June 2nd 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The Greens: the political equivalent of bilgewater

EDITORIAL Malaysian election sends shockwaves across South-East Asia

GENDER AND SPORT Transgender playing in women's football league gains attention

CANBERRA OBSERVED Beyond tomorrow a bridge too far for politicians to plan

ENERGY Why renewables destabilise the power grid

LAW AND FREEDOM Exemptions: at issue with Dr Zimmermann

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Behind the U.S.-North Korea rapprochement

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Two to tango: Where to now for U.S. and China?

LIFE ISSUES So, is this not pro-life?

POLITICS AND CULTURE The West won the world but may lose its soul

MILITARY BIOGRAPHY Commanders: the men who resolve questions of life and death


MUSIC Eurovision: Wailing and gnashing of teeth

CINEMA Superhero movies: A Chestertonian consideration

BOOK REVIEW A man for all seasons and hemispheres

BOOK REVIEW Mid-century gem of Catholic fiction



ECONOMICS Vatican document nails some of the causes of the GFC

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News Weekly, June 2, 2018


Mary Magdalene gathers  more responses

I write in response to the letter, “The historical Mary”, by Anne Lastman (News Weekly, April 7, 2018).

I comment on the letter, not on the film, which I have not seen.

I respectfully submit a reply. It is perfectly clear from the Gospels of both John and Luke, that, with permission from Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus from the cross, wrapped it in strips of linen cloth, with copious amounts of embalming substances, and laid it in the tomb. At no time in that period was His body naked, except possibly on the cross.

The women took no part in that activity, though Mary Magdalene noted the place of burial.

On that first Easter Sunday morning, when the women went to the tomb, that most momentous event had taken place, the Resurrection! There was no body to be anointed.

The inference that there was some relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene other than a devoted follower of her Lord, seems to be a sacrilege.

Movies are made to entertain, not necessarily to inform!

John Charlton,
Rothwell, Qld.


I would suggest that, if Anne Lastman (News Weekly, April 7) really believes that Jesus was in an adulterous relationship with St Mary Magdalene, she should say so openly instead of strongly hinting at such a blasphemous idea.

David Ollerenshaw,
Wendouree, Vic.


I have read Anne Lastman’s letter of May 19 with interest. Mrs Lastman singles out Mary Magdalene, but according to Mark the spices were brought by the group of women, all of whom would have gone with the intent of anointing the Body. Luke adds Joanna and the other women who were with them. They all would have gone with intent. Something had to be done to show respect for Our Lord’s Body, and they were going to do it.

A Jewish scholar who had converted to Catholicism gave a series of lectures on EWTN some years ago. He said that Our Lord was not only the Passover Lamb, He was also the Scapegoat. In a solemn ceremony the High Priest laid both hands on the head of the Scapegoat and recited over him all the sins of the people. He bore their sins. He was then taken far out into the wilderness to die. The Scapegoat was considered most holy and only a priest could touch him. Mary Magdalene was not a priest, and as a woman could never be a priest, so she is told not to hold Him.

Luke tells us that when Our Lord appeared to the disciples on the evening of Easter Day He invited them “Handle me, and see”. Then, a week later, Thomas was invited to touch Our Lord.

The disciples were to be the first priests. So it was all right for them to touch Our Lord’s Body. I find this an interesting possible explanation from a Jewish perspective.

Mrs Rowan Shann,
Warwick, Qld.


Population pressures

Patrick J. Byrne’s call for Australia to more than double its population to 50 million (“We need a development bank and a higher population”, News Weekly, March 10) for defence and economic reasons is well intended but could leave our country poorer and less secure if implemented.

Dramatically expanding the population will not increase the amount of food or raw materials Australia exports to Asia. As economist Leith van Onselen has noted, the output of these sectors will be unaffected by how many people are coming in as all the productive capacity has been set up and doesn’t require additional labour.

In fact, in an economy heavily reliant on the export of non-renewable natural resources, a larger population will dilute our per-capita export earnings. A larger population will mean less surplus food for export and may even result in Australia becoming a net importer of food products.

In relation to defence, using massive immigration to swell the population presents a host of national security and cohesion challenges. The breakdown of the assimilationist model, combined with the huge numbers of widely diverse recent arrivals with little affinity for the historic Australian nation, means that Australia is now in uncharted territory.

The growth of large, non-assimilated diasporic communities risks opening the way for greater foreign interference in Australian affairs. For instance, Beijing has been accused of utilising members of the overseas Chinese community as agents of Chinese foreign policy. Some of these efforts are touched on in Clive Hamilton’s recent book, Silent Invasion.

In short, attempting to engage in a population race with our northern neighbours is, in the very least, futile.

Rex Drabik,
Perth, WA

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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm