Here I write up a nice review of Seminega’s book, ‘No Greater Love: How My Family Survived the Genocide in Rwanda,’ but I write it up as an apologist. He writes up his own book as a scholar. He has to. Otherwise his credibility is diminished among the academic community that is his audience and to which he genuinely belongs, even as he is also a Witness. It is more than a little crazy, but that’s the way it is. If you are a non-member of anything, you just may be up for writing accurate history. But if you are a member, it is assumed you are biased and your observations are downgraded, if not discarded. “If I really say it the radio won’t play it.” Ah, well—no use in bellyaching. It is what it is. Nobody wants to hear you grumbling about the rules of the game as you play.
“Brother Seminega prefers to let others say it, not he himself. That is how it is with scholars. He is content to include in an appendix: “Peace and conflict researcher Christian P. Scherrer states: ‘All the churches active in Rwanda, with the exception of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (of whom only a few survived), were involved at least ‘passively’ in the genocide.’”
Do you know that I am yet blocked by the book’s publisher and the author himself? I know how that came to be, or at least I think I do. He nosed around one fine day when I was squabbling with opposers, said ‘We’re not the sort to do that,’ and figured I must be up to no good myself! Yikes! Here the hats are reversed. Here any Witness such as he knows that hobnobbing with the opposers (sometimes apostates) is anything but the bee’s knees with our people. Better give anyone who does it a wide berth! Whereas, if you’re trying to research certain topics, you sort of have to go to who represents them. It all works out for me like Rodney Dangerfield’s point of view: ‘I don’t get no respect.’
I threw them all out—all the apostates. I had to. I blasted them away as though with phasers. And when someone from that camp began following me recently, I told him he was welcome to follow but he had to behave. Alas, I’ve learned from experience that if I engage with the malcontents, the neighbors start to complain, so be forewarned: the block mechanism was on hair trigger. A guy’s point of view must be allowed to stand on his own profile page.
It worked out okay. He DMed me with a question or two. I answered him for the most part with posts already posted, and presently he went away, after observing I had a “strange skewed logic” for viewing the world. But I replied that “strange skewed logic” is in the eye of the beholder. He acquiesced to this—he was not unpleasant. I acknowledged this even as I observed it is not exactly as though the world is firing on all cylinders running on its “logic,” which makes one wonder just who is it that has the “strange skewed’ variety.
And I observed that his paradigm of a slave breaking free from his master was a little silly. “We are all slaves to something,” said Herman Melville’s Ismael, as he signed aboard a whaling ship, making himself “slave” to Captain Arab for the next three years. If you believe the Bible narrative, you look forward to not being a slave to ‘80 years & out.’ If you don’t, you drop down to the more temporary, more relatively petty things, and carry on about breaking free from them. If you lose faith, you find yourself adapting to a new reality. You convince yourself you have found the true reality and may even start beating up on your fellow slaves still “trapped” in the old reality.
It is a game as old as time and it plays out everywhere. That’s why I like following world events—you can see it playing out in diverse fields that have nothing to do with religion. One team gets the ball and tries to run the other off the field. They may even try tilting the field, making it mighty slippery for those on the other team.