As a professor who posts on the same topics semester after semester, only to see those posts disappear into archives that are never seen again, I've created this space for some of the posts I want to preserve.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
re: Religion vs Theology
This perspective on literature is particularly necessary for law enforcement people. In order to defuse someone like David Koresh, the negotiator has to understand not only the psychotic mind, but the metanarrative within which that psychosis operates. If a man believes himself to be Christ returned for Armageddon (as Koresh did), and the negotiators are talking US Constitution and Federal Law, there's a huge disconnect that has to be bridged. Everyone likes to second-guess tragic events, but I doubt there's anything one can say to convince someone in the control of adaimon. Koresh was convinced that he was Jesus returned to judge the damned--he was convinced that the literature of John's Revelation was being played out here in Texas--and I'm pretty sure he thought God ordered him to shoot and burn all those children on that last day. I'm not at all convinced that law enforcement training can teach ATF and FBI agents what to do in the face of a religious fanatic who's intent on killing. But watching for "crazies" in the neighborhood might be easier ifyoucan tell reality from metaphor from myth from delusion.