Thanks for the Reminders
Well, I did it. I wasn’t going to, but with all those friendly reminders, how could I not? I filled out the Government’s marriage survey (which closes today, by the way).
I don’t know whether it was someone forwarding me a letter by Jim Wallace that was the final straw, or the assumption that because I am a Christian I would automatically share the same views as my Christian family members.
No Affection Please, We’re Homophobic
Both my Twitter and Facebook feeds today have been full of condemnation of Adshell’s removal of a poster from bus shelters. The poster is part of a “Rip and Roll” safe sex campaign by the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities. I’m including the picture so that you can see which one I’m talking about and my comments do not relate to any other pictures that might be associated with the Facebook page that has been created explaining the background and protesting removal of the poster. Like all such sites, it’s better if you don’t read the comments. The poster was removed after complaints, the most vocal complainant seems, again, to be Wendy Francis from the Australian Christian lobby, helping to give Christians everywhere a bad name.
I like the picture, and I’ll explain why in a moment.
End of the World?
So apparently the world didn’t end on Sunday. Harold Camping admits to being a little mystified as to why his prediction didn’t come to pass.
It’s easy to scoff at people like Camping and his followers, but we live in a society where rapid changes in cultural, social, and economic conditions have left many people lost and bewildered. Deregulation of the financial system in the 1980s, coupled with globalisation, has meant the moving offshore of many low-skilled jobs and that has had a significant effect on employment conditions. Ongoing wars in many places has seen an increase in global migration, including asylum-seeking, and there is an apparent increase in terrorism and other overt acts of religious and political intolerance. On top of this, the tension between tradition and liberal values has widened, including the global gay-pride movement, which Camping singles out as a sign of the impending apocalypse.
Voting on Faith
I know this is a cultural studies blog, not a religious one, but I often blog about politics, and given the attention to the influence of religion in politics in recent years (especially the influence of the so-called “Christian Right”), I’m going to go for it. Besides that, I’m seriously pissed off and this election campaign is not doing anything to soothe me.
I was talking to a relative the other day who said they could not vote for Bob Brown because he screws men (actually, this person said “a poof”), and couldn’t vote for Julia Gillard because she is an atheist. Well, I can’t vote for Tony Abbott because he has a track record of screwing the poor and vulnerable. I’ve also been getting emails from another family member urging me to pray for our leaders, couched in right wing imagery referring to our “Heritage”. The assumption is that of course I will vote for the Coalition, or Family First, because they will uphold our “Christian” values. I won’t.
I will vote on the basis of my faith.
St Mary's Priest gets the Sack
The Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby has given notice to the priest of St Mary’s Catholic church at South Brisbane, Father Peter Kennedy, that he should resign by 21 February or he will face the sack. This follows a long stand-off between the congregation and the church hierarchy, in which Father Kennedy has been accused of “performing unorthodox mass and not respecting the church hierarchy”. Read the ABC news item here.
Chief among the congregation’s sins is the acceptance of gays and lesbians including running commitment ceremonies for couples, but the Archbishop is also concerned about the use of “non-conventional terms during baptisms.” He also insists that priests at the church wear “the traditional alb and stole during the mass and they use a Catholic Church-approved eucharistic prayer – not one developed by the community. He also wants lay people to stop giving the homily.” Link.