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A prayer for our times - delta_november

Dec. 19th, 2005

10:44 am - A prayer for our times

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Does anyone have a copy of Banks' _Crow Road_ handy? I'm looking for the prayer said by, I believe, the protagonist's uncle. The one calling for special damnation for all of the torturers around the world.


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Date:December 19th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
handy? er. it might be at home. but i'm not. :P

if it can wait till later tonight, i might be able to dig it up....
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Date:December 19th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
Sure, no hurry.
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Date:December 20th, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
is this what you were looking for? (bottom of p. 174 in the Abacus paperback edition):

"Dear God, we beseech ye, visit the reactive wrath of their own foulness upon those nasty wee buggers in the Khmer Rouge in general, and upon their torturers, and their leader Pol Pot, in particular; may each iota of pain they have inflicted on the people of their country - heathen or not - rebound upon their central nervous sytem with all the agony they originally inflicted upon their victims. Also, Lord God, we ask that you remember the dark deeds of any communistic so-called interrogators, in this time of great upheaval in eastern Europe; we know that you will not forget their crimes when their day of reckoning comes, and their guttural, Slavic voices cry out to ye for mercy, and ye reward them with all the compassion they ever showed to those unfortunate souls delivered unto them. Prentice?"
*expository bits snipped*
"Ah," I said. "Dear God, we pray that as well as suffering whatever part of the general physical unpleasantness involved in the Iran-Iraq war you may judge to be rightly his, you can find a spare area in his suffering, er, anti-create, for Mr R. Khomeini, late of Tehran and Qom, to experience at least some of the, umm, despair and continual worry currently being undergone by the novelist Mr S Rushdie, of Bombay and London, heathen and smart-alec though he may well be. Amen."
*more snippage*
Uncle Hamish has developed a fascinating heresy based on the idea that exactly what you did to other people while you were alive gets done right back to you once you're dead. Torturers die - in agony - hundreds, maybe thousands of times, before their ravaged souls are finally dropped from the jaws of a fearsome and vengeful God. Those who authorise the dreadful deeds carried out by the torturers (or whoever) also share whatever proportion of this retrospective agony the deity - or his angelic cost-benefit-calculating representatives - deem they deserve. Having quizzed The Tree on the details of this scheme, it would appear that said burden of transferred pain is debited from the account of the guy at - or rather wielding - the sharp end of the original action, which seems only fair, i suppose.
Apparently, Uncle Hamish is awaiting divine inspiration on the knotty problem of whether the good things one has accomplished in one's life are also re-lived from the other side (as it were), or simply subtracted from the nasty stuff. At the moment he seems to be veering towards the idea that if you did more good than bad during your life you go straight to Heaven, an arrangement which at least processes the merit of simplcity; the rest sounds like something dreamt up by a vindictive bureaucrat on acid while closely inspecting something Hieronymus Bosch painted on one of his bleak but imaginative days.
Still, it has its attractions.
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