Aztecs and Ayatollahs

Vel Nirtist
The Aztecs had an interesting idea of celestial mechanics. Moon and stars were deadly enemies of the sun. Night was not just a time for sleep - it was a time of frightful combat, with the sun being brutally attacked under cover of darkness by combined forces of the moon and the stars. It was a battle in which every human had a vital interest: if sun were to lose, the very life on the planed would be extinguished. It was imperative that the sun be helped - and to give it nourishment and vitality to withstand its enemies, the Aztecs daily sacrificed young men to the sun, to the tune of some ten thousand a year.

Well, as we all know today, the reality is somewhat different. The sun is powered by nuclear reactions and does not need human help. Moon and stars have no grudge against the sun. This pious frenzy of Aztec sanctified murder was conceived by ignorant clerics who simply did not know what they were talking about.

History repeats itself. Aztecs were eager to protect the sun against depredations of the moon and the stars by all possible means; today, Iranian clerics are as eager to protect God from those protesting the elections - by very similar means indeed.

Does God need human protection? The Being who created all there is, and can, without an effort, un-create what he does not wish to exist, is in danger?

Bizarre as it sounds, such is indeed the opinion of Iranian clerics. According to a Reuters report from the land of the mullahs, "Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts, said the judiciary should charge the leading "rioters" as being "mohareb" or one who wages war against God.

"They should be punished ruthlessly and savagely," he said. Under Iran 's Islamic law, punishment for people convicted as mohareb is execution."

But to acknowledge possibility of "mohareb," one has to see God as someone vulnerable, someone against whom war can be waged, which is in turn impossible unless it is acknowledged first that there are some of potency and power that is comparable to God's, just as Aztecs thought moon and stars were as strong as the sun.

Logical enough - but Moslems, unlike Aztecs, profess to be monotheists. They claim that there is only one God, not many. So who can than threaten and fight God the Almighty? How can there be such thing as "mohareb?" The mullahs arrive at Aztecs' polytheistic conclusion without the excuse of Aztecs' polytheistic premises. Just as Aztecs, but in a different way, they do not know what they are talking about; and just as Aztecs, they kill as the result. While Aztecs got the basic facts wrong, it is mullahs' reasoning that is all is all screwed up.

Which, as we know from unfolding of Iranian "elections," is true in more ways than one...
The Aztecs had an interesting idea of celestial mechanics. Moon and stars were deadly enemies of the sun. Night was not just a time for sleep - it was a time of frightful combat, with the sun being brutally attacked under cover of darkness by combined forces of the moon and the stars. It was a battle in which every human had a vital interest: if sun were to lose, the very life on the planed would be extinguished. It was imperative that the sun be helped - and to give it nourishment and vitality to withstand its enemies, the Aztecs daily sacrificed young men to the sun, to the tune of some ten thousand a year.

Well, as we all know today, the reality is somewhat different. The sun is powered by nuclear reactions and does not need human help. Moon and stars have no grudge against the sun. This pious frenzy of Aztec sanctified murder was conceived by ignorant clerics who simply did not know what they were talking about.

History repeats itself. Aztecs were eager to protect the sun against depredations of the moon and the stars by all possible means; today, Iranian clerics are as eager to protect God from those protesting the elections - by very similar means indeed.

Does God need human protection? The Being who created all there is, and can, without an effort, un-create what he does not wish to exist, is in danger?

Bizarre as it sounds, such is indeed the opinion of Iranian clerics. According to a Reuters report from the land of the mullahs, "Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts, said the judiciary should charge the leading "rioters" as being "mohareb" or one who wages war against God.

"They should be punished ruthlessly and savagely," he said. Under Iran 's Islamic law, punishment for people convicted as mohareb is execution."

But to acknowledge possibility of "mohareb," one has to see God as someone vulnerable, someone against whom war can be waged, which is in turn impossible unless it is acknowledged first that there are some of potency and power that is comparable to God's, just as Aztecs thought moon and stars were as strong as the sun.

Logical enough - but Moslems, unlike Aztecs, profess to be monotheists. They claim that there is only one God, not many. So who can than threaten and fight God the Almighty? How can there be such thing as "mohareb?" The mullahs arrive at Aztecs' polytheistic conclusion without the excuse of Aztecs' polytheistic premises. Just as Aztecs, but in a different way, they do not know what they are talking about; and just as Aztecs, they kill as the result. While Aztecs got the basic facts wrong, it is mullahs' reasoning that is all is all screwed up.

Which, as we know from unfolding of Iranian "elections," is true in more ways than one...