Friday, 15 January 2010

HEAVEN, HELL AND HAITI

This picture of Edith Piaf has nothing to do with the piece below. But we need something to look at.

Haiti is on my mind right now. That and God, and one of his representatives on earth, Mr.(or should that be the Rev?) Rob Elder. I had a small exchange with him on facebook, during which it transpired that he is a Man of the Cloth.

A felicitous epiphany for me. Of course, with a name like that, one should have known. Mr. Elder, is indeed, an elder of some church or other - which is yet to be revealed, but I have high hopes of The Quivering Brethren. A youngish elder, maybe but an elder nonetheless. And, doubtless, the latest in a lengthy line of elders possibly stretching back to the Flood. A notable affirmation of intellectual Lamarkism. Serendipity is the word that springs to mind.

My affection for clerics is well-known in the small but select circle I inhabit. Nothing I like better than vituperating with vicars, parleying with parsons, prognosticating with priests or bickering with bishops. If you should think this is mere persiflage, ask my bishop buddy Bosco, of Pennsylvania. I would even be prepared to pontificate with the Pope. I am no snob. Indeed, at times I reflect on my wasted life and wonder if I might not have made a decent Dean myself. But I suspect I might have taken the religion business a bit too seriously.

The point is, my Christian chums are, practically without exception, exceptionally nice people. And often intelligent. Jim Basick was - hopefully still is - Chaplin to Toledo University.(Though, on reflection, I suspect this might sound as if I am damning him with faint praise.) No matter, we must press on.

The point is, (I know, we're getting there) the point is, all these good men (and the odd woman) belive in things that are not supported by any credible evidence. There is no evidence to support the belief that there is life after death, for example. The 'evidence' that Jesus rose from the dead, is sufficiently contradictory to prevent any self-respecting newspaper from running it. Fox News might, or The National Enquirer, but not The New York Times or The Toldeo Blade.

The point is, (at last) this all started with Pat Robertson saying that Haiti had only itself to blame for doing a deal with the devil. But, once the door to superstition is opened even a fraction, all kinds of lunacy comes bursting in. Why is making a pact with Satan any more crazy than praying to a god who apparently allows appalling things to happen to us all on a daily basis? Maybe he hates Haiti. Maybe he loves the USA. If that is so, it doesn't seem fair to me. And we English like fairness, in principle anyway.

An honest god is the noblest work of man, they say. (I do, anyway) We need to do more work on this one, he's looking a bit shabby.

And we havent even mentioned Sara Palin. That should count for something.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Pat Robertson's comments have much to say about Pat Robertson, and nothing to say about enlightenment.
Love your writing, keep it up.