Resurrecting the Rational and Reasonable [opinion]

EASTER, especially as it is a long break, is always a good time for reflection on the future.

After all, whatever one’s religious and political views and level of belief in Bible stories, which, as a Christian nation, are widely known through various societal and family groupings, despite the removal of religious education from our schools.

This, in my view and despite being agnostic, is a major failure in our changed education policy as most of the stories give good value to the understanding of human situations. While the historical value of both the Old and New Testaments plus other related documents may be challenged, the values and principles espoused provide good inputs to social behaviour and a basis for social and political discussions and creation of personal beliefs, especially within family and social groups. Other religions, prevalent in other countries, no doubt, provide similar guidance as does the infinite world of literature!

JC and others’ tales project ideals and a vision of what is good and what is bad. David and Goliath where the weak conquers the g through innovation and courage, or the social outcast Lazarus being raised, Moses having problems with his sons and the supposed treachery of Judas are all capable of modern day interpretations to form a basis of social dialogue and the implanting of principles into our young. However, I always feel JC’s overturning of the money changer’s tables in the Temple as his initial act hit home the hardest.

Here he struck at the basic powers of the economic manipulators and their buddies, the Pharisees, by disrupting the manipulative powers of money. Surely a relevant tale in todays world! As a slight diversion, it is interesting to note the dictionary definition of pharisee is “a self righteous person or a hypocrite”! A look at our plethora of religious bodies lead by those often of doubtful intent, often with power, social and economic greed in their hearts, parallels are self evident, are they not?

Back to the Roman colony of the land of the Jews 2000 years ago. The political, social and economic set up was quite identifiable with today’s environment, including Namibia.

Top dog Herod was the Roman colonial leader with devastating powers of control and a huge army. The Pharisees were the willing subordinates to Herod, despite saying the were representatives of the people, a not unusual lie perpetrated by those who in reality did all the dirty work and collected tax in return for privilege, access to nice contracts and lots of money. What we would call now a democratic type of government as their power, they said, came from the people! Then there were the peasants, the philistines, the poor and disempowered who worked their butts off to survive, paid extortionate taxes and were subject to penalistic and violent laws.

So here we have the world power, the Romans, cuddling up with their subservient conspirators, the Pharisees, to rip off the Philistines as a part of their (the Romans) mania for power over the world. And then comes along JC and kicks over the banking system, which despite all their (Pharisees) budgetary speeches, had no intention to benefit and aance the poor as competition was a bad thing! They might lose their rights to cheap land, protection from the VIP police and overseas trips to Rome?

It is up to the reader to decide on the validity of this to today’s world but … It also has to be remembered that when given the choice, the people, presumably bussed in for the event, favoured Barrabus over JC, when push came to shove. Thus the reformer ended up being crucified, and thus Easter, tales of resurrection and a slow continuation of social reform over the next 2000 years!

But despite my lack of religious belief I do see the brave beginning to emerge. I see an intent to have a “private school” in the south to emulate the well known success of St. Boniface school in the Kavango. I personally hope that this school goes ahead as what our nation needs is a few “classy” thinkers from all groups and income levels to change our current direction that produces vast numbers of “qualified” students unable to perform beyond plagiarism, compliance and regurgitated political rhetoric.

We need students who can challenge the current, less than satisfactory status quo, through discussion and creative action, not just demanding another time wasting report by intellectual polecats! We need to grow through action, some failures and cutting through the political logjams. (Thanks Governor Swartbooi)

We need to get away from trying to solve problems by passing a law, creating a controlling body and then sitting back. Such does not work. We only have to look at the great actions of our police to know that “getting off our butts” and out onto the roads, has reduced road deaths dramatically. Good management for once and it works!

But then we come to the recent article on sport, our thinking seems to get confused as one one hand Swaartbooi has promoted “private” and then in this article promotes central control! Is not the real problem demonstrated frequently by those overweight sports administrators on the TV just wanting more money as sport is regarded by them as a financial exercise and for national PR.

Surely sport must be returned to the school curriculum, like religion, where they are outlets for mental and physical energy?

The resurrection Namibia needs is to escape from the Roman, Pharisee and Philistine divisions that increasingly dominates our society. We need a JC to kick over the money tables, and soon. The ideas are there. And put the new school in the old buildings at Aus, which can be progressively revived as the school grows!

Let he who cast the first stone …?

Source : The Namibian