2008-03-07

temples, cathedrals, mosques …… everywhere!

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by Neil Godfrey

I’m a latecomer to Thailand, but my first week is enough to remind me that I’ve seen enough Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques and cathedrals, and all their distinctive architecture and murals, and relics and iconic symbols, and statues in all except synagogues, mosques and fundamentalist reactions to the cathedrals, to remind me that the place of religion in societies is pretty much the same the world over.

Everyone with an inkling to proclaim the exclusivity of their faith, especially those fundamentalists among the Christian, Jewish and Moslem religions who insist on the exclusive righteousness of their respective causes, should be compelled to apply for a licence first. Qualification for said licence should be a comprehension of how their religious (including sectarian) faction sits in relation to counterparts world-wide.

And thinking of exclusive righteousness, can’t help reflecting on those “demonic” atheistic societies (like Sweden today, and others in recent history too) that outlaw prostitution and all-round exploitation of women, and that virtually enforce gender equality in all areas of life, with the common lot of women, including the quasi-legal / or illegal but let’s-keep-quiet-about-it status of prostitution, among the most outwardly religious of societies.

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