Search Results: Year of Mercy

  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis' public shaming strategy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 April 2015
    10 Comments

    Francis is always ready to criticise unbridled capitalism, but he makes a point of not shaming particular tax dodgers or profiteers. Targeting individuals has become a thing in the age of social media, but those who are left alone are more likely to come forward and join the public conversation. Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest persons, did this when he declared that he paid less tax than his employees, and that he and his wealthy friends have been 'coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Domestic violence a product of our adversarial culture

    • Michael Breen
    • 13 April 2015
    12 Comments

    There is violence in many aspects of our life and culture, including sport and politics. Parliamentary behaviour very publicly involves viciously attacking the person rather than the issue at hand. We cry out for strong leadership, but this often means tough, fearless, dominating behaviour. The psychopath's polish, charm, and cool decisiveness are easily mistaken for leadership qualities.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Paying tribute without creating war narratives

    • Justin Glyn
    • 24 March 2015
    9 Comments

    The emotional parades welcoming troops home from the end of 'Operation Slipper' in Afghanistan leave us contemplating the horrific effects of war on veterans and their families. It is absolutely right, indeed imperative, that we grieve with them and count the costs. In doing so, however, we should beware the danger of selective empathy.

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  • RELIGION

    Atheist Pratchett's Discworld has lessons for Christians

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 16 March 2015
    4 Comments

    'You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world. Otherwise it's just a cage.' When I heard English author Terry Pratchett had died, I immediately jumped online to start looking through some of my favourite quotes from his books. The above, from Witches Abroad, is one of many that have accompanied me over the years.   His 44 Discworld novels could be broadly described as comic fantasy, or fantasy satire, and yet that's really just the starting point for the immense variety of complicated ideas they explored in such a fun, joyous way. Perhaps strangely for someone whose work is so grounded in atheism, Pratchett has had a profound impact on my religious faith. Read more

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    I am not ephemeral

    • Marjon Mossammaparast
    • 24 February 2015
    8 Comments

    How many times rooted are we to earth, though we would reach away from it, lifting our arms like trees? My stem, yielding to the fashioner’s knowing hand? I am not after all ephemeral. No petals of a flower.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nice guy Jokowi a death penalty strong man

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 February 2015
    17 Comments

    The execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is expected to take place on Nusakembangan, a prison island off Central Java. Visitors there are greeted by a sign which translates: 'They are not criminals, just lost people, and it is never too late to repent'. To be executed after you repent, however, is certainly too late. It also diminishes Indonesia. But let’s not write Indonesia off.     

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grieving pilgrim's wild days in the wilderness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 January 2015
    1 Comment

    Cheryl Strayed is haunted by her past — by her own sins, and by tragedies that have befallen her. As she walks, she hums, and the music she hears in her head leads her in and out of the past. Her solo 1600-plus km trek along America's Pacific Crest Trail is a metaphor for her life: each hardship she overcomes brings her a step closer to facing down the fierce regrets that gnash at her heels.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Accommodating Indonesia's capital punishment barbarism

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 January 2015
    12 Comments

    Bali Nine drug runners Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are on track to be executed by firing squad during the first half of this year. Tony Abbott deserves praise for his statement abhorring the death penalty, but not for his qualification that Australia should avoid jeopardising its relationship with Indonesia by its representations on behalf of Sukumaran and Chan. Such caution did not apply when Australia turned back asylum seeker boats, and any Indonesian upset did not last long.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Kurds: fighting the good fight?

    • William Gourlay
    • 23 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Turkey and Iran, the two major regional powers against whose borders ISIS jostles, have, each for their own reasons, declined to participate militarily in President Obama's action against ISIS. The likelihood or benefits of working in concert with Iran can be debated long and hard, but in the meantime the Kurds clearly emerge as the immediate go-to allies. Positioning them as such, and arming them, will change the dynamics of the region.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sacrificing freedoms in the war against terror

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 September 2014
    7 Comments

    Terrorism is a real threat but it is hardly a killer on the scale of coronary heart disease or accidental falls, both of which far outstrip terrorism as killers on Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Blanket rollbacks of important civil liberties, until recently taken for granted, cannot but provoke the suspicion that terrorism has become a diversion of the public's attention from something much more sinister.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our Lady of the Trap Door Spider

    • Paul Scully
    • 19 August 2014
    2 Comments

    Outside rituals, the salvation of small actions behind closed doors like the spider, my childhood friend, the silence returns, the woods of earlier times thin around me, my own tree shrinks back to its roots.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    Sitting in the doors of the powerful

    • James O'Brien
    • 13 August 2014
    18 Comments

    Religious leaders used methods of non-violent protest to respond to the Federal Government's 'No Way' campaign that aimed to discourage Afghan asylum seekers. Calling their movement 'Love Makes a Way', their strategy started to take shape: sit-ins in the electorate offices of federal parliamentarians, asking that justice may 'roll down like waters'. Nonviolent direct action changes hearts.

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