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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Imagine no religion

Latest News

Consumer watchdog asked to investigate MasterChef ‘renewable gas’ claims

Claims that ‘renewable gas’ is making MasterChef 'greener' are under scrutiny following a complaint to the ACCC.

Other News

Serious two-vehicle crash – Alstonville

A man is in a serious condition following a two-vehicle crash in Alstonville on Monday.

Top-down planning failing, says Greens MP

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Art of Change raises $40,000

The 'Art of Change' auction, held on Saturday night at the Byron School of Art in support of Mandy Nolan's campaign for the seat of Richmond, was a resounding success. The event attracted 150 people and raised an impressive $40,000 through the sale of donated artworks.

Justine Elliot talks up federal budget

Richmond MP Justine Elliot says the Albanese Labor Government’s 2024 budget provides cost of living relief for people on the North Coast and invests in a future made in Australia.

Contraband, Chile’s 9/11 and black ops 

Putting the life of local adventurer Chris Dewhirst into print would be no easy task. But he’s managed to do it, in part, with Everest Guns & Money.

Baby, it’s chilly outside

Three Lords and the Byron Theatre are presenting a special performance of the 1983 classic film The Big Chill on Saturday, May 26. The show includes a concert performance of the soundtrack by The Byron Theatre Orchestra, along with food trucks, cocktails and perhaps the odd bit of audience participation.

Oh dear, it seems I’ve been excommunicated from another religion. I considered myself a Christian for a while, because I thought all that stuff JC said about love and forgiveness was pretty cool, but it turns out that I couldn’t quite get behind all the funny rituals and the men in silly hats. Then I went with Buddhism, because I thought the guy was like a spiritual version of Santa Claus, but I couldn’t give up on my big juicy steak.

Finally I settled on being a pagan, god revealed through the wonder of creation, hug a tree, sex as prayer, worship in your own way and all that – or so I thought. I’ve just learned that I’m not a ‘true’ pagan because I don’t bury perfectly good fruit in the backyard (why?) and, yes, I’ve been known to judge other people on their religious beliefs, something that ‘real’ pagans apparently never do, unless they are writing letters to the editor criticising people for criticising people.

So while I’m on a roll I’m afraid I need to kick myself out of yet another cult of belief: Feminism. You see, I agree with just about everything that Robin Harrison (The Echo, January 24) had to say about religion being a tool for the elites to control the rest of us plebs, except the bit where it all stems from this mysterious thing called ‘patriarchy’. I just spent four years at university studying the social sciences where patriarchy is pretty much taken as fact (everything else is still a theory, hmmmm), but I’m not buying it.

Certainly, the dominant religions of the current world seem to be patriarchal, and many of the social power bases of the last couple of millennia have excluded women, but that doesn’t mean that ‘patriarchy’ is the root cause of power seeking. Patriarchy implies that the will to have power over others is somehow endemic to the psyche of the masculine. I don’t know about you, but when I look around me there are plenty of women who seek and use power to the detriment of others. (Just look at our PM.)

A better explanation, I think, is that the will to power indicates a deficiency in the ‘human’ capacity for empathy, which might be considered one of the more ‘feminine’ aspects of our psychology. On the other hand, the simple fact that as a society we still condition our boys away from their feelings better explains why men display lower levels of empathy generally. We do this so that they might be better workers, more able to do the dangerous, hard and dirty jobs in disregard of their own wellbeing. We do it so they will be better soldiers, more able to kill and to risk their lives in war as the first line of defence for the women and children and, of course, the tools of aggression for the elites.

Patriarchy has a certain amount of ‘face validity’; it seems to ‘describe’ the situation, but as a theory of power you don’t have to scratch it very deeply to discover that it fails to ‘explain’ things very well. You’ve done a marvellous job of deconstructing everyone else’s beliefs, Robin, now I suggest you turn your attention to your own.

Adam Blanch, Mullumbimby


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