religion

religion May 8, 2021

Scott Morrison and Pentecostalism

The release of an unauthorised video of the prime minister preaching at his church’s national conference last month has given Australians a glimpse of an unknown man in another world. Here was a leader clearly at home with his people, using...

religion May 1, 2021

Politics, Morrison and faith

It may console some Australians to know that their prime minister is doing God’s work. Millions of others are more likely to be confused, and even flabbergasted. Yet courtesy of a scratchy YouTube video, shot at a Pentecostal conference on the Gold...

religion December 12, 2020

Christchurch massacre: an Australian crime

Husna Ahmed was a wife and mother who migrated from Bangladesh to New Zealand, where she used to teach children and help to care for the elderly at her local mosque. When the Australian terrorist began to slaughter the fellow members of her...

religion February 22, 2020

St Kevin’s College, abuse and the language of pain

An ugly wound has been opened at the heart of St Kevin’s College this week, after revelations in a Four Corners report about the school’s failures to respond to complaints of a culture of secrecy, toxic masculinity and sexual abuse. The scandal at...

religion November 16, 2019

George Pell’s appeal to the High Court

The High Court’s decision to hear George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for five counts of sexually assaulting choirboys was met with dismay by survivors of clergy abuse and their advocates. But lawyers had expected the court would grant leave...

religion July 13, 2019

Scott Morrison, prayers and Hillsong

Rapturous applause welcomed Scott Morrison to the annual Hillsong conference. Twenty-one thousand delegates bowed their heads as the prime minister led them in prayer for our nation – for veterans doing it tough, young people considering suicide,...

religion July 13, 2019

What Scott Morrison’s faith means

On Tuesday night, Australia’s prime minister was praying for some “very important things”. He began to pray “for all of those veterans in our country who are doing it tough”, asking for protection and “peace over them”. His prayer continued: “We...

religion July 6, 2019

Faith and tax cuts as 46th parliament begins

In politics, so the wisdom goes, “perception is reality”. And this week, with the opening of the 46th parliament, the perception and the reality of the federal election hit home, particularly for the vanquished Labor Party. But for the victors, not...

religion June 22, 2019

Government services and religious freedom

It is a peculiar fact that during the same period the number of practising Christians went into sharp decline, the church grew to be larger than it has ever been. Proportionally fewer Australians now attend worship than at any other time in history...

religion March 23, 2019

The politics of hate

The Australian white supremacist who allegedly massacred 50 Muslims while they were at Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand has recast the political debate in this country. The cowardly, hate-filled attack has shaken both nations to their...

religion March 23, 2019

Fixing the National Redress Scheme

Although I have worked with victims of institutional abuse and their families for more than 12 years, initially through my doctoral research into sexual assault and the Catholic Church and more recently as a lawyer, I could never have imagined the...