author: Andrew Hamilton

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • RELIGION

    Church honours market over Gospel in abuse cases

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 April 2014
    51 Comments

    It seems most Sydney Church leaders did not see Ellis primarily as a vulnerable person to whom they should reach out in compassion, but as a threat to the financial wellbeing of the Church. Even though it was recognised that he had been abused by a Catholic priest, the callous treatment he received was inspired by the desire to avoid large payouts. These leaders effectively accepted that human worth can be measured by economic price.

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  • RELIGION

    South African lessons about racial discrimination

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 March 2014
    7 Comments

    The South African experience suggests racial discrimination begins with the appropriation of wealth and power by one racial group and its consequent suppression of other groups in order to extend its wealth and power. If we are to address racial prejudice and discrimination we need to examine the way in which wealth and power are distributed and protected in society. In Australia, they are being concentrated increasingly in fewer hands.

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  • RELIGION

    Asylum seeker ethics is simple

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 March 2014
    28 Comments

    Asked whether they think the government's treatment of asylum seekers is right, some people will withhold judgment, arguing that the question is ethically complex; asylum seeker policy must take into account many issues, and an ethical judgment must await consideration of all these factors. This position is mistaken. The ethical questions are quite simple. The complexities and confusions arise only after we have answered them.

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  • RELIGION

    The celebrity Pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The appearance at the end of Francis' first year of Berlusconi's new magazine, Il Mio Papa, is testimony that the Pope is now mythical, a celebrity, and that the myth can be manipulated, marketed and monetised. It is difficult to give an accounting for celebrities, but merely popping their balloon also misses what in them attracts popular attention. So it is with evaluating what is distinctive about Francis and what he has contributed to the Church.

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  • RELIGION

    Chords of community in a country church protest song

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The conflict began with falling church attendances and a decision by the Koroit parish priest to rationalise resources. Although Regina Lane describes in detail the battles to save St Brigid's, her book is far more than a protest song against the power of the Catholic Church. The larger stories embodied at St Brigid's, the immigrant groups who formed the first congregation and their relationship to the first Australians, have continuing importance.

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  • RELIGION

    Encouragement for bleeding hearts

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 March 2014
    36 Comments

    To call someone a bleeding heart is an insult, not a description. It has no meaning but does have connotations. Those who call advocates for asylum seekers bleeding hearts usually dismiss ethical arguments. Although they may accept in the case of personal relationships that it would be wrong to inflict pain on people in order to deter others, they usually claim without supporting argument that governments are not bound by this ethical principle.

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  • RELIGION

    Robber bands in Parliament

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 February 2014
    14 Comments

    Augustine wrote of the Roman Empire, 'Without justice, states are robber bands.' His mordant comment aimed to strip away the self-congratulatory rhetoric of empire from the reality of a Rome concerned purely with asking how to achieve desired goals uncontrolled by respect for human dignity. If we appreciate how robber bands work we can better understand what states do, including Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Social justice with a smile

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 February 2014
    7 Comments

    Social justice has to do with what we owe to others. No one likes to think of their debts. And when the debts are universalised so that they are owed by us as members of society, we do not want to know about them. No wonder it is more effective to appeal to our individual generosity than to our shared duty, and for religious leaders to be less comfortable speaking about justice than about love.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Devil in the detail of asylum seeker directive

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 February 2014
    23 Comments

    In the clamour of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, an almost unnoticed government direction struck a revelatory chord. It affects people who came to Australia by boat and have been found to be refugees and have protection visas, stating that any applications they have made to bring family members to Australia must remain at the bottom of the pile. The brevity of the direction belies its enormous effects on the people affected by it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's booze culture on trial

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 February 2014
    10 Comments

    Alcohol has a privileged place in polite society. All mood changing substances rely on a myth of a better life and relationships, but the alcohol myth is distinctive because it is rooted in high as well as in popular culture. Attempts to regulate its consumption and limit the damage it does will therefore always be unlikely to succeed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's pointers for Australian welfare review

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 January 2014
    27 Comments

    Pope Francis' message to the World Economic Forum at Davos developed the Catholic understanding that government and business economic actions should be governed not by trust in the workings of the free market, but by care for the good of the whole human community. Coincidentally the Australian Government announced a review of welfare payments.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Celebrating diversity on Australia Day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 January 2014
    20 Comments

    This week began with Australia Day and ends with the Chinese New Year. The juxtaposition suggests pertinent questions about Australian identity, especially the ways in which Australians have alternately included and excluded those seen as outsiders. This is most evident in the relationship between Australian settlers' attitudes to Indigenous Australians, but it is also seen in Australian attitudes to Chinese and other Asian peoples.

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