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And I mean that in the best possible way. Theocracy tries to combine matter & anti-matter.

Ye cain’t let them touch, Cap’n! Or she’ll blow!

As Scotty well knows, certain elements must be kept separate from each other, or there’s hell to pay. Fresh butter and old fish. Disco and metalheads. Church and State.

Theocracy uses government structure to enforce observance to a particular religion. Religion relies on faith which is built on belief. All of which, by their very natures, cannot be proven, only believed. And therein lies its explosive quality.

Belief must be arrived at through each human heart. It is about trust and acceptance. It is a mythic structure we spin about what we do not know or incompletely understand. Belief is a product of consciousness and our own ability to speculate about philosophical questions. It cannot be explained, only felt. So, ultimately, true belief is about a lack of enforcement.

Because, dammit, if you have enforcement, it’s not belief any more.

To the flipmobile!

Inquisitional Catholics saved souls with torture. Or so they deluded themselves into thinking. It was lip service; torn, parched, contorted lip service. This is the ultimate expression of theocracy; torturing people into paying lip service to something they do not believe in. The beginnings of this nation were both the product of, and the reaction against, just that kind of Ultimate Theocracy.

So if we sink down through the stormy seas of “Christian Nation” and “lost values” and the “Culture War,” through the cold sink of implacable resolve, we come to the depths where nightmare creatures dwell, distorted by the pressure above. Where we find the true desires of those calling for Theocracy to return. The desire to have their own lack of belief reinforced by judicial fiat.

Doubt, that demon beloved by Satan, dances in the back of every theocratic mind. If only doubt had no place to play; if only every media outlet, organ of government, and (wo)man-in-the-street had to think the way they do, doubt would vanish. And they could stop the ceaseless, yammering, tormenting cries from their own mind that imperils their immortal soul.

That’s what it is about.

Those who have never swum in the scummy waters of rabid fundamentalism are unaware of how pervasive, how acidic, how terrifying, the anxiety can be. One wrong move — a paragraph of secular humanism, a glimpse of thigh, a half-heard snatch of Pink Floyd* — and all one’s hard work can become undone. And then, oh, then, my brothers and sisters, there might be the runaway semi, the sudden heart attack, or the helpless immersion in hardcore Internet porn. While still in the limbo of Doubt. And that is the unforgiveable sin that casts one into the Fiery Pit** (type of pit may vary, please check your policy) without any hope for all of eternity.

Ugly creatures, indeed.

It is the despairing, last ditch cry of every failed authoritarian, whether parental or otherwise. “My way or the highway!” If you won’t go along, By God, I’ll make you go along. Not caring if the heels are dug in up to the elbows. Not caring if the belief is brain-washing sincere, or resentful, reluctant compliance. Not caring. Only compliance.

I’m sure some devoutly religious people are reflexively regarding it as a good thing. Who wouldn’t want to live their life according to God’s wishes? The problem remains: Whose God?

This is what the Founders wrestled with. And since they were, whatever else they were, Free Thinkers, and proud of it, they came up with: Freedom. The freedom to choose, or not choose at all. The free and unfettered practice of whatever beliefs their fellow countrymen might come up with. From dogmatic boxes to naked Pagans. And everything in between.

And I, for one, like that. A bunch.

There’s religion. There’s spirituality. There’s philosophy. And they should all be as free to caper in the groves of the mind as we can possibly make possible. Belief is neither as irrational as some of its practitioners, or as rational as its secular critics. It is a unrational characteristic of the human mind, which has a habit of creating three new questions for each one it answers. And messing with the unfettered ability to let each person find the boundaries of what they need to believe, what to believe, and come to believe, is where any civilization mucks up what should be their goal of: the most good for the most souls.

Because Belief can’t be legislated. To quote the Awakened, Enlighted, Grinch: It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! Belief must come for each person, individually, sincerely, and wholeheartedly uncoerced.

That is the only way it has any meaning. At all.

In closing, I would like to remind everyone of what will happen when Belief becomes Legislated.

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said "Stop! don't do it!" "Why shouldn't I?" he said. I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!" He said, "Like what?" I said, "Well...are you religious or atheist?" He said, "Religious." I said, "Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?" He said, "Christian." I said, "Me too! Are you catholic or protestant?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?" He said, "Baptist!" I said, "Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?" He said, "Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?" He said, "Reformed Baptist church of god!" I said, "Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?" He said, "Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!" I said, "Die, heretic scum", and pushed him off. "

Thank you, Bill Hicks. I’m sure you had a soul, and I’m sure it’s resting, or not, somewhere.

And far be it from me to dictate anything else.

To see this post with pictures (since I haven't done the Freewhatever it is thing yet) click here:
http://realityprinciples.blogspot.co...

*For some reason that really should be studied by dedicated sociologists, (grant application available on request,) Christian Fundies hate Pink Floyd. I’m talking foaming at the mouth, over the top, ranting and raving, hatred. I think it’s because they like it. And they’ve been told they should, under any circumstances, Not.

**Fiery Pit most lovingly realized in the works of Jack Chick. See Chick Tract Reviews — My Guide to All Things Chick.

Originally posted to proudlattedrinker on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 06:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Le tip jar. (8+ / 0-)

    With a nod to the French, who went too far with the revolution, but who are we to judge an excess of enthusiasm?

    I try to live by the Three Reality Principles.

    by proudlattedrinker on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 06:03:10 PM PDT

  •  The key to defeating theocracy........ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, debedb, ormondotvos

    Is to divide the alliance between business interests and religion.

    In most theocratic societies, religion is buttressed by business interests. In Iran for example, the merchant classes and theocratic leadership have an alliance. The regime in Iran could not survive for even a minute without backing from the merchant classes. In America, corporatists have in the past forged linkages with the Christian Coalition and the Evangelical Movement. In the Catholic world,  business guilds work actively with the Vatican.

    To defeat theocracy, you have to divide and rule. You have divide the business interests from the religious movements themselves. And that is the key to defeating theocracy worldwide.

    •  Umm... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I'm not a thocrat...or even a theo-anything...but defeating theocracy worldwide is going too far?  It is not up to us to decide how other people govern themselves.

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 06:32:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sp. theocrat (0+ / 0-)

        Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

        by rserven on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 06:33:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well seeing how theocracy.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        debedb, ormondotvos

        and uncontrolled religion are responsible for a substantial portion of death and misery over the past 2000 years across a number of societies, I figure it's a worldwide problem.

        •  We are not worldwide masters... (0+ / 0-)

          ...who should decide for anyone else.

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 06:43:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think the difference lies here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ormondotvos

            I fully believe anyone can believe whatever they want to. However, when their religious beliefs are used to kill, maim, regulate, torture, discredit, oppress, abuse or destroy someone else...THAT needs to be stopped.

            Which is why I depise organized religions like Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, or any of the others. It is too easy for them to control their followers and encourage hate, violence and bigotry.

            I am not deciding what people believe, I just want them to keep it to themselves.

            •  clarquistador's original statement... (0+ / 0-)

              ...seemed to be a call for worldwide conflict.  If you don't think that would cause all the actions you name, I am at a loss.

              Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

              by rserven on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 07:12:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How is dividing business from religion (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                debedb

                a call for a worldwide conflict?

                In most theocratic societies, religion is buttressed by business interests. In Iran for example, the merchant classes and theocratic leadership have an alliance. The regime in Iran could not survive for even a minute without backing from the merchant classes. In America, corporatists have in the past forged linkages with the Christian Coalition and the Evangelical Movement. In the Catholic world,  business guilds work actively with the Vatican.

                Yes he wants to divide the two and you could say divide and conquer is war but I think if you could convince the corporations to not buttress religions both would do a lot better.

      •  worldwide? (0+ / 0-)

        What will happen to Islamic theocracy if the oil money stops?

        The oil money will stop. The only question is whether we go down the tubes along with the Islamic nation-states who live on oil profits or it stopped because we replaced it with renewable / green transportation energy.

        IMO, forcing sane energy policy is probably the biggest difference we can make in a lot of areas, with massive damage to theocracies in the rest of the world as a desirable side effect.

        Leaving us the theocratic crazies in our part of the world to deal with, but that's a homegrown problem and ours.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sun Apr 08, 2007 at 02:02:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Humans will clump in their beliefs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Topaz7

    Our job is to figure out how to minimize the suffering caused by it.

    Sharing, in the broadest sense, seems to me to be the answer.

    Is that ruling people? I think not.

    We got it. We share it. They catch on. They get it, they share it.

    Since we have it now, we start.

    Solicit.Agreement.First.

    by ormondotvos on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 07:20:32 PM PDT

  •  Does this mean that you won't be coming... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to my city's "Sunrise Celebration" to which "everyone is invited" on Easter Sunday?

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 07:20:40 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't agree more. The Pink Floyd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Topaz7

    theory is dead-on.
    Peace ;)>

    "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And someone's giving booze to these goddamn things"-Hunter S. Thompson

    by rogerdaddy on Sat Apr 07, 2007 at 07:34:14 PM PDT

  •  where does theocracy come from? (0+ / 0-)

    Follow the money, which comes from "the usual suspects" which fund the rest of the RWNM.

    If the right 100 family fortunes suddenly disappeared, there would be a lot of crazies around America with their strings uncut. While we could hope this resulted in their thinking for themselves, the best we can realistically hope for is that they'd be left free-floating, waiting for another authoritarian mass movement to happen.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sun Apr 08, 2007 at 02:05:58 AM PDT

  •  Fabulous stuff (0+ / 0-)

    and a GREAT Blog Against Theocracy entry.  Have a recommend.

    A cartoon is worth a thousand words.

    by dhonig on Sun Apr 08, 2007 at 05:50:23 AM PDT

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