Archive for August, 2008

“How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us”. – attributed to Pope Leo X (1513 – 21)

Watching the events of World Youth Day in Sydney, I feel excitement in seeing the joyful faces of the young people from all over the world as they celebrate an aspect of their lives; but as something of an agnostic, I cannot help but feel they these young people are being conned by an orgainisation that has great experience in conning people, including themselves. I imagine my feelings being akin to someone who disagreed with Hitler, watching the excitement of people at pre-war Nazi rallies, in that, I can see the excitement, but cannot believe in it and am therefore anathema to it.

Watching young people looking forward to seeing and rapturously hanging on every word and movement of the pope, reminded me of seeing film clips of the adoration large sections of the German people had for Hitler in the 1930s.

I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so. – Adolf Hitler, 1941

Aren’t these young people gathering to celebrate their collective belief in the philosophies of a man long dead, not the adoration of a man who is (after all the trappings are removed) nothing more than the CEO of a religious orgainisation or corporation called the Catholic Church?

He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future – Adolf Hitler – 1935

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The epithet ‘hypocrite’ is a strong term, and is a heavy emotion-laden (often angry) condemnation to throw around. In some communities it is sometimes aimed at those who while being a perceived member of a community, or is a professed supporter of some action beneficial to that community, denies supporting that beneficial action to protect their position within a government or corporation. Is the imposition of such a label, epithet or condemnation a valid action? If someone is in a position where activism is possible, where a social change agenda can be pushed, is it incumbent upon that person to do so? and if they don’t, is the label valid then? Do such people deserve anger or pity for their circumstance?

In my opinion, if Penny Wong (Australian Federal Environment Minister), as an individual human being, believes in extending marriage to same-sex couples, but is compelled to deny it as a result of her occupation (cabinet minister); then she is a hypocrite of circumstance. Her circumstance compels her to hypocracy, in that she is forced by her position to act in opposition to her beliefs. This scenario may be played out through many different occupations, and from many beliefs and standpoints.
I imagine that it must gall her to have to publicly declare her agreement with laws that state that she is less worthy of the same rights and privileges than any straight person in her workplace.
I am not angry at her for her hypocracy, I pity her for being compelled to be a hypocrite by the laws of this land and the expectations of party unity and patriarchy.

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