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Idolatry-of-Self

You don’t have to be a religious person to find the study of religious texts thought-provoking. I have had many a philosophical debate about, for example, why women can’t be priests or the reason for the immaculate conception story.

They also help formulate a moral and ethical code for living in an ever-more crowded society. Considering when they were written, they do a pretty good job of this if you ignore the smiting bits.

Considering the preponderance of God-fearing Christians in our current Parliament, I thought it might be timely to remind them of some fundamental tenets of their faith.

In the Book of Proverbs 6:16-19, among the verses traditionally associated with King Solomon, it states that the Lord specifically regards “six things the Lord hateth, and seven that are an abomination unto Him”, namely:

  1. A proud look
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that devises wicked plots
  5. Feet that are swift to run into mischief
  6. A deceitful witness that uttereth lies
  7. Him that soweth discord among brethren

That struck me forcibly as it seems a fairly accurate description of Tony Abbott and some of his colleagues. Reading further only made the comparison more apt.

The seven deadly sins have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Each is a form of Idolatry-of-Self wherein the subjective reigns over the objective.

Lust is an intense desire. Lust could be exemplified by the intense desire for money, food, fame, power, or sex.

Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. Gluttony can be interpreted as selfishness; essentially placing concern with one’s own interests above the well-being or interests of others.

Greed is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. Greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, especially with respect to material wealth.

Like greed and lust, Envy is characterized by an insatiable desire. Envy is similar to jealousy in that they both feel discontent towards someone’s traits, status, abilities, or rewards. The difference is the envious also desire the entity and covet it.

Sloth can entail different vices. While sloth is sometimes defined as physical laziness, spiritual laziness is emphasized. Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do. By this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act.

Wrath may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Wrath, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Dante described vengeance as “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite”.

Pride is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as believing that one is essentially better than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal self.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a mortal or deadly sin is believed to destroy the life of grace and charity within a person and thus creates the threat of eternal damnation, so at this stage I was getting quite worried for Tony Abbott who is so obviously doomed. But fear not.

Luckily, through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called Confession, Reconciliation or Penance), the faithful obtain divine mercy for the sins committed against God and neighbour and are reconciled with the community of the Church. By this sacrament Christians are freed from sins committed after Baptism. The sacrament of penance is considered the normal way to be absolved from mortal sins which, it is believed, would otherwise condemn a person to Hell.

Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission,” – Tony Abbott

Perhaps so Tony but remember…..

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

Edmund Burke wrote “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Time for the Australian Association to rally and take on Team Abbott.

 

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46 comments

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  1. John Lord

    Religion in many ways is akin to Politics in so much as it believes that telling the truth isn’t necessarily in its best interests.

  2. Blanik

    Well said! And these same scum are critical of so called ‘lesser’ mortals.

  3. stephentardrew

    Kaye wondering where to post this so will just slot it in here and hope that is OK.

    Alan Minsky is Hyman Minsky’s son so he has impressive pedigree and knows what he is talking about.

    This is of course US centric view of the progressive left however there are seeds of ideas relevant to progressives in Australia. The question we must ask is where are our Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Allan Grayson’s et al and why does there seem to be such a poverty of true leftist politicians in this country? Scott Ludlum seems to be the only one making enough noise to be noticed? There are many issues in this article that the left need to confront before the next election.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/this_democratic_party_is_going_nowhere_20141108#14157463948961&action=collapse_widget&id=1071270

  4. Kaye Lee

    When speaking of individual practitioners of both I would agree John. It is the people who have perverted the ideals of religion and politics, both of which were intended to protect the best interests of the community.

  5. stephentardrew

    I agree with the thrust of this article Kay however cultural evolution is moving at a rapid rate while dogma is caught in a redundant past. If only they would take the good parts of their religious texts and apply them to the good for all but no they have to find all sorts of weird justifications for cruelty and intolerance from within exactly the same texts. I don’t give a damn how we get to social justice and equity but by heavens we must to stop unjustifiable and unnecessary suffering and misery .

    The problem with selective appropriation of religious texts is that the contradictory opposite is always waiting in the background to be revived by the unscrupulous and deviant.

    It’s one damnable problem that non-ideologues do not have to confront because we can construct an equitable value system from facts available rather than primitive irrational opinion.

    It’s a bugger when social evolution places us in the position of innovative change and creativity while underscored by entrenched dogmatism that has little, or no, applicability to the facts.

    Unfortunately that is just the way things roll so we definitely have to apply ourselves to revisionary ideas and constructs.

  6. Keitha Granville

    Not one of our incumbents would pass the basic tennet of Christianity – that is the teachings of Jesus Christ, not the invented rules of today’s religion – love God and love your neighbour as yourself. I believe these were the 2 great commandments he preached. They fail on both counts.

  7. Gilly

    There is a need to properly differentiate between Christianity and religion Christianity is a faith, the belief in a higher authority with a generous purpose. Religion is a human construct based on a subjective interpretation on the motivation of the higher authority and a self deemed path to self righteousness . Kaye the one thing that ,I would think, women have absolutely no problem with is the immaculate conception. So many “Christians” are little more than religious nut cases.
    Kaye, as for the immaculate conception, I expected it to be a given that women would fully understand that for something really good to happen, then men would in no way be involved..

  8. Kaye Lee

    lol Gilly, I hadn’t thought of it from that perspective.

  9. oldfart

    ” Religion is a human construct ” and therefore subject to the same faults and foibles as the rest of human nature. This is demonstrated everyday by people who have a religious belief. Why would a devine being forgive for the same things over and over? if a repeat offender shows contrition and goes straight out and does it again, one has to question how contrite this person really is.

    Tony and Co. may call themselves christians, but they do not follow the teachings of their christ. They will get away with it, because just prior to the next election they will roll out their”sweets” trolley and promise the earth and (some)people will believe them. Hopefully not enough of them. As a result, the LNP will cast him out and he will get an ambassadorship to the Vatican and join his idol, George.

  10. Annie Byam

    Agree with all posts here to date.

    Especially the first paragraph by ‘oldfart’ …. how true that is. …… Have to wonder how often Sir T. Abbott goes to confession, if at all. ….. I would imagine they’d have to close the church for half a day, while he does his penance !! and then smilingly – with great gusto – walk outside and repeat offend against our country, immediately. Time, after time, after time.

    And again – an excellent article Kaye.

  11. mars08

    Completely devoid of empathy, modesty or shame…

  12. Blanik

    An interesting text on the Roman Catholic form of christianity is, Kieran Tapsell, 2014, “Potiphar’s Wife: The Vatican’s Secret and Child Sexual Abuse”. Now there is an abuse of christianity, morals and religion.

    It also goes some way to explaining the attitude of the fascist government we currently have.

  13. Kerri

    Great article Kaye. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. I personally believe that religion is the main fault with this lot. Abbott seriously believes if he knowingly does something wrong then carries out confession and says sorry that it is all good!!!! Their ability to consider damage before action is non existant!

  14. Kaye Lee

    Kerri,

    The quote from Abbott about asking forgiveness is a prime example.

    “Tony Abbott has sought forgiveness from his party room after failing to consult it about his plans for a paid parental leave scheme.

    The Opposition Leader made the announcement yesterday – which was International Women’s Day – without taking the scheme to shadow cabinet.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/abbott-sorry-for-goitalone-pledge-20100309-pur8.html#ixzz3InlFDdLl

    Since his cabinet knew nothing about it, I want to know who he consulted about the idea and had they done ANY research on the matter for efficacy or cost. The Productivity Commission said that replacement wage PPL did very little to boost return to the workforce and that affordable childcare was a far greater productivity enhancer. Was this a divinely inspired announcement made for altruistic reasons? No. It was a carefully orchestrated announcement made at a ladies’ luncheon to show how much Tony “gets women”. Credlin and Textor don’t need to consider cost-benefit analyses. Their job is to do whatever it takes to get their donkey over the line, and their donkey will faithfully repeat the brays over and over as long as they feed him, and the asses fall in line or feel the Credlin stick.

  15. Truth Seeker

    Kaye, I mostly agree with your article, but as a Christian, I would just say that Catholicism is not altogether reflective of the true tenets of Christianity.

    It is based on many “Man made” doctrines, like; calling priests “Father”, and “the confessional ” 😯 to name just a couple.

    As I’ve said before, sadly the Catholic church has become much more political than spiritual, and even political in its spirituality 🙁

    And WRT Abbott and his rorting ways, rather than asking for forgiveness, he’s more likely saving up to buy time out of “Purgatory”, which is yet another man made doctrine 😯

    True Christianity (The teachings of Christ), as I think you alluded to, is much more aligned to the progressive side of politics than the conservative, and it always amazes me that some truly decent Christians that I know, can justify, to themselves, supporting the LNP in any way, shape or form? 🙁

    Keep up the good work 🙂

    Cheers 🙂

  16. Truth Seeker

    Kaye, BTW I have put a link to your article; “Joining the dots” on my latest post “Aspen aid…WTF?” 🙂 (With credit of course 🙂 )

    Aspen aid… WTF?

    Cheers 🙂

  17. Lindsay

    Just a small note particularly to Gilly – I think that you are confusing the “immaculate conception” with the “virgin birth”. The immaculate conception refers to the conception of Mary, not Christ.
    It is a theological concept based upon the assumption that for Christ to be free from the taint of original sin then both parents needed to be so free. As God, by definition, is free from this “taint” then so Mary also had to be. Thus the doctrine of “immaculate conception”.
    I’ll go no further down this track, libraries are full of books devoted to this subject.
    It does not detract from the humour in Gilly’s last phrase:-

    “for something really good to happen, then men would in no way be involved.”

  18. Kaye Lee

    Yes Lindsay. Apparently Mary was born without original sin, unlike all other babies who all have that black dot of sin that nuns were so quick to remind us of. That being the case, she would never indulge in the sinful exercise of having sex with her husband. We also know that sex is for purposes of procreation only and for a woman to enjoy it would be extremely sinful. It’s interesting discussing why these ideas were propagated.

  19. DAS

    Enjoyed your article Kaye & the posts that followed…… I can’t help agreeing with ” oldfart” & ” Annie Byam” .
    Tony Abbott & his band of ‘many’ men have no shame for what they are doing to our country & particularly what they are systematically inflicting on the poorer & less fortunate amongst us.
    I cringe when I see & hear him performing on the world stage; eg; threatening to “shirtfront “a leader like an adolescent bully .
    I now cannot believe a word he utters…and often wonder if he can lie straight in bed…..when his time is up, sooner rather than later, joining George at the Vatican would seem a suitable penance.

  20. Kaye Lee

    DAS,

    He is turning me into a cynical twitter and bisted old woman with frown lines.

  21. Norm in Waridjuri country

    I really think that Abbott’s approach is
    ‘Do unto others as bogans and red-necks in marginal seats would have you do’

  22. aravis1

    Yeah, Kaye, Abbott and Co are condemning themselves out of their own mouths, as the Bible itself says. I made a meme this morning, not a very good one, my first effort; but I couldn’t resist: it had a roaring lion, with Abbott as “the devil who has but a short time, and is full of anger”…. etc. My one consolation now is that in fact, I do believe he has only a short time – and all his gang with him.
    Yet I do NOT believe it is religion that has made them the devils they are. It is human nature gone wrong, and Abbott is a prime example. He, and his cohorts, are simply using and abusing the faith they pretend to hold, as they do everything. At fond, they have embraced evil. And that is not religious language, it’s hard straight Tao.

  23. Christine Farmer

    Enjoyed your article, Kaye, as always. In my ignorance I’d thought that the immaculate conception was that of Christ – didn’t realise it was of Mary. So how did that come about? Who were her parents?

    Although it’s all a mystery to me – no joke intended – it’s beyond me how so many members of the government can claim to be Christians when almost all their actions would indicate they’ve never even encountered what I’ve assumed to be the basic tenet of Christianity, viz., “do as you would be done by”. Let alone thought about the Ten Commandments or the beatitudes.

  24. Kaye Lee

    The ideals of religion have been corrupted by focus on worship and subjugated by pursuit of power.

    The Universality of the Golden Rule in the World Religions

    Christianity

    All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
    Matthew 7:1

    Confucianism

    Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
    Analects 12:2

    Buddhism

    Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
    Udana-Varga 5,1

    Hinduism

    This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
    Mahabharata 5,1517

    Islam

    No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
    Sunnah

    Judaism

    What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
    Talmud, Shabbat 3id

    Taoism

    Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
    Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien

    Zoroastrianism

    That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
    Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

  25. Kaye Lee

    Christine,

    Mary’s parents are St. Joachim and St. Anne. What we know about them comes from tradition and from apocryphal writings (writings that are in the style of sacred Scripture but are not believed to have been divinely inspired). The Protoevangelium of James (written around A.D. 150) describes them as a wealthy couple who were infertile for many years, leading Joachim to fast for forty days and nights in hopes of having a child. Mary’s birth was announced by an angel, leading to much rejoicing on the part of Joachim and Anne. The story also explains that Mary was consecrated to the Lord and went to live in the temple at the age of three.

    As the grandparents of Jesus, St. Joachim and Anne have long been honoured by both the Eastern Church as well as by Catholics. Catholics observe the feast of Joachim and Anne on July 26th.

  26. donwreford

    God, now on shaky ground, nevertheless, the morality is as pertinent as ever, which may take some of us to return to God, in a different way to what the familiar route that has been espoused over the centuries of the institutional voice defining, God.

  27. John Fraser

    <

    Who would want to belong to an organisation that refuses the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse request for all documentation being held by the Vatican in relation to Australian catholic employees.

    http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/

    The excuse ………. backed up by Pell …… the Vatican is a Sovereign State.

    Now where have I heard that before ?

  28. mars08

    Norm in Waridjuri country:

    I really think that Abbott’s approach is
    ‘Do unto others as bogans and red-necks in marginal seats would have you do’

    So true.

    Australia is, ostensibly, a democracy. No matter how perverted the process…. this government came about because our fellow citizens VOTED for it. Roughly half of the population, for whatever reason wanted Abbott for PM.

    After more than a year in power, a substantial number of Australian voters STILL feel that way. Clearly they don’t believe that this government is as bad as the people on this forum seem to think….

  29. stephentardrew

    Sadly Mars8 goodness does not demand a majority moral consensus. Still those who are morally aware will struggle to turn the ship of state around regardless. I have seen the fluctuations and ups and downs over the years of my life and it does not surprise me that the majority can be mislead. We just have to bring them back to some sense of moral probity.

    Progressives, I am afraid, must have a good dose of patience and the doggedness to just keep on keeping on. Least harm, the categorical imperative to do unto others, justice, equity and utilitarian distribution are not difficult to grasp yet the education of our children is certainly wanting in these areas if the state of the nation is anything to go by.

    But not to worry it will work its way out one of these millenia.

    Always look on the bright side

  30. Kaye Lee

    The Pope has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, urging him to ensure the G20 delivers real improvements to the lives of the poor.

    “[The] mentality that maximisation of profits is the final criterion of all economic activity … in which individuals are ultimately discarded, will never achieve peace or justice,” he said.

    “Responsibility for the poor and the marginalised must therefore be an essential element of any political decision, whether on the national or the international level.”

    “The whole world expects from the G20 an ever broader agreement which can lead … to a definitive halt to the unjust aggression directed at different religious and ethnic groups, including minorities, in the Middle East,” he said.

    “It should also lead to eliminating the root causes of terrorism, which has reached proportions hitherto unimaginable; these include poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion.”

    Pope Francis also wrote about the need for G20 leaders to address the “vital issue” of climate change in his letter.

    “There are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-12/pope-writes-to-abbott-to-ensure-g20-benefits-poor/5885342

    The Pope obviously hasn’t heard about our budget. I wonder if Tony will respond telling the Pope that we are too poor to help the poor…we are so poor we are getting the poor to help us.

  31. mars08

    stephentardrew:

    …But not to worry it will work its way out one of these millenia…

    …if it makes you feel better.

    All I see it that the trajectory of politics in this country, for the past 30 years, has (generally) been towards the right.

    Sadly (for me), I don’t see any significant call from the electorate demanding kinder and more compassionate government. I see no demand for policies which support the greater good for our society. I certainly see NO popular groundswell for a turn to the left.

    Sure, there are various, single issue advocacy groups. But these groups only complain and act in THEIR interests. They only make a noise when THEY are threatened or feel disadvantaged. Uni students only look to their cause, farmers only care for farmers, miners only care for their industry etc. In such an environment it is easy for the politicians to use one group against the others.

    Things will no doubt change when they HAVE TO. But, in the meantime, we are likely to do some serious, profound damage to ourselves, others and out planet.

  32. Kaye Lee

    mars08,

    I think Tony Abbott is doing us a service in waking up the apathetic. The March in March was a “significant call from the electorate” where people with no affiliation joined together to say “not in my name”. He has gone too far and, far from doing what he promised, our debt and deficit are growing and our vulnerable are under attack while the fat cats get a free ride.

    Social media is doing a great job of spreading the word. This site alone has had 5.5 million views and we are small players. The lies are getting worse but the outrage is growing. We must continue to make our voices heard and to share the truth. For every voter from the 1%ers, there are 99 of us getting screwed. I am counting on the young people to save us because it is their future on the line.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Russia has sent a fleet of warships towards Australia in an apparent display of muscle-flexing ahead of the G20 meeting amid tensions between the two countries over the MH17 crash.

    Defence announced late on Wednesday it is “monitoring Russian naval vessels that are currently transiting through international waters to the north of Australia”

    Defence sources said the Australian Defence Force had sent two frigates, the Stuart and the Parramatta, and a P-3 Orion surveillance plane to monitor the Russians.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/russia-sends-warships-towards-australia-before-g20-meeting-20141112-11lc4z.html#ixzz3ItBG8zLn

    The wash up is that tonight, Abbott looks like a meek fool. For all his strutting, his budgie smuggler wearing chest puffing, he’s been called out for what he is – a small-time bully with a big-time mouth. A minnow.

    Broken Election Promise No. 48: Tony Abbott Didn’t Stop The Boats After All

  34. aravis1

    I so agree, Kaye. We may need a few more months of the budgie smuggler to wake the apathetic; what we also need is to educate them NOT to make informal votes. Good to see how many are reading this site, and it also gave me a huge laugh of glee when I saw that the Russians are coming! Putin understands the uses of gunboat diplomacy. Abbott understands NOTHING.

  35. mars08

    aravis:

    …We may need a few more months of the budgie smuggler to wake the apathetic..

    When I look around my end of the swamp, the only people who seem to be waking up are the ones driven by the self-absorbed, “I’m alright, Jack” attitude. They are unhappy because maybe THEY are not alright. Maybe THEIR conditions and benefits are under threat. I do not see a lot of empathy or compassion for their neighbours who are actually worse off.

    The government can work around these people with their standard divide-and-conquer tactics.

  36. stephentardrew

    Mars8:

    In the long run we only have to swing a small percentage of the populace to drive this lot out of office. Psych evidence demonstrates just how difficult it is to change entrenched opinion which is often multi-generational and that is why a more targeted approach is more effective. I think the polls are significant because many rusted on citizens live in hope that they chose the right Party and it will probably not be until near the election that the true figures will coalesce into solid projections.

    Buyers remorse is, for many, a gradual process influenced by cognitive dissonance – the refusal to admit that you made a bad choice until a certain threshold is met. My feeling is there are many more people disillusioned with the government, yet, living in hope that things will get better. One thing’s sure with this lot. They won’t.

    Not even a shirt front, a war or knee jerk Ebola fear seem to give a jump in the poles these fools expect. That is significant as the numbers are starting to demonstrate long term resilience which is a politicians worst fear.

    The logically challenged eventually fall of their own volition because the universe is not going to do what they magically think it should do.

    Joe, the delusional fool, is a prime example. Behind anger is often fear and I think what drives Hockeys belligerence is a fear of failure which is just the thing that could bring the blustering ignoramus down.

    As for Abbot he reminds we of Billy McMahon and will come to the same undignified end.

  37. No Longer Confused

    Forget that last post. Confusion cleared. Nice article, btw.

  38. mars08

    I don’t remember Gough Whitlam’s government. I was in my early teens, and had other things on my mind.

    I don’t miss Gough. But what makes me despondent… what I do miss… is a courageous, enlightened electorate which would actually elect such a man.

  39. Roswell

    Kaye, the Pope was wasting his time writing to Abbott. Abbott doesn’t care about the poor.

  40. Billy muddle maudlin

    That is a terrible thing to say, Roswell, He would be mortified at that thought! He is very caring about the poor. He believes that they deserves chariity, food stamps and government loans to educate themselves not money because they waste it on pokies and grog. ‘Millions’ agree with him. ‘We cannot afford the dole for bludgers. ‘
    ps sitting in ouyen having a coffee and shamefully an ‘award winning’ vanilla slice when a black flash ute pulled up and a young fellow got out said hello and got his pies and ice coffee. We chatted he’s from WA and he asked if I had heard about the warships then he proceeded to have a laugh about the rabbott and Newman.
    Another one of these youngsters and I will drop my maudlin and believe in miracles.

  41. Gregory T

    John Fraser- I would think, that when one sovereign state, attacks the citizens of another sovereign state, that it would be considered an act of war ??

  42. aravis1

    mars08, sure, I meet a lot of those people too. But I do also meet many who are appalled at the treatment meted out to others than themselves. I pin my hopes on these – and many of them are young, new to voting, and passionate. My biggest concern is that too many will put in informal votes. I can see myself becoming a sort of evangelist for voting correctly! And I bear in mind the dictum that you must repeat a fact 7 – 9 times for it to be absorbed by most. So, while we have the time, let’s get evangelising! lol

  43. Anne Byam

    btw …. Captain Crook put his huge foot in his twisted mouth AGAIN on TV tonight ( Victorian TV news report ) …. when he said that ‘Russian ships had entered AUSTRALIAN waters …. and then yada yada ….. blah blah – the usual crap. Can’t recall the fanciful word he used with ‘ships’ at the time …. something to do with ‘ elements ‘ ???

    Anyway – he said it. ……. Might sound kind of uninteresting to report here, but ………….

    They are in International Waters in the Coral Sea – and know full well not to cross the line into other countries’ waters.

    But there he goes again – making inane, ill-informed and inappropriate remarks.

    I do wish someone would sew HIS mouth shut ……… permanently.

  44. Blanik

    The problem Anne is that the 41%s still don’t see him as a fool. It’s hard to comprehend, but they actually believe him, for no other reason than that they want to.
    How can one explain to these people that they are being used?

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