Author: Michael McVeigh

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  • RELIGION

    Rebuilding trust must be the priority for the Church

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 23 January 2018
    37 Comments

    It's a common refrain from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, often heard when church leaders try to explain away their failure to listen and respond to the crimes of their peers: 'They just don't get it.' Up until recently, Pope Francis has seemed to 'get it' in his response to the crisis of abuse. But recent events have raised doubts.

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  • RELIGION

    Please treasure marriage

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 04 October 2017
    21 Comments

    On the one hand, one could look at the campaign for marriage equality and feel that it's refreshing that a section of society wants marriage to be affirmed and made more available. But what are people really going to be voting on when they make their decision in the postal survey?

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  • RELIGION

    Easter illuminates Anzac Day rhetoric

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 23 April 2017
    3 Comments

    The transition from Easter to Anzac Day in Australia can be a strange one, particularly when the two celebrations come in the space of two weeks as they do this year. At Easter, we move from the terrible desolation of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. It's the foundation story for the Christian faith, and speaks of the arrival of new life and hope for the world. Anzac Day forces Christians to confront a different reality - that this new hope has yet to be fully realised.

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  • RELIGION

    We need civil conversations about religion and marriage equality

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 16 March 2017
    7 Comments

    No conversation on marriage equality should begin from any place other than that same-sex attracted people are equal in dignity, and worthy of the same respect, as heterosexual people. But religion has to be included in the conversation, as marriage equality isn't just a civil rights issue, it's a biblical and theological one. People who hold biblical or theological views on marriage aren't going to be convinced by arguments that don't respect those views.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis and the age of automation

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 19 January 2017
    7 Comments

    Many have called for the automated Centrelink debt collection system to be scrapped, but the government is standing by it. One of the reasons for this may be that the system is doing just what it's designed to do - trying to force people away from welfare reliance by making it more onerous. Pope Francis argues that far from a 'neutral' tool, technology creates a framework which conditions people and limits their possible options along lines dictated by the most economically and politically powerful.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Luckily for Australia, winning really isn't everything

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 21 August 2016
    9 Comments

    Australia appears likely to fall well short of its pre-games medal target. This has led to criticism of the government's funding strategy, which has seen money poured into elite sports where Australia has traditionally been most successful or where medals seemed most likely. This approach inevitably leads people to calculate whether Australia has received 'value for money' for its investments. But it doesn't have much to do with what people actually get out of watching or being part of the Olympics.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's tips for building a marriage

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 11 April 2016
    16 Comments

    As Pope Francis was releasing his long-awaited response to last year's Synod on the Family, my fiancé and I were taking part in a marriage preparation course, where we were told: 'Statistics tell us that one in three of your marriages will end in divorce ... while only a third of you will have a happy marriage.' If love is a type of craftsmanship, as Francis writes, then our hope is that day to day, with small and large acts of love, we can help each other become masters of our craft.

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  • RELIGION

    A third way in the marriage equality debate

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 06 December 2015
    45 Comments

    At the moment, the conversation on marriage equality vs traditional marriage is being driven by extremists on both sides, people who see the struggle as a polarised conflict with the goal of overwhelming victory. But most of us would find that victory unattractive no matter which side is triumphant. Instead, we can choose not to press the button, and to work together to allow both same-sex couples and practising Christians to live their beliefs faithfully, to the fullest of their flourishing.

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  • RELIGION

    No room for culture warriors in Canberra or the Vatican

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 14 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Many in the Church would echo Tony Abbott's feelings on the dangers a theological environment 'at war with itself' presents to its moral authority. Similarly, there are many conservative politicians and members of the press who look at the current political commentary — marked by discussion rather than authority — and wonder what a government can accomplish in such an environment. Not surprisingly, Cardinal George Pell — described by Abbott as a 'fine human being and a great churchman' — is among those pushing back against the dialogue at the current Synod on the Family.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Two stories of Adam Goodes

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 22 September 2015
    10 Comments

    No matter which story about Goodes a person chose to believe, the fact that the booing had such a profound personal effect on him should have at least given spectators pause. As I've written before, if someone continued to boo Goodes after everything that had been said they were at best a bully, and at worst wilfully perpetuating racism. That the boos continued right up until the last game of Goodes' career is an indictment on all AFL fans.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Booing Adam Goodes

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 28 July 2015
    31 Comments

    What is the difference between people who boo Goodes because they disagree with his statements on Aboriginality, and those who lined the streets of Selma to abuse Martin Luther King and his companions on their marches? What they are doing is designed to further marginalise and alienate Aboriginal voices brave enough to speak out against the status quo. The actions of those booing Goodes need to be called out for what they are - racism.

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  • RELIGION

    Atheist Pratchett's Discworld has lessons for Christians

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 March 2015
    4 Comments

    'You can't go around building a better world for people. Only people can build a better world. Otherwise it's just a cage.' When I heard English author Terry Pratchett had died, I immediately jumped online to start looking through some of my favourite quotes from his books. The above, from Witches Abroad, is one of many that have accompanied me over the years.   His 44 Discworld novels could be broadly described as comic fantasy, or fantasy satire, and yet that's really just the starting point for the immense variety of complicated ideas they explored in such a fun, joyous way. Perhaps strangely for someone whose work is so grounded in atheism, Pratchett has had a profound impact on my religious faith. Read more

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