Search Results: religious freedom

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When legitimate criticism hurts

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Antisemitism and racism are rightly considered shameful. Those accused of these things usually deny the charges vehemently. Declaring critics of the actions or policies of, say, the Zimbabwe or the Israeli government, to be racist or antisemitic should be called for the bullying it is. Prejudice needs to be demonstrated, not asserted. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Compassionate Jews weep for Gaza

    • Michael Trainor
    • 17 August 2014
    16 Comments

    In Australia and around the world, places of Jewish worship have been daubed with graffiti. One tag reads, 'Weep for Gaza'. In the face of the tragic loss of innocent civilian lives in Gaza, Muslims, Jews and Christians all weep for Gaza. We deplore the tagging.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's high fibre diet of legislation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week's legislative flurry was very messy, with few signs of reflection on what kind of a society we want to create, and how far particular legislation will help do so. The arguments for legislation are based on abstractions such as free speech and terrorism. They are not supported by sustained reflection on the way in which human beings interact.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott’s temporary reprieve for hate speech prohibition

    • Moira Rayner
    • 07 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Quite rightly the Section 18C repeal bill was seen to remove all limits on ‘freedom of speech’ without regard to the vulnerability of those targeted. Andrew Bolt was infuriated, Senator Brandis lost face and his new Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson was ‘disturbed’ by the bill being shelved. But the PM is a pragmatist.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enemy is AIDS, not those who live with it

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 July 2014
    23 Comments

    Rates of HIV infection are rising, while stigma is in decline. Some believe the only way to contain the virus is to maintain the stigma against those living with it. But the majority view is that those suffering should be empowered. If the law and the media support them, there is hope that the community will move rationally towards an end to the crisis. 

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  • RELIGION

    The preferential option for the poor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 July 2014
    1 Comment

    'Rohan provides a detailed and accurate analysis and history of the word games that have gone on between the Vatican and the Latin American bishops and theologians wrestling with the concept of the preferential option for the poor.' Frank Brennan launches The Preferential Option for the Poor: A Short History and a Reading Based on the Thought of Bernard Lonergan, by Rohan Michael Curnow. 

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Understanding the climate change battle of attitudes

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 June 2014
    20 Comments

    As Obama took steps to deal with carbon emissions, Abbott walked away from them. Beneath the complex political considerations in these responses stir deep passions. Human flourishing requires that we recognise the interdependence of human beings and our common interdependence with the environment. That recognition marks out the boundaries of the field within which our autonomy and initiative should play.

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  • RELIGION

    The role of the faith based organisation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 May 2014
    3 Comments

    'Some of us would question Benedict's assertion that the Church "must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot ... replace the State." But we would all agree that the Church "cannot and must not remain on the sidelines".' Frank Brennan's presentation at the Jesuit Social Services Symposium on 'The role of faith based community organisations in contributing to a civil society'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kidnapped Nigerian girls put the lie to Western freedom

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 11 May 2014
    7 Comments

    It would be foolish to believe that female liberation can occur in a vacuum: as long as there are girls and women being brutalised in the DRC, schoolgirls being sold into slavery in Nigeria's border regions, girls around the world are being subjected to female genital mutilation and women being supressed by religious ideology, then the acquisition of our own freedoms — flawed as they are — is a hollow victory indeed.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    South Sudan warning for Australia's hate speech champions

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 April 2014
    9 Comments

    In South Sudan, hate speech broadcast on a local FM radio station earlier this month led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians in a massacre based on ethnicity. Local UN officials are now calling on authorities to 'to take all measures possible to prevent the airing of such messages'. Meanwhile in Australia, the Government is attempting to give legal sanction to the kind of hate speech that incited to the South Sudan massacre.

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