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New religion?
July 29, 2003 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Ready for a new religion? Or maybe not so new. But it may explain a few things.
posted by donfactor (11 comments total)

 


donfactor, you will languish forever in hellbaghdad for your heresy. Say five Our Cheneys and ten Hail Rumsfelds right now.
posted by walrus at 7:59 AM on July 29, 2003


Walrus: sorry, I think I had better add a couple of Wolfowitzes, too just to be safe.
posted by donfactor at 9:00 AM on July 29, 2003


I'm talking for free
I can't stop myself
it's a new religion
posted by badzen at 9:52 AM on July 29, 2003


Interesting that this thread has had so few comments. Does that mean this postulation is undebatable?
posted by PigAlien at 10:55 AM on July 29, 2003


no, just kinda... lame. not shocking, not deep, not a revelation, not terribly insightful. what is it?
posted by badstone at 11:06 AM on July 29, 2003


The Fire You Left Me's thread is relevant but deals mainly with the current situation and the bible-belt approach to Americanism. What I found most interesting about Monbiot's article was that it put this set of religious preconceptions into a historical perspective. My understanding of religion is that it deals in absolutes. God is an absolute. The religious believer's view of god is the absolutely necessary view of the way the world is and must be. This view cannot be questioned without causing irreparable harm. Therefore, if the American view of democracy is a religious view, it too gets treated as an absolute necessity. Religion is not the opiate of the masses but a form of collective egotism that if given free-rein can lead to disastrous consequences as the history of all the major religions give evidence. Whether that religion is called Christianity or Judaism, or Islam it is potentially dangerous. If it is given the name of The United States of America is can be even more dangerous. That's the reason why I put it up.
posted by donfactor at 11:23 AM on July 29, 2003


It is a bit silly, a sort of tenuous mapping function between the features of a religion and current US foreign policy without there being any real correspondence. I guess if you accept religion in the sense of meaning the feeling of one who believes in a transcendent controlling power, then since the US definitely climbs over everything else and definitely is a controlling power then ... maybe.

I thought its most interesting part was the atttempt to root present behaviour in the practices of the early Americans. I recall reading in Why do people hate America? that the original settlers were actually quite troubled morally by the task of slaughtering the millions of indigenous folks. In practice, many of them adopted a mix of Rousseau's "Noble Savage", which allowed the settlers to enslave them, and the notion that the settlers were God's chosen people and therefore empowered to slaughter the Godless savages.

But that was then. Of course no one believes that Americans are God's chosen people today.
posted by RichLyon at 12:41 PM on July 29, 2003


donfactor and those who believe all religion deals only with absolutes should take a look at Buddhism, where relativity is taken to the extreme.
posted by VeGiTo at 6:10 PM on July 29, 2003


donfactor and those who believe all religion deals only with absolutes should take a look at Buddhism, where relativity is taken to the extreme.

Well, yes, that is if you are a sophisticated, philosophically inclined Buddhist. But most ordinary Buddhists, born and bred, take their religion as absolutely as do Orthodox Jews, Evangelical Christians or members of Al Qeida. Think of those Buddhists who set themselves on fire to protest various political actiivities in their home countries or those who govern Burma.

I have no argument with religion as such. What I worry about is what happens to a valuable spiritual form of awarness when it gets organized and led by a priest, a pope or a president.
posted by donfactor at 4:53 AM on July 30, 2003


donfactor and those who believe all religion deals only with absolutes should take a look at Buddhism, where relativity is taken to the extreme

YMMV.
posted by walrus at 7:27 AM on July 30, 2003


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