School chaplaincy debate ignores what ‘secular’ actually is

According to The Conversation, despite recent calls for its elimination and the High Court (again) finding that it was funded unconstitutionally, the Abbott government announced this week that it would continue its school chaplaincy program by funnelling money to the states.

However, debate about the school chaplaincy program has missed the mark. It has been informed by deficient understandings of what “secular” means, both in general and in the Australian context.

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On growing up in Ferguson and Palestine

Will things change for Gaza? If they don’t, this nightmare of worst selves will keep happening and happening. Look, it already has. And what gets better? Will the United States ever speak out in solidarity with scores of exhausted people burying their dead, staring up with stunned eyes, mystified?​

August 29, 2014

Aug 29 2014 - 11:28am

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WESOLOWSKI SEXUAL ABUSE CASE A NEW APPROACH OR SAME OLD SAME OLD?

According to the article from Religion Dispatches, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty.

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PAKISTAN: ASPHYXIATING MINORITIES – ANALYSIS

By Ambreen Agha

Pakistan is increasingly failing to protect its minorities for two broad reasons: principally, rising religious intolerance and the space ceded to violent ideologies.— Sherry Rehman, former Ambassador to the US, 2011

Little noticed amidst the ongoing pitched battle led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led Federal Government, a group of protesters from minority communities held a rally in Badin District of Sindh on August 16, 2014, against the current Government’s failure to protect minorities from communal atrocities, including kidnapping-for-ransom, killings on religious grounds and abduction of girls for forced conversion.

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