Monday, September 22, 2008
Posted by Daniel Greenfield 5 Comments
When the West retreated from monotheism into secularism, watering down religion and reforming their faiths until they were nothing more than leisure beliefs they could throw on over the weekend and then quickly put away, or banishing it entirely, what it did was retreat back to more primitive forms of worship.
Cult of Personality - The first of course was the cult of personality. The cult of personality is one of the most basic pre-religious forms of religion there is with man substituting for God with man. The emotional investment in a cult of personality leader enables the individual to identity with the transcendent or uplifted leader and to incorporate him into his own ego.
Cults of personality have become commonplace on the left by no coincidence, since in many ways left wing politics form a secular religion, particularly Marxism with its Messianic emphasis. As Obama's cult of personality demonstrates, it is believers from liberal religious denominations who are extremely susceptible and who once they have assigned a portion of their ego to the cult figure replicate classic religious iconography, engage in simulated worship services and treat any opposition as an act of heretical blasphemy that must be stamped out.
What should be most disturbing to those closely following the Presidential election in the United States is the sudden 'out of nowhere' psychotic hatred suddenly being manifested by liberals for McCain and Palin. The senseless and unreasoning torrent of hate, particularly by reporters and pundits who had recently praised both politicians, seems baffling in a rational context. It is however a primitive religious phenomenon associated with Obama's cult of personality. It isn't true hatred for McCain or Palin, but a pathological adoration for Obama as secular savior lashing out at those obstructing the emotional climax of his coronation.
Palin's role as a woman in symbolically verbally emasculating Obama at his party's coronation complete with Greek columns, the key moment in the liberal worship of Obama, touched off the kind of uncontrollable fury that only blasphemy to a fanatic can set off. Most telling is the repeated meme describing Jesus as a "community organizer" and Pilate as a governor. This language made rather blatant the genuine liberal emotional investment in the power of Obama to "redeem America and the world" and viewing opposition to him as not only blasphemy but even comparable to deicide.
Forces of Nature - The second is of course a more general worship of the forces of nature, in our time the personification of the earth itself, Gaia "the mother" whom mankind has sinned against with our technology.
Environmentalism of course incorporates the classic apocalyptic themes of religion, an original sin doctrine, collective guilt for planetary deicide and a chance to atone and redeem our mistakes by achieving harmony with the mother deity.
Even the man most associated with popularizing the eco-catastrophic global warming version of the creed, was a former leader who lost power, grew a beard, went into the wilderness and was thought mad, only to return gloriously as a prophet warning of imminent catastrophe. Better known as Al Gore. The analogy may seem facile to some, but think of how many times Al Gore has been described as a prophet by the news media. Just as with Obama's halo photographs or comparisons to Jesus, what may seem like an overextended metaphor reveals people's unconscious attitudes.
Worship of Life - Eat, drink and be merry. Live the good life. We can call this consumerism with an emphasis on the party circuit. Sensual pleasure is emphasized as is amassing possessions. This form of pagan religion lacks any real beliefs, only a constant drive to stimulate the id in order to achieve revelation and meaning or in the modern parlance, self-fulfillment.
Stronger Religion - Water down a monotheistic religion enough and people will instinctively seek out another. Some will find more stringent versions, but many will simply be directed toward a religion that seems genuinely uncompromising and therefore spiritual.
Today that is Islam. Islam's violence suppresses criticism even as its otherness imposes a sense of unworthiness on secularized Westerners. Its very intolerance attracts those who have grown weary of tolerance. The rise of Islam is directly proportional to the paling of the religious immune systems of Christians and Jews.
In the end monotheism has won time and time again around the world, which suggests that in the end liberal belief systems centering on cults of personality or the world must give way to an expansionist monotheistic system, which naturally is why liberals give way to Islam at every turn.
From cults to earth worship to Dhimmi or Muslim convert seems like a radical transition, but it's the transitionmuch of what would become Saudi Arabia underwent under Islam. While Muslims are frustrated and infuriated by Christians and Jews, they know quite well what to do with pagans, old or new. Where to Christians and Jews, Islam is a pathetic and clueless bastardization of their beliefs, to liberals Islam is superior, simply because their own beliefs are forms of religion that for all their tolerance and enlightenment are actually so hopelessly backward and pagan that to them Islam actually looks superior.
This is the West without religion and it is a very ugly and explosive picture indeed.