As Paris Hilton gets ready for her short stay in jail, she increasingly is photographed carrying Jesus books. And today, she appears on my favorite blog wearing a “Faith” hoodie, and carrying Count Your Blessings, Spiritual Warrior, and some others.
Her behavior recalls Machiavelli’s advice:
…a prince ought to take care that he never lets anything slip from his lips that is not replete with the…five qualities, that he may appear to him who sees and hears him altogether merciful, faithful, humane, upright, and religious. There is nothing more necessary to appear to have than this last quality, inasmuch as men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, because it belongs to everybody to see you, to few to come in touch with you. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are, and those few dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them; and in the actions of all men, and especially of princes, which it is not prudent to challenge, one judges by the result.
Oh when will we outgrow this infantilism? It’s scary that this pro forma “got religion” act, so frequently performed in this country, actually sways people.