If I was King and Emperor, this would be my first decree: what is now referred to as the “Culture Wars” shall now be called the “Gnostic War.”
I would have other decrees, and IMAO they would all work wonders, and my subjects would most likely try to deify me. For example, I would ban lawyers from the Legislative Branch of government. If you’re a lawyer and want to work for the State, we have something for you. It’s called the Judicial Branch. Can you imagine how streamlined our government would be? A twelve hundred page bill that no one reads would be unthinkable.
Also, I would change the franchise. Tempting as it may be, I wouldn’t take the vote away from women (but I’m really on the fence about that one). We would institute what I call a Graduated Franchise, the premise being (modified from Burke) that a person shouldn’t be counted, but weighed. With the Graduated Franchise, all will be counted (unless you forfeit your voting rights, and don’t get me started on that), but some will count more. It’s only a matter of what we (I, really) decide we (I) want to encourage in our empire. Single man or woman, one vote each. Married, two votes each. With children, three votes each. This is the maximum vote for women. If a man is married, with children, and owns a business, he gets 4 votes. If he employs from five to one hundred employees, he gets 5 votes, but no extra votes if he employs more than one hundred. We (I) want to encourage small businesses, not huge bureaucracies. Now, here’s the best part: if you get divorced, you both lose a vote, and if you have children, you both lose another vote. If you get remarried, you get your marriage vote back, but you never get your children vote again. Your business goes under, you lose those votes as well, but you can earn them back. (Note from the future Emporer, late 2017: WOMEN DON’T GET TO VOTE. EVER. NOT EVEN FOR DOG-CATCHER.)
You get the idea, and the details can be worked out.
I have other decrees, but I’m getting off-topic. If at some point the people offer me this position, I’ll certainly accept, on behalf of myself and my progeny who’ll rule after me. Back to the Gnostic War.
The ancient Gnostic War was a subversive cold war in the Apostolic Church. It lasted centuries. There are two primary reasons that Gnosticism was such a powerful, undermining force:
First, Gnostics never called themselves Gnostics. It was never a formal religion, as such. Gnostics then called themselves Christians, and claimed to have a deeper, truer, and correct understanding of doctrine. They never identified as Gnostics because they believed they were Christians. They were Manchurian Candidates, practicing their Gnosticism in part or in full. Gnosticism is heresy, but it’s not necessarily a Christian heresy. It’s a perversion that can infect any belief system.
Secondly, Gnosticism clothes itself with a form of virtue, or godliness (1 Timothy 3: 5-7, note the “appearance of godliness” which captures “weak women.” Sound familiar?), which makes it difficult to deny it’s entry.
Sun Tzu warns that if you know yourself, but not your enemy, for every victory gained you’ll also suffer a defeat. Gnosticism, for most, is hard to know, and it easily slips under the radar.
In future posts, I’ll outline a history of Gnosticism, because it goes back a lot longer than you’d think, and is powerfully destructive today. Spoiler alert, though: it started in the beginning, and the war has never ended.