Friday, March 6, 2015

Irony is the weapon of the minority and less powerful in society

"Irony is the glory of the slave."
"Woe unto the defeated, whom history treads into the dust." ~Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon
Those in Power like to make sacred that which supports their power. To be beyond criticism.
Religion whether polytheistic religion or monotheistic has often been used as a tool to power and to protect from criticism once in power. The Divine right of Kings for example.
The expression and freedom of humor, irony, satire, and criticism is important in confronting power whether that power is religious or state power.
Can one Faith be critical of another Faith? What about the Prejudice and bigotry against polytheists and disbelievers? It is ok to insult polytheists, humanists, atheists, and animists? Is it a one way street where the dominant faiths get to have protection from insult and criticism but minority beliefs do not?
As judgmental as religion can be and the bigotry it can produce it is rather ironic that the major religions are asking not to be judged or criticized.
It is precisely because religion is axiomatically given privilege in much of society that groups like ISIS have been able to rise so quickly and why it is tempting for them to attach themselves to religious language and its status.
That is the tragic irony that the Obama administration never has understood or confronted. Religion like all ideologies must be able to be criticized and welcome challenges and not given a special place of privilege. Otherwise you give groups who seek power the temptation to attach themselves to religion because of its privileged place.
The more privilege they give religion the more the zealots will want that privilege and power.
When you think of the crushing of other faiths in history... It is like a company getting to the top of the mountain and creating a monopoly destroying the path to the top for others. At the top it decides to destroy the path up the mountain so no other faith or idea can climb where it is. Changing the rules once your idea or faith is at the top of the mountain is the way power tries to crush dissent and competition.

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