Conned by a Charlatan

Tartuffe - Molière, Martin Sorrell

Isn't it interesting that there are some sectors of society that get really upset if you poke fun at them, or even criticise them in anyway. Normally this happens because these particular people are well aware that what they are doing is wrong and that they are simply playing on people's stupidity to get away with what is little more than fraud. Much of the offence that is generated is not so much offence at the fun, but rather that what the person are doing is ripping the veil off of their fraud and exposing it for the world to see.


This is what happened to Moliere when he wrote this play, and the thing was that he was not actually poking fun at the church but rather at certain fraudsters that go around scamming people out of their hard earned savings for their own personal benefit. There have been people like this this throughout the ages and many writers have laid into these types of people particularly hard. However the church itself ended up being quite offended at Moliere's play (which actually says something about the church of the day) and put enormous pressure on the king to pretty much ban it.


Tartuffe is about this religious guru who becomes involved with a family and many of the family members see him as this wonderful person who is bringing wisdom and salvation to the house. However, there are some who see right through his lies, though through his silvered tongue Tartuffe is able to alienate these people. However, when pretty much everybody wakes up to the fraudster that Tartuffe is, he pulls another trick, which involves confiscating all of the family's property.


As I have mentioned, there have been fraudsters like this throughout the ages, and the church knows very well they exist. However it seems that the church really does not appreciate criticism in any form. In a way it seems to be offensive to turn religion into a joke, even if they joke doesn't actually involve them. The thing is that people like Moliere are not turning religion into a joke but rather exposing how certain people use religion to entrap segments of society and pretty much enslave them. Religion is, and always has been, about control, and the problem is that when certain people get into positions of power, and they do not necessarily need to be single fraudsters like Tartuffe, they could be members of an orthodox Christian denomination, they use this power to feather their own nest. However, the idea of salvation and life after death is something that concerns us all, and due to the veil that has fallen down between God and ourselves, many of us believe that salvation is not certain. It is when we let that belief creep in that certain people are then able to hold our salvation for ransom.


The thing about Christianity is that salvation is assured, which means that people cannot actually hold the threat of excommunication over you with regards to your actions. Granted, there is a moral code, but the idea is that genuine Christians will live by that moral code rather than having that code forced upon them. It simply comes down to loving your neighbour as yourself, and loving the Lord your God. However, people don't seem to necessarily understand this, and many people, with good intentions (and we all know where good intentions lead us to) try to pass judgement on other's actions. Okay, there is always accountability, and with us being fallen human beings, we are always going to be led astray (I know I have), however we must always remember that Jesus said that we should look to ourselves and examine our actions before we go off an pass judgement on other people. Further, accountability should always be a two way street. Being accountable to somebody while that person is not being accountable to you is a fast way of becoming enslaved to that person.