Author: Michael Mullins

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unlocking the culture of clergy sex abuse

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 April 2012
    27 Comments

    Victoria's parliamentary committee has much it could learn from Ireland's Murphy Report into clerical sex abuse, which identified the 'don't ask, don't tell' culture under which bishops did not talk about it even among themselves and were unaware of how widespread the problem was.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Philip Adams in schism with the Dawkinsonians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 April 2012
    14 Comments

    In the shadow of the blockbuster Q&A and Global Atheist Convention was a poignant encounter between atheist broadcaster Philip Adams and Jesuit theologian Gerald O'Collins. The instant bond between the two may have a flipside in an affinity between fanatical atheists and fundamentalist religious believers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bob Carr's 'overlap of cultures' and the Victorian bishops on gay marriage

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 April 2012
    28 Comments

    Foreign minister Carr used the phrase 'overlap of cultures' to describe people of different cultures living together. The bishops are entitled to expect the Government not to legislate to 'smash' the sacrament and religious institution of marriage. But tolerance of other cultures and faiths must be reciprocal.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The slow torture of kids in detention

    • Michael Mullins
    • 26 March 2012
    16 Comments

    Julian Burnside taunted his audience at La Trobe University in 2010 with the suggestion that we take a couple of children out of detention and publicly execute them. His point was that we are not bothered by the mental torture of children in immigration detention because it is out of sight.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big media takes a leaf out of big tobacco

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 March 2012
    5 Comments

    Media bosses believe self-regulation is compatible with protecting the interests of ordinary Australians. It's akin to allowing big tobacco to specify the size of health warnings on cigarette packs.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Zero tolerance for ritual humiliation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 12 March 2012
    19 Comments

    The Church is recognised as having tolerated abuse of children and young adults, and sometimes regarded it as character building, in connection with corporal punlshment and activities such as drinking rituals at university residential colleges. But the Catholic college at Sydney University has broken with tradition by implementing its zero tolerance policy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Infanticide and the spectre of eugenics

    • Michael Mullins
    • 05 March 2012
    25 Comments

    It's alarming that two Melbourne academics are arguing for the legalisation of infanticide. It is worth recalling that in 1939 academic argument led to the Victorian Parliament legalising eugenics, of which infanticide is a form. Fortunately it was never practised due to embarrassment over the Holocaust.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dysfunction in the Church and the ALP

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 February 2012
    13 Comments

    As an institution stricken with dysfunction, the ALP shares a bleak outlook with unions, churches and other organisations that are similarly sustained by shared ideals and belief systems, but are struggling. They've lost their nerve and no longer know how to be authentic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In defence of 'adults only' video games

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 February 2012
    3 Comments

    Opponents of the government's proposed R18+ video game classification argue that playing violent video games leads to violent behaviour. But researchers have found mental health to be a more reliable predictor of negative outcomes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Means test won't fix health funding

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 February 2012
    12 Comments

    The current private health insurance subsidy has the poor paying for the wealthy. The proposed means test will make health funding a little fairer, but it won't do much to change inequities in the health system as a whole. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Keeping Conroy out of bed with Rinehart

    • Michael Mullins
    • 06 February 2012
    6 Comments

    Communications Minister Stephen Conroy appears relaxed about Gina Rinehart's move towards control of Fairfax Media because governments are predisposed to placate media owners. A human rights charter could be the only way to maintain media diversity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's advice for Gillard and Abbott

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 January 2012
    16 Comments

    Last week Pope Benedict said silence and words are ‘two aspects of communication which need to be kept in balance’. This insight could help political strategists charged with explaining why political leaders are failing to connect with voters.

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