More confusion : All of a twitter as legal threat to blogger adds spice to the public battle, Bianca Hall, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 18, 2012 | Legal threats as insults exchanged, The Age, January 18, 2012 | MTR Sues? asks Dave Gaukroger @ Crikey. A bit headache-y, that one. Also, Dr. Cam’s Internet Grumpiness EXPLODES! on the issue of MTR. Meanwhile, aside from a comment @ The Age, MTR is keeping Mum.
Farah Farouque writes:
A BLOGGER who characterised anti-porn activist Melinda Tankard Reist as a ”fundamentalist Christian” says she has been asked to apologise – or be sued.
Tankard Reist – who briefed lawyers to warn off liberal blogger Jennifer Wilson – says it’s not being called Christian she objects to, but the claim that she is ”deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs”.
For her part, blogger Jennifer Wilson:
…insists that author Tankard Reist, whose resume includes advising anti-abortion senator Brian Harradine, is loath to discuss her links to evangelical Baptism.
”[Her] involvement with fundamentalist Christians opposed to abortion, contraception, surrogacy and homosexuality are well documented, and I have to wonder why she’s singled me out at this point in time for writing about her religious beliefs,” she said in a post written after the lawyer’s letter.
FWIW, there seems to be little doubt that Melinda Tankard Reist (MTR) is a
Baptist Christian [“I have no denominational affiliation or church membership”], one who regularly addresses Baptist gatherings and whose views, it would appear, are welcomed by Christians.
In October 2011, the Brisbane launch of MTR’s book Big Porn Inc was promoted by the Priceless Life Centre — a pro-life/anti-choice advisory service based in Queensland — as being one made by a ‘like-minded organisation’. (NB. PLC is a ‘Public Benevolent Institution’ and as such in receipt of a GST Concession, FBT Exemption and Income Tax Exemption.)
In August 2011, she was a featured speaker @ the Lifewell conference, “one helpful and wholistic strategy in restoring lives through Jesus”, organised by Enfield Baptist church in Adelaide.
In May 2011, MTR addressed a yoof conference @ Inaburra school (a Christian educational facility established by the Menai Baptist Church) on the subject of social pressures upon young people (PDF).
In September 2010, she took part in a Women’s Night @ Epping Baptist Church in NSW, “speaking on the effect of popular culture on young women and girls”, taking the ladies who assembled “on a confronting visual tour of images from the media and popular culture which girls are bombarded with”.
In November 2009, she addressed the Australian Christian Lobby’s National Conference on the theme of ‘Putting Kids First’.
In September 2009, when Sheridan Voysey spoke about ‘The Quest for God’, he did so as one of several ‘Inspiring Christians’, including MTR, to address congregations at Belconnen Baptist Church in Canberra.
Curiously, sometime after 2004, MTR was a signatory to the ‘Marriage Manifesto’, a document produced by the ‘National Marriage Coalition’ which, inter alia, campaigns against same-sex marriage. Well, one version anyway: the copy of the 2008 Manifesto published on the Coalition website (PDF) does not contain her name, while that published on that belonging to the Fatherhood Foundation (PDF) does.
And yet nowhere on her personal website does MTR describe herself as a Christian, let alone of which denomination…
See also : Melinda Tankard Reist, Or: My name is Sue, how do you do? #MTRsues (January 14, 2012) | A Cosmopolitan Morality, RAW / ROAR, January 18, 2012.