Belief and Straight Jackets

Lots of people wrap themselves in their belief systems much as they would wrap themselves in armor. It serves to protect them. But protect them from what? From the most dangerous foe they can imagine: ambiguity.

Thus wrapped, they are free from the necessity to think. And what a wonderful freedom that seems to be. It is without consequence, or so it seems. “I am free to sound off on anything, to anybody, at any time, as long as I am proclaiming what I believe to be the truth. ” That is the slogan, which too often when challenged by circumstances permits the “sounding off” to be replaced with “doing” as in verbal and physical attacks, up to and including riots.

The substitute for thinking goes this way: If you challenge what I consider “holy” than I am free to assault you; if you burn my book on purpose or by accident (it doesn’t matter which) than I am free to burn you.

The problem with this approach to life is simple and easy to see. It is impossible, when wrapped in armor, to dance. And if the soul can’t dance, then how can it love? And if it can’t love, then how can it be faithful to what it claims to believe?


  1. Steve Harris · · Reply

    The amour is about people wanting power. Power over other people and control. It is human behavior to want to have control over things and other people. Not having a desire to control other people and things leaves a person to focus at oneself. And to focus on oneself, is a very difficult thing to do? I think it was Billy Joel who sang about the stranger in us us all. The one stranger most of us can not face.

  2. or a warm bathrobe instead of armor – comfortable and not venturing out.

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