The final week of 2016 is an apt time to reflect on the role of religion. Fundamentalists fan the flames of religious hate from Aleppo to Ipswich. Borders snap shut, refugees languish in ghettos and First Nations people from West Papua and Western Australia to just West of the Mississippi at Standing Rock are tortured to death by police upholding Christian values.
In Chop Chop Square each and every Friday the Saudi family execute and flog dissenters to uphold the untenable claim that their Jewish forebears are direct descendants of Mohammed. Yet we pray in Parliament and swear on the bible in court. We give tax free dollars to criminal institutions so they might rape our children and force battered women to reconcile with their perpetrators in those self-same Christian values.
Our elected representatives banish reason in the name of faith, deny science and belittle grace. Nature red in tooth and claw, the market rules the human race, a race of lemmings herded by armies bearing icons and brands. Religion joined by commerce both harnessed by a State that no longer even pretends to represent us but simply take.
Religion justifies that right to take, to exploit, to dominate. We wipe out life to live. We reduce the biosphere to microscopic animals and machines, industrial harming of the few living things we eat, the planet a machine to feed the megacity a few remnants of nature a Disneyland for the mega rich.
But it need not be so.
All life takes, consumes, organizes, builds. Else there would be entropy. That is the law of thermodynamics. Each ant nest a treasury of stolen organic matter dragged home by neutered workers. Bee hives the same except they fly by with their baskets of pollen, sucked nectar. How ants must wail and nash their nippers as the bees buzz past.
The gift of consciousness is wasted on post hoc rationalization, justifying our greed, our fear and anger. We must harness it to create wondrous beauty, we must apprehend the Universe with awe, the Earth with respect, each other with kindness. We must stop racing to the cliff and learn to look after each other, one by one and then in communities and then we can begin again.
Merry Christmas, from the Cross, in the Cage on the Zeds. My name is Geoff Ebbs.