Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Evolution of Religious Bigotry"

Dearest Livia,

I am having that funny little man who squats in the marketplace write this letter to you and yours. I hope you are all in good health, and that Marcus's foot no longer aches from the gout. We are well, although experiencing some problems I will describe later. The children are very busy. Julia is contracted to be married and Justus fights with his men in Gaul. The troubles are elsewhere in our household.

The servants have all gone mad for some doomsday prophet. They actually think that the Gods and Goddesses we have been praying and sacrificing to for all eternity are false! Do they know something everyone else does not? How arrogant can you be! Are they smarter than their Ruler, their nobility, even their mothers and fathers? Is everyone in the Western World wrong and they are right? How stupid can they be?

Cicero is wrong. Euclid. Aristotle. Plato Socrates. All wrong. I can hardly speak for laughing. And they creep around, with their little games and secret handshakes, like children. Really! The women priests preach to the slaves, the men to the boys in the marketplace. They are committing sacrilege and treason, as well as forgoing any claim to Reason. The more you argue, the more stubborn they become. I can only hope this new religious fad will fad away like so many others.

As long as it is not outlawed, of course. That will make it more popular than before!


Righteous Bubba said...

Cicero is wrong. Euclid. Aristotle. Plato Socrates.

Roman attitudes towards religion - and the attitudes of the Greeks - were more complex than than modern fundie true/false constructions, some gods, for instance, being clear-cut representatives of the state: their cults were part and parcel of civic virtue and not necessarily attached to mysticism. There is also a little of the advanced Hindu religion in some thinkers believing that gods were simply representative of human qualities, yet worship goes on because it's a good thing.

In short, I think Livia would be boggled by such a letter.

Susan of Texas said...

You're absolutely right, but by simplifying things (admittedly, beyond reality), I am trying to make a very clear point--that people in the past easily could have made the same kinds of complaints about Christianity that modern conservatives make about Islam.

In other words, a post about Rome written by someone whose information comes from gladiator movies, aimed at people whose information comes from the same source!