…’The Greens are committed to removing what are called “exemption provisions” from the Anti- Discrimination Act. This would force non-government schools to employ teachers whose views, values and lifestyle are contrary to the religious traditions of these schools, and the hundreds of thousands of parents who send their children to them. This is not about “exemptions” from the law. Church agencies and schools are bound by the Anti-Discrimination Act.’…
except for the “exemption provisions’, which allow publicly funded church schools to sack employees for being queer, or heterosexual and pregnant while unmarried, etc, etc, etc.
Beware of the God will return early in 2007 with a fresh report by researcher Chloe Martin. Her newest investigation reveals the phenomenon of religiously-motivated anti-abortion activism which uses feminist language to advance its aims.
In the last decade it was still seen as prudent to publicly state:
‘…[F]eminists have failed to realise that the male gender role (besides paternity) is to pioneer, risk and create. Once males created aircraft, risked flying in them, and thus ensured that flying was safe, feminists whined and said: “We demand equal opportunity to be pilots”. It was the same with horses, wagons and cars, medicine, surgery, art and music. Males pioneer, women follow. The greatest failure of feminists may be that they have aborted many of their babies and have failed to hold their men.’
Babette Francis, ‘Age’, 17 January, 1994
But these days, claims of woman-centredness are more likely to characterise the activities of those who seek to reduce womens’ reproductive choices.
Meanwhile, there are over 100 essays, images and articles collected here, examining convergences of religion and politics around the world. Check ‘em out!
And downloadable here, your surprise present: a completely off-topic, free, screen wallpaper, of which the image above is but a tiny detail. It’s ready to use on your computer at 1024 x 768 pixels.
This site intends to be a resource of diverse material documenting, analysing, and musing upon the impacts and aspirations of religious literalists in the public sphere. It is being produced in Australia – so that is its first focus. However, you will also find here information, ideas and reportage from other places, because even though context is everything, a global phenomenon is also something.
The posts are in no order, so any way you want to browse is fine. And they are not time-specific; they are all current.
This website is really a blog, which means it’s all upside down. That is, the first thing written here, which was intended as a kind of introduction, is now the very last post– a hundred and something entries and over a year away from here. Which means that when you first arrive, it might be bewildering, as the navigational structure is that the most recent entry appears first.
The structure is simple, like long pages… you can scroll down to the bottom and click ‘previous’ to get to the next page.
And if you have leads for interesting, relevant, thoughtful material, please contact: email@example.com
(unless you are a spammer, thankyou)
Please note that comments are welcome, but the software sends them to the moderator for approval.
This is the little metal plaque part of this project; it’s to attach to front doors and gates, as modelled here.
The plaque is 120x55mm, made of enamelled, etched aluminium, and signed/numbered …just like a real artwork. It comes boxed with solid brass screws.
It was for sale at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Circular Quay, Sydney, and from their online store, BUT IT IS SOLD OUT.
If you’re interested in an archival print of the image above, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks very much to Avant Card for distributing these free postcard/stickers around NSW and the ACT.
If you want one, write to: email@example.com
The middle bit peels out so you can have a little, sticky gate or door sign –
OR, of course, you could chuck the sign and just have a big sky with a hole in the middle.
Here’s what it says on the back:
Pop the sticker somewhere that’s plagued by holy rollers,
God botherers, or bearded blokes wielding vengeful-deity theories.
Or stick it on your gate; impress your neighbours!
Scare off uninvited visitors and superstitious burglars!
The New Righteous are on the move. Who are they?
What do they want? And how do they plan to get it?
(with thanks to the dear Fleas, Daniel Blochwitz, Jill Dawsey, Martha Rosler and Mary Jo Walters)
The exhibition, “ Ostorojno religiya!” (Caution – Religion) was held in the Andrei Sakharov museum, Moscow, in January 2003. Intended to open up questions about religion, the state and fanaticism, it succeeded beyond its wildest… nightmares.
The artworks addressed spiritual and political aspects of the Orthodox Church, whose political and social influence has grown since the Soviet Union collapsed. One of the works, by artist Alina Gurevich, featured a church made from vodka bottles– a swipe at the tax exempt status the church benefits from when it sells alcohol.
After being open for four days, the exhibition was attacked and artworks defaced by a group of men from a local Russian Orthodox church. Police were called, and all the attackers were let go. Then… the curators were arrested.
In March 2005, after a long trial, the museum’s director was found guilty on charges of “inciting religious enmity” and fined 100,000 roubles.
“So this is again the politics of slow, but systematic extermination of all small, small freedoms and liberties, which had been granted under Gorbachev. Putin is clever enough and so he still keeps some symbols of the freedom of speech, of the freedom of creativity, but these are only symbols.
You see, this is the great mark of Putin’s regime. They will not shut you immediately as during Stalin’s purge. They will not kill you, but they will not let you live also.
It will be semi-life, semi-death. Just like with Khodorkovsky. It will be the proceedings, the court which lasts for years and years and years so the painters cannot paint anything, businessman cannot make his business. People are just excluded from their own private life. This is the semi-dictatorship, mild dictatorship.” –Yakov Krotov
Read the whole analysis by Museum Director Yuri Samodurov, the main defendant, and Religious historian, Yakov Krotov, in a Radio National interview by Emma Griffiths.
“Russia is in the midst of a rollback of free expression that goes far deeper than the Kremlin’s well-known crackdown on independent news media. In the realm of art and literature, in fact, it’s all-out war. Religious and political activists have become increasingly vocal—and sometimes violent—in attacking the work of artists, singers and writers they perceive to be offensive. Among the most vocal is the 80-million-member Russian Orthodox Church, which some say has begun to behave like the censors of the old Soviet era. “These artists are rotten, disease-carrying bacteria, and society is using antigens to fight them off,” says Father Tikhon Shevkunov, a powerful church leader (and President Vladimir Putin’s spiritual adviser) who backs the offensive against “Watch Out: Religion” and its “blasphemy.” “
Desires for radical certainty quicken and rise, all across the planet. Wedded to nationalist aspiration, will to power, hungers for order and for chaos, there is much to fear from the new Righteous.
And much to learn.
How can this phenomenon be attended to in ways that are productive, even culturally satisfying? I don’t have any answers, but I’m preoccupied with the questions.
This website is part of a project across various media contemplating the political aspirations of religious extremists. It hopes to be like a library or a magazine; if you’re interested in the trends toward religiosity in public life you may find material here that is worthy of thinking about, distributing and discussing.
The site is in no way comprehensive; the authors welcome your suggestions for articles and links that chart and analyse the many and diverse manifestations of faith-based ideologies and their ascendancy.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org