Im Le Monde diplomatique vom März 2010 las ich einen ausgezeichneten Artikel zum Thema Religion – Heilige Einfalt: Moderne, Säkularisierung und die Rückkehr des Religiösen von Olivier Roy. Seine These: Die Religion löst sich im Zug von Globalisierung und Säkularisierung vom politischen und kulturellen Hintergrund und erfindet sich neu. Dies erklärt, warum fanatische Gruppen vermehrt Zulauf haben, mehr Leute nach Rom pilgern, aber weniger Leute sich als gläubig bezeichnen, weniger sich zum Priester weihen lassen, warum die modernen Sekten und Freikirschen mehr Zulauf als orthodoxe Kirchen haben, und so weiter. Ausgezeichnet.
(Too bad I didn’t find an English translation of this article.)
I know the Godless Paladin blog is full of angry ranting against religious fundamentalists, but being an atheist myself, I find myself enjoying them quite a bit. I’m not up to date when it comes to religious nutcases in the USA, but when I read some of the information gathered in the Huckabee-Palin 2012 god’s ticket blog post about current politicians, it gives me the shivers. Here I was enjoying the fruits of the Renaissance, living in an Age of Enlightenment, and suddenly I see the dark hydra of ignorance rear its ugly head.
Take a look at the pictures and videos.
The 2nd video has a short interview sequence that basically says it all: The goal is to produce stupid fanatics just like they do. Which brings me back to my favorite Christa Wolf quote: “What’s the use in fighting a war if you have to take on the traits of your enemies in order to win?”
Oh and unfortunately, this phenomenon is not only limited to the nation with “the most powerful military in the world” but Europe has its share as well: Jesus Revolution, for example.
I talked about religion with Claudia. It seems to me that each religion touches some chord in ourselves. The hairy thing is that your character determines whether it resonates with you or not. Discipline, humility, remorse? Christianity! Well, insert whatever terrible simplifications you want to think of right here.
Simplification or not, we talked about Zen, and how I really like it. How it has some aspects to it that fascinate everybody but really strikes people like me: Simplicity, thoughtlessness, to be one with your body, to aim for perfection in all your deeds. We also talked about the corruption of these ideas: When you raise your kids as warriors in such a culture, they will feel Sepuko is the right answer to defeat (an idea I clearly don’t share) – you can’t help but feel so terribly ashamed that death is the only answer you can think of. If that is so, then the Way has truly been corrupted. Which is why you can’t ever put values into words: Words are to easily bent, have too many meanings we don’t intend. The only answer precise enough is your own life. Life as a piece of art, as an answer to the questions of life. An instatiation of the Way.
We also talked about Claudia’s “religion”. Christianity? I didn’t think so. Zen? No way! She wants fun, dance, music, people, mysticism, secrets, double layers, social stuff. When asked to guess, I said “some nature-oriented magic stuff.” She laughed and I think that’s exactly it. The santería stuff in Cuba, for example, fascinated her: The blending of old shamanism, spirits, gods, ritual, dance, and christian saints – dancing and fun, and yet a hidden layer behind it all, the dark shadow of voodoo lingering in the corner of your eyes, all of that is troubling to me – and fascinating for her.