by Zhou (Chew) Hong Jie
Friday nights, for Church of God (Evangelical) Singapore, are talking-to-Super-Santa-Claus nights. These hour-odd-long mass delusions include asking Santa Claus to cure the various psychosomatic infirmities suffered among the sheep. Common ailments like colds, headaches, coughs, backaches and fevers are the ones usually advertised as “healed” or “cured” by the benevolent and omnipotent old man. It is very painful to observe how people who live in the 21st century can not know how their immune systems are able to joust off viruses over time. It becomes excruciating when they attribute the “recuperation” of their medically doctored bodies to divine intervention.
It is one thing to practise thankfulness in all things. It is another to claim that the healing of one’s illness is not natural but super-natural. It needs to be reiterated that one has to rule out all natural possibilities before even proposing the supernatural. Frankly, it can never be done. But I know many christians choose to interpret even the most banal of coincidences as a bawdy yahwist-elohist magic. Their immature minds cannot accept the impartiality and meaninglessness of natural occurrences. It must always be divine magic, divine intervention.
We are all Harry Potter fans, like it or not.
While christians are always schizophrenically imagining a Chief Homo Sapien in the sky as the source of all things, I choose to acknowledge my biological parents as the real source of my life. If papa and mama didn’t fuck on a September night in 1980, if one of papa’s million sperms did not manage to violate one of mama’s eggs, I wouldn’t be born nine months later. It is so narcissistic and egomaniacal to assume that somehow, fate demands that I have to be born in June 1981. It might be counter-intuitive to imagine otherwise, but the reality of biological life is that all of us, including myself, don’t have to be born the way we did. We need not even exist.
But the fact that we did and are, becomes a spur to cherish and treasure the one and singular life everyone of us has. There is no ghost in our machines, no Caspar to woo woo out of our decomposing bodies when we die. Self-consciousness, is but a virtual programme in our brains. Benjamin dies when his brain dies.
Rational people should never attribute a child to the “blessings” of Chief Homo Sapien, but their own fertile reproductive systems. As such, childless couples should accept that they cannot produce children because of their faulty reproductive capabilities, and seek the help of modern reproductive marvels like IVF. It is ridiculous to indulge in meaningless nonsense about why god did not bless one with a child or why god allow one to be infertile.
There are no reasons – they just happen. And the moment we accept that, the happier we are. Silly superstitions which equate infertility with divine curses should be rubbished. Similarly, terrestrial disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are due to a cooling planet that is currently overused and exhausted. Only neanderthals imagine the works of angry gods and goddesses, with nutbags blaming witches, sorcerors, the lgbt and atheist communities.
Anyhow, Friday nights for us are family nights. We dine among loved ones. Darling has a sibling sextet of five sisters (one lives overseas) and one brother. We break bread and enjoy ourselves in their presence. Unlike my very fundamentalist and dysfunctional Chew clan, Darling’s Toh clan is one very eudaimonic and freethinking gang. They are but cultural buddhists.
While bullshitting the recent City Harvest Church scandal, one brother-in-law showed surprise that I am a “christian”. I accept that as a compliment, as a “christian” often means religiously bigoted, homophobic and existentially arrogant. I mentioned to his wife at the dinner table that the majority of practising christians in Singapore subscribe to the delusion that without Jesus Christ, every other non-christian will roast for ever in a cosmic incinerator run by Al Pacino, with direct orders from Morgan Freeman himself.
I made it clear to her that I wasn’t exaggerating. Evangelical christians delude themselves into believing they have the truth while the rest of the world do not. While they rubbish the koran as a plagiarised bible 2.0, they don’t seem to realise that the old testament of their bibles do not originally belong to them too.
Oh, trust me to be the devil incarnate. I admitted to her that much of christian charity work is a load of chicken droppings – christians help the needy and the poor because of one ulterior motive – to proselytise. They will preach that Jesus loves you as you are, but will still incinerate you if you do not become one of them. Some love huh.
They do good because it is a good proselytising gimmick. They help others because they wish to blackmail them into “accepting Jesus Christ as their personal lord and saviour.”
That is utterly immoral.
One does good because it is the good thing to do. One does right because it is the right thing to do. One loves others because loving others is the right and good thing to do. Period.
To love others because of god is not moral at all. It assumes that one will start barbequeing and violating others the moment god is erased from the picture.
That is so naughty.