In a world community where trust is fragile enough, headlines like “Churches urge change to hate law” (9/2) are scarcely a recipe for calm. The subject of the laws in question and of church leaders’ pleas is “villification” not “hate”. This distinction is far more than pedantry. Tell me I’m paranoid if you will, but the casual reader might well have read “Churches seek freedom to hate”. Hate is the very antithesis of the character and call of Christ and of what his church seeks to promote. What is at stake is not freedom to despise but freedom to discuss.
Our community needs forums for careful, considered and open discussion of such fraught subjects. The Age is very well placed to facilitate this. Half-considered headlines can only undermine such a cause.