Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Who Gets to Play God on Which Is the Best Religion?

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Who Gets to Play God on Which Is the Best Religion?

Article excerpt

THE late, great comedian Dave Allen said it best: aReligion is just like two kids arguing about who has the biggest invisible frienda.

How he would laugh right now if he could see his words played out so publicly with the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

By Hollywood standards, it has been a civilised kind of break-up.

Money paid, custody arrangements agreed upon, ugly recriminations and finger pointing kept private. The Kardashians could learn much from the TomKat example.

But at the very heart of this matter, if the tabloids are to be believed, is religion.

Mr and Mrs Mission Impossible were simply unable to agree on whose invisible friend was the biggest. Or the best.

For those of us raised in a Christian culture, where religious education is part of the school curriculum and Anglo Saxon heritage still dominates, the argument is a lay-down misere.

Katie is a Catholic. She wants Suri raised as a Catholic. We can empathise with her preferences; we see that as anormala.

Besides, we've never really liked Tom. A bit weird with all that couch-jumping; and it's still hard to forgive him for how he treated Our Nic. (I suspect Our Nic however has no regrets over the end of that particular relationship. Keith Urban could sooth any wounds quite deliciously, I imagine.)

Tom is also a Scientologist. A member of what is commonly dubbed a asci-fi culta and much maligned by the popular media.

It is easy for us therefore to determine our allegiance. Katie wins. Her beliefs are much more in line with our way of thinking.

But hold on a minute.

Let's briefly step outside our own experiences and belief systems.

Let's open our minds.

Let's pretend the custody decision of little Suri was being decided by someone raised by wolves, or a person from deepest darkest Africa with no knowledge or understanding of our society, customs and value judgements.

Let's lay the case out, entirely on the basis of religion. …

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