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Is there any hope for progressive causes under a Scomo Coalition government?

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Over the course of the next three years (and perhaps beyond) Australia will be governed by the Liberal-National Coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. I suspect it will prove to be the most socially conservative government of the last fifty years. Will this mean the end of substantial progress on issues such as climate change, treatment of asylum seekers, the Uluru Statement from the...

When you’ve nothing left to do but watch binge TV

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In a recent post I shared the unexpected and stunning turnaround in my health that I experienced in February. The last 6 months of 2018 had seen a severe decline in my mobility to the point that on any given day I had no idea how long my body would be in a state of tremoring and muscle rigidity before flipping into severe dyskensia and somewhere inbetween those states giving me broken periods of...

Why I Won’t Vote my Values

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A repost of an article published in June 2016. The day of the 2010 Federal Election I cast my vote then took my eight year old son to his soccer match. Lachlan’s team was made up of kids from the Christian school he attended, which meant the majority of the parents at his game that day were evangelical Christians. When conversation turned to the election I commented that I had voted for the...

Israel Folau, Religious Freedom & Standing for “the Truth”. Some Thoughts

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Last week rugby star Israel Folau posted an image on social media that said “Warning: Drunks. Homosexuals. Adulterers. Liars. Fornicators. Thieves. Atheists. Idolaters. Hell awaits you.”  Folau then offered a comment to the effect that God loves all people and wants them to repent of their sin and be forgiven. His employers, New South Wales rugby and the Australian Rugby Union, have...

Spin v Promise. Are the Liberals Better Economic Managers?

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It’s the first day of campaigning for the Federal election and the Coalition has signalled the tone of its campaign. Given the internal division that has made it near impossible for the PM to set policy directions (and no this is not lefty over-reach. John Howard and Andrew Bolt have said much the same) it’s perhaps not surprising that they are announcing little in the way of policy...

An Unexpected & Stunning Turnaround. A Health Update

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Last November I posted a health update that reflected a rather bleak outlook for 2019. I had watched my physical health deteriorate under the influence of Parkinsons to the point that most days were spent with hours of disabling tremors, a window of functionality that might last anywhere from one hour to many hours, followed by many hours of dyskenesia. I was scheduled for a promising new...

The dividing line between good and evil…A response to the conviction of George Pell

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When I heard the news that Cardinal George Pell had been convicted of the sexual abuse of children I felt sick in the stomach. I felt disgust at what he had done; sad for the boys he abused; grieved when I learned that one of the boys had taken his life; and fearful at the damage it would do to people’s capacity to hear the gospel. Like many others, I read the articles suggesting the...

Why empathy matters. Reading the Bible to hear the word of God #1

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I was revisiting Richard Hays’s The Moral Vision of the New Testament recently and was reminded of his very helpful description of how we can discern God’s word to us through the Scriptures. He speaks of a fourfold task: Descriptive Task: Reading the Text Carefully. This seeks to identify the messages of the various texts/books of the Bible “without...

Truth, Lies & the Stories We Tell

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Our lives are defined by the stories we tell. Stories give meaning to our experiences, our relationships and our places. Many of these stories are personal. They’re my story, not yours. But we all have stories that define “us”, whether the “us” be a family, a community group, a nation, humanity, or all creation. Australia has at least five great stories (each with...

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the Biggest Taxer of Them All?

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As we gear up for a federal election I’m already hearing people characterise the Labor Party as big taxers and big spenders and the Coalition as the party of lower spending and lower taxes. Really? The chart below shows government receipts and payments as a proportion of GDP from 1975 until the present. The black line represents government payments, the coloured bar tracks tax receipts (red...

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