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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Counterfeit Absolutism

What experiences have you had with religious counterfeits (relics, forgeries, hoaxes, cults and the like)? Any that really scare you? (Serendipity Bible 1998, page 1551).

The most troubling counterfeits I have encountered arise from what can be called a cult of absolutism--you go along to get along no matter what...within the subcultural context you are in. Sometimes that subculture is religious, sometimes it is economic or political.  I think a basic attraction of extremism is that it rends the fay indulgence of agreement-absolutism.  It shouts clearly "NO WAY! We will not become effete in the name of anything that comes along!"  Of course, likewise, the very lack of considered self-examination is the tragic flaw of extremism.  While I will always yearn for harmony with John Lennon in hearing his song "Imagine", I recognize that it must be tempered with Churchill's skepticism regarding self-appointed magistrates (see below).  [Even today my admission into USF is being held up by an arrest record 46 years old: Have we gone loony and obsessed over having clean skirts?]

The day may dawn when fair play, love for one's fellow men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth serene and triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell.  Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair.  --Winston Churchill, Last speech to the House of Commons, March 1, 1955; quoted in The President's Devotional by Joshua Dubois, August 7).\

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