Weekend Wrap for 9 May 2021
In a week dominated by various views on Scott Morrison's baring of his faith at an Australian Christian Churches conference speech, we welcome you to another NSL Weekly Wrap.
Don’t forget that the Weekend Wrap, which aims to help secular-minded Australians keep abreast of the latest news on current issues, is also published on our Facebook page!
At the National Level
Around the Country
NSW: The Parramatta diocese of the Catholic church has yielded to a backlash from parents and priests over its initial opposition to Mark Latham's anti-trans education bill, with the diocese now stating it "affirms the prohibition of teaching gender ideology (gender fluidity) in an educational setting”. (SMH)
SA: The state's Upper House has passed (14-7) a Bill that proposes to legalise euthanasia, the first time in the state’s history that any euthanasia Bill has passed a chamber of parliament. The legislation still needs to pass through the Lower House. (The Advertiser)
SA: A new survey shows that 83% of South Australians back Victorian model of Voluntary Assisted Dying. (Go Gentle Australia)
VIC: Under a new crossbench plan, Doctors would be allowed to use telehealth to conduct appointments about voluntary assisted dying, and the threshold for who can access euthanasia could be lowered. (SMH)
WA: WA's highest court has increased the record million-dollar payout awarded to a survivor who was subjected to "degrading and humiliating" sexual abuse by Christian Brothers decades ago, a decision which will have implications for other abuse survivors. (ABC)
QLD: Scott Morrison’s Assistant Minister for Women, Senator Amanda Stoker, will be among the headline speakers at an anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia rally in Brisbane on Saturday. (The Age)
QLD: Speaking at the Brisbane pro-life rally, LNP senator Matt Canavan has claimed pregnancies are being terminated on the basis of gender and said he would introduce a bill to oppose the practice being funded by Medicare. He also vowed to take over MP George Christensen’s Children Born Alive Protection bill, after Christensen said he would be stepping down at the next election. (SMH)
NSW: Catholic Church groups are planning to hold information sessions on assisted dying after Independent MP Alex Greenwich promised to introduce legislation on it later this year. (Catholic Weekly)
NSW: The Anglican diocese of Sydney has elected its first person of colour - who is also a migrant and a former Buddhist - as Archbishop of Sydney Archbishop, at a time of significant division in the broader church over the blessing of same-sex couples.
VIC: The City of Port Phillip has reversed it's previous (and surprising) decision not to fund Rainbow Tick accreditation and the setting up of an LGBTQIA+ advisory committee. (Star Observer)
Commentary and Analysis
Julie Szego writes on the glimpse of Scott Morrison afforded by the speech at the Australian Christian Churches conference last month. (SMH)
Meredith Doig, president of the Rationalist Society of Australia, writes on the decision to leak Scott Morrison's "evil one" speech, delivered at the ACC National Conference. (The Big Smoke)
Former Liberal leader John Hewson says that Australians have become wary of politicians who spruik morals, principles and religion but then fail conspicuously to live what they claim to believe. (SMH)
Whether Morrison is “authentic” in his faith is irrelevant to the fact that he is clearly not respecting the division between church and state required by our Constitution, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson. (Independent Australia)
Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute, writes that Scott Morrison did not breach the division of church and state in his speech. (The Australian)
Paul Gregoire muses on the divisiveness of a Prime Minister doing "God's bidding" in a pluralistic and secular country. (Sydney Criminal Lawyers)
Jane Gilmore argues that Scott Morrison's ACC conference speech was a calculated move rather than a moment on "unguarded sincerity". (The New Daily)
Allan Patience writes that, given recent statement about Scott Morrison's beliefs, by himself and in the media, it is legitimate to ask about Pentecostalism in Australia and its relationship, if any, to politics and politicians. (Pearls and Irritations)
Dennis Atkins points out that "doing God’s work in the name of a nation where a majority are either non-believers or in the loosely tethered 'none of the above' group is a presumption at which many would raise an eyebrow." (The New Daily)
Paul Stephens from the Centre for Public Christianity comments on secularism, theocracy and the publicity of faith in Scott Morrison's Australia. (Spectator)
After accusations of entwining religion with his leadership, Alan Austin look at whether Scott Morrison's actions in office are really indicative of a Christian belief. (Independent Australia)
Paul Kelly writes on the response to Scott Morrison's ACC conference speech and "the legions of the progressive movement [which] are hostile to religion." (The Australian)
A group of four sociology academics discuss work which reveals that teens who had been exposed to education about diverse religions and worldviews were more tolerant of religious minorities. This kind of teaching is often put forward as a replacement for religious scripture instruction in schools. (The Conversation)
In writing on attempts by the Noosa Temple of Satan to have Satanism taught in Queensland schools along with other religions, the Australian Christian Lobby's Wendy Francis labels the group a "cult". (ACL)
That's it for another week!
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