author: Andrew Hamilton

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

  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: A Jesuit learns to live with a Jesuit Pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 January 2014
    6 Comments

    I indulge a passing self-congratulatory thought that the Pope is, like me, a Jesuit, and will understand our Jesuit ways. And that the Church, of course, will benefit immeasurably from his Jesuit training. That is immediately followed by a touch of anxiety: perhaps he will understand our ways all too well.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Church plays part of Christmas villain

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 December 2013
    14 Comments

    Christmas tells the story of a God who entrusted Christ as a baby safely to the care of Mary and Joseph in a markedly hostile secular environment. The stories told at the Royal Commission are of parents who entrusted their children unsafely to the care of representatives of the Church. The face of Herod in our day is not that of a persecutor who threatens the church from without. It is that of a minister of the church who betrays from within.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    Human rights walking tall

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2013
    4 Comments

    The Declaration of Human Rights exists as a standard by which we can judge our national life and priorities. By these criteria Australian public life displays grounds for concern. In the case of asylum seekers, prisoners and bikies, governments spend more effort on seeking to evade the claims of human rights than to uphold them. In the 'nonsense on stilts' stakes the unfettered appeal to national interest walks far taller than advocacy of human rights.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Sweet and sour in Pope's exhortation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2013
    24 Comments

    To my knowledge this is the first church document that refers to 'sourpusses'. It must be the first lengthy papal document for some time, too, that refers to the Magisterium only twice in passing. Nor does Pope Francis refer explicitly to clerical sexual abuse. Francis is not interested in radical institutional or doctrinal change but wants to help a dysfunctional church work better at compassionately communicating God's love.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    El Salvador suffers Australia's maleficent miners

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 November 2013
    16 Comments

    El Salvador is a small, largely agricultural society, with one of the highest population densities in the world. A largely Australian owned mining company proposes to mine for gold there, at great social and environmental cost to the local population. In Australia the wellbeing of people in areas affected by mining is central in the granting of permits. Are we willing to accept a lowering of standards for the overseas operations of Australian companies?

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    The ethics of spying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2013
    12 Comments

    A minor diversion in the disruption of Australia's relations with Indonesia has been the entanglement of political commentators. Many have wriggled on the hook of their conviction that international relations are an ethics free zone in which the only guiding star is national self interest. But that does not stop them from launching a raft of ethical judgments. It is worth considering on what ethical principles international and national politics might rest.

    READ MORE
  • ENVIRONMENT

    Imaginative connections between Haiyan and climate change

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 November 2013
    9 Comments

    The confluence of the Climate Conference in Warsaw and the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines has been confronting. If they are treated separately there is little problem in finding words and symbolic gestures to recognise the importance or lack of it placed on each. But it is hard to find words to hold together climate change and the death of so many people in natural catastrophes, let alone to act as if they might be related.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Church's family reality check

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 November 2013
    14 Comments

    In a welcome first step, the Vatican has invited lay Catholics to offer their views on the family. The document that accompanies the survey represents a fairly traditional Catholic theology of the family, setting it within a high theology and expressed in elevated language. This theology has been developed principally by celibate men, no doubt familiar with family life through their childhood and pastoral ministry, but at a distance from it.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for funding legal services with public money

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 November 2013
    3 Comments

    From a liberal perspective the use of public money to fund free legal services to individuals is inherently undesirable. Even if the contracts are awarded under competitive tendering, the funding of the services is a distortion in the market. Ideally they should be left to the market to provide. And by definition they are less efficient than commercial organisations disciplined by a free and competitive market.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Cackling geese and taxes

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 November 2013
    23 Comments

    Whenever public funds are made available for frowned upon projects they are described as taxpayers' money. When I hear the phrase roll from critics' lips, I imagine taxpayers as prune faced and laser lipped, or like children watching with beady eyes as their mother cuts the cake, ready to howl if their slice of the cake is the smaller half by a crumb or two. Underneath the phrase usually lies a view of life in which the market is a sacred site.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    The insubstantial Bishop of Bling

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 October 2013
    13 Comments

    Springtime draws attention to the sweet harmonies and scratchy discord between style and substance. Ducks escort their young across green lawns, and peck at anything that dares approach them. Young things in suits or summer dresses sit sozzled in Cup Day mud. Meanwhile in the Catholic Church, Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was suspended from office for his profligate spending during a time of austerity.

    READ MORE
  • RELIGION

    Scott Morrison and the power of negative branding

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 October 2013
    33 Comments

    Suppose the media, shocked by the cavalier approach to politicians who claim allowances for travel and other perks, unanimously decided henceforth always to refer to our parliamentary representatives not as Members and Ministers, but as Rorters and Archrorters. The stigma that such branding would attach to political life would be reflected in a diminishment of the high level of trust in which they are currently held by the Australian public.

    READ MORE

x

Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up