Saturday, January 23, 2016

News Tidbits

Washington Post: As D.C. shuts down for a blizzard, a small, faithful crowd still joins the March for Life

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Washington blizzard limits turnout for March For Life

Chicago Sun-Times: Family Research Council calls Army secretary nominee a 'cultural landmine' 

The Age: Australia: Andrews to crack down on gay 'conversion' therapy


  1. Zosimus the HeathenJanuary 24, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    That piece from the Age was interesting, though I found it a little confusing at first, as no mention was made in the actual article of who the "Andrews" in the title was. After checking Wikipedia, I'm guessing the Andrews being referred to is Victorian state premier, Daniel Andrews. I initially thought it was actually another politician, a guy called Kevin Andrews, which would've been most ironic as that individual is quite the God-botherer (one of those ones who believes the Almighty is far more concerned with what people do with their naughty bits than the widespread suffering and hardship caused by the economic neoliberal policies his party is forever trying to force on us all).

    I don't know how much of a foothold the whole "conversion therapy" business has gained here, though if that article is anything to go by, I'm not the only one in the dark about that. Now that I think about it, I'm quite ignorant about how influential the religious right is here, though I've heard a few disturbing things to suggest it's on the rise. For example, we now have a semi-mainstream Christian political party, Family First, that claims to be all for "small government" (of the "small enough to fit inside a woman's uterus" variety*), as well as a few outspoken fundamentalist types in the Liberal Party (our version of the Republican Party, ironically enough). There's also been a lot of controversy here about the government spending large amounts of public money on putting chaplains in (supposedly secular) state schools - this at a time when they're telling us we need to make drastic cuts in spending on things that actually help people. Scary stuff!

    *This party also wants to make it possible for families to once again be able to survive on the income of a single breadwinner (no doubt the father). While I don't have a problem with that per se (even though the '50s ideal of the nuclear family has never really appealed to me), I'm curious as to how they propose to square that with another of their policy aims: namely, total deregulation of the labour market!

    1. Zosimus -- The so-called ex-gay movement in Australia has taken a beating. For example, Australia's largest ex-gay ministry shut down in 2014.

      From what I've read on news websites, Australia has a spirited Religious Right of its own, but I don't know how much power it wields over politics and public opinion. I don't expect them to be any more rational than their American counterparts.

  2. Zosimus the HeathenJanuary 25, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    Thanks for the link - I'll have to check it out. Re our Religious Right, I don't know how much power and influence it wields myself (I should probably do something about educating myself there!), though I've heard disturbing reports that a lot of key ministers in our current government have some fairly hardcore religious beliefs, which they'd like nothing better than to force on the rest of us (for example, there's a particularly outspoken loon called Cory Bernardi, who, among other things, has likened homosexuality to bestiality).

    From what I know of them, our Religious Right is indeed no more rational than yours; indeed, it seems to have adopted many of the causes and viewpoints of the US Religious Right. Hell, there are even Christian groups here now who're championing the neo-Confederate "cause", and I believe the KKK actually tried to get a foothold in Australia back in the 1990s (not that they really got anywhere, thankfully).


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