Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yet more thoughts

Thank God for the clergy
If it hadn't been for an enthusiastic cabal of catholic, muslim and mormon clergymen, I would have remained unaware of the threat posed by same sex marriage to the very fabric of our society. I had naively thought that by allowing same sex marriage, all we were doing was giving to same sex couples the same rights, privileges and recognition which the rest of us have always enjoyed, but apparently this is not the case. Our society is based exclusively upon an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, for the purpose of begetting children in fact. Any other combination would spell disaster for us all. One has to admire the scrupulous honesty of these clergymen, who have time and again confirmed their dedication to fairness, and their determination not to attempt to force their scripturally based values on people who do not share their faith. On the contrary, their scientific and philosophical researches have always been the basis for their recommendations, and the fact that these unbiased studies have accorded in every detail with the teachings of their various cults is merely the most amazing coincidence.
I should pause at this stage to pay tribute to the anglican archbishop of Sydney, for his contribution to this discourse, and whilst I suspect that some purists may struggle a little with the presence of 'anglican' in his title , I should point out that at least he hasn't advocated the adoption of sharia law for Australia. Yet.
A couple of ladies live just down the road from me in Daylesford, and they have been together for eighteen years. I haven't asked them yet, but I am sure that even they would be impressed by the clergymen's assertion that a Kardishan marriage has greater value for society than their relationship.
Now the clergymen have been at pains to point out that marriage is a religious institution, and I am sure that they are right, although I do remember from history books the phrase “Caesar's wife must be above suspicion” which suggests that Caesar himself must have been married. Of course, he died in 44 B.C.E., approximately 77 years before the invention of christianity, 625 years before the invention of islam, and 1875 years before the invention of mormonism, which leads one to wonder what the pagans have to say on the subject.
Now the clergymen have also confirmed that only marriage can secure the future of our society, by being the only institution which can produce children. I better let my brother know, because he and his girlfriend appear to have produced a couple of ankle biters without actually getting married. I think he must represent one of those threats to our country against which we have been so so appositely warned .(Better not mention my divorce)
One of the things which I admire most about the clergymens intervention, is their consistency. I was impressed when they correctly suggested that the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the 1960's would mean ruin for us all, and how they accurately predicted societal collapse in countries like Canada and Spain and the Netherlands who embraced same sex marriage. They are infallible !
I was equally impressed the other day, when one of the clergymen announced on television that he would not like to see a society in which the institution of marriage was degraded by allowing same sex couples to participate in it. Well, inspired by his forthright example, I thought to myself, I wouldn't like to see a society in which it was possible to flagrantly and lawfully discriminate against women. After all, we have laws to prevent that sort of thing don't we ? Well it turns out that we do, but surprisingly, one group is exempt from these laws, and I bet you can't guess who it is - the clergymen of course !
Surely, it can't be evil, immoral and wrong to discriminate against women, unless you are a catholic, in which case it is AOK. If you want to offer somebody a job in Australia , the position must be open to all people, unless you are a muslim or a mormon, in which case 'penis equipped only' is perfectly legal.
The most exciting thing about the same sex marriage debate, is the fact that we must all be grateful to the clergymen for having so rigorously established the precedent that religious groups have the right to influence society, even those parts of society who do not share their superstitions. Without the decisive contribution of these men of faith, I might still have been labouring under the misapprehension that in a secular society, religions' freedoms were guaranteed by their independence from the state, and that the states impartiality was guaranteed by its independence from religion, and in turn, freedom of religion implied freedom from religion. But apparently I am mistaken.
So, I would like to make a couple of humble contributions to the same sex marriage debate.
Firstly, following up the clergymen's philosophical insight, I think that anti-discrimination and anti-hate speech laws must now be uniformly applied, without regard to the race, or sex or religion of those involved. This would simply mean that religions could have all the priests, rabbis, imams, preachers and popes that they want, but only on the condition that those positions are made available to women, as are all other positions of employment under Australian law. Likewise the bible and koran would have to be drastically censored to remove hate speech elements, and exhortations to murder and violence. The book of mormon would also have to be censored, of course, but in this case with the added motivation of establishing some heretofore absent literary merit.
Secondly, and most importantly, the Trade Practises Act must be also be fully and fairly applied. If I manufactured a dish washing liquid, and claimed on the packet that it was biodegradable, then it had better be biodegradable, or I would leave myself open to prosecution. Similarly, if you claim that something that looks like a biscuit, and smells like a biscuit, and tastes like a biscuit, is actually part of somebody's leg, then you had better be able to prove it. I am sure that no self respecting clergyman would suggest that their deity is incapable of satisfying the same standards of proof one would apply to a dish washing liquid.
Is'nt it wonderful to think that these long overdue reforms could be applied as a consequence of a group of clergymen coming together to teach us that there is no practical difference between society and religion, and that each has the right to impose its wishes on the other.

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