Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jehovah Witness

Select your faith: As easy as ABC by Michael B. Larson?

Michael B. Larson has proposed a funny religious affiliation taxonomy. This flowchart is very traditional and cannot convey the diversity of faiths (religious, natural, ideological, social…).  First study the funny flowchart at the end before reading my comments:

1. Faiths are initially related to community “gastronomical customs” in food ingredients, cooking methods, fiesta ceremonies, intake of alcohol consumption.  Instead of starting with God, let us begin with the varieties of diet programs: Vegan, Vegetarian (excluding fish but including products that do not involve killing the living beings, like milk, honey…), strictly carnivorous, mixed (flesh-eating and vegetarian),  strictly herbs, Halal killing, “who cares how killed”…

We expand the base to include the beverages permitted for consumption (wine, beer, whiskey, frsh water, boiled water, lukewarm water…)  You’ll realize that this first cut will result in about the same results as in the flowchart, with an added bonus of automatic expanded detailed discrimination among the religious and sect beliefs.

2. Community structure and system of organization and sex customs (polygamy, monogamy, patriarchal, matriarchal…): Tribal, rural, urban, caste system, theocratic, oligarchic…Religions transformed over the ages to account for what communities feel more comfortable with revised customs and power “reforms”…

3. The handed down prophets and religious leaders: If you study the civil wars and “religious wars“, you realize that calamities are generated among sects (within a general religion and among specific sects of different religions).  The wars were not for “believing” in one God, several gods, or not believing in any gods…Religious sects are formed around charismatic leaders:  The members are willing to die for this leader but not for any abstract god…

4. Every monolithic religion created its arrays of specialized gods, of double gods, trinity, and several: They always reverted to tacit polytheism, one way or another, for political exigencies and converting the majority of the more natural multi-gods specialized trade and business systems of conviction…Pictures of gods and prophets might be prohibited in public places, but never within homes: People “pray” more frequently in front of a “material” picture, preferably a beautiful and colorful picture of their preferred Saint, martyr…Candlelight offer a more romantic climate for devotion, particularly bonfires…

5. Religion and sects can be differentiated according to weather conditions: Mostly desert region, high plateau, mostly cold, mostly equatorial, mostly rich in water, mostly arid…The environment is master: Living conditions takes precedence over abstract notions that do not fit the environment…

6.  Can you buy this concept of reincarnation when a sect opt for strictly incinerating the dead body? Since antiquity, fallen soldiers in any war were burned for practical reasons, before health consequences were fully understood.  If the dead body is not to follow nature processes of decaying and being devoured by the little insects, how can you claim incarnation?  Anyway, the creation of hell, heaven, and something else in between, has transcended the abstract notion of belief in incarnation into very detailed physical environment of fresh potable rivers (of water, wine, beer, juices…), delicious fruits, beautiful virgins…

It is obvious that the facts are terribly depressing, and religions extend a grain of hope  to keeping the communities from disintegrating in nihilist activities… trampled laws and orders out of controlled could lead to civil wars …

Mankind quest for the Absolute has always survived Temples and religion. Actually, religions exist simply because mankind yearn for the Absolute, uncontaminated by the miseries and shortcomings of reality

Note 1:


Note 2: I had no idea that Mormon consider underwear to have magical effects: Can any sane person deny this most important factor? Once, a group of very beautiful and exquisitely shaped Mormon  girls were dispatched to campus to proselytize a fundamentally “eugenics ideology”, as is the case with all cults. One of these beauties convinced me to quit smoking for just two weeks.

I kept my promise for the duration: The urge for smoking didn’t subside as she claimed and I quickly reverted to my bad habits. If I knew about this “magical stuff” I would have sold my soul for a peek.

In any case, a sect that allow males to marry up to 9 wives is obviously NOT a matriarchal community, and sex is done in the dark, so that the “magical underwear” do not confuse the hard working males into illicit temptations…?

Underwear, specifically female colorful underwear, should not be part of religious beliefs since this attraction is common to all people.  A religion is essentially created to savagely fight against another religion and not to finding common denominators among customs and traditions…

Note 3: It comes to no surprise that Jehovah Witness do not find underwear that” magical”:  They are as boring as their talks…Can you imagine people believing that an Old Book, translated and re-translated, is the word of God and should not be interpreted?  They believe stories of scores of people living to be 900 years, and totally illiterate people (disciples) to have written testaments with their own hand at age of 100…

D-Day for the wedding of Joanna and Yuhanna: It is 1:15 pm.  Part 3  September 3, 2010

In context, the previous post stated:

“D-Day for the wedding of Joanna and Yuhanna was on Saturday, August 28, at 1:30 pm in a tiny renovated church in Ajaltoun (Mar Zakhia, Lebanon).

The church felt cozy and even the priest cried: The couple were really happy and ready to finally get officially married.

Priests of two different christian sects (Maronite and Greek Orthodox) joined prayer in the ceremony.  There were no chatting in church:  People were attending an unusual event that was well planned and executed in joy.

I managed at the last minutes to have a picture taken with the bride before the convoy of 30 cars, decorated for the occasion, rambled off around 1:15 pm.  The church ceremony was to be held at 1:30 pm and we were 45 minutes away from the location.

The plan was that the convoy should be starting around 11:30 at the latest, but the bride didn’t come back from the hairdresser until 10:30 and the maids of honor not before 11:30.

Joanna sat by the chauffeur, her sister Ashley, and the principal maid of honor. and in Ashley’s little pistachio car too.

Grandmother Julia (who cried profusely when she heard the first arriving cars honking) tried hard to convince Joanna to sit in the backseat, as tradition requires.  Joanna would have nothing of that nonsense; how could she sit in the back while her younger sister Ashley is driving?

Joanna’s dad Victor wanted to be the second car behind the bride, but he got entangled with other less important details, such as with guests they don’t know the region or any of the family members.  Thus, Victor ended up lining up at the end of the convoy and he could not bypass cars, many of them drivers not used to driving in Lebanon.”

My dad got the ride with Victor and got terribly scared of Victor’s frantic driving.  Ashley was driving fast to make schedule and the line in the convoy broke down, along with the traditional honking.

The maids of honor decided in the last minutes to form two lines with colored parasols for the bride to walk through.

Yuhanna was waiting arms folded.  He had run out of the church to meet the bride but the priest reprimanded him on that behavior: Yuhanna was not supposed to see the bride yet.

Victor led the bride inside the church and delivered her to the groom.  The couple lighted a candle placed in a bouquet of flowers in the center of the aisle.

The groom and bride honor members entered from the side doors and accompanied their corresponding partners.  There were six honored pairs.

At the end of the ceremony, people not attending the party were to congratulate the couple outside the church. It didn’t work that way:  everyone wanted to congratulate inside the church and immediately.

One of the uncles of Joanna is a Jehovah Witness and refused to come inside the church, him, his wife and children.

The after wedding party was celebrated 30 minutes away in an open air restaurant in Faqra, called Troy and at the crossroad to the ancient castle.  This is a first for a wedding party held at 3 pm in the afternoon.

The weather was cool and dry and No flying pests were noticed:  Maybe because the food served was entirely vegetarian. The dishes were in great varieties, abundance, and wonderfully delicious.

The guests were awestruck with the novelty of the whole project. The buffet was filled with all kinds of vegetarian recipes and we navigated from surprise to surprise.

Fruity drinks and whiskey were  handed “a volonte’ ” and desert kept getting varied as the party progressed. That was a quick summary or a prompting. Now for a few details.

The convoy headed for the celebration party for eating, dancing, and taking more pictures.  Again the convoy got broken and Victor had to answer calls on the proper direction to the location in Faqra.

I was riding with Victor because my dad was apprehensive of repeating the experience with Victor and rode in another car.  As we arrived around 3 pm, most of the guests were already seated at their assigned places.

The friends of Joanna and Yuhanna, not related to the couple, were gathered around a table of 20  seats.

It was a beautiful day and cool inside the large white tent.

Before desserts were served, Joanna and Yuhanna opened the inaugural dance and immediately followed by musical performance Joanna on the flute and Yuhanna on the trombone.  Couples headed to the dance floor in the middle.

It got crazier and crazier as the party progressed and youth became the vast majority.  Ashley and Rania sang a duet.  There were no professional paid photographers, but everyone was a photographer; only three among them were professionals.

People kept visiting the buffet for additional servings as more varieties of vegetarian plates kept materializing.  The party disbanded after 8 pm and a group resumed the partying in Hamra.

(To be continued)

Note: Out of the more than 3,000 pictures taken by scores of photographers, I was barely captured in four photos; I made myself scarce but danced a lot.

So, what’s going on in August? (2010)

In this hot August of Lebanon it is sort of “branle-bas de combat” or getting ready to waging war, literally and figuratively, internally and externally.

Thousands of Lebanese immigrants selected August to pay a visit to their motherland. Many have come to get married.

The process of getting married can be extremely lengthy and complicated among Christians of various sects, and as easy as dispatching a spouse among Muslims where the father sign the contract on behalf of his son and then buy an airplane ticket to the new bride to join a husband she had never met face to face.

For example, Christian immigrants have to reconcile with different mentalities:  In Europe, the States require civil marriage prior to religious one, on the ground that religious contracts are not valid by law.

This rational is reversed in Lebanon: You need to get married religiously first, otherwise, registering your civil  marriage that you had contracted outside Lebanon might turn out a headache.

Thus, if you get married religiously in Lebanon then, you better keep mute about this landslide event when you get re-married civil in Europe.

As far as I recall, religious marriage in the USA are as valid as civil marriage:  The priest signature on the contract is highly respected.  (I might be wrong, so do not hesitate to correct me).

One of the fiance asked me: “Do you think a priest might allow me to read my vow written in English?”  I replied:”If you locate a priest willing to allow you to state your own version of why you want to marry then, I will help you edit your vow and teach the priest to read it”.

It is always feasible to finding accommodating priests with a lavish bribe.

As far as I know, the only acceptable version in Catholic churches is that “What has been linked in the sky no man can cancel it”

My niece Joanna is one of the prospective candidate to be wed by the end of August.  She was invited to the church for the wedding of one of her closest friend.

I sensed that she might need support and I accompanied her.  She was all eyes and all ears to the procedure and was awed to what the priest preached and what the couple read together in Arabic; she could have a second thought if she took seriously what religion demands of its hapless souls.

By the way, the elder brother of the potential bride take seriously being a “unchurch” attendant. You might think he is a Jehovah Witness but he thinks he is smarter than these archaic believers of the written archaic Books.

I still cannot fathom the unidirectional attitude of young people as they learn to read and taking strong positions.

I think taking strong positions is a matter of immature ignorance.

Anyway, emigrants coming from the northern cold front of “developed” States in Europe land in Lebanon with haggard pale faces and much weight loss:  I think too much biking to juggle several jobs under cold rains is one of the factors for their nervous wreckage.

Within a week, the pale-faced creatures acquire colors and recover their normal weight in addition to a few extra pounds.

I was invited to an open air restaurant called Gilgamesh to meet the brothers of my niece’s fiance and each of the large platters could easily feed four people of the cold front guests.

I saw a reportage on our local TV of a German family visiting Lebanon; they were apprehensive before they arrive to Lebanon.

Now the kids don’t want to return to Germany:  They are having too much fun and seeing the sea everyday and discovering the high mountains everyday and eating abundant assorted food.

Obviously, they are seeing the hidden ugly realities of Lebanon and what kinds of monstrous crap the Lebanese have to swallow and endure in order to survive the decisions and activities of pseudo governments.

I am not going to be the bad mouthed citizen jeopardizing this touristic season.  Anyway, the fasting season of 40 days for the Muslims is on and prices of all kinds of sugar, rice, fruits, and vegetables will easily double.

Most non-Lebanese touring Lebanon in August are from the Arabic Peninsula States. Temperature there range from 50 to 60 degrees Celsius; people are prohibited leaving their homes from 11 am to 3 pm.  Temperatures in Lebanon are 15 degrees less, but high enough for Northern Europeans to die like flies.

In the external front, this arrogant and racist State of Israel has tried to start problems with Lebanon last week.

The Israeli army invaded our borders in the village of Adeissy in order to remove a tree that obstructed vision  of its surveillance cameras.  The UN waving of flags was of no use.

The Lebanese army sent warning shots but the Israeli bombed the army positions and killed two soldiers and one daily reporter and injured several civilians.

One of the injured Lebanese soldier shot down an Israeli officer and another enemy soldier.  The next day, Israel learned to coordinate with the UN forces to remove a lousy tree that made several victims but confirmed the steadfastness of the Lebanese army to denying arrogant Israel any further humiliation of the Lebanese.

Hezbollah was ready to support the army if confrontation escalated and that is why Israel relented in its stupid activities.

The next day of that engagement, Canada ordered its citizens to scrap visiting Lebanon from their plans.  Three Canadian young relatives visiting us laughed out their government scare tactics saying that Canada usually wants to save money repatriating its citizens.

Young Joseph is a funny guy; he recounted that he was among his Lebanese relatives and they were speaking in Arabic; so Joseph dozed off until he heard his name followed by a hilarious loud laughing.  Joseph asked them: “Am I the one concerned?”  They laughed some more and reassured him “Well, it is nothing”

Joseph says that he managed to capture a third of a conversation. How? Joseph clarified “Lebanese use words from Arabic, French, and English in the same sentence.”  So, Joseph assume that he is understanding something.  

Joseph’s father Nassif (a Lebanese) did not make the effort to teach him and his two sisters Arabic or encouraged them to  speak Arabic in his presence.  If Joseph’s father were Jew, Joseph would have learned archaic Hebrew; the most archaic language still in existence.

Actually, married Lebanese are settled or settling abroad.  No young Lebanese can afford to rent or buy a wretched small apartment in Beirut and the district of Metn.  Real Estates prices jumped 600% in the last two years.

Note:  At the peak of the tourism season, the government is reminded to do extensive road works and spreading asphalt.  Traffic congestion is thus at its peak.




March 2023

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