Receiving ill-deserved respect
I met with Pallo Jordan, then Minister of Telecommunications in the Mandela government, on a couple of occasions at his parliamentary offices in Cape Town. At the time I represented interests in the telecommunications industries and we went to discuss industry matters with him. I found him very friendly, approachable and well informed. I never knew him as Doctor anything but then I referred to him as Mr Minister.
To hear the news that he had been faking a doctorate for many years was of little more than passing interest to me. Obviously he liked the additional respect the title commanded and I accept he was referred to once as Doctor Jordan, liked the honorific, did nothing to correct the mistake, let it ride until things got out of control, forcing him to embellish his academic achievements.
I don't condone what he did. It is just that Pallo Jordon was doing it wrong.
Instead of doctor he could have commanded the same amount of respect by simply granting himself a preacherman title like Reverend, Pastor or Bishop. There are no requirements for identifying yourself as a good and learned Man of God. If experience as a night club bouncer can be used to qualify oneself to be identified as Pastor and get respect for it then anyone can. There are no laws that say you cannot do it and the representatives of gods on Earth are all self-appointed anyway.
Which has given me a great idea.
I hate any contact with the ill-bred, impolite, ignorant, overpaid, lazy, disrespectful and disinterested comrades who are funded by the taxpayers to provide services to the public from Home Affairs, Post Offices and Driver's Licensing to the municipal rates offices. But we cannot avoid them for ever so I have developed a plan to get a whole lot more respect from them.
When I have to renew my Driver's Licence I am going to buy myself a black shirt and make a dog collar out of white cardboard. Then I will have my licence photographs taken with me posing and looking very righteous in my clerical garb.
Next, I will go to the licensing department, dressed appropriately and clutching my well thumbed bible (all respectable atheists have well thumbed Bibles). Whenever I encounter a comrade to fill out forms or for an eye test I will conspicuously place the Bible on the counter where it cannot be missed. For added attention getting, the Bible will be bookmarked with a sheet of paper emblazoned with a picture of hungry children and entitled “Umfundisi Olele Charity Trust”.
You got it?
Man am I going to get a lot of additional respect. Not only that, but I will now have a preacherman driver's licence which will impress the Metro cops (they won't dare solicit a bribe and could let me go if I tell them I am attending to a tragedy). My new driver's ID can be used to identify me to all and sundry as a man of God, and I can fill out the title blocks on all government forms with the honorific, “Reverend”. It is all perfectly legal.
Now be fair guys. I don't want to pitch up at Home Affairs to renew my passport and finding myself in a queue full of preachermen clutching Bibles.
The Very Reverend Atheitis Godfrey, BBS hon., DRS, FIIFP
BBS – Bachelor of BS (University of Wexford)
DRS – Dirty Rotten Scoundrel (Stafford University)
FIIFP – Fellow, International Institute of Fake Preachermen.
Redeem - Compensate for the faults or bad aspects of (OED)
Redeem oneself - Do something that compensates for poor past performance or behaviour:
Naturism - "†rue™" natural Christians as god made us before the fall.
Evangelical – Let us save you from going to Hell.