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Posted by on Nov 18, 2012 in Atheism | 2 comments

Keeping da lama out of South Africa

While I was hoping to be able to post a review of Chris Stedman’s Faitheist today, my 1000-ish words of notes towards that have mysteriously – and most frustratingly – not magically transformed themselves into complete and coherent sentences. I’ll try to have that up by late next week, but in the meanwhile, I agree with much of what Steve Zara had to say about the book.

But speaking of coherent and complete sentences, here are some amusing examples of the opposite of that, from a South African news site that is famous for the “quality” of the trolls it attracts:

you have my support, not jus as an christian but as a believer and a God Fearing person. If govt can keep da lama out so can they keep satanis out.

Allow me to translate. In 2011, the South African government delayed granting the Dalai Lama a visa when he hoped to come to South Africa as a guest at archbishop Desmond Tutu’s birthday party. The delay was widely interpreted as intentional, as it’s believed that the government did not want to anger China, our trading partners.

According to the commenter quoted above, if the government can succeed in keeping the Lama at bay, surely they are able to also combat the Satanist Lady Gaga, who is scheduled to tour here sometime next year. Now, I’m sure you have news sites that attract crazy commenters in your part of the world too. But in cases like these, which happen with alarming frequency in my country, the crazy commenter is simply repeating (albeit with some grammatical degradation) the words of a Christian minister, who said that his group is:

afraid of the extent of Satanism in South Africa at this time, and that Gaga’s visit could lead to an exponential growth of Satanism. He also claimed that if the government could stop the Dalai Lama from coming to South Africa, then they can stop Lady Gaga as well.

An “exponential growth” of Satanism? Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but Gaga has been doing a fair amount of touring for a number of years now, and unless we’ve got reason to think South Africa particularly susceptible to Satanism, it doesn’t seem to have correlated with the exponential growth of anything besides “little monsters”, the term I believe she refers to her fans by.

And as South African blogger 6000 points out, “one wonders if anyone has told them about YouTube, DVDs or the many other ways that people can listen to Gaga’s gaga message whether or not she actually comes to South Africa”. Furthermore, one would think this should be a lesson to the Christians – surely they could simply “bring over some popular Christian singer, leading to an exponential growth of Christianity”? Or is it only Satan who can harness the power of music?