I was thinking about political stances, opinions, beliefs, and how they are often held dogmatically and emotionally, and even if quietly, on the edge of fanaticism. I was thinking about how they are held and expressed not in the style of reason, but in the style of religion.

Many political stances are expressed in the language of realities but are not based in reality at all, or on some small bit of some reality (perhaps personal realities) in any case. Instead, while political stances are expressed as truths they are often wishes. And political phenomena which one might accept wholeheartedly, are not real things, but phantoms.

And reversing our line of thought, how is it like religious belief? I’d argue it is similar if not identical to religious thought. Religious terms and phenomena are regularly spoken of as realities only to fall apart the moment they’re poked? Or to frequently elicit offense and anger in the one who holds them?

Concepts like “god” and “sin” and “miracles” sit alongside concepts like “free markets”and “privilege” and “patriarchy.” Believers toss them about as obvious realities but they turn into mystical vagueries or uncontestable dogmas when the odd eyebrow is raised.

Political and religious opinions are fine and I’m a big fan of thought experiments and metaphor. The problem arises when we mistake our thoughts and metaphors for reality, our map for the territory so to speak. It’s difficult but important to know and then to remember where our ideas came from, what they’re for, and how far they can be carried.