looby's blog yesterday, where I expressed surprise that he went to a reading of Slovenian Poetry. I did use some language which was mildly (for me) derogatory about how anyone could actually enjoy such an event.
Another reader of that blog had a dig at me about my abuse of looby's cultural preferences, and I think that this opens up a much bigger area, of how much respect is owed to other people's own beliefs.
I was taught as a child that there was an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God, who we were required to worship on a regular basis.
I also believed that Tinkerbell would die if all of the audience in the Pantomime didn't scream "I BELIEVE IN FAIRIES" at the top of their voices after she was poisoned.
I aslo believed in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, the Monster in the Coal Shed, the Monster under my Bed and that I would go blind AND grow hair on the palms of my hands if I fiddled with myself too much.
I continued to respect the right of others to their beliefs, no matter how silly (or in some cases f*cking stupid) they may seem to me, but as I get older, I am getting angrier at the almost parallel concept of the believer demanding that I show respect for the actual belief structure, and expecting me to comply with the rules of that belief.
As I don't believe in god and all of the concomitant crap associated with the god-botherers, then it is obvious that I cannot blaspheme, and don't really accept the concept of blasphemy.
Unfortunately, as I was writing this and did some research, it turns out that blasphemy exists as a legal definition enshrined in NZ law as Section 123 of the Crimes Act 1961 which allows for imprisonment up to one year for anyone who publishes any "blasphemous libel". What worries me is the 1961. Over half way through the 20th century, and they still passed this shit.
So much for free speech and living in a Secular State.
Why should we have to pay lip service to all of these outdated ideas.
Why should I have to stand and show respect when my Maori colleagues decide that they have to say a Karakia. Do I believe in their gods or spirits? Do I cocoa.
I will continue to heap ridicule (tempered by goodwill and softened by humour out of respect for the person who believes) on every such illogical belief I ever come across.
Tell it as it is.