As free as we are independent


The best thing about being born into a western civilisation is that I live in a society that educates me and gives me the opportunity to progress into becoming the person that I want to be. This is a fundamental and foundational difference to other types of society and is what motivates people to want to move to a country like ours.

Through history, we have warred amongst ourselves for multiple reasons, such as access to resources, and different cultural and religious beliefs. The amazing thing about growing up in a community that has Christian values is that it provides its members with a strong identity and, therefore through this strength, the ability to ‘welcome the stranger’ and accept people from all walks of life. 

Whether you are a believer or not, it is an important to recognise that this country’s values and democratic political system have a strong Judeo-Christian legal and moral basis, as has those of Great Britain, Western Europe, New Zealand, and the United States of America. You may wish to ponder on the legal system that would have prevailed or could prevail if extreme versions of other religions or political movements dominated. Do you believe that you would exercise the same democratic rights under such vastly different systems?

These thoughts were provoked by this week’s Census. If more people do not identify as Christian or Jewish, or have no faith at all, will that cause our fundamental societal structures, values, and, indeed, identity, to change to suit a new system?

We are now in the habit of not noticing changes in our society because they happen slowly over time. We are now accepting things that we would never previously have accepted. This is both a positive and a negative. 

As a woman, I do not want a system in place where only men have an opinion of consequence. 

As a victim of a serious accident, I do not want a system in place that does not provide consequences to a person who had done the wrong thing. This was the final result, as the company for whom he worked used a barrister who knew how to play the system. 

As a voter, I expect our Federal, State, and local elected members to uphold the truth and conduct themselves with honesty. 

As a member of the Australian community, I appreciate that I have rights, but I also know that I have responsibilities.

As we slip into a society driven by ‘fake’ news and elected officials here and abroad who ‘mis-speak,’ rather than admit a lie, we risk becoming dominated by ‘Post Truth’ and, therefore, unable to know whom to believe. As the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome attest, the dilution of a successful and enshrined moral code based on commonly held values and a strong identity, may temporarily result in a period of great creativity, but over time, if allowed to further erode, will implode, and result in a forcible ‘take-over’ by a far less enlightened group who impose draconian order. Many in Germany in the 1930s failed to recognise that an economic miracle delivered by a strong orator who would ‘save them’ was magical thinking. This resulted in their abandonment of their Christian values to follow a monster, which would come at a cost of their freedom, humiliation, destruction, reputation, and, very often, their lives.

If we want a dominant belief system that is not based on religious values, then what should we found it on? What do you want our system to be? And, what then, is our identity? Because without a strong identity and moral code, history has demonstrated time and again that we risk having one imposed upon us.

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