Episode 192 – Catholics, Human Rights, Evolution and Ita

Episode 192 – Catholics, Human Rights, Evolution and Ita

The Catholic Church and the Morrison Government compete to produce more scandals than we can handle.

2:28 Voluntary Assisted Dying

From DWDQ:

Just two Labor MPs decided against supporting the abortion decriminalisation bill in the end with one choosing to abstain.

It meant Labor did not need the LNP to pass its bill. This could be very different should the debate turn to VAD. Several Government MPs who supported abortion decriminalisation do not feel as comfortable supporting euthanasia so the full support of the Labor caucus for such laws is not guaranteed.

Labor could also find it harder to convince Liberal National Party MPs to back the laws, given the brutal political fallout within the conservative party over the abortion debate.

What are the numbers in the Qld Parliament?

A total of 93 made up of Labor 48, LNP 38, Others 7

5:03 George Pell

Question: What does this mean for Catholicism in Australia?

Answer: Nothing. Individuals come and go but the Institution will live on as strong as ever (unfortunately). Like a professional football team when a star player has been caught with his pants down Pell will be suspended or sacked but replaced with a younger version and in a week everyone will forget about Pell. His replacement will appear on Q and A and will lobby politicians for more school funding and will probably get a seat on a Religious Freedom Review Panel which will be convened again in 10 years. Nothing will change until the people who oppose religious privilege get together and co-operate on some long term goals.

The Royal Commission was far more damning as it condemned the Institution, not just one man and yet nothing of any consequence happened to the Church. In fact, fees paid to Catholic Schools increased.

From Guy Rundle in Crikey:

We’ve decided, in our era, that someone can be tried for alleged events that occurred twenty years ago, and with a single witness, who is also the alleged victim. At an earlier time, the notion that a verdict beyond reasonable doubt could be established from that would have been dismissed out of hand.

Kristina Keneally is agonising again:

Well-known Labor senator and previous NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, is doubting her Catholic faith following Cardinal Pell trial: “I am really struggling with this, and I find keeping my faith in God sometimes [is] a day by day proposition.

How am I supposed to trust that an institution that has so grotesquely failed to protect children, that has so grotesquely failed to do as Jesus commanded, you know, love the little children and bring them in and care for them, where is God in all of this?

Where is God’s mercy, where is God’s love? And where is the church responding to this crisis, as God would ask us to – with mercy, with humility, begging forgiveness, and with real contrition and a resolution to change?”

16:40 Howard, Abbott and others gave character references. No problem with that.

18:14 Frank Brennan

He has questioned the verdict and supports the seal of the confessional.

18:23 Evidence that the seal of the confessional actually enables the continuation of the sex abuse of children

However, the role of the confessional in regard to disclosures by perpetrators may be even more significant. This aspect has been analysed by Dr Marie Keenan, an Irish academic whose book Child Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church: Gender, Power and Organisational Culture is probably the most comprehensive study of the subject ever published. Keenan has spent decades interviewing clerical sex offenders and trying to unpick the cognitive distortions underpinning their offending, and the ways in which the culture of the Catholic Church itself contributes to the problem.

Keenan found that eight of the nine clerical sex offenders who participated in her main study had disclosed their sexual abuse of children in confession. The confessional, it transpired, was their main place of respite and support from their “emotional conflicts and loneliness”. Several of them explained to her how they used the confessional to cope with their abuse of children, and thus to facilitate it.

20:02 Still on Catholic Madness – Consecrated Virgins in Australia

Zara Tai didn’t wear white on her wedding day, but then again, it wasn’t a conventional ceremony.

She wasn’t marrying a long-term boyfriend or even a high school sweetheart — this Parramatta-based town planner was saying “I do” to Jesus.

Ms Tai is one of nine women in Australia known as a “consecrated virgin”.

It’s a title bestowed to virgin women who promise to remain physical virgins, as brides of Christ, for the sake of the kingdom of God.

Consecrated virgins dedicate their life in prayer and service to the Church, but unlike nuns and sisters, they live and work in the secular world.

“Consecrated virginity, as a concept, developed in the early Church at the time where Christians were being persecuted,” Ms Tai says.

A growing number of religious women are choosing this pathway over nunhood and Ms Tai isn’t surprised.

“It’s a modern way; it gives a lot of freedom to do whatever you like to do.”

“There was not much known about the vocation … some felt I ought to become a nun,” she recalls.

Even after her consecration, Ms Tai wasn’t embraced by all members of the clergy.

“Some priests have said, ‘Oh, so you’re a permanent single person?'” she says.

“That’s clearly not the case, I am married to Christ.

“They’re still fitting me into a box that is not [correct]. They obviously don’t know the history of the church.”

24:15 The ACT bans School Chaplains

Ms Berry said the government had told chaplains employed in ACT public schools and the Scripture Union, an affiliate of the group providing chaplaincy services, that following a transition this year, the workers could continue as direct government employees offering secular pastoral support.

“I recognise these people often have a valued place in school communities,” she said.

26:33 WTF – We now have a Human Rights Act in Qld

The preamble

In enacting this Act, the Parliament of Queensland recognises—

  1. The inherent dignity and worth of all human beings.
  2. The equal and inalienable human rights of all human beings. (*but rights are not equal. Your right to religious freedom ranks below my right not to be discriminated against)
  3. Human rights are essential in a democratic and inclusive
    society that respects the rule of law.
  4. Human rights must be exercised in a way that respects the
    human rights and dignity of others.
  5. Human rights should be limited only after careful
    consideration, and should only be limited in a way that can be
    justified in a free and democratic society based on human
    dignity, equality, freedom and the rule of law.
  6. Although human rights belong to all individuals, human rights
    have a special importance for the Aboriginal peoples and
    Torres Strait Islander peoples of Queensland, as Australia’s
    first people, with their distinctive and diverse spiritual,
    material and economic relationship with the lands, territories,
    waters, coastal seas and other resources with which they have
    a connection under Aboriginal tradition and Ailan Kastom. Of
    particular significance to Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait
    Islander peoples of Queensland is the right to
    self-determination. (*quite simply – a racist statement)

“*” my notes

30:50 From Kenan Malik

Equally troubling is the romanticization. It has become the accepted truth that Indigenous peoples have a culture stretching back 65,000 years. Humans have been on the continent for that long, but no culture extends over such a time span. Today’s Indigenous Australians no more have the same relationship to the spiritual tradition of Dreamtime stories as did those first inhabitants than modern Greeks relate to “The Iliad” in the way their ancient forebears did.

The idea of an unbroken, unchanged culture has a flip side that has always animated racists. It was once used to portray Indigenous Australians, and other nonwhite races, as primitive and incapable of development. Likewise with another common claim: that Indigenous people have a special attachment to the land and a unique form of ecological wisdom. This, too, draws on an old racist trope, a reworking of the “noble savage” myth. The fact that in contemporary debates such ideas are deployed in support, rather than denial, of Indigenous rights does not make them more palatable.

35:20 Liberal Party Asked To Spread Scandals Out More Evenly Across Month

From The Shovel:

Pointing out that it’s hard to keep up with all of this outrageous shit when it’s all happening at once, Australians have politely asked if the Liberal Party could aim for one scandal per week, rather than bunching them all together into a single cluster-fuck.

Voter spokesperson Lucy Grey said Australians had long ago given up on the idea of politicians acting honestly, but said a day or so between scandals would be nice.

“By all means get a travel company that’s bidding on a government contract to pay for your family holiday. But please, don’t do it in the same week that it’s revealed you refused to be interviewed by Federal Police, leaked a fake ASIO story to a national media outlet and gave a $423 million contract to a beach shack in Kangaroo Island. Taxpayers are paying good money for this shit show – at least give us the respect of being able to follow along,” she said.

Voter Caroline Carr said it was as if the Government was following the Netflix model of dropping a whole season in one go, rather than spreading episodes out weekly. “Call me old fashioned, but I prefer not to binge watch my tax dollars being totally fucked away. One shameless misuse of parliamentary power a week is more my kind of pace”.

Another voter said he also felt like he was falling behind. “I’m just catching up on Tim Wilson’s misuse of a parliamentary enquiry – that was eight scandals ago. At least the Nationals keep their sex scandals to just one a month”.

The Government was asked for comment. They have advised that they will reply on receipt of a large donation.

Guy Rundle in Crikey

Smack running out of a sewer. What better picture could one summon up of Australian governance and political culture than that? As the $400 million dollar Paladin contract sloshes around, with its beach shack registered office, and its shonky personnel, … as it turns out that Freedom Boy Tim Wilson plugged a relative’s financial business into a parliamentary consultancy process, as the memory of another $400 million going to the industry-dominated Great Barrier Reef foundation resurfaces, the $30 million handed over to FOX for women’s sports, with no documentation, no reporting and no outcomes, the six hundred thousand given to Bjorn Lomborg’s organisation to produce a single book … after all that, Mathias Cormann must be hoping that $2700 in free air tickets that he “didn’t notice” would barely get noticed by the public.

There is now something more than anger attached to this government. There’s a sort of disgust around. Disgust with them, at the sheer volume of waste, shonk and grift, disgust with ourselves for having let it go for so long, for being the mugs who let it happen. It is once again of the paradox of Australian self-conception. We’ve imagined ourselves to be relatively uncorrupt and competently governed for so long, that a keener sense that government had entirely collapsed into cronyism, clientelism and dirty tricks was lacking. The capacity for trust in Australia is being rotted from the top down. It’s rational to think of a Coalition government the way Italians tend to think of their government, something that has absolutely nothing to do with representation at all: simply a self-contained predatory element, feeding off the body social.

… Am I alone in feeling sick to my stomach, literally nauseous, at reading the national news these days, wondering what the next story of corrupt, corrosive, destructive rorts is going to be?  Is disgust now a live political factor? I think it might be. We now have a fundamental asymmetry in Australian politics. One major political party, Labor, capable of government; one minor, the Greens, with some internal strife, but no accusations of rorting. And on the other side something that is neither a Coalition, nor parties at all. It’s simply a random, rhizomatic piss cloud of sleaze, grift, incompetence, reactionary obsessiveness, glued together by nothing other than hatred not merely of the left, but of good government itself, and an eye for the skim off the top.

Refused to be interviewed by Police

Ministers Michaelia Cash and and Michael Keenan refused to co-operate with a police inquiry, but the Prime Minister won’t sack them, and the Finance Minister says they did nothing wrong.

Even the Broncos know better.

39:44 The Rats are leaving a sinking ship

From Andrew Bolt:

Malcolm Turnbull gone, Julie Bishop and Kelly O’Dwyer going, and now Christopher Pyne, too. Know what some Liberals call that? A good start.

The election will do the rest. Check Sportsbet’s seat-by-seat odds. They tip that from the ruins of this Morrison Government after the May election will crawl a Liberal party where conservatives will again have the numbers and most of the talent.

True, some conservative ministers are also quitting: Michael Keenan and Steve Ciobo.

But in this Liberal party that’s been almost paralysed by division, the Left is losing most, and Sportsbet punters bet they’ll lose even worse in the election.

This time Sportsbet’s odds in each individual seat suggest the Liberals will lose key conservatives once touted as leadership material, including Dutton, Attorney-General Christian Porter and Health Minister Greg Hunt, as well as warriors such as Michael Sukkar and rising star Nicole Flint.

To make this huge loss of talent worse, NSW faction bosses dumped Jim Molan to an unwinnable position on the Senate ticket.

But if this is bad, check the carnage on the Liberal Left.

The Left has already lost Turnbull, Bishop, O’Dwyer and Pyne to retirement, with fighter Craig Laundy set to follow them and Liberal rat Julia Banks. Sportsbet tips the election will then take out many Liberal Left MPs, including Sarah Henderson, Warren Entsch and minister Ken Wyatt.

But it’s when we check who’ll probably survive the election that an even clearer picture emerges. Sportsbet’s odds suggest the conservatives won’t just retain sidelined veterans such as Tony Abbott, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews and Connie Fierravanti-Wells, but also the key pillars of this government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

(Yes, I know Morrison is ideologically flighty)

The Liberals could lose key conservatives including Greg Hunt, right. Steve Ciobo, left, has already announced he is leaving.

Add to them frontbenchers with intellectual grunt, Alan Tudge, Dan Tehan, Zed Seselja and Stuart Robert, plus Angus Taylor, yet to realise his supporters’ hopes.

Giving conservatives more hope are young MPs of talent and drive: Amanda Stoker, James Paterson, Andrew Hastie and James McGrath.

Other prominent MPs who backed the disastrous Turnbull experiment could rediscover their buried conservative principles. Think of Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Senate president Scott Ryan. Hello, Alex Hawke.

Party Membership

The Libs have only 50,000 members. There are 150 house of reps seats. That averages 333 members per seat. Get 166 friends and win yourself a preselection.

44:46 One Good Decision

Ita Buttrose

48:00 Expelling people with another heritage

What is Shamima Begum’s citizenship status right now?

According to the UK government, she is no longer a British citizen. The Home Office wrote to Begum’s parents on 19 February saying they had made the order to remove her citizenship that day.

How can they do that?

The government’s reasons, or how they might argue the action was legal, are not known. International law makes clear a person’s citizenship can not be revoked if doing so would make them stateless. So the Home Office evidently believes Begum either currently holds or is eligible to apply for citizenship of Bangladesh, from where her parents originate, in accordance with article 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981.

Can she?

Begum insists not – she says she has never held or applied for Bangladeshi citizenship, and she has never been to country. The Bangladeshi government has been even more explicit, insisting she is not a citizen and there is “no question” of her being allowed to enter.

What do the legal experts say?

Experts with knowledge of the British and Bangladeshi legal systems are divided on whether the Home Office’s action is legal. Fahad Ansari, a lawyer who acted for two men in a similar case, has said the UK-born children of Bangladeshi parents are automatically dual citizens at birth, but that right lapses at the age of 21. The government lost that case, but only because the two men were over 21, which would not apply to Begum, who is 19.

But Najrul Khasru, a British-Bangladeshi barrister and part-time tribunal judge who has reviewed Bangladesh’s citizenship laws, told the Guardian he believed Begum was not a Bangladeshi citizen unless, at the time of her birth, her parents had registered her at the High Commission, which he said was very uncommon within the British-Bangladeshi community.

The Guardian understands Begum’s parents say they did not register her birth in this way. It’s now up to the courts to decide. Begum family’s lawyer has confirmed they wish to appeal the removal of her citizenship, which could be a lengthy process.

By Majid Nawaz: Overnight, I and others like me have become second-class citizens by our Home Secretary‘s decree. This only applies to those whose parents have another heritage, even if they themselves only have British citizenship. This is worse than anything Trump has done. It’s the “dreamers” scandal on crack. Deportations are already being applied for criminal conduct, not just terrorism. Today witnesses a dangerous extension of that power. If citizenship is revocable for people like me, it was never citizenship to begin with. It was nothing but a visa.

This is *not* about jihadists. It is about the rest of us. I was born and raised in the UK. I carry no other passport. I am not an immigrant. I am nobody’s “guest”. I do not need to be “grateful” for being here. My being here is not a “privilege” that I must thank you for. And nobody gets to patronisingly tell me that I have “nothing to worry about if I behave”. I am your equal. Yet now, I can be punished twice for crimes arbitrarily determined sufficiently serious enough in future. Once by a jail term, and then by deportation. I hope that this disastrous decree is struck down by our courts. This is nothing but a War on Citizenship. ‬And I will resist it with all my might.

52:47 Baby Boomers at a retirement function

They were not happy with my argument and they were more vocal than Millenials.

Which reminds me of Machiavelli.

Niccoló Machiavelli wrote (originally in 1515) that “there is nothing more difficult to plan,
more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system – for the initiator has
the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm
defenders in those who gain by the new ones”

56:30 Need another example? Try mortgage brokers.

Hang on, did brokers just get to almost double their upfront commission? Happy days! Gold plate that lobby group of the year award and send it straight to the pool room!

57:50 Australia’s Muslim History

The short film documentary entitled “Before1770” is a film designed to encapsulate the history of Muslims in Australia before 1770. Abu Hanifa Institute, a centre for education in traditional Islam and youth mentoring, utilised its resources and community support to document the facts in this space. This meant embarking upon a journey to critical locations in the Northern Territory, such as Arnhem Land, Bawaka, and Groote Eylandt to see first hand, the places and people who hosted the Macassan Muslims. This endeavour also meant speaking to academics specialised in the field as well as Aboriginal elders from the Yolngu clan. The idea of this short film is to establish Islam’s long-standing connection with Australia. It is not designed to cause pain or disrespect to any figure, person, organisation or a particular community.

59:22 Guess which country’s companies were the biggest buyers of Australian farmland in 2017-18?

By Andrew Leigh who is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer.

It was the Bahamas, whose firms bought two million hectares in a single year.

To put this into perspective, Bahamas companies last year bought an area the size of Israel. The Bahamas is now the fifth-largest owner of Australian agricultural land. It’s not because there’s a special relationship between our farms and theirs, but because investing through a tax haven is the economic equivalent of donning a wig and fake glasses.

1:02:31 Woman who inherited fatal illness to sue doctors in groundbreaking case

In April 2010 the woman gave birth to a daughter. Four months later, she learned her father had Huntington’s disease. She was subsequently diagnosed as also having the disease. She has had to cope with the impact of the disease, and the knowledge that her daughter has a 50% chance of succumbing to it.

The woman decided to sue St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, who she believed should have told her that she was at risk. Her lawyers claim the trust’s doctors had a duty of care to share the father’s diagnosis with her, even against his wishes. However, when the case went to the high court, concern was raised that allowing it to proceed could undermine the doctor-patient relationship, while doctors might also be overly burdened by having to assess whether or not to make disclosures to patients’ relatives. The woman’s claim was struck out.

However, the decision was overturned by the court of appeal last year.

1:05:27 An Indian man is suing his parents for giving birth to him.

Key points:

  • Mr Samuel believes he should be paid to live because it was not his choice to be born
  • His mother said she “would not have had” Mr Samuel — had she have met him before he was born
  • He identifies as an “anti-natalist”, a philosophy that assigns a negative value to birth

Twenty-seven-year-old Raphael Samuel says he plans to take legal action against his parents because they brought him into the world without his consent.

Mr Samuel’s mother expanded on her thoughts on her son’s Facebook page.

“If Raphael could come up with a rational explanation as to how we could have sought his consent to be born, I will accept my fault,” she said.

But this philosopher thinks he may have a point.

1:07:08 Vigilante cow-protection groups in India have reportedly killed at least 44 people in the past four years.

Lynching people for killing cows … in the 21st century?

Reminds The Fist of “Cows with Guns”

1:09:57 Patrons, Feedback, Reviews Etc

iTunes Review

A 5 Star review from Antifoo: Iron fist and velvet glove is a deep dive into secular discussion in Australia and some international sources. You won’t always agree with them but they will make you analyse your own views and at the very least inform you of some of the undercurrents in political and religious spheres. Well worth your time.

1:12:39 Here is a really good podcast on primate behaviour and how and why Humans are different.

New research shows that Homo Sapiens is a domesticated form of our species. And that’s the result of the invention of capital punishment. But how could our low aggressiveness evolve from repeated acts of violence?

Here is an article which deals with some of this.



2 comments on “Episode 192 – Catholics, Human Rights, Evolution and Ita
  1. Warren Foster says:

    [Writing this listening to Cold Chisel with my Nostradamus hat on]
    1. Pell’s appeal will be successful leading to rightful disillusionment of the effectiveness of the Australian legal system.
    2. Abbott, Dutton and Frydenberg will loose their seats in May
    3. Christian Porter will become the opposition leader
    4. Young voter apathy is on the decline
    5. Nothing will change at the ABC. Ita believes it provides reputable and unbiased news
    My judgement on 2-4 is likely based on wishful thinking.
    Great episode guys. I particularly liked the discussion regarding companies from the Bahamas buying Australian land.
    Looking forward to Kenan Malik.

    • Bronwyn Benn says:

      Kenan Malik’s Melbourne talk is already sold out, so if you want to go to the Brisbane one, I wouldn’t wait too long to book.

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