As much as the Fundies would like us to forget, we have in this country a long history of Separation of Church and State.
There is, however, a Government Enforced Religion, in America...that is so pervasive as to be almost invisible: What we call "Capitalism".
One is hard pressed, indeed, to escape the trappings and belief structures of this Faith...it's Crusaders are one's neighbors;it's Inquisitors, almost everyone you will ever meet.
Everywhere are it;s Temples...called "Banks".
Everywhere, it's Sacraments...the taking out of Loans, the Cashing of Checks, Commerce, and Trade.
Omnipresent, it's Holy Cracker..."Money".
Money is the tangible Symbol of all that is Holy...a fancy piece of Paper, inscribed with Signs, imbued with Value...by our Collective Belief.
Increasingly, even this Tangible Fetish is no longer necessary...Money exists only in Databases...as ones and zeroes...so strong is our Faith.
The People live and die for this Fetish...this Host.
They sell their Souls for the getting of it...Sacrifice their Integrity, their Family, their Self-Worth.
They endure all manner of Hardship, and blame themselves when there is not enough.
Money is generated, Created, in the Temple...by the Priests, called "Bankers", or "Loan Officers".
The Supplicant presents the Priest what is called a "Business Plan", in some cases, establishing their Worthiness to partake in the Sacrament. If the Priest deems this Sufficient, he or she goes into the Sanctuary...performs the necessary Rituals and Incantations, and Money is thereby Created....with an agreement, all but signed in blood, that the Supplicant will pay Tithes for a considerable period...and that failure to do so will be considered Apostasy, which will be Punished.
There is a Heirarchy, among the Faithful....some Persons are deemed more Valuable than others.
The Most Valuable Persons are known as Corporations....so Valuable that the enjoy, it is thought, Immortality...
The Most Valuable Corporations are the Big Banks. They are so close to God, so Perfect in their Faith, that they have been given the Power to Create Money...not only in the aforementioned Loan Making Process...but out of Thin Air.
The High Priests of the Most Valuable of the Most Valuable Corporations, who are Privileged to sit at the Very Feet of God,are known as the Federal Reserve.
They determine the Faithfulness, the Worth, of everyone else.
All Money flows to Them.
God is known by various names...the one used the most is "The Market".
The Market is everywhere...and nowhere.
It lays waste to Apostates, and sets on Thrones the Faithful.
Powerful is our God.
Surely none can Compete with Him, lest they Lose their Soul.
There is, however, a Rival.
Many are the disguises of this Rival, this Deciever.
Socialism, Communism...and Democracy.
Liberal, Labor, the Working Man.
The Rival decieves Men into thinking that they "Deserve" a better life than the Market affords them...that there is more to Life than Money....That not everything is a Commodity, to be Bought and Sold.
Surely the Market is Powerful enough to Destroy this Rival....
But the Market Moves in mysterious Ways!
Some believe that He is Testing Us...and allowing the Rival's continued Existence.
For surely, our God could, with a Word, send the Rival into Perdition.
Many are Decieved....for the Rival is Cunning.
The Priests forever strive against the Rival, employing Warriors and Knights...these are known as Advertising and Think Tanks.
They counter the rival, with Propaganda, to ensure that the Faithful remain True.
The Market can brook no Competition, for He is a Jealous God...Greedy for our Love and Supplication.
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