Some of the vilest hatemongers in the world are clothed in the garb of men, and women, of God. It seems to matter not that they are Muslims, Jews, Roman Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Pentecostals or itinerant preachers of every shade. The degree of hateful speech that they spew into the world is sometimes quite shocking. it should come as not surprise that while some of them have been to school, it matters not because they wear a certain degree of ignorance with pride. Take that hatemonger called Pat Robertson as a template, and you have a pretty good idea of the type of character some of us are compelled to deal with from time to time.
The certainty demonstrated by men of faith is sometimes disconcerting. It explains how a pope ordered the murder of a scientist for demonstrating that the Earth revolved around the Earth, that the world was round and not flat. It explains why an imam, without a shred of proof, will declare complete strangers to be apostates simply because they do not profess the same fundamentalist beliefs that he does. it is how a rabbi will feel no qualms about the extermination of an entire people because the land of Israel was bequeathed on the Jews for all time. People of faith have perpetrated some of the worst crimes known to man.
What is ironical about the hatemongering and deliberate obtuseness is the constant litany of proclamations that "our religion is a religion of peace." There's a classic debate between men of the cloth over apartheid South Africa on YouTube which every sentient being on this planet should watch. Jesse Jackson takes on the racist Jerry Falwell and exposes the awful truth about religion, especially evangelizing Christianity and Africa. From the days of the Church Missionary Society at the turn of the twentieth century to the new era of evangelists and their mission to save souls through the planting of seeds, we have seen every shade of charlatan come among us in the name of God.
Beginning in the 1970s with the loosening of the bonds that subjugated the wills of women to those of men, the truly religious among us have waged a vicious war to maintain a patriarchal, paternal orthodoxy that is anathema to the advancement of women, homosexuals, non-Christians and non-whites. This war was fought to a bloody draw in the United States and now it has crossed the ocean to Africa. Kenya has not been spared. The past twenty five years has seen a veritable who's who of celebrity evangelists from the United States and Western Europe make a beeline for our borders promising wealth, prosperity, peace and salvation. Ethnic clashes, land clashes and post-election violence would seem to belie their rosy predictions for our lives.
What is truly depressing about it all is the polished, suave and reasonable-sounding cadences they employ to impart their messages. Listening to that hateful man, Robertson, explaining how one can get HIV/AIDS simply by using towels in Kenya, it is hard not to cast your mind to the same cadences employed by their lackeys in Kenya. Then there are the smiles. Smiles of guile. Smiles of deceit. Smiles of lies. That smile must have been patented by an evangelist because it is replicated in the faces of hatemongering charlatans the world over. The twisted interpretations of "holy" scripture, coupled with the demented desire to control the sex-lives of believers, and the fostering of hatred for everyone who is not part of their club while fleecing their believers of all their earthly material wealth is the sole reason to treat all celebrity pastors, preachers, reverends, evangelists, apostles, brothers, sisters...with contempt, and a bit of hostility.