What Better Explains Reality: Naturalism or Theism?

In this sometimes far too fast moving debate, the contrasting debating styles of Jeffery J Lowder and Frank Turek are demonstrated. It is the difference in style, as well as the different approaches to engaging with the listener that reveal more than the facts and figures presented.

An Open Letter on the Same Sex Marriage Debate

Why I will be voting NO in the postal plebiscite on Same Sex Marriage, and why I urge you to vote NO as well.

Steve Koschella.

Dear friends.

In the midst of the frenzy of media hype and half-truth being promulgated in the current “Same Sex Marriage” debate, I want to make what I believe to be a powerful argument against what I see as a potentially very dangerous and destructive push by a small but vocal minority in our society, namely the LGBTIQ activist lobby, regarding the issue of same-sex marriage.

I have never seen myself as a primarily politically minded person. I generally regard politics as air-swapping nonsense engaged in by inflated egos.

However, from time to time there comes into the public sphere an issue that is essentially political in that it is an issue that goes to the heart of our culture and collective wellbeing. There are some issues that transcend “Left or Right” politics. Rather they go to what defines what it is to live in a free society, and to have some basis for forming a cohesive society at all.

I believe that the issue of marriage is one of those issues. Or even more to the point, what it means for a child to be given the best chance to grow up as a well-balanced and essentially wholesome individual. And the current debate around the so-called “same sex marriage issue”, goes to this matter more strongly than almost any other issue that has arisen in our society of recent times.

In the totally one-sided and frenetic bombardment in the media, which seems to be unashamedly on the side of the LBGTIQ activist lobby’s “YES” campaign, I have heard very little of the other side of the argument. The NO side. So I thought I would do my bit to try to make a case for why I believe that expanding the definition of “marriage” to include people of the same-sex, would be very detrimental to our society.

Firstly, let’s think of what the Marriage Act is all about currently. Far from being “exclusivist” against the LGBTIQ community, it is primarily a legal framework in support of a positive family model, whereby people who choose to bring children into the world, do so in an environment of solemn commitment and sober consideration of the responsibilities they owe those children. This is the essential, and most important (but not exclusive) basis for the current interpretation of “marriage”.

Why is that?

Because, like most of our laws, we value the innocence of children, and recognise that they can so easily be harmed by negative influences, such as an unstable home life, violence, and exploitation. And part of the protective nature of marriage as it is currently defined and recognised, is that it gives the BEST SOCIETAL MODEL for the upbringing of children. And as a Christian I wholeheartedly believe that marriage was the God-given model established as the best possible one for humanity.

Yes, marriage, as experienced by many in our society is anything but perfect. But the fact remains that the model for family life involving a father and mother is still by far the best MODEL for family life. Nobody would deny that a committed loving family where a father and mother faithfully carry out their responsibilities as parents, is the ideal, and “gold standard” against which all other family models must be measured. Even when our individual experiences as children may not have been of this kind (as was my case), we can recognise that this MODEL should be supported and preserved as a society.

So, is it in the interests of our society to purposely deconstruct that model through a different LEGAL definition and structure? Is it in the best interests of children that they be allowed to have their right to a father and mother taken from them by deliberate intention, as opposed to the tragedy that now all-too-often occurs through unintended but unfortunate circumstances? I don’t think it is.

And then there is the unmentioned (by the YES side) aspect of the destruction of the very idea of gender itself. The LGBTIQ lobby want, as an accompaniment to this legislation, to introduce the widespread implementation of the “safe schools” curriculum. This curriculum is designed to promote a “safe” environment for people with non-traditional gender identification.

All well and good. But. In the process, the agenda of this curriculum is to promote the idea that it is ok (some would go as far as to say encouraged) for a child to question their “assigned” gender, and to be free to openly explore “alternative” gender identities at any time. And it is proposed that this curriculum be introduced as a COMPULSORY subject, and for parents who do not wish to have their children exposed to this teaching to have their wishes denied.

This introduces a powerful and highly destructive element into society that I believe will prove devastatingly destructive in years to come.

One of the most alarming trends in our society is youth suicide. And study after study has shown that there is a direct and unmistakable correlation between uncertainty, instability and identity confusion in childhood regarding gender and sexual orientation, and deep depression, despair and suicide in teenagers and young adults.

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/impact-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-suicide-risk-implications-assessment-and-treatment

And

https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-ideology-harms-children

The “gay” lobby wants us all to believe that gender identity is a choice, and all varieties of sexual orientation are equally valid and “good”, rather than that our sexuality is an assignment based on our biology. Science (not to say of simple “good sense”) says otherwise.

So, if you are inclined to give the same-sex marriage agenda the go-ahead because you have a sense of fairness and don’t want people to be unable to freely express their love and commitment, think again about what a change in the LAW will introduce to our society.

Finally. I want to say that I respect your choice, regardless of how you vote, or even if you don’t vote, on this important issue. We live in a democracy, where we should value the right of people to disagree respectfully, and to respect the decision that faithfully represents an informed majority view. However, for any issue there are at least two, perhaps more, perspectives that have a right to be expressed. And I am exercising that right in the hope that you will give serious informed thought to your actions in this matter.

For further information on this critical issue visit:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mark+Latham+same+sex+marriage

https://www.coalitionformarriage.com.au/

Session 10: The Problem of Evil – 1

One of the biggest hindrances to people accepting the truth of God’s existence is the perception that God should prevent evil if he is good.

In the first video, well known British personality Stephen Fry holds no punches as he criticizes the idea that God could be good, because he allows such things as bone cancer in children.

In the second video, William Lane Craig effectively analyzes and answers Stephen Fry’s criticisms.

Answers 315 – Session 10- Session notes

Session 9: Abortion

We live in an age when the terminating of unborn babies is commonplace. For many, the ethical considerations regarding this issue are largely settled, with most people believing the assertions made by the “pro-choice” advocates, that the decision to terminate a pregnancy should rest with a woman. Some lean more to the less liberal view that there should be restrictions on the availability of abortions in consideration of matters such as the mother’s health, the health of the fetus etc. But a growing number of advocates for abortion take a far more liberal view that abortion should be an option for a woman even up until late pregnancy, or even, in some cases, even an option after birth.

In this presentation, given at the 2013 Unbelievable? Conference, Dr Trevor Stammers, gives a powerful presentation on this issue as it relates to the UK. While many of the statistics and even some of the finer legal considerations will differ from the Australian experience, the concerns and the principles discussed are very much the same.

Answers 315 – Session 9 – Session notes

Session 6 & 7: The Intolerance of “Tolerance”.

Today there are many “buzzwords” that we hear all the time. One of these is the word “tolerance”. It is meant to mean that people tolerate each other’s views and aren’t supposed to be “extreme” in any way. Being “tolerant” is supposed to prevent people from getting too emotional and (potentially) violent or nasty about things, or from wrongfully discriminating against people. It’s generally a good thing. We should be tolerant of each other, within proper limits.

But when is the word “tolerance” really “IN-tolerance”?

Greg Koukl is a very well known and powerful communicator and Christian apologist, who has some key insights into this idea of when “tolerance” really means “IN-tolerance”.

Session 6 & 7 Notes: Answers 315 – Session 6 & 7 – Session notes