by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
March 30 - April 12, 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.
Salvos boosted confessed abuser (The Australian)
Apr 8 - THE international general of the Salvation Army promoted a self-confessed child abuser to a senior rank within the church, despite a church commander in Sydney arguing against the appointment, the royal commission has heard.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Mock Christians, get laughs, mock Muslims, get bullets (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 4 – (Opinion: Sam de Brito) A young man mocks Christians on stage on national television he gets laughs.
Less religion, more spirituality (The Australian)
Apr 12 – (Opinion: Ruth Ostrow) I HAVE apparently offended people unknowingly with my recent video and interview series on the inner lives of our business leaders: Total Success, which can still be found online.
Catholics victims of ‘new racism’ (The Australian)
Apr 12 - FORMER High Court judge Dyson Heydon has warned of a dangerous revival of sectarianism in Australia, saying anti-Catholicism has become “the racism of the intellectuals”.
Apr 12 - Pope Francis has asked for forgiveness for child sex abuse carried out by priests.
Vatican hires hawk to protect Pope's doves (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 10 - Vatican City: An intrepid hawk has been taken on by the Vatican to protect the Pope's doves after two were killed in front of horrified crowds by a crow and a seagull, according to a Catholic weekly.
Apr 6 - A Christian couple in eastern Pakistan has been sentenced to death for allegedly sending a text message insulting the Prophet Mohammed.
France's far right to ban Muslim school lunch options (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 6 - Paris: Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said the party would prevent schools from offering special lunches to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns it won in local elections, saying such arrangements were contrary to France's secular values.
Islam-critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali refused US university honour (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 10 - Boston: A private university outside Boston has decided not to award an honorary degree to a Somali-born women's rights activist who has branded Islam violent and "a nihilistic cult of death."
Ottomania as Turkey drifts away from secularism (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 12 - With its opulent palace life, heroic storyline and beautiful lead actors, the Turkish drama set in the court of Sultan Suleyman, Magnificent Century, should have represented the artistic pinnacle of the phenomena known Ottomania.
The 8-year-old exorcist saving Brazil’s slums (news.com.au)
Apr 2 - THIS eight-year-old girl is apparently God’s gift.
The evil that lurks in Lego (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 6 – (Opinion: Warwick McFadyen) Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Ministers' man who took God into court (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 11 - Edwin F. Kagin, the son of one minister and father of another, saw religiosity creeping into the public domain and fought against it in a dual role as head lawyer and jester-provocateur for one of America’s most militant atheist organisations.
Papyrus piece about Jesus’s wife ‘no forgery’ (The Australian)
Apr 12 - AN ancient piece of papyrus that contains a mention of Jesus’s wife is not a forgery, according to a scientific analysis of the controversial text, US researchers said yesterday.
Cleric who 'married' 12-year-old believed he had done nothing wrong (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 - A Muslim cleric living in Australia on a religious visa believed he didn't do anything wrong by "marrying" a 12-year-old girl to a 26-year-old man because the union was never officially registered.
Anti-Islamic shooting victim Nathan Abela has string of detractors (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 4 - He's offended countless Muslims, been described as a "grub" on Sydney radio and been in court over a domestic dispute, and that's just in the past fortnight.
Apr 8 - A bank is standing by its decision to close the account of a protest group which is fighting plans to build a mosque in the Victorian city of Bendigo.
Bob Carr's texts to Gillard reveal 'extraordinary' influence pro-Israel lobby had on former PM (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 10 - Bob Carr has published private text messages between himself and Julia Gillard to reveal the “extraordinary” level of influence the pro-Israel lobby had on the former prime minister’s office.
Also: Jewish leaders hit back at Bob Carr (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 10 - Pro-Israel leaders have dismissed Bob Carr’s claims they wielded “extraordinary influence” over prime minister Julia Gillard as “scurrilous gossip” and a “figment of his imagination”.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
Apr 1 - Members of an Assyrian Catholic church at Coolaroo, north of Melbourne, have threatened to abandon the church if a proposed mosque project proceeds on land next door.
Director of foster care group forced to quit over offensive blog post (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 7 - A director of the state's foster care association has been forced to resign after members expressed concern that an offensive blog post she had written would hurt a push for more gay and Muslim carers.
St Kilda church leader protests asylum seeker policy with Easter crucifix installation (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 10 - AN EASTER sculpture with a confronting political message is on display at the Uniting Church’s St Kilda Parish Mission.
From the Archive…