Section 2 - Aftermath
Conference of World Faiths Convenes in Geneva
Jennifer Hyatt, Staff Reporter
Representatives of most of the major world religions have descended on Geneva for an inter-faith conference. This is a time of increased religious tension as powerful Talents emerge claiming to be divine agents. While the scientific establishment continues to study the psychological explanation, many among the faithful are ready to debate whether or not Talents are divine, and if so what should be done about it.
Cardinal William Bohner, the Vatican’s representative to the conference, presented the Pope’s view. “It is undeniable to people of Faith that God continues to have a very real, very direct hand in human affairs. The emergence of `Talents’ has been the most significant development in recent human history. It is inconceivable to us that God is not responsible. That said, we all are possessed of the God-given freedom to choose our actions. God has blessed these people for reasons known only to him. It is up to those people to use those gifts for the glory of God and the betterment of their fellow men and women.”
While Cardinal Bohner’s statement is relatively uncontroversial when it comes to `ordinary’ Talents, if such a thing exists, there is a lot of underlying religious tension surrounding the emergence of so-called “Mad” Talents; Talents of such incredible power that they often claim, believably, to be gods. When asked about the likes of Osiris, or Apollo, or Lord Yama Cardinal Bohner was more evasive: “Sometimes God’s will is inscrutable to us. We must have faith in his plan.”
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s representative, Ali Husayn, echoed Cardinal Bohner’s general sentiment, claiming that Talents were the hands of God on earth. He, however, presented the view that not all Talents have that distinction: “There are many powers upon the earth that seek to deceive the faithful. Holy writings speak of such things, spirits of deception and evil that modern man has foolishly dismissed as mere myth. Those of us whose eyes are open see them all about us, powerful beings who claim to be pagan gods to shake our fundamental faith that there is but one God. Our Sunni brethren in Egypt tread a dangerous path in the shadow of such a deceiver.”
Shaykh Moussan of Egypt more directly addressed the elephant in the room: “There are giants who walk among us claiming to be gods. We know this is not so not only because we are men of faith in the One God, but also because in many cases we know who these people were before the spirit of power descended upon them. Osiris was once an American academic. The man claiming to be Jesus Christ in America was once a US marine. We are witness to the last days of the earth when our faith will be tested by these deceivers, and we must not waver.”
But this conference hosts more than representatives of the monotheistic religions. Nandi Gaurav of the Vishva Hindu Parishad expressed a radically different opinion: “You speak as if god and man cannot coincide in the same flesh. Even the Christians among you acknowledge that Jesus was both god and man. Hinduism has long known that the divine works through human hands, not only via inspiration, but often quite directly. The billion or more Hindus of Earth are quite comfortable with the notion that Osiris, Apollo, Lord Yama, even the returned Jesus Christ, are all quite genuine manifestations of divine power. We have always acknowledged that there are as many ways to approach God as there are people. Why is it so difficult to believe that the end of the Kali Yug is upon us, the gods walk again to fight their final battles?”
While it is perhaps safe to say that the conference will not result in agreement over the nature of the Talent phenomenon any more so than any previous such conference has, the debate has reached a new pitch in recent months. With each new month, new divinities appear. China has acknowledged a group of potent Talents taking the form of ancient Chinese myths. The Brazilian government, under outgoing president Lula de Silva, has acknowledged a potent native shaman who has claimed the entire Amazon rainforest as the exclusive preserve of the “ancestors” and those who revere them. Apollo’s gathering in Greece is growing astronomically as the faithful of America flock to Fort Leavenworth to meet Jesus Christ and the first of his New Disciples, Reverend Carpenter. Whether you are a person of faith or prefer the scientific explanation for these events, it cannot be denied that we live in interesting times.