Recently, an article on the Discussion/Blog/Forum site SodaHead posed the question, Which is Worse, Religious Extremism, or Political Fanaticism?
Well, first, let me address these two ideas. On the one hand, we have people who are so obsessed with something, whether it be a God, or a philosophical point of view, that they’re willing to do ANYTHING–die for it, kill for it…talk about it until you want to kill THEM, whatever–to make everyone they see believe in what THEY believe. This is Religious Extremism, and we see this in the news nearly every day, throughout the Islamic world. On the other hand, we have people whose sole agenda is power–power at any cost, including the cost in lives. We see that in South America, in Central Africa, and even in the former Soviet countries since the fall of the USSR. But even the great Socialist Experiment itself was a form of Political Extremism, taken to the opposite direction, the Forced Equalization of All “Citizens” through mass enslavement.
But what’s the real difference? In the end, anyone who doesn’t think like the political or religious Extreme Fanatic will ultimately suffer at his hand.
Listen, I am a scholar of history, and in my experience, the single most dangerous situation occurs when religious people become involved–as the “moral Majority”, the “Conservative Press”, Skullbones, the Masons, the Mob, and even the phreaking Orthodox are right now–in POLITICS! The vast majority of Political Fanaticism in this country is itself Religious Extremism! And the situation becomes much, MUCH WORSE when the Religious Extremist is also Political. Because these are the kinds of people who take Fanaticism above and beyond mere power and bullying. These become men like Adolph Hitler. Genghis Khan. Joseph Stalin. Even the Popes during the Dark Ages…name one, trust me. What we see happening right now in American Politics HAS HAPPENED once before. It all started when the Emperor of Rome adopted a Religion, and became the first Pope, Emperor Constantine. His Religious Government eventually consumed nearly all of Europe, devastated the Native Tribes of central and south America, and the merger of Religious Extremism with Political Fanaticism lead to FOUR HUNDRED YEARS OF THE DARK AGES and to the Inquisition and Witch Hunts that KILLED MILLIONS!!! And guess what? It even took a Political Fanatic named Napolean to snap them back into simple Religious Extremists. I mean it was just that bad!
So where do we fit in this? Listen to the politicians speak when they’re asked about religious issues. Every damn one of them! You can’t find a politician with any hope of getting elected who doesn’t also have strong religious feelings of one sort or another. And that condition leads inevitably towards another: that Power Corrupts; and that Absolute Power corrupts…ABSOLUTELY! Wherever we see religious sects influencing, or even controlling political institutions, we see unbelievable examples of corruption and inhumanity. It is happening here. It WILL happen here. One cannot say that one of these conditions is worse than the other. Separately, these two can NEVER compare to an institution that combines both. Because as you can see, they are a marriage made, literally, in HELL.