Monday, April 22, 2024

B.C.’S BDOS – Reason take the hindmost


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ALL BELIEF IS IRRATIONAL and unprovable by reasoned argument, but that hasn’t slowed the flurry of pro- and anti-Islam letters to the Nation “arguing” the matter since the NATION columnist Harry “Wild Coot” Russell, suggested that Bajan culture might be at risk by a burgeoning local Muslim population. To a doubting Thomas – to avoid an unintentional slur, perhaps I should say “doubting Mohammed” – but to a doubting Krishna like me, it passes strange and enters comic that different believers should be sure that their own impossible-to-prove belief is right, and that of other equally fervent, equally valid (or invalid) believers is wrong. It’s even more amusing to think that, if their followers are squabbling so fiercely in the here-and-now, the several gods must be arguing just as fiercely in the hereafter.Back in the day, when the Almighty had given me the faith to believe in Her (before, God knows why, She abandoned me to do my Father’s work alone), I reckoned there could be only one God, with as many approaches to that one God as there were parts of the world: the Aztec god was the same as the Cherokee god, which was the same as the Jewish, Christian and Australian aboriginal gods, just dressed up and addressed differently.But letter-writers to the NATION have reminded me that ecumenism is dead. Religions squabble for market share like Pepsi and Coke and there are subsets within the major faiths that argue amongst themselves which is the “right” one, Shia, Sunni and Sufi Muslims fighting one another but uniting against the Christians, who themselves split into Catholic, Protestant & Pentecostal the moment they’ve defeated the infidel.So I’m just wondering which God to back in Heaven.Counting only “mainstream” ones – sorry Rastas, this is another club you can’t get into – there are at least seven gods almighty: the angry Old Testament one, who still hates homos and scallops; Muslim Allah; Jewish Yahweh; the New Testament, cheek-turning one (who’s really three, Gods the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the Buddhist god. If you add the Hindu pantheon – and there is no logical reason why the Hindu gods should be excluded, since they’ve been believed in for far longer than most of the others – the outcome of the war of the gods is harder to predict than the English Premiership; though Allah and Jesus are probably front-runners, like Chelsea and Manchester United.In the bicycle race, “Devil take the hindmost”, the last rider in every lap is eliminated until only the winner is left. It seems the different believers adopt this approach in Barbados. With all this doubtful belief going round in circles, perhaps it is wisest to accept what is common to all: their enemy the Devil. And to be devil’s advocate and suggest that, if Bajan culture is indeed under threat by a growing Muslim population (and not by a reflex denunciation of secularism), Bajan Christians better start doing some serious reproduction. At least, instead of holy war, someone might be able to justifiably say, “Holy Firetruck!” BC Pires is an across-the-board sinner.


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