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First-up, I have to say that I do not believe in God -- well at least not as portrayed by the religious zealots of the world.
It is my belief that God did not create man, in fact, quite the opposite. Man created God as a way of explaining the otherwise inexplicable.
The further back you go in time, the more evidence you'll find to support this claim. Our earliest ancestors worshiped the sun, the moon -- indeed the myriad of stars that litter the heavens on a cloudless night.
Because they had no other way of explaining their existence or their purpose.
Of course as our understanding of the world and the universe around us has grown, we've dropped a whole lot of Gods because they're no longer needed. However, some folk retain the belief that the one thing we can't explain (why we're here at all) must be down to the work of, not just any god, but THE God.
Well I suspect that a fair percentage of Aardvark readers will either not be devoutly religious, or at least will simply have an open mind on the subject of a divine being.
So what am I getting at?
Well as regular readers will know, my seemingly endless battle with the local council continues and a day or two ago I posted a video.
In this video is footage taken in the chambers of the South Waikato District Council.
I was sorely tempted to make comment in the video about the fact that this group of people so doubt their own competence that they prey to a fictitious deity for help and guidance before every meeting -- but then I figured I'd simply leave this bit in and see what others thought.
Well I was very surprised to see that the act of linking church and governance is roundly frowned upon all over the world -- except, it seems, in little old Tokoroa.
Almost without exception, commenters from around the globe were horrified that any town council would pray to a deity for help and in most other countries there are actually laws forbidding the mixing of church and governance.
Others pointed out that in the 21st century, where we are supposed to be accepting and inclusive of all beliefs, to have what amounts to a Christian prayer is an affront to the beliefs of those in the community who may worship some other deity.
It is worth noting at this point that I am the only heathen who refuses to stand for the prayer when the Mayor does her begging to God at the start of proceedings -- so maybe it's just me (and the rest of the world) who thinks this is not an acceptable part of any public governance meeting.
What surprised me was that the 2013 census figures report that over half our population considers themselves to be "affiliated" with a religion of some kind. I guess that's the left-hand side of the IQ bell curve perhaps?
Wow... why so many?
Do I simply move in highly agnostic circles or something... because very few of the people I know consider themselves religious at all.
For those who haven't seen the events which took place at the council meeting, I've included my video of this appalling display by the local council below. Watch, enjoy -- and do read the 500+ comments from around the world.
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