The Boss's Dog
Dogs: in charge - or part of the doG delusion?
It was a shock to me to discover last week that quite a few of my readers are disloyal enough to read other columnists in this newspaper.
I refer of course to some remarks by Robert McLean about Scott Morrison, God and climate change that could be summed up as a storm in a teapot – but it produced a torrent of letters to the editor.
Robert has been around long enough to know he was venturing into scary territory but so, The Boss says, was the former PM when he declared to a Pentecostal congregation in Perth that we don’t trust in governments.
After all, Mr Morrison had, for three years, been enjoying all of the fruits of power and prestige allowed our country’s leader - then turned on the institution he led the moment he was tossed out.
So Robert had a point, but he should have consulted me first before he rushed in where angels fear to tread.
It is no co-incidence that doG is God spelled backwards and the dog god palindrome is justifiably famous. And the similarities are uncanine, so to speak: even The Boss would agree (I think) that in my finest moments I am a loyal, loving, just and forgiving doG, albeit something of a glutton.
Personally I would have preferred Robert made a clearer distinction between Christianity – the noble tenets of which I display in my every-day behaviour (except for letting others eat first) – and organised religion, which in its various expressions has a lot to answer for.
Robert had a teapot shot at both, although The Boss reckons Robert is as Christian in his behaviour as anyone he knows: kind, congenial, a fine listener, curious and tolerant. But also fearless in standing up for his beliefs.
Whereas we learned that the former PM was not the dorky dad we initially thought: The Boss reckons he proved to be ruthless, uncaring of peoples’ hardships in fire and flood and brutally transactional. Everyone was expendable.
Reconciling this with his Christian beliefs is as challenging as watching how blind the American evangelicals have proven, putting up with the decidedly un-Christian Donald Trump.
The Boss is suspicious of people who claim to be Christian but don’t behave like Christians should. He says the problem with religion is not that people have faith in a higher being: faith has inspired millions for centuries, given people hope and held societies and nation states together.
The problem is humans’ interpretation of religious texts and teachings - and religious leaders using that to their own selfish ends. Not to mention the inclination to insist that a particular interpretation of God and God’s word is the correct one, to the exclusion of all others.
People who claim to be right are dangerous, The Boss tells me, so I keep my conviction to myself … that I am in fact right.
Which is to say, if he asked me, that a doG-less society is just as bad as a God-less society, and no good will come from either. Woof!