by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
December 14 - 21, 2014
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.
Jewish group Yeshivah
faces royal commission child sex abuse inquiry (Brisbane Times)
Dec 15 - One of Australia's leading Jewish groups will be the subject of a child sex abuse inquiry early next year, following a series of horrific assaults on young people.
Truth, Justice and
Healing Council's challenge of celibacy falls on deaf ears (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 16 – (Opinion: Kristina Keneally) Last Friday the Australian Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council released a ground-breaking report on child sexual abuse.
Royal commission finds
WA Christian Brothers failed to prevent child sexual abuse (ABC
Dec 19 - An inquiry into child sexual abuse at four Christian Brothers institutions in Western Australia has found that the organisation was aware of abuse allegations for decades - and the damage it could cause - but did not stop it.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The question of Jewish
identity remains painfully unresolved (Brisbane Times)
Dec 19 – (Review) How I Stopped Being a Jew will ensure Shlomo Sand is reviled as a self-hating Jew by Zionists, anti-Zionists, religious, secular Jews, Israeli, diaspora Jews, semitophiles and anti-Semites alike.
A zealot, a rebel, but
no miracle-worker: film studios plot a secular take on life of Jesus (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 21 - Two planned films about the life of Christ are unlikely to be welcomed by traditional believers, but reflect a renewed interest in Bible epics
Christian lobby boycotts
gay student program (Brisbane
Dec 19 - The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on followers to boycott a government-funded federal program that protects gay and transgendered school students from bullying and discrimination.
Archbishop urges revolt
on chaplains (The West Australian)
Dec 19 - Perth Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft has urged religious schools not to take funding for school chaplains from the Federal Government because he says public schools have a greater need.
faces massive enrolments drop, funding uncertainty (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 21 - The future of special religious instruction in government primary schools is in doubt, with state funding uncertain and new data revealing that fewer than one in six students are enrolled in the program.
Catholic church must
face up to feminism (Brisbane
Dec 19 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) Few seemed to notice, but nuns won a quiet, important victory this week.
Pope Francis: ‘I will
not be in the Vatican in 10 years’ (news.com.au)
Dec 20 - POPE Francis says he will not still be in the Vatican in ten years.
The Pope Francis
stardust worked over Cuba. Could it work with Isis and the Taliban? (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 20 – (Opinion: Jonathan Freedland) Stalin had quite a knack for the soundbite.
How the Pakistani
Taliban grew into a deadly force (Brisbane
Dec 17 - The Pakistani Taliban, formally known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, is a loose and increasingly divided umbrella organisation that once represented about30 groups of militants.
Silence of the sheikhs
puts Washington's Iraq strategy in doubt (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 19 - Washington: The US plan to save Iraq from the advances of the so-called Islamic State was in trouble even before it was conceived – years before its unveiling in September, the marauding fundamentalists had systematically eliminated hundreds of the Iraqi tribal warriors who Washington believed would take up arms against the new threat posed by IS.
Religious Violence - Pakistan school attack
Time for Pakistanis to
unite and defeat this menace (The
Dec 17 – (Opinion: Jason Koutsoukis) It is not the first time the Pakistani Taliban have shot up a school.
Pakistan vows to tackle
terrorism as nation mourns children killed in school massacre (ABC
Dec 18 - A day after the cold-blooded massacre of more than 130 schoolchildren by Taliban militants at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan's prime minister has vowed to extinguish terrorism in his country.
Pakistan attack reveals
the truth about terrorism: it kills more poor Muslims than rich westerners (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 18 – (Opinion: Ben Doherty) Those who suffer most from Islamist extremism are not people in rich western nations, but other poor Muslims.
Pakistan's agony born of
deep conflicts (Canberra Times)
Dec 20 – (Opinion: Editorial) Pakistan has had a long and bloody acquaintance with terrorism since partition in 1947, but Tuesday's assault on a crowded school in Peshawar set a new low water mark in pre-mediated violence intended to shock and intimidate.
Dalai Lama says his role
should cease after his death but Tibetans, not China, should decide (ABC
Dec 18 - The Dalai Lama says he thinks his traditional religious role should cease with his death rather than a "stupid" successor replace him and disgrace himself.
Black Lips: Son of a
preacher man embraces the devil's music (Brisbane Times)
Dec 18 - Growing up in suburban Atlanta, it was expected Jared Swilley would follow in what he calls "the family business".
Terrorists (The Age,
Dec 17 – (Opinion: William Maley) The dramatic siege in Martin Place has brought the issue of terrorism back to centre stage.
'shocked' by Sydney cafe siege, say 'misguided' individuals misrepresenting
faith (ABC News)
Dec 16 - Sydney's Muslim community have said they are horrified by the Lindt cafe siege and are deeply concerned about individuals using spiritual realities for their "misguided political agendas".
Sydney siege ends:
Muslim community lining up to help (Brisbane
Dec 16 - Concerned Muslim community leaders and members were lining up to help the authorities on Monday as news broke that an Islamic Shahada flag had been held up at the window of the Lindt cafe during the siege.
for Muslim Australians takes off following Sydney siege (ABC
Dec 16 - The #illridewithyou hashtag is continuing to trend on Twitter as a show of support for Muslim Australians after the siege at the Lindt cafe in Sydney.
Sydney siege: why my
heart sank when I saw an Islamic flag (Brisbane Times)
Dec 17 – (Opinion: Mariam Veiszadeh) As a mother and a fellow Australian, I join the rest of the nation in grieving the loss of two innocent Sydneysiders who so tragically lost their lives in the Martin Place siege.
Was the Sydney siege
terrorism or just a terrible act? (Brisbane
Dec 19 – (Opinion: Crispin Hull) Religion played a role in Man Haron Monis' actions during the siege in Sydney's Martin Place no matter how deranged his views were.
Let there be no doubt: Monis
was a terrorist (Brisbane Times)
Dec 19 – (Opinion: Jacqueline Maley) Beyond the sickening confirmation of the two innocent dead, there have been few certainties this week.
LNP MP George
Christensen says #illridewithyou is a left-wing campaign (The
Dec 18 - FEDERAL LNP MP for Dawson George Christensen is under fire on social media after tweeting criticism of the I’ll ride with you hashtag.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
No ‘War on Christmas’ in
Australia (Brisbane Times)
Dec 14 – (Opinion: Helen Andrews) A "War on Christmas", over whether the Christian festival is being forced upon non-Christians, rages in the United States, while Australians see no problem.
performing arts and poker machine club link (Brisbane Times)
Dec 15 - Prominent Christian lobbyist Wendy Francis has condemned the city's leaders for linking a $10 million new performing arts complex in Brisbane to a licensed club with poker machines.
Christmas a time to
reflect on reconciliation (Brisbane
Dec 19 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) Reconciliation is a wonderful concept often referred to at Christmas, but achieving it after injustices or hurt feelings is hard.
From the Archive…