Sunday 13 August 2006

Why is there no Australian religion?

I was listening to my reggae station and whilst reading about some of the artists, I decided to look up more on the rasta movement.

This got me to thinking about religion in general, and to why there is no Australian founded 'religion' as such.

The Rasta movement began amongst the poor slaves in Jamaica and is their expression of religion against that of the white man.

Similarily Kwaanza, was set up by a Black person in America to celebrate black diversity in the holiday period.

Even Scientology and the Church of Latter Day Saints can be seen as being created to address flaws in previous religions that do not address the specific actuality of being American.

And the different sects of the Christian faith such as the Lutherans evolved to address different interpretations of the bible.

So, why is there no Australian religion?

Sure, there's the Dream Time of the Aboriginals, but as a nation we don't respect them or their culture, so it's understandable that no one really takes any serious notice of that.

But why, when our nation was founded by convicts, many of whom where politically and religiously persecuted, has no real religion developed that is distinctly Australian?

Sure, our constitution states that "The Commonwealth of Australia shall not make any law establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth", but that hardly dissuades people to make up a religion.

If I was, say, an Irish Catholic (and apparently my ancestors were) and I was shipped here because I stole of loaf of bread, I would reject both the State and the Religion of that state.

The Christian God didn't help me, a poor Irish person just trying to provide for his family, from being caught and then being shipped to a strange land where the seasons are backwards, the sky is different, it doesn't snow, and the animals all look fucking weird.

I mean look at the Platypus... if that thing isn't enough to make you reject God if you're an 18th Century convict with no education then I don't know what else could!

With a mess of cultures and religions and backgrounds all in the one place, I'm surprised that, unlike America which has a ridiculous number of stupid religions popping up all the time, a distinctly Australian religion hasn't emerged.

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