Let us call him Jonah, because Jonah is a name that is fun to type. Jonah is a man living in rural Uganda.
He lives in Ggaba, that is to say.
Don’t be mad, Munyonyo, Muyenga and Ggaba residents. All of Uganda is rural. You are all villagers, you just don’t know it.
Okay, okay. I know. Only showing the poverty and never showing the other side of Africa. Kale. This is where Jonah lives:
Anyway, back to the topic. Jonah has a son. Who is called Jonah Junior, because a name like Jonah is good enough to be used twice.
I shall change tenses now, if you don’t mind. Thank you for your gracious permission.
Jonah Junior was undergoing a Ugandan education, the poor fellow. But you know what they say: The only thing worse than an education is no education.
He met his father at home after school on the day after all the people on the radio and in the letters pages had not only won the fight to keep Christian religious education on the school syllabus, but had engineered the syllabus to include all denominations, as a compromise to appease those who argued that religion should not be taught because, well, Protestants didn’t want their kids learning about Mary.
“What did you learn in school today, progeny?” asked the elder Jonah.
The younger Jonah replied as such: “We learnt that the Catholic Church, under the infallible Pope, is the true church of Jesus Christ. We learnt about the exalted place of Holy Mother Mary, and how she intercedes between us sinners and her son, the Lord Jesus. Can I have some money to buy sabs and kabs from the man down the street?”
“Wash your filthy hands first,” said the father to his son.
The next day, the setting was the same, but the dialogue different.
“What did you learn in school today, my issue?”
The younger Jonah replied: “We studied Evangelical Christianity today, so we learnt that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon and that all her traditions are modified pagan rituals. Can I have some money for sabs and kabs?”
“I gave you a thousand shillings yesterday!”
“Yeah. I spent it. Duh.”
“You ate a thousand shillings worth of sabulenya and kabalagala. I won’t even punish you for saying’Duh’ to your father. What your stomach is going to do to you in a few hours will be punishment enough.”
Then Jonah broke the fourth wall, because it is something I have always wanted one of my fictional characters to do. He looked at the readers and said, “Guys, my son is going to have a running stomach. It takes a while for the oils to build up to potency after one has overeaten sabulenya and kabalagala, which are deep fried fish and banana snacks, but eventually they achieve critical mass and boom. But even if they didn’t, is it a good idea to teach all these different religions in the same classroom?
“I know, we like to say that Christianity is basically the same, (and sometimes apply the ideal to all religions) but the fact is, even though we may all believe in the same God, we don’t all believe the same things about Him. Only casual Christians think the differences between denominations are superficial and insignificant.The truly devout know that they are far from that — they are the difference between heaven and hell. Apostasy and heresy are grave sins. Look at this son of mine. Tomorrow he is going to learn about Jehovah’s Witnesses, who will dispute everything he has been told about Evangelical Christianity. Sigh.”
I think I am very clever, the way I snuck a speechy-preachy soapbox post through like that, making you guys think I was just writing about fried food. Heh heh.
Let me make ammends by presenting this photo of an attractive R&B singer wearing a bikini.
I told my very dear friend Tumwi (whose own post on the issue I haven’t read, for fear of being intimidated by how erudite and well-researched it is going to be) that I will blog about a Human Rights issue—specifically freedom of worship and how separation of church and state is vital for the protection of free worship, so let me yell the following words at you as you run away.
It is the nature of Governments to abuse power, so to be safe we must allow them as little power as possible. We certainly must not allow them to have religious power, because religious power is incontrovertible. If you disagree with your religious leader you are not a dissident, you are a heretic, and a sinner. You be there.
Also, a picture of Angela Angwenyi.
Sabulenya, for example, is deep-fried Nile Perch, coated in dough. It is delicious if eaten straight out of the pan. Vubi remembers how we used to swallow those things like mood-altering drugs back in the day.
When religion has political power, it expresses this by treating sins as crimes. It starts with small things, like making MPs swear on the bible, then it moves on to stuff like locking adulterers in jail. It goes on to give life sentences to homosexuals.
Next thing you know we are all eating sabs all of Friday. No burgers.
Have you ever heard of the Spanish Inquisition? Johan Junior will probably learn about it in Gaba PS soon.
That’s the weekend. Now, let’s go and read Tumwijuke.