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Commentary :: Human Rights
Chapter Four: Religion As Politics from When God Became the Terrorist
14 Apr 2010
Nicolo Machiavelli, in his book The Prince, explained political terrorism without any need to refer to a religion or a God. Nevertheless, he argued for fear or terrorist tactics as necessary at times. His psychology of politics for prince and alike is now euphemistically called “realism” or “realpolitik” by the Kissingers of the world. Machiavelli, after all these years, still is the “Prince of Terror”, and it goes without saying, his book has had enormous influence since it was published back in the early 16th century.
Chapter Four: Religion As Politics

Nicolo Machiavelli, in his book The Prince, explained political terrorism without any need to refer to a religion or a God. Nevertheless, he argued for fear or terrorist tactics as necessary at times. His psychology of politics for prince and alike is now euphemistically called “realism” or “realpolitik” by the Kissingers of the world. Machiavelli, after all these years, still is the “Prince of Terror”, and it goes without saying, his book has had enormous influence since it was published back in the early 16th century.


Terrorist behavior, specifically the manipulation of extreme fear within the imagination and actual brutal, no doubt, has been carried out throughout the ages. There was no need to attach brutality to some ideology. Thugs do not need authoritarian myths to justify their acts of terrorizing others or any other related criminal habits.

Stalin, for example, and others of his “Godless” communist coterie, used terrorism, such as mass murder, without compunction or any felt need to resort to religious justification—although other religious-like “ideological” dogmas were available as rationalization.

For that matter, chimpanzees can scare fellow competitor bands by picking up rocks as weapons to intimidate. Primates, per se, as far as human sapient intelligence can tell, do not likely cogitate doctrines—other than acting out a “faith” of barbaric or violent confrontation. They might have felt that might makes right but there we no tribal anthems written to sing about. There was no justifying or historical perspective.

Terrorism is “calculated” manipulation of intense fear, and agonizing worry, as psychological devise (psychological warfare and “shock doctrine”). It can be an effective means, at times, to get one’s aims met.

Most living creatures are potentially subject to fear as they live within their central nervous systems in the dynamics of struggle. Animals too do not live in a vacuum—they are “dependent” on their environment—and therefore they are subject to the behavior or other creatures in their environment.

Terror can break down the resolution of a people in order to change a perceived status quo—such as the will to resist in a struggle. Machiavelli understood this psychology from his scholarly interpretations of history. He claims to have described how things really work (his realism) as opposed to how people would like things to work or feel they should work (idealism). But like all theorists he picked and chose his evidence to suit his fox and lion approach.

The irony for Machiavelli however is how he maintained inordinate distance either not realizing, or at least in not discussing, religion’s potential for employing terror and tyranny. How could such a perceptive individual not have realized that the use of religious dogma could also be a method of repressing independence in thought, judgment, or action? Probably Machiavelli was aware at least at some level—but given his living in Catholic Italy—it was too dangerous a topic to discuss—as it still is a dicey subject in our Bible Belt society with some pockets of educated liberalism.

The Garden of Edenic Creatures:

Religious man encounters fear very early on in the Old Testament. Readers are “notified” of “evil” intent of a distracter—the “subtil” serpent as early as verse 1 of Chapter 3 of Genesis. So at the very beginning of the Bible plot of temptation, evil, sin, shame, disobedience, etc., that has transpired.

Prohibition against eating fruit happens already in chapter 2 of Genesis. Such portrayal of evil outcome early on of cracking the book (horror genre) is arguably a red flag—that is if the story works to reinforce the idea of malevolence and dark, dangerous forces that could make life difficult.

Fear and evil seems “rooted” in the psychology of Near Eastern religion and politics. Let us remember that religion was “not” a separate institution from politics.

The asserted fact that a tree existed in the “middle” of Eden that overtly is referred to as knowledge of evil (as well as good) notifies the reader that evil was an established cognitive fact—more specifically there was “knowledge” about it stored within the tree’s fruit. This is a strange metaphor for a noun that is normally contains biological nutriment.

[Note: The Garden of Eden is related to Sumerian word “eden” that meant a plain of a garden paradise between rivers—most likely in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates. However, the U.S. invasion of Iraq is not exactly “Edenic” now. In fact the four rivers that were purported to physically divide by the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil go off in different directions, such as to Ethiopia and the Euphrates, etc., so this legend is clearly situated in the greater Levant (see chapter 2 of Genesis).]

Anyway Adam and Eve, as the movie goes, essentially naive mortals, were created into God’s Edenic world of bliss and beauty. But due to their “sin” of choosing to go against God’s direct order that forbade them to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were shamed and banished out of “his” realm (similar to Lucifer being thrust out of God’s Kingdom).

Thus these naive, as supposedly newly minted, adults were seduced by the cunning “serpent”, that reptilian creature rumored to have been one of God’s cleverest of garden spirits. Apparently his powers of persuasion convinced Eve that she desired to learn the wisdom of good and evil by eating of the fruit of that forbidden tree. By forsaking God’s threat of death and instead believing the serpent’s invitation to have her eyes opened to be as God, Eve did, as did Adam, eat the forbidden knowledge. The next thing you know both were punished and dismissed (according to this surviving or fabricated account of said history).

We may surmise then that both the issues of God’s demand for obedience, and a truism of human frailty, are important, prima facie, established facts in this biblical catechism of Judeo-Christianity. Because although there are many biblical stories that a majority of believers are not exceptionally familiar—practically all are familiar with this Old Testament story—it is a central theme of the bible.

Curious and skeptical minds might already wonder why an up-and-up or sincere God would have anything to hide, or why a purported need to keep secrets, in the first place—that is if his creation, including that of human subjects, as extolled in Chapter 1 of Genesis, were so paradisiacal and wonderful to behold?

But obviously there are many ways to interpret such a myth (including a rigid insistence on its literal reality as sole interpretation). There have been numerous interpretations—both orthodox and unorthodox, like the fact that many theologians have argued that there are numerous ways to interpret any part of the Bible—both those books considered “canonical” (authoritative) as well as those considered “apocryphal” (of dubious authenticity, as not considered politically correct doctrine as worthy).

Therefore people can debate the merits and faults of various interpretations until the cows come home—because ultimately people, as human personalities, believe what they want to believe—which falls across the continuum of the orthodox to the heretical.

Nevertheless the dominant interpretation of the Adam and Eve story is they fell from God’s grace by their deliberate act of disobeying his will and warning. This official version is the one that has been maintained and propagated as canonical. It is very parental in the sense of children are “dependent” on parents who demand certain acts of conformance—parents do not worry excessively about being granted grace from their children—not in their early years.

Whereas some theorists like to theorize the Adam and Eve story as one of sexual knowledge—given its reference to nakedness and shame. But it seems that this nakedness and shame, as “feelings” are in social reference to a society’s perception. In modern terms it is about feeling accepted or not—therefore it may simply be in reference to one’s reputation—as in being shunned.

Then there are even interpretations of the Tree as some Knowledge that claim it is a metaphor for psychoactive plants or drugs, etc. Different personalities with creative imaginations can interpret this story metaphorically in a number of ways.

But to claim there is but “one” correct way to understand this story—is an authoritarian attitude. It is attitude that does not want to speculate or examine too deeply. It wants to accept the moral guilt as legitimate and does not want to see if something is lurking under the rocks. Call it fear.

The “pedagogic” point of the canonical story is the willful violation (labeled sin) of Eve and Adam (Adam being the follower) and the concomitant “shame” that it brings as well. One is shamed for violating a rule—a rule mind you that Adam nor Eve helped construct—a law that was placed upon them from another’s will—God’s or society’s. Nevertheless this rule is taken as an established fact so that one feels seen through and judged by others accepting this norm of civic society.

This is “general” psychology of the early chapters of Genesis. Boom you are born. Boom there is law. Boom you are punished if you break it. There is no discussion on the legitimacy of the demand for obedience. And especially there is no room to contemplate such a demand or command being challenged. The scenario is militaristic in tone.

Shame is the internalized feeling of failure in relationship to the shamers of a community, who utilize the shaming process, to degrade the reputation of person shamed so as to banish him or her from society—or push towards rehabilitation.

In this particular biblical story the conclusion believers of the religious community are to draw is that the fruit of the tree did not deliver the seductive promise of power or being like God—but rather they found themselves aware of their vulnerability and dependence. One can arguably state that they, unlike God who can do whatever he wants with impunity, are dependent and vulnerable.

They quickly learn that the Edenic society is not a utopian paradise in which one can be egocentric enough to assume that any kind of choice or behavior is fine and that others will liberally abide to tolerate all personal choice.

So there is a “moralizing” lesson in this lessen plan—namely that one is responsible to a group, society, or leader; and consequently with society there are infractions that become established; and that one will be shamed and punished if he or she chooses to violate the social order as ordained with such expectations as obedience. After all the word “morality” comes from the same meaning as the word “mores” of a given community (anthropologically speaking).

However, we also note that even if this is a “moral” lessen of sorts, we still see the detail of the “dictate” as one of not eating of fruit of knowledge of good and evil. It is almost like saying to some one that you cannot learn to read—you must stay dumbed down.

This society that God created (at least between God and his creations) did not establish a “law” legislated by a constitutional assembly—in which representatives were chosen by their electorate to negotiate shared power in such a society. Rather, we surmise given the limited devil’s details, that this dictate was imposed top down as absolute—that is with no thought of a need of consent by those affected.

Again this is a political story because it is about the exercise of power—which is what politics is all about—the use and abuse of power. Who makes the rules? Who enforces the rules? What happens when there is conflict? Does might make right?

The Missing Link:

One plausible reading of this prominent biblical story that is seldom, if ever, forthcoming, and causes one to wonder why it is never in circulation, is that banning awareness of any kind of knowledge is a form of censorship. It is at least as interesting a theory as others for this front-leading biblical scene.

Sketching out the original sin doctrinaire (as scantily communicated as the story is) as a lesson of morality and social psychology we are confronted with the “beneficence” of God’s willful creation of the Cosmos and then resoundingly hit with a morality play about humans being bad people because they are disobedient. This attitude is reinforced by rejection and ostracism and tales about “subtil” serpents lurking in paradise.

But more importantly we, as Bible readers, are asked to accept that there is knowledge that one is not to question. After all were not these two mortals, within this kingdom of earthly paradise, forbidden a certain freedom (or right), to learn knowledge regarding something important—what is considered good and evil?

Anthropologically speaking, communities at all levels, including the basic tribe, have proscriptions regarding what is permissible and what is not—so why the big hang-up on a tree of knowledge that represents good and evil—unless the real infraction is the gumption to presume a “right” to think about, or judge for the self, the moral logic and acceptability of such a proposition on what constitutes fair judgment on claims about good and evil? We all know that some people do not like other people who ask too many questions, as we know people who do not like their authority thrown into question. Or was this tree of knowledge so arbitrary and fickle that it changed like a kaleidoscope?

In the United States of America, as theory and our secular religion has it, we respect expressions of conscience especially since conscience is directly tied to moral autonomy—which sets the stage for the proper treatment of others. We do not believe in a form of governance that has high lord dictator wielding arbitrary power over all others. This idea is part of our moral vocabulary. We reject both political and spiritual tyranny, such as ideas running up the rivers of dynastic Egypt where Pharaohs ran the world.

Thence it seems such a prohibition against “knowledge”, of all things, that now is taken as granted (although some hidebound conservatives still don’t like the idea of libraries), was metaphorically really a demand that one stop asking questions regarding facts and circumstances that may have led to the current status quo of presumed power (claims on the right to power) about who or what is the authority to decide things in Eden.

After all why would a God, in his glory, “choose” to prohibit awareness about good and evil as categories of “classified” information and accessible to a small conspiracy theory on a need to know basis?

Curious creatures with healthy minds are naturally apt to wonder, what is it that makes something bad or good—especially when the self lives under such predicaments about potential indictments or accusations. Is it not natural to wonder about such things? Why would not Eve want to be wise to such matters—and why is she being punished for being a curious creature that wants to learn, or become a wiser person? What could a tree possibly reveal that would make her less amenable in God’s eyes?

[Note: Or for that matter why would not Valerie Plane want to know who was wheeling and dealing nuclear weapons materials abroad, or her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson wanting to know for the CIA if in fact yellow cake uranium was really shipped out of East Africa to Iraq; or Americans wondering why the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon took over the function of intelligence by Wolfowitz and Feith as an usurpation of propagandic power?]

The allegation that Adam and Eve wanted to be like God is more than defensive in its curtailed explanation—or so it seems. And if readers of the New and Old Testament are not suspicious about such cryptic and truncated episodes, that supposedly have such momentous meaning, then why are they so easily accepting of these moralizing forms of orientation? Where are the doubts or questions requisite of the jaded cynic? Politically should one automatically trust power and government—which was then part of a religion’s orientation and domain?

Why would not a noble society be asking the obvious: “Why would a just God, as authority figure, create or allow a game scenario of temptation by said Satan (presumably who tests people), who is disguised as wily serpent in a garden? Why sanctions bulwarked against the human mind and will to want to know things about Life and the politics of the Cosmos? In fact why would a noble Creator, who is reputed to have created naive and mortal Adam and Eve in the first place, play such a patronizing test with his supposed creatures of fallibility in the first place? Furthermore, what were the motivations of a God to have concocted these explanations—after all even deities do not make command or dictate orders without motivation?

And why would God’s “children” be placed under stress to “prove” to him their love and loyalty? Seemingly there is something sinister afoot. Obviously this is not a society established to share power.

In the American creed we believe in the “right’ to claim rights as foundation of human dignity. More specifically we believe in the equality of rights as opportunity—at least in theory. If we as entities of conscience are not allowed to have rights then we are mere slaves.

But getting back to the biblical story, where the serpent is so quickly introduced into the picture (Satan is the Hebrew word for “adversary” similar to “enemy”), suggests that hostilities, or potential for conflict, already existed, both in the Kingdom of God and in the Garden of Eden, prior to the creation of God’s first forbearers of humanity. Hence our first clues, in which we begin to connect the dots, suggests that such places as these within the fictional universe may not have been so blissful or fairylike—but were plains of existence that harbored enemies, or untrustworthy and at least somewhat unpredictable creatures—much like the real world we currently inhabit.

One thing seems rather obvious and that is this story, per se, really did not begin with Genesis. At least there is missing chunks of the drama we know nothing or little about. Obviously there were already in existence societies of “egoistic” characters of mind and will. This serpent guy is not reputed to have been created equally with either Adam or Eve but he just happens to pop into the picture on the second page?

Equally why would an all powerful God not appease his relation with “his” angelic world already in existence rather than proliferate another world of mere mortal and dependent children who, as it turns out, are even more vulnerable, willful, and contrary?

We alive today cannot possibly know with veracity the truth of these stories in either the Old and New Testaments (as the title implies “testimonial”). Perhaps even if we were in existence back then during those angelic civil wars we would still have become confused based on different versions of the tale—after all would not the deceiver make it so? And is it not true that the first victim of war (and cold wars) is truth?

We mortals are not all-knowing judges. We are naive and thus vulnerable—left to believe that which our personalities, upbringings, and thinking patterns will allow. Thus our judgments are of the quality of human speculation. So we have nothing but hearsay (the messages of others) to go on.

Such limitations however should not stop us from using our minds and political intuitions. Rather all the more reason why we should be asking pertinent and vital questions. Our naiveté and vulnerability should especially prompt us to questions the facts within a cultivated mood of skepticism.

If people think it is wrong for a free-thinking person to be condemned for being curious and suspicious, as in wanting to know how a society really works—such as how, why and under what circumstances choices are considered good and evil, then one has to ask if this “judgmental” attitude is not itself a result of a conditioning process that leads to psychological repression?

Are not these doctrinaires about power and leadership forms of oppression? Is not an assertion of censored tree of knowledge, even if cloaked in the sanctity of religious politics, a form of coercion—that is if you do not abide the idea of a tyranny of monarchy or oligarchy?

Always there are free thinkers that are labeled as threat because they run counter to fortified propaganda campaigns. Such campaigns can challenge a tradition of ancien regime with its presumption of absolute monarchy made legitimate by the doctrine of divine right of kings, or claims to represent the one and true God, Allah, or Yahweh as cloaked with prophetic staff and sacred book.

Manipulation of fear—be it the threat of death to either Adam or Eve or banishment from the Garden of Eden—or the flocks of readers that find the story’s fear-based backdrop legitimate—is an important ingredient in the message. Here fear prohibits one (as subject within a community) from as readily questioning God (or his hierarchy of clerics that explain the scripture) about his rules and expectations of obedience.

The tone of the Old Testament is stern and aggressive. It is not really very carefree or guilt-free. In fact it is dour in its attitude. God threatens vengeance on unbelieving Israelites in Deuteronomy like a bad dream. Chapter 32 verse 24: “They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.”, etc., etc., etc.

Politics is the study of power irrespective if authority is situated on earth or in a supposed afterlife. So again we detect the political agency in religious literature that claims itself as ultimate authority as trying to establish itself early on in the Old Testament.

The Adam and Eve story utilizes arbitrary rules with consequential forms of punishment to impose a negative conditioning process on naïve, but naturally curious, sentient beings. Thus this fable, when held to a light of skeptical scrutiny, as de-mythologized from rational intuition, depicts a model of intimidation and potential abuse. It is not much different from a parent telling a particularly plucky child that he or she should not think about, or do, certain things—while using something as healthy and wholesome as an apple to tempt same child against his own nature. Is not an apple arguably part of an Edenic garden as natural appetite—be it animal or mental—and does not such a censoring act insinuate that one’s very nature of curiosity is of questionable esteem?

Overbearing or Independent?

It takes a healthy amount of self-esteem to believe in one’s own resourcefulness to think and judge ideas independently. More importantly a healthy mind learns to trust following his or her instincts about questions that pop up and wanting to discover knowledge, facts, theories, etc., to broaden and nourish his or her growth.

It seems that knowledge of good and evil is the equivalent to a degree in social science and spiritual discovery—does it not? Should we in America close all college departments of psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, politics, etc., so that we can fundamentally go back to an esoteric art of priest craft? O should we pay lip service bow down to the sacred cows of the Near or Middle East whilst our intelligence services engage in Machiavellian arts of torture—not as water boarding but as what is not mentioned—namely murder and mafia?

Yet it is equally true, and perhaps even more likely, that a particularly willful, or rebellious, person is apt to operate out of a sense of egocentric anarchy (who does not care about how he affects others or society). All his decisions are based on his own gain that takes little account of other peoples’ loss.

We do not know the particulars of that personality called the serpent—perhaps he was not so much an Edmund Burke who thought revolutions were evil because of their leveling effects and lack of respect for tradition or earned privilege?

Whereas, Martin Luther was certainly one such authoritarian reactionary who presumed the right to think and judge for himself. After training to be a lawyer he instead joined the ranks of Augustinian monks. With his keen mind he posted 95 points of disputation against the Papal state. Obviously he would not have had the wherewithal to make such a challenge had he not supposed his own authority to think and judge—according to his own interpretation of Gospel and conscience. In fact this rebel had the audacity to nullify the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy as insignificant by stating that “all” people are of the brotherhood of priests, and that all people ought read and interpret (as civil liberty) the Bible directly to resolve within their own minds the spiritual sense of God. (How different is that attitude than Congressional and Senatorial personages demanding that the White House turn over various kinds of critical information so that they can be like the Monarch?

Martin Luther’s movement of “protest” and “reform” came about at the inception of the printing press. So when he personally translated the Bible into German (which was a revolution in itself) the printing technology brought the word directly to the laypeople. Furthermore he claimed, or insinuated, that the German duchies, principalities, and kingdoms did not necessarily “owe” the Papal State patronage or money. Still he was offended within his “own” sense of conscience, the idea that laity should buy real estate in heaven via indulgences against a psychological backdrop of hell’s terrorizing brimstone that had them a bit worried—worried enough to make great sacrifices as poor peasants.

Equally it can be argued, and has been, that Jesus was reactionary against some of the more strident ideas supposedly handed down from Moses. According to St John, Chapter 8, of the New Testament, Jesus is asked, in respect to a woman taken into custody for the act of adultery, as challenged by some Pharisees:

(Verse 5) “Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? (6) This they said tempting him that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. (7) So they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (8) And a again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. (9) And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one ... and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

This attitude from the Rabbi Jesus (trained and raised in Judaism) as his story is clearly polarized against authoritarian propensities of Mosaic Law that figured it fit for sinners to both judge and stone others that they found to have sinned against religious rules of the community—in which again the politics was not separate from the religion.

Furthermore, Rabbi Jesus spoke of alternative perspectives as to issues of relevance throughout his mission. Some of his ideas were apparently contrary to legalistic mindsets that focused on the letter of old laws, rabbinic interpretation and its elaboration.

Thus Jesus’ liberalism of being of less willing to harshly punish, and more willing to forgive, eventually caused early Christianities as ideological sects to split off into various modes of a Christianity that turned to pagans to join in community, and away from the legalistic orthodoxy of the Pharisees. Still we recognize that Christianity was initially a feud between some on the left and others on the right within the Judaic tent.

A lot of religious controversy is not so much one religion against another (as in Jews versus Christians versus Islamists) as it is about liberal interpretation of life versus authoritarian demand. In this case, according to information passed on, Jesus was being questioned in attempt to have him directly contradict the orthodox position so as to attack his position. Religion then was not a “private” matter of free choice—it was a challenge to the political establishment.

Secular Elites Today:

As corollary question, do authoritarian or tyrannical political personalities strive very often to honestly and sincerely answer questions about their use of power with factually accurate assessments and disclosures? Or are they more inclined to obfuscate, bait and switch, as they accuse and attack the opposition, or even make up a story—be it plausible or outlandish? What attitude would an authoritarian figure—divine or otherwise—likely be expected to manifest when challenged about his or her use of power?

Would the executive branch of government readily conspire to “classify” much interesting information as secret and available to a very select few? Would it burn or destroy information? And would he or she initiate a propaganda campaign as red herring ploys against those trying to learn information to pertinent questions? And if pressed enough would he or she engage in Machiavellian tactics to break the will of those determined to know things that others do not want them to know—as curiosity of good and evil—as perceived by the human and political mind?


Theo-phobia:

As stated early in this chapter, no theological dogma is needed to justify human or political motive; still it does help to use a fear of God (theo-phobia) in order to help control or subdue people (while at the same time allowing those people to think that such a God, as “literalized” in scripture, deserving of honor and respect).

After all what bond of loyalty is more amenable to self-sacrifice than the bond of an individual to his or her God—especially when such a bond confuses fear and love that trades on faith? Is it not the ultimate sign of loyalty, of a naive man (or even a more sophisticated man like Martin Luther) that one can ultimately be “marched” into war that one would not otherwise voluntarily choose?

Propaganda experts regularly jingo up the notion that a “just” God is married to one’s “own” country (whose politics and economics, naturally, are equally just); and that this almighty God is married to one’s own particular nation’s patriotism. Hence the Holy Trinity—God, Nationalism, and Patriotism (as political science of knowledge) feeds the catechism of sacrifice for the less sincere. Because when you think about it—how often do they not talk about patriotism when wagging a flag and singing praises to their God—as Hitler was well astute in manipulating the German people?

This common practice appeals to ethnocentricity and jingoistic deceit, as it routinely opposes “outsiders” as inferior and immoral (projecting the repressed awareness of one’s own motives). Almost always it is “their” character, behavior, attitudes, or choices (at least at the national level) that is called into question.

They, and their leaders are the enemy, as labeled, (example Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) to be editorialized as the “dark” force; in which case, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (metaphorically that runs through the State Department and corporate controlled media elite) that connives and conspires to paint images and fears that are not exactly based on all relevant facts or truth—but too often are based on loose “interpretation” (euphemistically). In this Iranian case, it is a matter of agents translating a foreign language, by foreign language specialists (often intelligence experts) working for Western or Israeli nationalist interests (often corporate or agency), that with astuteness are able, and sometimes willing, to change the meaning of speeches or statements, in order to send whatever kind of garbled message they collectively want to send, to naive and vulnerable people in the Bible belts across America.

[Note: “Fundamentalism” means going back to the fundamentals, which, in monotheistic cultures means a rejection of religious plurality. Fundamentalism also rejects secular modernity and bureaucratic complications (even big and overgrown religions). Impulsively, fundamentalism defies secularity and it lack of respect for the sacred, its problematic science, relativist philosophy, and freethinking esprit that will’s toward independent action.]

Fundamentalist salvation is based on the belief that you are saved because you believe in the one “right” and absolutely “correct” faith (ideology or mindset), while you lead the religiously correct lifestyle meaning learning and remaining politically correct.

By way of contrast you equally must condemn others’ thinking and ways of worship if different. Right-wing monotheism then leads to an autocratic style of rule because it is essentially authoritarian in nature. There is no consideration for multicultural plurality or alternative explanation when it comes to spiritual awareness.

Christian Soldiers:

Many wars have been justified on religious grounds. War propaganda is used to buttress a heavy-handed and moralistic duty to God’s culture (and territory). In fact how many wars, escape the claim that Satan has inspired the enemy? Yet the gullible will swallow the most garish of bait, hook, and sinker—especially if no effective counter propaganda is out to combat it.

Is it not ironic how we continuously hear about the religious fanaticism of Muslims but not of Christians of Jews? No one speaks of Judaic fundamentalism in our newspapers? No one speaks of Christio-fascism? Apparently only “they” are perpetrators of terrorism?

Was it merely a coincidence that when President Johnson, during the Vietnam War, announced to the country on TV, that he was sending more troops to fight, figures like Billy Graham were standing behind him as pillars of the community? The silent posture of support helped give “moral” legitimacy to what was essentially a secular cause, although couched in terms of good freedom fighters against the “evil” empires of communism. It had plenty of religious hue. No pains were spared to emphasize in U.S. newspapers that communists (the devils) were pagan (adherents to a false economic faith) even though most Vietnamese were not particularly politicized or indoctrinated one way or the other—but were primarily concerned about their own Hobbesian welfare.

Faith in the Chutzpah of Corruption:

Corporate statism (fascism) has become the world’s most belligerent de facto religion. If the international world of business world was mostly honest and above board, it would be one thing, but big business is too often based on special interests and to often a willing player of double-dealing.

The leviathan of mega-corporations is more regularly encroaching on human rights around the globe and ecological realities—to a dangerous degree. While “liberalism” gave rights to humans to pursue liberty—it did not see fit to grant it to other biological species who could not speak English. Hence homo-centric man presumes his imperial right to destroy all of God’s creation.

For example, Chief Financial Officers for the military industrial corporate complex publish profitable quarterly reports for Wall Street investment firms, as they are pressured to oblige today in their concocted perpetual war on terrorism. The bottom line of black ink mercilessly spills red blood.

War is itself a corroding force—let alone profiting from it by the wealth classes. This is calculated class warfare in which farmer kids from rural America, and minority kids from the inner city are sacrificed for the wealth and anxiety of urbane-ites (an oversimplification but still a grain of truth).

Ayn Rand’s extremist egocentricity of “objectivity” religion for the selfish, combined with Nietzche’s religion for the egotistical elite, both presume that the self was merely a sack of bones and flesh that could isolate itself from the rest of encroaching society. Rand, in her dizzy intellectualism, could not imagine the self as somehow sustained by a larger web of life—despite her apparent need to breathe air in and out of lungs, despite her need to drink in clean H2O, despite her sweat glands extrusion of excretion, and despite her nervous system’s need to see, hear, taste, and communicate. Still it was the island of the self that lived for glory.

Intellectuals like Alan Greenspan too readily bought her egocentric views of rugged individualism in which the self became the center of the universe. Yet despite her keen insights into the human condition, she nevertheless helped spawn a entire class of weak minded people, as more or less cowards, who have come to think themselves superior simply for their exploitation of other people and circumstances. Hence, secular Jews and Christians were not above investing into the notion that man is at war with all other men—both within and without society (Hobbes’ and Locke’s state of nature) that continues in its simplistic and anachronistic worship for 18th century liberalism, now eulogized with adoring hymns to neo-liberalism, after post-religious war struggles of England’s religious divide, that has now become a war between the rich haves and the poor have-nots—buttressed by their religion of Nozickian self-centeredness.

[Note: This is not to argue that Marxist or socialist religions are not in competition with the religion of private property and multinational hegemony. Clearly these two ideological polarities, via their fanatical fundamentalist expressions and exaggeration, are indeed resounding to the hearts and minds of many people who only ask for faith. Do not, for example, the desperate and poor also look for social elements to blame for their economic and political ills (as projection elsewhere)? But clearly the other side of the fence is not necessarily greener when blind faith and a willingness to follow an ideological flag of faith marches to death or concentration camps.]

Apparently those who aspire to live in the Garden of U.S. Eden here in the United States (cause it is obviously not between the Tigress and Euphrates in Iraq with it lack of infrastructure) need, or want, to simultaneously ignore outside realities. How much more heavenly to remain within a cocoon of intellectual isolationism than learn the turmoil of how others live. Within our economic Elysium we still hope for more TV channels, cooler electronic gadgets, suburban pastels, cheap gas, more leisure, energy saving devises, and curiosity that extends to tidbits about Brittany Spear’s life, football mania, the hottest nightclub or energy drink (with no real apple juice of course).

This work is in the public domain
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