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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cross Australia off the list
Posted by Jill | 5:57 AM
If you're like me, you on occasion watch "House Hunters International" on HGTV and think, "Maybe I could do that." Every now and then, said house hunters are NOT people who are rolling in dough, and the houses in other countries aren't multimillion dollar palazzos, but ordinary houses that in some cases, cost far less than a 1950's Cape Cod in northern NJ. One episode had a couple from Arizona, one a fitness instructor and the other a freelance writer, who bought a house in Fiji for when Arizona gets too hot. Another had a couple in early retirement relocating from California to New Zealand for less than $250,000.

The whole Australia/New Zealand thing has always appealed to me going back to the one summer when I was a kid when we had an exchange student from Australia stay with us for six weeks. I was nuts about her. Of course much later we had Paul Hogan walking along fabulous beaches, and Peter Jackson setting Middle Earth in New Zealand, and those places on the other side of the world seemed really appealing. As I get closer to what I hope will be retirement at some point in my late sixties, rather than being carried out of my workplace on a stretcher with a sheet over my face, and as life in the United States threatens to become extremely nasty and extremely brutish with the sneering, hate-twisted face of Sarah Palin and her Christofascist Zombie minions declaring rhetorical war on those who don't worship the same deity they do, the idea of retiring abroad becomes less of a pipe dream and more like something that may HAVE to be considered.

However, we can cross Australia off the list, because it too is having trouble remaining free of Christofascism:
Last Monday, the leaders of Australia's two biggest political parties addressed the right-wing Australian Christian Lobby in an event that excluded non-Christians and was broadcast solely to Christian churches across Australia. As the event website asked, "What values will define the nation after the election ?" Among the issues discussed was government funding of religious schools, which both party leaders support. Banned from the event, the Australian general public couldn't formulate opinions about positions that Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, both devout Christians, espoused.

Now, only a few days later, Rudd has been ousted from his position as Prime Minister in a Labor Party revolt that has installed Julia Gillard as Australia's new Prime Minister. It's unlikely she'll be a favorite of the Australian Christian Lobby - Gillard is unmarried and rumored to be an atheist. News coverage of Rudd's ouster has mentioned many reason for his ouster, but Monday's "Christians only" event does not seem to be on the list.


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