Religion

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B.A. Santamaria (left) is the subject of a new biography by political commentator Gerard Henderson. Wikimedia Commons

Book review: Santamaria, A Most Unusual Man

Gerard Henderson has produced a rounded and at times fascinating portrait of B. A. Santamaria. His broad conclusion is that Santamaria was a compelling, skilled and persuasive man who was enormously devoted to his causes.
Religious arguments in opposition to same-sex marriage have been less explicit in Australia’s current debate. AAP/Lukas Coch

What really lies behind conservative opposition to same-sex marriage?

Prominent arguments against same-sex marriage have been based on history, tradition, human rights, and social scientific research into health and welfare. The role of religion has been less explicit.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are under the spotlight at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Jehovah’s Witness hierarchy means child sex abuse goes unreported

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not report child abuse to authorities. Instead, they convene an in-house judicial committee, which is fraught with difficulty because they rely on a "two-witness rule".
The discovery of Kepler-452b raises questions that go to the heart of religion. NASA/AAP/ Artist's impression of Kepler-452b.

Heavens above: what Earth 2.0’s discovery means for God

Kepler-452b's discovery last week has raised the perennial question: are we alone in the universe? While the find's scientific import is huge, it also poses questions that go to the heart of religion.
Saudi Arabia has been careful not to appear overly oppressive of groups like Islamic State for fear of antagonising its own constituents. Reuters

What’s behind Saudi Arabia’s connection to Islamic State?

Saudi citizens supporting Islamic State are not the result of a coherent plan directed by its rulers, but the overflow of a long-standing system used to maintain its domestic legitimacy.
Reclaim Australia supporters at the April rallies displayed a mix of liberal and anti-Muslim slogans. Irfan Ahmad

Reclaiming Australia? Liberalism’s role in Islamophobia

If Reclaim Australia were rallying Muslims, the liberal media would examine its religious inspirations. Yet the media treat its supporters as disgruntled individuals rather than Christian representatives.
One needs to understand the differences in their Islamic movements to make sense of events over recent decades in Egypt and Iran. EPA/Mohamed Messara

Ignorance and hostility fuel ‘imagined solidarity’ with Islamists

People sometimes overlook their profound differences if social forces unite them in a common, often ill-defined desire. Hostility to Muslims is creating an imagined solidarity that Islamists can exploit.
Presenting misinformation to our children about sex, sexual health and relationships is a risky practice. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Rational, modern sex education is a must for all Aussie kids

Religious exemptions to the anti-discrimination act should end to ensure fear mongering and misinformation are not present in our schools.
In elevating the status of animals, the Pope looks back to Francis of Assisi’s example and looks ahead to the prospect of environmental catastrophe. Flickr/Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca

Endorsing the salvation of animals, Pope warns of Earth’s end

In suggesting the ultimate restoration of all creatures in his recent encyclical, Pope Francis is breaking with the weight of Western philosophical and theological tradition.

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