Monday, 18 August 2008

Bolstering Credentials using 'Samaritans'.


The division had recently issued a show-cause letter to the Herald, .... had breached its permit conditions.
Its editor, Father Lawrence Andrew, has denied the allegations ... ... urged the ministry to not make any assumption as they had yet to see the editorial in question. “The editorial is only asking people to pray for a just and fair by-election. Can't we Christians ask fellow Christians to pray? Is that against the law?” he asked when contacted yesterday.
-The Star Online, Wednesday August 13, 2008

"Guilt that is expressed in irreverence is unliveable,
Guilt smothered by pride is unjustifiable and,
Guilt smothered by fear is unbearable"

- Ravi Zacharias, "The Haunting Spectre of Guilt"

Waking up on time last Sunday for church, was definitely worthwhile - the Pastor's homily was quite interesting (putting it mildly).
He spoke of racism practiced by the Jews who looked down on the Samaritans (which is incidentally mentioned quite subtly in the bible on numerous occasions) - The Jews regarded the Samaritans as "impure" and a mongrel race, and would avoid and discriminate against them in all sectors of society, even if they worshiped the same God.

Taking that into consideration, it appears that our society don't seem to be any better from the Jews who lived 2000 yrs ago - that too, encouraged by some illustrious characters - past and present.

Recently, in defending himself, Mahathir (on said, "Sensitivities of people differ...... But supposing we ignore their sensitivities and we talk loudly about them. They would not like it. They may reply in kind, perhaps more insultingly".
How very convenient for one to sit on the moral high-horse, speak of "sensitivities" and claim "innocence" when one's "education minister" is permitted call for "chinese blood", or feign ignorance when zealots scream profanities!
[The infamous Cik-gu Rusitah bt Abu Hassan, of the Indian schoolchildren abuse controversy-
According to the police reports, the female history teacher had allegedly called Indian students in a Form Four and a Form Five class `keling pariah', `Negro', `black monkeys' as well as other derogatory names.
The police reports also alleged that the teacher had said that
Indians were the `children of prostitutes' and the community's Youths `did not have testicles' on July 17 and 22, and had also purportedly beaten up some Indians students.

The teacher was "transfered".]

The silence of the "aggrieved party" who accuse others of "insensitivity" when "Samaritans" are called mongrels and discriminated against by the "defenders of race & religion", (just like the Jews of two millenia ago) speaks volumes in itself.

As such, had he been in church with me, Mahathir would've have certainly been disappointed when the Pastor said, "This 'Babi' will not Balik Cina....! ", to the applause of an amused congregation- instead of replying as expected, more insultingly.

What is displayed here by some "leaders" is nothing short of what we may consider - "the expulsion of guilt through irreverence, pride and fear"- wherein the wrongs are justified through lies and misinformation, to hide the very sins which they preach against - and nothing is held sacred anymore (not even God or Religion).
They often choose to be blind to their own (or that of their kind's) doings, but are quick to get defensive about their "senseless sensitivities", when their potential scapegoat indulges in intellectual discourse/debate, using reason.
But of course, you don't need reason (or an axe to grind) to condemn your scapegoat- only ignorant pride, intoxication, denial and moral bankrupcy.

Hamid Albar says, "If you start to interpret, everything can be broadened. It is a relative and subjective situation.
If you are to write on religion, then you are supposed to touch on matters pertaining to questions on rituals, adherence to God, followers and anything related to your divine mission....
But I think if you mix religion with politics, then you can create a lot of misunderstand
(sun2surf), in justifying the harassment that The Catholic Herald is subjected to ....
(Okay - So he's become an expert on "divine missions" now- that too, without even knowing what the controversy is all about!).

Separating Church from State is the mantra of modern democracies , and as usual, our politicians are quick to capitalize on 'the cliche' for cover, when it suits them best - but "beware the cliche", dear sir.....
It is one thing to separate Church and state, or prevent the "politicization" of religion. It is however quite another, to deny that religion encompasses politics or vice versa.

How does one separate Church and politics, when one needs to speak of ethics and morality, dear sir?
When one needs a "point of reference" so as to advise one's flock on morality and ethics/philosophy, does one not need the "divine" or "spiritual"?
Is "religion" not a "way of life" ("deen" as you may call it in Arabic), which encompasses everything in our daily life (including politics)?
How does the a vote for the corrupt not come under "spiritual/ social obligation" or "fardu kifayah" of "amal makruf, nahi mungkar"?
Pardon my ignorance, but where is it in the law/ constitution stated that it is an offence to advice one's own flock?
Or is it only permitted for Muslims in this country, to seek spiritual guidance, in making morally sound political choices?
Or is this freedom valid only when it is to be for political mileage, in giving tin-cans and titles as 'awards' for church leaders?
Why is it that you allow "other races", but not "other religions" in politics?

It is my conviction that, it's necessary for church leaders execute their moral duty in guiding their flock on matters of "spirituality", as opposed to the narrow "religiosity" which Hamid uses to define "divine missions".
He obviously ignorant of the difference between "religiosity" and "spirituality"!
To these wise guys who pretend to be experts on "divine missions", I have only one thing to say,
- "You speak as such, out of your spiritual emptiness & intellectual bankruptcy!
What you speak of is none other than the death of your conscience and the guilt within- as you lie to yourself and the people you represent, dear sir."

Allow me to quote what was written in Where is the Spirit of Merdeka?:
Having failed in its shortcut to an economic miracle, the advocates of the system (clamouring for issues and a new agenda to perpetuate their greed and envy) the now choose to preach intolerance, “arabisation”, and religiosity in the name of God, to further isolate, and “drug into a stupor” a beautiful people that was once open to change.
Even if we aren't too accurate in our assessment, much of what has passed off for Islamisation by the govt was nothing more than frothy God-talk, mindless, thoughtless, and in its exploitation of people, heartless.
The “one upmanship” practised by the various institutions that espouse religious chauvinism, is in fact a pathetic display of their failures and insecurities.

They need to feel that they are “winning” and wish to gloat about their “success” in being the defenders of their misplaced priorities, while hiding the enemies within, behind a cloak( turban or beard) of religiosity."

But of course - certain political circles badly need to built and bolster their "Religious Credentials" to perpetuate their hegemony, after wallowing in corruption for 25 years. What better way to appeal to the unthinking masses, than through being cheerleaders to the persecution of those considered "Samaritans" - like the biblical Jews of old.

Having failed in their attempt to polarize the people based on race, the new "divine mission" would most likely be to use religion as a flashpoint in the near future, so as to hoodwink their unthinking followers and arouse the unthinking passions.
It wouldn't be surprising should some of these "hadhari" politicians soon grow beards and don skullcaps or robes so as to project a new image of piety.
On the other hand, a new religious "splinter" political party may appear out of the blue, in order to bolster the "just" image of certain corrupt political parties.
Let's just wait and see .....

Herald issue: Why all the fuss now, asks Dompok
- The Star Online, August 15 2008, MYT 4:18:20 pm

"Racial and religious sentiments have been fanned by a few component parties for the past five months since March 8, causing much uneasiness and fear among Malaysians as to the path the country is heading to," said Perak Gerakan chairman Datuk Chang Ko Youn.
- Malaysia Today, Perak Gerakan mulls calling for party to leave BN,
Monday, 18 August 2008 08:40

Related Articles:
Religion - The Politician's Playground
Political Rhetoric and the National Conscience