Fine post, Alison.
Both St Paul and God are real problems, true?
God, of course, would complain he's been the victim of a bad press, while St
Paul might remonstrate with Fate, the scribes put words into my mouth, I
never said those things, but if you'd like a custom-made tent ....
Myself I blame God for getting over-ambitious - now if he's stuck to a
hilltop in Judea he'd probably be a major tourist attraction now instead of
a source of continual war ....
I always remember a snippet from the close of Malcolm Lowry's 'Under the
Volcano' where the soon to be murdered Consul is in a bar among strangers
and a drunken Irishman, as you might well find on the chance in Mexico,
turns round to him and says:
'Mozart wrote the Bible'.
A Chide's Alphabet
Painting Without Numbers
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alison Croggon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2002 10:50 PM
Subject: Re: Ah well
I've often wondered about how Catholicism functions in other places.
I'm not at all saying that it's all positive, and here ideologies
vary from parish to parish, school to school; Catholicism is most
certainly a site of huge conflict. But since Catholicism in Australia
came mainly from Ireland it's been political since the Fenians were
transported. Unlike say France, it's been the religion of the
working classes, and that's sometimes had profound effects. The
Catholic split of the Labour party vote under Bob Santamaria kept
Labour out of power for decades, for instance. In the Depression
Catholics were associated with Bolsheviks as objects of Protestant
fear and loathing (the other major church here is of course the
Anglican Church, which is the church of the ruling class, as the
historian Michael Cathcart calls them - the landed wealthy or the
Squattocracy, which is still a factor in the Liberal/Country
coalition, ie, the ones currently in power). These influences have
declined markedly in the past 20 years, but they're still there and
still functioning. But at the moment it's fair to say that the
Churches - the Uniting Church, the Anglican Church and the Catholic
Church in particular - are among the very few public institutions
that speak out constantly about the increasing poverty in Australia,
the increasing class divisions and other problems like the refugee
I was raised in the Anglican church. I was in fact baptised
Catholic, but I had no idea of this until I was an adult: my mother
was a Catholic until the doctor told her that if she had any more
children she would die, and the priest told her that she would go to
hell if she used contraception. Which is I guess a classic story,
and I know many of those, and worse ones. Even so, I've sometimes
thought I'd make quite a good Christian if only I could believe in
God; it took me a long time to work out how deeply steeped I actually
am in Christian ideology. Shame about St Paul.
>> As a father of a four-year-old, I'm just beginning to face some of the
>> contradictions you so fully point out. I wish our Catholic schools here
>> Upstate New York were as liberation aligned!
>Gerald -- well, down here in Albany, capital of upstate nueva york, my 9
>year old goes to the Free School, the closest I've come across to a true
>Summerhill school -- & there are some other interesting alternative schools
>in the area, though, as you say,well no, as I say, the Katholik ones are
>dreadfully fascisoid, uniforms & all, & of the hell & brimstone kind of
>variety -- not much liberation theology -- Pierre
>6 Madison Place
>Albany NY 12202 "╔ melhor ser cabeša de sardinha
>Tel: (518) 426-0433 do que traseiro de baleia"
>Fax: (518) 426-3722
>Email: joris@ albany.edu