There’s a massive new look theology in Australia that is emerging in a way religion is not. People want to follow it in droves, churches fill on their worship days with people spilling into the streets, big corporations want to support it and link their brands with it, and it has stories and passion to share like no other. We light torches, lay flowers and pray. We remember those who were martyred, and we give thanks. But should we do more, and make this more than a one-day per year creed, for the sake of our country and for the unity of people. It is the only thing that unites all Australians, black, white, Greek, American, Catholic or Muslim.
It is far from new, and sits at the core of our country in a way that other religions do not. Its founders died for their cause and were not properly appreciated for their sacrifice at the time.
Young people turn up once a year to worship at the altar of this new doctrine. They don’t understand yet how they will play a role in building it in the future but they will. They will carry the stories forward for generations, making sure they don’t die, perhaps even building their own bible. They will covet the possessions of their forebears like I do my grandfather’s medals.
It’s been through a massive transformation, this ritual. Just five years ago it was faltering and people were complaining that it had lost its honesty. People didn’t turn up for the altar, didn’t understand the true meaning and worried it was an older generation memory in society. Social media changed all that, sharing the stories along with a well-planned centenary celebration that reinvigorated it in the eyes of our nation.
THIS EXPRESSION OF FAITH IS THE ANZACS
Much like other causes, the founding members often need to be martyred or to eventually die for them to be recogniSed as important. The loss of our last, first generation of ANZACs might be the reason we see it coming to life now. We can only remember because we can’t go back anymore and talk to them.
Like a good religion, the Spirit of the ANZAC is not without controversy. Should we march or shouldn’t we on behalf of our elders? Should we monetise or shouldn’t we, to help the veterans? Have we done enough for those who fought to thank them for our freedom and their sacrifice?
Corporates tackily try to traverse the benefits of pinning themselves to it, to their advantage.
People in society want to talk about the ANZACs and its importance.
This is a doctrine we can all relate to. This is an observance that formed our nation, and our people; their fight for life and their fight for freedom. This is a devotion I want to be a part of.
Take that to the Census of 2016. I’d rather be an ANZAC supporter than a Catholic, a Jedi or a Presbyterian. Or a Liberal or Labor party supporter for that matter.
Let’s make ANZAC matter more and more and more.
Today we want to talk about it… Should ANZAC be our new national spirituality?