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Pain and Powerlessness: Understanding the Evil of Torture

David Luban When the U.S. Department of Justice’s secret torture memos were released in 2009, journalist Kathleen Parker wrote in the Washington Post: “Several years ago, I asked a veteran journalist for advice. ‘I’m trying to figure out if I have an ethical conflict’, I began. “‘If you have to ask, you do’, he said …” […]

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Jeff Sessions And Romans 13: A Brief Bible Study

CHRISTIANITY TODAY – To see a senior government official using the Bible to justify a clearly iniquitous policy is deeply uncomfortable. It plays into a narrative that’s increasingly been a feature of the Trump administration – that Christians have been bought with the promise of power. Now it’s payback time: Christians thought they could use the […]

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How Jeff Sessions Reads Romans 13 And How My Sunday School Class Does

CHRISTIAN CENTURY – The Bible is a weapon in the hands of coercive power. Jeff Sessions, like other tyrants before him, utilizes scripture for the good of the empire, to keep people silent, in line, submissive. As I looked around my Sunday school class on the day we studied Romans 13, I saw the people for […]

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Disarming The Church

New Book: Disarming The Church – Why Christians Must Forsake Violence To Follow Jesus And Change The World If Christians follow the Prince of Peace, why do they often behave so violently? What can be done to transform the church so that it looks more like Jesus?  Eric Seibert explores these questions in this important and timely […]

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Where Countries Are Tinderboxes And Facebook Is A Match

By AMANDA TAUB and MAX FISHER  NEW YORK TIMES – As Facebook pushes into developing countries, it tends to be initially received as a force for good. In Sri Lanka, it keeps families in touch even as many work abroad. It provides for unprecedented open expression and access to information. Government officials say it was essential for the […]

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Australia’s Greatest Moral Challenge

The Uluru Statement From The Heart: Australia’s Greatest Moral Challenge Shireen Morris  For the last seven years I have worked as the constitutional reform adviser to Noel Pearson at Cape York Institute. Seven years working on Indigenous constitutional recognition, working with Indigenous leaders and constitutional lawyers, and trying to persuade politicians. Trying to find the common […]

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Australia’s Illegal Wars

James O’Neill, Barrister at Law, on Australia’s Illegal Wars Part 1 (29 minutes):        https://youtu.be/dk7AUA_73kY Part 2 (12 minutes):        https://youtu.be/gZslWWwp2Lc

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Hate Speech: Words That Wound

When we speak, we “do things with words,” and often we do things with words to people: advise them, marry them, warn them and more, as J.L. Austin observed. What I want to focus on here is hate speech, a category absent from Austin’s otherwise generous catalogues. But his insight that saying is doing applies to hate speech, as much […]

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Inequality on the Rise: The Moral Cost of Poverty

By Scott Stephens  In 1975, J.G. Ballard published his eighth and, by my reckoning, his best novel. It was unpretentiously titled High-Rise. As the name suggests, the narrative is an account of life inside an exclusive forty-storey apartment block in East London. The high-rise is one of five identical glass and concrete units, upraised like the […]

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s Moral Crisis: Did We Create It For Her?

Catherine Renshaw is Deputy Head of the Thomas More Law School, Australian Catholic University. It is rare to see a moral divide as clear as the one between those who defend Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to condemn atrocities carried out against the Rohingya, and those who condemn her silence. The case put by the first […]

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A Long History Of Betrayal

The most significant thing that happened in federal politics last week was not the High Court’s decision on the citizenship seven, nor the political raid on the union offices, nor the revelations about the NBN. It was the government’s rejection of the Uluru Statement. Even our best media commentators missed its import: it failed to […]

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Prophecy Doesn’t Justify Trump’s Stand On Jerusalem

In a recent broadcast of The 700 Club, the evangelist Pat Robertson welcomed President Trump’s announcement about moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “It’s absolutely crucial in terms of biblical prophecy,” Robertson said. While I know firsthand the harsh conditions imposed on Palestinians, my comments here focus on the claim that actions today by […]

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