Orthodox block bar mitzvah over ‘non-kosher’ circumcision

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 27 2006, 10:28 am

It's not just Sydney's Islamic and Anglican clerics who have been shooting themselves in the foot lately, as rabbis from the Sydney Beth Din demonstrate that orthodox Judaism can do daft things as well.

The Australian Jewish News takes up the story. (And I'll have a lot more to say about the Anglican Synod at another time.)

Termagant Watch with Piers

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 27 2006, 10:12 am

"Perhaps in the eyes of those who cling to the myth that everything Aboriginal is beyond criticism, naming a 22ha prime port precinct after such a pitiless termagant is a form of retribution for real or imagined wrongs committed by white colonists, but a better role model could have been chosen."
- Piers Akerman, "Hullabaloo about Barangaroo", Sunday Telegraph, 22.10.06

Cricket and baseball spark fellowship with Indian students

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 24 2006, 1:16 pm

The Baptist church campus ministry at the University of Louisville, Kentucky has begun conducting evangelical sports events with the university's cricket-playing students from India.

The Baptist Press takes up the story, which doesn't make it totally clear whether the evangelism is aimed at converting the Indians to Christianity, or to baseball. (Or indeed, both.)

Getting your anti-Madonna priorities right

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 21 2006, 4:06 pm

Mrs Madonna Ritchie, 48, of Marylebone has been copping a lot of flak this week, what with "adopting" a Malawian child and transplanting him to a foreign society. Is that what the American Family Association is worried about? Nope:

AFA helps force NBC to cancel scene mocking crucifixion of Christ

AFA supporters have won a great victory! The efforts of AFA Online supporters has forced NBC to cancel a scene in the upcoming Madonna special in which she mocks the crucifixion of Christ!

More than 750,000 AFA supporters emailed NBC asking for the scene to be deleted from the special which is scheduled to air in November. NBC saw a potential loss of $25,000,000 and decided to edit out the scene.

Mrs Ritchie steals a generation

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 18 2006, 2:09 pm

An Open Letter From Madonna

My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi. I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter. After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand out family.

Nevertheless, we have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate. The procedure includes an l8 month evaluation period after which time we hope to make this adoption permanent. This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly.

Great moments in freedom from information

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 18 2006, 8:44 am

"POLICE officers called in to help with the Cronulla riots and their aftermath ate more than $500,000 worth of food, but the force has ruled that what they ate - and who supplied it - is information too sensitive for public release."

Matthew Moore and Jonathan Pearlman take up the story in today's Sydney Morning Herald.

Great moments in US constitutional freedom

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 15 2006, 5:35 pm

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech....

- The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America

Last week, a fourteen year-old eighth grader from Sacramento was interrogated by Secret Service officers for putting a picture of the president on her Myspace website with the words "Kill Bush" on it. They pulled her out of class to do the interrogation without notifying her parents or the school principal.

Going through the motions, remaining undeterred - II: Microcredit

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 14 2006, 6:10 pm

What do our pollies in Australia care for microcredit? On September 4 Peter Garrett initiated a debate in the House of Reps urging the government to support the Microcredit Summit goals. As usual, six MPs got five minutes each to speak to the motion, and then the debate was adjourned indefinitely. (Refer my item of September 17 re Darfur.)