God to call in overseas power company

I have news. Huge, if true.

While the rest of the world was worrying about some microbiological thing or other, SA has been in the grips of a huge bout of loadshedding after jellyfish blocked an inlet pipe at our local nuclear power station.

Actually, this happens more than you might think. 1.73 million results can’t be wrong, right?

But I don’t care about Canada or Sweden or Japan. Our issue is with Koeberg, just up the road. And it seems that we’re likely to get our 980MW back into the grid by Sunday. But will that be soon enough?

Because suddenly, God’s on the job:

I wouldn’t normally believe this sort of nonsense, but this was said with authority – and not just anyone’s authority, but with authority in the might name of Jesus Amen and Amen.

I’m not sure if this is a different Jesus to the one we learned about at school. I think he was called Jesus Christ and not Jesus Amen and Amen. But that was a long time ago and I think it was all made up anyway.

Anyway, given that Mighty God and Jesus Amen and Amen are omnipresent and omnipotent, I think that questions should be asked about whether they had anything to do with the swarm of jellyfish that blocked our power station and prompted this overseas takeover of our power generation. I’m not saying that things were all rosy before, because they really weren’t, but this convenient squishy invertebrate plug being applied to the inlet pipe just up the west coast has certainly paved the way for their sponsored coup, hasn’t it?

Get what I’m saying?

Follow the money. Just saying.

I don’t think that Adele has anything to do with this. She just seems like the spokesperson for the cult on this particular issue.

I’m not big fan of the Mighty God and JAaA, but if this theist-led company sweeps in from overseas, I won’t miss the loadshedding. And if it goes well, then maybe  they can make a start on sorting out this virus thing as well.

Good Friday Shopping

This morning, I felt that my knee was doing well enough for me to try some DIY. Like, all the tasks that had been put off because my knee wasn’t well enough. So I packed the kids into the car and headed for Builder’s Warehouse: our local DIY behemoth.

Of course, today is a public holiday, and they’re open from 0900-1700 on public holidays. It says so on their website and on the big sign next to their… very closed doors.

They’re not open. At all. Not even a little bit.

So you can’t buy bricks, but you can pop across the road to Toys R Us: a store which is in dire financial straits and closing stores worldwide, but which is ironically open in Tokai right now.

Many malls and shopping centres are operating an “Optional Trading” policy today, and as it’s a religious holiday, I guess it’s reasonable to assume that on this most holy of Christian days, it’s God who decides which stores get to open and which aren’t allowed to.

We went to Constantia Village to investigate and found that She’d made some interesting choices as to what was open and what was closed:

You can buy crystals (Spilhaus) but not trendy casserole dishes (Le Creuset).
Amazingly, you can buy gin (PnP Liquor), but not jewellery (Peter Gilder).
You can buy childrens clothes (Earthchild), but not adult clothes (Revenge).
You can buy water filter cartridges (H2O International), but you can’t pick up concert tickets (Computicket).
You can’t get your haircut at all (Edge, Partners).
Unless you are a lady (Carlton).
But your nails are going to have to wait (ManiPedi).
Absolutely no sunglasses (The Village Eyewear).
But coffee gets the nod (Seattle Coffee Company).
Not leather goods though, for they are the Devil’s work (Tsonga).
Oh, and you can’t buy perfume (My Perfume Shop), but also, you can (Red Square by Edgars).

The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways…

Still not raining

Look, we’ve covered this before.

We noted the city’s request for prayers here:

Why haven’t our religious leaders been praying for rain already? And if they have, where’s the evidence? Who’s withholding the damn rain anyway, and why?

And we added a touch of sarcasm here:

Tamboerskloof vicar Rev. Denise Woodhouse stated that she had been instructed by her senior clergy to hold off any specific reference to rain in her Sunday prayers “until April or May”.
When it was pointed out to her that this was rather convenient timing, given that that’s when the seasonal rains usually begin anyway, she replied, “Yes, isn’t God amazing?” and hurried off to help with pouring the tea at the Women’s Auxiliary meeting.

But the weird thing is that with just n days of water left, people are still genuinely suggesting that prayer is the answer to the current water crisis:

Exactly what do these people think is responsible for this crisis? The underlying cause of the lack of water is simply a lack of rain.

Given that we are advised to “put our faith in God as He is the only one who can save us from the catastrophe” (as He did just after that day of prayer about 30 years ago), I’m left wondering why He hasn’t done something about this already.

Is He really sitting up there in heaven, omnipotent, but waiting for us all to worship a bit harder before He sends any precipitation to Cape Town? Are the recent floods in Gauteng a sign that they prayed harder or better than we did, or is He just trolling?

Behold what I am capable of, just up the N1! Enough rain to fill their dams (and sweep innocent schoolchildren to their deaths), but no: you’re not having any until you get yourselves to church and beg for it. And, if you’ve already been to church and begged for it, then go again and beg a bit harder.

And then, when it does eventually rain, you will praise me for granting you watery salvation, conveniently overlooking all the times I ignored your repeated and increasingly desperate prayers over the past few months.

But that’s exactly what Ilze Müller and her kind will do: drowning (pun intended) in religious confirmation bias, defending the indefensible, brainwashed and blinkered.

Still, if I can get an afternoon off work on the strength of pretending to participate in their ludicrous charade, I’m obviously all for it.

Cause of Ebola in Liberia “is homosexualism”

All those nonsensical theories about fruit bat reservoirs and under-cooked bush meat can finally be put aside, because some very important men in Liberia have met and revealed that the reason that Liberia has been stuck by the well-documented viral outbreak is:

That God is angry with Liberia, and that Ebola is a plague. Liberians have to pray and seek God’s forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society.

I need to point out right now that firstly, I realise that ‘homosexualism’ isn’t actually a word, and that secondly, I was not responsible for the use of the word ‘penetrate’ soon after ‘homosexualism’.

But how can this be?
West African homosexualism is impossible! Lest we forget – it’s been proven with Nigerian magnets!

Anyway, the very important men were, as you may have guessed from their initial statement:

…more than 100 Bishops, Pastors, General Overseers, Prophets, Evangelists and other Ministers of the Gospel.

comprising of (but not limited to):

…mainstream church leaders such as Archbishop of the Catholic Church of Liberia, Lewis Zeiglier, first vice president of the Liberian Council of Churches, Rt. Reverend Dr. Kortu Brown, as well as representatives of other Christian associations with whom the LCC collaborated in organizing the meeting.

“But,” I hear you asking, “were The Pentecostal Fellowship Union of Liberia, Liberia Fellowship of Full Gospel Ministers, Association of Evangelicals of Liberia, Prophetic Call to Ministers, Christian Community in Liberia and the Apostolic World Christian Fellowship also represented?”

Well, let me put your mind at rest with this quote:

The Pentecostal Fellowship Union of Liberia, Liberia Fellowship of Full Gospel Ministers, Association of Evangelicals of Liberia, Prophetic Call to Ministers, Christian Community in Liberia, Apostolic World Christian Fellowship were all represented.

So – in short – yes. Yes, they were.

But now, finding the cause of the outbreak is surely only half the issue. What are we going to do about sorting it out, now that it’s already happening? No worries, they’ve got that sorted too:

That a three-day indoor fast and prayer across the nation be observed, commencing next Wednesday, August 6th, and concluding Friday, August 8th.

Maybe they also advised people to use hand sanitiser, to not hug corpses and to go and see a doctor promptly if they felt sick?
Well, no, they didn’t, but they did apparently suggest that people: “knock on the door of God”.

To be fair to the Big Man Upstairs, I would completely understand if He chose not to answer; after all, as we have all heard, homosexualism and Ebola are apparently rife in Liberia.

The folly of DSTV censorship

I was watching a couple of back episodes of The Blacklist last night on PVR and I was left bewildered by the censoring of certain parts of the audio.

Before we continue, let me point out that I am well aware of my responsibilities as a parent. I am also aware that I can switch the “family” audio selection (which silences “naughty” words) on or off, and that actually, I’m glad that we have that option: I don’t want my kids hearing the f-word every two minutes on the movie channel (or whatever).
I’m also happy to acknowledge that it’s my fault that I always forget to switch the “family” audio selection off before I start watching my stuff.

But those things are not really what this post is about.

Last night’s first episode (S01E09: “Anslo Garrick”, for the purists) centres around the main character, Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington – a successful, and seemingly untouchable “fixer” now turned FBI informant – being cornered by the horribly-scarred, revenge-seeking soldier of fortune Anslo Garrick, who we are told: “almost exclusively works with a group of heavily armed, highly skilled mercenaries who call themselves The Wild Bunch: former flag wavers made over in Frankenstein-like fashion into bloodless, country-less killers”.

Nice guys.

As Reddington states:

Why not let them have me, Donald?
I’ll likely be tortured for weeks and left to rot until they finally deign to put a bullet in my skull.

And within the first 5 minutes of the episode, The Wild Bunch have stormed the secret FBI facility, using silenced sub-machine guns to graphically tear apart the bodies of about 20 guards, and Garrick himself has needlessly shot a truck driver in the head at near point blank range, spraying his brain all over a truck window.

Another main character, Agent Ressler, has been shot in the leg and we can see the mix of blood, expensive suit, muscle tissue and bone, as he screams and writhes in agony on the floor of the bunker.

Now Garrick speaks to Reddington (who is trapped in a room, but currently “safe” behind blast-proof glass), his voice slow, hoarse and menacing:

Red, Red. Did you really think there was a distance you could cover or a hole deep enough that you could hide in? There is nowhere in this world that I cannot reach you, Red. Fortification be damned.
I heard you made yourself some sweet little immunity deal, Red. I heard that you fitted the FBI with strings, and now they hang upon your hip like a hatchet.

But they can’t keep you safe from someone like me, Red, someone who sat in blackness for five years.
Five years thinking about the pain I was going to inflict on you while slowly breaking your will, your body… and finally your mind.
That day is here, my friend.
And it will end with your screams, as God is my witness.

One almost completely forgets the multiple implausibilities of the scene as one is gripped by the unfolding drama.

Except, after all this, DSTV silenced the word “God” out of that last line.
You know, just in case anyone got offended by it.

Now, maybe some people are offended by the use of the word “God” there, and, while I think that’s rather silly of them, that’s their right. But why on earth are those people watching this programme with its repeated and graphic portrayals of mindless, callous violence? The insidious psychological effect of the threats and description of torture?
At what point are they offended by a three-letter word and not by the scenes of spraying blood, the screams of dying young men, the emotionless brutality depicted time and time again as someone else’s son or daughter is torn apart in a hail of bullets?

Who are these people and why do they not find themselves offended by that?
The dichotomy leaves me bewildered.

The episode we watched last night was rated 13 VL by DSTV. That is: “containing scenes of violence, and language which may be unsuitable for viewers below the age of 13”.

The violence even had my [redacted] year old wife looking away. But again, that’s another story.

The language… well… the only word in the entire 45 minutes which was removed was that one “God” above (and by “above”, I mean above in this post, not “Who art in Heaven”, ok?).

I’m not quite sure why a 12 year old shouldn’t be allowed to hear the phrase “God is my witness”, given that in any decent Christian school (like the one mine go to, incidentally), they’ll surely read (for example) Romans 1:9 and/or Philippians 1:8, which both, as I’m sure you’ll be well aware, feature that very phrase. Does it come down to context? Are those references in the New Testament considered somehow sacred just because they appear in “that book”?
In which case, maybe I’ve answered my own question. Perhaps the violence bit is ok, simply because there are no Biblical references to soldiers’ bodies being ripped apart in a spray of automatic gunfire?

Who on earth are we trying to protect in censoring the word “God” here, and what on earth are we trying to protect them from?