Thursday, October 06, 2011

Our Father, which art in heaven

I assume each new sitting our Federal Parliament is still opened with some silly old traditions, including a recitation of the Lords Prayer. Maybe our State Parliament does the same. I vaguely recall the Usher of the Rod still bangs on the door with a staff.

Australia is a christian country. No?

Christianity may well have been the dominant religion in years past but why is it embraced in our Federal Parliament?

In the eighteen hundreds Afghan muslims roamed central Australia with their camels. Muslim Turks mined in Broken Hill. In the eighteen hundreds there were many Chinese who were buddhist or taoist and dug in our gold fields. Our original Australians weren't christian. Maybe earlier still, but at least from the early twentieth century, Jewish people were in Australia.

I am not much of one for multiculturalism as it seems to defined in Australia. I don't like us being separate streams of culture. I would like us all to mix in and get on. You foreign born person, give me a bit of yours, I will give you a bit of mine, and the rest we have in common.

Christianity needs to be removed from our parliaments. After all, doesn't Australia, unlike our so called mother country England, practice the separation of church and state? So what is christianity doing in our political systems? Why do our parliaments pander to holy ghost hokus pokus?


  1. And completely not politically correct Andrew. :)
    However, I completely agree with you. Your next to last paragraph says it all so well.

    When I first moved out here to Oklahoma, I went to lunch at the senior center, and was so shocked when everyone stood up and started saying the Pledge of Allegiance. I hadn't said it since grade school and found it a bit amusing since I couldn't recall half the words. As if that wasn't enough, they then said the Lord's Prayer. I haven't been back since. Ah well...

  2. The separation of church and state is the best for any country. A bible, coran or any other religious book should not be part of a nation.

    And IF people should be sworn in, use the Constitution.

  3. I agree that religious rituals such as prayer etc should have no place in Parliamentary proceedings.
    I think perhaps that we differ on what constitutes multiculturalism.
    You see it as everyone being separate, I see it as you've stated a little further on. "..foreign born person, give me a bit of yours, I'll give you a bit of mine..."
    The blending of cultures with everyone getting on and sharing ideas and cultures is how I see multiculturalism.

  4. Rubye, that does not surprise me. I don't think that would happen here unless the org was religion based. They can still be nice people though.

    Agree Peter. We do have an alternative here to swearing to the queen in courts and for new members of parliament. They can take an oath instead.

    River, it is recently that I came across a proper definition which was that immigrants can have their own cultural stream running parallel with long time Australian's. I'm not sure that was what I thought it was, a blending of cultures.

  5. It does seem a bit quaint to be calling on a mythical being to guide your actions in parliment.

    On the other hand Christianity has played a part in shaping Australia (and others) You have holidays at Christmas and Easter not passover etc.
    The laws derive from a christian moral view which is why some like homosexual reform took so long and was so bitter.

    And there is one thing worse than multi cultural it is describing yourself as Bi-Cultural as NZ often does, this completely ignores all cultures except the two "acceptable" ones.

  6. It's the ultimate irony, I think, that such an uncivilised unchristian bunch follow this 'tradition'.
    Added to which they mumble it with as much enthusiasm as an Olympic medal winner sings the national anthem.

  7. Big Dog, I am quite happy to recognise that Australia was a christian country. It is our history, but it isn't the present Australia. I had not heard of bi-cultural, an interesting concept.

    Fruitcake, a little more of practising what they preach? I had to laugh at the Manly rugby team, who seemed to know all the words to the NZ national anthem but not the Australian anthem.

  8. There were at least fifteen Jews on the First Fleet, Andrew.

  9. Victor, Dina picked up on the theme and mentioned it in her blog. I became bamboozled by the numbers, but the site she looked at suggested less than ten. Another site says eight but wiki says fifteen. Suffice to say they were here with the rest of the first fleet.