Vol 22 No 21

21 October 2012


 

  • RELIGION

    Church needs state help to deal with abuse

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 November 2012
    36 Comments

    What is to be done in the name of law and justice for the victims of abuse? Clearly the Church cannot be left alone to get its house in order. The State may have a role to play, but our elected politicians need assistance from lawyers committed to justice, not lawyers acting primarily to protect or condemn the Church.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Eco-spirituality's overwhelming agenda

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 01 November 2012
    7 Comments

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Eco-spirituality's overwhelming agenda

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 01 November 2012

    With the introduction of the carbon tax in July, we are beginning to experience the consequences of attempts to address the threat of climate change. Theologian, ethicist and Uniting Church minister Noel Preston has led the way in the religious realm in thinking and talking about a range of ecological issues, including climate change.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex, addicts and religious cults

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 31 October 2012
    4 Comments

    I've never been a member of a cult, but I do have limited fringe experience of one fervent pentecostal church. The Master's portrayal of cult life chimes disturbingly with that experience. The cult members are attracted not just to the promise of meaning and belonging, but also to the eerie comfort of having someone else do their thinking.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor excises its moral compass

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 October 2012
    12 Comments

    In politics, hypocrisy is a natural condition. On Tuesday, it became evident that refugee policy is the last thing that should be made by the Australian government. Gillard has now achieved something Howard could only dream of, and shown Labor can play the game of hypocrisy as well as any.

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  • CARTOON

    Asylum seekers or bust

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 30 October 2012

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Back road encounter in the Italian countryside

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 30 October 2012
    3 Comments

    We drove up a narrow road, on the dubious instructions of the GPS. Suddenly the car became unbalanced and the front wheel spun above the side of the road, which had collapsed. We were stuck. We could hear dogs barking in the night. After a while a car approached from one direction, and then a utility from the other.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    China's cupcakes and Australia's Asia fear

    • Michael Kelly
    • 30 October 2012
    8 Comments

    Looking at Australia from Asia, you quickly conclude that Australian approaches to the region are fickle and opportunistic. It's hardly news that the fastest growing economies and greatest opportunities for Australia are at our doorstep. But like kids at parties, we seem to focus more on the cup cakes than the host and guest of honour.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rembrandt's denial of Christ

    • Grant Fraser
    • 29 October 2012
    5 Comments

    Peter, I gave you such handsome possibilities, had your face shining like a saint, and yet still, on this third occasion, you can only find a lie.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama and Romney's shallow thinking on drones

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 29 October 2012
    3 Comments

    Obama has overseen an upsurge in the use of unmanned drones. This is one aspect of foreign policy on which he and Romney agree. But drone use raises difficult questions about the conduct of war, and there is no room for complacency or superficial reasoning. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Tony Abbott gender gap

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 October 2012
    21 Comments

    The emphasis on the relationship between Tony Abbott and women is fuelled by opinion polls that consistently show that he is less popular with women voters. However, undue concentration on the role of gender in shaping voter choice serves to downplay other very interesting variations.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sins of the Church and the BBC

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 October 2012
    8 Comments

    The Jimmy Savile scandal in Britain shows the Catholic Church is not alone among trusted public institutions undermined by their own silence and denial. An Irish clergy abuse victims advocate has written of the hypocrisy of the BBC in its reporting of abuse crimes in the Church.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rape culture in life and theory

    • Ellena Savage
    • 25 October 2012
    8 Comments

    A recent column on pop culture site The Vine argued that the misappropriation of the phrase 'rape culture' cheapens 'the rhetorical playing field' and damages the cause of anti-rape politics. The only time I decisively called out a man for touching me inappropriately, he reacted aggressively, as if I had done something inexcusable.

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  • RELIGION

    Why Christians are obsessed with sex

    • Zac Alstin
    • 24 October 2012
    71 Comments

    The Hon. Michael Kirby recently said those in the churches expecting gay people to be celibate should start thinking about 'real moral questions'. If some Christians are obsessed with sex, it is because many human beings are. The ethical 'supply' exists to meet the demand, and when it comes to sexual ethics, the demand is not being met by secular society.

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  • RELIGION

    Original sin and clergy sex abuse

    • ANDREW HAMILTON
    • 24 October 2012
    66 Comments

    Being a Catholic priest during public enquiries into sexual abuse within the Church is a bracing experience. Infinitely less hurtful than being the victim of abuse, of course. But it prompts musing about the ways in which evil actions work out in a group and affect the individual members of the group and its perception by others.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ways to unwind regret

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 October 2012
    3 Comments

    A narcissistic journalist's attempts to reunite with a former girlfriend reflect a human desire to resolve regret by returning to the past. Resolution for him lies in the agony and necessity of letting go. For his cynical intern and her eccentric friend, however, hope may be found in more metaphysical possibilities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Music rising from the ashes of abuse

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 23 October 2012
    7 Comments

    In their stylish red and blue uniforms, they were a central part of big football games. They played before the game and at half time, led the teams in a formal march, 60 or more kids blowing brass and beating drums. The thousands in the stands were unaware of the harshness that these boys faced every day.

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  • CARTOON

    Obama's hope

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 23 October 2012

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Immigration for sale

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 23 October 2012
    3 Comments

    Proponent of an immigration 'free market' Gary Becker would accommodate poor migrants by allowing businesses to lend them the 'immigration fee' in exchange for their labour upon arrival. Poor migrants tend to be unskilled, so this scheme would remain largely unutilised. Moreover, this arrangement might amount to indentured servitude.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hearing God in Soviet Russia

    • Michael Sariban
    • 22 October 2012
    4 Comments

    When ideology smashed the cathedrals, turned icons into rubble, congregation into crime, religion fell down in a heap, or seemed to ... Most people believed they knew better: countless lips kept doggedly whispering the fine-print headlines of saints. If the State was a rock, religion flowed round it.

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  • RELIGION

    A feminist reading of the Koran

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 22 October 2012
    33 Comments

    For centuries, Muslim women have accepted the fallacy that they are inferior to men. Sadly, the jahaliyyah (ignorance and irascibility) Mohammed railed against is alive in the Muslim world, notably in the mentality that sees the Taliban try to justify shooting a 14-year-old child for supporting women's education. 

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  • RELIGION

    Cycling and the Church out in the cold

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2012
    22 Comments

    If the Catholic experience is any guide, the loss of trust in cycling will have lasting effects. Revelations of past drug taking and of official conniving will inhibit the regaining of trust. Measures taken to change the culture will long be viewed with scepticism. Public disdain is a cold environment to live in, but its air is healthy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's cluster munitions shame

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 October 2012
    8 Comments

    As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Australia has the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to creating a better world. Foreign Minister Bob Carr declared Australia a 'fine global citizen'. Yet last Wednesday, we cynically ratified the international treaty to ban cluster munitions after legislating to create a loophole that will undermine the treaty's effectiveness. 

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