For those of you not in Australia, you may have missed all the (*ahem*) “excitement” revolving around “World Youth Day” – don’t let the name fool you, it has little to do with the younger members of society in general, and more to do with trying to reduce the religious freedom and tolerance in Australia. It’s basically a large day for promoting Christian supremacy in Australian society, and oppressing and dismissing any other religious groups.
Don’t believe me? Check out this news article.
According to the ABC, “Under the new regulations, people who refuse to stop engaging in conduct that causes annoyance or inconvenience to pilgrims can be arrested and fined up to $5,500.” I have numerous problems with these regulations:
- Why are these people getting special treatment? I get annoyed and inconvenienced on a daily basis, unfortunately I don’t get to hit people with up to a $5,500 fine. Are we perhaps sending just a small message about the supposed primacy of Christianity there?
- It’s both interesting and bloody dangerous that these regulations are so vague: I know plenty of “Christians” who are offended by hijabs, or burqas, or even pentacle necklaces. So if you happen to, say, live in Sydney and wear one of these, well, look out! It’s an extreme example, but these are pretty extreme regulations. I agree with the NSW Bar Association when they say that these “…new regulations for World Youth Day undermine basic rights and are an affront to freedom of speech”.
- Stop referring to them as pilgrims. They’re not going to a spiritual destination for a spiritual purpose. The fact that they’ve come up with Draconian, intolerant regulations such as these just point out what a pathetic farce the entire event is, in an attempt to try and regain Christian supremacy in an increasingly atheist country.
On that note, they really need to stop calling it “World Youth Day”. It’s misleading, and infers that it’s inclusive of all the “youths”, when it’s clearly not. I think the above introduction of regulations more than demonstrates how exclusive this little event is.
I could rant more (say, about the fact that the government is wasting taxpayers money on a religious event that promotes intolerance and ideas of Christian superiority and bigotry, flagrantly defying the supposed distinction between Church and State in this country, or the interference with public transport, thus inconveniencing thousands of Sydney commuters), but I think I’ve made my point. I can only hope that plenty of people have the courage to stand up and offend the hell out of these self-righteous bastards in my absence.