Saturday, September 10, 2011

die überbriefträgers

Once upon a time there was common sense. That was in the secular and pre-secular ages.
Now in the post secular, and 'progressive' 21st century we are surrounded by bizarre manifestations of an artificial and virtual world. A cocoon of self indulgence  and comfort. This, I suggest has in turn lead to the apathy, pronoia, and a kind of individualized hubris.
The death and agony of our ancestor's world seems like a nightmare or beautiful dream.
The terrible contrasts they lived and loved with. The highs and lows... seem so fantastic and extreme. Our lives today are so regulated and middle ground, by comparison. Our decisions seem less important, our struggles less profound. People complain of being 'bored', not hungry or terrified  inside the cocoon.
So many seek to fill the void, perhaps?
Consider the case of the  'überbriefträgers' of the Channel Island of Jersey.
These grand lords of the post have taken it upon themselves, in a morally subjective way, to defend the public of that Blessed little Island from.... (drum roll).... 'BEING OFFENDED'. In the post secular reasoning, it is perfectly legitimate to use laws and rules designed to protect minorities and religious freedoms in order to STIFLE those ideas, if they do not appeal to you. You can claim 'offence'. Hell you don't even need to do that! You can merely suggest offence may be taken by a hypothetical individual.
Sounds silly, doesn't it? Sounds INSANE, doesn't it?
In an article in the goldmine of post secular dystopia that is known as the UK's Daily Mail (full article here) , we read 'Postal workers refused to deliver CDs of Bible readings after deciding they were ‘offensive material’.'
Must be some nasty arrangement of some of the heavy old testament stuff, right? Maybe a kind of religious call to violence or a threat to some group by a fanatic sect?
We later read 'Church groups around the island united on the project, with the goal of delivering 45,000 recordings of St Mark's Gospel to every house in Jersey.'
Okay. So ALL the local churches want to chip in and send out paid parcels to every home on the Island. In that parcel is a CD of the Gospel of Mark (that's the local's favourite version of Jesus talking nice in the New Testament, for you non Christian folks).
The idea is that people can keep it. Listen to it. Recycle it. Whatever.
But the überbriefträgers know better.
As we read on we learn
'Rev Liz Hunter of St Helier Methodist Centre said: ‘Initially Jersey Post seemed quite positive about helping us deliver the CDs.
‘But then a couple of weeks ago somebody from their marketing department phoned to say they would be unable to deliver them on the grounds that they could be deemed offensive.'
A CD seen as offensive?
A Bible CD on an overwhelmingly Christian Island?
So the very source from which their moral traditions are drawn, and thus they are protected by law is OFFENSIVE to someone? Someone in Saudi Arabia or North Korea, perhaps.
My query is why on earth would they be on Jersey, in the UK if they are offended by Grandma, jam, and Jerusalem? If you offended by a place or culture that is not your own- LEAVE, or never go there. If it is your culture you and they have a problem. Is that what we see here? Self loathing?
And exactly who is deciding what could possibly be 'deemed offensive' by our mystery victim who is never named? A POSTMAN!? This all has a very Soviet ring to it.
Look, if the mystery victim was to put it into a CD player, hit play and  listen to it, AND then they are offended by it they COULD complain, no? Then they could request to be left off any such free mass mailing in the future on those grounds.  Or they could just not listen.
Our überbriefträger decided to turn away good business when the postal service is strapped...for THIS?
Also, I can see how people may suggest this is a waste of money...for those churches etc. But that is really their own business, no?
If I want to spend thousands mailing out CD's of me singing (that would be offensive), I can do it. It's my money to waste.
Now, If ALL the Churches of ALL denominations on that Island (pretty cool in itself, considering today's divided world!) want to chip in and share their faith in a display of 'unity' that is their OWN business, isn't it? I mean, in a free nation? Who are the postmen to say no?!
The Rev continues 'Now we are relying on volunteers to drop them off to individual houses so it will probably take most of September.' they'll get it done, and save a few smackeroos.
Well enough, I suppose. No harm, no foul. Almost...
After looking into things, we read that 'Jersey Post apologised for the incident, saying staff had misinterpreted guidelines'. So the policy was actually 'misinterpreted guidelines'? Strange. How did that happen?
'Chief Executive Kevin Keen, said: 'I understand that one of my colleagues did say the material was offensive.
'This decision was made on the basis of our terms and conditions which states that we have the right to refuse to distribute something that falls under the category of 'promotional material which could cause offence'.
'Clearly this was interpreted in the wrong way. I have spoken to the person involved and have written to all of my colleagues asking that they come to me if there is any doubt in their mind in the future.

So, the POSTAL worker was offended by having to CARRY the CD version of the Bible?  He thought the rules meant he could refuse to deliver the parcels, and have NONE of them delivered? WOW! That is the excuse?
Sounds to me like they may have a bigot on their staff at Jersey post, or at the very least someone suited for a transfer elsewhere. Could it be some  'oppressed Atheist' or overly sensitive Muslim slaving away on a plump (and increasingly rare) public job in the Channel Isles? Poor thing.
There is no mention of any discipline or making it up to them in the I presume there is none. I may be wrong. I hope I am.
All I see just an apology by way of excuse
It seems that the morally supreme überbriefträgers (over-postmen) have mishandled their great duty.
Good God almighty!

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