Search Results: religious freedom

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Same sex marriage a defeat for humanity?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2015
    60 Comments

    The Vatican Secretary of State's post-Irish referendum comment refers to the Church's understanding of the privilege given by society to lasting heterosexual marriage reflecting the social good of the institution. But the heaviest defeats for humanity come from government policies that focus on the individual, ignore the needs of those raising children, and penalise the disadvantaged.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is faith more than metaphor?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 May 2015
    50 Comments

    Australian writer David Tacey argues that the Christian story, like all religious beliefs, should be seen as metaphor. He argues that in turning from a literal understanding, we recapture the original Christian message. But for me, adopting his reading would mean the loss of a personal God to whom I can pray, of a Christ who is a living presence among his followers, and of a community in living continuity with Jesus' disciples.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Will new Greens leader Di Natale do a Pope Francis?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 May 2015
    9 Comments

    The Greens' leadership transition is seen as a switch from hard-line ideology to political pragmatism. Previous Greens leaders have been fond of judgmental rhetoric, somewhat foolishly referring to those in the high-level carbon emitting legacy industries as 'polluters'. Perhaps Richard Di Natale will give such counter-productive personal abuse a rest. Showing mercy to the polluters' may yield surprising turnarounds such as AGL's recent moves from coal to solar energy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Good race relations is not just an American thing, it's democracy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 09 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the voting right marches across the bridge in Selma, Alabama. The movie Selma is a great though imperfect study in race relations, which is still a hot issue in the US following the spate of police killings of young African American men. Good race relations still has a long way to go, as it does in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What drives young Australian Muslims to join IS

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2015
    41 Comments

    I fear for those Muslim young people driven into the arms of ideological extremists so unnecessarily. I'm prompted to recall my school years, when Soviet troops were invading Hungary to put down the brief revolution. I wondered uneasily whether it was not perhaps my duty to go to Hungary to fight for freedom there. For an idealistic young man whose Catholicism was tightly intertwined with anti-communism, the thought was natural.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Am I Charlie?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 January 2015
    17 Comments

    The Martin Place and Paris killings both generated hashtags that focused popular response. Their simplicity allowed people to express instantly their solidarity with victims and rejection of violence. But they also raised complex questions about the responsible use of freedom.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Another year bites the parliamentary dirt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 December 2014
    27 Comments

    What a dreadful year it has been for parliamentary democracy. Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has taken pride in the number of members she has ejected. Senator David Leyonhjelm has introduced his same sex marriage bill in an orderly fashion, but the decision will rest with the Abbott Government, which won't want to to hand the bouquet for breaking the logjam to Leyonhjelm. To get arrangements for the bearing and nurturing of children right, we need our parliament to be a more considered and dignified place than a battlefield.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis celebrates a homeless man's 50th

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 November 2014
    29 Comments

    Last week the Pope's almsgiver installed showers in St Peter's Square, for people who are homeless. This followed his meeting a homeless man, discovering it was his 50th birthday, and inviting him to dinner in a local restaurant, only for the man to decline on the grounds he smelled. The gesture was seen to have Pope Francis’ finger prints all over it, and it illuminates the differences of perspective between him and other church leaders.

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  • RELIGION

    Constitutionally Australia is a religious country

    • Kevin Donnelly
    • 02 November 2014
    28 Comments

    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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  • AUSTRALIA

    A pope of blurred boundaries

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 October 2014
    41 Comments

    Pope Francis is a leader out of his time. In Western society the times are sombre and fearful, and governance emphasises control, security and strong leadership. There is a desire for clear boundaries marking who is in and who is out. The Synod on the Family will  show how far Pope Francis' open and inclusive style can be reflected in the Church's instruments of control.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What IS has to do with evil

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 October 2014
    27 Comments

    IS - the Islamic State - is getting a bad press. Deservedly so, for its brutality and totalitarian instincts. In the headlines, references to 'evil' and 'pure evil' have been dominant. This characterisation is unhelpful for a number of reasons. We must be careful not to empty the word 'evil' of any meaning.

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