Sectarian Violence

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The comedian Emo Phillips performed a routine (click that link) that has been voted the greatest religious joke ever written.

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”

I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

When you go for your job interview, you will face exactly this risk. PhD in psychology? That’s exactly what we’re looking for. Developmental psychology or social psychology? Great! Social psychology in a quantitative or qualitative approach? Terrific!! Quantitative social psychology with a focus on identity or deviance? Oh… thanks for coming by.

And you can’t be Switzerland and claim neutrality, because then everybody will mistrust you. If you’re not allied, you can’t join any club. So you have to put yourself out there and fly your flag, knowing that it will draw fire from any passing members of other tribes.