Religion News Selection
January 31 – February 6, 2022
A selection of religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Australia’s singing nun, Sister Janet Mead, never wanted ‘Lord’s Prayer’ stardom (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 5 – Sister Janet Mead, an Australian nun whose crystalline voice carried her to the upper reaches of the charts in the 1970s with a pop-rock version of The Lord’s Prayer, died on January 26 in Adelaide, Australia.
School rules: Brisbane college expects students to denounce homosexuality (Brisbane Times)
Jan 31 – A Brisbane college missive insisting students denounce homosexuality and asking them to agree to specific gender roles has earned a rebuke from the state Human Rights Commission, saying it would likely amount to unlawful discrimination.
Also: Citipointe Christian College teacher Helen Clapham Burns quits over LGBT controversy (news.com.au)
Jan 31 – A teacher at Citipointe Christian College has quit her job over the school’s recent enrolment contract controversy.
Also: Why we cannot sign a school contract that condemns gay or transgender students (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 2 – (Opinion) As parents with children at Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane, we reject the school’s amended enrolment contract that demands all students identify with their birth gender, and that all parents accept its condemnation of homosexuality as a sin.
Also: Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College withdraws sexuality contract after backlash (ABC News)
Feb 3 – A Brisbane religious school has withdrawn a controversial enrolment contract sent to parents last week, after a backlash from parents and the broader community.
Also: Gender offender: Students shun religious school as protest planned (Brisbane Times)
Feb 3 – Protesters will rally against the Religious Discrimination Bill on Friday, as several students have reportedly left or planned to tear up their enrolment at the embattled Citipointe Christian College.
Also: Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College withdraws anti-gay contract but defends ‘statement of faith’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 3 – A Brisbane Christian school says it will withdraw its demand that families sign anti-gay and anti-trans enrolment contracts prior to the new school year.
Frontline faith: College principal railed against gay rights for 25 years (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 – Citipointe Christian College principal Brian Mulheran sparked uproar this week after issuing a controversial enrolment contract asking students to agree to the gender role of their biological sex, and denounce homosexuality.
What it’s like to grow up gay in a school that wishes you weren’t (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 – (Opinion: Gary Nunn) I know exactly what it’s like to attend a school where homosexuality is frowned upon, and in which petrified, vulnerable, secretly gay students – as I was – are viewed as shameful and sinful. And I know the lifelong effects of indoctrinating such prejudice into children’s minds.
Also: Citipointe Christian College principal Brian Mulheran to ‘stand aside’ after anti-gay contracts (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 5 – The principal of a Brisbane Christian school that issued student enrolment contracts including gender and sexuality clauses before withdrawing them has stepped aside.
Also: ‘Good Godly Leadership’: Citipointe Christian College’s extensive links to Queensland’s LNP (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 5 – Before the end of the last school year, the principal of Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College, Brian Mulheran, brought his teaching staff together and asked them to pray.
It’s not just Whoopi Goldberg: Americans are deeply misinformed about the Holocaust (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 3 – (Opinion: Cas Mudde) On Tuesday, Whoopi Goldberg was suspended from The View for stating, with striking confidence, that the Holocaust was “not about race”.
Tennessee pastor leads burning of Harry Potter and Twilight novels (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 5 – A controversial Tennessee pastor led a book burning on Wednesday night to fight “demonic influences”, with a crowd incinerating copies of books including Harry Potter and Twilight.
Why a growing number of Americans are choosing to worship in virtual reality (ABC News)
Feb 1 – Under quarantine for COVID-19 exposure, Garret Bernal and his family missed a recent Sunday church service.
Moderate Liberals to push protections for gay students after Queensland case (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 1 – Federal moderate Liberal MPs will renew their push for fast-tracked protections for LGBTQ school students when Parliament returns next week, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison aims to deliver on his election promise to legislate to protect religious freedom.
Church schools will lose right to expel gay students as PM deals with moderate Liberals (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 3 – The right of church schools to expel LGBTIQ students will be scrapped as part of the government’s push to legislate religious freedom laws, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison tries to lock in the support of moderate Liberal MPs ahead of a potential vote on the bill in the next sitting fortnight.
Christian lobby groups attack PM for vowing students won’t be expelled (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 3 – Christian groups have accused Scott Morrison of “betraying” the intent of the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill by announcing an amendment that would prevent students being expelled for their sexuality or gender.
Labor offers conditional backing to Coalition’s religious discrimination bill (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 5 – The Morrison government’s hopes of passing its contentious religious discrimination legislation before the election have been boosted with Labor MPs and Senators offering conditional support.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
Australia’s own Celtic stone circle alive with ‘energy’ and mystique after 30 years (ABC News)
Jan 31 – Just as mystery shrouds the origins of some of the world’s most famous standing stones, like Stonehenge in England, there are hopes a similar mystique might one day surround the Celtic monument in the northern NSW town of Glen Innes.
‘Un-Christian activity’: Police sergeant in the gun for online criticism of equality push (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 3 – A veteran police officer could lose his job or face other penalties because of online comments he made allegedly criticising Victoria Police’s campaign to promote workplace equality for LGBTIQ members.
Why American ’80s televangelist Tammy Faye is admired by queer Australians today (ABC News)
Feb 6 – In 1985, American televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker had a man called Steve Pieters on her show.