Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Snake Oil Wars


The sequel to Waiting for the Galactic Bus, this 1989 novel is, sadly, even more relevant today. Darkly humorous, it's also a warning and a philosophic manifesto. 

Consider the dedication: "To those lucid and courageous minds who gave you the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, Falwell, Robertson, and the God-Inspired Rule of the Righteous. To those intrepid souls who fight with unflagging zeal to remove from libraries dangerous books they have not read and from theaters those spiritually toxic films they have not seen, believing that thought is a controlled substance and secular thinking hazardous to mental health."

Thirty-five years later, they're still at it. Today's terrifying watchword is Christian Nationalism. These fundamentalists dream of a USA under the banner of Jesus, with laws based on the Word of God--and they are the ones who'll tell you just what that Word means.

We already see how MAGA eschews 'Woke Jesus,' in favor of Gun-toting, Kickass (or Republican) Jesus. Theirs is not a world I want to live in, any more than I would want to live under Sharia law or under a Dear Leader (the former guy's wet dream) as in North Korea.

Why the Snake Oil Wars? Because the novel's premise is that mankind creates religion and then relies on it to "fix" everything with thoughts and prayers. Just like Snake Oil.




Sandra Parshall said...

I feel heartbroken and frightened over what has happened to our country.

Marcia said...

It is a very depressing time.

JJM said...

Those of us who tend to associate the words "religion" or "church" with zealotry and the likes of Jim Jones or David Koresh are scared spitless -- but are not surprised. Not if we know history and pay attention to societal shifts and flows. This has been creeping up on us for decades; it's now simply come into the open. Again. In conjunction with growing nationalism and authoritarianism, no less. Brace yourselves, we're in for some ... "interesting" times.