It’s the mantra any organisation ignores at its peril: don’t be afraid of a little healthy competition. If having a few rivals keeps you on your corporate toes, then so much the better.
Whether it’s sheer fear or plain old arrogance to blame, it’s a tenet of Business 101 ignored by religious groups determined to maintain their monopoly over the impressionable young minds of primary school children in NSW.
With the O’Farrell government reliant on the support of the Christian Democrats in the Upper House, the rights of parents to be kept informed of the options available to them are being restricted at the behest of Fred Nile. Rather than be upfront with parents that both scripture and ethics classes are now available in primary schools, Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has confirmed students will only be told about ethics after they decline an offer to attend scripture.
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Many citizens don’t agree with Fred Nile’s bold assessment of himself as a modern-day Socrates.
They argue that while the great Greek philosopher deployed reason against dogma, the Christian politician’s opposition to secular ethics classes in schools is demonstrating exactly the opposite.
In addition to calling Nile an intellectual bantamweight, critics are questioning the good Reverend’s framing of himself as suffering tyranny because of his faith.
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I’ve been dwelling a lot on parenting this week – not least because my eight-year-old son walked around with a badly broken arm for two days before I got him X-rayed.
In my defence, I was advised to delay the X-ray by nurses at a regional emergency department. But at the very least I could have refrained from suggesting he was the boy who cried wolf.
It was in this sort of mood that I heard the news about federal Finance Minister Penny Wong and her partner Sophie Allouache expecting a baby through IVF. The child’s father is known to the couple and will also be known to the child.
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Christian Democrat MLC Fred Nile addressed NSW Parliament yesterday, condemning the Adoption Amendment (Same-Sex Couples) Bill on the grounds it would threaten the fundamental rights of children.
“Is this really an ideological issue or homosexuals demanding yet another human right?” For Mr. Nile, the debate is easily reduced to either ideological issues or gay rights. But where do children fit into the equation?
We can talk about ‘the best interests of children’ and many in this debate claim to, but why are these claims often made in polemical rather than empirical terms. That is, maybe we should look to actual families rather than our ‘common sense’ fantasy of the ideal family.
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If I were ever going to rob a bank I would do so in character. Specifically, I’d go in wearing the giant green St George Dragon mascot suit.
Aside from the delicious irony of a bank being robbed by its own mascot, the stunt would serve as a timely reminder to Reverend Fred Nile- and others- that there are a range of uniforms, sporting apparel, masks and other coverings that conceal the face and the identity of the wearer.
Last week Nile from the Christian Democratic Party introduced a Bill in the NSW Upper House to make it an offence (maximum penalty $550) for “a person, without reasonable excuse to wear a face covering in a public place.” Note, that’s not just in banks or service stations, but in any public place.
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