you can read it here or you can read it here.
IT’S been fascinating in the last 24 hours to watch the comments accumulating on the story we published yesterday about religion and the Census.
One commenter — ‘Tim’ — managed to express his opinion very succinctly: ”No funding for imaginary friend.”
Five words that sum up what a lot of people feel … that government funding for organisations which support one particular belief system says plenty about that government’s judgement of other belief systems. And it says nothing positive, and certainly nothing about tolerance.
The fact that quite large proportions of that government’s constituents may not be members of the country’s supposedly predominant belief system is precisely why we have a Census, of course.
For those who haven’t read the latest brouhaha over the ‘what religion are you’ part of the Census — here’s a brief summary: The Christians want us to mark ourselves as Christian on the Census, even if we’re not. That way the ‘undesirables’, that is the non-Christians among us, won’t get any government funding.
That’s a gross over-simplification of course, but then so is the hysterical flapping going on about what is essentially housekeeping.
The Census is about finding out who actually lives here. It’s a collection of facts.
Wow. There’s a concept.
Fancy gathering facts so that we can have rational debate in this country instead of the usual blowhard, fear-mongering and obfuscation that usually passes for public discourse.
Really, Christians? Really?
You’re so insecure about your place in Australian society that you want us to LIE — how very Christian — about our beliefs just to make sure your church schools get the funding you think they deserve?
I say again … Wow.
Of course, as usual, this all boils down to racism, xenophobia and intolerance.
What the so-called Christians are saying is ‘be careful, Australia, because if we don’t all pretend to be good Christians and all the Muslims tick the box marked ‘Muslim’, the government might be forced to give the nasty foreigners somewhere to worship … oooooo’.
One day the extremists in the Christian faith (and in Islam) will realise that it is possible to be a good, caring, moral, productive, non-threatening, generous person even without believing in their God. Or any God, for that matter.
When that day comes we’ll all have to find another reason for hating each other enough to kill in the name of a belief system.
We will find another reason, of course, because humans wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they weren’t arguing with someone about something, but at least we won’t be pretending it’s all in the name of ‘God’.
Hypocrisy, thy name is ‘organised religion’.