Do humanists celebrate Christmas?

Christmas Ball

(RNS) — The war on Christmas is over — if you want it, according to Anne Klaeysen, leader emerita of the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

Even the idea that there’s a war on Christmas is “antithetical to the holiday spirit, whether it’s Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa,” Klaeysen said.

“(The holiday spirit) is about celebrating the human story that we are here on this earth, that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to engage in ethical relationships. I think it’s a message of unity and how we can be more inclusive.”

Read moreDo humanists celebrate Christmas?

Far-right extremist Blair Cottrell loses appeal against conviction for inciting contempt of Muslims

Blair CottrellFar-right extremist Blair Cottrell has lost his appeal against a conviction for religious vilification, with a judge finding a 2017 stunt in which he beheaded a dummy to protest against a proposed mosque in Victoria was “calculated to promote rank and demeaning stereotyping of Muslims”.

Read moreFar-right extremist Blair Cottrell loses appeal against conviction for inciting contempt of Muslims

Mother starts petition to stop Hillsong Church ‘proselytising’ in public schools

Hillsong Church in Schools

A Melbourne mother has launched a campaign to ban Hillsong Church’s youth pastors from running sessions in public schools as part of a planned national tour next year.

Fiona Newton started the petition calling for the ban, saying she was alarmed by Hillsong’s 2020 Schools Tour’s plan to expand and “proselytise” in non-religious schools.

Read moreMother starts petition to stop Hillsong Church ‘proselytising’ in public schools

Book Review: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

The title of Professor Dov Waxman’s new book, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know, hides an important tension that gets explained in the course of reading this book, which addresses a most complex and confusing topic.

The conflict is not unitary. The make-up of the two sides has changed over time. From 1948-1972, it was known as the “Arab-Israeli” conflict. It involved the entire region and was not solely focused on the Palestinian question; the surrounding Arab states had territorial goals as well.

Read moreBook Review: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know

Engaging with Community – Serving in a Troubled World

Multifaith Association of South Australia Logo The Multifaith Association of South Australia conducted a year-end event at the Unitarian Church, Norwood, SA. Speakers from Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Bahá’í faith and Hinduism participated. Here, we share the talk given by Ms Ann Aisatullin of the Multifaith Association of South Australia.

Read moreEngaging with Community – Serving in a Troubled World

“Current Dialogue” focuses on rethinking interfaith engagement

Current Dialogue Cover

Current Dialogue, the World Council of Churches’ long-standing journal on interreligious relations, is now available online and as a print issue in a new format.

Recognizing the indispensability of interreligious dialogue amidst changing religious realities, the journal seeks to offer space for stimulating and sustained reflections on a wide range of interreligious issues.

Read more“Current Dialogue” focuses on rethinking interfaith engagement

Pope Francis abolishes ‘pontifical secret’ in clergy sex abuse cases

Pope Francis preaching in RomePope Francis has abolished the “pontifical secret” used in clergy sexual abuse cases, after mounting criticism that the high degree of confidentiality has been used to protect paedophiles, silence victims and keep law enforcement from investigating crimes.

Read morePope Francis abolishes ‘pontifical secret’ in clergy sex abuse cases

Community Trauma Toolkit

Community Trauma Toolkit

Emerging Minds has released a new suite of resources designed to help children and young people affected by trauma. Developed by Emerging Minds and the Australian National University as part of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health project, the information and training materials include videos, podcasts, training workshops to run with your team and downloadable fact sheets.

The toolkit is tailored to six key audiences – educators, first responders, community leaders, families, general practitioners (GPs), and health and social service practitioners. It’s also arranged to match five timelines – preparedness, immediate, short-term recovery, long-term recovery and ongoing recovery.

Read moreCommunity Trauma Toolkit

Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony

Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony

Let’s talk about that over coffee,” is a common phrase in our society. It is something people do from all walks of life, all backgrounds, cultures and religions. It is a way that people connect, learn about each other and find common ground.

Read moreChocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony

Tasmania: December 2019 – January 2020

Tasmania LogoGreetings of love and special good wishes for the holy days coming soon: Hanukkah and Christmas! Religions for Peace Tasmania will be in recess until February when there will be a program to recognise the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week at a venue and date yet to be confirmed.

Read moreTasmania: December 2019 – January 2020

“World Leaders Must Act Now in the Face of Climate Emergency” – Message from the Faith-Based Organizations To the High-Level Ministerial Segment of COP25

cop25-logoIf the world is to address the climate emergency, every person must be involved in a transformation on many levels, notes a message from the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the UN climate talks this week. Speaking on behalf of Faith Based Organisations in Madrid for the United Nations Conference on Climate change, the message led by the World Council of Churches told – inter alia – “We call for systemic, cultural and spiritual transformations that may be translated into changes in the ways we live, produce and consume.”

Read more“World Leaders Must Act Now in the Face of Climate Emergency” – Message from the Faith-Based Organizations To the High-Level Ministerial Segment of COP25

Pontifical Academy for Life hosts interreligious discussion on palliative care

Vatican flag flies above St PetersVatican City, Dec 12, 2019 / 04:56 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life held an international symposium this week on medical ethics and palliative care, hosted together with the WISH initiative, a part of the Qatar Foundation. The Dec. 11-12 conference included presentations by representatives of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism on the topic of medical ethics, palliative care, and the mental health of the elderly.

Read morePontifical Academy for Life hosts interreligious discussion on palliative care

Archbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide

Archbishop PalagiaVatican City, Dec 11, 2019 / 04:08 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Tuesday that he would be willing to hold the hand of someone dying from assisted suicide, and that he does not see that as lending implicit support for the practice.

Read moreArchbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide

Vatican: Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue Meets with World Council of Churches

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue LogoThe Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue hosts a one day meeting aimed at enhancing interreligious solidarity in the service of a vulnerable and wounded humanity. The Prefect of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Ayuso, tells, We are called to collaborate in healing the wounds of our humanity.

Read moreVatican: Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue Meets with World Council of Churches