The Life of Brian: They’re all bashing the Bishop again [update 2]
Why all the outrage about Bishop Brian Tamaki and the ‘loyalty oath’ just sworn by 700 of his closest ‘sons.’
Bishop Brian says he has a direct line to his God. But so does the Pope.
Brian says that, as a representative of God, his ‘sons’ should avoid taking his name and person in vain. But so does the Ten Commandments.
He says that his followers must “tell others of their love for the Bishop.” But so do plenty of other churches.
He says that as church leader his followers should offer him their riches, wealth and earnings. But so do plenty of other churches, for whom “tithes” are a way of life – and a way of securing cash flow for church elders.
He says that religion should guide politics – but so too do so many of the mainstream religionists who want political power over your soul.
Brian’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy (to quote a phrase). He’s not doing anything that hasn’t been done before by other religious leaders, but by all the outrage generated by Brian’s activities – with this loyalty oath just being the latest -- you’d have to wonder why it’s Brian who gets the brickbats and the other churches who generally pick up the bouquets. You’d have to wonder why since they’re the same things said and done by all sorts of mainstream religionists.
Basically, the reason Brian gives all the mainstream religionists conniptions is not that he says any of these things (because how can they really criticise them when they do most of them themselves) but because:
- He gives them stiff competition. Make no mistake, this is a religious turf war, and it could get just as angry as any other fight for territory; and
- He makes the whole religious thing look like what it is: a scam.
They say he’s not a genuine religious leaders? But since they all agree their gods can talk to them, then by what standard can they disagree when Brian says his does.
They say Brian’s is not a “genuine” religion? But since all religions are based on a fiction by what right can they deny Brian’s particular brand.
They say the followers of Brian are being sucked in and will never get out? But since all religions aim to maintain that vice-like cradle-to-grave hold on their acolytes, how can they honestly point to any difference to themselves?
Frankly, they’re all frauds preying on the weak and vulnerable, none of them substantially different to what the French court found about the scientologists: that they’re an “organised fraud” preying on vulnerable believers? The only serious difference between all the various fairy stories told by all the frauds is the length of time their stories have been told, and the way the vulnerable are hooked into becoming believers.
All churches and all religions tell slightly different stories, but in the end it amounts to the same: Believe in our fairy stories, not theirs; worship our gods in our way, not theirs; and be prepared to sacrifice . . . for the good of the church. For the church’s good, not for yours. For the good of our church, not the one down the next street – our church being the word and the light; whereas down the next street they’re all left-footers and dangerous to boot.
'”Faith “is ineluctably exclusive, rather than inclusive.
Now, you’d think when it comes to settling the few differences between all the different brands of witch-doctory the different advocates would be able to reason it out between them. But when you think about it, you’d realise that’s all but impossible. It’s all but impossible because the belief in those fairy stories is not based on reason, but based on faith (they don’t even have a surefire way to determine whether Brian is or isn’t the Messiah; without reason they’ve no way to judge).
So because it’s all based on faith, there’s no way at all for advocates of different brands of faith to reason out their differences. All they’re left up with is fists and loud voices.
Which explains, when you think about it, not just all the fists and loud voices Bishop Brian gets out on the streets when he takes up his bully pulpit, but also all the violent disagreements and conflicts between advocates of different religious brands that have endured for thousands of years and stained so much of human history-- conflicts over differences that often amount to little more than what to hang on the walls in your place of worship, or the order in which the wine and crackers is handed out– or whether it gets handed around at all.
Differences which can only be resolved by reason, except that reason has been peremptorily excluded. And without reason things can only be resolved in other ways. And when reason and rational persuasion are out the window, all you’re left with is force.
Faith and force. Two flipsides of the same coin – as they have been for so many centuries of man’s history.
Which means one can only hope that the violent antipathy to the rise and rise of Bishop Brian remains violent only the in the metaphorical sense.
And one hopes that’s the way Brian himself wants to keep it. But how could you really be sure?
Here’s Lou Reed. He reckons you need a Busload of Faith to get by, boy.
UPDATE 1: Pastor Brian Tamariki tells me the Density Church website is back up and running again. And so it is. As he always says, keep those bottoms holy, believers. :-)
UPDATE 2: Thanks to Blunt for another score: