God the Original Fascist
Part 4d: Holy Wars--Manifest Destiny In A Biblical Setting
Revolution #022, November 13, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Part 4c talked about how the Bible repeatedly discusses the supposed justification and necessity for wiping out any people who are not God's chosen people.
Perhaps, however, in concluding the final portion of this series, it is best to do what I may not yet have done enough of: Give God a chance to speak for himself. After all, aren't these fascists always complaining about how they need "equal time" to express their views? I suppose I have been a bit unfair.
So, before ending, then, let me quote from an excerpt of a poem that God reads to Moses towards the end of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final Mosaic book. In this poem, God is prophesying that future generations of his followers will turn against him, and is illustrating the punishments he will unleash upon humanity when this occurs. Says God:
"Vengeance will I wreak, on my foes, will I deal to those who reject me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood--As my sword devours the flesh--Blood of the slain and the captive--From the long-haired enemy chiefs."
Well God, I couldn't have said it better myself!
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery/none but ourselves can free our minds."
The above quote, of course, is a famous one from Bob Marley's very powerful composition, "Redemption Song." In some sense, the choice of that quote has a two-fold purpose here. The first, and perhaps more obvious, is that it poetically captures the notion that it is foolish to root one's quest for freedom in a belief system that is barbaric, unscientific, and archaic. The second reason for choosing this quote, however, is its irony: In that line, Bob Marley is referring to such belief systems as Christianity, which he correctly identifies as having many poisonous effects on those who strive to be free, either physically or mentally. And yet, rather than going one step further to realizing that human societies must seek to move beyond reliance on any religion, he simply adopts another, equally unscientific religion in its place --- Rastafarianism. Thus, one could say that when it came to religion's role in society, Marley powerfully captured part of the picture, yet failed profoundly to see the rest. For while Christianity certainly takes second place to no other religion when it comes to justifying, and even extolling, the commission of horrific atrocities, the simple fact remains that just about any religion under the sun has at its core the same basic problems as Christianity: It is based on an unscientific and erroneous belief in a higher power, and its core principles envision a society reflecting the dominance of certain segments of society at the expense of others.
To be sure, the new Draft Programme of the RCP, as well as numerous writings and talks by Bob Avakian, have made it clear that while fully embracing communism entails a commitment to atheism, individuals living in the kind of society communists envision never should or will be forced to give up religion. In addition, the point has been made in many of the same writings and talks that there are, and for some time will be, many, many masses of people who will continue to adhere to religious viewpoints who are in fact well-intentioned, good-hearted people who must be united with and never viewed as being part of the enemy. Both of these points are vital in working towards a society where, one day, everyone can truly be "free."
However, a fundamental distinction must be made between upholding the rights of individuals to practice their religions--which is a worthy principle--and using religious doctrines and texts as key principles by which to organize society--which would be deadly. In addition, while religious intolerance, including intolerance of people's right to practice religion, is not only immoral but would represent a significant obstacle to the ability to build a successful revolutionary movement, it also must be stated that relying on the Bible or any other religious text to initiate fundamental and radical change will never work at any level.
Next week: Conclusion to the series-why we should be glad there is no God.