Thoughts out of season

We are living in strange times. Countries are effecting curfews in peace time. Flights have been grounded without a shot fired. There is no Bush to tell us you are either with us or with the terrorist ( an ultimatum that is no different from the terrorist).

The US economy, the largest in the world, has a 2.2T cheque to save its economy & as they are won’t to do, bail the rich in this trying times. I am not sure poorer countries have such deep pockets and their poor and homeless will fend for themselves. For example the tax reliefs announced by Uhuru only help those in formal employment. The lowering of VAT by 2% has such a limited range on most perishable goods and all.

In 2009/2010 the world suffered a flu pandemic (H1N1) and I don’t remember such shut downs. So far as I can remember, only meat products from severely affected countries were banned. And in the year starting June 2009 to August 2010 when the pandemic was declared over, about 60mn people had caught it and deaths, depending on who you ask were in the range of 200-575k world wide and I don’t think this novel coronavirus will get there.

I have been to the airport in the last two weeks and every time it looks like a ghost town. Passenger lounges that are usually bustling with activity are deserted. Restaurants are open only for take outs. It’s a bad way to live.

Gaddafi before he was killed said ‘they’ will make a virus, infect you with it and then sell you an expensive cure. Maybe 100 years from now when the lid will be lifted on secret documents, our descendants, if they will be still alive will find that this was a bad experiment. Question is, who benefits from a global meltdown? Is it a nation? A group of individuals?

Can’t we just go back to work? If we die we die. This must be one of those occasions people should say give me freedom or give me death!

And with that I go to ride. Damn coronavirus.

Postscript: if you live in a country that has used nerve gas, or some other chemical or biological weapon against her citizens or adversary, why do you think it would be beneath them to try it on a global scale to stimulate a response? Besides war has changed from boots on the ground to drones and all.

My barber has closed until further notice, don’t question my unkempt hair.

And while still on this, our police are shit. I think police use their heads as helmets or vessels to hold their ears in place. If anyone needs new brains, it is the police and those who lead them. How do you go about brutalizing people in the name of effecting a curfew when these people are just trying to get home?

And finally some dark story.

Appointment in Samarra by W S Maugham

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture,  now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.  The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.  Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning?  That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Making sense of the present crisis

In the days of my forefathers, when calamity befell the community, it was reasoned that the ancestors had been wronged and corrective measures were deemed necessary to appease them. Sacrifices and cleansing ceremonies would be arranged to please these ancestors. It was understood there would be both good and bad ancestral spirits. So it is particularly these bad spirits that would be appeased to stop the pestilence from decimating the population.

The missionaries came with their monotheistic religions with one powerful god. And in these times of crisis, I keep seeing texts and memes from my Christian friends that we have offended their powerful god through our godlessness, and all. One text I received this morning says god has decided to bring to a halt, temporarily, I think, the worship of sports, celebrities and even the public worship of the gods by ensuring people can’t go to church. And my godless self is here left wondering how unimaginative can people be?

It’s beyond the pale to claim that an all loving God has seen it fit to bring pestilence (& locusts) upon mankind because she has been displeased by a few people here and there. It is like killing of David’s son, as told in the Bible, for the transgressions of the father. It also brings to sharp focus the claim by the same group of persons regarding the vicarious redemption Jesus was meant to offer through his death. Was it for all time or it is like my android apps that need updates every few days?

The good news, if it can be called that, is this will end. People will die and those who remain will continue with the breeding business. Some people will lose faith. Some churches will grow in membership until such time as another crisis hits us or those who will be left.

When one looks at the statistics being shared around regarding the number of people who might get infected and die, fear and paralysis is likely to set in. We must find ways to be alive. To live meaningful lives even in the midst of the crisis. There is room, a lot of room, to be kind, useful and helpful to others.

If we die, we die but let’s die as we have lived.

to all the recent de-converts

You have landed at the right place. Congratulations. Let it be known right here that I am poor letter writer. In fact, I am a poor writer of anything. Well, I can write my name well and there are other books that I have been told I write well too, but that’s a story for another day.

You are thinking that you have just discovered what other people seem not to have realized, the futility of religious belief. Be rest assured that you join a long list of former religious believers. What you might discover though, depending on where you live, that there maybe no one for miles who shares the same view of the world as you do. Don’t be discouraged. Just as each man dies their own death, you must make this walk alone.

Your religious friends or relatives if they are the studious types will send you a lot of literature to read just in case you were led to unbelief by reading some wrong book. Now look here, life is short, don’t waste it reading Lee Strobel unless for entertainment. Read poetry. Read great novels, that is, if you have the time. Many people who deconvert only know of the books by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens and Hirsi. I am here to tell you there is a wealth of books that are much more entertaining but are less popular. Their authors marketing departments didn’t do a good job at popularizing them.

Many of those who are leaving religion today are young people. It is my advise to you that you should read the mood at your homes or workplaces. Will your employer keep you in the staff if you were to reveal you were godless? Or your parents not kick you out? I am not saying you lie that you still believe even if you don’t, but you can keep a low profile as you test the waters to see their possible reactions and know how to act from there.

The world is beautiful. You can take your chances with Ivan in Brothers Karamazov when he tells Aloysha in the Grand Inquisitor that he will not wait for heaven. You will find there are many who have done the same. I have sided with Ivan even though Fyodor makes him mad at the end, I will not go mad.

I know there are people who the last time they read something it was a stop sign on the road. I want to encourage to read. Read like your life depends on it. It will broaden your imagination. It is also a cheap way to travel the world. So pick a book. Even of a subject you are only mildly interested in.

I don’t know why, I, who can’t write a letter to save myself began this letter. Maybe to deal with boredom. If you have read it up to this point, remember we are here only for a short duration of time. Be useful to others as that’s the shortest route to happiness. Be kind.

Thank you for reading.

Yours sincerely

One who can’t write a letter.

 

What’s the best way to treat an atheist if you are a Christian

I was taking a walk with my fingers on quora where I found this question. I don’t know if the poster was serious or people have asked all the possible questions and this is what remains unknown. So in the interest of the Christians who visit this humble site, here is my advice.

1. Do not be unequally yoked as Paul said

2. Don’t touch them with a mile long pole

3. Spray holy water everywhere they come into contact with

4. Pray for them without ceasing, your life depends on it.

5. Preach and attempt to convert them.

But if you are a decent human being, treat them as you would treat another person, with respect. Don’t be an ass. Your religion is like your genitalia, good to have but you should only show those who are interested.

for laughs

Cardinal Njue of the catholic church in Kenya has sent a letter to churches in Nairobi and Kiambu warning them of some cult pushing for FGM. In his words

“The group has had effects on individuals, families, church and the society. These group bears the characteristics of a cult and use of instilling fear in order to inculcate their doctrines and enforce their practices upon individuals. Numerous cases of family disintegration and conflicts and of emotional and psychological imbalances especially on women and children have been reported”(emphasis mine)

And i am here thinking loudly, isn’t the threat of hell use of fear in order to inculcate doctrines?

The bishop is reported to have also written

“It’s time to uphold the old and seize the new. When we combine the cultural beliefs and our Christian calling and have vibrancy in our faith,”

which though is what happens in practice, happens despite the church. The cultural practices have remained not because the church encouraged it but despite all its efforts to eradicate all traditional beliefs.

Kurt on freedom

In his book Palm Sunday, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that American freedoms will disappear, as all freedoms disappear when men start to believe in lofty ideas such as divine and natural laws. Only human laws- constitutions- offer a bulwark against despots and I think he was right.

He said of adherents of natural law that it made the belief that the African is only fit for menial tasks and is inferior to his white companion allowing even Jefferson to have slaves of his own.

Seeing as the religious groups have so much influence in the US government, protections offered by human laws will get eroded over time and soon there will be nothing to stand on.

Maybe it is time to take a stand for human laws