/ Social Order /
Freedom has been a major subject with pk since I founded the Free Learning Exchange in 1970. The list below links to a few locations. But the specific use of the concept Americans are trained to since childhood, freedom of religion, remained absent. A scrapbook on the subject, a draft, a couple of scratches, begin here.
Freedom: that’s good! Religion: that’s very good. Freedom of Religion: that must be very very good.
But not if you think carefully. and not if you define your terms.
Insist on others defining their terms? (Imagine sticking to a definition once defined!) Lots of luck.
(The conscienceless magician will always have the longest filibuster.)
We fear the dungeons of the Inquisition;
we do not fear our conscience.
Religion is where a group of people insist that they have magical favor with a magical being. Should we really be free to delude ourselves? Don’t we have that power, the power to delude ourselves, without any verbalized guarantee?
The Jews’ God magically created the world: with words, magic words. The Jews’ God did it in Hebrew; the Christian God grabbed it: into Latin!
The Jews’ God made a “legal” “pact” with Abraham: if Abraham (and his descandants) observed a few taboos (as what bronze age shepherd did not?), then God promised to give them some nice land: Canaan.
Uhh mmm … Shouldn’t God have evicted the Canaanites before giving their land to the Jews?
(Look at Palestine: it still hasn’t happened!)
You know I’ve made this point for decades:
It’s like Clemenza giving a rug to the Don in the Godfather: to get the gift, Vito has to help Clemenza steal the rug! Watch the movie, we see how quickly Vito picks this up, and cooperates! (Like Jews! like Americans!)
I’m just watching a Bible doc that shows I’ve been wrong: God specifically tells the Jews that he’s punishing them for not having taken the land themselves: that’s the gift: to steal. To marshal militray force. to become a kleptocracy, not just a theocracy.
Anyway, imagine: the Puerto Rican arrives in Manhattan. The Puerto Rican God shows him Trump Tower on 57th Street. The Puerto Rican God says “This is yours: all you have to do is take it!”
Uh, if I can steal something, what do I need the God’s permission for?
(And yes, you can cast Rod Steiger, as in On the Waterfront, to mouth the rationalizations.) (He says: We’re entitled to it, if we can take it!)
I wish my God would take all these other Gods by the scruff of the neck and rub their nose in their bull shit. But I’ve never held my breath, waiting for that to happen: my God is the truth. The truth doesn’t need any proof, especially not any tricks. If smoking gives us cancer, fine, then smoking gives us cancer. Smoking with eventually give us cancer whether some White House doctors put a spotlight on it or not.
Which would you rather: live longer, better, by being sensible? or would you rather actualize fraud, live by deceit: show by mirrors that you don’t have cancer, no matter how much you smoke?
no matter how many helpless children you draft into your school system?
That’s all trivial. The main point, the main starting point here, is that religion is a group of Jews telling themselves that Canaan belongs to them. They don’t need any documents, they don’t even need the Ark of the Covenant. They can lose it, and thousands of years later claim that said ark is their magical authority.
So: when “white” people, gringos (of all colors) swipe the Iroquois Great Law of Peace and call it the US Constitution, having murdered 99% of the Iroquios, that’s the defining freedom, freedom of religion: that is, freedom for any group big enough to be recognized by big enough groups of black-shirts to believe, in public, any bullshit it wants to foist, safe from accountability.
Accountability to the truth, that is.
Understand, Canaan is just a metaphor: Promised Land stands for magical favor.
Remember this, at all times, with respect to any real god, with respect to the truth, how life, the universe, the cosmos operates: of course you’re free to believe what you like, to say what you mean. Even hung on the dungeon wall, even as they’re cutting out your tongue, you can still try to say what you want.
And I’ve been sabotaged every step of the way. Yanking my carreer from under me, depriving me of a living, still didn’t stop me. Arresting me, jailing me, censoring, obliterating thousands of essays, still hasn’t stopped me.
There is a problem though, I admit. Getting old and stupid and blind and deaf as well as broke doesn’t help my writing. Compare my writing of 1948, my writing of 1969, my writing of 1982, to today’s.
But I don’t worry about that. The real god knows what happened, has a perfect record of everything: even as he keeps silent about it.
I owe that term to the movie Frida. I’n’ Salma Hayek something?
I’m reminded of Ivan Illich’s Mexican blur between American white and American black: “To a Mexican, a black is just another gringo!”
Getting back to reading Nock’s Jefferson prompted this one, but I havn’t made the connection yet in the module: and it’s not what you’d likely guess.
Freedom (Deschooling Rant)
Freedom (pk Glossary)
Freedom of Religion