Raëlians plan ‘DeBaptism Ceremony’ after Mardi Gras ban
Performance artist and activist Pope Alice will hold a “DeBaptism Ceremony” at Hyde Park tomorrow afternoon, ahead of this year’s Sydney Mardi Gras, after members of the Raëlian movement were banned by organisers from taking part in the Parade when they refused to alter their float banner which was deemed offensive.
Pope Alice’s creator, the artist Luke Roberts, told SX that the ceremony has been planned as a show of support for ARAMIS (the Raëlian Association of Sexual Minorities), who after 12 years of participation were banned from this year’s Parade by Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras.
The banned banner in question read “Homophobia is criminal bible bullshit” and featured several symbols of major Abrahamic faiths including a cross, the Star of David and a crescent, representing Christianity, Judaism and Islam respectively.
Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) chair Peter Urmson previously told SX the organisation was concerned over the “expression of their message, not their message”, in particular the placement of mainstream religious symbols within the banner.
Asked what one could expect from a “DeBaptism Ceremony”, Pope Alice told SX that it was now the time for people to begin challenging ancient religious assumptions, particularly passages in holy texts which promoted homophobia and aggression towards the LGBT community.
“Free yourself in preparation for the upcoming vast changes for humanity.
“You have a natural gender, religions have unnatural agendas,” Pope Alice said.
The character of Pope Alice was created by Roberts in the late 1970s as a critique of the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexuality.
“With sexual and spiritual liberation each individual can rise above the limitations imposed by homophobic religions,” Pope Alice added.
“De-baptize yourself and experience the orgasm of liberation from homophobic religion. And may a beatific relief flow over your whole existence.”
The Raëlian movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, called the Elohim, who in ancient religious texts have been mistaken for angels or gods.
The group also believe in sexual self-determination, encourage adult homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual relationships and believe that society should recognise them legally.
The DeBaptism Ceremony by ARAMIS will take place at Hyde Park (near the War Memorial) from 3pm, Saturday, March 3. All welcome. For more information, call (02) 66295738 or visit www.popealice.com