So there has been some debate on catechism, e.g., if we had to give an elevator pitch of what we stand for, what would that pitch be. We need some kind of slogan, some kind of summary, some sort of modern day version of the ten commandments.
I contributed my part, in which I suggested that taking pride in ourselves might be a good summary, but reception was lukewarm. And honestly, I kind of agree. It is both too vague and too specific, and there is no mission involved, no purpose. But, what then?
Perhaps something women related? Seems to me that would cure most of the problems. But what specifically about women? Karl suggested simply that man and woman are different, that embracing that difference is necessary for a good and fulfilling live. OK but that’s kind of vague as well.
Here’s the thing. Any phrase, combination of words or catechism, when repeated often enough, loses its significance. People just don’t live their lives according to specific phrases; they forget the old phrases, create new ones. To spend one’s life looking for the right catechism, I do not think it will work. We’ve had several attempts at catechisms, and even though some were really good, none were so good that I can reproduce them here.
Christianity, for instance, had no catechism either. It is entirely possible to succinctly summarize Christianity, but no where in the New Testament does a disciple say: this is the catechism. Apparently, a catechism is not required.
So, what is required? Well, funny story, I find myself circling back to what I said before: people rally around a person, not a catchphrase. People rallied around Christ, not any specific phrase in the bible, as people rallied around Luther, not his ninety-five theses. The person becomes indistinguishable from the catechism, because a catechism’s meaning can be twisted easily, but a person’s life can not be twisted so easily as all. Rallying around a catechism is too vulnerable to entryists, therefore does not work, while rallying around a person (even when that person is dead) is much less vulnerable to entryism, therefore does work.
So, which person says all the things we want to say the clearest? Welp, seems we’ve returned to the Jim.
Now, Jim does not like me calling him a prophet. Too heavy-sounding. OK, let us adapt. Instead of Jimianity, which cladistically is meant to reverberate with Christianity, we tone down the meme a bit and make it, shall we say, more twenty-first century friendly. So, I propose: Jimism. You got your Marxism, which was perfectly acceptable in the twentieth century, and now we got Jimism. It can still be a religious thing, just as Marxism turned out to be pretty religious, but it is also down-to-earth, just as Karl Marx was pretty down to earth.
Also some thoughts on how this works. I notice that men from devout Christian families tend to be a bit alike. They tend to be friendly, pious, peaceful betas. Of course I am generalizing, but it makes complete sense to me that Christianity would select for exactly that type of man. Think Homer Simpson’s neighbor, the hi-diddly-doo guy. When King Charles the Second made science high status, it is no wonder at all that this kind of guy happily performs science and throws us into the industrial revolution.
So, religion is a long-term genetic reproduction game: its success is measured by its ability to promote gene pools that promote the religion.
(This has nothing to do with the original intent of this post, namely the whole ‘Jimianity is dead, long live Jimism’ thing, but I thought it was interesting anyway.)