Monday reads

Concern about sexualization of children misses the point

Mark Greif has something about this. As I wrote a while back he argues

the sex revolution of the 60s and 70s did not liberate sex but led to a liberalization of sex. He argues we will be able to talk about sex liberation only when it is thought of as we would a coffee date. On the subject of pedophilia he asks why the allure in youth when all the adults who engage in it were once youth?

His book Against Everything is quite a good read

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woes of the Kenyan Judiciary

Yesterday, we were treated to a complaining fest by the Kenyan Judicial Service Commission on budget cuts that would adversely affect their functions. While this is regrettable and will affect the administration of justice and other programs of the judiciary, it is important to face up to the genesis of these problems.

For those who are behind news, the Kenyan Constitution 2010, envisages an independent and robust judiciary. Among other provisions, it has a chapter on integrity for state officers.  In 2013 or shortly before the general elections, as I wrote in this piece, the courts failed Kenyans when they allowed suspects facing grave crimes to vie for presidency.  I noted then and it has come to pass that a criminal cannot be expected to act morally, especially, when this criminal has control of the state machinery. Well, Kenyans voted and the supreme court legitimized their win. Now we are here.

After this initial mistake, the judiciary had several opportunities last year to correct this anomaly. They failed spectacularly and I will give instances of these failures.

  1. After the high court found that returning officers for the october 26th election had been irregularly appointed, some judges, and we have no evidence that they sat, put a stay on this ruling and thus allowing the election to go on
  2. the supreme court failed to sit to determine a case that challenged the election
  3. in determining the outcome of the second election, they pussyfooted on issues such as validity of presidential nominees and so on
  4. most importantly, after declaring the first election null, they failed to indict individuals at IEBC JEBC allowing the same crooks who had messed the election had the same opportunity to do it a second a time
  5. and finally, a failure of the CJ himself to respond to this petition and many others cannot be blamed on anyone else but a failure of leadership on the part of the CJ.

What we are seeing now are manifestations of systematic failures, over time, by the judiciary to uphold the law and carry out their constitutional mandates. We are at that point where we will all die like fools or learn to stand up for what is right while taking every precaution to not increase vulnerability of the already vulnerable.


Criminal enterprises recruit criminals

The creation of the world

In the beginingi beginning

two thousand years before the heaven and the earth, seven things were created: the Torah written with black fire on white fire, and lying in the lap of God; the Divine Throne, erected in the heaven which later was over the heads of the Hayyot; Paradise on the right side of God, Hell on the left side; the Celestial Sanctuary directly in front of God, having a jewel on its altar graven with the Name of the Messiah, and a
Voice that cries aloud, “Return, ye children of men. (The Legend of the Jews, by Louis Ginzberg)

if you have believed what your bible says, you have believed a lie. Your bible is a lie. But this is not what interests us today.

If you are good Christians( for the Christians who follow this blog), as I guess you are, you have read the parable of the banquet.

I am sure however you have never seen it in this light as expressed here by the Curmudgeon (thanks Brian). He writes,

The parable of the banquet is a cynical joke at the expense of those who imagine that Jesus and His Father will reward them with anything better than slavery and degradation. Not satisfied with inviting those who cannot reward him, the rich man in the parable invites those who cannot even attend: everyone has some reason for staying away. Even when the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind have been asked, there is still so much room to spare that the host orders his slave to force people to come.

Why should a rich man encounter such difficulties in getting people to attend his banquet? As soon as we recognise that the rich man represents the jealous, arbitrary and murderous Father, the answer becomes clear. The guests make their excuses because they know how the banquet will taste: how poisonous to the mind, how disgusting to the senses, how repulsive to the morals it will be. So awful is the menu that even the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind have heard of its reputation and stay away in humiliating numbers. At last, like every tyrant, the spurned host is reduced to ordering people to put up with him.

I like this reading of the parable. I think it puts it in perspective and changes focus to the *real* banquet promised to believers, heaven.

What are your reactions to this reading of the parable? Do you find it persuasive? Is it flawed and how?

Talk to atheists on their own terms

While this article claims to offer a proof of god that the author thinks persuasive, I hate to be the one to show it fails at what it aims at proving.

The argument here is

A being is said to be possible if we can conceive no contradiction in the idea of it, and impossible if we can conceive a contradiction (as we do in the idea of a square triangle, for example).

but this cannot be said to be true for

 an omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good God

for this contains contradictions.

 

note, therefore, there is no such thing as cheapness

‘without some error or injustice’ argues John Ruskin.

He goes on to write

A thing is said to be cheap, not because it is common, but because it is supposed to be sold under its worth. Everything has its proper and true worth at any given time, in relation to everything else; and at that worth should be bought and sold.

He writes also

It is the part of wise Government, and healthy commerce, so to provide in times and places of plenty for times and places of dearth, as that there shall never be waste, nor famine.

And i can’t help but think about what passes for government in Ke. We have sporadic seasons of glut and famine which is all the evidence we need to convince ourselves that the fools in charge know shit or are shit.

Remember always and at all times that

Cheapness caused by gluts of the market is merely a disease of clumsy and wanton commerce.

Random photos

somewhere in Turkana

this speaks for itself

i don’t whether it is the mountain in the background or the architecture in the foreground i find most attractive

turkana architecture

the majestic lake turkana

wind project somewhere in turkana

somewhere in nbi

a veeery distant cousin on guard duty

football pitch where someone works

an uncle who failed in parking lessons

an ode to silence: the church’s abdication of its role in society

This article appeared in a local internet publication, the elephant.

It is my contention that the thesis on which the article is founded is faulty. First, however, I agree with Francis that corruption presents a problem to the survival of the nation. I think naming it corruption instead of theft was a clever trick. When you say so and so is a thief, there is some social stigma associated with theft but not so for corruption. I think naming sleaze of public purse corruption was a way to make it acceptable and here the neo-liberals won a big victory. But I digress.

Francis says the law is very clear. I have come to distrust the clarity of the law. The law is as clear as the lawyers and judges interpreting it and to what power wants. And as the elephant has in its byline, speaking truth to power, I expect, at least, an acknowledgement from them that the law is never so clear and power manipulates the law to meets its ends.

Francis writes

the Kenyan Church is abdicating its unique and vital role in society.

but does not qualify what this role is. For those students of history, we know the organised church has almost always been on the side of the oppressing class. It supported the colonialists or made people pliable and when they (colonialists) left, the church as a body was in bed with the state. However, people within different churches did stand to speak.

Referring to Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, he says the role of the church in the political sphere is to educate. He continues to note

“The Church must awaken man’s receptivity to the truth, to God, and thus to the power of conscience. It must give men and women the courage to live according to their conscience and so keep open the narrow pass between anarchy and tyranny, which is none other than the narrow way of peace.”

which leaves me asking what truth? To what god? Does the church encourage its congregation to question the nature, existence of god? If this is taken for granted, the first and greatest deceit, what truth is man to be made receptive of?

It is curious, though, that the first corruption the church is involved in is not paying taxes. They are thus able to influence public policy, laws, lobby legislators while not paying any taxes. Maybe churches, before they can lecture others on corruption should start with this anomaly.

While it is public knowledge that the following

On the frontline of Kenya’s individual Church activism during the Moi era were the Anglican Church’s Bishop Henry Okullu of Maseno South Diocese, Bishop Alexander Muge of the Diocese of Eldoret, Bishop David Gitari, the Anglican prelate of Mt. Kenya East diocese, and Rev. Timothy Njoya, a moderator in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). These clerics triggered the much-needed change in the country through their political engagements.

risked limb to protest the Moi government and Muge paid by his life, though, this only after whitewashing Moi. And I am allowed to ask why Njoya who is still around lost his voice? Was the struggle won? I don’t know.

And while

“Sacrilege is defined as taking something that belongs to God and using it profanely. But the worst kind of sacrilege is taking something and giving it to God when it means absolutely nothing to you.”

sounds like a serious indictment, it tells us nothing really. The christian believes god is the maker of everything, that everything is god’s will. It is a contradiction to even say that somethings don’t belong to god.

So when Francis writes

How do I answer my friend Joe Kobuthi’s query: “What does it mean when the Church goes quiet or turns a blind eye to corruption to the extent that a politician like Ruto can claim his contributions to churches to be ‘investing in heaven’”?

he could tell the friend to choose the way of schism as Martin Luther did. I see no difference between the indulgence the catholic church was collecting for forgiveness of sins and Ruto’s claim of investing in heaven. It’s the same thing. Indulgences were sold depending on ones’ ability to purchase. And many people left endowments to the church as a way for buying insurance for heaven. It’s been the church’s business t sell heaven to any bidder.

While I must say, I like the sound of Francis’ closing remarks that

It is not freedom from corruption, but rather the freedom to take a stand against it, that we must all pursue. If the Church is to retain its credibility and relevance, I believe it needs to utilise its eminent position to influence public opinion on matters affecting the nation. I would like to believe that, sooner or later, it will recover its earlier prophetic fervour for the sake of the public good and provide the moral leadership we so desperately need today in the epic fight against corruption.

One must ask if religion has any influence on morality. The last census places the religious in the country at over 90%. It is these numbers that make the church. They occupy positions in government agencies, private sector and everywhere. They are in the police service, army and everywhere else you can imagine. Why have they not come out as a group and said no. It cannot continue.

For my part, let the organized church remain quiet. Let religion remain a private affair. Let us a people mobilize, organize and start by sending the corrupt officials home. Let us call it theft. Shame all of them. And not just politicians. But everyone stealing from the public purse.

We must also begin to demand changes to our education system. We must decolonize our spaces. Educational, social, political.


Further reading

(Colonial) Christianity has made Africa(ns) stupid