Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Charlie Chaplin

For more than a week now the news has been telling us quite a lot about this Muslim mufti of Sydney, who said that women dressed in seductive clothing are like exposed meat left out for the hungry cat to devour. Or something along these lines.
Since these pearls of wisdom were uttered, the item refuses to let go. There are calls from all over the place to sack the mufti, with some even going as far as saying that he should be deported for his un-Australian words.
What do I make of it?
Well, if you ask me, the Muslim community who this guy is supposed to be representing would do well to get rid of him; he's a total idiot. Then again, I doubt they would follow my advice, given the distinctive gap in the way we view this world of ours.
As to the wise people of Australia calling for him to be deported, all I can say is - since when has the expression of one's opinion, as stupid as it may be, become a felony carrying the punishment of deportation?
What I'm trying to say here is that as stupid as this guy's words may have been, their contents is not the real driver of the current turmoil. Just compare these words to what the archbishop of god-knows-where or the rabbi of your nearest ghetto would say, and you will find that their opinions do not differ by much; the main differences are that this archbishop won't say these things in a forum that may make such a news item bomb out of it, and that no one would ask for the rabbi to be deported. Why? Because he's a rabbi, and not a Muslim; and currently, it is the Muslims who are the ones being picked on.
All this big fuss has nothing to do with the bleeding hearts leading our society being truly worried about the status of women in our society. Most of them agree with the mufti. What this is all about is an opportunity to bash Muslims about and to show them who is the real boss in this country.

And as if by coincidence, and as if we didn't know who's the boss in this country, John Howard came up with a lovely new idea this week: The government will now fund chaplains for schools, who will provide "spiritual help and support" to students requiring such help.
In an article published in today's Age, Howard says - and I quote:
"There is a keen desire in the wider community for additional ways to provide pastoral care, comfort and support for young Australians. In an increasingly complex world, parents are telling my Government that a school chaplain would help them provide positive guidance to their children."
Better yet, in case you managed to secure a firm grip with all the hordes of community members running around looking for some pastoral care, he also says:
"Students often struggle to come to terms with the loss of school friends, and a chaplain would help them manage their grief."
Excuse me, but how many students need to come to terms with the loss of school friends in the first place? I did 12 years of school plus 4 of uni, and none of my friends died on me. None died on me in 4 years of army service in quite a hostile territory, either. What the hell is Howard talking about?
Well, it's obvious what he is really talking about, and it is also obvious that I'm infuriated.
Once again, through the use of nice words such as "community", Howard is trying to force his own agendas on us. And just like his attempt to dumb us down with the new media legislation robbing us of proper journalism, now he also wants us to think like he does - i.e., embrace religion - straight as of childhood, a time where we're vulnerable, a time where our views are first formed.
Since the time of Rome and through the Dark Ages, religion has been the prime time tool used in order to control the hordes so that the ruling classes can have their good time without anyone questioning them. We thought we had ourselves a Renaissance and managed to push religion away, establishing states where religions were forced into their separate ways; well, not anymore, if Johnny has his way.

My opinion on religion, and on doctrinal based religion in particular (which pretty much encompasses all the major religions I'm familiar with) has been expressed many a time in this blog. But I'll say it again, just in case there are some out there who are yet to feel offended today:
I think doctrinal religion is based on stupid ideas; and I think that people who accept it for hereditary reasons without thinking much about what it is they believe in are stupid. Not because they're really limited in their ability to think, but just because they don't bother to really think of what it is that they believe in and what it is their beliefs stand for and what it all means. [For the record I will add that I'm not on a quest to label religious people as particularly stupid people; for example, I consider myself to be a big time idiot, and I have plenty of proof to support this observation]
We no longer live in a flat world resting upon the back of a turtle like we did when our religions were invented. We know enough now to stop asking what that poor turtle is resting on.
We no longer live in a world where a flower opening itself up to catch the rays of sunlight is considered an act of god; we know that it opens up as a result of chemical reactions.
Since the time religion was invented in order to explain what goes on around us we learned enough to know that we don't really need a magical being to explain why the things around us behave the way they do.
We do not need chaplains to impose archaic doctrines on our children. By all means, bring on the counselors; but keep your superstitions separated away from the state. Bring us Charlie Chaplin, not some dark ages' chaplains.

Back in 2001 I made the decision to leave Israel in order to live elsewhere. The main reason for me wanting to leave was the way security and religion was so well entrenched into the daily lives of the people of Israel: you can get called into the army on a whim to "protect" your country at any given moment; you can't marry anyone you like; you can only marry someone the religious way; and the list goes on and on.
Australia, to me, represented freedom from these stupid values. Yet now, when the so called "war on terror" is used to shut people's mouths from saying things that might offend those at the top, and when religion is starting to impose itself on us, I feel as if the world is falling down on me. I feel as if there is no escape for me, no place where I can live my life according to the values that I see fit.
You can argue about my values, but I maintain that it is those scientifically based values that got humanity to where it is today. And I don't want to regress.

John Howard, I want my country back.

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