Can’t we please have our very own Obama?

Tony Abbott, history has proven that the alliance of church and state more often than not, does not benefit a country’s people. Abbott has now decided that, since the culture of church-going (even for athiest or nonpartisan families) has expired, the “great text” of the Bible must be read by schoolchildren:

“I think everyone should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilisation,” Mr Abbott said. “That includes, most importantly, the Bible.

“I think it would be impossible to have a good general education without at least some serious familiarity with the Bible and with the teachings of Christianity. That doesn’t mean that people have to be believers.”

The Bible is not at the core of “our” civilization. Civilization has no collective any more, and it certainly does not belong to fundamentalist Christians. Should it be compulsory to read Plato’s Cave in primary school? The Constitution of Australia? The Qur’an? The Lord of the Rings?

So instead of voting in a scary person, can we please have our very own Obama? In response to the debate surrounding the building of a mosque “near” (not very) the Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan, Obama has responded in the way all world leaders need to be thinking. The protest against this mosque has been founded on dangerously parochial terms. Obama believes that Muslims have a right to practice their own religion. And of course he is right, as long as Christians continue to claim the right to practice theirs.

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”

“This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.”

Yes I am a fangirl. But he proves himself time and time again. Help us, Bobama.

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About cinemelo

I love to write about film and comment on culture. Hopefully providing insight and interesting thoughts for fellow cultural itinerants.
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2 Responses to Can’t we please have our very own Obama?

  1. jtul says:

    Nice post dude.
    Don’t you think chucking in LOTR with key religious texts is a bit much though? I can’t tell if that sentence was sarcastic or not, particularly considering the Australian constitution is based on Biblical values and states that the nation of Australia relies on the blessings of God (which of course leads to that other debate about how our constitution should read).
    To be honest I think there’s a lot of value in studying religious texts and the values of different religions at school (though I would suggest studying a range of them, not just isolating it to one religion like Abbott, even though I’m a Christian) in order to help us understand those who DO practice religion. And so that kids grow up understanding why people like Obama say things like “I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country”. If we don’t know about where Muslims (or Christians, or Jews, or other major/influential religions. Or minor ones for that matter) are coming from, then how we can support their freedom? Uninformed-ness is the bane of topical debate these days (particularly during an election period).
    To be honest I think this makes us kind of in agreement – ie. my point above fits with yours about freedom of religious practice – though perhaps my practical application differs slightly.

  2. cinemelo says:

    Yeah I know what you mean Julz. I put LOTR on there of course for a bit of sarcasm, but also because TA did not actually say anything about great religious texts–only great texts.
    And isn’t Christian RE in state primary schools and RE in high school enough? I feel like this covers it. It is important to study religion, but it is also important to study historical, social and political contexts of it- which educative classes are supposed to do. Maybe learning about religions this way will suggest that these days much of it is via familial influence? I’m not certain.
    Abbott is *maybe* hinting at the value of knowledge but unfortunately does it in his typically callous throat-shoving way. I hope I’m not being too aggressive for you– but yes, freedom is at the heart of my argument.

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