Where is that thin line between considered and gratuitous commentary? Is it appropriate to question the veracity of Islamic, Jewish or Christian belief?
Recent violent protest in Sydney, while lamentable, occur more often than we like to recognise.
In recent times we have seen confrontations between unions and authorities in Melbourne and earlier in the year the 'occupy' confrontations in both cities.
At the same time we have seen a range of violent protests in refugee detention centres throughout the country.
The reality is that Australia is part of a wider global community, we are subject to the same troubles and responses as the rest of the world.
To that Question
When is it wrong, despite research support and reasoned argument,
to actually present a potentially contentious position?
For some time now I have been researching what has evolved as the reality of religion per se.
It didn't begin that way, it began as an effort to focus on the positive message of our historically sandaled sages; Jesus et al.
My background and a degree of previous training was within the Judeo/Christian sphere, so it was reasonable that my focus should begin there.
The methodology has been somewhat broader than that if my previous church based training.
Certainly the Bible was a central reference point, but as an overview rather than the church preferred study of 'biblical bubbles' in isolation of the broader context.
Now clearly, as a former Christian, that training had not sufficiently captured me. Yet emotional ties to other peoples beliefs, or my own reticence, had captured me.
The Hard Part
"While I can recognise that religion has a broader role, often defining cultural and individual identities, it is in the end an empty vessel."
I placed that statement in quotes because it represents a fair summary of where my research has brought me.
I broadcast it realising that it will appear offensive to many, but with the equal understanding that I take offense at the strictures put on society by many religious adherents.
Is my expression valid or gratuitous? Just because I know it will upset some should that stop me from making it known?
As it is, I believe I have accrued sufficient evidence to claim the 'emperor has no clothes'. The vessel is empty, but do I have the right to actually say it?
I think I should have and do have, but suspect that I might just be out-numbered in that belief.