Posted by: maisiegrace | January 20, 2009

One significant step for man; one giant leap required for mankind

Today was a memorable day. The inauguration of Barack Obama is truly a significant step forward for the world. Given the segregation which still existed in the US even 50 years ago, it is truly remarkable to see a black US President. He may have won a lot of support simply because he is black, but fortunately he seems like a decent and intelligent bloke as well.

I’ve always found racism totally ridiculous. I guess it’s understandable for some people to have difficulty understanding other cultures and to be xenophobic if they don’t know any better, but to judge someone because they are a different shade of brown is SO laughable. I would apply this statement anywhere in the world, actually. Please don’t think I am trivialising anything or disregarding the struggle for black recognition. I’m white and Western, and have never been on the receiving end of generations of racist stupidity and evil, and I simply can’t imagine how that makes someone feel. But I think racism is just so last year.

I actually think Obama’s blackness is potentially more significant to the rest of the world than to the US. The ramifications of having a non-white man with the middle name of Hussein in that position is fascinating. It’s a shame he can’t tick the foreign policy box on his CV but hopefully he’ll learn. If he doesn’t, he’s going to look like a white plonker in a black skin.  Anyway, he has done his job. He was voted in. He made history. Top bloke.

And finally I get to my point. The election of Obama is highly significant, but when, oh when, are we going to address the huge elephant in the room? Today’s ceremony encapsulated it all – popularity, intelligence, style, Aretha Franklin (respect!!), great policies, uplifting speeches, ceremony, solemnity, 21st-century technology, ambitions of world peace, and…. religion. What?!

I am so saddened that politicians have to pretend to have religious belief to be successful. I guess they have to because it gives them credibility by making them appear honest (and gets them the ‘religious’ vote) but essentially it’s because senior positions in establishments still demand it. Why are we in the Dark Ages over this? I know my history enought to know how religion has shaped the establishment over centuries, but this is the 21st century! We have science, we have education, we have free-thinking. Much of the world lives in a secular way and most educated people are skeptical or agnostic at the very least. We are hanging to to a part of history which has no place in the real world.

To me, this pretence at religion completely undermines any trust I may have for a person from all the other evidence. (Of course, they could (like Tony Blair?) actually believe it, which is even more worrying.) I am simply at a loss to know how an educated, intelligent person can seriously expect real respect if, in the middle of doing their job admirably, they scuttle off to mass to mutter mumbo jumbo to their imaginary friend or try to pretend what they’re saying is driven by something akin to fairies at the bottom of the garden (not my phrase – Richard Dawkins’). Credibility? Honesty? Don’t be ridiculous.

The giant leap I refer to? The vitally necessary secularisation of major Western governments which would allow the appointment of an atheist to a senior position in world politics. The colour, race or gender of that person is unimportant they would get my vote for their honesty every day of the week. I can’t see this happening in the US for a very long time but then who thought there would be a black President 50 years ago?

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Responses

  1. In electronics, Maisie, there is a thing called Suppressed Carrier Modulation.

    It is a bit like this. Imagine mediaeval knight getting onto his charger ready for a jolly joust. Then his page takes the horse away, but the kight charges into the joust legs akimbo just as if he were sitting on his mount.

    It would only work if there was a horse there in the first place.

    Well that is an analogy of how your telly gets its signals.

    In this country we cottoned on to the concept many centuries ago. We don’t need a horse to carry natural justice forward but it might be a good idea not to let on.

    All was well with our Common Law for many centuries as the British man (and woman) ascended. Occasionally there was a bit of a bright arse who thought he would be very wise by pointing out that the horse was a phoney (Thomas Paine etc) but these were always pains in the arse who appealed to the popular vote of those whose early education rendered them into servitude but usually left them unaware of that fact.

    All was well until post Second World War when someone sought to substitute a bogus horse (but they thought it was a real horse) called Multicultural Experiment, Human Rights, Secularism, Political Correctness, Condescension. Of course they promote their horse as the real horse to carry us forward.

    Give the new enlightened a few centuries and they might realise that their horse is phoney but at least some of us knew that about our Godd gee gee all along. Greater good and that sort of thing.

    Tommy Aquinas (and all the doo dab virtues that keep Freemasons happy)

    All worked fine for centuries. Then along came post war “Education”.

  2. Maisie, take your point entirely. Me I have a religious belief, it does not include christianity, or other religions, but it does include a belief in a supreme being. As a result, I think whilst others are praying, but i do seperate that part of my life from my public life

  3. Just come across this post in an idle moment. What a prejudiced bigoted person you are in terms of religion. You may find it unacceptable to ridicule race but think that is perfectly acceptable to ridicule religious belief in a highly offensive manner. Rather sad actually.

  4. In my world, anyone can believe anything they like. Feel free. Carry on. I’ll make my choice about whether I want to listen/argue/care. But when it comes to the leaders of the world, let’s get real. The only prejudice I have is against stupid people and conformists. Perpetuating this stupidity, and trying to pretend to the world that you are religious when you’re not – now that is sad. I look forward to the time when people (even councillors and politicians) can just be honest.

  5. “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” is Douglas Adams, quoted by Richard Dawkins (who was a friend of Adams).

    Religion is something people choose (in theory at least) so you should be able to criticise and ridicule it like you would any opinion someone holds. It should not hold a special place in society that means that people are not allowed to comment on it – that goes against the principles of free speech.

    Crying ‘offence’ at every criticism or joke about religion is dull. What’s the worst thing that happens? A few feelings get hurt? Grow up. Respond in kind, with words and arguments.

    Race, however, is not chosen, and the effects of racism are profound. It leads to slavery and segregation.

    There is a vast difference between race and religion.

  6. Dan,

    Your second and third paragraphs don’t quite stack up. Er, remember the Holocaust?

    Back to school for you methinks!

  7. Just found this post and while I agree about race religion is something we disagree on . So we dissagree end of no weapons of mass distruction no bigotry no end of the world we just dissagree. I still respect you right to your views and I ask you respect mine end of finale game over. Its no big deal I would if you wanted tell you about my beliefs and I would listen to your views I will still read your blog and hope you will read mine and I am still smiling

  8. Glad you are still smiling Don. You believe whatever you do. I’d love to make you be able to see sense but hey. I have no problem being a decent human being without religious belief, and think that the world would be a much better place without it. I’ll still read your blog too.

  9. You will be the only one no one reads my rubbish


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