The hastening death of utopian politics and secular gods

The hastening death of utopian politics and secular gods

Politics as usual is coming to a screeching halt as voters tire of the utopian ideals of President Obama and a feckless Congress in favor of Donald J. Trump

Image by Steven Zucker for Flickr Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (figures), Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria
Image by Steven Zucker for Flickr Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (figures), Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – “Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God?” asks a character in philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Parable of a Madman.”

“Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives.”

The consolation for Nietzsche’s secular “murderers” is salvation through utopian politics – the new religion.

Give me that new-time religion: Leftism

The rise of an obscure Chicago community organizer to the American presidency was the latest chapter in secular man’s desperate search for a messiah.

During the presidential campaign in 2008, several of Barack Obama’s campaign rallies were interrupted when attendees (all female) fainted, overcome by religious ecstasy.

These made-for-television moments were the equivalent of what 17th century sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini captured in his marble tour de force “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa.”

In feminist author Cristinan Mazzoni’s book “Saint Hysteria: Neurosis, Mysticism, and Gender in European Culture,” she describes the work:

In Bernini’s baroque masterpiece Saint Teresa is portrayed in a faint of sorts. A blissful expression on her face, she pleasurably awaits the penetration by the smiling angel’s burning arrow, which he holds in one hand, while with the other he is about to uncover Teresa’s breast. The saint’s body disappears in the rich drapery of her robe, except for a dangling and almost lifeless foot and hand. One mischievous eighteenth century observer wondered what it was precisely that the saint was experiencing in her sculpted ecstasy, claiming, “If this is divine love, I know what it is.”

Obama’s mystique and orgasmic appeal have worn thin over these last eight years.

And it appears disillusioned Obamaites, like most Americans, are “going clear,” which is a pseudoscientific term coined by Scientologists to describe a person no longer pulled by the dark, subconscious currents adversely influencing their life choices.

The traumas that are part of our personal histories, Scientologists believe, prevent us from fulfilling the potential of our eternal, extraterrestrial “Operating Thetan” selves.

If that sounds like science fiction, it is.

As award-winning science fiction author Harlan Ellison recounts in the documentary “Dreams with Sharp Teeth,” “Dianetics” author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard lamented his precarious financial situation during a gathering of the Hydra Club in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

It was the late 1940s, and science fiction writers like Hubbard earned a paltry penny-a-word for their futuristic prose.

“So, Ron [L. Ron Hubbard] was complaining that he was breaking his ass writing and was never going to get, you know – they would find him slumped [dead] over the typewriter one day,” said Ellison.

“There was no annuity, no insurance, no nothing, and you can’t keep it up forever… and Ron said, ‘There’s got to be a better way to make money.’

So Lester [Del Rey] says, ‘Start a religion. That’s the way to do it.’”

Pen and pad in hand, Hubbard furiously took notes as the writers pummeled him with tenets for the new religion. “And, sure enough, Ron cobbled up “Dianetics,” Ellison said.

I mention Scientology because of a recent HBO documentary exposing the bizarre, twisted and totalitarian aspects of this man-made, human-centric belief system wrapped around a personality cult dedicated to a dead science fiction writer.

“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” should be required viewing for the growing number of Americans disillusioned with their elected representatives who they believe are pushing the nation “in the wrong direction.”


Why religion does not have a role in Barack Obama’s White House

Author Lawrence Wright, on whose book the documentary is based, told the Hollywood Reporter, “People read about Scientology with a sneer on their face, ‘That could never happen to me.’ I think the evidence in the book, and now in the film, is that very caring, intelligent, discerning and skeptical people are drawn into an organization that can really transform their lives, not always for the good.”

Paul Haggis, Academy Award-winning director and a former Scientologist interviewed in the HBO documentary, told NBC News, “I was ashamed of my own stupidity. Of how I could have been so purposefully blind for so many years.”

Having been a member of Scientology for more than three decades, Haggis was asked if the Church of Scientology is a cult, “Oh, of course it is,” he said. It’s a system of belief… You’ve got these folks inside a fortress who won’t look out, who won’t look at any criticism and can’t bear any investigation and think that everyone is against them. How would you describe that? It’s a cult. Of course it is.”

Personality cults surrounding professional politicians are dying. Monday, Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker  dropped out of the GOP race for president because polls show him garnering less than half of one percent among Republican primary voters nationally.

The New York Times blames Republican rival Donald Trump’s appeal “as a political outsider [that] galvanized grass-roots Republicans who are angry at all conventional politicians.”

Donald Trump marches into the uncanny valley

At a news conference in Madison, Wisconsin, Walker encouraged his low-polling GOP rivals to follow his lead and drop out of the race.

If they do so, Walker insisted, “The voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner.”

Walker failed to make clear how unpopular Republican candidates’ circling their wagons will affect the progress of Trump’s gold-plated locomotive as it swiftly steams by the GOP’s “conventional politicians.”

“That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives.”

The death of utopian “politics as usual” appears to be at hand.

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