Shock Collars & Bodycams for Priests; How We Can Save the U.S.'s Soul
I wish people would’ve listened to Frank Zappa, even if they didn’t care for his music. In a debate about censorship on CNN in 1986, he said, “The biggest threat to America today is not communism, it’s moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that’s happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe.” Now, I’ve already ranted about Ronnie Boy and I will again in the future (never fear), but for a quick recap- Ronnie allowed the group called the Moral Majority to run his political and religious beliefs; they’re the reason he got into office and they were hell-bent on instituting their brand of Christianity into the government. Reagan even said that religion needs to guide politics because politics inherently lacks morality- but the idea that a fascist, Christian moral compass is a decent way to organize the lives of millions of non-Christian or even religious people in a government institution is fucking stupid. Could I say that more eloquently? Yes. Am I going to? No. The point stands- using religion as a replacement for morality is what’s allowed not only the escalating fanaticism of the right-wing politically, but the sexual abuse, coercion, and theft of churches and religious tax havens across the U.S. for decades now.
A lot of my friends are religious and I give them the space they deserve- the practitioners are not the problem; in fact, they’re the main victims I’m worried about in our current spiritual landscape. Many of these religious organizations act as the only sort of social network or support system within a community- which is why so many good people still go to these places, thinking that they’re helping. To me, almost every one of these institutions is akin to the little kids putting their fingers in the dam to prevent it from breaking- a holding action at best, and I can’t sit here and watch my friends get destroyed by crumbling infrastructure when they were told what they’re doing is helping. I’m also thinking of that kid in Bong Joon Ho’s “Snowpiercer”, sacrificed to Walton's engine to run the train. It does make my stomach churn when my friends talk about their church communities, but I stay quiet because I know that they are intelligent, grown people who can make their own choices- I just hate that their options are such absolute shit. Church communities, when done right, are a safe haven for the community and give resources and support that should be given on a societal, secular level. That’s the best case scenario. In reality, these institutions are holding the safety net hostage so that they can continue to exist, rather than moving these functions over to an actual social safety net where an individual doesn’t have to pledge eternal fielty to some Imaginary Sky Daddy in order to get things every human deserves like food, water, clothing, education, and housing. It’s not moral superiority that keeps the church and other religious institutions relevant- it’s taking the power of the things the government refuses to help citizens with and then throwing the responsibility that comes with that power onto an entirely volunteer workforce that can barely meet its own needs.
By keeping religious organizations tax-free, we’re giving incentives to the real religious fanatics- the Capitalists. It’s not by accident that it’s a bull market that they praise; Moses is still screaming and running down the mountain at the dumbasses prizing gold above all else. Money-hungry, greedy people saw the communal opportunity a pulpit provided and, instead of making a system that actually functions financially, decided to use the emotional priming that religious services employ to manipulate their audiences and just slip in their message alongside the spiritual, communal guidance. The best way to spread a false story isn’t just to lie; you attach it to the truth and slowly manipulate it, bit by bit, until the original truth is unable to be seen. It’s Indiana Jones replacing the totem with a weight but over the course of years rather than moments. It’s an eclipse. Have everyone look at the light, manipulate it, and block it. The world’s worst sleight of hand.
Religion, which I believe to be an underevolved form of philosophical & moral discussion alongside communal gathering, belongs to the past. Yes, we need to meet in groups; but we can now find groups online that are worth taking the time to meet up with at a convention or game or other activity. As for the more regular social gatherings we need as humans living in communities, we haven’t been using churches to come together in decades. We need to get back in the space, and I am personally biased into thinking that music and theatre should replace worship services. Kick the pedophiles out. Fill the churches with artists, therapists, philosophers, social workers, and other do-gooders and debaters so that people have an actual Haven to go to while we restructure our larger governmental organizations away from hierarchies. But if no one wants to give the religious land back to help our communities out, then we have to do something about the rampant pedophilia, transmisia, homophobia, rape, and misogyny inherent in our religious systems. If we have to keep this reductive, overused, Model-T Ford of an engine churning and destroying resources in our society, then we need to adjust. And I have just the way.
First, we can set Standards of Reality; even if we can’t prove whether or not we’re in a simulation, there is at least a shared reality that we all exist in. Humans are communal creatures and we need to be able to trust that everyone in the group has a similar EQ and IQ; that’s why public education and healthcare are so important, you can’t communicate or reveal your intelligence if you don’t know how or you physically/mentally aren’t able. So, when it comes to Standards of Reality, churches and other religious institutions shouldn’t be allowed to say things like women are genetically predisposed to be subservient, or that evolution isn’t real. Both of these claims have been disproven by scientific study. What these spiritual bodies can do is go, “Okay! Instead of reading the same passage from the same book at the same time every year, we’re going to read that passage and then update it with our current information and talk about how God moves in mysterious ways, but we can always follow his trail.” See? You get to keep your religion and the community isn’t infected with misinformed, radicalized assholes.
But if there’s a religious leader who refuses, how are we supposed to catch the misinformation in time? Dan Rather, the journalist and news anchor, said it best, “A lie can make it around the world twice before the truth has time to put its boots on.” So, we have to stop the lie at the source. This is where the title of the blog post comes in. I am not non-violent, and I firmly believe that body cams and shock collars for religious leaders. And- we should reassign the NSA (who’ve been wasting their time spying on American citizens) to each body cam. With the Standards of Reality in place, an AI can actively listen to the speech and alert the randomized NSA agent of the situation. Then, the agent should have a warning buzz, something to help the pastor or rabbi or imam or whoever get back to shared reality. If the individual ignores the buzz, a full zap would then take place. And another. And another. Until the liar stops.
Notice- the AI is the one determining the breach in reality, not the person. So anyone who becomes an NSA agent with their own agenda can’t just torture religious leaders with no provocation- the AI will have direct parameters in its algorithm to allow the shock or not. This would also keep a healthy flow of younger people in the religious leadership; if you’re too old or your heart’s too weak to take the shocks, you can’t hold the position. The AI would also keep you from delivering lethal doses.
I think about some priest or pastor who tries to rape kids- imagine how amazing it would be to watch as the predator, the person about to hurt you, gets fried to the goddamn ground while you get to run away. Imagine all the women who were looking for religious counsel who are cornered and forced to submit, who would believe in God again as the demon attacking them is literally smote with lighting. Come to think of it, this option would work for policing as well- another rant I will revisit in the future. Right now, there’s no one watching the people in power. So, if we aren’t going to get rid of these oppressive systems, we need to at least get them to a level where they function. For me, the base level of functioning would be shocking the hell out of the evil people who exploit religious places of power to hurt others. Lying hurts the brain by literally re-wiring it incorrectly; the brain cannot tell the difference between fiction and reality, which is why we developed scientific measurements to help us discern between the two. I mean, even the Pope has had it with U.S. Conservative Catholics- this year on August 5th, he was in Portugal talking about how U.S. Catholics are letting “ideologies replace faith” and the “very strong, organized, reactionary attitude” and “backwardness” with U.S. believers. If even THE GUY IN CHARGE OF THE RELIGION is upset about this issue, then maybe it’s time we finally address it.
And, if Pope Francis is so upset, I wonder why he hasn’t done anything to excommunicate these radicalized churches? Would he maybe be interested in my shock collar/NSA body cam solution? Or, maybe my dream of dreams- Francis forfeits all the land held by the Catholic Church in the U.S. and we give it to the artists and others I mentioned earlier. I mean, it seems like either way I’ve solved the problem- can I have a cool Bishop’s hat now? I’ll wear it as I shock pedophiles; I think that’s a fair trade for allowing such a patriarchal, fantasy-based structure of lies to continue to exist in our society. But then again I’m a woman, so the Church probably won’t read this at all. Or they’ll just burn me as a witch. Either way, I know I’ve done my part in giving a viable solution and all I can do is pray to their Imaginary Sky Daddy that these religious leaders will finally be removed from any and all power and that my friends don’t have to waste their personal holiness feeding into a soulless, demonic system that’s done more harm than help during the course of its existence.
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