Saturday, November 13, 2004
Hate and Religion
Religion serves much the same purpose: it gives human animals meaning in their pathetic miserable pointless lives, it allows them to endure the humiliations of being poor, of being ignorant, by allowing themselves to feel that they are better than the wealthy person who places their foot in front of them where they work as a shoe sales clerk, better than the wealthy person who drives a Mercedes while they drive a tired old Chevrolet sedan rattling its last gasps, it allows them to hate while feeling good about themselves.
And after all, that is the point. The Party only gives people what they want. The Party did not make these people want to hate. The Party did not make these people want to worship a sky spirit that offers cheap and facile explanations for the pointlessness of their lives. The Party did not create the ludicrious notion that simply declaiming your allegiance to the lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and you're going to some ridiculous paradise full of harps and mansions and people with bird's wings coming out of their shoulders, no matter how much you've hated in the past, no matter what evil deeds you've done. But surely the Party would be remiss if it did not take advantage of the fact that religion serves so well to focus these people's hate, to satisfy these people's need for meaning in their pathetic lives.
Karl Marx famously proclaimed that religion was the opiate of the masses, and pronounced that for his perfect worker's paradise to arise on Earth, religion would need to be abolished so that man could see the world as it is, not through the cloud of fairy sky spirits and the lunatic ravings of holy scriptures that read like bad science fiction. But Karl Marx was an idealist who had a ludicrously high opinion of his fellow human beings. The Party does not make that mistake. We know that the people do not wish to see the world as it is. The world as it is is horrible, full of misery and pain. People want lies, cool, soothing lies to ease their lives of quiet desperation, and religion is one of the biggest.
We know that if religion is abolished, people will search for some other meaning in their lives, some other explanation for why they are so powerless in their pathetic little lives of quiet desperation. People would be confused, and angry, and perhaps even destructive of themselves and others. No, no, far better to encourage the worship of fairy sky spirits and the reading of bad science fiction posing as holy scriptures. All we are doing, by doing so, is giving people what they want. And while we are giving people what they want, they are giving us in the Party what we want -- their undying devotion. And all it took was to have our ignorant figurehead proclaim that he was "born again" and babble the right incantations. The Party surely has been blessed, to have such sky spirit cults so popular on the soil of Oceania!
Karl Rove O'Brien, Bush's Brain