Saturday, July 12, 2008

Taming the Prophet

Dear George,

One of your legacies --one of the many legacies for which your name will live forever--will be your success at getting religion back into the barn where it can’t cause any more trouble.

It’s been a rough forty years since religion kicked down the barn door and fled the stable of propriety. Look at all the trouble it caused: civil rights, the peace movement and chants of power to the people,. It was running all over the pasture, creating instability and unrest everywhere it went.

The trouble is that the cross Jesus is always talking about taking up is a real destablizer. It brings the riff-raff to the table; it makes empire impossible; it has no use for power; and it loves diversity. The voice of the prophet raging against the injustice of kings is a thorn in the side of any leader.

Historically, the easiest way to silence a prophet and to get religion back into the barn, is to give the prophet political influence. As soon as he sits down at the table, the prophet is defanged as he begins to dance to the king’s song. His cries for justice become cries of bigotry and intolerance. Where he once embraced the unwashed, he now incarcerates or deports them. He calls for a Christian nation run by Christian whitemen and for the damnation of anyone who refuses to accept the one pure and true doctrine.

Make the pious powerful and they will stamp out the last vestiges of democracy in their zeal to manifest God’s word on earth. A dark spirit moves them, giving them a force and energy few politicians are capable of. The fire of fanaticism burns in their eyes, making of them avenging angels who will cut down all in their path.

Channel and direct their energy, George, while you stand in the background, your trademark sheepish grin on your face, mouthing your tepid platitudes.

May the Force be with you.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

2 comments:

Steve said...

"Historically, the easiest way to silence a prophet and to get religion back into the barn, is to give the prophet political influence. As soon as he sits down at the table, the prophet is defanged as he begins to dance to the king’s song."

Makes me wonder what would have happened if the people of Jesus' time had actually listened to him.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Revolutin, anyone?