The Anti-terror Religion

We all come into the world clean.  Open minds eager to learn and absorb all of
life.  The unfortunate thing, and the cause of most of man’s worldly grief, is that
there is no accurate filter, no magical divining rod to allow us to immediately
ascertain absolute truth.  We are first seized by parental teachings, and later by
values absorbed from the society around us, and by the teachings of our schools
and religious institutions.  The individual must decide which teachings he
believes, and which should be cast off as untrue.  

The learning process isn’t easy and there are many pitfalls and mental traps for
the unwary.  Among the most sticky is religion, which by its nature, doesn’t lend
itself to free personal interpretation, and often asks one to accept on faith that
which one is taught.  Next to religion, societal values offer the most difficult
challenge to free and independent thought, as we are constantly bombarded by
the opinions of our peers, and the powers that be.  Books, newspapers, and the
media, are largely a reflection of the popular sentiment of the moment, and can’t
be trusted for content, but only used as a barometer of public pressures.  So how
does one become an accurate thinker?  How does the individual guard oneself
from the disease of sympathetic logic; prevent one from being just another
maddened mind in the herd?  A million Nazis came from otherwise normal,
average men.  Earlier in history, Indian fathers inducted their sons into the
murderous Thuggee cult.

We are now engaged in the third world war, a war for the minds of the people.  
This is not a new thought, and it was predicted decades ago or longer, although
not clearly defined.  Certainly, many didn’t see it coming in the current context.  The
possibility of modern society being gripped by a terror caused by ideas as
primitive as those held by Muslim fundamentalists never seemed very plausible a
decade ago.  But it’s here now, and the seeds of evil, twisted ideas rife with non
sequitur, have been planted worldwide and are growing.  Terror seems to have
become the modus operandi of choice of an untold number of groups.  Organized
threats to civilization seem to be sprouting up like mushrooms, magnified by the
looming threat of weapons of mass murder.  It makes one wonder what can be

Ideas are like viruses implanted into the minds of men.  Some are benign, even
beneficial, such as: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”.  Some
are malevolent, such as: “Kill Jews”, or “Give death to those who are not for
Islam”.  The fundamentalists invoke god, stating that he is on their side, and they
call for “Holy Jihad”.  One only need look at the faces of the enraged masses
chanting, to be reminded of another time, when torches lit the night and storm
troopers goose-stepped down the streets waving swastika banners.  

Religious fervor is a hard thing to argue against, and perhaps one shouldn’t.  But
there is only one universal religion, which ultimately must guide man.  It is the
religion of individualism.  It is the religion that is inexorably a part of every clean
conscious mind that is born into this world.  It is that which rules, before the
viruses of societal ideas infect the tutelary genius that is instilled in us all at birth.  
This religion demands the maximum growth and realization of potential of each
human being.  It is referred to implicitly in the American Declaration of
Independence as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  There are no gay
rights, no women’s rights, and no minority rights.  There are only the rights of the
individual.  If the rights of the individual are protected, all else follows
automatically.  All religions must be subservient to the one universal religion of
individualism.  That is the litmus test of their legitimacy.  Any religion, any
government, any group or agency that would harm the rights of the individual is
immediately illegitimate and must be nullified.

Therefore it follows, that any agency, sect, or person which promotes or practices
murder or violence, or which constricts the growth of the individual, negates its
own right to exist.  That is an absolute truth and as close to a magical divining rod
as one may acquire to hand to the youth of the world.  To paraphrase Emerson, a
country is only as good as the man it produces.  That is how a system must be

We must teach each generation the religion of individualism.  The legitimacy of all
else will then be more easily divined.  The seeds we must plant in Iraq and
elsewhere should intrinsically have nothing to do with western society and values,
but instead, must be those seeds that foster the only true religion of man, the
religion of individualism.  We must do that by proceeding as we have begun, by
removing the yoke of oppression and promoting freedom, and by building schools
that all may attend.  We will thus make a fertile soil for the growth of the individual
where a dictator and his kind made a desert.  In one generation, a new light can
be made to rise and shine in the Middle East, just as surely as in Europe, where
in one generation the dark night of Nazism descended so quickly, only to be finally
replaced by freedom.  

Don’t be misled by croakers, nor be fooled by early successes.  The evil seeds
that have been planted throughout the world, indeed, even in Europe, will try to
bloom, and they must be destroyed wherever they pop up, just as the Thugs of
India were rooted out in a previous century.  And sadly, even among our own
forces, where systemic failure causes some few to break the law, we must be
resolute and take quick decisive action. But from Iraq to Chechnya, to the still
unknown battles to come, this world war can be the last.  It can be the war of final
enlightenment, where no segment of the globe is left to fester, and the promise of
the future can be brought to every country.  We needn’t have the Iraqi people like
us to win.  Nor do they need adopt a mirror image of western-styled democracy.  
We only need to give them the tools to win for themselves.  We are doing that.  We
are helping to restore a degree of normalcy in their lives, and moving forward to a
point where they can be restored to self-governance, freed from dictators and self-
serving evil clerics alike.  Religious freedom, and all freedoms will ring, by
promoting the one universal religion of individualism.  That is the greatest gift that
we can give to the children of the world, and it is the best way to safeguard our
own security.   

Michael P. Sakowski
May 11, 2004
Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved

Op-Ed Pieces