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article imageOp-Ed: Get Theocratic Infringement Out of Free Society

By Joseph Power     Apr 4, 2012 in Politics
A call for an end to theocratic influence in free society, looking at same-sex marriage, the Catholic-rape scandal, Rwanda, Islamic fascism and more.
Everywhere I look, there seems to be one more fresh injection of religious influence in free society.
Living in a beautiful, economically stable nation such as Australia it may be difficult for some to see the influence of the Christian right in our politics, but upon closer inspection, a sinister number of incidents have occurred, and indeed still occur.
The Australian Christian Lobby (the ACL), have petitioned relentlessly against both Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her party’s policy regarding same-sex marriage (despite Gillard herself coming out against it, baffling as an atheist), as well as slating then Premier Anna Bligh for refusing to attend an ACL forum at my own University of Queensland this February.
The agenda of these clueless nut-jobs is laughable. I challenge any member of this lobby to convince me that homosexuality is not a satanic influence on human lives (as a number claim), but rather a form of love. It comes back to the blatant human creation of religion that a supposed omniscient and omnipotent creator would design so many homosexuals, only to condemn them to an eternity of suffering and torture.
The implication that this creator would allow this to take place, suggests one that is capricious, cruel and ultimately laughable by any thinking person. Of course, the same organizations that oppose the open love of same-sex individuals stand idly by whilst orphans and other vulnerable children are raped in church-run schools in almost every nation on Earth: from Uganda, to the United Kingdom, to my current home of Australia.
Not to mention a certain Vicar of Christ on Earth playing a heavy-hand in dismissing a case involving one Rev. Lawrence Murphy, accused of raping over 200 deaf-boys at the school he ministered. He was quietly transferred to continue his work elsewhere.
By the logic of the Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole: the open love between two men is wrong. Evidently the rape of vulnerable children is not, just as long as nobody finds out about it.
Continuing inside the sovereignty of Australia: in August last year, a row erupted over the decision for a chaplain, within a government-funded school, to allow creationist John Mackay to deliver a presentation. That isn’t exactly a crime, but it was billed under the title “scientific lecture”, and investigated the scientific evidence in biblical regards in regards to creation. Not to cut Mr Mackay’s lecture short, but I think a few school-children and many more adults could shout “NONE!” if that thesis was presented to them.
As somebody who was raised in Catholic schools his entire life: I hold a strong opposition to this sort of nonsense being taught in any public school on Earth. To call it ‘junk-science’ would be accusing it of holding any sort of empirical value, and to call it ‘worthless dog-faeces’ would be an insult to both dogs and faeces. Could you imagine learning about the majesty of natural selection, gravity or perhaps a lecture regarding the theory of black holes and the event horizon, only to return after lunch and be taught about dust, ribs and talking snakes?
The indoctrination of religion and youths is a despicable practice. I perhaps deserved it, being raised in proudly religious schools my entire life, but to stealthily infiltrate public and (more importantly) secular schools is immoral, and a good cause for the removal of chaplains from the secular school-system, so that they can reside solely in private and ultimately religious institutions.
Moving across the globe to the Indian sub-continent: in Pakistan, over 8,500 forced marriages, violence and acid attacks were reported in 2011. The reasons for the latter occur for a variety of reasons – the most common being a woman in public sans her veil. Fakhra Younos: a former-dancing girl committed suicide last week, 12 years after battery acid was poured across her face` and body by her former partner – the son of a prominent Pakistani political figure and in full-view of the Fakhra’s 5 year old son. Bilal Khar – the attacker, was acquitted at the trial, a common instance in cases regarding political figures, and Fakhra underwent over three-dozen surgeries in an attempt to repair the damage done to her face, skin and respiratory system.
Moving to Africa, I think one of the single most immoral acts of human indecency on the continent came again from Joseph Ratzinger; aka Pope Benedict XVI. Who deemed it wise to spread the lie that the use of contraception increases the chance of contracting AIDs. The damage done by that baffling and wicked series of statements has (and will) cause the death, suffering, misery and agony of millions of Africans.
Staying on the continent, perhaps the worst genocide since Hitler’s Final Solution: Rwanda, saw a central role played by the Catholic Church, who had supported the Hutu majority for years, with Vatican approval. One such incident involves Father Athanase Seromba, who lured 2,000 men, women and children inside his church. Seromba then ordered the church to be bulldozed, trapping the people inside and imploring militias to finish off the survivors – whom were trapped underneath the rubble.
Or perhaps Archbishop André Perraudin? A man whom was the senior representative for the Vatican in 1950s Rwanda, who formed the hate-group Hutu Power, a racist and hateful ideology, all to keep the Church’s position of political power after Belgian decolonisation.
During the Arab Spring of last year, Tunisia overthrew the dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Al, only for an Islamic coalition party to seize control of the country and immediately put sharia law into effect. A cynical commentator could call that a wasted revolution.
This is the major problem with theocracy – religion is corrosive, it cannot be kept simply to oneself. What sane person would deem that pouring acid over a woman’s face for not wearing a piece of clothing, or the hacking/mutilation of the genitals of children if they didn’t think it to be divinely warranted?
Indeed, that seems to be the argument that fanatics always turn to – divine permission. When God commanded Moses and his tribe to slaughter and enslave the young women of the Amalekites in the pages of the Old Testament, a Christian could make the argument that morality is relative, that the divine command made genocide, rape and slavery moral.
This is nonsense. It is a proud badge of the religious (more so the fanatic), to claim modesty and humility. The claim of divine communication warrants, imposing faith on others, seizing political power, lobbying politicians for humanist ideals and attempting to infiltrate the public-school classroom falls under neither category. Let’s realise this and move on.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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