Thursday, 20 October 2011

Defending the Faith

Australia's Supreme RulerThe subject of Christmas popped up at a recent office meeting. Specifically, the politically correct question of whether we are allowed to refer to that particular day on our calendars as “Christmas” or whether we should use some euphemism tailored so as not to offend the non Christians. [Adequate disclosure: this non Christian could not give a fuck.] One participant opined that “of course we can [use the word Christmas], because Australia is a Christian country”.
Normally, such a statement would blow my fuses and boil my blood. This time, though, it couldn’t: the reality is that, officially at least, Australia still is a Christian country. It’s a country where Christian prayers are said at the beginning of each parliament session, a country where elected politicians gather at a church to celebrate the post elections dawn of a new parliament, and a country where the head of state – in our case, the Queen of England – is also legally trusted with acting as its Defender of Faith. That is, she’s the head of the Church of England.
All of the above indicates there is plenty of room for Australia to improve, but through the realization I am not living in the plural society I was hoping to live in came another thought.
I was generally under the assumption that those who want to keep Australia in the clutches of British monarchy do so for primarily racial/xenophobic reasons. As in, “let us keep Anglo Saxonia Minor [i.e., Australia] at our hands instead of those of that riffraff over there”. That is, people who are acting to preserve their culture under the assumption that theirs is a superior one.
However, now it occurred to me there may be more to this. Religion is probably a big part of the equation: those looking to keep the monarchy are probably motivated by their perceived need to keep Christianity as the dominant religion in Australia at all cost. Even if that cost means pretending a daft* old Pom is our head of state.

*You may not consider Elizabeth daft, but you have to admit Charles has repeatedly and quite conclusively proven himself to be one.

Image by yewenyi, Creative Commons license

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