keywords: The Joy Of Being Wrong

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  • RELIGION

    Finding grace amid difference of marriage equality opinion

    • Julie Perrin
    • 25 September 2017
    23 Comments

    Several years into my time as school chaplain, a journalist asked for my opinion in relation to the taboos long held by Christians regarding homosexuality. I knew my views would be regarded as a betrayal by some of the parents and I put a call through to the gentle-fierce man. I did not want to unravel the remarkable friendship we had built, but neither did I want to remain silent on this issue. When I explained the dilemma, he said something I have never forgotten.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    What we think we know about the Syrian war

    • Justin Glyn
    • 19 September 2017
    8 Comments

    You could be forgiven for never having heard of Deir ez-Zor. There is virtually no mention of it in the Western press, except by British journalist Robert Fisk. Yet this ancient Syrian city of just over 200,000 people on the banks of the Euphrates is the site of what looks to be the final defeat of the dream of ISIS of creating an ethnically cleansed, sectarian caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

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  • RELIGION

    Child protection, compliance and conversion

    • John Honner
    • 07 September 2017
    5 Comments

    In the Christian gospels the child is the exemplar, par excellence, of what God's world is meant to look like. In social policy, on the other hand, the child tends to be portrayed as a powerless innocent. In recent years, the Catholic Church has failed the standards of both gospel and society: on the one hand by discounting the importance of children and not listening to children, and on the other hand by not having appropriate practices and policies to ensure the safety of children.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Inside the 'glass closet' of a gay Catholic teacher

    • Alex Ryan
    • 30 August 2017
    54 Comments

    Being both gay and Catholic leads to a somewhat fraught existence. On one hand, we have our Catholic peers who, frequently, have trouble empathising with what it means to be 'intrinsically disordered'. On the other, we have our queer friends who are, understandably, sceptical of our allegiance to an organisation that has a deep history of discrimination towards people like us. This existence is further complicated for those of us who choose to partake in ministry that sees us employed by the Church.

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  • RELIGION

    Citizenship and the Common Good

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 August 2017
    6 Comments

    'There was one controversy in which Lionel Bowen was involved that does provide good lessons for the contemporary Catholic considering the desirable law or social policy on a contested issue - lessons for the citizen weighing what is for the common good. Back in 1979 there was debate in the Parliament on a motion which was framed to stop Medicare funding of abortions. Bowen, a strict Catholic, was strongly opposed to the motion. He did not think the motion was about abortion. He thought it was about money.' Frank Brennan's 2017 Lionel Bowen Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too many words about same sex marriage

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 24 August 2017
    73 Comments

    Lots of words have already been said and typed about the subject of same sex marriage. Too many, frankly. But it seems that the marriage equality debate will not go away nor be resolved easily, though LGBTI advocates have said that the homophobic anti-same sex marriage campaign will be damaging to the mental health of LGBTI people. Of course, the very idea that civil rights should be put to a public vote is demoralising.

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  • MEDIA

    We treat dogs better than the asylum seekers

    • 23 August 2017
    10 Comments

    Last week I was rung to say my dog was missing. I finished at work as soon as I could, ringing the local council and neighbourhood vet on the way home. Neither had seen anything of him but suggested we post on social media. As my husband and I drove and walked the streets, the messages came in. People were concerned. He was missing from an enclosed yard. Some offered to look, others from further away, shared hope and the Facebook post. The post went everywhere, the last I saw was in Western Australia.  

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  • ECONOMICS

    Of murderers, bastards and inequality: neo-liberalism's failure

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 August 2017
    18 Comments

    Cometh the hour, cometh the third murderer. So now inequality is in the spotlight and is being booed off the stage. It is blamed for the rise of populist politics, and more fundamentally for economic stagnation. The economic neo-liberal orthodoxy, that so implausibly claimed that economic competition unfettered by government regulation would benefit all of the citizens, has produced the gross inequality that hinders economic growth. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In defence of hope

    • John Ellison Davies
    • 02 August 2017
    7 Comments

    Why do we get out of bed in the morning? Out of habit certainly, but at some level we have to believe that in the day ahead we may make some small incremental progress toward our goals, whatever they may be. A small improvement in the garden. The flourish of a job well done. We must have hope that we will find some joy in the day, some satisfaction that brings a sense of well-being.

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  • RELIGION

    Ordinary Catholics must help with reform

    • Kevin Liston
    • 31 July 2017
    38 Comments

    There are many reform movements active in the Catholic Church. Most seem to focus on changing the structures and systems of the church, on reshaping doctrinal positions and updating teachings. Organisational reform is necessary and long overdue but there is also need for a complementary movement among ordinary Catholics.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Finding life in the obits

    • Daniel Rose
    • 30 July 2017
    3 Comments

    I read the obituaries every Sunday. Maybe as a writer I enjoy the stories people leave behind. I think too, that in this age of fake news, angry politics and incessant streams of information, the obits offer a slice of realism. One small headshot and a two inch long bio. That is all that remains of us in the end. You might think that perusing the obituaries would be depressing. But for me, it's invigorating. It's energising. It renews my faith in humanity.

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  • EDUCATION

    The English teacher's drink of choice

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 06 July 2017
    2 Comments

    Paddy was a mediocre teacher, even if that is the unreliable opinion of a colleague who has great sympathy for what must go on in an English class. He had a weakness not uncommon among the literati and which may well have been a reaction to the rigid pieties of his Tory background. In his case, the consumption of alcohol caused him to become tiresomely scrupulous, seeming to lose the capacity for dissimulation and verbal artifice that are necessary qualities for life in the modern world.

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