The so called protestants

But what is happening in the camp of the so-called Protestants, led by a German peasant by the name Martin Luther, stormed out of the universal church? The camp? When the fellow, holding the arm of his nun wife called Maria, shouted, ‘I will not repent, I will not recant. Here I stand !’ the chorus from the so-called camp was deafening. All manner of ‘leader’ repeated the defiant war-song, now not addressed to the Vatican, but against Luther himself, and against each other. And it has continued to the present day. There is not one but numerous camps. It may be there is not one person in the world today who knows exactly how many they are, whatever their differences or similarities.

Artist the Ruler by Okot p’Bitek

This observation by p’Bitek leaves me amused all the time I think of it. Everyday there is a schism in a christian church somewhere. They often claim a difference in doctrine or disagreement on management but mostly it is about the cookie jar, not that one, but the other one and a million reasons excuses in between. What is always important is to justify the need to start a new church.

So my friends, what are you protesting?

Question for believers

Do Christians, Muslims and those in Judaism believe in the same god?

Is it the wish of the same god that there exists different competing sects, each with absolute truth on its side?

If the gods are different, are they all omnibenevolent?

Many an African theologians have argued that the gods of African religion were also omnibenevolent, is it the case then that we have many omni gods?

And my favorite subject, is there a resolution of the problem of evil or does the Epicurean problem remain as unsolved problem for theism?

Of Christian sects and cults

Here I was strolling on the internet when I meet with this post and I got really interested.

While I laud her proposals, they don’t go far enough. It is not enough to just question ones faith but all god claims. Parents must as a matter of course not indoctrinate their children in their beliefs but to create an environment where children can know of different beliefs observed by others around them and to question the validity of any of them or all of them.

The type of group she discusses matches millennium cults that were prevalent in Europe between the 7th and 16th centuries of the current era. And while education was at play, the biggest drive was economic and they were based on loose interpretations of apocalyptic literature such as book of Revelations and Daniel. Instead of dismissing the followers as blind and uneducated, it is far more productive to us who don’t believe to investigate the motivations behind such groupings. Who says they are not political?

And while at it, she should be fair to her readers and start with a definition of a cult.

For me, the difference between a cult and a mainstream church is in real estate. Others I know have added a farther qualifier that in a cult the founder is still in many cases alive while in a religion the founder is long dead.

Finally I agree with her concluding remarks. She writes

However, it is imperative that we all use our brains for what they are meant for – to think! [Emphasis by me]

Cat’s cradle

by Kurt Vonnegut

Is a book by one man’s view of the human psyche. I am feeling quite lazy to tell you much about the book. I will however, in the spirit of good friendship share a few passages from the book that I liked.

Just a brief note. He manages to give each character enough space so that we do not have persons who do not contribute something to the story line. It is a short read, actually you can finish it in one sitting and you will thank me for it. Well thank archy for it.

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.

There is a passage on what cult leaders many times get their followers to do, and sadly many do and do not live to tell the story.

To whom it may concern: These people around you are almost all of the survivors on San Lorenzo of the winds that followed the freezing of the sea. These people made a captive of the spurious holy man named Bokonon. They brought him here, placed him at their center, and commanded him to tell them exactly what God Almighty was up to and what they should now do. The mountebank told them that God was surely trying to kill them, possible because He was through with them, and that they should have the good manners to die. This, as you can see, they did.

There is this bit he writes about god creating man

In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.
And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the _purpose_ of all this?” he asked politely.
Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.
“Certainly,” said man.
“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.
And He went away. [emphasis mine]

I however like this the most, it is the last paragraph of the book and I think my friend nannus would agree.

If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues
of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.