TUMBY BAY - One of the important strategies politicians use is to identify the concerns and fears of society and then to exploit them to their advantage.
This strategy informs much of the divisiveness that plagues our daily lives.
Things like racism, gender inequality, domestic violence, immigration and homophobia are used by politicians to artificially create situations they can exploit.
About 2,000 years ago a very clever politician in Palestine called Jesus Christ used the same tactics to create opposition to the occupying Romans.
Monty Python reckons his outfit was called the Palestine Liberation Front, or was it the Liberation Front of Palestine…..
Anyway, whatever it was called, it quickly morphed into what we now call Christianity. Like all such movements, Christianity uses the concerns and fears of its followers to its advantage.
One of the things it created to this end was the concept of an afterlife and a set of rules governing progress to that elevated state.
There was nothing particularly original about this concept. Many other political movements created similar yarns to beguile gullible followers.
What they promise is irrational: a state of unending bliss. Why people fall for such an improbability has exercised the secular mind for centuries.
Imagine, for instance, what such a place would be like if it were true. Imagine, if you actually came up to scratch and entered this paradise, who you would meet.
What would it be like to share this celestial space with all those famous characters from history going back to, well, the beginning of time perhaps.
Exactly what would the good caveman Ug have in common with, say Winston Churchill or Tiberius Caesar? Well, perhaps not Tiberius, I don’t think Jesus liked him very much. And maybe Churchill would probably be more suited to that other place where fallen angels reign supreme.
What would they talk about? When would eternal bliss become eternal boredom? When would they start conniving to overthrow the management? That’s what politicians do after all.
What would you do if you arrived at Heaven’s Gate and discovered there a civil war?
You can’t take the politics out of the politician after all. If you did you would change their character all together.
Would you like to have your basic personality change as a pre-requisite to admission to the afterlife? Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of the whole proposition?
And what would be attractive about being a celestial automaton, thinking all the same blissful celestial thoughts and doing the same blissful celestial things?
The good caveman Ug might be enthralled by an endless parade of dainty deer presenting themselves to the point of his spear while the highlander from New Guinea would be in bliss gazing across never ending gardens of rich and juicy kaukau.
But where would that leave the computer whiz kid? An endless avenue of Maccas perhaps?
More to the point what would all those old kiaps do stuck on some eternal patrol post in the sky? I can’t see much bliss in eternally fiddling the books to make ends meet and trudging up the same steep hills forever and ever.
How would someone like Ghandi, who clearly deserves to be in such a place even if he was a Hindu, reconcile himself to all those biblical characters busily smiting and begatting all over the place?
We have to remember that most things politicians tell us are either half-truths or outright lies and I suspect that this afterlife business is another one of their fables.
However, in case there is a grain of truth in the matter, I’m thinking about directing that I be buried with a baseball bat and a crash helmet.