Boats policy left in a muddle

The Australian

Since Kevin Rudd's election in 2007, the Labor government has had problems with mixed messages; using inflated rhetoric, building unrealistic expectations, concentrating on political one-liners at odds with reality, and confusing politics and policy. The inability to match the necessary political demeanour with the necessary policy action had led to some spectacular political disasters including the failure of the first emissions trading scheme and the destruction of the resources super profits tax. The failures of the carbon pollution reduction scheme and the RSPT were the triggers for the removal of Kevin Rudd as prime minister by his colleagues and the ascension of Julia Gillard.

Scott Stephens - Thursday 28 April

Ursula Skjonnemand - ABC

This week Scott Stephens, editor of ABC Online Religion & Ethics, discusses the ANZAC Day furore that started when the head of the Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, sent out a now-notorious tweet. But first, a quirkier look at preparations for the royal wedding.

Country of concern

World Mag

Reflecting the recent upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2011 annual report was released Thursday, with Egypt joining the short list of countries deemed to be the world’s worst violators of religious freedom. “The Egyptian government engaged in and tolerated religious freedom violations before and after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2011,” the report reads. Leonard Leo, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), said the central concern was the “impunity” the Egyptian government has fostered. The report said the government failed to protect Coptic Christians from attacks, like the bombing of a Coptic church on New Year’s Eve that killed 23 and wounded almost 100. Since Mubarak stepped down earlier this year, the report said military and security forces have targeted Christian places of worship and Christian demonstrators. Egypt’s designation as a “country of particular concern (CPC),” the worst category for religious freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act, makes it one of 14 countries on the commission’s list.

'Selfless love' motivated suffocation of partner


A retired teacher who suffocated his chronically ill partner of 22 years will not go to jail after a Supreme Court judge found he acted out of ''selfless love'' and ordered his two-year prison sentence be suspended. David Scott Mathers, 66, placed a pillow, then a towel and finally a plastic bag over the head of Eva Griffith, 78, after she twice unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide by an overdose of antidepressant medication. Mathers, of Lidcombe, was due to stand trial for murder but this month pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of substantial mental impairment.

Euthanasia: the "agonising conflict"


A Sydney man who suffocated his chronically ill partner with a plastic bag, has avoided jail. A judge said David Mathers was faced with an "agonising conflict". Paul Murray with 2UE Reporter Sara Morice.

TV show Glee went too far with pro-gay message, says critics

Christian Today

Self-acceptance was the main message of the latest "Glee" episode. Though a positive message, critics say the Fox show has taken it a step too far with its pro-gay scripts. "This is Ryan Murphy’s (creator of "Glee") latest depraved initiative to promote his gay agenda,” Dan Gainor, vice president for Business and Culture at Media Research Center, told ABC News. The Fox show on Tuesday was centered around Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" – or what Glee club leader Will Schuester called the queen of self-love's anthem to acceptance. The "assignment" this week for the New Directions students was accepting who they are – "the best and worst parts" – including their nose (Rachel), trouty mouth (Sam), slanted brown eyes (Tina), and homosexuality (Kurt, Santana, and Karofsky). They were asked to think of a word or phrase that best describes what they are ashamed of or what they would like to change about themselves "but you can't because you were born that way," as Miss Pillsbury stated. That was then printed onto white t-shirts, which the students proudly wore while singing Gaga's "Born This Way."

Retired bishop admits hurting young adults


A former NSW Catholic bishop has expressed his regret for some of his past relationships with young adults. The retired bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes, Christopher Toohey, resigned under mysterious circumstances in 2009, citing personal health reasons. But in a statement yesterday, the popular clergyman said he had had time to reflect on his life since his retirement, which caused him to regret some of his past behaviour. ''My behaviour within the context of my relationships with some young adults in my pastoral care during the early years of my ministry was not consistent with that required of a good person,'' it read.

Pro-family group calls for urgent submission to Senate Inquiry into rollback of 06' shared parenting reform

Christian Today

The Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation is calling for mothers, fathers and the people of Australia to make submissions by the deadline of 5pm, Friday, 29 April 2011 to the Senate Inquiry. Dads4Kids calls for submissions that reject the current Gillard government’s proposed rollback of the very moderate 2006 shared parenting reforms. The Family Law Legislation amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2011 has been drafted on the basis that the proposed amendments will reduce child homicides. The reverse is actually the case. Statistics show that the 2006 Family Law Reforms helped save the lives of many children. The threatened rollback is likely to increase child homicides to pre-2006 levels which negates the purpose of the proposed Family Law Reforms.