Religion News Selection

November 21 – 28, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Glennon Doyle: ‘So many women feel caged by gender, sexuality, religion’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 22 – (Opinion: Joanna Moorhead) Glennon Doyle’s memoir inspired Adele – but do we all need to be ‘untamed’?

Brides of Christ, the drama that continues to resonate 30 years later (Brisbane Times)
Nov 24 – The morning after Brides of Christ debuted on ABC, in the spring of 1991, Channel Nine boss Kerry Packer phoned his chief programmer. “Did we pass on that nun shit?” he demanded to know.

Israel Folau controversy set to be examined in upcoming ABC doco (Brisbane Times)
Nov 26 – Put it down to chance or divine intervention, but on the day Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced his religious freedom bill to Parliament the ABC announced it had commissioned a feature documentary on Israel Folau, the rugby player whose social media posts claiming that homosexuals would go to hell triggered a major battle over free speech and its potential for harm in 2019.


Indonesian Muslim cryptocurrency enthusiasts find a way around Islamic fatwa (ABC News)
Nov 21 – Trading of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has been declared forbidden for Muslims by the national council of Islamic scholars in Indonesia, as the popularity of digital currencies grows in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Five times a day 3000-fold: Jakarta’s earful of out-of-sync calls to prayer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 28 – Jakarta: It is dawn in Jakarta and the sound of the adzan, the Islamic call to prayer, is blaring from the loudspeakers of mosques around the metropolis.


‘In the hands of God’ (ABC News)
Nov 27 – On a dusty field, under a worn marquee in Ashton, about 200km from Cape Town, church-goers seemed unaware of the rising heat and the global pandemic at a recent Sunday service.

‘There was a prophecy I would come’: the western men who think they are South Pacific kings  (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 28 – Travellers to tiny islands in Vanuatu claim to fulfil a local belief that a mysterious figure from afar will one day bring prosperity.


If Scott Morrison acted on his strong Christian faith, he would phase out coal (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 22 – (Opinion: Tim Costello) In early 2007 I spoke at the premiere release of the film Amazing Grace in the parliamentary theatre in Canberra.

Religious schools must have written policy to discriminate in hiring under proposed laws (Brisbane Times)
Nov 24 – Faith-based schools that want to reserve the right to discriminate against potential teaching hires will have to set out a public statement of their beliefs, under proposed laws that critics say will entrench the power of religious groups to reject people based on their sexuality or gender.

Regional Anglican priest says there’s no need for religious discrimination bill (ABC News)
Nov 25 – A regional Anglican priest continues to criticise the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill, which he fears will to leave minorities and some of his parishioners in a vulnerable position.

The PM’s unholy mess on religious freedom should have been settled already (Brisbane Times)
Nov 25 – (Opinion: David Crowe) Parliament is about to be reminded of some unfinished business on personal freedom that should have been settled long ago.

No protection for gay students at religious schools at least until 2023 (Brisbane Times)
Nov 25 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rebuffed pleas from moderate Liberals to prioritise protections for gay students at faith-based schools alongside the religious freedom bill, as senior Labor frontbencher Penny Wong called for the government to honour both promises at the same time.

Religious Discrimination Bill will protect people of faith (Brisbane Times)
Nov 26 – (Opinion: Peter Comensoli) The great figure of American history and the star character of today’s favourite musical, Hamilton, had this to say about religious liberty…

Religious and gay Sydney teacher tells Q+A she was fired due to her sexuality (ABC News)
Nov 26 – Just hours after Prime Minister introduced the religious discrimination bill to Parliament,  a teacher has echoed calls for Scott Morrison to also ensure gay school teachers and students are protected, telling Q+A she lost her job because she was homosexual.

Schools can still expel LGBTQ+ kids. The Religious Discrimination Bill only makes it worse (ABC News)
Nov 26 – (Opinion: Liam Elphick and Alice Taylor) The Religious Discrimination Bill is back, this time in its third iteration.

Our laws protect every thread of our identity, except one (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 27 – (Opinion: Bilal Rauf) Our society is a multicultural liberal democracy.

Morrison takes a selective view of history to sell a bill Australia does not need (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 27 – (Opinion: Malcolm Knox) While Scott Morrison was delivering his sincere 16-minute sermon on how religious belief needs a specific overriding Commonwealth protection, a question nagged.


My ‘sin’, of being gay, got me legally fired (Brisbane Times)
Nov 26 – (Opinion: Steph Lentz) Religious organisations are going to have to fire a lot more people to avoid being called out as hypocritical.