by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
February 9 - 16, 2014
A selection of religion news stories from Australia.
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Inclusion here does not endorse the veracity or quality of any particular item – it just means
I found it worth reading and reflecting on (even if badly conceived or poorly written).
If you’re after the unexpurgated (and reasonably unbiased) version,
see Religion News Australia which appears weekly on our website.
Imam charged over child ‘wedding’ (The Australian)
Feb 11 - A Muslim cleric has been charged with allegedly performing an Islamic wedding ceremony for a child bride and an adult man.
Feb 12 - A man accused of consenting to the marriage of his 12-year-old daughter in an illegal ceremony in the Hunter region has been remanded in custody.
Shame of our child brides (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Feb 12 - A 14-YEAR-OLD girl was forced into an Islamic marriage with a western Sydney drug gang member who raped and beat her and later physically abused their daughter.
Feb 16 - The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has experienced a massive spike in calls, letters and emails since the most recent public hearing was held into the Salvation Army.
Private school security guards are provided by the taxpayer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - Taxpayer-funded security guards will be deployed at Jewish and Islamic schools across the country as part of an $18 million federal government program to beef up security at religious schools.
Church of England rejects gay marriage blessings (The Australian)
Feb 16 - BISHOPS in the Church of England have issued new guidance warning clergy they should not bless couples in same-sex marriages, after the idea was recommended in an internal report last year.
Feb 13 - IT TOOK a while for Leena Suleiman to realise people were suddenly noticing her more.
Saudi Valentines defy the love police (The West Australian)
Feb 14 - Riyadh (AFP) - Red roses lurk hidden in flower shop back rooms and heart-shaped chocolates are sold under the counter, but Saudis still manage to buy Valentine's gifts and defy the religious police.
Gaza pagan treasure holds promise for Islamic rulers (The West Australian)
Feb 15 - Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - The discovery in Gaza of a life-size bronze statue of a naked ancient Greek god has presented the Palestinian territory's Islamist rulers with a dilemma: should there be a cover-up?
Mass Valentine wedding in Malaysia despite Muslim anger (The West Australian)
Feb 15 - Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - Malaysian Islamic authorities took their annual swipe at Valentine's Day Friday, calling it a threat to Muslim values, but 138 couples took part in a mass wedding to mark the date.
As violence grows, Iraq faces threat of disintegration (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - All hell was to break loose - or maybe not - in the restive Iraqi city of Falluja on Friday.
Penguin defends pulping book on Hindus in India after row (The West Australian)
Feb 14 - New Delhi (AFP) - Publisher Penguin Friday blamed India's "intolerant" laws for its decision to pull and pulp a book on Hinduism in the country that sparked a furious free speech row.
Feb 15 - TWELVE years after legalising euthanasia for adults, Belgium's parliament extended the right to die to terminally ill children of any age, despite opposition from the church and some pediatricians.
Hezbollah website has local links (The Australian)
Feb 12 - SUPPORTERS of Islamic militant group Hezbollah are operating a well-resourced English language website in Australia, sparking fears it is attempting to radicalise younger Arab-Australians.
Also: Hezbollah site denies terrorism (The Australian)
Feb 13 - THE creator of the Australian-based pro-Hezbollah Electronic Resistance website does not support a two-state solution in the Middle East and describes the Oslo and Camp David Arab-Israeli accords as “a lie” but denies the site incites violence and promotes terrorism.
Feb 13 - A proposal to have a minute of silent reflection instead of reciting a Christian prayer in Federal Parliament is being introduced in the Senate today.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
Take note: this chemist disapproves of contraceptives (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 13 - Pharmacy chain Soul Pattinson has cut ties with a chemist who came under fire for asking customers to shop elsewhere if they use the pill for birth control, with the Prime Minister describing the chemist’s behaviour as ‘‘highly unusual’’.
Also: Soul Pattinson pharmacy chain dumps devout Catholic chemist in furore over pill (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 15 - Pharmacy chain Soul Pattinson has dumped a chemist who came under fire for asking customers to shop elsewhere if they use the contraceptive pill for birth control.
Feb 13 - The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) will hear evidence today from a north-west Victorian woman who argues she was denied full access to her local Greek parish at Mildura.
So, who are the smartest scientists? (The Australian)
Feb 14 - SOCIAL science professors at elite institutions are more likely to be religious and politically extreme than their counterparts in the natural sciences, argues a new paper.
Unholy row as neighbours complain that noisy churches are ... taking the peace (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Feb 16 - A RELIGIOUS racket in the suburbs is disturbing the peace as a balance is sought between a right to worship and the Sunday sleep in.
From the Archive…