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Re: More Politically Correct Religious Tosh

  • Subject: Re: More Politically Correct Religious Tosh
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 16:34:05 +0100
  • Newsgroups: uk.philosophy.atheism
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / Manchester University
  • References: <czNAe.28$vz5.9@newsfe4-win.ntli.net> <db0emk$1qm$1@godfrey.mcc.ac.uk> <I7RAe.154$si5.21@newsfe7-gui.ntli.net>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
Stephen Glynn wrote:

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> Tom Sacold wrote:
>>> From this weeks New Statesman:
>>> Objects of religious significance are being removed from museum cases
>>> across the United States and the United Kingdom. Artefacts are being
>>> hidden away - in effect placed in deep-freeze. Public access, research
>>> possibilities and academic freedom are being curtailed and closed down.
>>> In the US, at the new National Museum of the American Indian in
>>> Washington, material is removed and segregated if the objects are sacred
>>> or have ceremonial status. Some may be seen only by certain privileged
>>> individuals in a specific tribe. The public may thus view only some of
>>> the material held in what is supposed to be a national collection.
>> If they choose to separate and exclude religious items from public
>> viewing, I fail to see any problem. In fact, some would say it is a step
>> forward. Then again, I am on uk.philosophy.atheism so my point-of-view
>> and interpretation might differ from others'.
>>> Curators will not display part of the collection at the Hancock Museum
>>> in Newcastle. Behind closed doors, they have separated parts of this
>>> hidden trove into segregated boxes. Only men may look at the set of
>>> churinga totems, given to young men of the Arrernte tribe in Australia
>>> when they became adults. Any female researchers who make a special
>>> request to examine the material will be "actively discouraged".
>> This shows quite prominently the controversial sides of religion in
>> general. Sooner or later, collections with a religious bias might be
>> allocated different sites, thereby catering for those with interest in
>> religion and for those with none.
>> Roy
> What a curious idea.  Are you suggesting that, for example, the British
> Museum's various collections should be separated into 'religious
> artefacts' and 'non-religious artefacts', with the Elgin Marbles and the
> Lindisfarne Gospels held on a separate site from more secular objects?
> Steve

There is a lot to be lost, I agree. That is why I anticipated that
interpretations will probably vary. I believe that everything should be
unified, but when one side is unwilling to tolerate (as in the case of a
sexist dispositions), then what can be done?

There have been cases in the UK (please correct me if I was misled) where
holidays were not celebrated, stageacts were censored and political actions
were altered. This was frequently done to avoid the possibility of
offending somebody.

What it boils down to is this: if you wish to enjoy the experience of
visiting a museum, you might want to /enable/ those who cannot tolerate to
isolate themselves rather then turning the world upside-down to accommodate
them. I am sure the lady who wants to examine the sacred material will be
just as much offended, if not more, as those who prevent her from doing so.


Roy S. Schestowitz

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