Why Today is the Most Important Day of the Last Ten Years

It’s a cloudy Sunday afternoon that threatens to become uncomfortably cold. I sit in a lounge outside the Honeysuckle Hotel in Newcastle’s tourist precinct. Twenty metres away a one man band is playing Chuck Berry songs to which a group of five fifty-somethings from the Eagle Rock Dance Club are jiving. Beyond them small groups… Continue Reading

I Don’t Want to Be A Customer of Bastards Inc

Are we really this greedy? Fact 1. The people who make our clothing are paid so poorly that they cannot put food on the table or pay their rent or send their kids to school. The chart below, using data from the clean clothes campaign, shows the minimum wage for garment workers across Asia compared… Continue Reading

Wanted. Leaders with vision

In the past few years Australian foreign policy has been marked by an increasing isolationism when it comes to the exercise of “soft” power. We have opted out of our obligations to accept asylum seekers; slashed our foreign aid budget; and have proposed some of the weakest greenhouse emissions reduction targets of the industrialised world.… Continue Reading

The Times They Are A-Changing…Being the Church in a Secular, Liberal, Pluralist Democracy.

(A longer article than normal) The centuries from the Enlightenment until the present have seen the decline of Christendom and the rise of liberal, secular, pluralist democracies. They are “liberal” in that individuals possess rights that their fellow citizens and the state are obligated to respect; “secular” in that no religion is preferred by government… Continue Reading

A diminished generosity. How Australia’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis pales in comparison to the efforts of our forebears

This week’s outpouring of empathy and compassion for those fleeing violence in Syria has been remarkable and has seen the commendable decision of our government to welcome 12,000 refugees from Syria in the next 12 months. As welcome as this decision may be, it’s simultaneously a signal of just how hardhearted we have become. In… Continue Reading

How we can win the debate on refugees

I listened last night to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkle, respond to the waves of irregular migration to Europe by reaffirming her country’s commitment to provide protection to those found to be refugees and Germany’s readiness to take 800,000 asylum seekers. The contrast with Australia couldn’t be greater. We accept no asylum seekers who arrive… Continue Reading

The end of Scripture classes in school

The Victorian State government this weekend announced that special religious instruction in state schools will no longer be taught during class time, effectively killing off scripture classes in Victoria. I assume it is only a matter of time until this is the case across the nation. Special religious instruction is one of the last vestiges… Continue Reading

My deadpan face and God’s body language (or lack thereof)

After a recent meeting someone pulled me aside and asked if I was angry with him. I was surprised because not only was this person someone I liked and respected, but I wasn’t the least bit angry. After reassuring him that everything was good between us, it dawned on me what had occurred. Parkinsons has… Continue Reading