Daniel Greenfield, over at Sultan Knish, wrote a brilliant article titled, “God as Government.”
…. If there are no unique revelations, no special scriptures and no vital testaments… then each religion’s identity becomes a formality, is reduced to a series of dubious traditions that don’t really matter in the bigger picture. If all religions are equally valid, then they are also equally invalid….
Greenfield postulates, correctly, in my view, that when you remove God from religion, you get the worship of “Government.”
In the absence of theology, the only religion that remains is the universal one of “being nice to other people”. Take god out of the equation, and all you have left is social justice. Liberalization leads to secularization with the end result that religion becomes one gigantic “being nice to other people” project. And what is the best possible vehicle for social justice projects, but government. And so governments became gods. Their mission to build kingdoms of heaven on earth, utopias in which no one went hungry and which everyone was equally prosperous.
This is an excellent essay. Please go here and read it.
One more tidbit:
An impossible mission demands symbolic figures, leaders who transcend the political and ascend to the mystical. Who are somehow inhumanly inspirational, able to elevate their followers to a new state of being. Messiahs, so to speak. Leader-worship underlies the impossible mission. With faith in our leaders we can succeed.
Faith is required because the mission is inherently impossible. Only by believing in the latest Camelot in the latest “Communism-Over-the-Hill”, can people suspend their disbelief, committing themselves to the thrill of Hope and Change, to “Yes We Can” and “We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For.” The ecstasy is religious or rather pseudo-religious. It is government masquerading as god, anointing messiahs and trying to hide policy flaws under the veil of charisma.
Greenfield always has great insights. Follow his blog.