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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.  

Question mark hangs over Census request

News.com.au has reports that the Census could change the question regarding religion following numerous complaints from Australians. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the biggest complaint they received following the 2016 Census was around religious preferences.

30 per cent of Australians stated they had no religion in the 2016 Census but the ABS has stated they may change the question with a two-part filter or alter the wording of the question.

Currently the “No religion” option is placed at the top of the list with Uniting Church coming in fourth after Catholic and Anglican options.

Selfie with the supreme to end the regime?

Daily Mail Australia reports on the latest developments involving Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and his controversial statements about God, previously reported on JourneyOnline.

After an outcry in the predominantly Catholic country following Duterte calling God stupid, the president has doubled down on his position and said he will resign if someone can prove God is real. His suggestion to prove the Almighty’s existence? Take a selfie with the Lord.

Secular rancor over Christian banker

Eternity News covers former Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens’ difficulties he faced as a Christian when he raised interest rates in 2008. Stevens had given a speech at an Easter function in Sydney for Wesley Mission during the same period and the news media seized on this to probe how his faith dovetailed with his professional responsibilities.

Stevens recalls how one reporter stuck a mic in his face and asked him “how it was Christian to raise people’s home loan rates” and another media outlet ran with the headline “Stevens claims God-given gift to steer the economy”.

“I had quite a number of very unkind letters and emails,” stated Stevens. “These people clearly felt I was unfit to hold the job. The anger in those messages was greater than anything else I received in all the years I worked in the Reserve Bank.”

Christians freer than those under Sharia?

CBN News reports on comments made on HLN’s Across America show regarding Christian conservatism and alleged similarities to Sharia law. Across America panellist Dean Obeidallah (who is also a columnist for The Daily Beast) stated, “The stakes are really high in this country now going into this choice for the next Supreme Court Justice, and there are people on the Right who want to impose Christian Sharia law in this country; what I mean by that is they want to turn the Bible into the law of our land.”

The comments have outraged some Christians in America who saw the comparison as an attack on the Christian faith. One Facebook commenter shared a link to Obeidallah’s statements with the caption, “And now the new Fabrication by the left ‘Christian Sharia Law’ These people are so dangerously stupid”.

Frank Gaffney, CEO of the Center for Security Policy, told CBN News, “Mr Obeidallah’s attempt to equate Christian practices with Shari-supremacism is absurd. There is, after all, no counterpart in Christianity to such Sharia-condoned practices as female genital mutilation, honour killing, or the imposition of a totalitarian theocracy.”


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