malicious intent and it wasn’t with any hatred, it was out of sheer concern.” Read  more


Priest who claimed gays were paedophiles resigns

Pink News • October 21, 2009

Father John Owen speaking in May

Father John Owen, the priest who said earlier this year that gay men are the main perpetrators of paedophilia in the Catholic Church has resigned as a chaplain at Cardiff University.

Speaking on BBC1’s Big Questions programme in May, which focused on child abuse scandals in the church, the communications officer for the archdiocese of Cardiff stated that “most of the offences are being committed by homosexuals”.

Father Owen, also said that teenage boys were the group affected by the “majority” of abuse cases in the United Kingdom, adding: “Now what does that tell you? Now that is a fact.”

His comments were met with anger from the studio audience, while others such as author and director of Amnesty International Ireland Colm O’Gorman, who has written of his own abuse, described Owen’s words as “ill-informed, ignorant, corrupt and dishonest”.

Owen has been nominated for Stonewall’s Bigot of the Year award for his comments. Read more


Catholic church sex abuse ’caused by homosexuals, not paedophiles’

Pink News • October 1, 2009

A Vatican official has said that the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was caused by gay men preying on teenage boys, rather than paedophilia.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN, read out a statement after a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva. Read more


Catholic aide claims gay men are to blame for paedophilia

Pink News • May 26, 2009

Father John Owen claimed gay men were to blame for paedophilia in the Catholic church

An aide of the Archbishop of Cardiff has claimed that gay men are the main perpetrators of paedophilia in the Catholic Church.

In the wake of recent exposures of widespread cases of paedophilia within the Catholic church, controversy has been renewed by Father John Owen.

Speaking on BBC1’s Big Questions programme on Sunday, the communications officer for the archdiocese of Cardiff stated that “most of the offences are being committed by homosexuals”. Read more


Should we stay or should we go

SSO Soap Box • April 21, 2009

Earlier this month came more shocking news from Iraq with the discovery of the bodies of 25 gay men and teens, killed by Islamic death squads — many with pieces of paper with the Arabic word for pervert pinned to their chests.

Under the secular Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein, gays were largely left alone by authorities despite facing widespread discrimination, and there were parks where they knew they could find each other.

The killings began quickly in the lawless years following Saddam’s removal, with victims often tried in absentia by local religious tribunals without any legal authority.

Yet as order returns to the country, the sexual cleansing of Iraq has only accelerated. Read more