Keywords: The Freedom Paradox

  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 September 2021
    7 Comments

    In the Catholic calendar the Feast of St Francis of Assisi falls on next Tuesday. Although he gave up on wealth, power and influence Francis probably had a bigger effect on his world than any of his contemporaries. He continues to attract people to challenge the values of our society and to spark renewal in Christian institutions at the risk of going stale.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Epidemiologists and unexpected lessons

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2021
    7 Comments

    A striking feature of the Australia’s path through Coronavirus has been the coming out of epidemiologists and social biologists. From being little known members of small institutes they became rock stars, invited to press conferences, deferred to by politicians, selectively chosen for comment by the media, but also resented by representatives of big business and defenders of individual freedom.

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  • RELIGION

    Valuing human life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 September 2021
    21 Comments

    In recent weeks the value of human life has become a topic of public conversation in different contexts. Proposed legislation on abortion and assisted dying has continued to focus attention on it. Debate about loosening COVID restrictions has also balanced the risk of death from the disease with risks to health and economic welfare from lockdowns. In Afghanistan the victory of the Taliban has again raised questions about the morality of the war and the killing involved by both sides.

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  • RELIGION

    The Eucharist is a schooling for sinners, not a reward for the just

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 July 2021
    38 Comments

    Looking from outside at the debates among American Catholics about whether President Biden should be refused communion has been a little like watching the crowd in a Rangers v Celtic game in Glasgow. Much that was said and done fervently in the name of faith showed little familiarity with it. To understand the issue we must enter the Catholic imaginative world in which the Eucharist is central.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    ‘You just don’t get it’: listening and responding to First Nations peoples

    • Brian McCoy
    • 07 July 2021
    3 Comments

    But it is possible the members of the Plenary could begin to hear a deeper voice speaking in their hearts. There may arise a new courage to start a process of truth and reconciliation, reporting the process of this journey to the second Plenary Council planned for Sydney, July 2022. We can only begin that journey if members of the Plenary Council come and are open to listening to that deep inner voice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Questioning the wisdom of legalising euthanasia

    • Margaret Somerville
    • 03 June 2021
    9 Comments

    No one on either side of the debate wants to see people suffer and the euthanasia debate is not about if we will die — we all will at some point. The debate is about how we will die and whether some ways of dying, namely euthanasia, are unethical and dangerous, especially to vulnerable and fragile people, and destructive of important shared values on which we base our societies.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Interrogating the past

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 May 2021
    27 Comments

    A wry satisfaction to be enjoyed in reading histories of events of your youth is that it uncovers your prejudices at that time. It reassures you that you have grown wiser but also makes you wonder whether your present attitudes will need revisiting. Save Our Sons, Carolyn Collins’ detailed and even-handed study of women’s campaign against conscription during the Vietnam War, offered such pleasures.

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  • RELIGION

    Why thinking Indigenously is important for Australian theology

    • Garry Deverell
    • 18 May 2021
    19 Comments

    It is no coincidence that white ‘settler’ theology in this country has barely begun to engage with Indigenous people. Arguably, it has only begun to do so because the Indigenous citizens of the churches have begun to cast off the imaginative shackles made for us by our white gubbas and find our own voice.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Wikileaks, Assange and freedom of speech

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 January 2021
    10 Comments

    A serious discussion of freedom of speech must move beyond it as an individual right to see speech as communication. It will then consider all the relationships, personal and public, involved in communication. It presupposes that people share a common commitment to truth. Freedom of speech flows from that deeper human responsibility and freedom to seek truth.

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  • RELIGION

    The seamless garment of life

    • Ross Jones
    • 01 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Approaching the walled and caged building where the sentence was carried out, our young fellows have always been struck by something of a paradox proclaimed in two signs at the door: ‘Bureau of Corrections’ alongside ‘Lethal Injection Chamber’. They were quick to seize upon it. ‘How can you correct and rehabilitate a person after you have killed him?’ they would ask.

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  • RELIGION

    Silence has two faces

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 October 2019
    12 Comments

    It may seem paradoxical that one of the most effective ways of imposing silence is by imposing noise. The Romans did it with bread and circuses. More modern totalitarian regimes have done it with military processions and massive rallies. Governments in contemporary democracies do so by controlling what is fed to the media.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hong Kong's dangerous miracle

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 August 2019
    11 Comments

    The democracy movement in Hong Kong, with its ideal of political freedom and its embodiment of it in spontaneous and decentralised organisation, is one of many such revolutions, most of them short lived. It is inspiring because of its idealism, and poignant because its precedents demonstrate the power of the forces arrayed against it.

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