• Feature Article

    Constitutionally Australia is a religious country

    2 Comments
    Kevin Donnelly |  Unlike France, Australia's Constitution specifically accepts the place of religion in the broader society, with its reference to Almighty God in the Preamble. Its only stipulation is that governments should not privilege one religion over another, or unfairly discriminate. Moreover, our legal system and institutions might be secular in nature, but they draw heavily on Christian ethics and morality.
  • Feature Article

    Medibank Private is not the government's to sell

    Michael Mullins |  There has been a rush to purchase shares in Medibank Private since the Federal Government's sale offer opened last Tuesday. Past sales of government owned corporations such as Telstra have produced windfall profits for cashed up Australians able to invest. But what about the rights of the policy holders who were told they were members with ownership of equity in the company?
  • Feature Article

    Who wants to be a capitalist?

    8 Comments
    Moira Rayner |  Affordable housing ought to be a hot election issue. Sadly it’s not a government priority, with ordinary people being taught to be entitled to look to capital growth in bricks and mortar as the best path to financial security. That is producing a housing price bubble and public housing is being squeezed. As a result, an increasing number of Australians can’t afford to put a roof over their head.
  • Feature Article

    Looking for depth in the selfie

    4 Comments
    Ellena Savage |  I take a lot of selfies. Some of them are silly, coquettish, dramatic. Others are just my face looking into my computer, sitting where I work, dressed in work clothes. They mean more or less nothing. They’re just an inane collection of data on my laptop, or too easy self-portraits. Nothing means nothing, but it says something about the culture.
  • Feature Article

    Kabul love story

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert |  Orphan Abdul loves Fatemeh, but her father is demanding a prohibitive dowry for her hand. The financial wrangling between Abdul's guardian Mahboba and Fatemah's father Nik, and all this implies about the ways in which young women's futures can be sold and traded as part of an archaic cultural norm, seems crass and is more than a little disturbing to witness.
  • Feature Article

    Weighing ANU's coal play

    10 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton |  When the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them.

Constitutionally Australia is a religious country

Kevin Donnelly | 03 November 2014

Constitution of Australia Unlike France, Australia's Constitution specifically accepts the place of religion in the broader society, with its reference to Almighty God in the Preamble. Its only stipulation is that governments should not privilege one religion over another, or unfairly discriminate. Moreover, our legal system and institutions might be secular in nature, but they draw heavily on Christian ethics and morality.

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  • Who wants to be a capitalist?

    8 Comments
    Moira Rayner | 31 October 2014

    Young couple search for affordable housingAffordable housing ought to be a hot election issue. Sadly it’s not a government priority, with ordinary people being taught to be entitled to look to capital growth in bricks and mortar as the best path to financial security. That is producing a housing price bubble and public housing is being squeezed. As a result, an increasing number of Australians can’t afford to put a roof over their head.

  • Weighing ANU's coal play

    10 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 30 October 2014

    Coal fired power plantWhen the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them. 

  • Overplaying the Immigration Minister's trump card

    5 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 29 October 2014

    AcesFormer Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans once expressed concern about how much personal power was vested in his position when making decisions about particular cases. The current Minister, on the other hand, is trying to increase the number of such powers, and is much more likely to use the ministerial trump card to avoid judicial scrutiny. In a parliamentary system that relies on the checks and balances between the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary, one arm of government should not be able to overrule another.

  • Nation building by force in Ukraine and the Middle East

    2 Comments
    Justin Glyn | 28 October 2014

    Refugees fleeing KobaniSyria and Ukraine are just the latest in the roll of civil wars where ossified Cold War rivalries exacerbate conflicts and prevent the forging of a just peace which is in all parties’ interests. Current insurgencies grew out of disenfranchisement. But the relevant powers have declined to involve United Nations to act as independent broker, knowing that each party has the support of a permanent member of the Security Council, whose veto will hamstring any proposed action by the others.

  • Buddhism's challenge to Christian churches

    29 Comments
    Jenny Stewart | 27 October 2014

    Christianity is a warm, people-centred faith. Buddhism is cool and cerebral. Christianity offers narrative and prophecy of human failing and human glory. The Buddhist sutras are impenetrable discourses on the absolute. Yet Christianity in Australia seems to be fading.

  • Toleration must include understanding

    7 Comments
    Benedict Coleridge | 24 October 2014

    Religious tolerance graphicThe repeal of the burka ban in parliament followed woeful comments from ignorant senators and an obvious lack of real government consultation with Australia’s Muslim communities, spotlighted an embarrassing level of illiteracy with regard to Islam. We need to move beyond a token religious ‘tolerance’ that is paired with incomprehension of the religious other, towards promoting a more engaged understanding that entails some comprehension of how religious and other cultural traditions fit together. 

  • Cash for refugees shames both Australia and Cambodia

    24 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 23 October 2014

    Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Australian Immigration Minister Scott MorrisonCambodia's agreement with Australia to receive refugees from Nauru is moving to implementation. The UN and other critics are saying it breaches Australia’s responsibility to provide protection for refugees. Clearly the Australian Government is doing it for the political benefit and Cambodia is in it for the money. It can be compared to surrogacy agreements in which poor Asian women are paid to bear children for wealthy Australian couples. 

  • Church legally liable for pre-1996 child sexual abuse

    44 Comments
    Frank Brennan | 22 October 2014

    Cardinal George Pell video link to Royal Commission from RomeReviewing Cardinal Pell's evidence to the Royal Commission in August, I have concluded that Catholics need to accept moral responsibility and legal liability for all child sexual abuse committed by clergy prior to 1996, regardless of what might be the moral or legal position after 1996 when improved measures for supervision and dismissal of errant clergy were put in place. 

  • Synod affirms Francis' vision of church governance

    15 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 22 October 2014

    Pope Francis arrives a Synod hallThe Synod was reported in some media as a defeat for Pope Francis at the hands of conservative bishops. Yet for one who had suffered a defeat, the Pope seemed remarkably buoyant at the end of the event. It's likely that he saw it as a victory for his vision of church governance, as it allowed participants to engage in open discussion in which nothing was put off bounds.

  • Why coal is not good for humanity

    19 Comments
    Bronwyn Lay | 21 October 2014

    Anti-coal protesterThe French social scientist Bruno Latour referred to the 'uniquely Australian strategy of voluntary sleepwalking towards catastrophe'. His view conflicts with that of our prime minister, who said last week that coal is good for humanity. Abbott's thinking forgets that humanity lives within the earth's critical zone, a home that's not looking so good for humanity.

  • The legal fiction that sealed Baby Ferouz's fate

    8 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 21 October 2014

    Baby FerouzSuccessive Australian Governments have created fictions that aim to exclude asylum seekers. The latest example is the case of Baby Ferouz, whose protection visa application was refused in the Federal Circuit Court last week. Normally, a child born in Australia is considered to have the same visa as their parents. But Ferouz’s parents had no visa, so lawyers in Brisbane arranged for her to apply for a protection visa.


  • Medibank Private is not the government's to sell

    Michael Mullins | 03 November 2014

    Medibank Private Share Offer AdThere has been a rush to purchase shares in Medibank Private since the Federal Government's sale offer opened last Tuesday. Past sales of government owned corporations such as Telstra have produced windfall profits for cashed up Australians able to invest. But what about the rights of the policy holders who were told they were members with ownership of equity in the company?

  • Looking for depth in the selfie

    4 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 31 October 2014

    Young woman taking selfieI take a lot of selfies. Some of them are silly, coquettish, dramatic. Others are just my face looking into my computer, sitting where I work, dressed in work clothes. They mean more or less nothing. They’re just an inane collection of data on my laptop, or too easy self-portraits. Nothing means nothing, but it says something about the culture. 

  • Kabul love story

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert | 30 October 2014

    decorated eyeOrphan Abdul loves Fatemeh, but her father is demanding a prohibitive dowry for her hand. The financial wrangling between Abdul's guardian Mahboba and Fatemah's father Nik, and all this implies about the ways in which young women's futures can be sold and traded as part of an archaic cultural norm, seems crass and is more than a little disturbing to witness.

  • Sex and gay children in Catholic families

    25 Comments
    Peter Kirkwood | 29 October 2014

    Australian couple Ron and Mavis Pirola’s speech at the Vatican Synod on the Family made them unlikely international media celebrities. They spoke frankly about their sex life and the importance of sex in marriage, and they made a plea for a welcoming attitude towards homosexuals in the Church.

  • An ode to thunder

    2 Comments
    Rory Harris | 28 October 2014

    Lightningyou rattled the night around kitchen tables, water glasses filled with new wine healing history, roses on your cheeks & thunder in your heart


WEEK IN POLITICS



The best of times, the worst of times

Fiona Katauskas

Fiona Katauskas' cartoon The Best of Times, the Worst of Times shows a day in the life of a political cartoonist who is ultimately depressed by the awful government and useless ALP

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