Author: Andrew McGowan

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  • RELIGION

    Lessons from Christian camp's gay discrimination

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 30 April 2014
    29 Comments

    In April the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that a youth camp run by the Christian Brethren had discriminated illegally against same-sex attracted persons by refusing a booking from a community health service for an event for young gay and lesbian people. This is not an isolated case. It is sobering that churches often seem to need the courts to give them lessons, if not about sex, then about hospitality and fairness.

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  • RELIGION

    Ratzinger and Rowan Williams side by side

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 13 February 2013
    21 Comments

    Now that Williams has returned to academic life and Ratzinger has resigned, it is tempting to commit both their reigns to the category of failure, and debate mostly the nobility or otherwise of their inability to bend lurching structures or less gifted minds to their own wills. This would not, however, be the whole picture in either case.

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  • RELIGION

    Rejection of women bishops is not terminal

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 25 November 2012
    30 Comments

    Last Saturday the Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya was ordained as bishop of Swaziland. Most eyes in Australia however were on the Church of England's General Synod, which stumbled at the threshold of a change that would have embraced the consecration of women bishops. This may prove to be the less significant story.

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  • RELIGION

    Equality within marriage is biblical

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 02 September 2012
    31 Comments

    Leading Sydney Anglicans have argued for a notion of male 'headship' within marriage, taking ancient biblical authors' advice about first century existence within a given social order as a prescription for the 21st century social order itself. Most Australians, including most Christians, are rightly disturbed by such suggestions.

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  • RELIGION

    Vatican prefers tanks to talks to achieve unity

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 20 August 2012
    53 Comments

    The Personal Ordinariates established this year in the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia have failed in their stated aim at promoting untity between Catholics and Anglicans. They suggest that the real position of the Vatican on Christian unity is about absorption rather than convergence.

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  • RELIGION

    Conversations with Rowan Williams

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 21 March 2012
    9 Comments

    When he became Archbishop of Canterbury, he brought with him the hopes of liberal Anglicans and the scrutiny of conservatives, as he appeared likely to lead the Anglican Church further towards acceptance of progressive views. His success or failure would have to be about conversation, not about decree.

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  • RELIGION

    Vigilante Xenophon's name shame

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 15 September 2011
    29 Comments

    Sexual offenders among clergy and church workers have often used their privileged status to act as though they were above the law. By using parliamentary privilege to name an alleged perpetrator, Senator Nick Xenophon has acted in a way that is, ironically, all too similar.

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  • RELIGION

    An Anglican angle on Toowoomba

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 18 May 2011
    14 Comments

    Anglican bishops are not appointed more democratically or transparently than Roman Catholic bishops, although there are better-known processes and lines of accountability. And they would have better legal redress should anyone try to get rid of them.

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  • RELIGION

    'Divided' Anglicans dodge conflict

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 30 September 2010
    1 Comment

    The Australian Anglican Church is divided on questions of women's ordination, sexuality, lay presidency and liturgical texts. But the recent assembly in Melbourne was relatively polite, although the question of the conservative, evangelical Sydney Diocese's relationship with the rest was never far from the surface.

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  • RELIGION

    Christian sect's gay snub

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 16 July 2010
    17 Comments

    Gay and lesbian youths are at greater risk from suicide and mental illness, and from religious and other forms of exclusion than from their own sexuality. Jesus cared less about the risk he might 'promote' Samaritanism than about the need to promote an ethic of unconditional acceptance.

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  • RELIGION

    Mixed blessings on Anglican road to Rome

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 23 October 2009
    22 Comments

    Liberal Roman Catholics have particular reason to be perturbed at the influx of ex-Anglicans driven not by ecumenical zeal, but by dogged adherence to positions on women's ordination or human sexuality which bespeak a broader conservatism.

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  • INFORMATION

    Students victims of 'violent' policies

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 16 June 2009

    When our universities enrol international students based on balance-sheet needs rather than strategies of international partnership and engagement, a whole branch of education policy is revealed as bankrupt.

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