September 13, 2011

“An Australian TV show asked advertising agencies to create ads proposing the banning of all religion. Here are the results.”

T”he Pitch: Banning All Religion.”

With thanks for the tip to…yup, Reddit. < Click here for comments.

“No one had a problem when we wanted to bring back child labor, euthanize everyone over 80…but this idea scared people.”

The Pitch’ is a segment on ABC TV’s ‘The Gruen Transfer’ where two ad companies compete to ‘sell the unsellable’. Past example of selling the unsellable include invading New Zealand, compulsory euthanasia for the elderly, cosmetic surgery for children and introducing a parent licence.

This week, the two companies have to sell the idea of ‘banning all religion’.

THIS IS A SATIRICAL SEGMENT. ABC TV and the ad companies involved do not think that invading New Zealand, banning all religion etc are actually good ideas.

Brilliant bonus: “Child abuse?”


Editor’s note:

Okay, now that’s done, my comment on the first video.

It’s fun…and I agree…but, too, it’s blunt. As in, clumsy.

Take away religion, humankind will still find plenty of excuses to objectify “other.” Remember Mao, anyone? He killed more than any other genocide in history…all in the name of ridding the human race of religion.

Take away religion, humankind will still find plenty of excuses to objectify “other.” Race? Gender? Nationality? Sexual persuasion? Religion isn’t the problem—it’s a problem, yes, but not the problem. The problem is ego: I’m right, I want to be happy, and eff you or anyone else who seems to be a threat to my security. That’s where meditation comes in, and unwinds all that. Think about all the good religion does, quietly, every day? From compassionate community-building to prayer to meditation to charity…it’s limitless, and much less dramatic than the Crusades, Holocaust, 9/11, and many other horrible tragedies inspired by religious extremism.

But that’s just it: this is about extremism, not religion. Extremism is not confined by religion—and it won’t be rooted out by banning religion—which, yes, I know no one’s seriously suggesting here (well, other than John Lennon—but, then, I know he’s not alone).

Finally, I’m Buddhist. We don’t even have a god. The above “all religion” refers, it seems, rather narrow-mindedly, to Judeo-Christian religions that place myth or god at the center of their faith. After all, we Buddhists, when it comes to war, generally retreat, our countries and societies and universities in flames. And the Buddha himself said something wonderful—Do not believe or have faith—you know, superstition—in anything I say, unless you can experience it. Or, as the Dalai Lama said much more recently—when Buddhism and science are in contradiction, science wins out.

But the above ads in the first video conceptualize religion as myth, dogma, as superstition, as faith. That’s a limited view of any religion, which is, hopefully, centered around universal human values of love, empathy, generosity. As for Buddhists, we aren’t into all that myth stuff, anyway. Sure, there’s silly stories and deities, but they aren’t really real. They’re metaphors, generally, for the wonderful, ordinarily magical nature of reality. The main thing we emphasize, other than compassion?

Shut up, sit down, train your mind to rest in the flow of the present moment, and all good things will follow.

~ Waylon Lewis


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