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John Passant

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November 2009



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



The Church and gay marriage in Canberra

Here in the Australian Capital Territory the Labor Party (in minority Government) supported a Greens’ Bill giving legal recognition to same sex unions which passed just under 2 weeks ago.

Federally the homophobic and anti-equal rights Rudd Labor Government will suggest changes to the Act which effectively gut it.

The local Catholic archbishop weighed in a few days ago, claiming the Act undermines marriage and imposes the views of a minority on the rest of us.

Simon Corbell, the local Labor Attorney-General, rightly said the archbishop’s views were intolerable in a democratic society and the Church was supporting discrimination against gays (just as, I might add, are his Federal Labor counterparts.)

This got me thinking about the role of the Church in society and how it has changed over the millenia.

The rise of capitalism saw the bourgeoisie usurp the state power of the Christian (often Catholic) Church.

The response of the Church hierarchy as it was sidelined was, among other things, to attempt to retain vestiges of its power through an even greater emphasis on answers to the seemingly unknowable – love, birth and death.

That power springs in the main from attracting adherents to its particular belief system, a belief system which takes the yearnings of humanity and turns them into an object of, but separate from, humanity (i.e. god).

As a generalisation the growth of capitalism has seen a larger and larger number of people reject religion for rationality.

This has seen the Church leadership respond with more ferocity in its areas of ‘mystery ‘and other so-called moral streams such as the family (itself today a capitalist product for the cheap reproduction of the next generation of workers), marriage, sexuality, the subservient role of women, abortion and the like.

The homophobic opposition of the Church’s rulers to gay unions is in the end a power struggle waged by an aging, and, viewed historically, declining philosophy of fear to retain and gain support in an increasingly secular society.

We should support equality for all and that includes the right of gays and lesbians to marry.

If that means as a by-product the further reduction of the power of the Church hierarchy then we as a society should welcome such an outcome.

The Fairfax media blog site, the National Times, has run an updated version of the article here, including a reference to the first legally binding union in Canberra and details of the same sex marriage demos this Saturday at,au/info/nov28



Comment from peter williams
Time November 26, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Mainstream churches are models of capitalism itself. They devise a need – redemption from sin – then create a product that allegedly fulfills that need – sacramental salvation – then create a demand for that product via various advertising campaigns, then sell the product (with the add-ons) to service that demand. However, they also have the inestimable additional benefit of tax free status, early access to potential customers via the education system, and government protection.
A very nice little earner!

Comment from Caroline Storm
Time November 26, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I would like to hear our local (Victoria)
archbishop’s comments on a recent poll regarding physician-assisted-death: 5% undecided, 10% against, 85% for PAD.
If the man reasons as his brother in the ACT does, PAD will be legalised in this state…for the greater good of us all.

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