Monday, November 3, 2008

Marketing God

Dear George,

My, how effete liberals love to bitch about our national ignorance. One writer got his knickers in a knot because only 26 percent of Americans believe that evolution takes place through natural selection. So, what did he expect; we’re a pious fucking nation.

He then goes on to say, “Religion—in particular fundamentalist religion—makes you stupid.”

There is a man who mistakenly assumes that fundamentalism has something to do with religion. Fundamentalism is not a product of divine revelation; it is a product of clever marketing, and, no, I’m not talking about programs like The 700 Club. What I am talking about is decades of sophisticated marketing for everything from soft drinks to roll-on deodorants that has convinced the American public that it is entitled to a life of blissful happiness unsullied by even the smallest of dust motes.

Life, as we know, sucks, so it is only a matter of time before naiveté is screwed to the wall and disillusionment sets in. Trapped in a vale of tears, the poor darlings look about for relief. Soft drinks no longer work, nor do labels or logos. Moisturizers do nothing for an arid soul, and a new wardrobe leaves them as miserable as they ever were and even deeper in debt.

Cue the preachers and their promises of heavenly rewards that await the suffering and their assurances that the key to bliss on earth is to plunge into ignorance and superstition. “Believe and you, too, can skip through la-la land with a beatific smile on your face,” they tell them. The newly converted don’t embrace God, the embrace another product that promises smooth skin and unbroken happiness. Everything will be fine as long as you believe.

In their embrace of this new product, they lose sight of the fact that God only promises two things: the strength to endure hardship, and the perspective to understand that good times never last. What they think they are getting is a God who will keep the good times rolling.

But deep in their heart of hearts, they know this is bullshit. No matter how loudly they proclaim their ffaith they know that fate pisses on the just and the unjust, and they do their damndest to ignore this truth. Thus is born a siege mentality that views anything that deviates from their crippled doctrine as a threat. Everything not like them is Satan tempting them to leave the fold and wander the scorched and barren fields of reality. So, they barricade themselves in their mega churches to maintain the illusion that dinosaurs supplied the meat in man’s prehistoric diet.

This is what happens when a society disintegrates into a random collection of atoms spinning out of control. The loss of community leaves a vacuum into which a well-tailored televangelist readily steps with his promises eternal bliss. It’s either that or controlled substances.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

3 comments:

Steve said...

As usual, Case, your perspective on religion is dead on. And I say that as a devout, though unorthodox, Christian.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Steve,

I happen to be a renegade Christian myself.

Steve said...

That's the only kind to be!