catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Bread and Circuses

with 22 comments

Ross Fitzgerald is bemoaning the rise of Christianity in public life in the Australian, while Chris Berg was bemoaning public spending on sports in the Age yesterday.
The bulk of Fitzgerald’s complaint relates to World Youth day

When Catholic World Youth Day descended on that state in July last year, many taxpayers resented being forced to pay $20 million in security charges for the event and $40m for the use of Randwick racecourse. The reason that atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Anglicans and even a few Catholics were being forced to go along with this was essentially because then premier Morris Iemma and many of his fellow committed Catholics in the NSW ALP Right were born into that religion. They didn’t want a confrontation with Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell over a cheaper location.

But what does Berg say?

NOTHING excites state politicians more than having their government host major sporting events. Over the past decade, the Victorian Government has increased its self-imposed ”cap” on subsidising major events from $35 million a year to more than $80 million. Why bother calling it a ”cap” at all?

This mega event mania is not limited to the states: Australia’s bid for the 2018 or 2022 soccer World Cup is at $45.6 million. The bid now has its own special Commonwealth taskforce.

Roman politicians knew the most effective way to keep their citizens relaxed and quiet: lots of bread, lots of circuses. The Australian wheat industry has been almost completely deregulated over the past few years. So governments have doubled the circus money.

But politicians don’t like to admit they just buy our love. Instead they give lavish economic reasons why we need to subsidise mega events to the hilt: think of the tourism! The ”eyes of the world”! The eleventy-thousand jobs!

So why pick on religion? It is all ‘mega-events’. World Youth day, APEC, the Grand Prix, Olympics, World Cup, you-name-it, it is all an imposition on the taxpayers and residents of Australia.

The rest of Fitzgerald’s article is just nonsense. The PM goes to church, the Chief of Police is a Baptist, and so on. Like we care. On the issue of taxpayer dollars being wasted on mega-events we can all agree but I suspect we’ve come some way since the Federal constitution banned a religious test for holding public office. That you have to be an atheist or infidel to hold public office is just as offensive as having to be a member in good standing of the Church of England.

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Written by Sinclair Davidson

December 28, 2009 at 10:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

22 Responses

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  1. Speaking as a secular humanist I found the Papal visit and cognate activities had a lot of charm. If anyone is going to complain about governments pandering to interest groups, check out the results of catering for the requirements of the trade unions and the Greens.

    Rafe

    December 28, 2009 at 10:58 am

  2. Fitzgerald started the year with the same rant.

    Funny that Labor disciple Fitzgerald makes no mention of the Dear Leader being the first prime minister in Australian history to give sermons outside his church on Sunday. Completely slipped his mind.

    C.L.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:17 am

  3. More recently, Clarke and Nile were guest speakers at last month’s Australia’s Future and Global Jihad conference in Sydney, alongside Danny Nalliah from the Catch the Fire Ministries. Other attendees were Peter and Jenny Stokes from the fundamentalist Christian morals group Salt Shakers Inc and Emmanuel Michael from the Assyrian Federation of Australia. Why would one of the Liberal Party’s top policy-makers be at such a conference, which was backing the notion that our Christian heritage was under attack from evil forces? And what about Kevin Rudd’s attendance at the Australian Christian Lobby’s annual general meeting last month?

    Since when has Catholicism been associated with these protestant nutball associations?

    jc

    December 28, 2009 at 11:23 am

  4. Most money spent on ‘sporting events’ cost money.Formula one and the Olympics being very good examples.

    The World cup is the largest sporting event quite easily however if we have to spend money to build stadiums ( they have to house 40k each at least) that outweighs the money we get when the hoards invade the country when the World cup starts then we shouldn’t have it.

    We already have a number of stadiums that are white elephants. We do not need more of them fr one event.

    By the way no-one is associated with the Church of England. you may mean the Anglican church of Asutralia for which there was special legislation.

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm

  5. Sinclair was referring to the Church of England being the established, official “religion” of our mother country, Homer. He was saying we don’t have such requirements here – not in relation to Christianity or in relation to the cult of atheism.

    C.L.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:54 pm

  6. No he wasn’t CL.

    That isn’t even a decent excuse.

    Have another go

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm

  7. You went off half-cocked as usual, Homer. You’re doing this a lot lately as you pursue your jihad against Sinclair.

    C.L.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm

  8. CL this is as poor an excuse as you have ever used.

    try again but be a bit more imaginative.

    What requirements are they CL

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  9. “You’re doing this a lot lately as you pursue your jihad against Sinclair.”

    I can almost imagine Homer driving around in a beat-up Camry with his legs on fire trying to ruin Sinc’s day whispering under his breathe, “oops”.

    dover_beach

    December 28, 2009 at 3:34 pm

  10. Homer, I refuse to discuss such matters with someone who doesn’t understand the requirements of the Australian Senate when it votes.

    I understood Sinclair to be referring to the fact that in the mother country only a C of E member can be head of state. We don’t have such requirements here; nor should we inaugurate such rules to favour atheists.

    Try not to go off half cocked next time.

    C.L.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:37 pm

  11. then CL you really should try reading properly.

    Being the Queen/King is not public office.

    Try learning what is public office next time before making another goose of yourself

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

  12. Just remember what I said, Homer. Try to avoid going off half-cocked because your jihadic forays against Sinclair are starting to get sloppy. As someone who is incapable of reading the Constitution as it relates to votes in the Australian Parliament, please refrain from giving advice.

    C.L.

    December 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm

  13. You’re doing this a lot lately as you pursue your jihad against Sinclair.

    Umm Lately? Homes has been 1/2 cocked for freaking years.

    jc

    December 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm

  14. you went off half-cocked about the last sentence without reading properly and now you have a Forrest like foot in your mouth.

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm

  15. Cl’s understanding is what I had in mind.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

  16. of course except it is almost 200 years out of date for the UK.

    It didn’t apply here.

    You write about Australia and then in the last sentence obscurely refer to a very old UK practice.

    Of course

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm

  17. Homer – the mischief rule applies. It was written in for a purpose.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm

  18. Sinkers you can’t even come up with a decent excuse as I have shown.

    Your knowledge of the English parliament precedes you.

    Perhaps you think the Monarchy is a public office too

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm

  19. Homer – a relgious test of office still applies for some positions in the UK. One of my colleagues was appoached for a senior position at a UK uni (in 2006) and it had a religious test. I was very, very surprised.

    Here in Australia the monarchy is an elected position. Mind you, in the UK everything that has happened since the 1688 coup d’etat has been a mistake.

    Sinclair Davidson

    December 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm

  20. Sinkers think about 1829 and what that meant

    Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop

    December 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm

  21. The weird thing is – even though an athiest may advocate the concept of separation of church and state (and therefore no cross-funding), they see no problem with asking for government to fund an athiest conference!

    http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/media-releases/atheists-too-hot-handle-victorian-government

    Adrian

    December 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

  22. Does anyone know Eastwoodlish well enough to translate what Homer is trying to say in English?

    jc

    December 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm


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