Anathema

How I came into possession of the letters to follow, which are by all estimations accounts of future events, I dare not share.  Suffice it to say that certain esteemed individuals have passed them along to me, accidental though it was. 

When I inquired into their origin and especially how a relic of the future could be sent back to us, I received little by way of information.  But after much probing and persistent knocking, and not too little reading between the lines, I was able to ascertain a number of facts.  Unfortunately, the manner in which I received these facts was varied and largely devoid of chronology.  I have, therefore, tried to piece the puzzle together to be best of my abilities.  Perhaps others will be better suited to the task.  Whatever may be the case, I feel confident that we can say this by way of introduction:

Sometime in the near or distant future, the ideology of that which is presently referred to as “The New Atheism” rises to great heights, both culturally and politically.  What was once thought of as little more than an entertaining exchange between biologists and theologians over the question of God’s existence, turns out to be illustrative of a profound churning.  The ethos of America is changing.  Humanism begins to take surprising root, bleeding down into the hearts and minds of the people.  Issues such as homosexuality, gender, creation, and authority become increasingly hot flashpoints, thereby providing a fertile context for mistrust and outright hostility.  Religion, and especially that of Christianity, is deemed more than simply irrelevant.  It is viewed as a threat.    

At some point, while such discussions are politically vibrant, a great tragedy occurs.  It is difficult to determine how, or exactly by whom, though it appears to be instigated by two Muslim masterminds, a nuclear device is detonated on American soil.  Simultaneously, another designed for Europe is thwarted.

The effect of the attack on America proves incalculable.  Everything changes.

Of particular concern is how this event, combined with the already growing sense of religion’s malignant nature, brings about “The Shift,” as it would come to be called.  Fueled by a variety of humanistic voices, along with a few key political figures, an argument is advanced that gains considerable momentum.  These leaders call for a time of deep reformation.  Religion, it is urged, has to be eradicated, not in the old barbaric sense of simply exterminating people- by putting a bullet in a dissenter’s head- but through a sophisticated process, a humane process, that deals both with the blight and danger of fundamentalism, while yet healing it. 

While it is thought that there is something genuinely biological about a man’s propensity to bow the knee to some higher power, particular focus is paid to the memes of religion, the expressed idea itself.  If, say, the meme of Christianity could be erased from the planet, much like the virus Small Pox, then the idea would not be able to take root in a host’s mind.  It wouldn’t be known, and therefore unable to spread.  Kill the creed, not the person.  In this respect, a certain form of compassion could be shown towards patients infected with the meme of Christianity, while yet also implementing aggressive medical procedures meant to expunge it. 

Here the law would provide a moral basis, the medical community could enact the procedures, and the ideals of humanism would provide the rationale.

This type of thinking was met with some resistance.  However, and here I must admit to some conjecture, it appears that a new doctrine began to emerge, one designed to assuage the concerns of detractors.  According to the basic tenets of naturalistic evolution, man is on a continuum.  In a very real sense, he can look over his shoulder, or flip through his family album, and see near the beginning of his ancestry a picture of a chimp.  In time he would evolve into Ramapithicus, and then, later, Homo Habilis, and yet even later, and finally, Homo Sapien.  But the question was raised, “Why finally, Homo Sapien?  Why should that be the stopping point?” 

It was, therefore, argued that in order for man to take the next step in the developmental chain, he needed to take evolution by the reigns.  The next movement would not be a predominately physical leap in advancement, but an intellectual one, a rational one. 

Homo Sapien was originally meant to capture something of the wisdom of man’s ascent.  But it did not go far enough.  Man would be required to press forward to greater wisdom.  He would need to be Supra-Homo Sapien.  And how could man move on to the next stage in history without freeing himself from the shackles of religion?  Advancement hinged upon it.  A nuclear weapon in the hands of those infected with such debilitating “viruses” proved as much.  Utopia could not be achieved until the problem was resolved.    

In the end, the leading luminaries of society forged a path whereby religious fundamentalists of all persuasions could be labeled criminal (or mentally unstable) and patients (or victims).  But like those children who are raised in troubling circumstances and are inevitably propelled towards violence and mischief, those infected with religious memes were culpable, while yet needing help.  They had to be dealt with forcefully, but compassionately. 

Now enter the Institute. 

Those deemed to be infected with a particularly nasty meme would be sent to a governmental institution to be cured.  Here is where the words “forceful” and “compassionate” meet.  If the patients do not eventually renounce their meme, whether through psychotherapy or medical intervention (or typically both), they would be deemed sub-human (not Supra-Homo Sapien), criminal, and pronounced fit for euthanasia.  Bad dogs must be put down, after all.        

Some would still find this uncomfortable (in much the same way that pro-abortionist advocates do not rejoice in abortive procedures), but their concerns would be held in check by contemplating the achieved greater good.  They would be quick to use the term “euthanize,” not kill, “release,” and not death (Here it should be noted that good use of terminology is evidence of “progress”).      

And so this, my dear readers, appears to be the context of our letters.  Whether and to what extent you find them helpful, I dare not guess.  And yet, one cannot help but suspect that there will be something to be gleaned by digesting them.

-From the pen of one who desires to remain anonymous-

 

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  1. Anathema (Letter Two) | Gentle Reformation - March 5, 2016

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