CategoryPolitics

Protect the unborn and slaughter your enemies. The bizarre inconsistency of the US right

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Later this month US Republican senator Rick Santorum is expected to declare his candidacy for the presidency of the United States.  Speaking this week at the South Carolina Freedom Summit,  a self-declared Conservative event, Santorum spoke of ISIS  and the approach the United States should take to combating them: If these people want to bring back a 7th-century version of Islam … then let’s load...

The kingdom of Christ or the kingdom of Rome?

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Jesus came to Israel proclaiming a kingdom founded on faith, grace and love and was executed by a kingdom founded on idolatry (the Roman emperor was worshipped as a god), violence (Roman armies had conquered the world and rebellion was ruthlessly crushed) and state-interest (Rome stripped conquered countries of their wealth). Roman crucifixions were intentionally public events, a powerful warning...

Why Tony Abbott Should be Replaced

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Whether or not Tony Abbott is deposed as PM this morning, his position is surely terminal. At least I hope so, for under Abbott’s leadership we do not have a Liberal Party, we have a Conservative party. Conservatives, as the name implies, believe in conserving the existing structures in society. If change is to occur it must be slow and incremental. To the conservative our social and power...

Five New Year Wishes for the Church

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1. A mature debate on same-sex marriage Within the Christian world there are a variety of principled perspectives on same-sex marriage, including diverse views within the conservative wing of the church. Yet it seems that this discussion is surrounded with hysteria. The moment anyone urges anything other than opposition to same-sex marriage they are pilloried. It is my wish for the church that we...

A time to stand shoulder to shoulder with Australian Muslims

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The great environmentalist David Suzuki has spoken of the shame he experienced when as a Canadian of Japanese descent, he and his family were incarcerated in their homeland during WWII. Being of Japanese heritage they were viewed with suspicion, so untrustworthy they had to be locked up. This experience was so damaging that Suzuki spent his teenage years saving for a plastic surgery operation to...

Why and how we should criticise politicians

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In the last few months, the Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, has come under heavy attack. I myself have written a number of pieces in which I challenge the morality of policies Mr Morrison has introduced. I’ve noticed however that alongside questions of policy, people I know have started asking questions about his personal motivations and the authenticity of his faith. In my...

Julie Bishop’s tortuous logic on foreign aid

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There it was again last night. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Channel 10’s The Project program offering up the Coalition’s tortuous logic on foreign aid: “We can’t borrow money from overseas, just to send back overseas again”. The 2014 – 2015 aid budget stands at $5,031.9 million, equal to 0.32% of our national income. Prior to the Coalition coming to power there...

Why I am a Republican. A Queen’s Birthday holiday reflection

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Today is the Queen’s Birthday holiday. Yet I suspect that not many of my fellow Australians will give much thought to the Queen nor her birthday. For most today is just another public holiday. Nonetheless, this public holiday always arouses my republican inclinations. I find it odd that Australians have a foreign monarch, for the institution is inherently un-Australian. It is elitist – only...

Thank goodness for all that debt!

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There’s a lot of angst in our community about the levels of debt we acquired during the global financial crisis. Yes Australia invested a lot of money stimulating the economy. What if we hadn’t? Listen to what happened elsewhere. Joe Stiglitz, a Nobel prize-winning economist writes in the book The Price of Inequality The 2007-08 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed...

A Budget is a Values Statement

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As the nation prepares itself for what is predicted to be a particularly tough budget, I find it worthwhile remembering something I learnt at theological college, that a budget is a values statement. Whether a church budget or a national budget, we can never reduce budgets to simply being financial statements. Budgets require choices, and when we choose one thing rather than another we reveal the...

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