FROM RELIGION-BASED TO RELIGIOUS EXCLUSIVISM
There are at least two types of exclusivist totalitarian
countries: those which claim to be one nation under a Party,
and those which claim to be one nation under a God.
The former countries suffer from
political-party-related, the latter from aggrandizemental
theocentrist, or monotheist,
exism is a manifestation of
politico-ideological exclusivism; theocentrist exism is a
primacy-related manifestation of denominational
and monotheist exism a
principalship-related manifestation of it.
denominational exclusivism is
not worse, nor better, than
it deserves extra attention here, because our own doctrine,
the DNI, is a denominational, and not
a political, one.
In theory principle-related manifestations of
must be distinguished from primacy- and principalship-related ones
— as discussed in
2.5.2 — but in
different manifestations usually coincide and when we thus speak of
in these sections, one may often read "theocentrist",
"(mono)theist exclusivism" instead.
As already mentioned in
the second chapter of this book,
religionism itself refers to both religion-based and
religious (person-centered) exism. The reprobates of the former
brand of religionism are people with a different religion than
the one aggrandized by the person or government discriminating,
whereas those of the latter brand of religionism are people who
adhere to no religion at all.
Religion always has been and, where not extinct, still is the
cause of serious conflicts which could easily lead, or actually
lead or have led, to bloody civil and international wars. People
of different religious denominations used to kill, or are still
killing, one another ruthlessly, while 'justifying' their deeds by
referring to their god(s) and/or to their adversaries' demon(s).
In actual fact god has, then, for them the pragmatic meaning
of the leader(s) of our community of believers. It is such a
god who sanctions all eruptions of violence against the ideological
enemy, and it is such a god who is believed to bring
eventual victory to their own side. Nowhere seem doctrines more
exclusivist and extremist than during religious or
theodemonical warfare, altho
certain nonreligious, political ideologies may follow the abominable
aggrandizemental-theocentrist examples but too obediently.
Those living in countries which are not directly involved in
religious, civil or international wars do not seldom look upon
the warring parties as uncivilized societies or communities.
If civilization means a high degree of social and cultural
inclusiveness, it may be true that
such parties are indeed little civilized so far as this aspect is
concerned. But rather than
exclusively pointing at the lack of inclusivity among those who
are involved in religious warfare, we should be prepared to take a
closer look at so-called 'civilized' societies or communities where
religion did, or still does, play a dominant role without being
the immediate cause of bloody conflicts.
The parts of the world which are presently not involved (anymore) in a
religious war or conflict have known a long period of religious quarrels
and expressions of intolerance too between people of truly or allegedly
incompatible religious beliefs.
But this period came to a close — so it seems — when the ideal
of religious liberty and tolerance was introduced by public figures who
were progressive for their time. These reformers foresaw that
freedom of religion would not only end the official discrimination
of those who adhered to a different religion than the established one,
but that it would also create an ambience of
tolerance which was to stimulate the will to cooperate in all
fields. Enthusiastic supporters of the ideal of freedom saw a
pluralistic society emerging in which all citizens, whatever their
persuasion, would live together in peace forever.
To prevent further friction between the religions many countries did not
recognize by law any
as the official state religion any longer.
Supporters of religious liberty began to claim that all believers actually
worshiped one and the same god, and that in this spirit they should
together build the future of their nation. Tho in
many of these countries political parties were often founded on
a particular creed, parties with different kinds of religious
backgrounds were thereafter accepted.
In other countries, or divisions of countries, where political parties were
not explicitly associated with one particular religion, democratically
elected presidents or premiers scrupulously tried to have a representative
of 'every' religion in their government, that is, every religion which
somehow belonged to the traditional 'superparadigm' (a collection of the
denominational paradigms of the
time and place concerned).
A seven-league wave of self-satisfaction would sweep a land when it turned
out tolerant enough to vote a president into office who belonged to a
different religion than chiefs of state ought to belong to in foregoing
While so-called 'national' anthems usually continued to invoke
Mono, any reference to a
particular creed the citizens were expected to adhere to was deleted from
The old political system in which this creed used to have the status of an
official state religion became henceforth a seemingly impartial symbol of
stability and national unity.
Grants for denominational organizations and spiritual radio
and television programs were proportionally divided over the
different temple societies or religious denominations. Books,
films and plays were censored by a board that represented or
made believe to represent 'the people', holding back every work
which might offend the feelings of some citizens, whatever
religion they adhered to.
(The narrow-minded and inhibitionist feelings of the most religious among
them were regarded as those of 'the general public' or as defining
propriety for 'the entire population'.)
With the introduction of religious liberty it was no longer
automatically the state's 'true faith' which could wield power
over all other beliefs. In democratic polities power had now
formally become a purely numerical matter: the more souls a
religious community counted, the more votes it could cast.
By producing numerous progeny, or in an unadulterated
extremist fashion, as many
children as possible, the members of each religious community were thus
able to contribute to the spread of their religion in a very concrete way
without having to be accused of a lust for disproportional political
In a society which attained a level of technology sophisticated
enough to commence visits to the moon or other celestial bodies,
it became extraordinarily spectacular for a man to say his lordly
prayers from a real spaceship and to have his divine words heard
from high in the sky all over 'Mono's own country' (the country
possessed by his own community of theodemonist believers).
Everyone sensitive to supernatural lights had to be profoundly touched
by such a wonderful and heavenly spectacle of piety programmed at
such an extremely high level. (In a country possessed by atheist
materialists astronauts assured people back home that they had
not seen and did not see any god in space. But in comparison with the
theist happening this nondiscovery was not half as exciting.)
Since most citizens preached and practised religious tolerance,
there was believed to be no injustice in the sphere of
people's denominational beliefs anymore. The adherents of
supernaturalist, theodemonist ideologies were living in peace —
at least, that is what they believed they were.
Those who introduced religious liberty and equality were,
perhaps, 'progressive' in a sense, but if so, then only within
their own frame, namely religion. Because the denominational
doctrines of the past were religious ideologies in the majority
of cases, the concept of religion was treated as synonymous to
the concept of denominationalism (or of 'morality' or of 'philosophy
of life'). This was also what the supporters of
religious liberty, and even supporters of liberty in general,
had had in mind: all who recognized a system of norms and
values should be united in the belief in one (and supposedly the
same) god. They excluded the religions which were not
monotheistic, and they excluded all normative doctrines which were
not religious. Such doctrines were treated as wicked or awkward
aberrations which did not fit in with the whole.
In later times the number of people in religion-dominated
countries who could not, or hardly, be considered religious
anymore, started to grow (again). From the point of view of
religion most of them lacked any serious outlook on life,
because they were not interested in spiritual affairs, something
imputed to the level of prosperity attained and to the increase
of materialism. A few of these nonreligious people started
calling themselves "agnostics", saying that they did not or could
not know whether gods (or 'God') existed. Logically speaking, not
the atheists who said that gods (and demons) did not exist but
these agnostics were the real unbelievers. (Ordinary language users
often fail to distinguish between the absence of the belief that
a certain entity exists and the belief that it does not exist.)
Agnosticism, however, never took root as a denominational alternative,
something that will only surprise the most ignorant, for a doctrine
centered round what one does not know just cannot be expected to
strike the right note; as a matter of fact, it cannot be expected to
strike any note.
Since a lack of persuasion does neither radiate vigor nor conviction no
difficulties arose with these agnostics.
Those who made up the offscourings of theodemonist society in the
denominational sphere were the atheists who bluntly declared that there
did (and does) not exist any god.
It may be fallacious, they were seen as the 'real' unbelievers.
In some countries atheists were disqualified as witnesses and as members
Traditional (theist) dictionaries described them as "godless", which is
correct, and "immorally living", which is unfair, when and where
theists are living equally immoral lives, and blatantly biased, when and
where theists are living even much more immoral lives in times of peace
and, so often forgotten, war.
The double meaning of godless reflected the common, theodemonical
stereotype that nonreligious people would be wicked.
Principled atheists usually came from so-called 'good' families, and were
fortunately regarded as merely having gone astray.
Because of the significance attached to the institution of the family, for
many atheists and persons not interested in religion, the religiosity
of their family (especially of their parents or spouse) was the
most important of the extenuating circumstances in their case.
Since atheists were nonreligious, no supporter of religious
liberty had to take them into account. They were believed to
have no values at all, for they did not recognize a divine
authority; a mysterious kind of reasoning indeed, because
principled atheists did not and do not recognize such an
authority precisely because of the values they have.
However, since atheists made up such a little minority in the beginning,
no difficulties arose.
The nonreligious people without any definite world-view made up the bulk
of those who stood outside the supernatural, theodemonical system.
Basically these citizens were little or not interested in spiritual
matters as dealt with in their times, and therefore they did not have, or
were not able to express, any particular wishes or suggestions for
improvement in this field, let alone that they could demonstrate any
Altho they made up a large group, no difficulties arose with them either.
Even in a time of continued secularization, theodemonist societies were
living in apparent peace after those in power had started preaching
Perhaps, it changed the position of the dominant paradigm somewhat,
the old, religious superparadigm remained in force anyhow.