While there are superficial resemblances between Leftism and Religion, Leftism is in essence anti-Religion; and this can be seen from the fact that Leftism is universal acid, while Religion is universal glue.
Both Leftism and Religion tend to subordinate other functional social systems - so that in a Leftist society (in the modern West) all social institutions become primarily Leftist institutions - so that the civil administration (state bureaucracies), schools, universities, churches, hospitals, the legal system, the military, charities etc increasingly and more-completely trend to have Leftist priorities (feminism, antiracism, diversity, environmentalism etc) as their bottom-line function. The sticker label functions such as education, health, law, military effectiveness etc. recede further and further - and get sacrificed more or less completely to Leftist priorities.
Religion is superficially similar in the sense that in a fully religious state (e.g. the Byzantine Empire, Medieval Europe in the ages of faith, Puritan New England or the Mormon state under Brigham Young) all social functions are subordinated to the Religious imperative, and aimed at Religious Priorities.
But although superficially similar - there is a deep difference. Under Leftism the functional institutions are subverted; under Religion they are organised.
Leftism is like acid, in that it destroys the functionality of all social systems:Leftism dis-integrates. Education substantially ceases to be education, health services cease to promote health, the legal system becomes unjust - not by accident but by its intent and nature.
Of course this is constrained in any actually surviving society, because at some point in the advancing wave of Leftism (the 'march through the institutions'), the acid will have dissolved everything which does necessary and useful work, and which holds the state together - and society will collapse. Collapse is what happens when enough acid is applied for long enough.
But Religion works as a glue to hold together all the social institutions - binds them and keeps them pointing in the same direction: Religion imposes cohesion. The systems are subordinated, inevitably the efficiency and effectiveness of any specific system will be compromised to some extent - but the aim is not to destroy institutions but to harness them to Religious goals.
For example, university professors will be required to profess the Religion (or, at least, not to attack it), doctors will be required to practise within Religious constraints, lawyers will be expected to ignore or even contradict laws if or when they come into conflict with Religious morality.
Glue usually does slow up things, and can even clog things - but the overall imperative of sustaining and promoting Religion means that this is not intended - the society is meant to be Religious and also functional - and as efficient as is compatible with this goal.
This is the big, and crucial difference between Leftism and Religion - a difference as large as that between acid and glue.
"Religious gaols" -- Freudian slip?
“Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean.”
--Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
I sometimes feel like you are a one man SETI project (or should I say SRI - Search for Religious Intelligence) broadcasting into an almost overwhelming vacuum of Leftist propaganda and static; granted some initial contact has been made but whether the contacted intelligences will receive or understand your message in sufficient numbers and then produce any vaguely efficacious response to the melting acid; putting on Religious armour or hazard suites as it were, until the acid storm passes, remains to be seen. I try not to get too depressed about it but watching the world melt is harrowing and heart - breaking. Sometimes, especially when it melts your loved ones, your nearest and dearest fellowship, love makes one feel like the only rational choice is to jump into the acid with them; at least then you can be together instead of witness that fiendish, wretched and dreaded tarnish eat into everything from a position of powerlessness against the world. Or to put it another way, as I understand Joseph Smith is quoted to have said (paraphrased): I would rather go to hell with my family than an eternity in Heaven alone. I can only hope and set my heart on the faith that Gods great plan for salvation will lead us safely beyond these spiritually corrupting, nihilistic and societally degenerative times. It is after all prophesied as the end of days that things will pan out this way even though it is *potentially* soul destroying to live through.
@David "the only rational choice is to jump into the acid with them; at least then you can be together "
I think that is the error. A Christian is together-with those who are being dissolved by the acid of Leftism - together in love; but those being dissolved are cut-off from *everything* by their own choice, because for them - nothing is really-real except their own current thoughts and emotions, and even these aren't significant, because they are temporary.
This is part of the Givens's God Who Weeps book, in that God weeps for the self-isolation, self-damnation of the world - and this weeping comes from love, and is the unity of reality. SO long as God weeps for the (currently) self-damned, they are not altogether lost.
As you say, the end times are prophesied, although not their timing - and I find this is clarifying and helpful. Once we know where we stand, we can get on with it. And this is strengthening, because we are not going to to be deluded by false dreams of making Heaven on Earth, or of rolling back the planetary tide.
The task is clarified to a manageable and do-able one, of our selves and our circle of influence.
Yes, you speak the truth.
"the only rational choice is to jump into the acid with them; at least then you can be together "
To clarify the above this is the error in thinking that I sometimes find myself thinking when I am tempted by despair but recognise as false when able to think clearly. The strength of my feelings can sometimes be overwhelmingly distorting in this regard. Sometimes the way I feel can seem so powerful it frames all of life and experience in a distorted negative way, which I can only appraise successfully as false once the mood has passed. Thankfully, when that mood passes, I can better take the perspective you describe. This is undoubtedly a personal weakness. It is heartening to know, however, that Fiona and Teryl Givens have passed through periods of doubt or 'faith crisis' and emerged with faith in tact despite their trials (see Mormon Stories podcast interview with the couple discussing their life and work) as we all must time and time again. It gives me strength to know that I am not alone and that others of faith are human and share the same vulnerabilities and trials. It had never occurred to me for many years that God may also be 'vulnerable' in his love for us as the book advocates (in strong contrast to the traditional omniscient patriarchal archetype presented by mainstream historical Christianity). Frankly, this stimulates for me a profound longing to love God even more *because* of his vulnerability and a deep desire to let him know I love him (and heavenly mother) for what they and the forces of good are doing in my life and in the lives of others. I now know he is doing his best and shares our hopes, dreams and earnest righteous yearnings. What a great solace; and so nowadays I find myself praying "Dear God help me with my unbelief and help me become stronger through my weaknesses."
a few small economic inefficiences here and there are exactly the things that are needed for the people, society and civilization to be enduring and, paradoxically, efficient. Because people are not willing and not capable of paying these small inefficiency costs because of lack of religion (for non-religious the internal selfish impulses become the final false "solid ground" on which to base their decisions), people, society and civilization will progressively lose their efficiencies and functionality, and they cannot do anything to stop it. According to Lao-Tzu's Yin - Yang philosophy, every win out has the seeds of loss, and every loss has the seeds of win out, every richness has the seeds of poverty, every poverty has the seeds of richness, every good has the seeds of evil, every evil has the seeds of good, etc. The more extreme a thing becomes, the more it starts to contain and produce it's opposite. That is why it is preferable to be fifth or seventh, not the first, second or third. The first, second and third have a tendency to compete themselves to death; to become arrogant, blind and one-sided; they have tendency to sacrifice the wrong things, which are crucial, to gain one thing, which in the end is revealed not to be crucial; etc. Thus it is better in the long run to be fifth or seventh than the first, second or third, and wait patiently the downfall of "winners".
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