religion March 2, 2019

Trials and great tribulation

Commitment to the beliefs and traditions of the Catholic Church has shaped my life. The reality of the insidious abuse taking place within, revealed to me over time, has been a phenomenon that absorbed my professional attention. In 1960, in my...

religion August 18, 2018

Fraser Anning and racist politics

Oh, but doesn’t Australia have a lot of them? These watershed moments of lines crossed and politics forever changed, where the bar set for public discourse is not so much lowered but dispensed with altogether. This week it was crossbench senator...

religion March 31, 2018

The land of the fair gone

There was an awful fascination to watching the Australian cricket captain destroy himself on the television news. It was almost as grisly as those shots of the Mad Monk kissing Hanson at her “book” launch on Tuesday, although for different reasons...

religion April 21, 2018

Hiding anger in the face of bigotry

Most nights I lie awake, pulse pounding in my neck, reliving the day or the week or the month as a white man, which is to say, unconstrained. I dream of having actually let my rage free for once, of having responded with force to the man who brushed...

religion February 17, 2018

Representation and diversity

The city of Santa Fe sits 2200 metres above sea level, my new friend – an older, established writer who has lived here for decades – tells me as we drive along the highway, the Rio Grande a flashing blue knife on one side, ragged sloping bush on the...

religion September 23, 2017

Correcting the debate on gender identity

Two weeks in, I find myself punch-drunk and utterly perplexed. As a transgender advocate who has spent more than 25 years working to expand the legal and cultural recognition of universal human rights and to demystify gender diversity more generally...

religion August 5, 2017

Misunderstanding Islamophobia

In the two-and-a-half decades between the publication of his groundbreaking book Orientalism and his death, Edward Said spent considerable energy rejecting claims that his work is a defence of the “real” Islam. Such an assumption, he wrote, “would...

religion June 10, 2017

Playing the blame game on terror attacks

The sheer magnitude of the terror atrocities in London and Manchester has spawned a dark mood in the community. Our politicians are sensing it but the reactions of some are increasingly dangerous to our survival as a liberal democratic society. At...

religion February 25, 2017

Yassmin Abdel-Magied and the Australian crucible

It doesn’t matter how moderate or modern or feminist or liberal or patriotic one is – if they are also proudly Muslim, they are a problem.

editorial August 30, 2014

George Pell and the Catholic Church’s cross to bear on child abuse

It is a grim reality that George Pell’s leadership of the Catholic Church in Australia will be defined by the abuse of children. In many ways, the church’s cynical handling of clerical abuse will overwhelm all other works of...