26th September 2003 at 01:00
Secondary RE can face the way that eligions sometimes encourage or ignore the abuse of those who are different. A video clip of the mole sequence from the film Austin Powers' Goldmember can be used to raise our preoccupation with looks. But religions have also risen above freak obsession. Paul's words (Galatians 3.28) that in life in Christ there is no longer Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female and by implication neither able nor disabled can be matched in other religions. Those who submit to Allah are one. We stand in the same prayer line. The Buddhist view of impermanence implies that it's easy to be over-concerned with the body and so on. But we can also discuss whether the freaks in today's society are not merely the unfortunates exposed on some talk shows, but members of religions themselves, who in a secular society can easily be presented as freaks - eccentric, demented or plain stupid. Are we giving them and their views an equal opportunity?

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