I committed myself to blog against the theocratization of Canada (and the USA) a few days ago, and then I sat down and actually thought about what might be involved. So many directions from which to approach the subject, and so many talented others who are already putting together their arguments against country-wide religious obligations and laws which all must follow, regardless of their individual thoughts and needs.Tempting as it was, I have not yet read any of the other bloggers' posts. I shall do so after I've fulfilled my own committment, because, rise or fall, it's my own idea I need to express here rather than a shadow of someone else's. Any relationship between this post and any other will be strictly accidental and entirely serendipitous.So. Why not live in a theocracy? Besides the fact that the ones that already exist are killing people left, right, and center, I mean -- their own people included. Well, besides the three Book religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), which I will set aside for this post -- because others will be writing about them, I'm sure -- there are several other religions who have adherents in this country. And while the Book religions are busy wiping one another off the face of the earth, one of the less well known religions might like a chance to rule. Now we just have to decide which one. Let's take a brief look at a few and see what's what:BuddhismNo diety sitting on a cloud in the sky, scowling down upon unbelievers and throwing lightning bolts at the enemies of its worshippers at the bidding of the worshippers. So far, so good.
"The Five Precepts involve the taking of vows, one for each precept. Vows are taken only if they can be kept. The precepts apply to body, speech and mind. The precepts of the body oblige the adherent to abstain from (1) killing, (2) stealing and (3) sexual exploitation. The precept of speech (4) implies abstention from lying, while the precept of the mind (5) requires abstention from mind-altering drugs and intoxicants."Vows taken only if they can be kept? Kinda like promises? Well, that will put paid to any electioneering by politicians, and I could live with that. On the other hand, there are days when the only thing that keeps some people sane is indulging in some mind-altering drugs or intoxicants. Sometimes, as Heinlein said, "Everything to excess! Moderation is for monks!" And Buddhism has monks. Oh, well...HinduismThere seems to be a bit of built-in doctrinal contradiction: "The Vedas (Scriptures) are the divine word of the gods (plural)." and, "There is one Supreme Being (singlular) above all, the Source and Creator of the universe." Hmm...this could keep the theologians busy enough not to interfere with the lives of the citizens. And that could be a good thing.
"No single religion offers the only way to salvation. All are equal as paths to oneness with the Supreme Being."Oops! That will NOT go down well with the hard-line theocrats, who firmly believe that "my way is the only way and if you're not a believer you'll go to hell and I'm going to help send you there!" Pity, because this is whence came the Kama Sutra. Then again, cows are sacred, so no cheezburgers. I definitely like my cheezburgers. Native SpiritualityAh, yes...the original religion of the original inhabitants of the country. Getting back to the roots. There are lots of good things about it, but there are major drawbacks. First, it's an oral tradition, which requires that people pay attention in order to learn. And since the average human attention span these days is comparable to the life span of a politician's memory of the promises he made, this will not fly. Besides, there is a pipe ceremony, and smoking is naughty.RastafarianismGood gods and goddesses and all the heroes! Take a look around you! Can you imagine your MP in dreadlocks? Besides, ganja is a sacrament, and smoking is naughty.Sikhism
Very promising, but first, let's settle the argument about the chairs -- yes or no? If we can't agree on how to sit, how can we get anything else done?WiccaAlso promising, but much too individualistic for most peoples' liking. A High Priestess once told me that organising Witches is not quite as easy as herding cats. And a theocracy depends very much upon tight organization.ZoroastrianismAlas, you can only become a Zoroastrian by being born to it. They don't allow converts, and intermarriage with other religions is discouraged. So, unless they get really fertile, fecund, and fast, they have no hope of becoming a theocracy.
__________I have deliberately left out the Book religions -- all aspects of them. Until they stop trying to kill one another off or convert everyone by force under threat of death, they get less respect from me than Rodney Dangerfield. Practitioners of the Book religions may approach me with caution. Until they grow up and start treating each other with courtesy, if not respect, I will have none of them. And I encourage others to do the same, including lay members of those religions.All this is one way of saying that I'm not all that much worried about the threat of a theocracy. We in North America are much too accustomed to making our own choices. Even in the face of others who will insist on trying to limit our choices. Our constitutions guarantee us all freedom of religion.And freedom of religion equals freedom from religion. It guarantees my freedom from your religion, and your freedom from mine.Learn to live with it.