I don’t want to live in a tolerant society

Fear of the other has always marked human society. In response to this I frequently hear calls for us to be “tolerant” of those who are different. I don’t think tolerance is capable of overcoming fear. To tolerate something suggests that it is distasteful, that I’ll keep myself as far removed from it is possible… Continue Reading

The nutters at the NRA have got it wrong on Australia

The nutters that run the National Rifle Association in the USA have published an article criticising Australia’s gun laws.In a breathtaking example of the triumph of fictive ideology over brute fact they declare the gun law reform implemented by Prime Minister John Howard has infringed on our liberties without making Australia any safer. The headline,… Continue Reading

Why Love is the Greatest Threat to Marriage

In recent days there has been much discussion about the meaning of marriage and threats to it. It is with some interest then that I am reading Marriage. A History. From Obedience to Intimacy or How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz. Coontz shows that for most of human history marriage had very little to… Continue Reading

Same sex marriage and the failure of evangelical ethics

I was out for dinner this week when someone wondered whether in 20 years time gay couples will be welcomed and affirmed in our churches and whether we will be as embarrassed by our present opposition to gay relationships as we are that Christians once argued in support of slavery, racial segregation, and female subordination?… Continue Reading

Anyone else disturbed by the tone of the anti-terror debate?

Is anyone else disturbed by the tone of the anti-terror discussion? We have the PM calling for heads to roll at the ABC because a guy who was acquitted of terror offences and has since renounced his support for jihad asks some pointed questions on Q & A; the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection… Continue Reading

Please, please stop saying that stopping the boats had stopped the deaths

The Prime Minister is fond of suggesting that turning boats around, and perhaps even paying people smugglers to turn them around, is “the compassionate thing to do”, for it prevents asylum seekers drowning at sea.  I’m sorry Prime Minister, but no matter how many times you repeat it, it simply is not true. I’ve blogged on this… Continue Reading

The New Pharisaism

One of the most beautiful passages in Scripture is the apostle Paul’s discourse on love in 1 Corinthians 13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and… Continue Reading

Have we made an idol of the family?

A few years ago the Family First political party arose, with strong links into the Christian church. It struck me at the time that perhaps we were putting more emphasis upon the family than the Bible does. The debate around marriage equality has raised the question again with the claim that children need access to… Continue Reading

A Better Way Forward on Refugees

Everyone can tell you what’s wrong with Australia’s current approach to asylum seekers and refugees, but what’s a better alternative? A Just Cause has released a document that outlines a better way forward. It shows that the world faces a refugee crisis. 17 million people have fled unimaginable persecution in their homeland and been recognised… Continue Reading