April 20, 2005

Thoughts on theocracy

One realized upon watching the "Frontline" report about a Saudi princess executed for adultery how a privileged elite has fostered a harsh absolutist religion in their country to secure their power. They of course remain above the law, not bound by the strictures that keep everyone else enslaved. (The princess dared the rulers to kill one of their own, which they did, as keeping the illusion of absolute law and the corresponding righteousness of their power was more important than allowing a such a publicized unrepentant exception.)

One thought about the close ties between the Bush and Saud families, and the cynical and terrible use of religion that keeps George W in power, enriching his pals and impoverishing the nation (spiritually as well as materially). His is truly a medieval vision of the worst sort. It even includes crusades to gain control of the middle east from the forces of evil, mirrored at home in the battles against the armies of sin. Even the true believers must accept their diminishing fortune, even their death, as their painful duty in the great cause.

What is the endless reverential coverage of the death and funeral of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI in the Vatican City but an insistence that the story is not just relevant but important? This medieval anachronism is suddenly central to all our lives, legitimizing the "moral" concerns of our government that mask a blatant theocratic coup. They would have us so cowed to believe that God blesses the President and that therefore his actions need not be judged objectively, if at all. The Pope is the model, the Holy Roman Emperor that Adolf Hitler sought to resurrect in himself. He is infallible. Dissent is treason.

Normal human behavior is sinful, because individual thought is a crime, a threat to the sheiks who cling so jealously to their ill-got gains. They demand our submission. There is only one God: Its name is Power.

The great are great only because we are on our knees. --Max Stirner

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