… you mix a social mystic with a religious mystic?
A: Instead of a well-dressed chap passing a shiny, velvet bottomed, beggars dish along a pew you get a well-dressed aging bureaucrat pointing a gun at your head forcing you to engage in sacrifice.. all the while giving it inane labels such benevolence, caring, responsible citizenship, etc.
The fundamental difference between the religious mystic’s demands for sacrifice and the social mystic’s demand for the same is merely the point of a gun. In both cases you are required to abdicate your individual self-interest, reason, and rationality, thereby subordinating your values and that which makes you human to the interests of a non-entity: God, in the case of religion; society, in the case of social mysticism.
In the case of financial support of a church you are giving up a value (your wealth) for an ostensibly greater value, the work of the church. But what, exactly, is the work of the church premised upon? The will of (or glory of) God, say the priests, prophets, and ministers. If it were provable that such an entity existed then such an offering is utterly meaningless and without any merit; what, pray tell, would an omnipotent, omniscient, being need? This seems like a pretty easy question, does it not?
The giving up of a lesser value for a greater one is not a sacrifice – that’s a trade, a deal, or a bargain. Going down to the gas station and paying for a tank of gas is not a sacrifice because you value the transportation of you, your vehicle, and whatever else you are moving about MORE than the money you pay for the gasoline. The station owner is in exactly the opposite situation; he values your money more than the gasoline. Both parties get what they need, and no one is short-changed provided neither party is forced. In fact, in a free market with rational actors there cannot be any sacrifice simply because only lesser values are given for greater ones. Sacrifice then becomes the heart and soul of misinvestments and malinvestments, and is in fact that which is mistakenly perceived to be the imperfect nature of capitalism. If you are forced to purchase gasoline at the expense of not being able to buy food, shelter or clothing for your family, that is a sacrifice and a malinvestment. If you are forced to buy gasoline from only a single supplier, that too is a sacrifice and a misinvestment. So, it turns out that capitalism is clearly not the problem here – sacrifice is the evil ingredient, slipped in under the cover of darkness.
Consequently, if you do not value what you receive for your life’s work, whatever that may be, the money you earn, then you cannot make a sacrifice by giving it away. If you do value money then you would be making a sacrifice by giving it away, but only to the extent that that which you give it to you value less. Yet, most religions would tell you that God must be, IS, your highest value. Therefore, there is nothing you can logically sacrifice, including your own life, or the life of your child (sorry Abraham, but it is readily apparent that you were self-delusional), if God’s will is your highest value… yet religion is premised upon the creed of self-sacrifice as a moral tenet. On the other hand, if you do value yourself, your child, and, or, the value of your life’s work (your money) higher than God, you are now in a predicament: you can either be moral or you can continue to live – you cannot do both simultaneously. If you desire to be moral, you must hold God as your highest value, if you desire to live you must hold your own life as your highest value. You could only make a sacrifice to God if you truly believed your life was primary; a value higher than God. Does this mean then that we live in a world of fundamental contradiction? No. The answer here is simple: your premise is flawed. There is no God to which you owe anything, and any religion premised upon that idea is fundamentally wrong.
When a thug of social mysticism, aka a politician of the Harry Reid variety, attempts to embody both creeds of self sacrifice you get the worst case scenario. They will demand that you sacrifice for the greater good of another non-entity: society. Your responsibility, they will tell you (perhaps in not so many words), is that you are to live as a sacrificial animal for the benefit of others. That you will benefit in ways neither he nor you can measure, but that surely you can imagine in your minds eye. The fact that such benefit is incalculable is of no consequence. The fact that the costs to you are immense is irrelevant. And to seal this package deal, you will comply because there is a gun to your head if you should consider any other option.. Yet, in a representative republic, as opposed to a dictatorship, the social mystic does not always get his way. He needs votes, and he does face the task of re-election. Consequently, he will, when the going gets tough, appeal to another non-entity, subtly perhaps, to garner support.
This sort of creature is fully prepared to play both sides of the sacrifice scam. They will tell you that it is your duty to help your fellow man, that you are indeed your brothers keeper – not just in spirit, but your mind and your body (and any wealth you may have). That you have a moral obligation to live a subordinated existence. An existence that scans the world for perceived needs, and then obligates you by force and faith to pay for it. They call this abomination either the social contract or the will of God – either way, or both ways together, your life and your pursuit of your own happiness is not just irrelevant, but an obstacle to their plans and schemes. The contradictions and convolutions required in this view are stunning, the implications for individual rights frightening – yet they persist.
So the answer to the question is simply bondage and tyranny over your mind and your life.
For further opinion on this phenomena, see my prior post: GOP: RIP