Saturday, May 30, 2015

RELIGION, NOT AN ANSWER


BBC, a worldwide news source, has taken lately to religiosity. Each PR blast from the Vatican, for example, is covered with sober absorption and comments on its profundity.This is a disturbing trend in global journalism. Obsession with the superstitions, prejudices and violent insanity of religions without question is not skeptical journalism. It is a kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

Today's treat, the ravings of an Italian carpenter who sees mysticism in the driftwood of wrecked migrant boats, is up there with Southern Americans who see Jesus in their pancakes. The difference is that the interviewer speaks with a dim reverence which is stunningly disingenuous. There is no questioning the carpenter on what he is really about. How is he maintaining himself without working as a carpenter? Are his crosses, made from shipwreck wood, a new business model? Perhaps he always wanted to be a folk artist?

I wonder if the middle classes of the world really believe that divine intervention will save them from the inevitable consequences of overpopulation, environmental decline and predatory capitalism. I know the poor do. That is why they are the easiest prey for telecast preachers. How has that been working for them lately in Ferguson, in Mexico, in Baghdad, in Syria, in Nepal, in Myanmar?   

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