Saturday, July 06, 2002

Ye Of Miscellaneous Faith

The Australian Bureau of Statistics classification of religions is a fascinating few pages. No Religion - about 15% of the population, according to last year's census - contains only 4 subgroups: Agnosticism, Atheism, Humanism and Rationalism. No Objectivists or Ayn-Randians in sight.

This is pretty unimaginative when you consider the options available for Other Religions (0.4%). Some public servant has patiently allocated unique codes to everything from Chinese Ancestor Worship to Druidism; although Australian Aboriginal Traditional Religions have all been lumped together.

It's the last chance catch-all at the bottom of the Miscellaneous Religions section that's interesting - the Religious Groups, code 6999. While the Census Bureau officially frowned on people listing 'Jedi' as their religion at the last census (see post from June 22), and threw 'Jedi' into the Religious Groups bucket, just look at some of what it explicitly includes there: The Aetherius Society (Flying Saucer Group), The Builders of the Adytum, The Inner Peace Movement.

The Australian Government recognizes The Flying Saucer Group, and not the Jedi!? May the force be with them, they know not what they do...

The Judean People's Front

Pedophile Catholics have been thankfully absent from the news lately, but there was a funny postscript to one of the last TV news stories about them, on Sydney Channel 10 as I remember. There was some story about how the Melbourne Catholic establishment had protected child molestors, dismissed victims, the usual stuff. Then the news went on to other stories, and right at the end, the announcer said something like, 'The Australian Catholic Church would like to clarify that the earlier news item about child abuse was referring to the Roman Catholic Church'.

Let us not go into the morass of almost every Christian faith believing that they alone are the true Catholic faith - the most prominent being the Church of England regarding herself as the English Catholic Church, headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and nothing to do with those oddballs in Rome.

But spare a thought for the Australian Catholic Church - not only have the Roman Catholics gone and devalues the brand, as it were, but the Australian Catholic Church is very, very obscure. I can't find them anywhere on the net, 'Australian Catholic Church' is synonymous with the 'Roman Catholic Church in Australia'. They must have a massive complex over all this - if are any members are out there, do email me and tell us about yourselves.

I know the Australian Catholic Church exists because it is listed in the Australian Bureau of Statistics list of Christian religions, and I know it is obscure because it is right as the very very bottom with the 'Other Christian' religions, way below the mainstream 'Catholic Church in Australia', right at the runt of the list with the Millenial Dawnists and the Father Divine - Peace Mission Movement.

Just shove it

Who do you think said this?
"... we want to assist in shutting down the sweatshops where these garments are made by workers who get paid very little and work in atrocious conditions."

I'll save you the suspense because you'll never guess - the speaker is one Richard Stanwix, Nike corporate security manager in Australia, on the occasion of a police raid on a suburban Sydney market that was selling fake Nike tshirts for A$7. Our tax dollars at work.

Some poor worker gets a few cents for sewing a tshirt and some guy selling off a trestle table at the markets makes a few dollars. This subverts the way things are supposed to work, which is that some poor worker gets a few cents for sewing a tshirt and Nike makes heaps of dollars. Nike know all about sweatshops, of course. A Google search for 'Nike' and 'sweatshop' turns up over 12,000 hits, not all of them the famous sweatshop email.