Friday, 1 May 2009

More of The "God-nundrum" on MT....

RPK recently had two posts on MT's No Holds Barred -What if the shoe was on the other foot?, and 'Hear ye, hear ye, PASOK, Chanatak and Tompios', on the issue of religion. The first appeared to be addressing the difference between "faithful" as opposed to the "faith" and "inter-faith relations". The latter was apparently in response to a comment I made saying "that some people just don't get it, even when you spell it out"(yeah, I know it was just an excuse).
There were of course enough guys who took it as an opportunity to articulate the "superiority" of their convictions/faith/theology, while some others took to becoming "myth busters". It is therefore no wonder at all that there have been so much strife in this world, all because of one factor - the afterworld!!!

"Mind-bending" aside, what transpired in the discussions, was to me, a fascinating insight into some "religious minds" around us - not that I haven't encountered them in some congregations around town before, though. Mind you - these guys aren't "Muslims" (who are often the subject of ridicule by many a non-muslim) though, who object/contest the writings of RPK, but holier-than-thou, (horrors!!!) truly born again, judgemental, "Christians" who hurl fire & brimstone towards the fellow men, while putting themselves on a pedestal!!

(For the information of the "damned" - Incidentally, these guys have booked their seats on "Starship Rapture" to their heavenly suites, for an eternal party with a "God" who has accepted their "offering"). So those of you who need a ticket, just contact these guys, okay .... it doesn't come free or at discounted rates, though - there is often a "10% sales tax imposed by God"!!

To give you a glimpse into the fascinating minds of these guys mentioned above by RPK, here are some (extracts only, though - Catholics, you can read them in full at the above links) comments, with my response to them.
**The first comment below, from the former post by RPK, is to articulate my take on "organized religion" and its relation to politics, statecraft & humanity at large.

##(Grab your Coke & popcorn, guys!)
written by cruzeiro, April 30, 2009 13:38:59

Man by nature are social & spiritual beings – and therefore, “religion” is a necessary evil in philosophy and statecraft, as it provides a “point of reference” - in a “higher authority” beyond man. While the intentions of most religions may be the same, their methods are quite different - depending upon the dominant culture/civilization which dictates the ideology. While many these days see religions as fairy tales, they may not see how the "concept" of religion has helped man evolve from their barbaric way in ancient times.

Kings of old saw the need for religion in giving man "HOPE" and "laws from a higher authority" for the sake of legitimacy in the eyes of the people. That is why we have had Divine/God-kings (or the so-called "berdaulat" in Malay), complete with tales of “miracles” to hoodwink the ignorant masses and instill fear in them. The "ruling class" who become the symbols of "godliness" however, more often than not, scorn the concept of religion and "God"- which to them are simply instruments of statecraft, used to manipulate the masses into submission or fire them up into a frenzy for political reasons. It is because of this that we often see them leading opulent & decadent lives – away from the glare of public eyes – while the masses toil away.

Fairy tales or not, all civilizations of old had religious foundations or orders/laws, upon which their society was built; and that determined their progress - using science & technology. They however only survived as long as the dominant philosophy/religion/school of thought in the state, remained relevant according to the times - and whole civilizations collapsed when they became dogmatic and/or backward looking, and advocated stagnation or refrained from evolving.

The same fate awaits all known religions of today, should they tread the same road taken by failed ideologies of past kingdoms. Despite all these, one has to admit there are forces beyond our comprehension that work in mysterious ways. Science & technology can only reveal small amounts over time - and the states which embrace ideologies which advocate its progress the most (through education), will eventually win the battle of ideas. This is a fact in history no matter how true one may believe his faith is.

Most people think that you can "find" God/peace/truth/humanity/love (call it what you like) through prescribed religion/ rituals, when the truth is you achieve that through spirituality, faith and wisdom. These are people who do things for rewards in the afterlife (whatever that means) & treat "God" as a businessman who trades for praises/worship/dressing.
"God" & religion is as simple as that to them.
No amount of holier/truer-than-thou scripture reading, praying, laws/rules, finger-pointing or politics of "religion" is going to help those who believe in the former - in fact without the latter, it becomes the prescription for trouble (as was seen throughout history).

The following are from the comments section in the latter article:

written by MasterYoda, April 30, 2009 21:01:53

you asked if i saved? I say YES! I know within me, that if i died tonight, i would be in heaven with Yeshua. its an assurance from the Word of God and deep knowing within my spirit. (its like you know and you know and you know with a shadow of doubt)...

written by cruzeiro, April 30, 2009 22:28:23
Hear! Hear!
Master Yoda has booked a suite in heaven!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

All you poor souls who don't look at things as MasterYoda - you are damned to the everlasting flames of hell!!

MasterYoda shall meanwhile be battling evil spirits and demons (ala "Angel") till the final judgement - but then again, he may get upgraded to the limited edition express ticket on "Starfleet Rapture"!
The rest of us - we have roast pork in hell .......

BTW MasterYoda,
Don't think people envy you having your express ticket ....

written by chanatak, April 30, 2009 22:42:21
Hi Cruzeiro,
Pleased to let you know that like MasterYoda, I have also been given a berth in heaven.

written by cruzeiro, May 01, 2009 00:13:35
Dang! Chanatak - now there are two less of the limited seats on Starfleet Rapture!
Here I was hoping that I can somehow wangle myself into an extra low cost seat!
Anyways - good for you that you have a suite booked, and it's great that your theology provides the same as that of many others who book their seats through various other methods.
(Actually, even the Taliban and Hamas can suggest a few novel methods to "book seats", too).
Don't mean to say that you did it, but just don't go around with a chip on your shoulder with a holier-than-thou attitude.

Me ... I donno - I'll let the big man decide if I'm good enough. But no way in hell or heaven am I gonna try to bribe him with prayers and worship for a suite in his abode for an eternal party.

You see - there's a big difference between your perception of God and mine, and that makes all the difference. Cross or no cross, foolishness or not, I don't think he's a trader or businessman who decides based on what we believe .... if there is a God, I don't think he's so small as to base his judgements as per human perceptions/understanding/frailties - and I wouldn't presume to know the mind of God. If he's there, I believe that he's definitely gotta be bigger and better than all the earthly religions put together - after all few of them deny having a monopoly of truth.

Anyways - since you have so much faith in your destiny, good for you mate - and nobody can tell you that you're wrong!


**Cruzeiro hopes the Coke & popcorn were worth it ......

Another "unGodly bushfire" on the front!!!

The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) has forbidden the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect to perform Friday prayers at their mosque with immediate effect.
In a letter to the Ahmadiyya dated 24 Apr 2009 made available to The Nut Graph, MAIS said, "If [the Ahmadiyya] fail to comply with, defy or neglect the directive, the council will take legal action without any notice."
In a statement, Ahmadiyya spokesperson Ainul Yakin Muhd Zain said, "We ... feel deeply hurt and aggrieved at this unjust action to deny us our right to perform our religious obligations." MAIS issued its directive on the grounds that the Ahmadiyya mosque did not get the council's approval first.

- The Nut Graph

This is probably the result of "somebody"'s threat to "bury" the sect some time back. These are the "holier than thou characters" who actually sat down with Umno to discuss the formation of a "unity govt", despite having promised to be in the Pakatan Rakyat pact to rule Selangor.
This is a problem in all political parties worldwide, that use religion as their political tool - they need to prove their "correctness" through persecution of the powerless.

The definition of "Islam" as many make it out to be, is debatable. As far as I know (I may be wrong, though) the five "pillars"/rukun, namely -
1. Shahadah,
2. Salah,
3. Zakat,
4. Fasting during Ramadan, and
5. The Haj
- constitute the definition. (But then again some deny that there is such a thing!).
As to where exactly the Ahmadiyyahs fail, I confess that I'm ignorant.
However, I'm quite aware that there are quite significant differences in interpretation of the scriptures (which offends the mainstream Muslims) by the Ahmadiyyahs. It is probably the fact that it is believed that Ghulam Ahmad declared that he is the "Mehdi" - the second coming (or something like that).
It is beyond me as a non-Muslim to touch on that matter.

The problem here is the fact that they profess the "five pillars" and yet are (unconstitutionally) subjected to "excommunication" (as the pope did to "heretics") - although these guys don't recognize the MAIS (or the state) as "the" authority in determining their religion or the validity of their theology. They are also forced to deny their belief of being Muslims, becos MAIS believes that the Muslim public are incapable of discernment, and may fall victim to these peace loving and progressive people.

The said premises they refer to do not "belong" to MAIS. So how is it that MAIS can stop someone from using their own premises to worship as they see fit?
Never mind how idiotic it may sound, but to make matters worse, they are now being threatened to be stripped of their status as "Malays"!!!

The beauty of Malaysia Boleh is this:
Some time back, there was a lady who wanted to declare herself an apostate on her legal documents - she was denied permission as she refused to submit to the Muslim authorities.
Then, now we have a whole community of them being "excommunicated" despite wanting to preserve their Muslim identity and "constitutional privileges".
This leads to the question of constitutional ethnic identity, as unlike anywhere else in the world, Umno wanted the constitution to define the Malay race as one who speaks Malay, practises the "culture of Malays" and professes the Islamic faith as per the "Five pillars of Islam".

Now - the Qadianis do practice the "five pillars of Islam" but interpret the scriptures differently, and are hence declared heretics.
So that means they "are Muslims" and yet "aren't Muslims".
Can you imagine being a Malay and yet not a Malay?

It is logical as some propose, that the Ahmadiyyah/ Qadianis should just consider themselves "non-Muslims" and non-Malay so as to avoid unnecessary persecution - but doing so does prevent them from performing their Haj, marrying fellow Malays/Muslims, using the scriptures in "worship" etc etc etc. (and that isn't a very nice prospect, considering that they have the constitutional right to worship as per their teachings without the interference of authorities).
The plus point here is - they don't have to worry about the "hudud cops" or "mat skodengs"!!!
smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif (just kidding!).

As a final thought - should the Qadiani Community should seriously consider sueing the agent provocateurs/ persecutors for denying them their Constitutional right?