I know science is a method of study, but to me the term “Political Science” is an oxymoron just as “Christian Science” is an oxymoron. Political views are based upon personal morality; there is no science in politics. Nothing makes the belief in a democratic republic an absolute fact; the only fact is a form of government can match personal beliefs. I believe in freedom and democracy because they are in line with my own ethics.
It is easy to find volumes of writing supporting my belief in democracy, but nothing turns the belief ino fact. There are strong arguments to be made for many political views, but at their core, all political systems are a solely a matter of belief. In America, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to the founding fathers as types of apostles and the US Constitution as the Bible.
What if we were all forced to choose between only two religions? And yes, by “all” I mean even the atheists would have to pick a side. What if all the religious beliefs were forced into two camps, the same way political beliefs are? Undoubtedly we’d see people wandering back and forth between the groups, depending on the hot issue at the moment.
I don’t know enough about them all to figure out which groups would kinda get along, so I have randomly thrown some religious traditions together:
Option 1–Methodist, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist, Baptist, Vaishnavist, Islamist, and Wiccans
Option 2–Catholic, Lutheran, Atheists, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Jewish, and Jehovah’s Witnesses
Each would try to convert you to join their faith with the same scare tactics politicians use. The Methodist, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist, Baptist, Vaishnavist, Islamist, Wiccans would try to convince you to join them, because if the Catholic, Lutheran, Atheists, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witnesses get their way, Satan (or similar demonic figure) will rule the earth.
The two groups would have leaders that artfully explain why theirs is the one true faith, while simultaneously pointing out the sheer evil and foolishness of the opposing faith.
I’m sure we’d also hear the worn out defense mechanisms kicking in when an obvious hole in philosophy is pointed out. When the Catholic, Lutheran, Atheists, Pentecostal, Buddhist, Jewish, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are cornered with “You can’t believe in God and no God at the same time,” I’m sure the response would be, “Well, at least we aren’t as crazy as the Methodist, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist, Baptist, Vaishnavist, Islamist, and Wiccans–they worship God and Goddesses and Vishnu.”
Leaders would come in two varieties, similar to the leaders in the Democratic and Republican parties. You’d have the totally full-of-BS leaders that know the views held by their side are incongruent, but are adroit enough at spin to make it sound like one cohesive religion. The other variety of leader would be totally nuts, because they’ve somehow managed to hold all the conflicting views in their head without any cognitive dissonance.
There would be some members of these religions that stick to a set of congruent beliefs of their own, but they would be the outcasts for being heretics–AKA wing nuts, moon bats, tinfoil-hat-wearers.
I’ve heard Democrats poke fun at fundamentalist Christians, and then Republicans chuckle at new age religions. What strikes me funny is the religions they make fun of are more congruent in their own views and values than they themselves are with the views of their choosen political party.
There really is no political freedom in America when the final choice comes down to Democrat or Republican. There is a choice, but it is hardly a free choice when the choice is “Pick the one that sounds the least insane.” We have freedom of religion in America, so why can’t we have freedom of politics?
photo credit: Stuck in Customs