Religion

Along with his affiliation with the Horizon Church in Sutherland, Sydney, newly appointed Coalition Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s commitment to conservative social movements and the number of Christian conservatives in the Coalition should ring alarm bells.


Fundamentalist mob torches Christian neighbourhood in Lahore. March, 2013.

Religious terrorism has become one of the major challenges for most Asian countries, particularly in South and West Asia. It has resulted in seemingly non-stop bombings, suicide attacks and other means of terrorism.

Christianity, Islam and Atheism: reflections on Religion, Society and Politics
By Micheal Cooke
Resistance Books 2014
124 pages, paperback, $15

For a time I stopped referring to myself as an atheist in public. I was intensely embarrassed by seeing ads on buses promoting atheism around the time of the World Atheist Conference in Melbourne.

For a while I simply became “not religious” for public purposes. I found it embarrassing because public evangelism is the one thing that particularly galls me about religion.

Corrupt Fucking System
Doom
Black Cloud Records
Released December 23, 2013
www.doomcrustpunk.com

Outspoken British crust-punk pioneers Doom have a stonking new album out and are heading to Australia. Guitarist and founding member Brian Talbot, aka Bri Doom, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward.

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Pulling Strings
Izzy n The Profit
www.izzyntheprofit.com

It’s midnight in midwest Sydney and Izzy n The Profit are whipping a crowd into a full-blown frenzy. The audience is tiny, but the rappers are leaping around the Rooty Hill RSL like they’re ripping the roof off a stadium.

Islamophobia and the Politics Of Empire
Deepa Kumar
Haymarket Books
238 pages
September 2012

Author Deepa Kumar says Liberal Senator Brett Mason is “so wrong” for moving a motion in the Australian Senate to condemn Green Left Weekly for its criticism of the NSW police.

But Kumar, an associate professor of media studies and Middle East studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, says Senator Mason’s actions “should not surprise us”.

… and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage. — John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.

In my spare moments, I have been collecting Christian responses to the Occupy Wall Street movement. A few common themes have emerged.

The 190th Annual Meeting of Southern Baptists, held on November 16 in Columbia, South Carolina, approved a resolution calling its pastors to preach against homosexuality — “to uphold the biblical standard of human sexuality against all onslaughts” — but also to “love and show compassion toward homosexuals and transgendered persons”.

Mixed in with this “hate is love” doublespeak is a great deal of defensiveness about the loss of social status by the US religious right.

Pope Benedict XVI has told a German journalist that condom use can be justified in some cases to help stop the spread of AIDS.

News of the Pope’s historic new stance was first posted online on November 20 in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper.

Melbourne Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart is at it again. In 2004, he told a woman who had been sexually abused by a priest to “go to hell, bitch”. In 2009, he unsuccessfully attempted to pressure Father Bob Maguire, a progressive Melbourne icon, to retire from his local parish.

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