Religion not so dominant
The indictment of Cardinal George Pell and the clobbering of Christopher Pyne – along with the census results – make for a trifecta putting the final nails in the church’s coffin in Australian public life.
The results of the Australian census indicating the nation’s waning appetite for religious affiliation followed by Christopher Pyne’s forced apology for uttering unpalatable truths within the hallowed social museum of the Liberal party were body blows to the religious right.
But Pell’s indictment starts a tolling bell or ticking clock on the influence of institutional religion in Australia.
The reactionary counter-offensive, lashing out against marriage equality is an indication of the failing grip of conservative Christian institutions over the hearts and minds of contemporary Australians.
The simultaneous importation of “Liberty Christian ministries” (a pre-enlightenment steroid to bulk up the resistance the Anglican Diocese Sydney to marriage equality and diversity) and exporting the muscle of the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania ganging up against the international movement to recognise same-sex couples are like death rattles from a patient in long denial of a diagnosis.
With the resilience of an operatic heroine singing her longest aria just before death and the curtain fall.
The religious and political Right starring Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce with National party chorus backed up by Margaret Court and Sydney evangelicals are screaming an analog message to digital audience while Malcolm Turnbull gives his most unconvincing performance to date.
Changing Australian values are to be celebrated, the political and religious Canutes are feeling the discomfort of rising tide but in this last week they have finally lost their claim to the “higher ground“.
Peter MacLeod-Miller, archdeacon of Albury and Hume St Matthew's Anglican Church
Bridge a danger
There is a broken bridge fence in Albury where Smollet Street meets the RIverina Hwy/Thurgoona Street.
The bridge crosses a two-plus-metre drop into a stormwater drain.
The fencing has been replaced with temporary fencing which is completely not safe or appropriate for vehicles – it is very flimsy wire fencing that hasn't even been installed properly.
If a car was to clip this fence over this extremely narrow bridge, it would plunge vertically down directly into the drain.
There is no doubt that this would cause a fatality.
The bridge has been broken like this for months.
The bridge is a busy one used by trucks, school buses and many cars.
I have tried contacting Albury Council twice and RMS but there is still no rectification.
RMS tells me there is a "heritage" issue, which means they still cannot proceed with fixing the bridge. Why is the cosmetic appearance of the bridge more important than safety?
Everyone who has to drive to West Albury, Howlong or on the Riverina Highway uses this bridge.
It is also extremely narrow which means that all it would take is for someone to clip that side barrier and they would drop to a certain death.
At a minimum rigorous safety barriers designed specifically to take the weight and impact of a large vehicle should be properly installed until the heritage issue is resolved. Who is going to take responsibility for this and when will this be fixed?
Letter of the week
The winner of the letter of the week is Stuart Paul, of Glenroy. You can collect your prize from the offices of The Border Mail at 1 McKoy Street, Wodonga.
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