Tuesday, October 17, 2006

If I Were a God.

If I were a god or goddess (apart from being one in my own mind), what would I expect from my believers? Would I expect a dogged and literal reading of any text I may have disseminated to a chosen prophet or two over the millennia? Unlikely. Would I insist on any dietary laws, construct bizarre prohibitions against consuming specific items at the same time? I doubt it. Would I drive my faithful to distraction over inconsistencies, contradictions, and definitions of what is clean or unclean by utilizing vague heavily contextualised language in those texts that I may have disseminated to a chosen prophet or two over the millennia? No, I tend to be pretty precise. Would I allow many many centuries to go by before I updated any of those texts that I may have disseminated to a chosen prophet or two over the millennia? I'm capricious by nature but not overtly cruel.

Would I allow pictorial representations of me? Only if they were flattering.

Would I relegate women to subservient or even nonexistent roles, and turn a blind eye when their cries for freedom and equality and the right to self-expression are ignored and/or punished? Absolutely not. This god, you see, has a uterus.

Would I ask my believers to starve themselves during daylight hours, deny themselves water in spite of the fact that they may live in hot climates? I seriously doubt it. Furthermore, would I ask my faithful to seriously jeopardize their health by abjuring life-saving medication because it might conflict with this period of fasting when even a gobbet of partially swallowed toothpaste can send the devout into a paroxysm of self-reproach and dogmatic uncertainty? In a word, 'no'. So, if I'm such a benevolent and broadminded and generally flexible god (yoga helps), why would Allah - who is considered both compassionate and merciful by his followers - want his team to abstain from insulin during Ramadan? Well, it appears he doesn't. So, what's the problem?

The practice of fasting can be a matter of life or death during the holy month of Ramadan for diabetics. The practice, one of the five pillars of Islam, applies to all Muslims except those with certain illnesses. Some Algerian diabetics doggedly want to accomplish their religious duty even at the detriment of their own health, while others follow doctors' advice.

I think that Allah already has enough blood on his hands thanks to the over-zealous activities of many of his believers - clearly, he doesn't need any more dead bodies. Consider this Type I diabetic from Morocco:

"I feel an indescribable shame when I eat [during daylight hours], even though I am obeying my doctor's orders. Even though my religion allows me to refrain from fasting, as I am insulin-dependent, the remorse still haunts me. I assure you that I eat far away from the view of my family."

Hmmmm. Shame. I wonder, is it more shameful to be dead, to potentially leave your family bereft of financial support because you're too busy shagging a houri in paradise? That's a tough one.

It surprises me a bit that Allah and I (and probably every Muslim medical practitioner on the planet) are on the same page because we normally disagree about so much else. Although he has never solicited my advice on this or any other matter, I think that I would have to advise him to consider updating his material. Add a few appendices to the Koran. Toss in a concordance. Better yet, try a female prophet this time. You see, if we aren't clear on things or have any problems, for example ...

Strong drink and ... are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. [5:90, also 2:219]. Yet on the other hand in Paradise are rivers of wine [47:15, also 83:22,25]. How does Satan's handiwork get into Paradise?

... we'd ask for clarification. Women are just better at asking for directions.

Addendum: Happy birthday Mom!


Blogger knarf said...

Blessed are the cheesemakers.

6:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Cath said...

Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, "Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

Happy birthday, Betty.

1:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some day, lad, all this will be yours."

"What! The curtains?"

2:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, I am having severe connection problems to Blogger.com. First I thought the problem was with blogger website but than learnt that peopl could logon to my blog. Then i thought moroccans cencored all blogger websites. But today by the help of an IP Hiding program and I can see my website and I am able to post this message to you. By the way, i should pretend to be in North Korea according to my IP.

Has any of you guys heard any similar complaints from other bloggers? Dİd you have any problems CIR?

1:13 p.m.  
Blogger ByronB said...

Yes, I'm having enormous problems posting pics to my blog - I'm even thinking of giving Wordpad a whirl for a change.

if I were God, I'd have given man 4 arms and hands, so that he could tackle every task where you need 3 hands and have one spare.

The added benefit is that women wouldn't be subservient, they'd just be too busy knitting all those extra sleeves on pullovers to cause any sort of bother.

5:14 p.m.  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Sench: a friend of mine in Rabat has had similar problems to yours -my biggest problem has been with loading photos. Personally I think there's a log jam because the Royal Palace has been spending too much time on our blogs.

Cath: and the Lord did grin.

5:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Yahia said...

It was a great read.
It makes me actually (re)Think all this..

2:25 p.m.  

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