Friday, December 5, 2008

Man created God in Queensland

I used sarcastic words concerning the Queensland politician and would-be photographer who has detected the wrath of God behind the planet's current financial fuck-up. But don't get me wrong. I'm not anti-Queensland. In fact, some of my best friends have been Queenslanders. Indeed, my father was born there, in Rockhampton, and his own father retired to a place on the Gold Coast, Burleigh Heads, that he thought of as the nearest approximation to Paradise on the surface of our planet. But I've often felt that Queensland thinking—and political thinking in particular—can be rather... well, different, as my mother used to say when she couldn't find an appropriate synonym for "weird".

I've just stumbled upon an enlightened Queenslander named Ronnie Williams: a musician, father of five, who doesn't like the idea that state schools in his native state are dispensing religious instruction in a surreptitious fashion. He blew up, in particular, when his daughter was asked to help make a replica of Noah's Ark at the local state school. Well, Ronnie Williams has set up an imaginative website named Renaissance of Reason. As a teenage adept of romantic pantheism, I was thrilled to discover that Williams invokes this same kind of thinking in the context of his movement called Infinite Deity (where the term "deity" appears to me as in bad taste).

[Click the image to visit the website.]

You know how wide-eyed smiling Evangelical groups have been stuffing God down our ears for ages with their syrupy musical stuff. Well, here's an amusing Ronnie Williams variation on this theme:

Some people might consider that Williams, too, is "different"... when he advocates, for example, "a simple Palaeolithic-inspired diet supplemented by a sensible vitamin and mineral regimen". Critics will say that we're in the same ballpark as James Bidgood, who suggested that we should seek explanations of the current financial mess in the Book of Revelations. I don't really know whether my compatriot is a serious intellectual disciple of great god-veering present-day thinkers such as Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker. I would simply conclude that, like my father, Ronnie Williams appears to me as an inspired and intelligent Queenslander... of the quiet kind I appreciate.


  1. I've just received this email from an Australin friend:

    Read your blog piece on Ronnie Williams.
    Have you seen this associated site?

    It's a hoot...and shows how far to the right the ALP has gone...Rudd a on-yer-sleeve Christian, Bligh running Queensland as an extension of Hillsong, a complete nutter sitting as a back bencher in Canberra who believes what the Australian Prayer Network tells him...yes, there is a branch in every Australian parliament.
    Keep it up...

    Have a look at the website. Personally, if I were in the position of an anti-religious web-based militant in Queensland, I would choose to adopt a more direct approach. The website contains a surplus of references to their Christian opponents, clothed in Christian language. To my mind, there's only one simple way of expressing the fundamental terms of the conflict: Queensland is, and must remain, a purely secular state.

  2. I sent a brief email to the singer, Ronnie Williams, to let him know that I had written about him in my blog. He has just sent me the following reply:

    Hello William,
    Also far too brief for the moment-thanks for including our plight on your blog.
    Our The Fourth R has been inundated with a 'flood' of correspondence describing State school horror stories from across Queensland relating to gross mishandling of religious matters within the Education Act. We have been contacted by teachers as well as outraged parents who have been victims of Education Queensland cross contamination.
    This could lead to a 'Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District' style constitutional challenge (chapter 116) against the Queensland government.
    More soon-and thanks again for picking up the case.
    All the Best,