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You can’t stop society evolving

 

As, one by one, my family and friends get rid of their land lines despite my protestations that I knew their numbers off by heart and I live in a mobile black spot so rarely use one, I have had to concede that you can’t stop society evolving.

Sometimes, as in the case of mobile phones, emails and computers, this evolution is due to technical change.  No longer do we wait for the postman to bring us paper bills.  No longer do we troddle off to the bank to stand in a queue so we can pay them.  No longer do we go searching for a public phone that still has a handset attached.

In other cases, we are forced to change in response to a threat.  Medicine has taught us the benefits of cleanliness and a good diet and the dangers of smoking and lack of exercise.  Climate change is making us change the way we use power.

And sometimes, evolution in thinking occurs.

There was a time when women were considered the possessions of, first, their fathers and then, their husbands.

There was a time when people of colour were considered inferior.

There was a time when homosexuality was considered unnatural.

Thankfully, we have evolved past this ignorance.

The stranglehold of religion on our daily lives is diminishing.

More and more people are questioning the relevance of dressing up in ceremonial robes, burning incense and chanting responses to worship a supernatural being.  We no longer need the fear of some divine retribution in the afterlife to make us obey the laws that protect our society.  Morality and good deeds are not the sole province of believers.  Women are no longer willing to accept the role of vessels and vassals.

And yet this diminishing minority of faithful seek to stem the tide of evolution.

They want the right to dictate how others must live their lives.  They want to decide what a family should look like.  They want to determine who is in and who is out, whether it be women in the priesthood or gay people who want to marry.  Their exclusive club wants to deny women control over their own bodies and the terminally ill the right to die with dignity.

The ridiculous notion that we will spend an enormous amount of money on a postal survey to determine if gays are equal before the law is an anachronistic obscenity.

Marriage equality will happen regardless of Lyle Shelton and Tony Abbott.  It will happen because it is right.


22 comments

  1. Johno

    Abbott et al are hypocrites as they embrace many changes to do with power and greed but stifle or reject many changes to do with love and compassion.

  2. Aortic

    Well said Kaye. Having had the misfortune of having been brought up in a fundamentalist cult, it took me far too long to rid my cluttered mind of their nonsense. The clarity of thought in Carl Sagan’s ” Pale Blue Dot” is breathtaking but I doubt it would change the thinking of those who see their particular diety as the only salvation for the world, and are sadly prepared to kill and die in anticipation of an idyllic afterlife. So sad. Keep up the good work, you have many supporters out here.

  3. pierre wilkinson

    And why are they all getting away with their manifest BS? Thank you Kaye for some serious thinking.

  4. Terry2

    Kaye

    Six years ago we made the decision to scrap our landline and rely on mobiles even though we were in a mobile blackspot. However Telstra HQ in the Philippines assured us that it would be fixed : it wasn’t so we bought from Telstra two external aerials that had in-house cables that fixed to a port on our mobiles so that we could communicate – smart phones don’t have those ports so we had to stick with superseded hand-phones.

    When the present government rolled out their program to eliminate blackspots and told us they were putting several hundred million into the project, we thought we would be OK. But it wasn’t to be, the blackspots taken care of were those nominated by the service provider and we missed out again.

    The mobile service even with the aerials is at best variable so we have decided to have our landline reinstated which is not as easy as you may think : you again have to deal with Telstra personnel in the Philippines who are all very charming and clearly cherish their jobs with Telstra but they are dealing with dodgy software – despite scanning and sending them a copy of our rates notice and our Valuer General’s land valuation they still say that our address doesn’t exist.

    Take care if you scrap your landline, speak to Esmerelda in downtown Manila first ; she’s running the show for Telstra now.

    PS: If we ever see an Optus or Vodaphone truck in this area it’s usually because their GPS is on the blink and they are lost and looking for directions !

  5. philgorman2014

    Stubborn resistance to The Reformation, The Enlightenment, Social Democracy and Women’s Emancipation has made for long drawn out and often bloody affairs. The current shenanigans over Marriage Equality are just another rearguard skirmish at taxpayers expense.

    Hold your nose and vote YES!

  6. Kaye Lee

    Terry,

    2013

    “The Coalition’s Growth Plan for the Central Coast will improve mobile phone coverage through a $100 million commitment to cut black-spots in regional areas”

    2016

    “The Central Coast will receive improved mobile phone coverage if the Coalition is re-elected”

    We didn’t get improved mobile phone coverage. What we did get, being a marginal seat, was a very early roll-out of FttN. I am still going through a business compensation claim for losing EFTPOS for two months. SHOOT ME NOW!

  7. babyjewels10

    Funny, I think we’re “devolving.” Aside from the fact I have intermittent internet connection – NBN – I can’t watch tv if there’s even a slight breeze or a shower, and my mobile phone cannot be used inside my home in built up suburbia, as human beings we are dumbing ourselves down to enable the wool to be pulled over our eyes, for repeated chants to become reality in our befuddled heads, to allow our basest instincts to overrule any kind of decency. Yes, I really do think we’re devolving.

  8. Christina Heath

    Well said Kaye. Unfortunately I live in National MP Michael McCormack’s electorate, Minister for Small Business and consequently responsible for the postal poll. This is the same man, when editor of the Wagga Daily Advertiser, wrote in an Editorial in 1992, “a week never goes by anymore that homesexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society. Unfortunately gays are here and, if the disease their unnatural acts helped spread doesn’t wipe out humanity, they’re here to stay………………………” His vile spiel continues at length. At least he is copping a lot of flack on DA FB page. And this homophobic individual has carriage for the plebiscite!! He says he has now changed his ways!! BS – a leopard of his ilk does not change its spots.

  9. diannaart

    Thank the universe we have the inimitable Tim Minchin; on days where I feel like burning my eyes out with burning things and blocking my ears with extra ear wax and then face-planting my head into my cat’s litter box because anything is better than glimpsing or hearing anyone from the LNP talk about anything…. there is Tim who saves me:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsfyPG4DUHQ

  10. Deanna Jones

    Not just gays. To say “gays” does not cover it at all. There is a reason we have the acronym. Why is it so hard?

  11. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thanks for sharing those thoughts with us Kaye.

    I regard change as being very much a ‘two-edged sword”.

    In my 69 years I have seen some fantastic, indeed brilliant, changes, many of them long overdue. These would include the change from pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents, the adoption of the decimal system of weights an measures, the invention of electronic calculators and more recently, the evolution of the internet which, inter alia, makes conversations like this possible. Also, the declining influence of religion in our society would definitely have to rate as an absolutely positive development.

    However, at the other extreme, the forces of conservatism and greed have had their way in much of the west with the introduction of the Friedrich Hayekian and Milton Friedman brand of free-market economics which has poisoned our society.

  12. Ceridwen66

    Great article.

    The notion of morality being the prerogative of the religious institutions which unrightly claimed it early was perhaps the greatest audacious con job of all. Objective historical truth devoid of the bells and whistles of personal faith is the imperative challenge which any evolving secular society faces. Perhaps by severing the archaic religious rituals and ideologies which have infested political legislation and discourse, the repair of a long and brutal history of forced religious conversion and colonisation can occur.

    As the wonderful Matt Shultz so succinctly said:

    “You’re allowed to believe in a god. You’re allowed to believe unicorns live in your shoes for all I care. But the day you start telling me how to wear my shoes so I don’t upset the unicorns, I have a problem with you. The day you start involving the unicorns in making decisions for this country, I have a BIG problem with you”.

  13. lefturnahead

    The ridiculous notion that we spend an enormous amount of money on a postal survey to determine if gays are equal before the law is an anachronostic obscenity, hear hear…well said and oh so true!~!~

  14. Kaye Lee

    I thought gay was an inclusive term, as in gay Mardi Gras. I am sorry if it has a specific meaning of which I am unaware. I meant no offence nor to exclude anyone. I must admit, I find the acronym confusing myself. What is the difference between being lesbian, gay and queer? The community itself seems divided. Some feel the term queer is a slur (I can understand why). I ask this in the hope of being informed – not to make things any worse.

    To tell you the truth, I wish there was no acronym. I wish it wasn’t necessary to give anyone a label based on their sexuality or gender identity. I wish the young people in my life didn’t feel the need to announce to me that they think they might be gay. They know how I feel. Why can’t they just introduce me to their partner whoever they are. I wish we didn’t make people feel different.

  15. helvityni

    Nick Minchin says it all for me,and he says it well, I just love him…

    The Oz born can be critical of the country and get away with it, us with an ‘accent’ will soon be told : go back where you came from… different rules and all that…

    One day Nick might spin a good song about that too… 🙂

  16. Dave

    The ONLY advantage I have gained after getting the abbott / turnbull NFG NBN a few months back is that I was able to tell telstra to piss off, I am now @ $50-60 per month better off, even though I have slightly less download speed on internet than I had with ADSL2…….And with a local ISP I quite enjoy being able to speak with an Australian service centre, AND actually get things done!… Bonus!

  17. Keitha Granville

    why do we use the term gays at all ? why are we using same sex marriage at all ? why are we simply not asking for equality for all ? it’s pretty simple.
    marriage is not beholden to any church, any religion, marriage is a matter for the state. if people want to solemnise it in a church good for them – I didn’t, pretty sure my marriage is legit.
    take it back from the zealots, take control of our own lives.
    Vote for equality. Full stop.

  18. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Keitha,

    I totally accept and support the views that you express in your post. Well said!

    However, I would caution that there are many in this world who are hostile to our way of thinking. For instance, in a major report by the Pew Research Center written in 2013 we learn that,

    “Publics in Africa and in predominantly Muslim countries remain among the least accepting of homosexuality. …..

    Overwhelming majorities in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed also say homosexuality should be rejected, including 97% in Jordan, 95% in Egypt, 94% in Tunisia, 93% in the Palestinian territories, 93% in Indonesia, 87% in Pakistan, 86% in Malaysia, 80% in Lebanon and 78% in Turkey.”

    See

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/

    And in the U.K., The Guardian reports the following findings from an ICM poll,

    “However, when asked to what extent they (British Muslims) agreed or disagreed that homosexuality should be legal in Britain, 18% said they agreed and 52% said they disagreed, compared with 5% among the public at large who disagreed. Almost half (47%) said they did not agree that it was acceptable for a gay person to become a teacher, compared with 14% of the general population.”

    See

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/11/british-muslims-strong-sense-of-belonging-poll-homosexuality-sharia-law

    Clearly, as these examples show, much work remains to be done on a global scale.

  19. Jon

    History isn’t that simple. We’re not growing in a linear fashion. People make it all so bloody complex. We rewrite our history in an ongoing process that quite possible transplants our own bias and beliefs onto our ancestors. Yes, homosexuality was considered as a mental illness, but before that it was such a part of life that it was not even given a name. Yes, we’ve gained more freedoms for women since the beginnings of feminism but our own culture existed centuries before with women holding an equally valued position in society. We had equality and lost it. Justice changes as a society changes, it is socially constituted and needs to be defended again and again.

  20. Florence nee Fedup

    Keitha all that is being ask is official recognition of what already exists. Asking for the protection formal civil marriage gives them.

  21. diannaart

    Florence nee Fedup

    I understand what you are saying, better to achieve equal marriage than debate about terminology. Right? Well, maybe.

    When ABC presenters have been told NOT to use the term “equal marriage” and, instead use SSM – there is something a bit smelly somewhere.

    Words matter. The issue is about equal rights; not religion, not whether someone finds the idea of sex between same sex people ‘icky’, not because of some prejudice due to all of the above or other reasons.

    Words matter. This is why LBGTQI people first tried to take back ‘gay’ to defuse its power to insult, as people from southern Europe took back ‘wog’. However, ‘gay’ is still used as an insult. “Same sex marriage” is also a loaded term for the reasons I stated above.

    Keitha has a point.

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