"I exploit you
still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
I'm the cult of personality..." --Living Colour
I've been thinking a lot lately about the "Lone Savior" Archetype and how dangerous it can be. It all started when I read an article about how Jesus was fabricated by the Romans to pacify the Jews. Now, before folks go nuts, I'd like to say that I don't care what brand of religion or non-religion you practice as long as you aren't using that belief system or non-belief system to harm others. Christianity, specifically, has done some very good things. It's also been used as an excuse to do some awful things--lots and lots of awful things. Now, no group is perfect. We're all human, right? Cool. But I wanted to explore the downside to the Lone Savior™--mainly in that it trains people to a) expect one perfect person to come along and resolve all their problems and b) to shut up and wait because suffering is good for you. Both of these things are dangerous--particularly in a democracy.
I keep seeing how people are reacting to Trump and the Republicans are behaving not only like sycophants but I'd even go so far as to say cultists. As a kid in the '70s, I saw a lot of references to cult movements, and I guess that stuck. The symptoms are the same, it seems: the blind faith in the leader, emotional and faith-based arguments, repetition of the cult's views without question, and isolation from anyone who doesn't believe as they do. The whole thing makes me wonder. How do we step back from that? I know it isn't easy, but debate, reason, and facts aren't going to work. It merely drives them deeper into their dark hole. We can't afford that. What can we do? We can't just say, "Peace, y'all. Believe whatever. We agree to disagree." people's lives are in danger. At the same time, screaming, "You are doing something dangerous and stupid!" doesn't work either.
I wish I knew the answer.
 It's something I work with a bit in both Cold Iron and Blackthorne.
 No, atheists, you are not off the hook. I do, in fact, believe that an extremist part of your membership is largely responsible for making Muslim hate seem logical and reasonable. It's bigotry. Own up to the fact that y'all have extremists just like every other belief system. That doesn't make you worse. It makes you human like everyone else.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.