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Kalaki Korner: Unconditional Love

Filed under: Latest News |

CartonBy Roy Clark

‘And here endeth the First Lesson,’ intoned Father McWhisky, as he lifted the Holy Book to kiss it, then lowered it reverentially onto the lecturn. It was Easter Monday at the Cathedral of St Ignominious, and Father McWhisky had sobered up for the occasion.

          He now looked benignly around at the large congregation, and gestured grandly to the high and mighty who were gathered on the front pew. ‘It is with great pride and pleasure that we welcome our Great Leader and some of his ministers, who have graciously found time to be with us this morning.’
          A murmur of approval went round the church, as the Great Leader bowed his head to show his humility in receiving such great appreciation, and as Father Whisky now continued by calling the congregation to partake of holy communion.
          ‘Who is this damn whisky priest?’ whispered the Minister of Injustice into the ear of the Great Leader. ‘Is he not one of those who signed the church petition against you? Is he not the one giving sermons about leaders who don’t keep their promises?’
The Ceremonial Vice-President, not wanting to be left out of any intrigue, leant over to the Great Leader and hissed ‘He is the very one who has been talking about the high price of mealie-meal, and claims that the poor are getting poorer.’ At which point the Minister for Illegal Detentions and Deportations leant over and said ‘Just deliver him to me and I’ll fix him!’
          ‘Let us go and take our holy communion,’ the wise Great Leader replied to his whispering friends. ‘This is a religious occasion and we must follow our religious observances and obligations. Let us keep religion and politics separate. We left our politics at the cathedral door, and we shall only resume politics when we get back outside. With these wise words, his scheming followers fell quiet, and followed their Great Leader to the alter rail to receive their holy communion.
          And when all the supplicants were back in their pews, Father Whisky led the congregation in a moving prayer for the health of their Great Leader, asking that he might bring the nation to further peace, unity and prosperity. ‘And now,’ said Father Whisky, ‘it is usually my duty to deliver a sermon at this stage in the service. But since we have our Great Leader in our midst, I have asked him to say a few words about the meaning of Easter.
          Slowly and majestically the Great Leader glided towards the lectern, rested his hands on each side of it, and fixing the congregation with his two beady eyes. ‘Christ died for us,’ he began. ‘He died because he loved us, and he loves us still. And it is written, in the Gospel According to Mark, Chapter 12 Verse 31, that Jesus commanded us to Love thy neighbour as thyself.
          ‘Even Father McWhisky here is my neighbour,’ continued the Great Leader, as he glared aggressively at the the congregation, ‘and I must love him as I love myself. Even though he has spoken against me, I must love him. Even though he has been claiming that I have been misusing my authority, I must love him. We must do away with quarrelling and division and instead live together in brotherly love. Some people come to whisper in my ear, saying that I must deal with this troublesome Whisky priest because he opposes me. But I say no. With love comes forgiveness and reconciliation. Only with love can we all work together for all humanity. So long as I am in charge, I want to see unconditional love, because this is a Christian country. May God bless you all!’
          Now the Great Leader stepped serenely down from the lectern, and began walking at a stately and solemn pace down the central aisle, as his scheming ministers scurried into line behind. ‘Our Great Leader has another engagement,’ announced Father Whisky. ‘Please all stand in honour of our Great Leader, in thanks for his inspiring Easter message, and in prayer that our Good Lord will bless us with many more years of his wise leadership.’
          Now, as the crooked back of the last crooked minister finally disappeared through the huge mukwa doors, Father Whisky stood with arms raised to Heaven, saying ‘Oh Father we thank you for such leadership, we thank you for this message, we thank you for this day, we thank you for the night, we thank you even for the flies and mosquitoes, we thank you for…’
          But he was interrupted in his potentially interminable prayer by the bursting open of the side door, through which crashed a cohort of policemen in riot gear with batons raised. Four of them grabbed Father Whisky and dragged him outside, while the inspector in charge ran to the pulpit and shouted ‘Father Whiskey is under arrest for holding a meeting without a police permit, for distributing alcohol without a liquor licence, and for falsely and corruptly claiming that he can arrange favours from God in return for money given to his church! In order to facilitate our security check, all party members should move to this side of the church, while opponents, insurgents, dissidents, critics and malcontents should move to the other side!’
          ‘My God!’ said one parishioner to another. ‘What happened to unconditional love?’
          ‘There was another sudden policy change,’ laughed his friend.
          ‘I thought the one party state was supposed to be dead!’ said somebody else.
          ‘Today,’ replied his friend drily, ‘is the day of the resurrection.’

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