Wednesday 1 February 2006

In search of a humorous God

Messengers are not the message
The religious fervour that feeds activism leading to disorder as emotions becloud reason brings great concern.
It transpires that the adherents of Mohammedanism have taken serious exception to a number of cartoons depicting the pioneer of their following in sometimes unpalatable poses.
It makes one wonder though about the message, the messenger and who it is all about. When the messenger becomes the message and story, there is need for a reassessment of priorities.
Authority of the messenger
With Christianity, the message comes through a messenger that is part of the fulfilment of the message itself. The claim that Jesus Christ makes as first the Son of God and then a first son of God gives him that authority.
Comparatively, no other messenger lays such a claim, hence, they probably should be less vilified by the machinations of men and seek less validation since the message itself comes from some higher authority – as it were.
Basically, a son delivers a message in the name of the father whilst an adopted but honoured servant delivers the message as a representative of the master.
In both cases, if the messengers do then encounter difficulty, they are either empowered to act on authority of the father/master or the father/master takes the slight and makes adequate redress for the son/servant.
Let the master defend his integrity
It brings to memory a story in the Great Book where someone had desecrated the altar of a god and all the adherents of that god came out in arms to take the life of the desecrator.
Some elders intervened and said, if the said god were so incensed about the desecration then the god should act; however, it might appear the god was merciful because the desecrator lived. [1]
Jihads and crusades which in principle are well-meaning have done much to excite plunder, destruction and misery such that the good news is lost in the suffering that then portrays the message as that of sorrow.
Religious activism wins no converts
In many of my blogs I have strongly suggested that religious activism is a lightning rod for social ills, it does coalesce adherents but does nothing to help in proselytising.
The best message any religion can give is the power of example from the adherents; examples that make people ask questions about your happiness, your amazing success, your overwhelming peace of mind, your enduring patience and manifold wisdom.
Brawling, flag-burning, singing, boycotting and shouting insults at pickets and rallies are for all other kinds of endeavour but definitely not religion.
The matter is simple; if you want people to believe as strongly as you do;
·         show us the example that makes you a disciplined and reasonable family person even if your family consists of just one person
·         show us consideration, courtesy and comportment in all your undertakings
·         show us you are a respected and valued member of your community as an externalisation of your beliefs
·         show us, you practise what you preach
In search of a humorous God
As for the cartoons, let the messengers and the message they preached speak up to the shame of the irreverent cartoonists.
Showing up in anger and rage would do nothing to win the argument, rather, others like the press and haters of your religion would use your raw emotion very well against you, your message, the messenger and the father/master.
For once, let us see the lighter side of the insults and humour the ignorant into realising that our adherence is of sterner stuff than their cartoons can enrage a mouse.

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