Eli Dickson & memories of the Battle of Milne Bay
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Religion may be a bugger, but a mother’s love transcends


STEPHEN Fry was threatened with prosecution for blasphemy over comments he made about God being evil for allowing bone cancer in children.

In Jakarta Governor Ahok has been sent to gaol for suggesting the Koran doesn't forbid Muslims for voting for a Christian.

And in Papua New Guinea and Australia we have paedophiles hiding under the skirts of the church.

This is all disturbing, but one memory particularly haunts me.

It was in Port Moresby. I had taken a taxi to Boroko to do some shopping and on the way home we were held up by a riot outside Port Moresby General Hospital.

A PMV had been stopped and an enraged mob was hauling a man out and beating him.

I later learned that he was a thief who had been stealing from passengers and they finally had enough. 

My taxi driver said, "Peter, we have to get out of here, it is dangerous" and rapidly executed a daring u- turn to escape the melee.

I looked back. On one side of the road, people were rioting. But on the other side, a woman sat in calmly suckling her baby. Feeding her baby even as a riot took place.

I reflected at the time that a mother's love can transcend all violence.

I often have debates with other people – and myself - about the value of religion.

On the one hand it has caused more hatred, violence and death than just about anything.

On the other it gives us the teachings of Christ, Buddha, the Ba'ab and Mohamed who speak to us about the value of love. And there is no love greater than that of a mother for her child, as I saw in that brief moment in Port Moresby.

Even a mother crocodile will guard her nest and when the eggs hatch and carry the younglings gently in her mouth to the water. Just as mothers are caring and loving throughout the animal kingdom, so much more for us humans.

For me this is the most powerful argument for a God.

And God must surely be a she, as a mother's love is the greatest of all loves and a lesson to us all.

Who else but a mother could have given birth to a universe?


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Harry Topham

Karl Marx summed up the matter very aptly when he wrote, “Religion is the opiate of the masses" and more recently the noted Australian philosopher Clive Hamilton quipped, “Religion would be more palatable if the bible had some jokes in it.” Em tasol.

Ross Howard

G.K. Chesterton said it best: "It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it."

Ross Howard.

Lindsay F Bond

Erudition and communicative volition from Michael, a joy to behold. If only the majority of the folk of PNG (and elsewhere) possessed and exercised a like capacity.
Yet of the topic, individuals contributing that which is necessary for humanity at its tenderest, so much depends on folk when young, acquiring both knowledge of and commitment to the sharing of self, so well exemplified in Peter's vignette, toward the wider achieving of 'love your neighbour as yourself'.

Philip Fitzpatrick

And so is 'love' Michael.

We think we are in control of our lives but we are biologically driven.

Even the greed and corruption of politicians is a biological imperative. They are announcing to the world that they are alpha males and will sire similarly 'strong' babies.

We invent gods and romantic love and all the other feel good things to delude ourselves that we are not just mere breeding organisms whose sole function is perpetuating our species.

Thank goodness some of it is fun.

Michael Dom

Procreation and the nurturing of young are biological drivers for the continuation of the species.

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