January 20, 2007
There is some question whether concern for mankind is the prerogative of one side of the political spectrum or the other. Liberals have staked out this territory for generations, and lately have been branded as know-nothings and dangerous loonies by certain proponents of the Right, who lay claim to a deep and pervasive grip on not only Righteousness, but also religion and spiritual truth.
There are enormously popular blogs which expend a great deal of energy in espousing hatred and claiming that it is the other side which is doing so. There seems to be an intellectual snobbery on both sides, and each has its lunatic fringe which plays into the paranoid game. People who stumble onto such blogs get sucked into the discussion, thinking they will get a hearing; they are smacked down by the regular readers and commenters and accused of everything from stupidity to treason, and held in contempt by the all-powerful blogmeister.
The odd thing about these adversarial blogs is that they are addictive. Even those readers who seemingly learned their lesson by asking a question or two about a particular post and being vilified by the assembly (and the blogmeister himself) return time after time to get in on the fray. The seduction is mysterious, but it is very real indeed. The appeal is twofold – the seducer is the very brilliant if brittle mind of the writer (meister) himself. He is clever with words and absolutely astounding with ideas, some of which are so blatantly wrong and vicious that it is a marvel how they are couched in wit and a coating of religiosity that make them seem relatively benign if not actually enlightening.
The other side of the seduction lies in the nature of those seduced. They are vulnerable, seeking, sometimes needy souls who want to be led into the light and may have a certain amount of masochism. They feel that they are enduring the flagellation to some end which will result in a kind of wisdom and serenity, although there is certainly no indication that such is the province of the others who read and comment.
This particular blog, Finding Fair Hope, has touched on spirituality and the existence of God in several posts, but found no real pay dirt in the discussions that ensued. No one was convinced that the blogmeister here had any particularly direct line to the answers, although the posts profound in the eyes of the writer; since the need to proselytize was absent, and no proselytes appeared.
I think I’d better find something other than religion and politics to comment on. However, if you’d like to refresh your memory on what I did say, click here or type "A Cry in the Wilderness" in the "Search This Blog" box at the top of the blog.
And how about making a comment below? We could get a whole new thing going.