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Crikey survey: which religions ban women from leadership?

Some religions prohibit women from having formal power, while others are open-minded. You might be surprised where some religions fall on the spectrum …

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Jesus is coming — to your local primary school

The government is all about austerity — except when it comes to putting Christian chaplains in state schools. We investigate how the scheme works, who’s using it, and how you become a chaplain.

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With God on their side: when religion and politics collide

Labor MP Ed Husic was criticised for being sworn in on a Koran — but the influence of Christianity on Parliament is far greater than Islam. Crikey asks whatever happened to the separation of church and state.

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When ‘sisters’ are sent to the back of the room, ask questions

Claims that women are being sent to the back of the room at some Islamic events at Melbourne University should be addressed. But other religions also discriminate on gender.

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Tony Abbott talks God and Western values behind closed doors

Tony Abbott delivers a sermon on the importance of Christian values, and the need to give more recognition to Australia’s Western heritage, in a speech to a gala IPA dinner in Melbourne. Crikey obtained the audio of the speech.

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Religion in schools: why teachers, parents are powerless to stop it

Religious groups can enter government schools without the permission of parents or even the school. Ben Westcott talks to principals and parents about Christian groups in the classroom and the playground.

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Why Pell and Dawkins need each other

Guy Rundle rerveals how much he enjoyed the Richard Dawkins-George Pell Q&A smackdown.

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Unexpected mystery at the atheists’ convention

It seems like a bit of a mystery when you hear at an atheists’ convention what a good job Christians are doing to help defend the rights of women against fundamentalist Muslims.

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From scrolls to codices to iPads — welcome @thePope

While the Christians lead the way with the codex, they are catching up, a bit late, with the next piece of revolutionary technology — the digital pad.

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Muslims don’t fit into a simple left v right debate

Last week Fairfax columnist Paul Sheehan fed the idea that Islam is a monolithic entity that’s fundamentally incompatible with western values. That’s what’s wrong with the current debate about Islam, says writer and filmmaker Ruby Hamad.

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The Guardian | BOOKS|

Anne Rice taps out of Christianity

Like her most famous characters, Anne Rice is not particularly fond of the cross. 12 years after she became a born again Christian the Vampire Chronicles author has renounced her faith, protesting against the church’s views on social issues such as homosexuality and birth control.

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Slate | LINKS|

The balance sheets of bible bashing

Should preachers have KPIs? Should pastors get monthly bonuses for meeting their souls-saved count? Churches aren’t just about converting people to Christianity - they’re also about sustaining themselves financially, says Ray Fisman.

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The New Yorker | BOOKS|

What did Jesus do?

The more you read the Gospels, the less you seem to know about who Jesus really was. Adam Gopnik goes searching through the texts to find some truth.

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AlterNet | LINKS|

Undercover at a Christian gay-to-straight conversion camp

Singing, sharing, snuggling, shame and secret erections: straight, atheist journalist Ted Cox goes undercover in the Christian “ex-gay” movement.

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Financial Times | ASIA-PACIFIC|

Buddhists and Christians battle for North Koreas’ soul

Religion is strictly forbidden in North Korea, but evangelical Protestants like a challenge, and aren’t letting a little dictatorship get in the way of saving the nation’s souls. Buddhists are trying too, but can’t quite match that Protestant work ethic.

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Time | UNITED STATES|

Undercover with American Evangelicals

Atheist and author Gina Welch spent two years deep undercover inside the world of America’s evangelical “megachurches”. The biggest revelation she uncovered? She actually enjoyed it.

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ABC News (USA) | UNITED STATES|

US military weapons are being inscribed with secret biblical codes

A company producing weapons for the US military has been inscribing every one with coded references to Bible passages about Jesus, ABC News has uncovered. Because Jesus was all about war and killing.

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The Week In Faith – with Abigail and Jasper

Including the Xenuphon-Hamilton Scale of Theologiclimatery-Denialistology

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Telegraph (UK) | EUROPE|

How the Nazis stole Christmas

A new exhibition of Nazi paraphernalia in Cologne shows how the Nazi Party tried to take Christ out of Christmas with swastika cookies and hand grenade tree decorations. Many of their “paganised” Christmas carols are still unwittingly sung today.

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Why question defence force loyalty because of religion?

Our troops have a job to do. We should allow them to do it and not waste their or our own time with moronic speculations based on isolated incidents.

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National Times | FEDERAL|

Hockey: Why I’m a Christian even though I don’t agree with other Christians

MP Joe Hockey gives a damning view of literal interpretations of the Bible in Christianity in last night’s speech to the Sydney Institute. We need to embrace the diversity of religions and not commit acts of war because of it, he says.

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ABC | FEDERAL|

Rudd the naughty choirboy

Kevin Rudd’s religious beliefs are well known, from his weekly church door-stops to his writings in The Monthly. So, how well is his Christian faith sitting with his current hard-line asylum seeker stance? asks Chris Uhlmann.

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Spiked | PEOPLE & IDEAS|

John Calvin: more than just a humourless killjoy

This year marks the 500th anniversary of Protestant reformer John Calvin’s birth — not history’s sexiest figure, but a more important one than you may realise.

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Did Harper’s Christianity influence his wage decision?

Does Harper’s Christianity shape his idea of how recovery should proceed?

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Telegraph (UK) | UNCATEGORIZED|

Church of England offers beer and bacon to entice men back

The Church of England are offering beer, bacon rolls and chocolate bars to men who attend church on Fathers’ Day.

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