Bekasi Bigots

Feb 21st, 2010, in Opinion, by

Sectarian mapping of cities to prevent conflict, as another church, in Bekasi, is closed.


BEKASI BIGOTS RIDING HIGH

Having lived in Bekasi, West Java some years ago, the Jakarta Post article about 'religious mapping' holds interest. The very idea that you need to map an area to provide for peaceful sectarian co-existence, never mind integration, sums up what is wrong with Indonesia. It can be better summarised in two words: Muslim clerics, as in this story of protests against the construction of a Protestant church in Bekasi recently:

Rusli, 38, a moderate Muslim, was in a quandary when local clerics recently asked him and other residents to sign a petition against the building of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (Filadelfia Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP)) church in their neighborhood in Jejalen Jaya.

The clerics said that if we didn’t sign, they wouldn’t recite prayers at our funerals. I insisted on not signing it, but most of my neighbors were cowed by the threat.

With local clerics still playing a pivotal leadership role in rural parts of Bekasi, people in the Muslim-majority region are easily dragged into conflicts sparked by religious tensions. The spat between the HKBP and the Jejalen Jaya residents only escalated once Muslim clerics in the subdistrict began inciting opposition to the construction of the church.

All Muslim clerics in this subdistrict have agreed the construction of the church must desist immediately

says protest leader Nesan.

So what's their problem? Murhali, Bekasi FPI leader said on TVone on Sunday that there were 6 churches in the area.

At night, their singing disturbs the locals’ sleep

They can hardly be serious in saying that church-bells and hymn-singing 'disturb' Muslim residents, since their own mosques emit cacaphonous ululations again and again every day, not least when normal folk are abed and asleep.

Bekasi '45 Islamic University sociologist Andi Sopandi points out such faith-fomented conflicts are to be expected. Such disputes, he says, occur frequently in developing rural or suburban areas across the country, where the influx of newcomers with a more diverse background has grated on traditionally more homogeneous communities.

Locals and newcomers get along well only if they share similar basic values, and for most Indonesians, that would be religion

says Andi, who advised former vice president Jusuf Kalla during the latter’s mediation to end the deadly inter-religious clashes in Poso, Central Sulawesi. Given the situation, he goes on, the establishment of an interfaith communication forum alone is never enough.

True enough, Andi, but what is to be done?

Andi believes it is paramount for all regional administrations in the country, including in Bekasi, to produce a map, updated each year, that shows the spread of religious clusters in the area.

The map shouldn’t just list the populations of each religion, but should also point out their homes and nearest houses of worship. Using such a map, the local administration can work with its Interfaith Communication Forum to allow for houses of worship to be established where the population of any particular religious group is high.

It might, one would think, be easier just to let people build a church, or temple, or mosque, subject to parking needs etc., and allow for freedom of religion to proceed, but not here. The ignorant savages who hold court in the mosques direct their flock to hound anybody who doesn't share their beliefs.

Why, we have to ask again? And it does seem to come back to the paranoid fear among these clerics that their flock will jump ship. Repeatedly, we hear the horrified fanatics speaking of 'conversion'. Sometimes they use the term 'Christianisation' of areas, as if there's some Rome-directed plot to flood Bekasi with Catholics or perhaps American evangelists are master-minding wholesale Protestant indoctrination of the Bekasi masses. No wonder Islamic spokesmen often prescribe the death penalty for anyone who converts out.

Are rank-and-file Muslims truly so weak in their faith that only such barbaric threats keep them bending the knee to bearded ignoramuses? I doubt it. Most people need a pretty heavy reason to change the religion they were born into.

The menace of proselytisation was also the excuse in last week's report from Taman Galaxy, which is a nice little housing estate there where I occasionally did some work about seven years back. Everybody seemed civil enough, no signs of irrationality, at least no more than usual. But this year, we have 16 Islamist outfits up in arms because Galilea Church has a little Sunday fair.

One Murhali said that there were allegations that the church was carrying out a mission to convert residents.

We received reports that church officials often held a charity bazaar for locals but they were asked to say that Jesus is their God. I think it’s a violation.

Sounds unlikely, but what the heck, even if they were asked, they can 'just say no', nobody forced them to go there, and given Islam's record of forcible conversion, a charity bazaar is pea-nuts.

I'm sure Andi Sopandi is a well-meaning man, but maps will only show that non-Muslims are in a minority just about everywhere in Bekasi and in Jakarta. The kind of bigoted clerics we're talking about here don't care at all if it's 2% or 20% - backed up by the kind of Islamist zealots who run the political show in Bekasi, they want to stamp out any alternative source of spiritual guidance that might seem preferable to their own unpleasant brand.


196 Comments on “Bekasi Bigots”

  1. avatar Odinius says:

    ET said:

    But once again we stumble over a point that I tried to make several times in this forum. What is the difference between a religion and a cult that strives for world dominance? And why should a democratic state that is based on the will of the majority of its voters not have the right to restrict the practice of a cult which it considers opposed to its core values?

    No one will oppose a spiritual exercise or guidance that helps individuals to cope with the difficulties of life or put it in a higher perspective, but when political aspirations become involved the appropriate measures of control should be applied in order to safeguard the continuance of the state’s existence and development in accordance with its principles.

    The problem is that safeguards cannot be selectively applied. After all, the perceived “danger” in one corner is the paranoid one in another. Christianity, to certain types of committed Muslims, is “a cult that strives for world dominance.” Thus, for them, it is right to restrict its expansion. That is, without any doubt, the thinking behind the Bekasi bigotry. It is exactly the same logic behind attempts to inhibit the free practice of Islam in parts of Europe.

    If one thinks that restricting the rights of Muslims (and only Muslims) is okay in Europe, then he or she must either: A) accept that this principle implies it’s also okay in places like Indonesia, and shut his or her mouth when Indonesian Muslims act in blatantly bigoted ways; or B) be selective in his or her outrage and, thus, be a hypocrite.

    Or, even better, he or she could grapple with the idea that freedom of religion on the individual level, in compliance with civil and criminal law–and not special rights for specific religious groups, whether minority or majority–ensures the rights and obligations of all individuals, while keeping any religion from gaining too powerful a position in state or society.

    What’s more, whenever state or mob acts to restrict the rights of individuals to equal treatment in the eyes of the law, based upon some group affiliation, it’s a dangerous, slippery slope to majoritarianism and tyranny.

    Indonesia is facing a concerted attempt to realize that nightmare through incremental steps. Though there are also very positive signs of the state maintaining its pluralist foundation, it goes without saying that it is finding it difficult to chart a steady course. But it is hardly alone in this struggle. Other plural societies are also facing pressures towards ethno- and religio-centrism. The names of the players may change, but the crass bigotry and danger of groupism remain the same…

  2. avatar balin says:

    this topic is full of religions hatred,,,make me sick to read all the comments, specially the polygamist ..bearded stuff, who the hell are them judging people that way..who the hell are them telling how many mosque were built and how many church are not, equally this equally that, who the hell are them judging someone,somebody some groups hypocrite, lag of religions education, long before this Indonesia got it independence Muslim organizations already fighting for freedom track back Indonesian history before you misjudged Indonesian Muslim, only stupid city that lag of religions education are usually on fire. Tell your priest and tell your imam to teach them sympathy among others, and one more thing if you hate what the people did don’t blame the religion,blame the people who caused it,, don’t say it muslim or christian,say it some Indonesian stupid jerk that taking his faith at the wrong path.When will this muslim christian will be over untill we stop assaulting each other faults, why cant we be like the budhist, now they all will going to heaven not us muslim and christian,,, darn im out of vodka… blurrppp

  3. avatar ET says:

    Odinius said

    while keeping any religion from gaining too powerful a position in state or society.

    Agree. This is the only way to get out of this mess. In the west most states already succeeded curtailing the power of organized christianity. They should do the same with islam an not let it become a cancer that grows out of control.

  4. avatar Odinius says:

    I like the liberal ethos of “you can do whatever you want, provided you don’t trample on the rights of others.” The state can and should be the force maintaining that kind of peace.

    What’s funny is that there isn’t much difference between the mainstream Islamic right in Indonesia and the mainstream Christian right in the US (not counting the total loonies). But the Christian right in the US is constrained by a powerful state that is institutionally built to defend the principle of religious freedom for the individual. The danger is that, without those institutional constraints, the dreams of that religious right could be realized.

  5. avatar Ross says:

    The ‘religious right’ in America is hardly equivalent to the Islamonazis here. They merely want to preserve America from Obama’s onslaught.

  6. avatar balin says:

    this topic already jumped to nowhere, islamonazis? Obama’s onslaught.?.
    Hello wake up .. earth to whoever you are ..its about church construction that got closed by the government with reasons like etc etc.
    i dont see any racist stuff in this issue, only some people that want to provoke with his racist theory of some ex germany whiteheaded nazistuff,, LOL
    Use your head not your… you know what i mean, think clear about the issue, what is the issue, Church construction got closed by the government, let the government solve the issue fairly, and for the moslem try to keep the situation at peace not to rally around with yel yel etc etc make some provoking act like this whiteheaded nazi , make a peaceful environment stay at home let the government do the job, if the christian see the conclusion not fair enough make a petition to their government about this issue, and if it still not fair enough dont vote for the government next year, if you think that you been treated not fair enough , why stay in this country go to the north pole with me stay with polar bear here, that is the type of the world we living now, we got rules and order here in indonesia, also we got tolerance behavior to provoke peace not some kapish nazi theory with his dramatic school boy logic sayin about islamonazis,Obama’s onslaught, LOL
    go back to your colonialism nazis world and stop provoking christian like this… muslim like that, its all your personal short minded unrecognized truly unworthy misplaced chromosome theory.

  7. avatar ET says:

    @ balin

    darn im out of vodka… blurrppp

    Can you tell us what time of the day you are usually sober? It saves us the trouble reading your posts when you are not.

  8. avatar madrotter says:

    wahaha found your wodka didn’t you?

  9. avatar Ross says:

    Balin? You seem a tad miffed. What’s wrong?

  10. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    Ross, I know you are very proud of your Northern Irish Protestant roots, and rightly so, indeed you remarked once that their only crime was loyalty. How then do you square that with their, let’s say, rather ambivalent attitude to the rights of non-protestants in their community?

    I recall off-hand several incidents, very nasty incidents indeed, regarding the blockading of Catholic schools and places of worship where the stout solid yeomen of Ulster used precisely the same language and tactics as the yahoos of Bekasi.

    I’m usually pretty much in agreement with your viewpoints but we should always recognise that we’re in Indonesia, not the pleasant leafy suburbs of the English Home Counties. Furthermore we should always remember that western society for all its undoubted advantages doesn’t need any lessons in savagery from the rest of the world.

    There has been much ghastliness committed by human beings down through the generations but you will always find that members of our much vaunted western civilisation weren’t behind the door when it came to dolling out the historical horrors.

    Give Indonesia a break, it’s a very young society, it’s in the middle of a vast transformation. If, and I admit it’s a bloody big “if”, Indonesia survives the next decade or so then we can look back on incidents like that in Bekasi as not even worth a footnote in the history books.

  11. avatar Ross says:

    Ya, Berlian, I’m always happy to give Indonesia a break, because I like the place and its people!

    What I don’t like are the FPI and similar savages duffing up innocent folk, and watching police and politicians collaborate in suppression of basic freedoms, like who can have a place of worship.

    As to Ulster, I don’t like either Catholics or Protestants being harried because of their religion, but it is a mistake to suggest that denominational trappings were more than just that, trappings on a divide that was and is fundamentally about national identity.

    Any Ulster citizen, of whatever religion, who is loyal to Queen and Country, should be entitled to live in peace and have full rights.
    Sinn Feiners, of course, are not in that category and ought to be given the opportunity to migrate to live under the flag to which they owe fealty.

  12. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the need to look beneath the surface of these unpleasant incidents but that applies as much to Bekasi as it does to Belfast.

    In 2002 children on their way to Holy Family Primary school in Ardoyne, north Belfast found themselves subject to a dreadful series of blockades which saw appalling sectarian abuse and utterly reprehensible thuggish behaviour against little children walking to school.

    If one was to simply accept this incident at its face value one would assume that it was a classic example of the brutish bigotry inherent in Northern Irish protestants however digging a little deeper one found out there was somewhat more to the story. In a nutshell a once majority protestant/Loyalist area was being subsumed by the surrounding Catholic/Republican districts. Local Unionists felt they were being elbowed out of their own district, they complained of frequent harassment and intimidation carried out by senior Republican figures, the same men who could be seen walking their children to school the next morning. The residents then decided that if they couldn’t feel safe in their own homes then their rivals would not be allowed to enjoy the same benefits. Now I am making no determination as to the truth or otherwise of these claims but I want to illustrate how often there is more than meets the eye to the front page headlines.

    So what’s the connection with Indonesia? Well I recently read “Riots, Pogroms, Jihad” by John T. Sidel who has examined several inter-ethnic/religious riots in Indonesia and he shows that as often as not such incidents arise from purely local issues more often connected to economic or social concerns than any great conspiracy by the vast global Jihad. He shows that they usually occur in “up and coming” areas (my terminology not his) where traditional societies are being transformed by the arrival of affluent outsiders (no, I’m not going to define that, work it out for yourself) building shopping malls and suchlike and overturning the prior existing social order. One of the concomitant effects of the shiny new malls and businesses is a sudden upsurge in church building and the arrival of ostentatious Christian worship where none, or relatively little, existed previously. You can, I think, see where I coming from and where I’m going; unable to protest against the shopping mall or new business outlets the uneducated lumpenproletariat go for the obvious target.

    In no way whatsoever am I condoning such appalling behaviour, but the fact remains that the church blockades are more often the symptom, not the cause, of the underlying unease and merely to throw it all in as an example of Muslim intolerance and bigotry is not going to resolve the problem. I live in a quiet suburb in central Jakarta, the church bells ring out alongside the adzhan from the mosques, no one is attacking those churches. Up in Pasar Baru the Cathedral sits perfectly comfortably alongside Istiqlal Mosque without the least bit of trouble, if one wants to get to the bottom of what’s going on out in the suburbs then one needs to scratch a bit deeper than the kneejerk assumption of latent Islamo-fascism.

    (I’ll pass discreetly over your idea that Irishmen born, bred and buttered in a part of Ireland that they and countless generations of their Irish ancestors before them have lived should be deported for not wishing to owe allegiance to the Queen of England as we might fall out over exactly where you expect my many law abiding Irish nationalist relatives should go.)

  13. avatar Ross says:

    Yes, Berlian, the original newspaper article said something similar to the author you mention, and I used to live in a Bekasi area where church-going was not a hazardous experience.
    It is quite possible for Indoesians of different faiths to live together, not least because they share the same national identity. (that’s leaving aside cases like Papua, where they don’t!)

    The point raised in that original article which I found most ‘rail-inducing’ was the way the clerics stoked the flames with their spiritual intimidation. This indicates that the average Muslim resident if left to his own devices would live and let live, which is good news.
    Alas, the clerics are the curse, which we can, if we like, trace back to Suharto’s folly in courting them. Was it not he who promoted that absurdly self-important body the MUI, when there were perfectly good Muslim institutions like NU already in place?

  14. avatar ET says:

    One of the concomitant effects of the shiny new malls and businesses is a sudden upsurge in church building and the arrival of ostentatious Christian worship where none, or relatively little, existed previously.

    Then it would be interesting to find out what causes the ‘concomitant’ of shiny new malls and the sudden upsurge of ostentatious christian worship. It seems to me that the correlation is rather gratuitous unless there is demographic evidence that the christian population of Indonesia generally enjoys a higher living standard.

  15. avatar Berlian Biru says:

    “It seems to me that the correlation is rather gratuitous unless there is demographic evidence that the christian population of Indonesia generally enjoys a higher living standard.”

    I would dare say that in Jakarta (I don’t know about the outer islands) a correlation between wealth and Christianity almost certainly exists. If I am wrong I stand to be corrected but I certainly haven’t met too many poor Christians in this town and the rich people I’ve met do seem to have a significantly high Christian proportion, good luck to ’em I say.

    Just for the record I have no personal antipathy towards either Christians or rich people, I’m merely stating the facts as I see them.

  16. avatar timdog says:

    Berlian Biru,
    Exactly what I would have wished to say, and more, done with rather more control and succinctity than I would have managed (it’s the tangents and the digressions that see my arguments splinter into little archipelagic nuggets of information, but I can’t help it).

    On the briefly alluded-to idea of Republicans being sent south of the border in Ireland, it’s the same argument employed by Israelis – “The Palestinians could go to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait; they’re all Arabs! – and just as objectionable… Better not to go there though.

    On the wealthy Christians, I have tried to find the demographic figures myself in the past, but have unfortunately been unable to. If anyone has a suggestion of where to look I would be delighted.

    However, I think it seems fairly obvious that in Java, and perhaps in urban Indonesia in general, Christian/Catholic people are often wealthier than the average (it should be noted, of course, that there are also poor Christians in Java, and it should also be noted that nationwide the Christian-majority areas are often poor and underdeveloped. The paranoid hysterics sometimes shriekingly claim that they are poor and underdeveloped because they are Christian. Stuff and nonsense: they are poor and underdeveloped because of where they are in relation to the centre; the Muslims of, say, Alor or Maluku are as ecconomicall neglected as the Christians, and Muslim Sumbawa is markedly poorer and less developed than its Catholic neighbour Flores. Damn, that’s one of those digressions I was talking about).

    But anyway, as BB says, there is, in Java/urban Indonesia, almost certainly a correllation between wealth and Christianity.
    As well as the significant “reason” for this that he alludes to I can think of at least two more.

    This fact is one reason why the “shriek! shriek! Brutalised, oppressed Christians of Indonesia!” thing is sometimes a little hard to make stick (though it’s not as shoddy as the “Malaysia is like Aparthaid South Africa” line, which is spectacularly offensive – to South Africans).

    Aside from the fact that things in Indonesia are nowhere near as bad, the lot of Christians here, because of their relative wealth, doesn’t in any way compare to the lot of Christians and Muslims in India, or Hindus and Christians in Pakistan, where all the sh*t they have to deal with is greatly exacerbated by the fact that they are, on average, from the very bottom of the wealth and social ladder…

    Not that that implies that I have a problem with wealth or Christianity either (though I do confess to getting a little twitchy around an entity which seems to do its best to combine both – Bethany. But that’s for another day…)

  17. avatar Oigal says:

    The ‘religious right’ in America is hardly equivalent to the Islamonazis here. They merely want to preserve America from Obama’s onslaught

    I suggest very little difference at all. One only has to listen to rantings of Preacher Pat Robinson about how people deserved to die for their sins to see their is little difference once lunacy and myths take the place of fact. Oh and in case anyone things its an isolated case there is no shortage of other examples long before we get to the snake handlers.

    The difference is not in the religions but the effectiveness of the state or as Ody put it so well…

    the Christian right in the US is constrained by a powerful state that is institutionally built to defend the principle of religious freedom for the individual.

    If you want an example of the loony christian right as change for the loony Islamic nutters google Pat Robinson and Haiti….

  18. avatar Ross says:

    The US ‘religious right’ is a vast but amorphous group, with a range of members, including Baptists, Catholics and non-Christians such as Jews. So whilst Pat Robertson may say things Oigal (and I) don’t agree with, he should not be seen as speaking for the movement as a whole.

    Most folks who gather under that umbrella are simply hopeful that society will return to decent standards in public life, which are certainly under assault as never before.

    How many in our countries (and I aim this question at Americans, Brits and Aussies, mostly) would dispute that they are less pleasant to live in than, say, the 1950s?

    Sure, we have the internet, and man may soon land on the planets, but respect for women. common courtesy and civilised conduct have fallen by the wayside.

    Has this so little to do with the collapse of ‘old-time’ religion, as opposed to the faded variety that dominates the established and diminishing churches today?

  19. avatar Oigal says:

    How many in our countries (and I aim this question at Americans, Brits and Aussies, mostly) would dispute that they are less pleasant to live in than, say, the 1950s?

    Qaulifying my response with 1950’s was not my era as such. I certainly would dispute the 50’s was a time of milk and honey with little children playing in front of the white picket fence. 1950’s Australia was not a particularly nice place, in fact rather horrid.

    On the Religious side, Catholics (in particular, Irish Catholics) were still having their loyality questioned as to be suitable Australian Citizens and were banned from any number of jobs. In my home city, it was only in the mid sixities that religion ceased to be a reason for banning people from playing senior level football for certain teams.

    Aborginal people were still denied the vote and were generally subject to legally enforced seperation from the mainstream. Women were subject to seperate rates of pay and conditions for doing the same job and few would agrue they were second class citizens.

    Pollution was rampant and major companies subject to none of the most basic and commonsense public safety compliance expected today. Interestingly, despite the doom and gloom of the greenies, Australia is a fundamentally a cleaner, healthier, less polluted place now than it has been in the last 100 year. Australia has been running a carbon tax for the last 25 years (fuel parity tax) and more than carries its weight in global environment issues.

    Granted, a long way from perfect with far too generous concessions to minority thug groups Australia is far nicer place today than 50 years ago. Current concerns should be very loud about the attention given to such nonsense demands as seperate bathing areas for men and women (dang already overcame that rubbish in the 20s and now backsliding). Multi-culturalism (as opposed to natural immigation) based on the proven fallacy that all cultures are equal has and will lead to many social and deeper problems.

    When you have a leader of a major religious group telling all and sundry that Australian Women deserved to be raped because they don’t dress correctly, the Australian immigration policy needs serious review. The issue is even more disturbing when the creature in question continues to hold that postions with the acceptance of his religious community.

    However, to suggest that things were better in the 50’s, you would very much need to be the WASP, fully equiped with seriously rose tinted glasses.

    The US ‘religious right’ is a vast but amorphous group, with a range of members, including Baptists, Catholics and non-Christians such as Jews. So whilst Pat Robertson may say things Oigal (and I) don’t agree with, he should not be seen as speaking for the movement as a whole.

    This of course is the very same counter-point “mainstream” Muslims make when issues such as the bigot idiots refered to in the post are the subject of discussion. In fact, Ross simply makes the point that it is not Islam that is the issue, but a citizens right to be protected from all thugs of kinds. The only difference between in Indonesia and the US in this instance is the application of law in a fair and unbiased manner.

  20. avatar Ross says:

    Interesting response, Oigal. Needs an equally long reply. I’ll be back.

  21. avatar Ross says:

    Not a lot of time, so will treat each issue as a step-by-step debate.

    The problem for Catholics, who were all sadly tarred with the same brush as “Irish” Catholics, was that their ‘spiritual leader,’ Mannix, was a thoroughly wicked man, notorious for his disloyalty to Queen and Country and his solidarity with the terrorist enemy in the Ulster confict. I believe there was serious talk of deporting him, which would have been no bad thing.

    Having an heinous character like that as spokesman of course made life hard for Catholics. Not their fault, since they didn’t elect Mannix, any more than Muslims in general elected Baashyir or the FPI cretins as their leaders.

    As for the Abos, last I heard they were – lots of ’em -still drinking themselves to death in the wilds, while a new caste of pinko Abo polly sorts has ridden on their backs to wealth and celebrity status. All this absurd dual flag nonsense has done nobody much good and insults the flag Aussies fought under and still fight under today.

    Women…besok aja. They deserve a post to themselves.

  22. avatar Oigal says:

    That’s actually a pretty amazing repsonse Ross, Lets come back to your orginal point shall we:

    How many in our countries (and I aim this question at Americans, Brits and Aussies, mostly) would dispute that they are less pleasant to live in than, say, the 1950s?

    Not sure in any place where you address that. Your own religious and racial issues are well on display here. Not really much difference between you and the FPI both happy to exclude whole groups of people who don’t subscribe to a very narrow view of how the world should be. You provide ample proof of why a government needs to protect all citizens rights in an unbiased manner from people just like yourself.

    Is your rant against Mannix some sort of justification for the exclusion of Catholics from jobs or sporting fields in Australia up until that late sixties or just a tangent, unrelated thought?

    As for your comment on Aborginals,

    As for the Abos, last I heard they were – lots of ‘em -still drinking themselves to death in the wilds

    That is almost unbelievable in this day and age pretty current in the 50s though, I will grant you that. No one denies there are significant Aborginal Issues in Australia but are you suggesting that Aborginals as group should still be denied the vote? (here’s a tip, they are not all drunks). Pretty ugly stuff really.

    All this absurd dual flag nonsense has done nobody much good and insults the flag Aussies fought under and still fight under today.

    Dual flag? Again hardly anything to do with your livng in the fifties point but still. You of course, realise the flag you are refering to has not remained unchanged over the last 200 years don’t you? The old furphy about dying under an unchanged flag for generations is just that a furphy, history needs to be read and understood before commenting ol son.

    I would agree that a dual flag would be nonsense but I tend to think nations flag would be better representing all Australians. It denies too many Australians their heritage by hanging onto a flag with a huge chunk in the corner indicating the Nation is still beholden to those who first contribution was to send people bound down with iron chains.

    The flag will change and the nation will be Republic, the only reason if failed before was a justifiable distrust in politicians and the seriously flawed model for a republic. Personally, I think they should have dropped the Union Jack in the corner the day the POW and Prince of Wales were sunk off Singapore as that was the day England made it very clear Australia “you are on your own now”.

    A mildly interesting tangent, however if I may recap your position.

    The 50’s society in Australia was better because Catholics deserved to excluded and the loyalty to the nation questioned because of some bloke named Mannix half a world away. Aborginals don’t deserve the vote because they are just a bunch of black drunkards living in the bush. (Can hardly wait for the female bit). Oh and don’t change the flag.

    Yep, your 50’s society sounds well…pretty much what is was…ugly!

    By the way, speaking of that Flag people fought and died under. Are you aware that many were aborginal and were paid at 50% of the White Fella rate and still were not allowed to vote?

  23. avatar Ross says:

    ‘Some bloke named Mannix half a world away?’
    Oigal, ‘ol son,’ read your own country’s history. Mannix was senior archbishop in Australia for decades. His disloyalty was a legend, but a true one.

    Cathoilcs should not have been tarred with the disloyal brush, but often were, and it was only after the Second World War that this regrettable phenomenon began to fade.

    Menzies recognised their admirable commitment to the anti-communist cause and the rest of non-Catholic Australia took this on board, hence the erosion of the prejudice and barriers you refer to.

    Have you been to Redfern?
    We can re-examine the Abo issue later. The women will have to wait.

  24. avatar Oigal says:

    Valid point Ross, I got that wrong. I confess never paid much attention to Religious Leaders of any kind accept as generic group of backward bringers of hatred and division. Fortunately, by the time I was growing up in Australia most of Religion was being exposed for what it was/is.

    Dang, you managed to slip in the ol reds under the bed. I should have saw that coming, fairly predictable. We could spear off into the history of the DLP if you like but it remains a tangent.

    In fact, the nonsense against the Catholics went on well into the sixties. None the less I still don’t see how this flashes into support of your livin’ in the 50s dreamtime.

    Have I ever been to Refern? What kind of nonsense question is that. I have lived and worked with Aborginal people, guess what they are not all the same, some good, some bad, some silly…pretty much like the rest of us..funny that…
    Just to clarify, is it all Aborginal people who cannot vote just like in the good ol days or just the Redfern dwellers?

    Ross, I can certainly understand why you pine for the 50s, you views are pretty consistant with what made it such a horrid period for so many.

    Seriously, do you have any valid points or examples of why the 50s was your personal dreamtime period.

  25. avatar Oigal says:

    Just as a matter of interest, I assume you are aware that “ABO” “Boong” “Coon” and other quaint fifties terms are pretty much on the outer as conversational descriptors.

    Hey Thanks for the tip on Mannix, it was a soft spot in my History. I just been reading a bit, I can see why you would have some issues with the bloke. Religion aside I kinda like what he stood for in the Australian Political Scene at the time.

    Impressive bloke indeed.

  26. Mr. Oigal,

    I ever read about oppression of the aborigin. We have much story in Indonesian media about how Australi do the oppression to aborigin, like Albert Namadjira.

    But Australi still talk, talk, talk about the Human Right.

    If you ever work with Aborigin – why u think they are poor ?

  27. avatar Oigal says:

    Assmad/Dikki..
    The issues certainly deserve more than anything the idiot plaything of the corrupt like yourself could ever contribute. Even for a troll you are beyond idiot. Now toddle back to sipping ice tea with your sponsor and see which appendage needs attention next.

  28. avatar Oigal says:

    By the way Idiot, just once try and get a person or place name right. One can only assume you meant Albert Namatjira. Even a Troll should take some pride in his work.

    A.N. is probably not the best example of poorly treated Aborginals as He was awarded the Queen’s Coronation medal in 1953; was flown to Canberra to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954; his portrait, by William Dargie, won the Archibald prize in 1956; and in 1957 he was granted citizenship which was denied to most Aboriginal people at the time.

    Interestingly, he was not from REDFERN and I will have to confirm with Ross if it was ok for him to vote in Ross World.

  29. Mr,Oigal,

    Thank you. I am a humble Betawi bongo player, so I ever like to have a correction. But, I assume that his name is transliterated from a local dialect, Idiot, so the Roman spelling matters more to whitefellas than blackfellas.

    Still, though, why do you think the aborigin is poorer ? Just a question. Maybe you don’t like questions. Or can’t answer them.

    I was just asking.

  30. ps. Mr. Oigals,

    I am ever playing the bongos and listening to the ‘Dead Heart’ by Midnight Oil, ‘white man came took everything,’ and ‘we don’t serve your country, don’t serve your king,’ and ‘we carry in our hearts the true the true country.’ I know you don’t like Midnight Oil because they ever wear tracksuit saying ‘Sorry’ at the Sydney Olympic in 2000. Is bad to say sorry to the aborigin ?

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