Tagged With religion

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I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved it. In this picture, Jesus looks kind and gentle, he gazes down at me lovingly. He is also light-haired, blue-eyed, and very white.

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Discussing LGBT rights in conservative religious communities can be particularly challenging, both for people who are newly out and for those of us who simply wish that everyone would just hurry up and get with the civil-rights program. One can feel that those who reject the rights of LGBT people on religious grounds are using dogma as a fig leaf to hide their bigotry, and in many cases that's probably true. But there remain a large number of people raised in religious traditions who nonetheless have changed their views on the place of LGBT people in the broader community -- and even in the narrower world of their church community.

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The crime of blasphemy has had a bit of publicity lately. British comedian Stephen Fry was recently reported to police for comments made on Irish TV about what he would say to God if he had the chance. Meanwhile, Jakarta Governor Ahok was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy in Indonesia.

But what about here in Australia? Is committing "blasphemy" still considered illegal? Let's take a look at the laws as they currently stand. (We think they are going to surprise you.)

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Ramadan started on Saturday in Australia, so today you might start to notice your Muslim co-workers and friends skipping lunch. The month of fasting commemorates God's revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, and believers use this time to practise reflection and self control. So if you aren't Muslim, how can you be more considerate of those who are? Here are a few tips from people who observe Ramadan, on what they wish others knew.

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I recently lost my religion. Gosh, that does sound odd. Like it slipped behind the cushions on the couch or slipped away from me while I wasn't paying attention and now won't return my calls or my lengthy drunken late-night text messages.