Some Realizations about the Similarities of Religion and the State
So many of us anarchists routinely call Statism a religion in its own right. And it is. It has its own robed high priests and priestesses (Judges, Congressmen and women, and Senators, etc…). It has its own holy scripture (constitutions, bills, etc…). Its own prophets, priests, and cardinals (Presidents/Prime Ministers, Local Officials like Mayors, etc.…, and Governors). Its own religious relics, holy sites, temples and temple mounts (think things owned on display in museums by famous world leaders, memorials to politicians, the White House, the Bundestag, Buckingham Palace, the Vatican, our Mount Rushmore). Its own hand gestures held in prayer (think instead of arms folded, or clasped hands, we have our hands over our hearts as we pledge allegiance to a holy relic cloth thing we hang everywhere). And there are so many more similarities, that I could go on forever.
Have I driven the point home yet? Nothing we haven’t all thought before, right?
Statism is a religion.
Ok, moving on, but keep the above in mind.
When Aristotle or Plato talked about “politics,” what they were talking about was a given society. “Politics” was the interactions between individuals on a societal level. We call this the body politic.
From here, it isn’t a stretch to then define “politics” as the “theology of a society, which gives rise to government.” In other words, there exists a spiritual, or “eternal” religion (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc…) and a “temporal” religion. And both of these “religions” have their own set of ethics, their “ought to’s.” We call these laws, or commandments, but they are the ways these religions command us to live. And if we don’t…?
This “temporal” religion, thankfully, we can escape after death. If you’re an atheist, then you’ve got neither to worry about upon death.
But both “religions” have this one distinguishing, and abhorrent feature in common (especially the big monotheistic 3 – many others do not have this characteristic, and those are not included):
Both threaten the individual with violence if you do not convert and submit.
It is “convert, submit, or die.”
Or “convert, submit, or burn in hell.”
Either way, it is convert, submit, or have violence inflicted upon you.
Now we all know that an idea that requires violence to back it up is not a very good one. We’ve all seen the meme. We all agree with this premise.
But here is a further thought I had never considered before.
I think Christianity, while it has built Europe, fostered it, nurtured it, and has been generally good to it (minus the eradication of my pagan ancestors – but that’s a blog for another day. 😉 ), it may actually be the most psychopathic of the main 3.
Because while the same rules above apply between the big 3, Christianity takes it a step further by introducing the concept of salvation from sin through saying “God does all this because he loves you.”
In other words, God murdered his own son, and threatens you (due to his own admitted jealousy) with eternal damnation, and goes to the length of murdering his own child… because he loves you and that child.
What the fuck?
God’s proof of love for us is the murder of his own son and eternal damnation for the rest of us if we don’t acknowledge this? I’m sorry, but that is just straight up psychopathic.
Statism and Religion are effectively two sides of the same coin.
Convert, submit, or have violence inflicted upon you, either in this life or the next.
Realization: I will not acknowledge any entity that effectively forces my sustaining belief of it
Now I know many believers in the big 3, especially Christianity, will say that “nobody forces you to be Christian.”
Sure – Just like “nobody forces you to pay taxes.”
I pay taxes not because I believe in the institution or principle. But because I can do better for the cause of liberty (I’m assuming here) out of prison or not being killed by a firing squad, than I can by being in prison or dead.
Is this not true?
So while politics is the theology of a society for the here and now, religion is the theology of a society for the hereafter.
With all that implies and comes with.
Doesn’t that just piss you off?
I want to be clear – I am not against Judaism or Christianity. Nor am I against freedom of worship. And Christianity has been particularly good for the world, as a whole. None of these religions come without hiccups of course. But also remember that Buddhism never had inquisitions. Taoists never murdered their own spiritual leaders. Hindus don’t typically start holy wars. I do truly love virtually all religions, in some capacity. I simply have less respect for some over others because of the theological implications, and their similarity to the religion of Statism. I, myself, am both religious and spiritual.
But also for myself, I simply do not acknowledge as “good” ideas that effectively force upon me violence if I deny their tenants, whether it comes from the state, or a clergyman. I just won’t.
Sorry not sorry?
No. No apologies.