Monday, May 01, 2006

Elusive Exclusive Brethren

Background Briefing is an hour long current affairs program of some worth. Being an hour it's not restricted to the soundbite syndrome that affects news bulletins and, being on the wireless, it's also not hampered by the illustration imperative of television shows (EoR doesn't want to see any more closeups of beer bellies to "illustrate" a segment on obesity).

Sunday's program was about the Elusive Exclusive Brethren (a full transcript should be available later in the week, but you can also listen online here).

The program revealed a deeply hypocritical secretive sect operating in a barely legal manner (or possibly illegal, since the Australian Electoral Commission is currently investigating its activities) who purport to operate under god's grace but who will separate families on a whim, apparently misrepresent themselves in political advertisements and who seem to have no understanding of what a "miracle" is. The entanglements between them and the Liberal Party and conservative politics are also deeply worrying.

At one point a document is read out praising the recruitment of the Plymouth Brethren (same schtick, different name) to their political cause as a "miracle". Obviously, there's no way two ultraconservative religio-nutter groups would band together other than if God had willed it so. None at all.

Last time EoR posted about the Exclusive Loonies he received a comment from someone purporting to be a member of that particular sect, which seemed to go against the injunction against touching computers for fear of being infected with the Taint of Satan, but Background Briefing revealed that it is now okay to use computers, faxes etcetera, as long as they are only leased. Oh, and the only place god says you can lease them from is the company run by the leader of the sect. Cosy, eh?

Seriously though, EoR wonders why an omnitemporal god has to keep changing his decrees every few years or so. Computers Bad. Computers Good. Faxes Bad. Faxes Good. Can't he make his mind up? And didn't he foresee computers when he intelligently designed all of creation? And why was it okay (indeed, demanded) that the Brethren (note the female exclusion) not vote or participate in politics, and now, apparently, the Rapture can't take place until the Brethren are in control of government?

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