Freo's View

FREO’S BLESSING OF THE FLEET

Posted in blessing of the fleet, city of fremantle, reigion, Uncategorized by freoview on October 29, 2017

 

Here some photos of today’s Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet, one of my favourite events in Freo.

Mayor Brad Pettitt was there with partner Emma and baby Aiofe, and so was Federal MP Josh Wilson, as was local member Minister Simone McGurk, and Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge.

 

 

Roel Loopers

ABRAHAM DAY FULL OF QUESTIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, notre dame university, reigion, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017

 

 

I probably ended up with more questions than answers, but the yearly ABRAHAM DAY at Fremantle Notre Dame University also left me with a sense of envy and admiration that people can just believe there is a God, and the feeling of comfort and belonging it must give them.

There is something surreal about having a Sheik, a Rabbi and an Archbishop sitting peacefully together, when the world is in mayhem because of people who claim to kill in the name of their God.

Yes, I am confused, but delighted that Notre Dame gives us the opportunity to listen to the religious leaders and ask them questions.

On Thursday afternoon in the packed Drillhall of UNDA Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costello, Sheik Muhammad Agherdien and Rabbi Dovid Freilich debated the theme of the day; Welcoming and Standing up for the Other.

Notre Dame’s Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond did the introductions and said that engaging with someone who is the other helps to find commonality. How do we welcome and build a relationship with the other, she asked.

Archbishop Costello said that to welcome someone is altogether a different thing from welcoming them and standing up for them, and asked, who is the other?

Rabbi Freilich said that religious people need to show respect and love for those who are not related to God.

Abraham was the first person to argue with God, when he begged for the life of the people of Sodom and Gomorra. We should care for the life of every human being, the Rabbi said, and that Abraham was the quintessential example for hospitality.

Sheik Agherdien said that it is important we stand up for each other in the spirit of Abraham and that the three religions teach to care for another.

During the Q&A the Sheik said that religions are under attack and that these are common challenges faced, while the Rabbi said that young people are absorbed to make ends meet and that there is little time left for them to live. How can we make them see the beauty of God? He asked.

In the affluent society the question of God does not arise as easily as in poorer countries, but there is so much anguish and distress in the modern world that the deep questions are not asked, and people do not reflect and meditate.

Rabbi Freilich said that there is so much noise in our world that we cannot concentrate on the inner self, and Sheik Agherdien argued that some are unfortunate to have not been born within a faith. It was very important that people questioned more.

The highlight for me was the prayer at the end of the debate by the Sheik, and I have asked him to email it to me, so I can write in more detail about it.

When I left I pondered why I am so often cynical about what I consider the hypocrisy of religious institutions, but far less about moderate religious people, and I wondered if that is the reason more people turn away from religion. If this is where the problem is, that will also be where the answers and solutions can be found.

Roel Loopers

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ABRAHAM DAY AT NOTRE DAME UNI

Posted in city of fremantle, notre dame university, reigion, Uncategorized by freoview on September 4, 2017

 

The very interesting ABRAHAM DAY, which was held at Fremantle Notre Dame University for the first time last year, will be held on September 14 at 2.30 pm.

It will celebrate the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, that share a common origin in Abraham.

Although I am a non-believer I really liked last year’s event and the fascinating discussions, so am looking forward to this one.

Welcoming and Standing Up for the Other is the theme of the afternoon that will be debated by Archbishop Timothy Costello, Sheik Muhammad Agherdien and Rabbi Dovid Freilich. There will also be a Q&A.

It is at the Drillhall in Mouat Street and a free event, but needs RSVP: http://www.nd.edu.au/events/abrahamday

I would like to know why religions are talking about equality, but are really very patriarchal. There are no female Imams,  and a female will never be the Pope as long as the circle of Cardinals is made up of males only.

The other question I have is why religious scripts are so ambiguous that they can be misinterpreted by fanatics, who claim God/Allah wants them to kill in his name.

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREEDOM OF SPEECH ALSO A RESPONSIBILITY

Posted in freedom of speech, fremantle, reigion by freoview on January 23, 2015

The recent public debate about freedom of speech in the context of religion and terrorism is very interesting and complex. With freedom comes responsibility and consideration, especially being aware of cultural differences.

A word can mean something different for individuals and groups and when some of us flippantly joke about the many gods in this world, the mere mention of a god in a certain context can hurt and infuriate others for whom their god is sacrosanct.

As someone who occasionally uses sarcasm and cynicism I know that my words can do damage and they have cost me the odd friendship and have hurt partners. Being acerbic in cartoons and poking fun at certain cultures is received in my world as being funny and making social and political comments, but in other cultures the same words are received as an insult to ones faith.

Language is such a powerful tool to do good and bad and the fine nuances are often not recognised by those who send out the message that could be received totally different from what it is meant to say.

The other day while in a down mood I was wondering why I kept telling myself I was traurig. It is the German word for sad, but sad was not precise enough for what I felt, so traurig was the word I went back to. It’s that fine and tiny nuance that makes a world of difference when we communicate with other cultures and language groups. We do not understand how our words are being received, so hence we believe those we criticise are overreacting.

For Christians the word Allah is just a word, something to describe a god we don’t believe in, but for other people Allah is sacred, a way of life, a culture, and religion. The greatness of our gods should never be challenged because it is a belief in something intangible. There is no real proof our gods exist, but it is not up to us who don’t believe, or who believe in a different god, to question the importance of a religion and its god.

Freedom of speech requires freedom of thinking and tolerance and accepting that our words can deeply hurt even if we only mean to be a bit sarcastic or naughty.

Roel Loopers

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