I didn’t go to Church on Easter
09 May, 2013
I didn’t go to Church on Easter
My very Georgian friend Mancho, who lives on the West coast, called me up on the East Coast at three o’clock in the morning to yell and complain. And while I was mostly asleep, she managed to convey her frustration in such a manner that I was immediately awake. What had happened was the following. A recent transplant from Zugdidi, a young computer technician had come to Los Angeles. This fact on its own would not be any of our
business, but the Georgian transplant then proceeded to make friends with Mancho in a grocery store line.
One thing led to another and they hung out a few times, swapping books, and talking about Georgia but nothing ever came off this because Mancho is a strange bird, and the Georgian, let’s call him Giorgi, (what are the chances that that’s not his name?) was a computer nerd and those guys are very slow on the uptake. And so the friendship blossomed as much as it could in three weeks and suddenly the phone calls abruptly and what happened did Girogi ended. No explanation and no goodbye. Mancho was confused, then sad, then angry, then sad again. Then three years go by and Giorgi resurfaces, he calls Mancho and tells he is fine and dandy; got a great job in LA and has been living a good Christian life. And because he was such a good Christian, he wanted to do a Christian thing and help her out in any way he could, so he called her to offer his services. To clarify, Mancho came to US on a student visa, and continues to maintain that visa as she takes courses at the same time as she works three different jobs and is not exactly living the American dream. Yet she sends money to her aunts, her parents died right after they had to escape during the first Abkhaz war in Sokhumi, and she takes care of her brother who is unable to work in Georgia due to physical issues. With all of this on her shoulders, Mancho has never asked for a handout and has never expected anyone else to bail her out or take pity on her. So imagine Mancho’s anger at having to listen to someone whom she considered a friend treat her like a charity case. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Macho said. It was the fact that he was hiding behind ‘doing a Christian thing’ when he subjected her to such degradation. In Manch’s opinion Christianity had nothing to do with polite manners. If you can’t be bothered to pick up a phone in three years and explain yourself, then you are not only a bad Christian, you are a bad friend. And Mancho had decided she need not have any bad friends.
The whole hiding behind a religion seems to have been going around for centuries. The zealots of Koran claim that murder of infidels is sanctioned y the Prophet, while Christian’s wage Crusades in the name of the Lord, completely ignoring the whole, thou shall not kill part of the Ten Commandments. To be honest, most people who proclaim to be Christian and put others down for not being Christian enough, are themselves really bad at it. Going to church and lighting a candle doesn’t make a good Christian. To be a Christian is to be compassionate, non judgmental (which takes out most of Georgian population out of the running, because we are nothing but judgmental nation). Religion is not a tool to be used to keep a population in fear; it is not to be distorted to appease one group of powerful people in a society. Being Christian does not give any group the right to deny rights of another. It certainly does not allow one person to degrade another in the name of Christ. 
Having exploded on the phone, Mancho felt better, thanked me and hung up the phone to go to sleep. I on the other had stayed wide awake for the rest of the night. Fitting, because it was Easter.
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