I’m not a religious man, that much should be obvious to those that know me. I also have a tendency to rant against religion, this is not one of those rants. The basic premise I have is that we should fear anyone who is outwardly righteous, at least until we can accurately judge their true ambitions. Particularly those in politics.
So what do I mean by my premise? What can be so scary about those who are doing the right thing? First of all who decided it was “the right thing” in the first place? And why?
First any one can claim righteousness whilst manipulating those around them for their own gain. These people can be scary, but if you can get their interests to align with yours you may be able to disarm them somewhat. But that would need to be an ongoing process, and not everyone has that option.
The truly scary ones are the believers, the ones that “know” they are in the right. There is no disarming these people, they should scare us all.
So why should this scare us? Well some truly horrific things have been done in the name of “what is right”, and it’s always hard to argue that you shouldn’t do the right thing. This leaves you the option trying to argue about what is “right”, and it is not in the interests of the righteous to engage in that debate, either as a manipulator who isn’t served by the objective truth, or a believer who simply doesn’t accept your version of the truth. So that is rarely, if ever, a realistic option. Therefore when someone believes that “the right thing” is something that is harmful to others the only realistic option is to do something that is ordinarily wrong, which is to say make use of force. But by using force you make yourself the baddie, people rightly rail against the use of force. So against the righteous, particularly the true believer, your choices are bad or worse, fight it or allow the harm to continue, and it can be hard to know which is which.
Not all harms are obvious, no the scariest harms are more insidious than that. The righteous preacher, telling his flock to shun the sinful. What did “the sinful” do to deserve that exclusion? Was it violence, theft, or other obviously bad acts? What if it was as simple as praying to the wrong God? Or even the right God, but in the wrong way? What if, as seems to be the current hot topic, it was coming from somewhere else whilst committing the crime of being poor? What if, even worse, it was being born the wrong race? Or loving the wrong sex?
Something needs to be done, but I’m not sure I have the stomach to do it. Hopefully the future will not judge me too harshly, but I admit that right now, in the UK, I am scared, and it’s the righteous politicians who scare me the most!