Well another Australia day has come and gone, and it has made me think of a couple things. There was a lot of Australian pride on display out and about. I am proud to be Australian, but I think our patriotism is moving towards Jingoism, towards aggressive stop the boats, keep em in Indonesian waters attitudes. What's next getting our kids to stand, hand on heart every day reciting a pledge of our undying narrow-minded love for Australia. I can see it now, Teacher: Lets all stand to say the Australian pledge of allegiance. Students: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie... OI, OI, OI.
I usually think of Socrates when I see
people adorned in the Australian flag, or the boxing kangaroo. Socrates
supposedly said said "I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of
the world", I think we need to remember that, and try and tear down the
barriers of nationality.
The second thing I was
thinking of is related to the first, a particular member of Sydney
atheists is an "illegal" refugee, meaning they came here after not being
able to get to the embassy in their home country to apply to refugee
status. This person is extremely intelligent, fast becoming very
articulate in English and would be an enormous asset to this country.
However there is no precedent for leaving your home country due to
non-belief... sure if you believe differently to your home country then
you are welcome here, even if you have no intention of contributing to
society or integrating. But surely non-believers could just fake it
right? Forget about the possible punishments in some of these countries
if your non-belief is found out, or you show any sign of independent and
Then while I was thinking of what
could possibly done to help this person and many others that are out
there I hear the oft unheard second verse of our national anthem and the
below bars stuck out at me;
"For those who've come across the seas, We've boundless plains to share"
Maybe we need to change those lines...
we need to actually evaluate peoples cases a bit better and keep up on
current reasons for refugees, it won't be long before we have homosexual
refugees fleeing Russia's draconian homophobic laws, and non-believing
refugees from the Middle Eastern, European, and African theocracies. As
the aforementioned persons case is a tenuous one, I have spared details.
But perhaps if everyone could write their local member, write the
newspapers and let them know that non-believers are being persecuted and
are likely to come here as refugees, then maybe awareness can be raised
and this is the last time we lose someone who is not just a nice
person, but would be a boon for any country.