“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
― Barry Goldwater, Nov 1994, Conservatives Without Conscience
It’s a tale as old as monotheism.
China used to be torn between Legalism and Confucianism — meaning two opposing viewpoints. But the key factor here is that both Legalism and Confucianism were rooted in earthly originators and scholars — and men are fallible, so compromise was not only inevitable, but desirable.
Then the Christian God shows up in China (which is a whole other story, involving Jesus’ Chinese younger brother who conquered Beijing and had a pretty good thing going until he separated the men from the women. Which, rookie mistake). From then on, each side views their side as having God on it — so compromise instantly became impossible. More than impossible — God rendered compromise completely undesirable.
God always renders compromise undesirable. If the omnipotent creator of all that ever is or was is on your side, then why in the world would you ever concede anything at all? To do so would be madness, would be giving into evil.
Which is, after all, the ultimate point of the one singular God1 — to allow your side to claim absolute goodness, which lets you paint everybody else pitch black. Plus, if the King rules by divine order, what’s the point of trying to topple him? It’s just The Way Things Are Meant To Be, that’s all.
Except it’s not, it never has been, and it only seems like it is currently because we allow it to happen.
To sum up, eat the rich and frost the charlatans for dessert — not because just because Jesus told us too (he did), but because it’s a necessary step for our continued survival as a collective human race.
And it’s the right thing to do.
This doesn’t apply as directly to the polytheistic traditions of the world, since the very existence of a pantheon implies an array of outlooks.↩︎