At church this morning, for the first time in my life (except of course at Randwick Baptist Church, but that was more of a circus for spooks than anything else back in the 80s) I had a visceral reaction to walk out of the sermon!
It happened this way.
The minister was conducting the service and our interim pastor was to give the sermon. As Chinese New Year has just passed we were treated to a bit of a show: choir that sang in both Cantonese and English (alternating verses), minister in a Chinese traditional shirt (nice touch).
It was explained that CNY was fundamentally a pagan celebration to get the 'gods' to be nice about the crops. So here we were, seeming to absorb a pagan practice without comment. It troubled me.
During the sermon it got worse.
The sermon was about stories we were involved in. CNY was a 'story', as was Australia Day (26th for those interested). We were then told how bad we were to Australian aborigines, how we'd invaded their land and done all sorts of wicked things.
We? Who did he mean? I don't do anything wicked to AAs. I pay them a lot of money via the tax system to in some cases subsidise their traditional life of child abuse, wife bashing and inter-tribal wars, augmented these days by alcohol. Maybe that's wicked, but that's down to successive governments just giving good money after bad, and not treating all equally: that is, get a job if you want money.
Maybe he had in mind the 'stolen generations' fiction. Probably given his age. But the accusation of cultural oppression, disregarding the great good that has come to AA as a result of the British settlement all those centuries ago, not to mention the work of missions, was appalling. That's when I felt the impetus to exit stage left.
Further we went to Nelson Mandela. Now he has said and done great things. But let's not forget the wicked things he's done too. The man has blood on his hands, and he wasn't jailed for being a peaceful freedom advocate, he was jailed for terrorist atrocities.