Tag Archives: purgatory

Two Pilgrimage Bus Crashes This Weekend. 41 Dead. What Gives? This Stuff Really Confounds Me.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Click to access CNN video and article.

Click to access CNN video and article.


Click to access CNN video and article.

Click to access CNN video and article.


One of my favorite movies, albeit from 1980 — partly because this guy reminds me of me. though he is better looking. Click to access IMDB.com data for this brilliant movie.


Of course this is not the first time this has happened. I know that I have heard, just in the last year, of other fatalities involving those returning from pilgrimages — and to be fair, it is religion agnostic.

But, it always confounds me. Yes, yes, I know folks are going to tell me the usual mantra: God does not micro-manage and Free Will. Lets get ‘Free Will’ out of the way. Other than the Free Will of the drivers involved, I don’t think that the passengers had any Will in these disasters. The micro-management part, however, always intrigue me. I assume, though I do not know for sure, that these folks that go on pilgrimages pray when they are at the pilgrimage site. But, what are they praying for?

Though I grew up in a culture, and, moreover, in a household, obsessed with prayer and the ‘taking of vows’ (the next logical step: i.e., ‘I will give you this if you give me that‘), I quickly saw the shortcomings of this philosophy when I was around 18. That is when I stopped being a Buddhist — the religion that I grew up in. So, I basically became areligious — though I am fascinated by religion, those that believe in religion and the protocols of religion. That is why I am (still) an active papal historian, have written 7 books about popes and plan to write another starting in the next month.

Given that I do know the nuts-and-bolts of certain religions, e.g., Christianity and Buddhism, better than most that practice them, some beliefs that some have distress me. I am happy IF those beliefs provide the living with succor and relief. But, given that I am very au fait with purgatory, I cringe when I hear people talking about the recently deceased being with God. That is not what the ‘church’ (with a capital ‘C’ or otherwise) teaches. Lets not forget that just 2 weeks ago ‘the Church’ said that you can reduce the amount of time you spent in purgatory if you followed the Pope’s tweets from Brazil! Lucky for me, I don’t have to worry about such stuff.

This stuff does bother me, because I do think. I do analyze. I do try to rationalize. To me things have to make sense — which is why I love the movie above. That movie makes sense.

Anyway. Not trying to upset anyone. Just what goes through my mind. Think about it. Thinking is good. Thinking, as far as I am concerned, is the second greatest physical pleasure in life — next to sex, of course (while thinking during sex is divine).