Silly season slow to start

Russell Powell

By this time of the year, there should have been several stories about Christmas being banned, but it seems to be dreadfully un-PC this year.

There has been only one desultory piece, in the Telegraph of course, about a Montessori school replacing 'Merry Christmas' with 'Happy Holidays'. It may be too early to call, but I think the era of such silly bans is over. In its place, the beatboxing vicar (he's actually pretty good).

The serious news story of the week is the continuing fallout from the ALP conference vote to support same-sex marriage. Making the biggest headlines is Kevin Rudd's sister, who has quit the party because of it. Paul Sheehan has some fascinating analysis in the SMH - 'Gay Marriage is the least of Labour's woes' he says. Elsewhere, Julia is defending herself, saying she didn't break her promise to Christians, while Tony Abbott and the coalition stands firm. (Note that links from The Australian may be truncated - unfortunately, the OZ is trying to introduce paid access). In the Illawarra, the Labour MP who wants to introduce a private members bill to legalise gay marriage has problems as his own grass roots votes against him.

Finally, don't miss the philosopher who sticks up for God (one of the most emailed stories from the NYT), the fact that the number of Christian congregations worldwide has reached almost 5 million and the interestingly headlined story about the so-called God particle "The Higgs boson won't help us better understand what the universe is for". Amen.