Sunday, April 07, 2013

Imaginative generosity of spirit? You must be dreaming ...

(Above: if angry Sydney Anglicans won't celebrate the elevation of a woman, then the pond will).

It goes without saying that the pond is completely discombobulated this Sunday morning.

The curtains have utterly faded, the chooks have stopped laying, the cat and the dog are discontented, and domestic relationships are fraught.

Has anyone - is there a sensible academic in the house? - conducted research on the way daylight saving might be responsible for the sociopathic state of the leadership of North Korea?

But where, you ask, is there a sign of complete irrationality in the daylight saving affected leadership of Australia?

Two words will suffice: Campbell Newman.

What's that you say? Queensland has a really weird history in relation to daylight saving? (Wiki it here).

Well I never. Perhaps it's the fluoride in the water ...

Anyway, enough of lofty theories and academic posturing, it's daylight savings which explains why the  pond has chosen a few words by Timothy Garton Ash scribbled in Freedom and Diversity: A Liberal Pentagram for Living Together (outside the paywall), which has been lurking on the toilet reading stand for many months:

The demand for liberality therefore extends to the whole of a multicultural society, not just to its current majorities. If the atheist is called upon to allow the possibility of hidden value “even in religious utterances,” the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or fundamentalist Christian is equally called upon to have the imaginative generosity of spirit to understand the values of, say, a homosexual atheist. While liberality cannot be codified in law, let alone delivered by government departments, it is the vital fifth ingredient in combining freedom and diversity.

Right there in a nutshell, you have the impossibility of the whole enterprise.

Forget the generosity of spirit required to understand the values of a homosexual atheist. Just forget the homosexual atheist altogether... or the TG or the straight atheist for that matter ...

The angry Sydney Anglicans can't even extend a generosity of spirit or understanding to women within their very own church, so what hope has a bloody homosexual, or a TG or a heterosexual atheist?

Now news came down the wire yesterday that Queensland Anglicans were welcoming their first female bishop with the consecration of Alison Taylor at St John's Cathedral in Brisbane, and it must be true because you can watch a news clip of the goings on here at ABC news.

It seems it went on for a few hours and she swore she firmly believed the Catholic faith, one of those quaint flashbacks to the days of Henry VIII, when Henry insisted he was the genuine ridgy didge Catholic and the whores of Babylon the impostors.

Good luck to her, though the pond is, of course, a Marxist. The pond could never belong to a club which would offer the pond membership, as Groucho said ...

Naturally the pond rushed off to the angry Sydney Anglican site to see the good news celebrated.

You'd imagine they would be proud and celebratory, a front page splash heralding the appointment of the first woman bishop for Queensland, and only the fourth for Australia. Almost as rare as hen's teeth or laying chooks in daylight savings time ...

Not a whisper, not a hint, not a ripple, not a jot of digital ink wasted:

The news doesn't even turn up below the fold, in links to news stories.

It's as if poor Alison Taylor - Brisbane's first female bishop not one for cliches - had joined the ranks of the drooling living dead, and must be banished from sight and from hearing, so that important manly issues can be discussed.

Like whether there will be a shoulder-charge-free footy season?, with David Mansfield positively salivating at the possibilities.

Oh yes, angry Sydney Anglicans are manly folk, and know how to muscle up, and know how to walk the talk as well as talk the walk.

A girlie as a bishop when there's manly shoulder-charges to think about?

Oh and there's Michael Jensen bleating away in Why can't God just forgive?, which is a bit like asking why angry Sydney Anglicans can't forgive and forget and celebrate the entrance of a woman into the church at a decently high level.

Glass ceilings, positive messages for women and girls, all the good stuff mentioned by Archbishop Phillip Aspinall.

Not on your righteous indignant nelly. It turns out that god is a hard vengeful god, and She won't stand for any of this lovey dovey Christ forgiveness crap.

And just like the angry Anglicans, it seems god is cruel, unfair, unjust and inclined to torture and punishment, and above all inclined to anger:

‘So would you say that God was angry with human sins?’ ‘Well I would ..."

An angry god, and She's got a particular bee in Her bonnet about women and gays. Now you can see why those poor hapless homosexual atheists don't have a snowball's chance in hell ...

It really is strange to read about an angry god, presumably with full-flowing angry beard, stepping right out of the old testament to get angry all over again.

Jensen promises to talk next time about why god is so angry, and hopefully why Sydney Anglicans are even more angry and dismissive and confrontational, and waits with bated breath (which we can all agree is not quite the same as baited breath) ...

Of course if you read the week-old spluttering thoughts of Cardinal Pell for the Sunday Terror - Easter Sunday - it turns out that that god isn't just angry, She's a killer and a murderer:

Easter is not about birth but about the violent death of a good young man. Such a murder is provocative and disturbing ...

Indeed, it's as disturbing as daylight saving, and suggests that She might be just as befuddled as the North Koreans. Killing your own son? She's into filicide? No wonder the angry Anglicans are nervous about women ...

Finally, a few readers have suggested that the religious arm of the ABC online has become infiltrated by ratbags and is full of outrageous nonsense, and it's true that these days there are slim pickings to be had.

All the pond can suggest is that you might consider the alternative coverage provided by the BBC in its Religion and Ethics section, along with the coverage provided by The Guardian in its religion section.

That way you can keep the angry Anglicans for their comedy stylings, and leave the ABC alone as you go on the hunt for  good news stories like A gloriously crude topless 'jihad' from a Femen activist.

She's topless. She's angry. And she is, literally, taking liberties. The activist in this picture took part in a protest in Paris in support of Amina Tyler, a young Tunisian woman who has been targeted by Islamists after she put a bare-breasted picture of herself on her Facebook page in March with the words "Fuck Your Morals" and "My Body Belongs To Me, And Is Not The Source Of Anyone's Honour" painted across her chest.

Yes, and fuck your pious humbuggery and hypocrisy too, you mad mullahs, even more crazy than Sydney Anglicans when it comes to the rights of women.

Naturally the response of the fundamentalist clerics was to propose that the woman should be stoned ...

Take a liberal view of a homosexual atheist? In your dreams ...

But hey, the pond is always willing to hold out a hand, even offering to shake the sweaty, angry, quivering, outraged hands of Sydney Anglicans.

Why doesn't the likes of Michael Jensen spend a little time with Ronald Dworkin, brooding about Religion Without God (outside the paywall at the moment). Dworkin's quoting of Einstein will do it for the pond:

Albert Einstein said that though an atheist he was a deeply religious man: 
 To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong in the ranks of devoutly religious men.

Yes, there's room there for a homosexual atheist simply wondering at the marvels of the world and the diverse forms of love to be found within the known universe ...

What a pity that instead angry Sydney Anglicans sound like musty, faded, dilapidated, worn and abused curtains. Damn you daylight saving, damn you to hell ...

(Below: yes, you've guessed the real reason the Sydney Anglicans are upset with Alison Taylor. Frock envy! The pond is in favour of all forms of cross-dressing, beloved of rugby league players whenever they get near a TV camera, and beloved by religious men. The trouble arises when an innocent young thing, trained in superficial stereotypes, asks her mother why the men are wearing frocks, and why they're simply not as stylish as the women. Compare and contrast the ordination of Sydney Anglican deacons in 2008 with the Queensland do in 2013. And the winner is ... Inexpugnabilis probatio!)


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the BBC and Guardian links. And just how good was Stephen Crittenden and the Religion Report...but I don't think Angry Anglicans or Pellists for that matter liked their pew sitters to be encouraged to think! It was a shame when that program went.We are always going to have religion around us in some way so it's important that doctrine and its effects are discussed, debated and analysed in an intelligent fashion. A good post Dorothy


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