Overview: By definition re-ligion is what ties-again. There are two dimensions available to tie-again: one is by myth, the other is by public rationality. Both span the space of all religions. Both can be logical.
A set of myths, logically articulated, is called a mythology. Mythologies are inhabited by extraordinary beings who give us orders under the threat of death and eternal torture. Mythological religions are critical for expansionist empires, closed minded tribes, and the rule of cliques. Examples of mythologies are the Greek, Hindu, Aztec, Christian and Muslim religions. All were associated to oceans of blood. People who are ruled by terrorizing myths find natural to be ruled by terrorizing cliques. Good for cliques. A flurry of mythical religions brought a lot to the war zone also known as Greco-Roman antiquity. The mythologies of the Greco-Roman Mediterranean insisted to make increasingly little of reason, and culminated into dictatorship, civil war, and finally, the voluntary destruction of science, literature, philosophy, literacy and even grammar (!). Rare is the creation of the human mind looking as silly as a mythological religion when its age is past. Thousands of myths, and their cliques, have come and gone.
If people can be submitted, and tied-again by cliques, the most reasonable and altruistic ideas should tie-again even better. Mythologies should not be the only religions there are. They are not.

There are two methodologies to tie-again without making things up out of sheer speech, i.e., without pure myths. They tie-again stronger than any fable. They are supported by facts, not fantasies. They are the re-ligions of LAICITY and SECULARISM. One, laicity, draws from the collective brain "of the people" (LAIKOS); the other, secularism, comes from adapting to the age we are in (SAECULUM). LAICITY AND SECULARISM ARE THE ONLY ETERNAL RELIGIONS. They continually evolve, just as civilization does, driven by the human condition, reason and technology. Laicity and secularism are in direct touch with the drama of consciousness: being deep enough to inflect some of the universe, but not deep enough to inflect it much. That drama tie human beings again and again in the most poignant way. One cannot get more religious than this. Laicity ties again with democracy, secularism ties again with science.

Moves towards laicity in Rome were swept away by increasingly dictatorial, anti democratic and anti secular mythologies propped up by dictatorial and greedy organizations; as some men became "gods", most men became very little. Roman emperors imposed Catholicism as the latest tool of oppression of the "demos". The Catholics booted out the mind, causing the Dark Ages. The Catholics closed the schools and academies, executed thinkers (starting with the philosopher Sopatros, cofounder of Constantinople), killed those who were pro choice (ANY choice!), burned the libraries... The pagan Franks happened on a scene of cultural devastation. The Franks wanted to be the terror of the battlefield. "Frank" meant FREE and bold. But there were few Franks. So the Franks allied themselves with the strongest allies they could find, the ethics of pleasure and equity, supported with their Lex Salica. They became the Roman army, and popular.

The Franks imposed AGGRESSIVE LAIC SECULARISM, the basic way of the genus Homo to tie again. The Franks took control of the church. They were a quick study: a Frank could transform himself from German pagan to catholic bishop in a standard 40 day crash course (!). The Franks' choice of the best ethical gear allowed civilization to regain strong traction in the West for the first time in a millennium, as ethics of the people (laikos) and the age (saeculum) came to dominate the ethics of domination for domination's sake which had characterized the Greco-Romans' errancy from reason.

Because AGGRESSIVE LAIC SECULARISM IS BEST QUALIFIED TO DESTROY IRRATIONALITY, MYTHOLOGIES, TRIBALISM AND EXPLOITATIVE SECTARIANISM, the Franks vanquished where all previous versions of Rome had tried, and failed. Under the Franks' counsel, Christianity was put in the service of laic secularism and education; obdurate tribes were domesticated throughout Western Europe; slavery was outlawed; Islamic armies were pushed back in a war which is not quite finished yet. LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY IS THE MOTTO OF THE RELIGION OF LAIC SECULARISM. It is older than Islam.

Laic secularism is now being adopted worldwide. It is the world's prominent religion, and the only one the world can have. Technology has made tribalism too dangerous. Laic secularism destroys tribalism. Our high tech planet cannot stand myths, cliques, and ages long gone. Our future, and our values, are about our people, and about our age. That is what it means to be free.

Enemies of the people (laikos) and the age (saeculum) such as mystical religiosity will have to be crushed. Or they will keep on bombing us all. H bombs are really big, remember. The ethics of domination from those voracious enough to insist on (inept) parodies of imperial Rome will also have to be crushed. High tech tribalism and imperialism would be impossible to control long term, precisely because our age will make them ever more powerful. Their time is up. We had enough "shock and awe". Mythical religions, far from being respectable and innocuous, are the souls of tribalism, and their time is up too. Cities can now be burned by man made thermonuclear stars; it seems entirely appropriate to make sure people who claim to see stars inside their heads are not adulated by the multitudes. Awe and respect are the grounds on which mythologies stand. To disarm the myths, hence irrationality, it is morally correct that they get as little respect as possible.

In particular it is morally correct that cliques which subscribe to the myth that people should be killed because of what they write should be considered culprit of hate crimes, and object of international warrant of arrest. Whatever their "religion", it's a small planet, and we cannot share our space, our technology, and our lives, with nuts.


RE-LIGION RE-TIES (Latin: re-ligare). The fundamental concept of religion is therefore distinct from any myth. Religion is about tying up again, not necessarily about hallucinating again. A religion is not to be proclaimed just when wise guys claim they have seen their best buddy walk on water, so please give them some respect. From a distance, anyone can be seen walking on water at high noon in the desert. That's called a mirage. Guys who had one too many don't know that, but we do. The very definition of the concept of religion gives it a connection with fascism. Nothing ties again better than common defense. The semiotics, and semantics, of fascism are that of the fragility of the many tying up around an instrument of war, the ax, to make a terrible weapon. The concept of religion is more general and slightly off. How and what a religion binds-again is not specified in its definition, hence the immense diversity of religions. In a sense then, RELIGION IS FASCISM LIGHT (tied up again, but, perhaps, no ax). Religion is what ties-again the spirit of the community, fascism is about the most extreme tied-again spirit to strike the enemy. One may wonder what the "re" in re-ligion refers to. There was a first bondage apparently. What could that be? A quick glance at history makes it plain, everywhere, all over: WAR. Tribes and nations get together first by war. There is not one exception (not even the EU!). When maximum mayhem has abated, tribes and nations tie again, hopefully more pleasantly: re-ligare. Religion, implicitly, in its very definition, is born from war. The relative peace of this second bondage contributes to the aura of respect religion enjoys, because anything feels nicer than the bondage war provides with.

Indeed history shows that big religions were born of big wars. Including big civil wars. No exception. A few examples: the emperor Constantine imposed with force and violence Catholicism after, and during, the huge, decades long civil war which gave him total control of the Roman empire; Islam went from nothing to an empire as large as Rome's in a century long, total war, which decimated North Africa, and Spain; the religion of laic secularism, in a 17 centuries world war, overwhelmed most of the planet's mythologies; Nazism was a nostalgic tying-again (re-ligion) of destitute WW1 soldiers of the Germanic powers; Stalinism was the re-ligion of those who had survived the conflicts which wrecked Russia from 1914 and thereafter (including the Gulag and WW2). Viewing those two European atrocities as the re-ligions they were explains the messianic intensity of Nazism and Stalinism, which was crucial to their lethality. Many party members found in Nazism and Stalinism the intensity their parents had found in Judeo-Christianism. Nationalism can turn into a religion.


"Myth is the name of all that exists and subsists solely on the basis of speech" (Valery). When people sit together and think seriously, they do not stay stuck in speech alone. They present reasons to each other, buttressed by facts. Myths shut off this rational chatter, making them useful to the mentally challenged. Famous contemporary mythologies have come from a chief of brigands, a racially superior group of Aryan invaders anxious to keep the subhumans in abject terror, and Rome's military dictators. Not a pretty picture.


The oldest preserved mythical religion is found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (3,000 BCE), and it is indeed completely dead. It was rather mild, and so was Egyptian society, a mixture of capitalism and socialism, surprisingly modern; slaves (captured enemy warriors) were few. To the character of what binds people again corresponds the character of their society. The mild Egyptian half god dogs did not ask for blood. Nor did they ask us to drink some. That was to come later, under Rome's bloody imperial Christianity. The Aztec gods asked for high quality protein, and that meant, they said, live human flesh. On top of their giant bloody pyramids, the Aztecs sacrificed thousands of prisoners every month, captured in the lowlands. The Aztecs viewed themselves delicately, and called their human food procurement wars, "flower wars." They were shocked by the brutality of the Spaniards. The Aztecs were hated, and the lowland nations the Aztecs had victimized formed most of the armies the Conquistadors destroyed the Aztec empire with. The Vedas ("knowledges") define Hinduism, by far the oldest ongoing religion (3,600 years, in writing). Not by coincidence, the imposition of the (racial) Aryan rule in India is about 4,500 years old. Part of Hinduism was the mythological back up of that rule. If a lower caste touched a high caste, even sometimes indirectly, all sorts of mutilations and horrible deaths were inflicted on the dark skin miscreant (females were treated more favorably). Hinduism, just as Christianism or Islam, is the sort of religions which will execute people for reasons non believers have to accept, and should respect (we are told). As a result, those strong arm religions enjoyed vast followings. A reluctance to use enough terror is the probable cause of Buddhism's ephemeral rule in India and China. Strong masters have strong religions to keep people obedient. Islam, Hinduism and Christianism have been very strong. "Islam" means "submission". "Catholic" means "universal".


Mythologies are more ephemeral than the myths they use. Many myths get recycled: Moses ("son of" in Egyptian) parted the waters, closely following a much older Egyptian fable. Mythological religions explain the universe in a few words, but, far from being immemorial, they are often more short lived than the civilizations which harbor them. Some examples: Chinese writing or society did not change much in 3,000 years, but China went from Confucianism to Buddhism to Neo-Confucianism to aggressive socialism and secularism; Egypt knew half a dozen religions, including monotheism twice, before Islam, although it was essentially unchanged as a society. Religion can also mollify extensively as the centuries pass by. Catholicism has existed for 17 centuries, but contemporary Catholicism is a sweet ghost of its former bloody self. Catholicism, 16 centuries ago, fabricated the Dark Ages, by the massive terrorism of sheer cretinism. The word CRETIN is nearly 2,000 years old. It comes from the Latin Christianus, the original word for Christian. Educated people saw what Christianism was doing to civilization at the time. The Cretins ruled the world by force, and the world fell apart. Fortunately the Franks, those PAGAN German masters, came, with the best weapons, and pounded some sense in the Cretins. Christianism thus corrected became a civilizing force. Mythical religions come from masters. Violent masters with short lives, such as Roman emperors and Caliphs carried over their erratic behavior to culture. Sometimes they favored it, sometimes they burned it. But culture, once destroyed, does not grow back.


The strongest mythological religions, are based on beliefs so improbable that they require special people known as "BELIEVERS". Last time the "believers" had an explanation of everything with just one myth, they were infants sucking milk, and their parents were gods. Most people grow up, but it's painful. Now, instead of parents, the believers have masters named Brahmins, Ayatollahs, or Popes, or chiefs preaching as if they were the gods themselves. Far out beliefs are indeed the most remarkable thing about believers; they walk as men and believe as children. There is something to always think as a child. One believes in immortality (of oneself), and in omnipotence (of one's parents). No messing up with the dreary reality of human freedom, and the responsibilities it entails. Childish myths are also advantageous to empire formation. Myths keep soldiers naive and obedient, the people supportive and gullible: all can claim innocence, since they are children, guided by religious dignitaries who do not hesitate to maintain their powerful lifestyles. Any critique, innuendo, insinuation, or slight against Islam or its big guy, Mohammed, is punishable by death. As a result Muslim philosophy could never really exist: cautious parrots with delicate necks make bad philosophers. The Shariah is currently the law in many countries. "Article 513 of the penal code of the Islamic republic of Iran: The punishment for insulting or criticizing Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, his entire family, or his representatives known as Imams is death by hanging in public". Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and several hundreds of millions people enjoy such laws in 2004. This, of course, makes the present author extremely respectful of Islam, and Mohammed, The Prophet, blessed be His name, holly the ground He was generous enough to step on, sacred the words of Allah the Merciful...

Accepting childish myths forces the reason of the people to kneel for that of the masters, allowing the later to reign as ordained by the gods. Being as children is humiliating, so believers hate those who do not believe with them. Silencing all critiques becomes an obsession.


This hatred towards those who suspect too much is why the Catholics exterminated the philosophers in the Roman empire (esp. 378/9 CE), resulting in the immediate "decline and fall of Rome" down into hell. That the world was hell, of course, proved the Catholics right. It had been difficult to bring Jesus back, hell was easier. Hell showed the world to be no good, as the Catholics wanted to demonstrate. The Catholics seemed confident that the very existence of the Devil made the existence of his opposite, Jesus, undeniable. It was the Yin-yang theory, Christian style: if it's all black, it has got to be white somewhere else. So it was, then, that the church found solace in the Devil. Curious to the minds of our age (saeculum). The Devil was such a trusted companion for the Catholics, that it was actually "heresy", punishable by DEATH, NOT to believe in the DEVIL. Yes, you read that right: not believing in the Devil was the ticket to burn, the Catholics had determined. This is the satanic truth about Catholicism. In a sense, then, Catholicism was established as the world's Devil worship. Of course, Catholicism was much more than that: the bishops had found many other reasons to burn their flocks alive. In its enthusiastic ferocity, Catholicism was not original. Most mythical religions of the Mediterranean had embraced ferocity for 1,500 years. Catholicism was just more enthusiastic in its hatred of freedom of thought (soon faithfully adopted by Islam).


Starting before the time of Homer, Western Asia came to be dominated by mythical war religions. The first victims were the Hittites (annihilated); the Egyptians defeated the enemy, but never recovered their old splendor. Syria and Palestine were left to the invaders, some of whom, the Etruscans, would go all the way to Italy to civilize those peasants, the Romans. It was the time of the Trojan war. The Greeks themselves descended from steel armed Dorian invaders mixed with Cretan culture and Greek women genes. Classical Greek culture came out of that, permeated by the mentality of war as the highest pursuit. War was the essence of the Greek gods and the cities they protected. Violating that religious spirit was impiety, punishable by death. We were far from the mild Egyptian divine zoo, with its half dog gods. Judaism, born around the Egyptian episode of monotheism which corresponded to the aforesaid invasions, started with a holocaust to clear the land for Israel (Hmmm...). The Roman religion was more of the same, brutally virile to the core. Roman globalization allowed religious tolerance, for a while. Imperial Rome conquered by preserving as much of the local social structures as possible, including mythological religions. Rome became a melting pot of religions. No laws existed against Christianity for the first 250 years; Christians, when prosecuted, were asked to show allegiance to civic gods, and to the emperor. Jews by birth, even after the Judean war, were NOT asked to do so; Jews, Egyptians, and other national religionists were allowed to practice their faith exclusively (i.e., not to worship the emperor). The Roman tolerance for mythical religions would be extended later on by the Franks. Unfortunately for civilization, fascism was strong in Rome. A return to laicity -to the demos- was the emperors' clear and present danger. Soon would-be emperors became wise to the advantages Christianism could bring to their dictatorial bias. Catholicism was imperatively selected, and allowed to establish its dictatorship all over. The Catholic terror went well beyond any previous imperial terrorism, and made the Roman world senile (as some Franks pointed out then).


The more oppressive an empire, the more childish the myths, because the more oppression is accepted by people, the more stupid people have to be. Ancient Christians and Muslims killed those who talked poorly of their god. Most gods are so fragile, freedom of speech can kill them. Saint Louis personally tied up to posts, smothering them with pig intestines, men who had used "god" as an expletive. Great saints do great deeds. Mythical religions are typically the seat of inequitable societies; extreme force has to be used, right from the start, because people are initially reluctant to give all their freedom of thought to some guys in robes. Christianity and Islam started with oceans of blood; the Aztecs butchered 80,000 live prisoners over four days, to welcome God to his new temple. The Hindus maintained, for millennia, a mythically based racist order of the most extreme cruelty. In contrast, whereas Christianity and Islam viewed slavery as ordained by "God", there was no slavery in China, where Confucianism and the like reigned, religions which are less mythical, hence less conducive to inequity. A very practical consequence was that China, initially backwards, forged ahead economically and technologically as the West enjoyed the raptures of uncontrolled Cretinism.


The more tyrannization, the more infantilization, the more mythologization. As imperial Rome went from one tyranny to the next, it went from one mythology to the next, way worse. It got so grand, Roman imperators became gods: first Caesar, then Augustus, Tiberius... Christ was according to the fashion of his age. A reason for making some men into gods was that as some men became everything, most men became much less. As the empire went on, common citizens lost rights (until the only thing they were allowed to argue about were the local sport teams (Constantinople, 6C)). When Alexander the Great had declared himself a God, his companions laughed so hard, it was embarrassing. Whereas, three centuries later, when Caesar lobbied to become a divine entity, nobody was laughing anymore: freedom of thought, even laughter, was getting scarce. The thinker Cicero wrote too well. Marcus Antonius, Cleopatra's boyfriend, cut off Cicero's hands, and had them nailed on the doors of the senate, as a warning against inconsiderate writing. Ultimately the Roman dictatorship decided to encourage piety by legislating that "CHOOSING" DIFFERENTLY WAS TO BE PUNISHED BY DEATH (Theodosius 1, 382 CE). The Catholic hierarchy had found its fundamental enemy: "CHOICE". In Greek: "HERESY" (Greek hairesis , a choosing). The only thoughts allowed were those the Fathers of the Church had first. Or be burned. The Dark Ages had arrived. Reminded of such horrors, Christians talk about good their "savior" was. They mean the one who engaged in a monologue with his dad after being nailed on a cross. That one just had enough power to drag his cross, encouraged by the whip. The emperors, the church and the popes, had real power, and they used it, not just to ask us to turn our cheeks, for the next slap, but also to turn over our brains, for disposal.


The Catholics used power to fight education. Knowledge is power, and the church wanted power, solely for itself, hence knowledge, solely for itself: it had become the Roman dictatorship. Knowledge comes from communicating, hence, when using a language such as Latin, with all its declinations, from grammar. It is impossible to understand Latin without Latin grammar, the language is too compact. If grammar was left in the hands of the people, it was a clear and present danger, a weapon of mass understanding, a weapon of mass destruction of catholic myths. Some bishops were smart enough to understand this. In 599 CE, pope Gregory the Great learned that Didier, bishop of Vienne, taught some people; the pope threatened him: "We have learned, and we cannot be reminded of it without shame, that your fraternity taught GRAMMAR to some people. We consider this a GRAVE matter..." This was the reality of that mythology known as Christianity: after making it so that people would not know how to read, by closing public schools, the Catholics would have preferred people not to know how to speak.

The Franks would have none of this non sense. They turned Christianity on its head, by starting to nominate the bishops. Monasteries were turned into schools. The popes were left to beg the Franks to do something about the hated Lombards who occupied Italy. The Franks let the popes simmer among the Lombards for 2 centuries.


Millions of brains can do better than just one, such is the fundamental reason for the superiority of democracy, hence laicity. Man is nothing without technology, and technology has changed symbiotically with the age (saeculum). So it has been for three million years. Without fire, weapons, tools and biotechnology, Homo Sapiens could not even eat but for ants and grasshoppers, and would feel empty. The people who ate grass, even the best grass, even cooked, died during the Dark Ages organized by the Catholics (6 C). Shortly thereafter the warriors of Islam spilled over the world, dressed, armed and supported by the technology three million years of secularism had provided them with. By adapting to the age, the people of man adapted to his evolving self. Laicity and secularism have always been with us, and have always given us the strongest ties, again and again.


Laic secularism is the definition of Homo. All the people together, thinking up to date. Intelligence is the principle of man. By working hard together to achieve the best of what the age can bring the people discover new technology, in particular new ways to organize society. The age changes as technology improves. New capabilities of the people (laikos) appear. Old myths are then in the way of REASON. LAIC SECULARISM, OMNIPRESENT, PERPETUALLY MORPHING, CAN AT BEST TOLERATE SUITABLY DOMESTICATED MYTHICAL RELIGIONS AS THEY ORDERLY RECESS INTO HISTORY. Whereas mythical religions are ephemeral, secular religions can reveal elements of (practical) eternity: many sets of ideas have achieved practical immortality, and science foremost. Some of these ideas are so old, it is not perceived how modern they were in the age of their advent. One of the oldest ways to tie-again is by sitting around a fire, and that is two million year old. Even baboons tie-again in caves, for warmth. A number of very old religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Stoicism) were laic and secular. Some lost their secularism as they transmogrified into myth (Neo-Confucianism). Europe finally got rid of the Greco-Romans and their myths (the last one being Christianism). The Europe of the Franks tied with human nature again:


The Franks saw the racism and alienation (from other Germans), the religious dictatorship, the inequity and senility of Rome; they swept all with their rule. The Franks were deadly, but they killed more in the name of freedom and equal opportunity than those they smashed, which was everybody else in Western Europe. The Franks were able to dominate because their re-ligion, laic secularism, was superior. The Franks' laic secularism got civilization restarted in the West after more than a millennium of mythologies partial to inequity and war. Christianity and Islam considered slavery ordained by (their) God; the Franks outlawed slavery as they cracked down on myth and inequity. The Franks found handy to use Christianity and Judaism as tools for the improvement of their underlying lay and secular religion. The modern "separation" of church and state, as found now worldwide, was thereupon initiated in France, in a very complicated, bloody and ongoing history spanning more than 17 centuries. When the Christian emperor Justinian ordered an updating of Roman law, he put a non Christian professor in charge of the commission, and asked for a separation of the laic law from the religious law. Justinian was probably inspired by the domestication of the church by the state, Rome's federates, the Franks, had imposed in the western part of the empire. IN TRUTH, THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IS A TOLERANT DOMINATION OF THE RELIGION OF LAIC SECULARISM ON ALL AND ANY MYTHICAL RELIGION. To call it a "separation" is a pedagogical ruse to incite those infested with god madness to learn tolerance for those not sharing in their frenzy.


The times we are in are not without reminding us in some ways of the Dark Ages. Rome was submitted to violent, quick and devastating attacks from barbarians. Those raids were similar to terrorist bombings. Rome tried to adapt by setting up a huge quick reaction force of heavy cavalry. The population terrorized and paralyzed by the raids and the Christian Roman dictatorship, became despondent. Raiders crisscrossed the land, or, having moved over under treaty (foedus) did not follow either civilized ways, or Roman law. Both traits have analogues today: some nations deny the rule of UN law, and the tolerance for intolerant barbarians, which is itself intolerable, is on the rise. Muslims ask for a "Muslim space", under Muslim law, just like the Goths asked for a Gothic space, under Gothic law. Past "Muslim" cliques made their own law, and it does not matter to them if it treats women as sub humans and if anybody is justified to kill anybody who "insulted" "Allah the Merciful". It does not matter because Muslim "law" was not democratically derived; it does not have to be just, it does not even have to be from Mohammed.

The United Nations law was democratically built by Rome, the Franks, and the US and French 1787/1789 CE constitutions. It has receded in some places. For example, Pakistan became a Muslim law country in 1961 CE; too much of Muslim law is incompatible with UN law, or even very old Roman law. We also have the equivalent of Vandals, such as the North Korean dictatorship and its would be nuclear arsenal. A few Vandals acquired immense military force. For a while they even reigned over the Mediterranean sea (!). Rome got harassed from all sides, by all sorts. The success of some barbarians encouraged others. None of this would have gone anywhere, but for the pernicious undermining by Rome's dictatorial Christianity. The reason to fight had been that millions of Romans had known how to read and write, and the barbarians did not. When Christianity's rule made the Romans illiterate, and spiteful of life, there was no will, nor reason to fight anymore. That is why pagans (the Franks) saved civilization. The Franks had reasons to fight, they found them in their love of life. They turned Christianity from a vampire feeding on civilization, into a servant of civilization. Christianism is not much nowadays, thanks to the Franks and their descendants. One may wonder which ideology could be taking its place, undermining civilization. That misguided ideology is exaggerated relativism, a noxious remnant of Christianism. We can't respect all local cultures, and their mythologies, in all ways, all the time. First, they want to kill each other. Second, most mythologies evolved in ages long gone to serve long gone cliques. They are to be swept away, like old dirt on the floor, and not made into new idols to be venerated on the altar of diversity for diversity's sake. Or then be coherent, bring back the Aztecs, and face the truth. Democracies are intrinsically of the people (laic) but have to adapt to the age (secularism). We have enough urgent real problems of mythical dimensions not to err nostalgically in the fog of obsolete mythologies, just because it's tiring to think.

Patrice Ayme', Mars 2004.