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Rod Benson

At the same time as the Australian government is engaged in international talks aimed at securing a global treaty banning cluster bombs, the Defense Department has claimed that limitations on the Australian Defense Force’s capacity to acquire the weapons would be “detrimental to our national interest.” Cluster bombs, or cluster munitions, are a kind of […] Read More

Events in the Republic of Turkey have attracted recent media attention. Three events raise important questions for Turkey’s political future, for the small minority of Christians who live and work there, and for every community threatened by radical Islam. First, Turkey is in the midst of presidential elections. The nation has been a secular democratic […] Read More

The premier annual Christian feast is upon us again. I picked up a bright, shiny Christian leaflet the other day. The banner immediately caught my attention. “We are at a moral crossroad; it’s time to demonstrate the true meaning of Easter,” the flyer declared, advertising a nationwide event scheduled for Easter. It looked cheerful and […] Read More

Does Jesus love Osama?

Scores of churches around Australia this week are displaying large posters with the words, “Jesus loves Osama.” The poster is part of a series of advertisements designed by Outreach Media to promote what it sees as “the heart of the gospel.” But the notion that the Son of God would demonstrate affection for the world’s […] Read More

A Sydney Christmas

Christmas in Sydney, Australia, is celebrated in much the same way as in most other major world cities. In many homes you will find tinsel, colored lights, effigies of Santa and angels, and a pile of wrapped gifts beneath a Christmas tree (most trees are synthetic, although friends of mine cut down their own at […] Read More

We’re in a celebratory mood today for two good reasons: The Centre for Christian Ethics has turned two, and the so-called Breen Bill has been defeated. Yesterday [March 1] marked the second anniversary of the establishment of the Centre for Christian Ethics as a research and resource facility serving the Australian church and the nation. […] Read More

The Sin of the Archbishop

I hold Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in high esteem as a churchman, intellectual and compassionate person. I especially admire his commitment to think Christianly, sometimes “outside the box,” and to push the boundaries of received orthodoxy where they encroach on truth and freedom. But he surely goes too far in condemning the […] Read More

Australia’s Parliament began debate Wednesday on WorkChoices, a government plan for federal workplace reform. Billed as “a simpler, fairer national workplace relations system for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Australia,” the bill is aimed at improving productivity, creating jobs in increasing living standards for families.” Opponents say there is no evidence the plan […] Read More

State premiers and chief ministers met the Australian Prime Minister on Sept. 27 and endorsed a raft of unprecedented anti-terrorism measures. In doing so they undermine fundamental human rights–rights we often take for granted, but rights that help to define Australian society and for which our soldiers fought and died. Howard knew none of the […] Read More

We learned Tuesday that a new judge was on its way to Australia’s High Court. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced the appointment of Judge Justice Susan Crennan to replace retiring judge Michael McHugh in November. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />   This is the fifth Howard government appointment to the seven-member bench, and–according […] Read More