The great thing about getting older is you tend to say what is on your mind without worrying about what others think. So, here is a little of what is on my mind, or at least what is left of it.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Religious and Political Devices

There are a few devices which neither religion nor politics can do without.
  • First, the political organization or religious body must define their faithful as the the chosen, the most deserving, the righteous, god's children or whatever superlative seems to bring in the most bodies.
  • Second, there must be an enemy, an outside agency upon which you can vent your anger, disdain, disgust—all that fun stuff. This enemy can take many guises, including deviates such as homosexuals, abortionists, communists, Democrats, Mormons, Catholics, Methodists—the name does not matter, as long as they are available for derision and, yes, hate. The flock doesn't have a very long attention span, they really come for the coffee and donuts, so keep it simple. Limit your most wanted list to the one or two most easily vilified groups.
  • Third, it is not enough to say that such people are sinners or that they are bad or evil, or wear funny underwear—that is not enough. To truly serve your purpose, they must be a real or imagined threat to the flock. They must be found responsible for whatever ills you are suffering so that by forcing them to mend their ways, you will be happier.
  • Finally, there must be a call to action. A war or battle must be fought. If the real lessons are to be internalized then action is required. Now you don't want to inconvenience the flock too much, so obviously the first means of fighting evil is to donate money—lots and lots of money. For the more “involved” of the flock, there are letter writing campaigns, phone call, threats of boycott, and sometimes actual wars with bloodshed, hangings, and even a good burning or two—fine spectacle that.

To summarize:

  1. Define the flock as chosen or special—the good guys.
  2. Find an enemy, preferably a source of some nice salacious gossip.
  3. Show how they are causing all your misery.
  4. Wage war against the enemy so that you may be redeemed.

Finally, there is one last rule. Whether talking about political or religious organizations, the key motivation of the leadership is power and money. It is all about the bling-bling, and always has been.


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