Jim Wallace - The Australian

AS the witness accounts of the killing spree of Anders Behring Breivik were first told by survivors last weekend, there was for me a chilling resonance in their words and imagery.

At the standing committee of States and Commonwealth Attorneys-General meeting last December, the topic was whether there should be an R18+ rating for games, which would clearly permit a higher level of violence. I was invited as an expert witness.


Mob murder leniency panned

Peter Alford - The Australian

AN alleged ringleader of horrific mob murders of three Ahmadis that shamed Indonesia's claims to religious tolerance has been sentenced to five months and 15 days in jail for illegal possession of a machete.

Idris bin Mahdani was shown in a video of the February 6 incident directing about 1000 religious extremists attacking a Cikeusik village house sheltering 20 members of the minority Muslim sect.


A confident secularist society would tolerate school religion

Brendan O'Neill - The Sydney Morning Herald

Can a half-hour chat about God really warp children's minds? Listening to Australia's increasingly irate secularists, you could be forgiven for thinking so.


O'Farrell bows to Nile over ethics

Sean Nicholls - The Sydney Morning Herald

THE state government has bowed to pressure from Fred Nile and will consider removing ethics classes from schools only months after they began.

A deal the Christian Democratic Party MP says he has struck with the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, places at risk the Coalition's election promise not to remove the classes, which began in February under the former Labor government as an alternative to religious education lessons.


Gay marriage no longer an issue with the public

Peter Beattie - The Australian

LAST Sunday gay and lesbian couples from across the US descended on the state of New York to legally exchange their vows after it became the nation's sixth and largest state to recognise same-sex marriages.


Australian census to count gay marriage for the first time


SAME-sex couples who have married overseas will have their unions counted in the Australian Census for the first time.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) lobbied for a change of census rules.

AME convener Peter Furness said the move is an important sign of respect.


Greens to push for Senate look at Malaysian deal

Ross Peake - The Canberra Times

The Senate will try to embarrass the Federal Government over its Malaysian people swap by calling on senior bureaucrats to reveal secret facets of the controversial deal.


Christianity for Atheists

Peter Sellick - Online Opinion

Watching the spiritual special on Q&A on July 18 I was reminded how damaging ordinary or garden variety belief in God is a barrier to faith. I was also reminded how easy it is for a scientist from Oxford or Cambridge to be given air time in Australia for their religious views. I am sure this an example of our cultural cringe. John Lennox, a mathematician from Oxford was the major feature of the panel and, in what is now a cliché, went on about evidence for the existence of God from the order in creation and how belief in that order allowed the rise of natural science and all the technologies that we now enjoy.