Anglicans and power

Samantha Chung writes: Re. The Power Index: religion, Anglican Archbishop Jensen at #2 (yesterday). Why do we allow conservatives such as Peter Jensen to link marriage equality to in-est and polygamy without challenging them on historical grounds? Traditional marriage not only allowed, but encouraged in-est. Many royals did marry their cousins. If anything, opposing in-est contradicts traditional marriage and biblical practices.

As for his concerns regarding polygamy — the Jensen gems of promoting female submission, refusing to recognise women as leaders,  and teaching men that they have a biological right to be dominant and the material provider, is far more likely to encourage polygamy than same-s-x marriage. After all, those views have lead to polygamy in many countries. Same-s-x marriage has not.

Peter Wotton writes: Tom Cowie got a few things wrong in his otherwise good article on Archbishop Jensen. The Archbishop of Sydney is elected by the Diocesan Synod of Sydney (which includes all Sydney Diocese parishes) and not the General Synod of Australia (all Australian dioceses). The other 22 dioceses do not get a say in who is Archbishop of Sydney. Likewise the other NSW dioceses do not vote to decide who is the Anglican Metropolitan of NSW, that is always the Archbishop of Sydney. The other dioceses do get to vote on who is the national Anglican Primate of Australia. That position is currently held by Rt Rev Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane.

Archbishop Jensen is not only opposed to women bishops but is also opposed to women priests. Both ranks are open to women in Australia. I do wonder how he views the Anglican convent in which the ABC series Call the Midwife is based.

I also wonder if the Sydney Diocese is the wealthiest Anglican Diocese, I had heard that Perth or Melbourne was better financially based now.

Excuses for Alan Jones?

John  Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Jones, Abbott and when aggressive politics gets ‘out of line’“. Martin Gordon’s attempt (comments, yesterday) to justify Jones’ appalling behaviour by measuring it against past slurs on Liberal politicians won’t wash. If you added up every one of these attacks they would not go close to the wretchedness of his original  comments. This  pathetic rationalisation is made worse because it does not go as far as Jones himself in admitting that using John Gillard’s death for political purposes was wrong. Jones and those who choose to associate themselves with him deserve all the opprobrium they are getting. The old saying about dogs and fleas has never been more apt.

The numbers game of unemployment

H S Mackenzie writes: Re. “Battle of the shadows as RBA mulls the global environment“. Marcus L’Estrange (comments, yesterday) claims that the ABS annual “Persons not in the labour force” survey shows a real unemployment rate in Australia of 20%. It does not. The “Persons not in the labour force” tables in the Year Book of Australia 2012 show quite clearly that 89.4% of the “civilian population over 15 years old” is either employed (63.7%), does not want to work (23.5%) or is permanently unable to work (2.2%).

The “does not want to work” category covers retired people, full-time students, those engaged in “home duties”, those travelling, etc. The figure given for people unemployed in any meaningful sense of the word is 10.6%, and of those 4.8% were not actively looking for work (with only 0.6% of these being “discouraged job seekers”) and a further 2.1% were not available to start work within four weeks.

Peter Fray

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