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Toadpipe teaches a semester, day 4
Religion - A Screwtape inspired post
Mr Toadpipe: Welcome back to PONEROLOGY 101. An actual class here at the illustrious Tempers’ Training College for those of you who thought this might be a summer camp!
Yes Crumplebum I’m looking at you… and you, Hoodwinked. Don’t think I, nor Principal Slubgob, can so easily be framed and blackmailed with the help of your cousin Cadere A Gratia in Lower Command. We too, have friends in lower places! However, we are not without a sense of humour, as we were young devils once ourselves, so will let the incident pass. But we do insist that you direct your nascent talents toward those human animals under your care rather than toward the college board - otherwise we will be forced to cut off your horns, pull out all your fingernails and cobble you. I’m sure that would make for an entertaining class exercise. You have been warned.
Now to business.
I want to address the issue of religion, as I notice some of you are approaching the topic with a fundamental misunderstanding of how humans are religious. I fear you apply too much energy in attempts to lead your patients away from religion when, in fact, you would do better to encourage them toward it. But we need to understand what is going on in the little brains of these disgusting creatures that the Enemy seems so captivated. It is easy to get yourself into all manner of trouble if you do not grasp the nature of religiosity.
It should be apparent to you by now that these animals have a propensity for religious thought and action: a symbolic grasping for ultimate reality through various theologies, philosophies and traditions. For one it might be a vague notion that ‘science’ leads to ‘truth’, for another it might be a line of philosophical thought bringing ‘enlightenment’, and another the observance of rituals and symbols handed down from generations past for sanctification. Never forget that the vast majority have little to no understanding of the spirit world, but rather a crude anthropomorphic and abstract conception of heaven and hell, gods and mortals. They are primarily sensual, relying on their limited senses as a foundation from which to construct a picture of the spirit realm. They are increasingly relying on their left hemispheres with explicit decontextualised abstractions about the world and less direct perception, let alone any connection, with the transcendent. This perceptive myopia we should encourage.
It is difficult for us, as disembodied spirits, to appreciate just how tethered humans are to their physical senses. They will, if you like, religiously and tenaciously interpret everything according to those senses - as limited as they are. You see many of these human animals believe that all of reality is presented to them through their physical senses and if there is ‘spiritual’ or ‘higher dimensional’ it must somehow be very much like the physical realm. They muddle metaphor for reality. They force the implicit to be explicit. They assume, that at some point, all is tangible.
We use this to our advantage of course, helping the religious but spiritually dull, imagine the Enemy like a Greek god, seated on a physical throne ‘up there somewhere’, bearing children, and ‘coming down’ from ‘up there’ to exact judgments - a plague, an earthquake - upon the disobedient. The anthropomorphic and concrete imaginings of such a spirit realm, agreeing with the principles of the physical realm, keeps things nicely ‘grounded’. Again, something their left hemispheres can ‘grasp’. Easily can we bring religious thoughts and imaginations back to ‘the real world’ with its traditions, symbols and political positioning that serve as a distraction or, better yet, veils from what is really going on.
Take the new Abrahamic Family House in the United Arab Emirates for example. Here, under the guise of ‘peace and love’, we have managed to bring together the three great monotheistic religions, at least symbolically, in the form of three buildings in the one location. With much political showcasing of ‘tolerance and coexistence’, the project leverages the current religious zeal for equality, equity, and tolerance, while demonising any Jew, Christian or Muslim who holds true to their religion’s actual creed. The only ‘good’ that is acceptable is the embrace of any and all concepts of god, as long as those concepts are not exclusive in any way. The whole thing has been ‘brought down to earth’ along physical and political lines. There may as well not be any spiritual realm at all - just another socio-political normalisation of the sensual nature of these creatures. The exciting end result, I might add, is the criminalisation of the Enemies claim that he is the only way to life. Such exclusivity will, we hope, be characterised as hatred, even terrorism, swiftly followed by enthusiastic condemnation from the ‘tolerant’ state. We can only hope that the guillotine will be brought back into vogue for such ‘disrupters of the peace’ who hold fast to their intolerant views.
The primary reason we want to cultivate a global and all-embracing religious sentimentality is to prepare the way for Our Lord Below, praise his unholy name! He will, as you know, establish himself as the great Man of Peace over all the nations, and this not just politically. He will be the centre of worship in the ultimate religious expression not seen since Babel. The Enemy, once and for all, will be dethroned in the minds and hearts of men, and Our Father Below will take his rightful place. So you see, my young deceivers, we must cultivate the right sort of religion in our patients. A sensual religion full of social and political correctness - social justice must be the battle cry, and the Enemy, with claims of exclusivity, must be the evil antagonist.
For some of the more spiritually enthusiastic it is not just the exclusive nature of the Enemy’s claims of salvation, but the idea that he is a tyrant, a demiurge, a deceiver, the epitome of evil, or at best a misguided demigod, that makes him the antagonist. These concepts are being revived as we speak and all credit to Lower Command for such a successful ‘flip it on its head’ campaign.
The one who’s religion is philosophy, or science, or atheism, will more easily be drawn into such a socio-political world view, even though they would not consider themselves ‘religious’. It doesn’t matter really. Our Father Below will have his worship from every corner, because the Enemy has, foolishly, created these creatures to worship. And because of their distinct lack of spiritual discernment the object of their worship is easily manipulated. This, of course, is not the case for those already in the Enemy’s camp. But with enough social and political pressure we believe that many of these too will disband their allegiance to the Enemy, repent from ‘fundamentalism’ or misguided hatred and embrace, nay, celebrate, the beliefs of all. Besides, we will ensure it’s all part of the social credit system - if we can’t appeal to their sense of social justice we will bludgeon them into conformity. Which, when you think about it, will be more entertaining on so many levels.
Religion is good. Especially this new form of religious unity. At the end of the day it will be for Our Father’s glory!
Now depart from me you evil fiends… and don’t forget your homework: chapter 6 of The Epistles of Screwtape.