Can’t Touch This

Anybody who had the patience to wade through yesterday’s far too long-winded post (do forgive me for having such a low-rent editorial staff) knows that I have religion on my mind lately. In that post I mentioned, as I have often done in the past, the magnificent defensive arsenal of highly evolved religions. I ran across a splendid example in the subway today — a poster carrying the following message:

“Even though you may know the Bible, spiritual life is hard because Satan deceives you into accepting your thoughts. Living life with God becomes easy when you forsake what you know for the Word. Discover the secrets of true spiritual life at the Bible Crusade.”

-Pastor Ock Soo Park

Wow! That, I have to say, is getting things right out in the open, and no shilly-shallying. You have “thoughts”? And you were going to accept them? Man, that was close; you’re reading this poster just in time. Do you “know” things? Yikes! Forsake them at once. All that stuff — knowledge, thoughts, or anything else that enters your mind that didn’t come from Pastor Ock Soo Park — comes from Satan. And you know that’s true, because you have Pastor Ock Soo Park’s word for it, rather than anything you might “think” about it yourself, which comes from Satan, as we just explained.

Got it?

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  1. Sounds like Pastor Park is demanding that his followers accept Pastor Park’s thoughts. This is very much the manner of a Korean church. Too much of evangelical Christianity is like this as well. But such an ideology is maladaptive, in my opinion.

    Jeffery Hodges

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    Posted October 2, 2009 at 2:19 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Is it? I’m not so sure. Pastor Park is just a proxy, of course – though that’s nice work, if you can get it.

    Posted October 2, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  3. It’s maladaptive because it doesn’t adapt well to a complex environment that requires creativity to survive. If the entire congregation simply does what the pastor demands, then survival depends on that one man, and like any dictatorial system, with misdirection comes failure and collapse.

    I suppose that there can also be living fossils, but these are rare and survive in out-of-the-way places.

    Jeffery Hodges

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    Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Yes, I figured that was what you had in mind. But think of Islam itself – it revolved around one man’s word, as God’s proxy, about just about every aspect of the life of the faithful. The man died, but left enough behind for survivors to carry on with. Admittedly there soon was chaos, but the system hardly seems to have been maladaptive – it’s done well for 1400 years, and is in the process of conquering Europe. It seems to be as well-adapted as kudzu.

    Not, mind you, that I’m saying there is a fair comparison to be made between Ock Soo Park and Mohammed. The point here was the splendid defensive mechanism that deflects all criticism, or even independent thinking itself, as the voice of Satan. That’s right up there with the bombardier beetle.

    Posted October 2, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  5. That’s a good counter-example, I admit, but I wonder if Islam can survive without expanding. I’m not convinced that it has done well when society has been organized around shariah, and most Muslim societies even when only incompletely Islamized don’t seem to be doing very well.

    Jeffery Hodges

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    Posted October 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Well, expansion — jihad — is central to Islam, of course. There have certainly been historical periods when the dar-al-Islam contracted, but Islam plainly survived, and is, if anything, expanding again.

    You’re right that most Muslim societies aren’t doing well by modern economic or political standards. But there are more Muslims now than ever, so in Darwinian terms they’re doing just fine.

    Posted October 2, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink
  7. Phillip says

    It says “THE” Word. Not “Pastor Ock Soo Park’s” Word.

    Posted September 19, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    Well, right. As approved and passed along by Pastor Ock Soo Park.

    Posted September 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink
  9. As my Nom de Clavier reveals, my first name is The, and I categorically deny that any of the words in the above post and comments are mine.

    BTW, I hear about everything written in these pages, so don’t think you can sneak anything past me. I am familiar with the concept of email notifications, etc.

    And so shall it be written, as it emanates from the lips of my mouth, and the drips from my clavier, as it were.

    Posted September 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink