3
The Reagan Doctrine

Some time ago, Ronald Reagan pointed out that one couldn't trust the Soviet government because the Soviets didn't believe in God and in an afterlife and therefore had no reason to behave honorably but would be willing to lie and cheat and do all sorts of wicked things to aid their cause.

Naturally, I firmly believe that the president of the United States knows what he is talking about, so I've done my very best to puzzle out the meaning of that statement.

Let me begin by presenting this "Reagan Doctrine" (using the term with all possible respect): "No one who disbelieves in God and in an afterlife can possibly be trusted."

If this is true (and it must be if the president says so), then people are just naturally dishonest and crooked and downright rotten. In order to keep them from lying and cheating everytime they open their mouths, they must be bribed or scared out of doing so. They have to be told and made to believe that, if they tell the truth and do the right thing and behave themselves, they will go to Heaven and get to plunk a harp and wear the latest design in halos.They must also be told and made to believe that if they lie and steal and run around with the opposite s-x, they are going to Hell and will roast over a brimstone fire forever.

It's a little depressing, if you come to think of it. By the Reagan Doctrine, there is no such thing as a person who keeps his word just because he has a sense of honor.No one tells the truth just because he thinks that it is the decent thing to do. No one is kind because he feels sympathy for others, or treats others decently because he likes the kind of world in which decency exists.

Instead, according to the Reagan Doctrine, anytime we meet someone who pays his debts, or hands in a wallet he found in the street, or stops to

-20-

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