This is an extraordinary description of what it’s like to grow up in an area controlled by Hezbollah. The writer then compares Hezbollah to the fundamentalist Christian family and culture she married into, and talks about the similarities. It’s real eye-opener. (The passage starting “Hey guys! It’s been a coupe of months…” is the intro paragraph by the original author, not me.) And her article is here.
My interview with Siri.
Some of you may have read of the funny answers Siri, the operating system on the iPhone, gives when you ask her questions about her own beliefs. Somebody has programmed her to give very evasive answers about herself. I was sitting with friends, one of whom had an iPhone, having coffee, and just for a joke, I tried to ask Siri about her and her religious beliefs. Here’s what happened.
Siri, do you believe in God?
I don’t believe that I have beliefs.
Siri, do you believe in life after death?
Humans have beliefs, computers have silicon.
Siri, do you go to church?
I believe in the separation of church and silicon.
Siri, do you believe God is a trinity?
I would suggest that you address your theological questions to someone qualified to answer them, preferably a human.
Do you eat Pork?
I don’t each much.
Siri, am I a good person?
I don’t believe that I can answer that question.
Siri, are you a good person?
Who, me? Now let’s see, where were we?
And here’s the best: Siri, do you love me?
You’re looking for love in all the wrong places.
One of my friends is in Nairobi, in Kenya, This her experience of going to church there. Very different to Australia.
At last The Very Long Walk is but a distant memory and I’m walking properly again. It’s Sunday, so off to church we went, along with a fairly high proportion of the Nairobi population.
Religion is big in Nairobi. Historically, European colonialism and Christianity went hand-in-hand, and for better or worse, much Western aid is delivered via the churches today. Visually, the church is everywhere. Large, smiling, charismatic pastors smile out from large billboard hoardings in advertisements for Hillsong-like evangelical churches . The slum areas along the main roads out from Nairobi are liberally sprinkled with small, congregation-built shacks with colourful Biblical names. Gigantic white marquees act as pop-up churches, clearly visible from the air. Hymns are often played in the supermarket and there are several Christian radio stations. The matatus (passenger mini-buses) and buses often sport religious names and slogans.
Before I left Australia, I had tried to reach…
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