Funny how humans are. There are too many ways we reinforce one part of us by strengthening another.
For example, exercising to increase happiness. That’s not a route to dopamine any junkie will believe. More common and perhaps more complex is when we believe something because we think it might increase our status. For example, Ronald Reagan said:
“I have always believed that this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom. Our pioneers asked that He would work His will in our daily lives so America would be a land of morality, fairness, and freedom.”
Will these words help us feel special? Is our nation elevated if we choose to believe these words? Do you feel a mere smidge or an entire allotment of status? Nazis did.
In the iron march that drew millions to serve Hitler, “Gott mitt uns” is a phrase at the foundation [wiki]. Germany was an ‘anointed land‘. Uncommonly, Germany was set apart. Nazi Germany indeed was a land of morality. Nazi pioneers enlisted with a special love for Germany’s divine plan. “Let’s work so hard and fight so fiercely that God cannot refuse to hand the victory palm to Germany.” God was with them. He would work His will. These beliefs thundered into the daily lives of people in every corner of the Earth.
Do these words now revolt us?
Does belief both love and kill? Bob Dylan sang,
When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.
There’s much to think about.
One says, “I’m seriously afraid that the “Gott mitt uns” idea seems to have caught on in the USA.”
Another says, “We DON’T hate the US, or it’s people, but some of us find the ‘fundagelicals’ only fractionally less scary than the Muslim loonies.”
What happens in America is very much at the heart of God’s purpose for humanity. “A myth.”, says the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams [wiki], “America is no ‘chosen nation’.”
For further reading, piercing insights from PsyBlog.
Why We do Dumb or Irrational Things: 10 Brilliant Social Psychology Studies