[Upon reflection, I fear this is about our church. All of them.]
I am part of an ethnic enclave in a big city.
In many ways, it is exemplary.
The streets are safe.
The children are happy.
The community is unified.
But I discover this comes with a price.
Enabling all this is an elaborate system of bribery and rituals, involving both criminals and the police, The elders have cut deals with all the corrupt agents outside in order to keep the peace inside.
The children are oblivious to this.
Most adults have been conditioned to simply ignore it.
They don’t even seem consciously aware of it, even (especially?) when passing along bribes or staging a mock bust.
This is a problem for adolescents, though.
This system only works if you don’t care about what happens outside.
Our deal with the devil requires us to protect them as they protect us.
And to protect the secret, regardless of the cost.
So don’t ask the wrong questions.
Don’t show sympathy for anyone Outside.
Don’t give any information to the authorities.
Don’t rock the boat.
Keep the peace.
Keep us safe.
Ruthlessly, mindlessly persecute anyone who dares suggest otherwise.
Condition them to avoid the question.
As we ourselves have been conditioned.
Isn’t that the only sane way to live?
Because if you violate the pact, all hell WILL break loose.
Nobody could survive that
Nobody is strong enough to protect us.