Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Welcome to Ramadan

Woolworths have jumped on board with Ramadan and what a controversy this has created. Apparently many Australian’s are too narrow minded to appreciate that there are many religions and that religions are all as equally valid to their believers and ridiculous to non-believers as each other.

The controversy appears to be that Ramadan is not a Christian festival and therefore should not be celebrated in Australia. Yes, Australia’s laws and culture has Christian routes but the level of church attendance and the legislation currently before parliament would clearly indicate that Australia can no longer be considered a Christian country.

We are a country that blatantly ignores the Ten Commandments. Can the people complaining about Woolworths promoting Ramadan even name a Commandment? My bet is that the people making the loudest complaints only on allow God or Jesus’ names during time of sexual pleasure or as an exclamation when they injure themselves – thereby breaking the third Commandment.

Not only do we work and shop on Sundays, thus breaking the fourth Commandment we have no issue with football being played on Good Friday, arguably the holiest day on the Christian calendar.

That said, football is truly Australia’s religion. Or sport in general. When we are winning. Perhaps we would be a more accepting country if the Australian cricket captain or the Collingwood captain was Muslim.

Despite this ignorance of and apathy to the Christian doctrine we easily and eagerly become zealots in the face of people who actually want to practice their religion of choice.

In Bendigo, there has been a similar uproar when the Local Council approved the building of a mosque. Why? Because Muslims are involved in terrorism, that’s why. Yes extreme Muslims are engaging in terrorist activities. The same could be said extremists of all religions have engaged in conversion by force.

Christianity is not immune. Have the Crusades been erased from history, was the Spanish Inquisition a figment of the world’s collective imagination. More recently the world suffered through the Holocaust, something many peoples of the world continue to suffer the after effects still today.

If there is any controversy to be had over Woolworths promoting Ramadan it should be that a grocery store, that sells food, is promoting a festival that requires its devotees to fast, that is not eat. The controversy can’t be the act of fasting itself. Even Jesus gave fasting a burl, famously spending 40 days in a desert.

The Christian community, the world over has been duped into celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus by getting excited about a visit from a rabbit who lays chocolate eggs! So it seems reasonable that the retail giants would try to convince Muslims that the best way to fast is to buy food in their stores.

It sounds as appropriate as the meat industry promoting Hanukkah bacon to the Jews. Perhaps power companies could offer discounts to the Asian communities as they celebrate the Lunar New Year with a lantern festival.

Despite the furore Rev. Fred Nile and Cardinal Pell, two of Australia’s most outspoken and self appointed defenders of the countries religious and moral compass have remained quiet on the issue. Lets be honest the Christian church like any major international commercial super-power knows how and when to make a quick buck, so can only sit back and applaud Woolworths for their imitative in capitalising on this previously untapped commercial opportunity.

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