Friday, October 14, 2005

Of Gods and Men.

I just finished reading "Lamb:The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Chilhood Pal" by Christoper Moore.
yeah.. the tile is a mouthfull.. and a little strange... but its simply a MUST read.

See, usually, when you hear humorous and Christ and/or Christianity in the same sentence, its generally part of some two bit comedian's stand up routine, that would offend 9 of 10 good practising, God fearing Christians.

But this book is both very funny and very real and very moving. And the writer manages say his piece without impugning the founder or for that matter any of the beliefs of Christianity in the least.

Growing up in a traditional Roman Catholic household, I've pretty much had the religion stuffed down my throat from before I could even walk or talk properly! I remember sitting around with the whole family saying the Roasary... or getting all dressed up (which incidently I hated) for Children's Mass on Sundays and attending a hundred different kind of Church functions and Church related activities. Later on, I even got conned into giving up my Sunday morning sleep ins to teach Sunday School. Granted... I was a pretty unconventional SS teacher and that time I got the grade 6s and 7s to re-enact the whole Noah's Ark and Flood scene from Genesis, complete with the lelliphants trumpeting and the lions roaring and of course the "sound" of God's wrath in the form of thunder and rain (steel plates crashing together). The other teachers thought Judgment Day was upon us... but hey... at least the kids learnt the story well!

In my first year of college in Bombay, our parish formed a new youth group and through it did a lot for me in my tumultuous teenage years. .. most of all introducing me to a GREAT bunch of friends... most of who I am close to till today.. even though we are far from being college students, and most of us no longer even live within the Parish boundaries.

The past few years have seen me begin to question much about my faith of what I took for granted my entire life. Religion now seems to be a separate issue from faith and belief. I find myself wanting to believe in my past, but at the same time questioning certain practices and traditions that seem to be more a product of man than that of God.

Perhaps I am vain to think I am wise enough to try and fathom theories, solve mysteries and answer questions that scholars have struggled with for centuries. Or perhaps I want to believe so much... that I see the answers that I want to see.

So, read the book, and let me know if it stirs you like it did me. I cannot promise a religious revelation or a chorus of angels or nirvana from this story. But I can promise a good time and.... perhaps a little clarity.

And maybe I will go to Church this Sunday. For reassurance, for comfort, for....peace.


Naveed said...

Moving post! And you say I'm intense on my blog! I must check this book out after your strong recommendation. It sounds a lot like Rushdie's Satanic verses (which I'm reading right now), questioning taboos in religion.

Sanchia said...

That's the good thing about organized religion, if you can believe in it: the peace factor. Inner peace because you perhaps feel as though you're in communion with something bigger than you, maybe something that's looking out for you. What was that movie? Somebody Up There Likes Me?

Sometimes I wonder whether settling into a shelter that's been mass-produced for everyone is easier on us... or a lot more difficult. Hard to stop questioning, as far as I can see. Hard to forget that so much of what we've been brought up to believe in is to a great extent a construct of the human mind over centuries.

On to more cheerful matters, the other day I bought a packet of chips and amused a friend very thoroughly by holding up each wafer very solemnly and intoning, "Body of Christ." Somehow I recall us doing this at birthday celebrations when we were kids...! Blasphemous, even then!

Anonymous said...

"Our human ancestors thought long and hard on who and what they were and came up with the best explanations they could make. The frightening thing is that we - almost at the end of the 20th century, entering the space age becoming a society based on knowledge, are still hanging onto those explanations, which date back to our stone age." - Gene Roddenberry

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