Linked outta Two–Four.
It was 1990, the first time I said it, across the passageway from my
stateroom to another officer’s on the FNS COLBERT (C 611). In so many
words, I said that upon reflection, I can’t see how anyone in a
position of high office or power could possibly be a sincere literal
believer; which is to say, not an atheist by my definition of the term,
which is just that: rejection of literal belief as a minimum standard.
There are, of course, more stringent positions, but in my book, if you
don’t believe in some anthropomorphic imaginary friend in the sky (or
equivalent), you’re an atheist. It doesn’t mean — necessarily, though
you could, but it’s impertinent to the central concept — that you
reject morality, which is the principle nasty misrepresentation of the
I suppose it’s possible that, here or there, people attain positions of massive influence and power while really and truly
believing in a literal being, but I think that’s just blind luck. In
normal circumstances, I think one cannot possibly be so handicapped in
terms of critical and disciplined thinking and work their way to the
top. In today’s culture, getting to the top really requires a cynical
ability to manipulate group think to one’s advantage.
So they play along; just like Mother Teresa. But bless her anyway,
and I mean that sincerely. At least she had the grace to record her
honesty somewhere, and I don’t think it reflects that poorly on
her, either. While I don’t think she helped that many people in an
objective way (it’s no help to encourage the poor to just be satisfied
with their lot in life), she wasn’t out really hurting people either;
nor did she intend to. You must look at the context of her life, so her
toeing the line for the Catholic Empire throughout it is, to
me, roughly akin to the 50-year-old Muslim woman who still lives in her
parent’s house, under their rule, because she hasn’t been fortunate
enough to be married off.