Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bennet and the Cadres

Apologies in advance--I never really intended this to be a political site and I already do far more politics than is perhaps good for me.  But I've been chewing all day at the story about Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet (up to now only a name for me) and his allegedly unsound views on matters of religion.   Bennet per Bennet "does not affiliate with a particular religion but ... believes in God."  Well, fine, although I must say I already feel a little creepy getting all this info on a topic which, to my taste, is no more my business than the content of his underwear.  I'll grant him that in the current environment, he certainly couldn't get away with saying less.

The question of whether he must say more and sure enough, we have an opposition noisemaker who feels perfectly comfortable in twitting the candidate for his supposed laxity:
Michael Bennet, you see, rejects religion. Yes, he says he believes in God, but he makes clear he does not go to worship, does not believe in organized religion, and does not affiliate with a religion.
Does not affiliate.  Oooh, ah.  Does not affiliate!  Is it just me, or are there others who find that this smacks of the worst kind of Sovietism.  Remember how they did it: there was "the government," of course, but then there was "the party," and wose, "the cadres."  Sure, "the government" may have honored some theoretical neutrality.  But from kindergarten on, you knew that if you weren't a party man, you weren't squat.  You wouldn't get into the right schools; you wouldn't get a nice apartment of a dacha in the country and you certainly wouldn't get a decent job.

I sometimes suspect I'm the last person in America who thinks that religion is a private matter; I've always respected the Hegel of whom it was said that he might be a Christian but if so, of a sect of only he was a member.  I've heard that the Druses are so cagy about their belief that they don't even tell other Druses until the student reaches the age of 50 (what must life be like, I wonder, in a Druse Sunday school?)--I wonder if they are taking converts.

When I was a kid in the Midwest and people asked me my religion (they did, believe me), I used to say I was "a listless nonbeliever."  People used to think I was talking about some kind of obscure denomination, but it did get them out of  my hair.  I'm sorry Bennet can't get away with the same thing.  Meanwhile, when the goon squad next comes around with its questionnaire, I think he might trying saying that he belongs to the same church as Abraham Lincoln.  That is to say, bugger off.

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