Sunday Stupidity: “Do as you’re told … or else”
There’s nothing like religion for enforced obedience. Do what the Attilas say, say the witchdoctors, or suffer for all time to come.
Paul, Christianity’s inventor, was clear that good Christians should reject good old common sense in favour of scripture—and your own independent judgement in favour of faith in and obedience to authorities, “even when they demand that you believe ridiculous tales and perform unspeakable acts.”* In fact, such is his explicit advice.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God's servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience.
- Paul, Letter to the Romans, 13
In short, Obey and Suffer... and Shut Your Mouth!
Paul’s earthly master Peter (the authority, ironically, Paul refused to obey) was even more explicit that orders should be followed even—or even because of—the suffering it engenders.
Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. For it is to your credit if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, where is the credit in that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
- Paul, 1 Peter 2
Nice people, these Apostles.
However, we can have sure certain faith that all of those to whom these rules apply have of course already been taken up in yesterday’s rapture. So the rest of us can happily ignore them.
* Hat tip Noodle Food]