Latest articles

  • John Boyne's A History of Loneliness
    religion

    Sexual abuse summit: naive no more

    • Tracey Edstein
    • 18 February 2019
    3 Comments

    My hope is that the summit will recognise that the hierarchical nature of the institutional church, and its corollary, clericalism, is the biggest stumbling block to making the church not merely a safe place for all, but the welcoming, compassionate, open community it is intended to be.

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  • Peter Dutton prods a giant, grotesque caricature of an Australian bigot while Scott Morrison quips that 'I told you the beast wast stirring'. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas
    australia

    Navigating the post-Medivac ugliness

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 15 February 2019
    8 Comments

    Having failed to prevent tinkering to the border protection regime, the Morrison government returned to the well Australian politicians have drawn upon when faced with electoral crisis. Mathias Cormann was no less crude in adopting a mode that speaks wonders to the desperation of a government awaiting its electoral deliverance.

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  • A recent photo taken on a site visit to the Gloucester mine.
    environment

    Is the legal tide turning on climate change?

    • Cristy Clark
    • 14 February 2019
    4 Comments

    While in many ways this decision was uncontroversial — in that it merely upheld an earlier ministerial decision — Chief Justice Preston's judgment was significant in the Australian context both for its extensive reference to climate change and for his honour's clear acceptance of the science.

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  • Sea Watch 3

    EU's dirty dealings with Libya over refugees

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 12 February 2019
    4 Comments

    If refugees drown in the Mediterranean, scrutiny is directed towards Europe. If the deaths happen in Libya, the EU is able to manipulate human rights rhetoric alongside the bloc's concerns. Meanwhile, it remains committed to its deals with the Libyan coastguard, which is fuelling its fair share of human trafficking and exploitation.

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  • Demonstrators with Druze and Israeli flag seen during a protest against the Nation-State law in Tel Aviv on 4 August 2018 (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

    New law old news for Palestinian apartheid

    • Lana Tatour
    • 08 February 2019
    5 Comments

    Any suggestion that Israel is a racist and racial state is often met with outrage and accusations of antisemitism. Yet even supporters of Israel were shocked by the recent legislation of the Nation-State law. The law isn't news, however. Just like the apartheid law in South Africa, it doesn't signify the onset of apartheid; it enshrines it.

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  • At Lake Baikal. Photo by Catherine Marshall

    Take me back to Ulan-Ude's frozen wastes

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 05 February 2019
    2 Comments

    As the week progressed and the temperature headed beyond 40 degrees, my vigour flagged like that molten candlestick. I longed to return to the chill of Ulan-Ude, where our eyelashes froze to white feathers and the snowflakes fell in limpid perfection and the cold shook us so viscerally, so expansively, from our spiritual slumber.

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  • Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison in 2013 (Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

    A new standard for asylum seeker policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 February 2019
    2 Comments

    We are all gearing up for the third election in a row when boat turnbacks and the punitive treatment of refugees and asylum seekers feature. It need not be so. It’s time voters sent a message that it should not be so.

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  • Pope Francis (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

    Shaping the Pope's sexual abuse summit

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 February 2019
    12 Comments

    This week the presidents of bishops conferences and representatives of religious congregations around the world will meet in Rome to reflect on responses to the sexual abuse of children To understand and evaluate the meeting, we should keep in mind its background and the different groups that have a particular interest in it.

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  • Independents Cathy McGowan, Adam Bandt, Andrew Wilkie, Kerryn Phelps, Julia Banks and Rebekha Sharkie celebrate passing the Medivac Bill in the House of Representatives. Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

    Medivac: the unneeded bill we sorely needed

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 13 February 2019
    8 Comments

    During the debates about the bill regarding the transfer of people from Nauru or Manus to Australia for medical treatment, the Prime Minister stated it was 'unnecessary and superfluous'. Legally this should have been the case.

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  • Figures representing different types of love. Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    On love, money and Valentine's Day

    • Barry Gittins
    • 13 February 2019
    6 Comments

    Valentine's Day is built on some fairly shaky historical ground. Rather than honouring a prelate offering bridal trysts, or hoping for a good harvest, I'm inclined to spare a thought for the Greek philosophers and poets who set up shop well before Romulus and Remus; I like to muse over their various efforts to pin down love.

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  • Hobgoblins and Christmas tree

    Epiphany defeats hobgoblin evil

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 January 2019
    8 Comments

    One reason for the importance of Epiphany in Eastern Orthodoxy is the belief that Christmas is a period during which the world is threatened by various wicked spirits, most particularly the kallikantzaroi, the spirits of the dead: at this time they emerge from Hades (via a cave not too far from where I live) and roam the Earth.

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  • Senator Penny Wong (Michael Masters/Getty Images)

    Religious freedom in schools

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 January 2019
    38 Comments

    When Parliament resumes, one outstanding item of business will be Penny Wong's bill dealing with religious schools' capacity to discriminate against students on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. I support the bill subject to the proviso that religious schools should remain free to teach their doctrine respectfully and reasonably.

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  • US Democratic lawmakers Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey unveil their Green New Deal Resolution (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    Australia needs its own Green New Deal

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 11 February 2019
    13 Comments

    Just as the focus of post-war reconstruction was not merely demobilisation but the maintenance of full employment, developing social security and economic development, decarbonising Australia must involve rebuilding faith that politics can deliver a better Australia. We need to ensure our response leads to a good society.

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  • Scott Morrison dressed as Santa offers a child 'a whole tonne' of coal if it's good. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas

    Climate indifference is an Aussie tradition

    • Greg Foyster
    • 31 January 2019
    8 Comments

    One of Australia's foundational myths is of white settlers weathering nature's worst. It's actually in our national character — the story we tell about the nation — to dismiss climatic extremes like heatwaves. Maybe one missing part of taking climate change more seriously in Australia is a shift in culture to respect the heat.

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  • Dead fish in the Darling River

    The Darling's dead fish of late capitalism

    • Cristy Clark
    • 17 January 2019
    13 Comments

    A key benefit asserted to justify treating water as an economic good is that the market will encourage 'high-value' water use to be prioritised. But, as the fish of the Darling River and the people of Walgett are experiencing, the problem with commodifying water is its social and environment values are not naturally reflected in the market.

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  • Manila at night

    Through the window a Eucharist of moon

    • Rory Harris
    • 18 February 2019

    On the flight out of Manila / clouds sculpt prancing herds / & then the long drive south / to a home as we know it / back to a sound of almost rain.

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  • Man has multiple masks, some kind, some cruel. Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    Can men be feminists?

    • Brenna Dempsey
    • 15 February 2019
    7 Comments

    The #metoo movement has seen a rise in men coming forward and proclaiming themselves as feminists. But are they really doing this to encourage and support the women around them? It appears at least some men are voicing their pro-equality opinions in order to avoid suspicion and criticism and stay out of the spotlight.

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  • Degraves Street in Melbourne

    This see-saw need

    • Thuy On
    • 11 February 2019

    If I could write you out of my system / I would / siphon every last drop away / drain the bloodstream / flatten memory / and sandpaper flesh / where skin impressed / upon skin / on your audio track / I would press delete ...

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