Martyrdom. No, I'm not talking about the joy of blowing yourself up to please Allah and go to his big brothel in the sky (where DO they find all their virgins??). I'm talking about your normal, everyday martyr.
Or, another title to this topic could be "The power of victimology".
Haven't we all been, or been affected by, a martyr at some stage. Haven't we all resorted to the ancient art of victimology.
You know the scenario- person A insults person B, by saying something rude, disrespectful, manipulative, a complete put down. Person B reacts, as one would expect, either aggressively, sternly, critically or whatever.
Person A responds with "Oh, no.....you MISUNDERSTOOD me. You see, when I said you were ugly, stupid, and your mother dresses you all funny, you TOOK IT THE WRONG WAY."
Geddit? "YOU misunderstood ME". It's not my fault. In fact, I'M the victim of a misunderstanding. Not only am I going to avoid being accountable for my despicable behaviour, I'm going to make YOU feel bad. I'm going to get upset that you have ACCUSED ME of being rude!
An insult eloquently worded, is still an insult.
Clever, huh? Yet we all do it. The art of victimology. Friends do it, families do it, colleagues do it, governments do it. Countries do it.
Back in the 1930's, the oddly-named National Socialist Party of Germany convinced their people that Jews meant harm to the Ayrian race. THEY had stolen, THEY had cheated, THEY had persecuted. Look what THEY have done to US.
The same government wanted a region of Czechoslovakia, the Sudetan highlands, and could not conquer it by force. Furthermore, France and Britain had promised protection to the Czechs from ANY hostile incursion. So, Adolf and friends convinced the world that Czechoslovakia was mistreating a minority of "Germans" (i.e. German-speaking Czechs) in the Sudetan region. Despite the ex-pat Germans in the region being perfectly well off as Czechs, the Nazis convinced them they were hard-done-by, and stirred up enough dissention to provoke the Czechs into a military response.
Bingo. Job done. Now the ex-pat Germans in the Sudetanland were an "oppressed minority" living in "occupied territories". Poor Adolf was just sticking up for his kinsmen, said the British and French. He doesn't WANT to intervene with force, but he may HAVE TO, to stop the oppression. This would ignite war in Europe. We must convince the Czechs that they are better off trading a small amount of land "for peace", said the world's greatest pacifist, Neville Chamberlain.
So, without any consultation with the Czechs, Britain and France handed the region over to Hitler. Betrayed by the very people who had vowed to protect them, Czechoslovakia was then overrun by the Nazi military. In came the tanks, 6 months later, WW II. 50 million people dead. Some peace.
But that's some amazing demonstration of the effectiveness of victimology.
So, what have we learned from this? Well, nothing. Now we have entire nations who still desire the extermination of Jews, using "Palestine" as the victim. Palestine, a region that has never, ever, in 2000 years, been a self-governing or autonomous nation. Palestinians, who are infinitely better off under a productive Israel, than under the rule of an authority that takes billions in charity from the west and spends it - not on education, healthcare or housing, but on terrorism to destroy the very people giving them money. Yet the whole world is convinced that Israel is the big, bad, oppressive giant.
Back to the Nazis. SS chief Himmler was obsessed with the occult. He revered witches and witchcraft. He was a believer in Gnosticism, the old/new-age mysticism made popular by a recent bestsellling book and film I've been mentioning. Secret wisdom and knowledge was the key to power. He took up massive amounts of state resource to find evidence that witches and seers were persecuted and killed by Jews. Of course you can't just go out and kill Jews. You need to have a legitimate reason.
He didn't find any evidence, of course, and after a while the small matter of WWII took precedence and it all got shelved.
But, sooner or later, someone is going to point out that in fact it was Catholics who killed lots of witches and seers. Add a few zeros to the actual number killed (as was done by that bestselling book I mentioned) and bingo, you have a legitimate reason to kill Catholics. Or, instead of being quite so drastic you can simply persecute, slander and ridicule them, telling them it's their own fault and they deserve much worse and they should think themselves lucky. All this in a tolerant, politically-correct society, of course.
Speaking of religion- there is one that has been spread by the sword, by murder, assasination, suppression, censorship and terrorism. One that sends otherwise wealthy countries into a mire of corruption, poverty and ignorance. Yet this "religion" cries victim loud enough, blaming their own shocking lack of progress on everyone else, and blaming the body count it causes on the bodies themselves. And we believe it. Society panders to it. Nobody ever says anything contentious of this religion, it's founders or it's proponents, either factually or within the framework of fiction. Nobody dares. The last person who did was a Dutch film maker. Even the people who attended his funeral were mocked and threatened.
Job done. Not only are they never held accountable for their own despicable behaviour, they actually make everyone else feel bad about it. Like the child abusers teaching their victims that the abuse is all their own fault.
Another religion (for want of a better word), despite all it's faults, teaches "turning the other cheek" if your enemy strikes you. Love thy neighbour. Don't think you're better than anyone. Accept that you are no better. Don't play the victim.
Secular society, under the veil of "freedom of speech" insults, mocks, lays out false stereotypes and publically attacks one of those religions. Guess which one. Perhaps I'm running the risk of playing the victim with these words, but no matter. A spade is a spade. Look around you and see. I love freedom of speech. I just wish it was available to everyone. I wish you could tell everyone that the media is fooling everyone, shaping popular opinion to suit them, that even the 6 o'clock news is mostly rubbish. It's not news, it's a placebo. Something put there to make you feel like you're being informed.
But how would you tell everyone all this? You'd need the media.
You have to appreciate the effectiveness of victimology. Whether it's a country, or a religion, or an abusive person. There's something about being a martyr that just works. Political correctness is constantly revised and reshaped, proportional to how loud the martyrs are crying victim. I am guessing this is exactly why it is perfectly politically correct to insult Christianity. Not only do you get away with it, you can profit from it.