The census asks us all sorts of questions about where and how we live, what type of families we have, and what religion, if any, we choose to follow. Last time we had a census, an idea went viral. It was a wonderful idea, centered in the Aussie larrikin persona that we as a country are often well known for and that I for one am very proud of. The idea was that if enough Aussies thought it was funny and declared their religion as being Jedi Knight, that the government would have to recognise it as a valid religion. It was a brilliant, hilarious idea, and we joked about it right up to the point where our pens hit the paper, but at the end of the day most of us filled out our census sensibly.
I was expecting something similar to be buzzing about this time. What I was not expecting was this;
"Australia will be holding a census this week. Don't leave the 'Religion' section blank. Be sure to at least tick Christian (or write Jedi Knight in the box).
One million Muslims will tick their box.
Ten million Australians will leave it blank then wonder why Christmas Carols are being banned in schools. Not to mention, Easter Hat Parades.
It's not about religion, it's about keeping our way of life.
Repost if you agree."
This set my brain into immediate conflict mode. One part of me wanted to scream and yell that I couldn't believe that such filth was polluting the airways, or more specifically my Facebook feed. Another, more sensible part of me however, just sighed, and thought to itself, "I love my country because it defends the right of every Australian to free speech". Suffice it to say though, I did not repost.
A census is supposed to be a snapshot of who we are, and if one million of us are Muslim and ten million of us have no religion, then so be it, we are who we are, and we should be proud of that.
One thing positive this status did achieve though, it did get me thinking. Always a positive thing. I started wondering about my part in this snapshot. As such I have been doing a bit of soul searching, and I have come to a conclusion.
I am pagan.
I have no active belief in any all-powerful, super omnipotent, omnipresent, massively awesome paternal-like deity. It's really not my style. I'm really not a follow the masses kind of girl, and as for the church-thing, I gave it a good solid go when I was younger, but it never really took.
I have, however, on many occasions, acknowledged and made sacrifices to both the Party Gods and the Travel Gods. Most recently, a sacrifice was made to the God of All Good Parties in the form of my dear little camera Sophie. It was during my last birthday party, as the merriment increased, the party-goers (including Yours Truly) all got very smashed, as did poor Sophie. The party-goers and myself were, of course, only 'smashed' in the figurative sense of the term, Sophie on the other hand, was quite literally smashed.
It was a great loss, Sophie who had travelled the great lengths of Japan with me, who had been responsible for most of the photos here on this very blog, had met her end. It was a immense sacrifice, but an even more epic party, and so I thank thee Party Gods and bid farewell to my wonderful little Sophie.