When miracles cannot kill pests

Author: Alan Tacca. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • ‘‘The Pentecostals must address the logs in their eyes” 

The matter in which Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral is accused by National Drug Authority (NDA) of selling fake and dangerous pesticides raises many interesting questions.
But since both NDA and Pastor Kayanja fired off in high gear by threatening to sue each other, farmers can only hope that the serious issue of fake farm inputs will not get burned (like things tend to do in very hot air) before it reaches the temple of justice.

And as we know, very smart people on both sides of a quarrel discovered long ago that one way of limiting public scrutiny is to instantly intimidate the media by creating the impression (true or false) that the quarrel is before bespectacled learned friends.
However, what interests me has nothing to do with the legalistic goings-on; if there are any goings-on.

As God’s dog, I am curious about the part of the story that has Pastor Kayanja on his television Channel 44 promoting the dubious ‘organic’ anti-tick concoction. He refers to the concoction as testimony that ‘God is great’.
Has God gone to the dogs? No. As God’s dog, I know that God is in a state of rest. He cannot be dealing in anti-tick concoctions, be they organic or chemically engineered; whatever the difference.
After the Israelites invented Him, God has been changing in profound ways. He is certainly no longer a meddler.
As we do not blame Him for the Turkish-Syrian earthquake, we cannot praise or blame Him for Kayanja’s anti-tick concoction.

I do not know whether Kayanja’s Miracle Centre Cathedral has a bishop like most Christian cathedrals, but apparently it has a shortage in the department of miracles.
If God was still young, vigorously patrolling the universe, intervening in selected situations and performing magical acts, He would have devised for Kayanja some dramatic exhibition and exterminated the ticks in the affected districts by divine fiat. There would have been no need for fake or harmful chemicals and smearing God’s name.
With God resting peacefully, it is important to protect His dignity, because He has become part of our cultural heritage.
We cannot ‘slide’ out of his shadow en masse, because we are not all a nation of philosophers with the intellectual lucidity or spiritual robustness of a Bertrand Russell. Some of our people will be freely manipulated in any direction by some religious racketeers.

The struggle between the thrust of 21 Century ideas on religion on one side, and on the other the pretensions of latter-day prophetic and apostolic visionaries, is not dinner.
The pretenders are feeling the heat. They wrongly – very wrongly – believe that those making the criticism of religion a legitimate endeavour in the media are part of some nefarious vendetta against Pentecostals.
No. The Pentecostals must address the logs in their eyes.
Which other religious enterprise so arrogantly bombards whole business centres with hundreds of electronically amplified sermons all day on our streets, and then residential neighbourhoods at night?
Which other Christian entity so self-righteously disparages alternative Christian outlooks? Does the principle of freedom of worship wipe out all the other rights in a multi-cultural society?

To answer yes is to inch towards theocratic fascism.
And Christian, or Islamic, or Hindu, or Traditional African fascism can be as ugly and as brutal as godless Communist fascism. 
Shadowy religious under-operatives were already provoking the critics with obscenity-clogged emails, before intimidating the very platforms where free thought is expressed by painting the spectre of falling newspaper sales.
Fortunately, this very intimidation is fodder for God’s dog.

Mr Tacca is a novelist, socio-political commentator.
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