Divided And Conquered

A recent survey found that 20% of English adults would not attend a same sex wedding. A Tear Fund survey in 2007 discovered that only 7% of English adults considered themselves to be practicing Christians (from my experience my guess is that far, far less than this percentage of the population attend church regularly - but for the purposes of this post we will stick to this figure). Another recent survey found that 52% of churchgoers were in favour of same sex marriage. This means that of the English people who would not go to a same sex wedding, 16.8% are Christian and 83.2% are not (or thereabouts). There are many reasons why the churches should be vilified for their homophobia and more so than non-Christians. But they are not the only villains. In fact, as the maths shows, their members make up a small minority of the villains.

I had a row with a gay man on Facebook last night. He wanted to blame Christianity for all homophobia in the same way that Richard Dawkins blames Christianity for all war. This is simply scapegoating of the same type as blaming gay men for all paedophilia and places this particular gay man in the same moral position as the bigots who have made his life hell. Furthermore it is exactly the attitude that the oppressors of all minorities and powerless groups want to engender in the minds of those they bully.

I have discovered in my 8 years of blogging that by far the most insidious danger that those who fight for justice face is the enemy's use of the tactic of "divide and conquer." The reason why it is so perilous is that we are all too eager to blame a specific group of other people for all our woes, whatever those woes might be. The truth of the matter is that we are all naturally bigots, in one way or another.

But another truth is that we can rise above this natural instinct and act contrary to our natural tendencies when we intellectually decide that our gut reactions are morally wrong. It is particularly important that "victims" realise this and utilise their free will because victims need all the help they can get. The reason why the powerful want to divide and rule their victims is to minimise the help the victims get from each other. This has been going on for time immemorial. You would have thought that we would have got wise to this by now.


Divided And Conquered — 2 Comments

  1. You are correct in your argument as far as you take it…however, you did not raise the “cost” issue…which I believe from reading your blog for many years, you know quite well.

    There are many who know in their “heart of hearts” they are bigots… and that they should do something about it, but they are just not willing to pay the costs the “powerful” will exact when they do something about it.

    In as much as the “church” is part of the “scheme” and not part of the solution, many can find solace in inaction.

  2. The right wing in our country has used this tactic for decades to frighten working class people (the so-called “Reagan Democrats”) into voting against their self-interest. The sad thing is that it works. They are currently using this tactic to undermine the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare), to cut off unemployment benefits to those who can’t get work within 26 weeks of unemployment, and to limit food assistance to the poor. Shameful!