Trigger warning for any Catholics who may have wandered in (perhaps you’d prefer this song by Tom Lehrer.)
Reading Andrew McGahan‘s satirical dystopian novel “Underground”[review pending] I came across this bit and laughed out loud. The narrator has just been on the receiving end of a diatribe from a young zealot.
The inward sigh was now a groan. How did it happen that, just because an intelligent mind was disappointed by the society around it and searching for solutions, it would fall for the first hardline idiocy that it came across?
My mind went back to a conversation I’d had years ago with an old friend. He was a long-lapsed Catholic, but he had decided to send his son to a Catholic school. When I asked him why, he said one word: “Inoculation.” His theory was this – all religions and cults were dangerous, and he did not want his son involved in any of them. The problem was, if he raised his son with no religion at all, then the boy might well fall prey to the first religion or cult that he came across later, just out of curiosity and naivety. If he was raised Catholic, on the other hand, he would at least know a religion from the inside. And in my friend’s opinion, Catholicism was the laziest and most stagnant of the western religions, and hence the simplest for his son to rebel against while growing up. And having seen through the nonsense of one religion, he would never then fall prey to another. He would have had his inoculation shot, and would now be immune. And as crazy as the plan had sounded, it probably worked. I certainly never heard of that boy blowing anyone up.