Tag Archives: reformed

One God, Three Faiths & Free Will In Light Of Last Week’s Atrocities In The Middle East.

by Anura Guruge

Last week we had the nerve gas attack in Syria and the bombing of the Coptic Christian churches in Egypt.

Both had to do with religion. In the case of Syria, two different factions of Islam (Shiite and Sunni) while in Egypt it was the ongoing 1,400 year feud between Christians and Muslims.

But ALL the people involved in both these atrocities believe in and worship the SAME GOD.

To I that does NOT make sense and never has.

One God.

And then you have the issue as to why this One God permits such atrocities in HIS NAME.

That is where Christians, starting with the popes, always seek refuge in Free Will (and how God refuses to micromanage the actions of humans).

I have always believed that this Free Will argument was the ultimate in copouts.

Then yesterday, after a Facebook interaction with my favorite Catholic priest, Father Anthony Churchill, on this subject, I had a blinding epiphany. See below.

God MAJORLY interfered with Free Will when he, intentionally, inserted Jesus into the World.

Humans did NOT have a say in that.

That was all God’s work on his own prerogative.

At the time he decided that the World needed Jesus there was a perfectly GOOD RELIGION in the Middle East — what we now refer to as Judaism.

OK, the Free Will people will contend that it was humans, i.e., some (but not all) the Jews, that decided that they would not accept Jesus as the true Messiah. And if all had then we would not have this mess. Yes, I can see that argument.

But, God, is omnipotent. Knows everything and more. The ultimate clairvoyant. He know what the future holds.

So he MUST HAVE known that my introducing Jesus into the World he was going to create a SCHISM, a divide.

And to I that is where he violated Free Will.

IF he had NOT introduced Jesus into the fray we would NOT have this mess and all these killings in the name of God.

We would just have ONE GOD, ONE FAITH.

Just a thought.

As some of you know I am totally and utterly areligious and have been so for at least 40 years — though I like to confound people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, by telling them I am a reformed, born again, heathen.

The Facebook conversation that I had, IN PUBLIC, on Father Churchill’s timeline.

Anura: So, dear father … how do you rationalize this. Of course the pope will want us to pray … but I am not sure for what. I am so sick and tired of all these religion-based killings. And in this case IT IS ALL THE SAME God!

Fr. Churchill: The people who do this kind of atrocity have a very different image of God.
A God who would bless these actions would be a monster.

Anura: Father, it is ‘funny’ you should say that. Last night I watched the 2016 movie ‘Jackie’ about Jacqueline Kennedy during the first few days/weeks after the tragic assassination. She unlike her husband was not a great Catholic — though one has to wonder what JFK confessed during his confessions. This movie is said to be fairly accurate. Jackie has a couple of long conversations with an old Catholic father. In one she confesses that “JFK never spent an entire night with her during their marriage”. That is not relevant to this … She referring to the death of her two babies and then her husband does ask the priest about God.
Father, we have talked many times about God Free Will and not micro-managing. I will grant God that. But, PLEASE, PLEASE explain. Didn’t God REALIZE that he was creating 3 religions. That is NOT micro-management. He himself created the FIRST SCHISM — on purpose. IF God had made sure that there was ONLY one religion that worshipped him the World would have been a better place. AMEN.

Fr. Churchill: Anura. This is a busy week but a brief response. No one would suggest that “God invented three religions” all teaching something different. As Christians, we see God revealing Himself in the Old Testament leading to the ultimate revelation in Jesus. Jews do not accept Jesus in this sense, and so we are divided as Christians from those Pope John Paul described as our “older brothers and sisters.”
Muslims claim a further revelation to Mohammed. Both Christians and Jews reject that claim as false.

And into this dialogue, as IF to prove the point, one of Father Churchill’s followers interjected: “That’s Allah for you…..”

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by Anura Guruge

Advent 2015 Is Upon Us. Rejoice!

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail


by Anura Guruge

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Click to ENLARGE.

As a Reformed, Born-Again, Heathen I LOVE Christmas and always have. I love everything about Christmas — and I have even been known to go to church on Christmas eve because I love the music and pageantry.

My surrogate father [who I called ‘Ta’ (the first two letters of ‘Tatta’, the Sinhalese (and Yiddish) word for father), and after who I take after the most in terms of personality] was a mainly-white, Burgher Baptist. I used to spend all my weekends and holidays with them — he and his wife (my adoptive mother’s older sister). They had no children and he was a lawyer (the solicitor for the Ceylon Ministry of Food) and she the Deputy Principal of Ceylon’s largest and most prestigious school. I MADE OUT LIKE A BANDIT. I was to learn that Ta shopped right through the year to make sure he got enough presents for me at Christmas! Very early on WE dispensed with Christmas stockings. They were too small. He instituted the notion of Christmas PILLOWCASES — and soon we had to have two. He also did an elaborate Christmas dinner, with all the works, for the entire family — most of whom were Buddhists — on Christmas Day. So I was inculcated into the joys of Christmas since a baby.

Anywho …


Similar to what I had. Mine had more blue.

I am also very partial to Advent calendars — ever since I encountered them. For whatever reason we did not have them in Ceylon. To be honest I only encountered Advent calendars quite ‘late’ in my life. In my early 20s. Over the years I used to collect fancy Advent calendars. I used to have a really nice, royal blue and gold, 3D Cathedral one. You opened a portal each day. I think we have bits of it still. But since it was made of stiff paper it eventually started to fall apart.

Of late I don’t bother with a calendar for myself. More fun to let the kids enjoy. Yes, I get them — and Deanna — chocolate ones. I buy a LOT of them each year because I LOVE to give them to people. That reminds me. I will have to go to Hannaford and buy 20 – 25 today! Well, the kids end up getting two each. And one for Deanna. So that is 5 straight off the bat. And at Christmas I love to play the tanned St. Nicholas …

A couple of years ago I discovered the LEGO Advent Calendars. Now I get one each year for Teischan. See above.

Given my interest in religion (in particular early Christianity) I do appreciate that what WE mainly celebrate as Advent is the COMMERCIAL Advent as opposed to the Liturgical Advent. And ironically Advent isn’t a countdown to Christmas BUT to the Second Coming of Christ — and there is  BIG difference. Liturgically the Advent does not start on Dec. 1 (unless it happens to fall on a Sunday). Never mind. This year we are close.

Rejoice. Enjoy. Be Merry. The Advent is upon us. 

Weekly Calendar Based On Moon Phases (As We Did In Ceylon In The 1960s).

Lunar_eclipse_April_15_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr1.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail . .
by Anura Guruge

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Click to ENLARGE. Phases of the Moon for November 2015.

Did you notice that I have been on a 6-week vacation? Well, I have which is why you saw so many posts on this blog, and others, e.g., Papam & Lumix FZ1000, of late. Yes, I took 6 weeks off from writing any books. That is the longest break I have taken, as an author of books, in 7 years. I had got into the habit of starting a new book WHILE the previous one was being published or proofed. But I decided to take a break this time. Given the hard deadline that I had for the ‘Pope Francis Visit to U.S.‘ book — i.e., having it published before the pope arrived — I had been writing like a crazy person for 6 weeks. I realized that that wasn’t much fun.

Well the vacation is over. This week I am going to start writing again — and you will notice that I don’t consider this, i.e., all my blog posts, writing! Writing to me, these days, is that of writing books.

I am going to TRY writing two books, on two very different subjects, in parallel. One about ‘Vatican intrigues’ and the other, autobiographical, of ‘growing up a Buddhist’. So yes, I will be writing one book about Catholicism and the other about Buddhism. Makes sense right? Well the plan is 2 days on one, 2 days on the other and then 3 DAYS off to do other things, including the blogs and Websites.

My plan was to take Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. Then work Tuesday & Wednesday on the Buddhism book and Thursday & Friday on the Vatican book.

Then a friend, a reformed Jew, who I have known for decades, suggested that I should TAKE OFF Friday, Saturday and Sunday — so as to ‘cover all bases’!

That amused me. Friday, Saturday & Sunday have NO significance in Buddhism. The Buddhist calendar is based on the phases of the Moon.

In the 1960s we in Ceylon actually scrapped the Western calendar and went to a phases of the Moon based calendar. Since we call the full Moon Poya, this calendar was called the ‘Poya-calendar‘ 0r more commonly the ‘P-calendar‘ (and PLEASE no urination jokes). So the 4 days of the month corresponding to the 4 phases were ‘P-days’. The day prior to those were ‘P-1 Days’. So ‘P-Days’ were the equivalent of Sundays and ‘P-1’ was ‘Saturday’. P+1 = Monday. Yes?

Well NOT as simple as you would think. For the dates for the phases used in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) could be +/- 1 day OFF from those used in the rest of the World and MOREOVER, as you can see from the above image for November 25, the 4 phases do not happen exactly a week apart. So we also had to have P+6.

My adoptive father was one of the architects of this P-calendar. So I got to see it evolve, first hand. We used it in Ceylon for a number of years. I am actually going to write about it in my Buddhist book. So I am not going to talk much more about it.

So I was thinking. My 3 days off. Should I do: Saturday & Sunday (which will work well with the kids) and the the P-days? Might be neat. Will have the advantage that it will FORCE me to pay attention to the phases of the Moon.

Friday has NO meaning for me. So this could be neat. I will let you know.