Politics as Religion

My dad would normally be in a jovial mood when he picked me up from school, but that day was different; his irate demeanor replaced the happy-go-lucky dad I knew. There was no “What did you learn in school today?”, nor was there a “Hey kiddo.” His face was tense, completely unmoved. And his knuckles were easily seen through his firm grip of the wheel. Something was wrong, and I felt compelled to ask him what.

“They didn’t attack us,” he passionately told me. “They don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have proof that they have weapons of mass destruction. They had nothing to do with 9/11. We should not be going into Iraq! Why are we invading Iraq today?” His tirade went on, but most of it flew over my nine year old head.

I often wonder if my liberalism comes from my dad. When arguing the validity of human-invented religion for instance, I often bring up the point that the overwhelming majority of adults follow the religion of their parents. So could it be that my political beliefs are just a reincarnation of my dad’s?

I don’t like to think so. I bring up capital punishment and gun rights, both issues I heavily disagree on with my father, in an attempt to persuade myself of otherwise. But I realize that I will never know. If indeed I have a mask blinding me of political truth, I will be far too ignorant to recognize my mask. And if indeed I am ignorant, and this ignorance is common, I must conclude my children, and their children, and their children will be ignorant as well.

And if all this is true, then could politics be as pointless and fallacious and meaningless and unconvincing and trivial as arguing atheism verses religion? I am petrified to think about the question, and so I don’t.

I just wanted to bring up the thought.


2 Responses to “Politics as Religion”

  1. That’s some pretty deep thinking — although, knowing that you MAY be ignorant often leads to the enlightenment that there is truth out there, and you’ve yet to discover it.

  2. Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. I was trying to imitate David Foster Wallace.

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