Religious conservatism and religious freedom

Recently in Australia we have seen Christian conservatives (they claim support for those of other faiths but little evidence of this) argue that extension of anti discrimination laws to cover employment decisions is a threat to religious freedom. Worth remembering that this is for employment in organizations such as schools and welfare services very largely […]

Sexual equality and freedom of religion

Much conservative anxiety about the proposals of the Victorian Labor Attorney-General Rob Hulls  to extend the coverage of anti-discrimination to include the ‘non-core’ activities of religious organisations such as health and Education providers. Noteworthy that religious conservatives champion a radical ‘multiculturalism’ here, although most of them are opposed to Australian multiculturalism in its customary ethnic […]

Mormons and Republicans

The appointment of John Huntsman, the Governor of Utah, as American ambassador to China has posed again the question of Mormons within the Republican party. Does Huntsman’s acceptance of the position and his withdrawal from the 2012 presidential campaign reflect 1) a belief that Obama will be re-elected in 2012; 2) a belief that a […]

Turkish questions again

The Turkish Constitutional Court has narrowly voted not to close down the governing AKP rejecting the argument that the AKP sought to Islamicize Turkey by stealth. The decision has been welcomed by the European Union. The rise of the AKP has represented a crisis for the statist and secularist nationalism that has overshadowed the Turkish […]

Knowing the enemy?

Recently finished reading Mary Habeck’s Knowing the Enemy on Jihadism  It has fallen to me to write the lecture on religious fundamentalism for the Deakin University unit Modern Political Ideologies. My argument is that religious fundamentalism is a form of populist conservatism it has linkages to fascism the archetypal form of populist conservatism and to the reactionary conservatism […]

Skocpol on the Iranian revolution

Reading Theda Skocpol’s Social Revolutions in the Modern World a collection of her essays that followed her pathbreaking States and Social Revolutions. The type of work we need more in historical writing. Skocpol places the Iranian revolution in the context of third-world social revolutions such as Cuba and Vietnam. Contrary to Marxist hopes and conservatives […]

Kevin & Barack

Gerard Henderson has a rather silly column comparing Obama and Kevin Rudd to the formers’ disadvantage. But there are parallels. Obama has seemed distracted and frustrated by the slow progress of his campaign. Rudd showed himself to be an effective political performer against inept opposition, a Coalition that had come to believe their own publicity. […]

Catholics and politics

Louisiana has a very interesting political history. In my forthcoming book I mention in passing comparisons between Huey Long and Jack Lang. With its larger Catholic population it has been slightly better territory for the Democrats than the rest of the south. Clinton carried it twice. However with the out-migration of African-American voters following Katrina […]

Mormons and Muslims

Interesting article in the LA Times about cooperative relations between Mormons and Muslims in America based on a shared history of vulnerability. It sheds light on the evidence reported in my previous post on high levels of religious tolerance in the US. Does religious belief encourage tolerance in some cases? This would contradict simplistic atheist […]