Tag Archive | rights

Religious Sauces Questionable

Imagine in 20 years time looking back over your class photos, picking out mates, people you didn’t know and then the guy with to colander on his head. I’d love to have a time machine to see where this story from todays NZ HeraldNZ Herald goes. Briefly, a student has claimed his school breached his human rights by not allowing him to wear his religious headwear (a colander) for school photos, he is a Pastafarian.

Pastafarianism is a thing – a legitimate religion; therefore, he should be entitled to follow his chosen faith but the school probably didn’t know what to make of it when he showed up with his shiny colander. Because on the surface, a kid turning up to school with a kitchen utensil on his head, does not fit the common understanding of religious headwear right?

I am curious about Pastafarianism and it’s ‘mocking approach’ of religion. For example the name of their church, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, so I am wondering how other students from other religions feel about this guy getting all this publicity regarding his rights.

I still think it is important for young people to challenge rules and maybe people should not be too concerned about his future. It reminds me of this clip from Zeitgeist Moving Forward. Jacque Fresco has never been scared to challenge the system and has started a global movement (The Venus Project) because of his ability to challenge ideas.

While I respect his right to practice his chosen religion I’m not sure if the violation of his rights is worthy of a complaint to The Human Rights Commission, I don’t know his argument is ‘meaty enough’. I’d like to see him approach the Board Of Trustees and request a uniform review and perhaps consult with other religious groups in schools who have worked through these tricky issues. If he as committed as he says he is he needs to submit a proposal like everyone else.

Finally Religious persecution is a thing he might need to get used to. If he is a devout Pastafarian his faith should get him through the tough times. He simply needs to return to the sauce of his beliefs and feast on the goodness it brings.

 

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History never repeats…or does it?

After viewing the artwork of Pawel Kuczynski a number of times I hear myself wondering how often do we think we have progressed or somehow learned from history (our collective cultural experience?) only to find ourselves ‘back where we started.’ Or perhaps it isn’t quite ‘going back’ but a kind of social amnesia? This could happen due to time, as generations move through and build on the past. Maybe building is a good metaphor because you can strip something back and keep the framework and rebuild something that looks different but is really the same thing but with a new look.

Another thing we do with history is we assume that we naturally progress or get better with time. How do you measure progress? I suppose technology is a good place to start. It would be hard to argue that we are more technologically advanced but is that the same as progress? Human rights might be another measure of progress, but is this where we see different countries operating versions of rights that seem from another part of history. I find it really difficult to accept that people can be stoned to death in the year 2014.

Above is my favourite Kuczynski piece that provokes a sense of ‘wait a minute…something is wrong with this picture.’