Traditional marriage is tossed aside, but Uluru is the new sacred

Traditional marriage is tossed aside, but Uluru is the new sacred, by Tony Letford.

The majority of Australians have now indicated their support for the principle of same-sex marriage and the Government has introduced legislation to Parliament to make it legal for men to marry other men. This is something which was inconceivable as little as two decades ago. Such is the pace of change in our world. …

I cannot help noticing that, as the right of Christians to define sacred duties and obligations declines, those of other ‘religious’ groups are increasing.

Quite recently the leaders of the Anangu people, the custodians of Uluru, decided to ban people from climbing to the top of the world’s most famous monolith.

This was explained in a recent article in the online newsletter the Conversation as follows: ‘The climb is a men’s sacred area. The men have closed it. It has cultural significance that includes certain restrictions and so this is as much as we can say. If you ask, you know they can’t tell you, except to say it has been closed for cultural reasons.’ …

The question then arises as to why the Anangu men have the right to define what is sacred to them while the Christian clergy are facing the steady attrition of their right to define what they hold to be sacred …

The recent debate about the sanctity of the confession as an essential element in Catholic religious belief is another example of where we see a double standard operating. On the one hand we see a deeply held belief in the inviolate right of the priest not to reveal information he is offered in the confession box coming under increasing attack while on the other, we see an increasing willingness of government officials to allow Aboriginal community groups to claim rights to control access to public areas on secret religious grounds.

The Hindmarsh Island Bridge affair which ran and ran throughout the 1990s is a case in point. A group of activists opposed to the construction of a bridge to Hindmarsh Island in South Australia, concocted a story that ‘secret sacred women’s business’ meant that the bridge should not be built. Millions were spent on a Royal Commission and several court cases to get to the truth. In the end a bridge was built but not before people were bankrupted and political careers were ruined.

hat-tip Stephen Neil