GANG UP ON THE CHURCH: ARE YOU ADDICTED TO VALUES?
Values are an interesting phenomena. Everyone has them, and they’re based in pride. Values are one path to belonging and to achieving status. Except as they impact the larger community, there’s little difference between the values underlying the values of a religious community and the values of a gang.
In the religious community, you must demonstrate what a good and sanctimonious person you are. The holier or more humble you’re perceived to be, the more status you get. In the gang, you must prove how tough you are. Maybe you must show you can take a beating or that you can kill someone. But, in both the gang and the religious community, a value’s underlying purpose is about finding your place in a group, about belonging and, specially, about pride of status.
Both communities have values and both live by them and act on them, and, in both, some members are more or less successful in achieving them. You get your status and your worth from how well you demonstrate your group’s values.
My point being? Let’s not pride ourselves on our values, for pride goes just before an elbows over teacup.
"If there is a supreme being, he's crazy." —Marlene Dietrich
"I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference." —Jack Kerouac