I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pope Francis, Wowsers and Australian Values

There is a wonderful Australian term for those Catholics and others who are caught up in moralism and political correctness. It is wowsers. The official Australian government website states that "Wowser is a term that refers to a person who is highly moral or politically correct." One thing about wowsers is their lack of a healthy sense of humour. Of course the term "highly moral" doesn't refer to someone with good morals but to one who is self-righteous and rigid in morality and seeks to thrust them on everyone else in a kill-joy manner. At the heart of much traditional Australian humour is the "mocking of the wowser". In this sense I would say Pope Francis and Jesus are honorary Australians. I am sure the Pope's recent comments about how shameful it would have been to have ended up serving tea instead of wine at the wedding feast of Cana will get the wowsers frothing at the mouth and ignoring the Pope's sense of humour.

I also think that both Pope Francis and Jesus embody the Australian virtues of mateship and the Anzac spirit (laying one's life down for his friends) and a fair go for all (justice).  Another traditional Australian trait is to be easy going and laid back which also seem to be the traits of Jesus and Pope Francis. The Australian sayings "no worries" and "she'll be right" embody the values of the kingdom. This is balanced by the Australian trait for hard work. This is embodied in the saying "work hard, play hard".

Another Australian trait is being a bit of a dreamer and we have the Australian aboriginal mythological dreamtime or dreaming which could link us to the concept of Joseph (both the Patriarch and St Joseph who were dreamers). Australians believe in the rule of law but are opposed to the abuse of authority by authoritarianism and power mongers in church, government and society. Australian heroes often have an element of larrikinism in them. Australia's only canonised saint was excommunicated by her Bishop. Australians are known for being direct and upfront with others and giving even their best friends "a good box on the ears" (often verbally but sometimes literally) or "tongue lashing" when they feel they need it. Colourful and sometimes crude and blunt use of language is also an Australian trait that is even used in an endearing way to friends.

The concept of law is also intricately linked in Australian Aboriginal culture with the concept of Dreaming. This is also linked with a respect and care for nature and the environment which is another Australian value. Both the traditional Aborigines and the traditional Anglo-Australians (especially from the rural pioneer families) have a filial love and respect for the Queen which mirrors the Catholic devotion to the Virgin Mary. This is mixed with an Australian comedic ribbing of "pommies" (the English) and many of the English class conventions. Australians see themselves as egalitarian and able to mix with anyone.

In enculturating the Gospel into Australian culture and developing Australian theologies and spiritualities needs to take these Australian values, traits and qualities into account. However this needs to be done with a great deal of self-deprecating humour and laughter otherwise we may end up with a superficial ockerism or a new form of political correctness.  

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