Sunday, August 03, 2014

Another meditative Sunday full of barking mad fundamentalism ...

(Above: the face of hate)

So a Ugandan court struck down a punitive anti-gay law, but as it's only been perceived as a technical legal move, the game isn't necessarily over:

Uganda Anti-Gay Law Struck Down by Court

Naturally the pond turned to the angry Sydney Anglicans for comment, seeing as how they're big in Uganda and they're fiercely anti-gay, though they dress it up as love the sinner, loathe the filthy, vile perverted sin, a very handy way to do nothing ...

So they routinely fail to mention their connections to the Ugandan hate brigade, and cover up their overt and covert past support of, the behaviour of anti-gay Christian activists in Uganda - the sort of Christian activism that was also stoked along by fundamentalist American evangelists who saw their market for anti-gay hate declining in the United States and thought Africa offered fresh fields for a growth in hate, and hate crimes ...

Instead the pond copped this:

Why does that irritate the pond so?

Well if you read it here, it's all about saying prayers for persecuted Christians.

What about some prayers for persecuted Shias, Sunnis, secularists, atheists, Ba'athists, and the rest of the hapless moderate civilians caught up in the fucked up whirlpool of religious and political hate that marks modern Iraq?

In fact demanding prayers for only one section of a fucked up country is typical of the sectarian divisions and political feuding that helped fuck up the country, in turn helped no end by woefully misguided western intervention.

Maybe there should have been a call for the prayers for the entire country, and an end to the way religious feuding has contributed to murder and mayhem in the world ... and if you read Iraq Illusions by Jessica T. Mathews (outside the NYRB paywall for the moment) it's not just the Christians who are comprehensively stuffed.

And what about some prayers for persecuted Ugandan and other African gays, and for women who want more than complementarian rights, including the right to laugh, and so and and so forth in this godforsaken fundamentalist world?

What else? Well it seems like the Jensenists have fallen on hard times. In Your Work + My Life = Balance!, Phillip Jensen recycles an edited version of an article originally published in Southern Cross July 2001, which explains, in typical Calvinist way, how angry Sydney Anglicans are bludgers living in clover or perhaps Elysium, while times are tough for Russian Orthodox chook sellers ...

2001! Well the pond does approve of recycling and regularly fills its bin with reminders of useless waste ....

What else? Well after that shocking sexed-up front cover of not so long ago, which established that angry Sydney Anglicans have sex on the brain, and seem to enjoy and be attracted by a little softcore Anglican porn, the July Southern Cross - now available for download, should you have bandwidth to waste - continues the theme (the August issue is also out but the pond can wait until September to read that one, thank you very much).

Along with a series of deeply perturbed and disturbed letters and an apology for its previous salacious imagery and causing sisters and brothers to stumble, Southern Cross gets right onto another matter of deep concern for angry Sydney Anglicans - pornography, and why they find themselves experiencing nocturnal emissions (apparently women only do it in a complementarian way).

But how to illustrate the problem without illustrating the problem? Well the front cover settles for discreet graphics about Walking in the light - the angry Anglicans seeming not to have heard about the dangers of the light and television noted by Poltergeist - and then the graphic for the actual story is just as safe:

Ah, a typical angry Sydney Anglican brain.

But before you feel too safe, take a look at this:

Eek, it's a veritable hell in the brain, a seething mass of fire and flame, of cocaine, drug-induced frenzy, and porn-addled craziness, and it's out there amongst young Christians.

Why no doubt the students at Moore Theological College roam the streets of Newtown casting lustful stares at the young tattooed men and women who walk the streets taunting the young Anglicans with their carefree sensuality ...

Enough already. The pond can only spend so long with seething, guilt-laden angry Anglicans before its jumping at shadows and flinching and returning to the days when spermatorrhea and vital heat was a medical reality (and you can join that conversation here).

Let's instead head off to a few depressing readings on how religion, in this case Zionism, has produced its share of conflict and torment.

Right at the moment, Jonathan Freeland's The Liberal Zionists is outside the NYRB paywall, and if that isn't depressing enough, follow it up with Liberal Zionism after Gaza:

... there is a weariness in the liberal Zionist fraternity. Privately, people admit to growing tired of defending Israeli military action when it comes at such a heavy cost in civilian life, its futility confirmed by the frequency with which it has to be repeated. Operation Cast Lead was in 2008-2009. Operation Pillar of Defense followed in 2012. And here we are again in 2014. 
But underlying this fatigue might be a deeper anxiety. For nearly three decades, the hope of an eventual two state solution provided a kind of comfort zone for liberal Zionists, if not comfort blanket. The two-state solution expressed the liberal Zionist position perfectly: Jews could have a state of their own, without depriving Palestinians of their legitimate national aspirations. Even if it was not about to be realized any time soon, it was a goal that allowed one to be both a Zionist and a liberal at the same time. But the two-state solution does not offer much comfort if it becomes a chimera, a mythical notion as out of reach as the holy grail or Atlantis. The failure of Oslo, the failure at Camp David, the failure of Annapolis, the failure most recently of John Kerry’s indefatigable nine-month effort has prompted the unwelcome thought: what if it keeps failing not because the leaders did not try hard enough, but because the plan cannot work? What if the two-state solution is impossible? 
That prospect frightens liberal Zionists to their core. For the alternatives to two states are unpalatable, either for liberal reasons or for Zionist reasons. A single state in all of historic Palestine, dominated by Jews but in which Palestinians are deprived of the vote, might be Zionist but it certainly would not be liberal. A binational state offering full equality between Jew and Arab would be admirably liberal, but it would seem to thwart Jewish self-determination, at least as it has traditionally been conceived, and therefore could not easily be described as Zionist. 
When Israelis and Palestinians appear fated to fight more frequently and with ever-bloodier consequences, and when peace initiatives seem to be utopian pipe-dreams doomed to fail, the liberal Zionist faces something like an existential crisis. For if there is no prospect of two states, then liberal Zionists will have to do something they resist with all their might. They will have to decide which of their political identities matters more, whether they are first a liberal or first a Zionist. And that is a choice they don’t want to make.

Privately? So the moderates and leftists twiddle their fingers in anguish, while the fundamentalist theocrats hoe into each other. Talk about fucked.

There's the angry Sydney Anglicans hung up about sex and gays and not helping in Uganda, there's Iraq torn apart by contending fundamentalists, there's Israel and the Palestinians torn apart by fundamentalism, barking mad Zionism and Islamic, and so on and so forth.

Is it any wonder that on any given meditative Sunday the pond settles down for a little quiet, pleasurable atheism?

And then along comes that twit Richard Dawkins. Well if you want to know how to generate 3,722 comments, just scribble Richard Dawkins, what on earth happened to you?

And then there's Scott "Tongues" Morrison, who calls himself a Christian, yet lies, without any apparent sign of shame or contrition. Since when did Jesus ordain lying?

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Exodus 20:16

Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Leviticus 19:11

Seems clear enough.

In a week where Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been accused by no less than the Australian churches of “state sanctioned child abuse . . .” for what is happening to refugee children under our care – self-harm is at epidemic levels, with 128 cases reported in the past 15 months, and that is just for starters – it is apposite to recall Minister Morrison’s maiden speech in Parliament in 2007. 
“From my faith I derive the values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others; to fight for a fair go for everyone to fulfil their human potential and to remove whatever unjust obstacles stand in their way . . . Desmond Tutu put it this way: ‘We expect Christians . . . to stand up for the truth, to stand up for justice, to stand on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked, and when that happens, then Christians will be trustworthy believable witnesses.’ These are my principles . . .” 
Takes your breath away, doesn’t it? And I ask again: Is putting kids in detention what Australia really wants? (here)

Takes the breath away? Induces nausea more like ...

Perhaps that's why the pond is too tired. This should be a meditative time, not a time spent with wankers or wankers obsessed with wanking ... and certainly not with child abusers or with crazed war-mongering fundamentalists, because then all you can do is get quite fundamentalist about the fundamentalists ...

No, if you keep walking down this path, sure as Jensenism is complementarian loopy, you'll end up reading Turkish women defy deputy PM with laughter, and The bizarre debate over female laughter shows Turkey's women need a new deal:

Yep, surrounded by barking mad fundamentalists, you've got to laugh. Yee hah, Tamworth style ...


  1. Dot, it's doesn't work to quote the bible to Scott Morrison and other Christians who lurve the God of the Markets. The market god is better than the god who made the poor people, who are forever trying to suck at their tax-paying teats.

    So here is Greg Sheridan on Compass a few weeks ago telling us how Christianity works for him.

    " I've recently changed... I'm an irregular churchgoer, but I've recently changed the church I go to because the church I used to go to, in my opinion, the priest was so browbeaten by the reputational damage the church has taken over abuse and everything, that they just preached a political sermon every week.

    So I've gone to another church. Now, OK, that's, if you like, the market taking care of the problem, but I don't think that priest helps anybody by giving us an amateur commentary on complex political issues instead of actually talking about the Gospel."

    Full transcript but not really worth reading

    Clearly Jesus knew that there are people who can freely choose which bits of the bible are the right ones for them. It is only 'the others' who need to read and heed the bits about behaving honesty and decently.

    1. Dear sweet absent lord, that's way too much information about the Bromance man. He even shops around for his religion on the basis of politics and brown nosing and knob polishing? But the pond thanks you kindly for the link, which is a hoot, on the basis that you should never shoot the messenger delivering the news of hoots, only the hooter hooting ...


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