Life gets back to 'normal'
as I'm back to being a salary slave today, meaning encounters with traffic jams, pollution and the mass of humanity that is Jakarta. I somewhat dread my journey from South Jakarta to West Jakarta; no doubt the various heads of state attending the Jakarta Tsunami Summit
will cause extensive delays, but if they agree to a more balanced view of the world, a world of hearts and minds open to and respectful of the infinite variety of cultures and the need to reduce inequalities between them, then momentary discomforts will count for zilch.
. Uniquely. This should be respected. Our various shades, like the multitude of religious beliefs, our numerous displays of external flesh or even our shared blood types should be honored.
The Witness Group
: Religions will find their own ways to account for tsunamis. The challenge of providing a theological justification for how a loving but powerful God can permit natural disasters is not a new one. Whatever our religious beliefs, however, what we can all be grateful for is the beauty to be seen in the rush of the rest of the world, nations great and small, to assist. In times of disaster we forget the ethnic, religious, cultural and social barriers that divide us and for a few brief moments we see the whole human family united.
| "January 3, 2005, 2:07 pm" | # comments
: With all due respect to G, (speaking as a Muslim) I think he must ask himself what Islam expects of him as a member of humanity (rather than looking for flimsy justifications that do not exist). After all, the tragic events of these past couple of days have not been discriminating. Christians, Jews, Muslims
(Hindus, Buddhists and atheists) alike have been affected. Surely our humanity, and the way we treat others, defines us as religious (above everything else).
That mosques, temples and churches are among the few buildings left standing is as much to do with the resources devoted to their construction; it wasn't divine intervention. There was no message from God, whatever Her name. Places of worship are a testament to the power of communities to work together for particular ends. We must all hope, and pray if and/or as one so desires, that communities will continue to survive and, in the case of those shattered around the Indian Ocean, to rebuild.
Mind you, just prior to the earthquake, there were numerous sightings of UFOs
. It is possible that UFOs are trying to communicate to us to warn about the planetary positioning effects on the Earth's tectonic plates and crust.
In Indonesia, as I reported
, there were unexplained heavenly occurrences on December 19th.
, former King of Cambodia, says that an astrologer warned him that an "ultra-catastrophic cataclysm" would strike, but that his country would be spared if proper rituals were conducted.
He says it, in French, on his website
. Cambodia was spared but I think it was a matter of geography.
I know that this past week and a half has changed me immeasurably, and I'm not alone in this. However, I haven't seen the light and I'm not wallowing in self-doubt; rather, I have renewed faith in the capacity of the human race to mend its ways, to show compassion and respect. I remain an unashamed optimist.
I'm glad others are.