in one of kurt vonnegut's novels, the hero, malachi constant, wallowing through a river viscous with industrial effluent, reached the conclusion that if god allowed nature to be so violated, he could not be caring less about his creation. "i am not a(n environmental) conservationist any more," constant said, "because god himself is not".
i watched in the news last evening thousands of people gather to pray for rain. that collective defiance of reason and common sense was further aggravated because the prayer was official! the istanbul mufti's bureau (probably corresponds to a bishopry) decided that since thousands of citizens desired so, the prayers could be held under official sanction.
there was more to the farce! the national directorate of religious affairs approved and endorsed the mufti's decision. so within 10 days of tayyib effendi & co.'s electoral victory, approaching the second decade of the 21st century, the secular muslim turkish state became complicit in a metaphysical travesty of science and rationality.
three centuries after descartes, in modern turkey hoping to become integrated with cartesian europe, a solution to draught which is the direct outcome of utter human stupidity and lack of mathematical reasoning, was sought in supplication to divine providence.
turkey never was water-rich and the quality of its water reserves was only mediocre. it had to preserve, protect and improve its water as a matter of politics if it were to be admitted to the eu. i harp on the "political" with intent, because unless it has a political repercussion, nothing in the third-and-a-half world is of import. don't believe me? listen to the ruckus over the draught - you'd think it was the eve of the second world war, everyone blaming the other for negligence. let's make it clear that the current deterioration in our entire environment is a national success story. what else can be said in a society where parties do not even bother to pay lip service to environment where 85 percent of the populace smokes a pack of cigarettes per day? it needs far deeper a vision to care about resource economy!
turkey's most popular-ever-politician suleyman demirel first boasted, then apologized for having desiccated 95 percent of the country's wetlands. the state water works, malaria control center, the road, water and electricitiy authority etc., all contributed to the disappearance of myriad streams, both above and under the ground.
lakes were dried to turn into construction sites or agrarian areas. cities polluted any body of water, stagnant or in flux, with their excrement and effluent. the seas got their share of the filth, and until people could not find the water to brush their teeth with, their worth as fresh water sources was totally ignored.
we burnt away our forests. more than the forests we lost to fires, we donated to our enterpreneurial classes and their foreign partners so they could build hotels, other touristic installations, recently, water guzzling golf courses, car factories - even universities!..
every marshland or swamp was dried by planting eucalyptus trees that are as thirsty as sponges.
we washed our precious cars till their paint came off, we watered the streets so that cars and other vehicles could slide dangerously in the resultant mud, we lost water through bad plumbing etc., etc., etc.!
so much irresponsibility, so ubiqutious idiocy and now what do you expect but such official irrationality?
i noticed that some of the muslims praying for rain were replicating drops falling, shaking their fingers downward, as if in palsy. that is a pagan ritual. psychologically, such acts represent an archetype that indicates the individual's urge to achieve his/her object of desire through identification with it. but religiously, it is anti-islamic, anti-monotheistic, it is blasphemy!
thus, in effect, the "modernist", secular muslim turkish state is officially sanctioning and assigning its mufti and clergy to conduct blasphemous pagan rituals which it finances out of its budget!
draught, by proxy of famine is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. had he lived to see these days, would apostle st. john the theologian have added preposterousness? (*)
(*) preposterous in latin corresponds roughly to "ass over head"
note: i am not (particularly) against religion or prayer, even pagan versions. my objection here is to the state, accepted as the epitome of rationality in the hegelian to weberian tradition, funding and sponsoring a religious ritual held for obviously unscientific, irrational and futile ends.
then, i too, can demand at least that the state pay for (good red) wine that we propose to consume in a drinking orgy to anger teetotaling pagan gods who will send down their wrath in the form of rain . we may also please the dionyssiac deities, who may deign to rain water on us as a blessing. who can say this proposal is more or less viable or effective than praying for rain?