Thursday, June 4, 2009

Religious Intolerance

It's old advice not to talk religion or politics unless you're prepared to lose more friends than make them. But what if you combine them both. Does that make you ultimately friendless? I guess we'll have to explore that hurdle when you come to it.
I found it interesting yesterday that a colleague in the writing venue decided to do a rant on her blog spot when she encountered religious intolerance. She was the victim of someone that painted themselves as a 'good' Christian versus her pagan idolatrous beliefs. Of course her beliefs were neither pagan nor idolatrous but merely the common vogue of espousing the sayings of Nostradamus and talking about the Mayan calendar's prediction of 2012 as the year the world ends. I really don't place much faith in the latter since the Mayans couldn't even predict their own eradication at the hands of the Aztecs. If they couldn't see that coming then I doubt they could predict the end of the world.
Anyways, to make a long story short, this 'good' Christian was offended that someone could believe they knew when the end of the world was coming, since she quoted that no man or woman knows the time when Jesus will return. And anyone that says they do is a false prophet. Funny that! I'd hate to think that the only reason Jesus would return would be so that he could witness the end of the world. Seems like a waste to me.
But focusing back on the intolerance part, why can't someone be allowed to believe in something other than the New Testament end of the world without being the target of abuse and derision? I hardly believe that was what Jesus was trying to teach his followers.
So where's this all leading...good question. It's leading to my comment of how little we understand prophecy in general, especially Nostradamus. As is clearly evident in Shadows of
Trinity, so many of Nostradamus's prophecies were intended to help his son survive the persecution of the Church by guiding him through certain episodes he would encounter. Not predictions of events five hundred years in the future but only several decades after his own death. When placed in their proper context, the quatrains become more of an "Oh Yeah, that was pretty obvious!"
As a Karaite, one of 30,000 remaining in the world, I know what intolerance is all about. We've borne it for two thousand years. Ever since my ancestor Ishmael ben Phiabi turned his back on the Tannim of the time and basically told them that their interpretation of the messiah prophecy was full of s**t, we've encountered that religious and political intolerance from both our own civilisation and that of the outside world. The Kahana Chronicles is a record of that intolerance and it is meant to be held up as a mirror of society. Perhaps if enough people can look at the reflection and decide that they don't like what they see, we can make the world a better place!

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