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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chp 120. SRS - Simulating “Reverend” Spiderman?

Yesterday we went and saw Spiderman-3. T’was a lot of fun. But being a comic freak, one can’t help grumbling a bit about the deviation from the “Ultimate Spiderman” series (the movie was based more on the original version of 1960’s) – According to my huge collection of Marvel and DC comics, Venom was created in a lab by Peter Parker’s dad, Gwen Stacy was more of a street-smart rebel, Sandman was never involved in the murder of Ben Parker etc etc. But hey, I will survive.

With great power come great responsibilities.

Immortal words by Ben Parker. Clichéd and hackneyed, but at the same time deep and insightful. I think there is a great lesson to be learnt from Spiderman. SRS, take note.

Nobody appreciates people who abuse their power, especially if that power is an outcome of a self-proclaimed autocratic societal diktat. Vigilantism, as mentioned in my previous post, is a result of the failure or incompetency of the law and order system. However, there is a big difference between the SRS and the likes of Spiderman, Superman, Batman etc. The method of operation (or should I say execution) of some of the SRS members is more similar to the likes of vigilantes like The Punisher, or when Spiderman wears the Venom suit, or when Superman puts on that red Kryptonite ring…

I appreciate all that the SRS has done for Mizoram when it comes to destroying Proxyvon tablets and other illicit intoxicants. Seriously, that is a truly noble deed.

But… the proverbial but…

That does not mean one can take the law into their hands and play God. Especially when we proudly claim Mizoram to be a Christian State (unconstitutional as that may sound). How Christian is it, when we have blood in our hands, or when the people elected to lead turn a blind eye to such actions?

Leading an unchristian life is unfortunate. But leading an unchristian life because of misinterpreting the teachings of the Bible is tragic. The latter is filled with zealous fervor, fanatically believing that he is fulfilling God’s wishes when in fact all he’s doing is hurting Him.

Rev. Mel White, cofounder of Soulforce, stated: “Historically, people's misinterpretation of the Bible has left a trail of suffering, bloodshed, and death”.

John MacArthur in his article entitled “Interpretation” at Bible Bulletin Board stated:
But it is also true that in many cases there are believers who for a number of reasons misinterpret Scripture. They come to Scripture with their presuppositions and force the Bible to conform to those presuppositions. They come to the Scripture with their predigested theology and their understanding of doctrine perhaps from the past and they want to force the Word of God into that. Or perhaps they are enamored by some prominent teacher or prominent writer and they sort of line up with that individual and they want to affirm what he says or what that group says without regard for a careful understanding of Scripture.
Christian societies have never been a stranger to Bible misinterpretations. Just like how some section of our Mizo society justify their action by claiming it to be the Lord’s commandment, other Christian societies have indeed committed such a faux-pas:

Justification of the notorious Witch hunt in Europe and early American colonies where women were burnt alive at random under false heresy accusations, justification of anti-miscegenation where white supremacists (KKK etc) claim that it is the Lord’s intention to separate different races and prevent them from inter-breeding, justification of “The curse of Ham” that encourages African slavery in America etc.

So the question is, if such a behavior in Mizoram is unchristian, then what kind of a Christian leadership should one expect? The answer, quoting from GotQuestions is:
There is Noah with his perseverance. Or Abraham with his great faith. We could look to Joseph’s unmatched integrity or to Daniel, a man of lofty moral character. Queen Esther showed tremendous courage in a hostile environment while the humble maidservant Ruth is a portrait of quiet dignity and inner strength. And no study in biblical leadership could ignore King David—a man whose passion for God is unparalleled in the pages of Old Testament writings. Moving into the New Testament, we have Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is a model of unequaled virtue. Too, there is Peter with his extra helpings of devotion and enthusiasm. And then we have the Apostle Paul, a man who considered suffering for the sake of the Gospel a reason for great personal joy.
And then of course there is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the ideal balance of sacrificial love and unbridled strength, who commands us to be non-violent and remind us that “those who live by the sword will die by the sword”.

It is quite obvious none of the role models of past Christian leaders mentioned above are the ones who go around beating up people fatally in order to cleanse the Christian society. Forming an association to prevent the entry of drugs and alcohol into Mizoram is indeed a good Christian gesture. I truly applaud the SRS for such a valiant effort. *Clap clap clap* But is violence really necessary????

Seriously, if one thinks that violence is essential in order to prevent the perpetuator from committing that crime again, then that person is dwelling in a delusional World. Because if the person’s sole source of income depends purely on drugs trafficking or illicit breweries, trust me, he will keep on committing the crime over and over again until he is caught once more. The only solution to that is imprisonment. That is what Jails are for.

And if there is something wrong with the Jails or people officially assigned to keep such people in prison, then there is something seriously wrong with the Leaders elected by the people. Is it nothing but pure hypocrisy if such a Leader elected by the people stand in front of the Church preaching the good word of the Lord and yet ignoring his duties here on Earth? How can such a Leader even consider himself to be a man of God when he knows very well that the neglect of his responsibility is having such a serious consequence among the masses? How divine is that?

As a Christian majority State, the quality of our Leaders must be devotional. But as long as we claim to be Christians and yet end up ignoring our duties or misinterpreting the passages from the Bible in order to justify our own personal whims, I might as well stick to comparing such leadership in Mizoram to comic characters as mentioned in the beginning. After all, both are fictional.


Sekibuhchhuak said...

great post..! tunlai SRS chet dan hi chuan Nunna petu Lal lung an tih awi hi ka ring thei mawlh lo..

Aizawl ka hawn lai khan,SRS member pakhat,ka thian ni bawk,nen kan inkawm a,kan ti ti luam a,an hmalak dan te min hrilh a,thil tam tak a sawi chu chu ka pompui thei lova,abikin ruih hlo zuar/a ti te an hrem dan leh an beih dan chu,a brutal ka tih em a vangin...

...chuan ti hian Pathianthu te chu a la qoute a,an thiltih nunrawng lutuk thup tum nan.."..sual do vin thisen chhuak khawpin in la trang lova.." tih Bible a mi chu ala vawng a, a sawi tum tak hre silovin.

kei chuan,A ''sual''do tute [Ringtute] zawk kha thisen hial te poh chhuak a,thih a ngaih hunah poh thih huam zawk tur in nih lai in,nangni[SRS] ho erawh chuan,in do a te thisen in chhuah zawk a..chu chu Baibul zirtirna ni lo re re ka ti a.Mi chhan ngaihna vak a hre lova..

Chuvang chuan nagpawh hetiang a SRS hi an kal zel dawn anih chuan,bang rawh..Pathian lawm zawng anih ka ring miah lo in "sual" do dan hi ka ti a..A tawp ah phei chuan a lu chungah kut nghatin ka tawnwgtai sak ta nghe nghe a.A thlarau nun lam kan en khan Pathian a trang in a hla ta riau in ka hre tlat a ni.

Mi sawisak hrep hnua tui tak a Pathian pawl a tawngtai chu a har dawn hian ka hre khawp a..!

Puia said...

A ril leh raih raih pek ma nge. Keini ang chuan zir pah leh fe loh chuan hriatthiam mai pawh a har thin. Good Job..:)

Jason said...

IMO, Christianity is not forced. We cant force the Christian tonic down people's throats. Whitewashed tombs is the term Jesus uses. Christianity happens on the inside, and what we do/think/speak has its roots on what is inside. You make a connection with God and you know that God is real and the truth. This thing will never be understood. It is very hard to understand. But i am willing to bet my life on the fact that God is more real than you are and i am. Going to church does not make me a Christian, my relationship with God does. I cant make an individual a Christian, i can only tell him/heru about Christ, but the ultimate choice is his or hers. God allows us choice and free will.

There are two ways of dealing with a problem for Christians - (1) God's way - the Biblical way - Its also the way that makes no sense to the human mind (2) Our way. The way we want it. Human wisdom is supreme way.

Which way we turn to solve the problem will show the world what we are on the inside...

Mizohican said...

@ Jason: You said it brother. I was just trying to bring out the point where, due to fanaticism, some people actual resort to forcing the word of God down "somebody's throat as you aptly put it. And what is worse is, such people actually think they are fulfilling God's will when they do that. Fanatical Christianity will only sign the death warrant of our faith.

@ zorun: Thanx zorun. Heihi i publish duh em i site ah? A html code nen ka rawn mail dawn che em ni?

@ seki: Sawi dik khawp mai. A har viau ang ka ring. Mi sawisak zawh chiah a Pathian biak a har mai pawh a ni lo, in hnial ringawt te pawh hian, Pathian lama in pekna neih hi chu a har a sin. Zan Inkhawm hma chiah a ka chhungte nen lo inhnial ta i la, BiakInah chuan hla sak pawh ka sa tha thei mang hlei nem. Mahse lungawi taka Inkhawm hi chuan hla sak lai hian ka lam ve ziah. Amak khawp mai Inkhawm hma chiah a kan thil tih in min lo affect ve hi. SRS tan i lo tawngtai zel ang u, an thil tih a dikloh zia te pawh an lo hriat chhuah ve theih nan. A bik takin, kan ram politicians tan tawngtai nasa leh zual ang u. Ram an siam that chuan, SRS ho awm pawh a tul tawh lovanga, tiangang thil rapthlak te pawh a thleng tawh lovang.

Clio said...

I really agreed with what you have said....i think this SRS people going too far and they crossing their boundary.
Let the law judge what is wrong and illegal. Mi that chu sawi loh mi man theih na dawp theih na pawh nei uk lo hi tinge an pawng chet leh vak thin aw... ka ti a ni. Dan kengkawhtu te an pui a nih pawhin ruihhlo zuar an lo man te poh thuneitu/roreltute kutah hlan mai hi kan lungawi tlanna tur a ni a sin male

Dear Mr.Sandman i have added a link to your blog in my blog...hope you don't mind

Anonymous said...

Hey Ill,
Havent watched Spiderman-3 but there seems to be a gnawing undercurrent of how one deals with difference. As always, your astute insights cannot but push for broader speculative space and i thought i'd indulge so. Scripturalised difference like the 'Hamic myth' is a good instance of how power and privilege have been manipulated in the past and yet the problem of difference persists. To speak of 'misinterpretations' implies an interpretation that isnt so- but then again, i dont think we can ever have an innocent interpretation and all that we can do is be talking with difference and minimise our own effortless manipulations.

Just a clarification: did the SRS claim divine justification for the incident or were you speaking in broader terms? I thought the SRS/YMA were the non-parochial face of Mizo social configuration and if the divine claim was indeed made, it goes to show our referential embeddedness in religious attitudes and practices. Implicitly, interpretation doesnt float about nebulously but has its societal location and grounded in concrete events. Then again, 'scripture' isnt an innocent field either so that even though GOtQuestions dishes out an ingenious platter of 'to-do-s', I like Noah's perseverance but cannot dissociate that from the fact that he slept naked in a drunken stupor and then cursed his son Ham for covering him...and the curse continues! Innocence has to be negotiated and the Bible does help us make sense of the world a little more than without it. Yet, I'd tread carefully to interpret it.

I think that we should drop our epithet as a 'Christian State' cause we seem to be doing a pretty bad job at it but then again, at the same time, to retain it also provides us a referential bar, not a stick to lam the 'different' or the 'deviant' so that under that bar, we are open to talk to and talk with difference. As an afterthought, its rather poignant that when you shuffle the acronym SRS, you get RSS!!!!!!!

Puia said...

@sandman: a awm tawhin ka hria. Thanks.

Calliopia said...

There's a thin red line between zeal for a cause and overzealousness and the SRS have consistently overstepped the mark. I'm not going into all the Christian aspects because I don't think I'm qualified to do so. But you know Shags, I wonder if all this violence doesn't come from an innate instinct in men...that brutal, savage instinct, that Mr Hyde inside of us all?

Btw who's this other kim friend of yours? He writes like an effing dictionary :P

Mizohican said...

@ street cred: Thanx for the link. I've added you too on my Mizo bloggers list.

@ zorun: A awm kha chu a hmasa zawk a lawm. He article hi chu a thar.

Mizohican said...

@ J (callippia) and kima-the-other:

Just a clarification: did the SRS claim divine justification for the incident or were you speaking in broader terms?

I wonder if all this violence doesn't come from an innate instinct in men...that brutal, savage instinct

Possible. But we should look at what drives that innate instinct? What activates it? IMHO I think its the strong "hnam feeling" that is present in every culture. It would be no different from the RSS disrupting V'day parties to moral polices threatening couples holding hands in the park to go home. They do it in the name of culture because they believed they are the ones responsible for the "preservation" of their culture.

However, in my small experience with the SRS, what I can't digest is the fact that some of them actually believe it is a Christian calling to do such a "deed". That's what pains me the most.

For example, taking Proverbs 29:15-16

The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. When the wicked increase, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall.

It is very easy for somebody to misinterpret the above passage that violence is necessary to discipline a person. At the same time, I don't mean to say we should not be tough on them. What is important here is to know the limit. Beating somebody to death clearly shows that there has been an excessive force during the course of such "disciplinary action".

[Ephesians 6:4]

And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.

Would the good Lord approve of us beating somebody to death in the name of disciplining him? I think not. Fanaticism fueled by religious zeal is far more dangerous than mere fanaticism fueled by cultural issues. The latter deals with ethnocentrism, a deep sense of belonging and ownership, feelings that are materialistic as in, belonging to this World. But religious zealotry deals with both the material World and the belief that there is a place for them in the after-life (spiritual World). Hence when they strongly believe in that, nothing can stop them.

Of course Kima, I don't mean to say that the SRS justifies their action by quoting the Bible (at least not officially), but I have indeed met members who, during the course of a conversation, one can easily comprehend that the person believes in strong disciplinary action as "written" down so in the Holy Bible.

Anonymous said...

I'd reckon cultural fanaticism as rabid as it's religious avatar cause any such type invariably employs utopias (romanticized pasts, spiritualized futures, essentialized presents) that others must confirm to...nothing wrong in themselves as they help sustain in an overwhelming world. However, they seem to reveal an insecurity over dealing with difference and those who resist the projected utopias...and hence the need to be in conversation with the 'others', the 'deviant'! Silence or to silence isnt helpful. It was disappointing that the proposed black armband march got called off. Even with the solicituous 'apology' issued by the CYMA, the march should have been allowed, not to reject the apology but to register public opinion that that is not how issues are to be addressed and 'tackled'! Gagging the public opinion doesnt bode well if Mizoram is to move on. Calliopia, do humor the woodenness...guild-specific limitations are hard to over-write!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, in third line of the comment above, it should be 'conform'...doesnt really make sense with 'confirm'.

Puia said...

eee, kima, tehreng mai, min han thawh ta che. Or ka lo copy and paste mai ang. I rem tih leh. Ka lo hriatpawlh a ni a hmasa a mi nen khan.

sowmya said...

I know it has nothing to do with this post - BUT why do all men fantasize about being spider man when they were kids??

Esmond said...

It won't truly have success, I believe this way. | |