The Greatest Dissenters
Service (opening words, reading, closing words). Address was given by Peter Abrehart, chairperson of the Church. July 19, 2009, Melbourne Unitarian Church
Opening Words - William O. Douglas
Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
Reading - Marx 1843 work Contribution to Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Addition to Announcements
Vale Jean Hale 1912-2009
Jean Hale (nee Heathcote) was born on July 29, 1912 in Brisbane. Her grandfather, Wyndham Selfe Heathcote, was an Anglican clergyman who opposed the Boer War. His opposition to the Anglican Church’s social policies and his opinions, such as this from one of his essays – “The death of Jesus, as a social reformer using direct action, has been transmuted into the death of a God dying for the world” – found him at loggerheads with the Church and resulted in his leaving to become a Unitarian Minister.
Abel Gutteres, Timor Leste consul-general for Australia spoke at her funeral on June 1. She was described in an email notifying Australia-East Timor Association members of her death as “AETA’s oldest and most revered activist”.
Address: The Greatest Dissenters by Peter Abrehart, Chairperson of the Church
To be added.
Closing Words - George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
Address by Peter Abrehart, Service conducted by Lev Lafayette