Thursday, July 03, 2008

Eternal Youth











The streets of Sydney are once again being blocked off. Last year it was for the secular end of hot air in the guise of the APEC summit, this time it's for the Catholic Church in all its atavistic glory. We are even getting our trickle of medieval milksops up here above the snow line, and I can't decide whether my teeth are clenched against the cold or the sanguine chatter of believers. I do not begrudge them their life choices, merely the imposition of them on the rest of us. What we have here is state-funded proselytizing courtesy of a New South Wales government still in thrall to the old DLP/Santamaria Catholic left. Like the church it is playing host to, it is decades behind public opinion and only retains power in the absence of any effective opposition. Apparently I can be cautioned, or perhaps even fined $5500, for remonstrating with a Catholic youth trying to sell me their wares. Indeed, so vague are the laws passed in the dead of night a few weeks back, that the police seem tongue-tied when trying to explain them to the general public. All I can suggest is that all we cemented agnostics with a tendency to flashes of anger in the face of the untried and the supine keep off the streets of dear old Sydney as much as possible for the next few weeks. I'm sure whatever is up there is looking down with an oily smirk on its lonely, indelible face.

2 comments:

AustralianReader.com said...

As an atheist, I am tempted to head over there and get arrested for the principle of the thing. Tempted, but unlikely: I can't afford the costs of getting there and back, let alone any legal result.

JUSTIN LOWE said...

Yesterday a large mob of Polish Catholics decided to hold a prayer meeting in the middle of Katoomba, brandishing gaudy crosses and wailing and banging drums as they proceeded down Katoomba street shouldering tourists out of the way. I plowed straight through them with my little dog who proceeded to cock his leg somewhere ungodly. Everyone laughed, but I am expecting a knock at the door any day now.