Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saint, Saint, Saint. Oi, oi,oi.

St Brendan, who sailed to America from Ireland in a leather boat. As you do.

It was too much, I suspect, for even previously level-headed media outlets like the Age or ABC to ignore.

Local girl Mary MacKillop gets the big tick, having performed the requisite number of miracles and becomes Saint Mary MacKillop in a star-studded deeply religious ceremony in the Vatican – to be covered ad nauseum by the Australian media.

Why we’ve suddenly taken such an interest in this mediaeval conjuring trick, as opposed to shunting it into the “wacky news” section is mostly beyond me.

As a keen amateur scholar of Christian theology, I’m pretty sure there’s no justification for saints in the New Testament* and as an equally keen (and equally amateur) student of Christian history I’m also pretty sure the creation of saints was generally used as a branding exercise to strengthen the influence of the Papacy – and in the process giving the big tick to a fairly ghastly collection of bigots, thugs, bigamists, nut-jobs and theocrats**.

But I don't include Mary MacKillop in the above collection as she was, by most accounts, a pretty good egg.

We’re also  told constantly that we have to “respect” people’s religious beliefs.

Well, as I think I have observed elsewhere, bollocks to that.

The only thing the religious*** should expect in a secular democracy is the right to practice their religion in peace.

Everything else is icing on the mitre.

* There’s no justification for bishops, popes or the Vatican Bank either, but that’s pretty much by-the-by.

** And the occasional harmless nutter, but there’re pretty much in the minority.

*** By which I include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and that ragged madman down my local who keeps shouting about spoons.

23 comments:

Alex said...

Why we’ve suddenly taken such an interest in this mediaeval conjuring trick, as opposed to shunting it into the “wacky news” section is mostly beyond me.

I assume it's got something to do with the "Isn't it great that Australians (including myself) are so talented and important!" line of thinking, that makes people care if "we" win Academy Awards or medals at the Commonwealth Games. An extension, I guess, of the way people say "We won!" when their sporting team does well. And if that's the case, this is way more important than some dead lady performing magic tricks; it's about Ostraya looking every other saint-producing country in the eye and saying, "Fuck off! We're just as good as you."

I have noticed, though, that some media reports are at least attempting to take the high road, by focusing on the charity work and stuff, and downplaying the miracle-performing-hocus-pocus aspect of it.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

The whole point about a Canonization, Alex is that it's all about the miracle-performing-hocus-pocus.

And in more important news, the Little Master has just reached his double ton.

Alex said...

The whole point about a Canonization, Alex is that it's all about the miracle-performing-hocus-pocus.

Well, sure, but once you get past the national-pride rubbish and religious mumbo-jumbo, I reckon that doing things that help others (directly or indirectly) is one of the few human achievements worth celebrating. And if you're going to be running these kinds of stories anyway (because heaven forbid (hee hee) you be the only news service that doesn't), it probably doesn't hurt to push that side of it a bit.

And in more important news, the Little Master has just reached his double ton.

Sorry, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that part of Catholic tradition.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Sorry, I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that part of Catholic tradition.

I'm sure Squib will understand.

squib said...

Ramon, this post rocks

I'm sure Squib will understand.

Has it got something to do with that boring little game with the silly red ball?

Lewd Bob said...

Has it got something to do with that boring little game with the silly red ball?

Tsk.

The only thing the religious should expect in a secular democracy is the right to practice their religion in peace.

Hear here.

Dr. Golf said...

Alright, Confirmation names. If you have them, lets see them.

I went with Alphonse.

wari lasi said...

John.

But by confirmation time I was pretty well awake to the whole Catholicism scam. And what a mighty scam it is.

I love Scientology, because it exposes what a complete load of bollocks all of them are. As good ol' L Ron said, "Why write for a penny a word? The real money is in religion".

Puss In Boots said...

Mine was Genevieve. I have no idea why.

Alex said...

Despite half of my extended family being Catholic, I don't even know exactly what a confirmation name is supposed to signify. The church didn't get much of a run in our household. Instead, my Old-Boy would tell us stories about how brutal, sadistic and perverted the brothers were who ran the boarding school that he went to as a boy. I used to think the Marists were some sort of malevolent boogeymen who would come and nab me in my sleep.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Has it got something to do with that boring little game with the silly red ball?

Right.

Just for that crack Squib, I'm going to post very detailed posts of each day's play for each of the five Test matches.

So there!

Lewd Bob said...

Confirmation name? Huh? I grew up with in a family of atheists. It's the only thing I took from my parents (other than a few genes I suppose) and the only thing worth taking.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
squib said...

ooooo I'm so scared!

patchouligirl said...

I grew up in an Agnostic family and Dad has always been quite scathing in his criticisms of the Catholic Church.

I noticed Sophie Delezio is in Rome as she believes Mary McKillop is responsible for getting her through her various ordeals and the word 'miracle' was bandied about. I'm not sure what the reasoning process is there, or why she thinks God allowed two cars to run over her but if believing in Mary McKillop makes her happy, good luck to her.

Puss In Boots said...

One question the religious types can't answer: why does God hate amputees so much? I've never heard of him curing one, no matter how religious they are.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I must remember that one, Puss.

Lewd Bob said...

why she thinks God allowed two cars to run over her

LOL.

Ah, it's the eternal question ain't it.

Mr E Discharge said...

Delta Goodrems publicist seems to have well and truly missed the boat on this one.

RandomGit said...

One question the religious types can't answer: why does God hate amputees so much? I've never heard of him curing one, no matter how religious they are.

Solid

Rolled

GOLD!

Did you just whip that one out of the ether Puss? Fucking genius!

Puss In Boots said...

Nah, I can't take credit for it. I read it somewhere on the internets. Probably at one of the many Tumblr blogs I read (STFU Believers, STFU Conservatives, STFU Teabaggers, STFU Homophones, STFU Racists, STFU Islamophobes, STFU Sexists, etc).

Alex said...

Solid [\n] Rolled [\n] GOLD!

Interesting turn of phrase there, RG. I take it that it's meant to be more compliment than insult, right?

squib said...

Fucking genius!

I know, I've been quoting Puss ever since