What manner of god

Churches never disappoint in wartime. That the Orthodox Russian church is supporting the killing of innocent humans an imaginary border across is quite unsurprising. The US came from a 4-year era of a powerful Evangelical church supporting a dangerous liar whose regime culminated in a violent insurrection. Without the pact between political barons and the puritanical Islamic Wahhabi sect, the tyranny of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia would not exist.

I don’t think there ever has existed successful despots and evil regimes that didn’t enjoy the powerful support of a religion that fixes up its deity as a holy and righteous tyrant who sanctions killing, torture, lies and “uses flawed humans for his glory”. This god is the keg that sets off explosions of national cultism.

I recall how Kenya lived with a dictator who started operating underground torture chambers, disappeared people, ran them off to exile, created a police state and stole the sound and soul of a people so that silence became their solace. Oh, Kenya. This man used to go to church every Sunday. His title was “Mtukufu” – the exalted one. Your churches and their dark spirits are a thig of wonder.

But in all these situations, we are never lost on the priests who insist of a kinder, compassionate and just god. In the middle of the raging fires of power and position, with innocent humanity dying and fleeing all around them, these priests imbue this god of justice and stand up with immense courage, sacrificing life and limb for those who had lost their voice. All it took was a different definition of god. Always, always, light comes shinning right through.

To the Russian priest who defied Kremlin’s tyranny, spoke truth to power, and called out the unfolding war crimes, you are the salt of the earth. They may throw you in jail, even hang you for treason, but your words spark a cleansing fire. We shape our gods in the image of our conscience.

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