Monday, May 02, 2005

My own piece of punditry

pundit: By extension, the term pundit is also used to refer to individuals that express opinions in the media without necessarily being a recognized expert on a particular subject matter. Pundits are often accused of being politically biased and for using informal logic in fallacious ways; in this sense, the term is also used as a term of disparagement

That's me!!!!!!

Sleepybomb at The Wreckroom has a policy on his blog. " politics, (or religion)." which in effect adds to his music rich site. Occasionally he'll as we say downunder "get the shits" break this rule and do a small rant on the state of things in the USA. But it doesn't occur that often. His spirituality can be found in his love of music.

The "no politics or religion" rule is also a given in Aussie pubs, polarization of opinion with a few beers under the belt can lead to sometimes heated arguments and friend ship (or mateship) lost. It is not a good thing. So there are a few unsaid pub rules, politics& religion are not mentionied, if you're in a "shout" you shouldn't back out, etc etc.

I don't have Sleepybombs "no politics no religion" policy but there again I don't have an as rich knowledge, enthusiasm and experience of things musical. Politics I know a little about and mainstream religion even less. I remember a great quote from a mailing list I was once on, "Religion is the politics of spirituality." which I tend to agree with.

Here are some observations from an outsider in the church and state situation in the USA, it could be considered punditry but it is a feeling I get when cruising the blogosphere and the net.

I am constantly reading about the fundamental right and it's creeping influence on US political policy and opinion. Not even the judiciary or Wal-Mart is safe. This is a bizarre concept to me downunder and I would say could apply to the British too. It seems to be a case of opinioned morality coming down from those on high and being accepted by those dumb enough not to see through some of agendas. There doesn't seem to be much going the other way (from the bottom up), except for money. It seems as those who practice these "right religions" are paying for people to form their opinions. As one Aussie workmate described an observation he made about the USA population in general, 'I'll take your money off you and make you feel good about it." Those who run the fundamental churches seem to have mastered this, "tything" up to 15%.

The thing is, the US fundamental right seems to be influencing and impacting the globe, as USA domestic policy shapes US foreign policy. So we feel the effects and see some results of this moral crusading over here. Thankfully there are those within the US who DO see through this creeping fascism under the guise of morality and are fighting a desperate battle against this well organized,supported and planned movement. The progressives seem to be growing a spine against the regressives, who seem to be basing their policies on wedge politics. It seems to be a terrific (almost unwinnable) struggle.

Australia and the USA are similar in being relatively young western countries. The difference being is that we somehow have managed to escape the clutches of the mind numbing moral influencing of the fundamental right from within. For example, a fundy influenced politician tried to recently pass some sort of "abortion legislation", politicians quickly managed to shut it down and get it off the agenda as it would have required a "conscience vote". Conscience votes are divisive in an electorate. If Prime Minister Howard mentions God or "God bless Australia" there would be embarrassed silence or laughter or jeering. Sometimes I think he'd like to include God in his speeches but he's been around long enough to realise it would not be a good move. God seems to be left out of Aussie politics by choice although he/she does get the occasional mention, the electorate seem to be more focussed on mortgage interest rates than God.

Again there are exceptions such as the debate on gay marriages but on the whole Aussie politics is ungodly.

Yesterday I read an article which described Australians leaving the church in droves. It seems a valid observation. There a few exceptions, young people seem to be joining the Hillsong Pentecostal church at Bella Vista which as I read it is not a church but more of a "christian musical corporation". It is the fastest growing Australian church but IMHO is could be better descibed as the fastest growing Sunday entertainment venue. To put in perspective, just as many people attend the Ettamogah pub and the Mean Fiddler up the road on a Sunday. So Hillsong seems to be competing for an entertainment dollar more than a religous dollar.

So how do those "leaving the church in droves" downunder celebrate their Sunday? Sunday drives, Sunday barbeques, family picnics, gardening, a couple of bottles of nice Aussie red wine over a long lunch, sporting gatherings...... that sort of thing. Interacting and enjoying the company and ideas of others without relying too much on the big invisible guy in the sky. Yes, there are still church goers but their number seems to shrinking, there seems to be those who need their spirituality organized by someone else.

Nevertheless, there is still the influence of the fundamental right from "without" as Australia takes the role of smallest brother to the USA and UK. Our foreign policy seems to have taken the form of that from the US.

I like others would like to see that change, both from action from those within the US and a action over here as well.


  • In order to feel safe, the fundamentalists need you to agree on some basic things. The primary one is the revealed truth that governs their morality. They can't be moral -- or think they can't be moral -- without acknowledging and accepting this truth, so presumably neither can you.

    By Blogger Deleted, at 11:54 am  

  • i appreciate the nod to my aloofness about politics and religion. but i do find that there are sufficient outlets in the blogshere which speak for me much better than i, and that is where i spew my rhetoric venom about my world veiw, (plus i don't have to deal w/ the fallout).
    you are very lucky not to have this onslaught of non-stop fundamentalists crying that the world is gonna end if we allow gay marriages, or if you don't follow blindly you are not a good, god fearing christian. the only thing i do fear is good, god fearing christians . . .
    as for the differences between downunder and stateside mainly is that we were founded by religiously persecuted people, while you guys were started by ex-cons. altho similar in that both were a haven to people looking for a new life later on, we seem to have forgotten that it was freedom from religion our forefathers were trying to make possible. and now we have senators oplenly cow-towing to the religious right, (whom, in my book, are more of a threat to america than any radical islamic. these guys are already here weilding a substantial amount of money and power to benefit their own worldly advancemant).
    see, i do have an opinion, it just sounds better when someone else brings up a good point, i comment then go back to my hole and dig some cool sounds.
    thanks for lending me the space on yer soapbox, i feel better now.

    By Blogger sleepybomb, at 12:27 pm  

  • Our foreign policy seems to have taken the form of that from the US.

    It could mean so much to me if you would only be like me.

    By Blogger grendel's arm, at 1:30 pm  

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