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How do the parties compare? Asylum seeker and refugee policy

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The world faces a refugee crisis. 20 million people are refugees and another 2 million are seeking asylum. There are three possible solutions for those who are refugees: that they returned home when it becomes safe to do so; that they settle down and build a new life in the country to which they first fled; that they resettle in a third country such as Australia. At present less than 2% are able...

Will company tax cuts benefit us?

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On Q&A last Monday night assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer tried to explain to a man on a very low income why it was better for the government to spend $50 billion providing tax cuts to companies than it was to provide tax cuts to low income earners. The argument essentially boiled down to this: lower tax rates will leave companies with more money to invest employing people. Or as a...

The Barbarians are at the Gates. On finding moral courage

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Finally, some sanity. I have spent the last week in the US, where there is wall to wall coverage of the presidential primaries, most of it dominated by reporting and analysis of the Trump campaign. This morning I woke to a retired general pointing out that the military are not the plaything of the President, but are sworn to defend the US Constitution and to abide by various instruments that...

Help this artist bring his work to life

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I’ve never done a promo on my blog, but I’m making an exception for a kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a project by Michael Henderson, a gifted artist and pastor. Michael is creating a series of 16 paintings on aspects of the human experience of life, the beauty and struggles of this experience, using familiar events from the Bible. He writes Painting may seem redundant in an...

Love my enemy? What fool suggested that?

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  I too have been shocked by the violence in Paris over the weekend. It is almost incomprehensible to me that people would walk into a public space, fire off rounds from a machine gun with the sole intention of killing people, then blow themselves up. It makes me both angry and sad. But it also makes me wonder how I should respond. In particular, how do I respond as a follower of Jesus? Here...

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Five critical questions

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In the past couple of months I have found myself involved in many discussions around a biblical approach to same-sex relationships. Not only is our Parliament to debate same-sex marriage, but some prominent Christian leaders, including Steve Chalke, Tony Campolo, and ethicist David Gushee have called for the church to change its mind on homosexuality. At the moment those calling for a change are...

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...

When doing nothing is doing everything

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Yesterday was a day spent with my son. We played a closely fought set of table tennis, went for a swim during which we threw a football back and forth, duelled with with water pistols, and experimented with lying on the bottom of the pool. In the late afternoon we went to the cinema, picked up pizza on the way home, and watched Terminator 3 on DVD. All simple things that were really just an...

It Turns Out that Christian Attitudes to the Environment are Not So Christian

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In 1967 a history professor from the University of California delivered a paper in which he argued the world’s environmental degradation had its roots in the Judeo-Christian notion of dominion. When the biblical text declared that humankind was to “rule” and “subdue” the earth it was mandating a view that creation exists to serve our interests. Lyn White was surely...

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