Regardless of who you are or what background you come from as soon as you are confronted by any belief or idea-set that opposes debate, refuses questioning and criticism – that indicates a faith, a religion and it should set off every warning alarm and red flashing klaxon in your head. Because religion isn’t just repetitive rituals and praying to some spirit in the sky, religions are fundamentally defined as any idea-set that disallows a public challenge to its validity and that definition extends to include even secular ideologies. To varying degrees of dogmatic fervor other religions enjoy privileged status and are presently shielded from criticism. And despite a contemporary era that prides itself on a sense of enlightened rejection of taboos and jaded pragmatism the number of false idols and sacred values necessitating a closed mind and emotional attack-responses is equal to any dark age of olde. Duopoly democracy, ‘free-trade’ and the ‘free-market’, the six million Jewish holocaust (never mind the Armenian holocaust or the millions of Chinese and Ukrainians starved to death by despots or…), human-caused global warming, and if you think about it I’m sure you can come up with even more. The enemies of free minds and free thought don’t stop at the Church’s door anymore.
Any authority that mandates a belief and punishes public challenge of that belief is an enemy, and as a nihilist and a free-thinking human being any authority demanding allegiance to a faith or mandated ideology is enough to get me not just a trifle indignant. Of course that doesn’t mean that discussion and communication can’t, or shouldn’t, be compartmentalized and organized appropriately, just as within the private and personal arena everyone should be free to say, listen to, and see what they want and exclude what they don’t.