Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Politics of Identification

It is quite insane how people identify with a religion or social group or cause and label themselves as such without a thought towards what they are supposed to represent.

Take a case in point.

The Christian.

To call yourself a Christian is nothing more than a force of utterance.

Why do I say this ?

The basic premise of Christianity is Love......Love Thy Neighbour and all the other remaining  Commandments.

If you consider yourself a practising Christian then you are guided by these all pervasive thoughts.

If you identify as a Christian then you should strive to live by these commandments.

However, it's when people start toying with the concept of Christianity to bend its purpose to suit a political imperative  that the identity of the Christian gets lost in a quagmire of interpretation.

It's very much like George Orwell's  Animal Farm when the pigs are defining their authority by reinterpreting the revolutionary manifesto of equality and insert the notion that some are more equal than others. This is ofcourse to justify their ongoing ascent into priviliged outcomes as well as behaviour.

Ofcourse Bob Dylan  said it all before
Bob Dylan
With God On Our Side Lyrics

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

Or if you prefer watch  Joan Baez perform the song...

Take another case in point.

The Feminist.

Definition of FEMINISM

1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interest

Lately, the idea of feminism has opened up so many different interpretations that many religious zealots are redefining the term to suit their own religious, political agenda.

For example:
Can you be a feminist and disagree with abortion ?



Also called voluntary abortion. the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy.
any of various surgical methods for terminating a pregnancy, especially during the first six months.
Also called spontaneous abortion. miscarriage ( def. 1 ) .
an immature and nonviable fetus.

I don't think you can because the idea underpinning feminism is the constant notion that females have a right to choice about themselves and what they choose to do with their lives including their bodies.
This notion of equality built into the concept of feminism attempts to redefine the female through the ability to choose what happens in their lives, financially, spiritually, physically, emotionally, legally and so on.
To claim that you are a pro-life feminist is exactly the same as saying you are a pro-war Christian.
In effect it renders both labels,feminism and christian  meaningless.
It also politicises these words and labels.
The main point I am getting at here is that every thing you are fed through the media is politicised.
So you cannot really believe anything you read.
A Hard Concept To Swallow......... 


  1. I began questioning everything I read years ago.
    The more you think about it, the more it becomes obvious that there is always a hidden agenda in all politics.
    Religions are used as implements of power by those of the higher echelons; and by it's very nature, feminism is condescending to women. It implies that we need to fight to become the equal of men, which of course we already are!

    Thought-provoking as ever, William!

  2. Thanx Ygraine. As the years roll on the same concerns seem to be tracking us through time. Admittedly we pride ourselves as not being so gullible as b4, however the same issues of misuse of power, the spread of disinformation and institutionalised corruption makes us I believe culpable in a sense. What to do ? That's a question still mulling in my mind and is at the core of my personal project.

  3. Do people really believe what they read the second they finish reading it? Is that smart? But what is smart? I try to keep away from religion for its practices nowadays are rigged. That shit is nothing anymore. Your post is what is needed for those Christian Writers and not only them people with day jobs. This politics thing is nonsense as well, as we know the government controls most economical movements that is led by some of the most famous men and women. Who and what can you trust in this modern society. . . .

    1. What u say is right on Ty ! But u have 2 admit all those Christian Writers out there...where r they coming from ? And all those political stunts with so many followers...where r they coming from ? I don't mean geographically...I mean head-space....It's pretty scary stuff when u sit down and ponder how these rascals run this circus we call polite, civilised society and keep dishing out the same old crap.Thanx 4 ur comment.

  4. But not only individuals, denominations rewrite the rule books or put their own slant on things - which slant can be diametrically opposed to what was originally meant. Excellent post. Bravo.

  5. Thanx 4 ur kind words, Dave. Yes, what u say is part of the obvious tendency of the institutionalisation of concepts, ideas and dare I say religion. What never ceases to disappoint me is the blind acceptance of these things without any recourse to thinking by so many......I suppose thinking can be seen as threatening or intimidating by denominations and is anathema to the principles of belonging to a group....


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