Sketches on Atheism

Religion: A Banana Republic of the Mind

Banana Republic

n. A small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas, and is typically governed by a dictator or the armed forces.

Right off the bat this dictionary definition makes it perfectly clear: a banana republic is a ‘small country.’ That’s generally how we use the phrase, and that’s precisely how it came about in the 1930’s. It’s a derogatory slap in the face to a country whose economic exploits lack a certain depth and sophistication and whose future surfs a wave almost entirely dependent on the market of a single product. The term is purposefully slanderous because these countries are a danger to themselves and their neighbours. They are vulnerable, unstable, and at their core, volatile. Fair enough, the turn of words is accurate, but I contend the definition is far, far too restrictive. Banana republics also apply to individual minds, and in this unhealthy market theists have a working monopoly.

Theists, particularly evangelical fundamentalists, are a danger to themselves and their neighbours. The dogma they cling to is so fragile, so vaporous that they are left emotionally vulnerable, mentally unstable, and outwardly highly volatile. The absence of sophistication or depth in a theists thinking makes them a social liability; an invalid unable to contribute to the greater good. They are immature, irrational, brittle, and yet they are also unmovable. They are each tiny little individual banana republic’s ready in an instant to scream down new ideas… or in fact rebel against quite well established ones, and for this I present to you Exhibit A. This note was scribbled on top of a high school geology exam on the origins of the earth:

I'm a biology professor. My colleague, a geology professor, received this note on a test over the origins of the earth. Why do we even fuckin' try

13 thoughts on “Religion: A Banana Republic of the Mind

  1. But John,

    Each of those fundamentalist minds/banana republics are in an organization not unlike the United nations in which they have found common ground with other BRs and banded together. So, each is not an isolated island kingdon/dictatorship.

    It is unfortunate that most Christians have decided to baptize their children as infants. Raising their children “in the faith” and thus preventing them from making an informed choice.

    If you ask any of these fundamentalists whether their religion is, of all of them, the best one and they will say “yes,” even though they know nothing of the others.

    Forgive them for they know not what they do. Encourage them to read their bibles as that is the quicest way to lose their faith and start on something better.

    With regard to the tests, we should just put a notice at the top of the test indicating that this is a test of infidel knowledge, not personal knowledge, so that such precious jewels won’t be offended by test questions, for heaven’s sake!


    • “a test of infidel knowledge”… I love it!

      Yeah, i was going to go into a long-winded exposition of the BR’s massed together, and the dictator being their idea of a personal god but alas, my dogs told me it was time for their walk, so i hit Publish and diligently obeyed my masters wishes!


  2. I remember those scriptures being shoved down my throat as a kid; would I be ruffling feathers if I said they seem to have been written with the explicit intention of promoting ignorance, and then justifying it by referring back to them?


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