Let’s see if I can add to the Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm this weekend.
Having been born in South Africa, spent my formative years in the US and the UK, returning to Africa via Zimbabwe and now settled in my beautiful native country, I have never experienced a theocracy first hand.
Having been born, moreover, into a primarily scientific-humanist family I had no real idea of the impulses which cause people to adhere so strongly to a religion that they wish to force it on everyone else.
(Except that ‘scientism’ can indeed resemble a religion, but that’s a topic for another post-I have some seedling thoughts brought on by watching the wreck of peoples’ lives caused from within the scientific community, but they’re not fully formed yet)
It is only in returning to a form of Pagan spirituality, by way of a hard spell in materialist Atheism, that I am starting to realize within myself the hard-wired nature of humanity’s longing for the trans-human.
Yes, it seems to be something most of us are born with- a wish to connect with something more than our mortal selves. A longing for immortality born of a fear of death?I used to believe so, but upon exploring spirituality for myself, rather than pompously pronouncing upon it from the sidelines as I was wont, I know hesitantly believe there’s something more to it.
Arising perhaps from the times when the Universe unseen impinges upon our consciousness , we are driven to try to make some sense of what it is we are doing here,and to understand more of what it is we don’t behold in our Beta-wakefulness.
So, given all this-what is it that repulses me about a theocracy?
My primary source of imagination comes from Robert Heinlein’s “Revolt in 2100”, which I first read in my early ‘teens.A sort of the-lunatics-have-taken-over-the-asylum picture, where hypocrisy and viciousness abound.This is born out from what I can see of the active theocracies which have gained prominence in the Middle East.
A theocracy, to me, is not born of the human impulse to apprehend the trans-human, the liminal, the numinous.
It seems to come from a far more base human impulse to control what other people do and how they live – arising perhaps from our own sense of powerlessness in the face of a majestic and powerful universe.
It’s a terrible human impulse, which finds its voice more easily in dogmatic religions than anywhere else.
However, I do not fear for the US.
What we are seeing, I have come to believe, are the death-throes of a badly wounded and almost senile way of being.
That which senses its own death often puts up one hel of a fight, and I think that’s what we’re beholding now, not just in the US (although, because of its unique circumstances of birth, it’s perhaps more noticeable there)but in Europe, the Middle East and also in Mother Africa.
We will go kicking and screaming into an age of enlightenment, and while this is not a happy thought, it’s my nature to see the bigger picture almost by default.
I think that we’ll get through this.I really do.