Thursday, July 04, 2013

Thankfully not hand on heart

It took me some time to work this out in my head. Like an hour or so.

A Moslem member of parliament was subjected to abuse and vitriol on his personal social media sites because he swore on the Koran, rather than the Christian Bible. The howls were long and loud and vitriolic. Well, I am not so keen on any religion, least of all the Moslem religion, but do I agree with the vocal masses?

The first thought that occurred to me, aren't  there other non Christian members of parliament. Well, my local federal member is Jewish. What did he swear on? The only Jewish text book I know of is the Torah.   Did Michael Danby MP swear on the Torah?

I am not blessed with great intelligence. I read widely but I forget almost every thing I read. However, my thought processes went further to a moment of clarity, such clarity not spoken of in the media.

The chap was swearing on a religious text, his religious text, allegiance to Australia. I really don't think you can ask much more than that. For him to swear allegiance on the Christian Bible would be completely false.

Unlike England with the Church of England connected to the Head of State who is head of Parliament, Australia is a secular society and has been for a long time. All religions are recognised and there is no Australian religion. Christianity may well be in our history, (tell that to our Aborigines or to Chinese gold miners) but it is not modern Australia.

Now if we can just get rid of the anachronistic Lords Prayer said at the beginning of each Parliamentary session, a much better and more realistic impression would be given.

Just to reinforce, Ed Husic MP swore allegiance to Australia using his own religious text. Allegiance to Australia are the key words.

16 comments:

  1. I saw the news about comments made on Mr Husic's Facebook page and I gather they were relatively few in number. The overwhelming majority of Australians seem to have remained silent on the matter which is understandable given that the newly sworn Minister acted quite appropriately.

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    1. Victor, I find such hatred quite disturbing.

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  2. I'm surprised it took you a clever chap like you even as long as an hour to work that out.

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    1. Marcellous, my scatter mind is exactly that. A lot happened between the beginning of the hour and my conclusion.

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  3. Very well put Andrew. You have identified the key words 'allegiance to Australia'. Ed Husic swore allegiance to Australia on a book that was meaningful to him that is important. I agree with Victor's comment above that it is a minority of people who take to Facebook to vent their intolerance or worse, their racist, xenophobia views. I hope that most Australians find their comments abhorrent.

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    1. David, in my mind I have a couple of 'quintessential' Australians in mind and I think about what they would think. If it was explained to them clearly, they would be fine, but they see basic headlines and go with flow. Moslem, Australia, Government is translated to take over of Australia by Arabs.

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  4. The comments even made our news. Wise words Andrew - his swearing allegiance would be meaningless without the book which means so much to his faith.

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    1. Interesting Craig, not a a crocodile or shark this time.

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  5. For a country that has a separation of church and state, the Lord's Prayer to open parliament is offensive. If I was in the USA, seeing In God We Trust on public courts would be equally horrible.

    I don't care if I am on my knees for 8 hours a day praying to my god. Religious beliefs are private.

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    1. Of course it is Hels. Why is it still there? It is too political to drop. One side or the other will scream and the Christian lobby will come out in force. It needs to be ridden in a bipartisan and quiet manner.

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  6. MPs really ought to be able to swear on a stack of pancakes as more of us spend Sundays at McDonald's than in church.

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    1. Pants, I was surprised to learn that something like 61% still claim to be Christian in the last census.

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  7. I will never understand what relgion has to do with politics ? Not all politicians swear on a bible ! Not all prime ministers, chancellers, presidents either ! Anyway swearing on a bible or whatever doesn't change the fact that they promise but never hold their promises !

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    1. Historically they always did Gattina, even in a young country like Australia, but there should be no connection now. One of our Prime Ministers had a concept of core promises and non core promises. He could break the non core promises.

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  8. on another blog a commenter said she didn't care if they swore on a MAD magazine, and I agree with that, as their promises are worthless anyhow.
    Separate Church From State Now!

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    1. I like that pollies have to swear allegiance to Australia, and I don't really care how, but yes, religion and state must be more separated.

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