I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
alive as you and me.
Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead"
"I never died" said he,
"I never died" said he.
I've read that Mormonism is the fastest growing religion, but I doubt it. I think it's Denialism, at least in the USA; and yes, it's a religion. Like other religions, it offers peace and a feeling of importance, enlightenment, inclusion and a chance to be part of something bigger than oneself. You don't need to read any long and boring scriptures either and for ADD America, that's a major selling point. There aren't even a lot of commandments. "Whatever they say is a lie" covers most of it and almost anything can be denied: that the Apollo program ever landed anyone on the moon, that high bracket tax cuts boost the economy in a healthy way (or at all,) whether smallpox and Polio went away because of vaccines, and that oil reserves are finite -- and a long list of things.
It only takes a rare overthrow of scientific opinion or historical interpretation or the discovery of any actual conspiracy to cast a warm blanket of approval over all the tenets of Denialism. 30% of Republicans still believe the president, like John McCain, was born abroad. That's not going to change and any release of DNA tests or gory photos of bin Laden with the top left quadrant of his skull blown off and his homogenized brain oozing out isn't going to do more than put a bigger sneer on the face of Denialism.
Now I don't mean to say that all Republicans are Denialists or that all Denialists are Republicans by any means, but the biggest clamor for releasing the gruesome pictures and videos is from the right side of the aisle and from thence comes the argument that there's a huge worldwide "debate" about whether the bogey man is dead. Claiming that there is a "debate" that involves any participants outside the faith is, by its own right, is an act -- a typical act -- of Denialism. I'd be amazed to see evidence that any large part of humanity questions the demise of Osama as a fact but I'd be more amazed if the media doesn't continue to milk the manufactured controversy and politicians don't attempt to cash in on it.
To be sure, there were debates about whether Hitler was dead for many decades; whether Josef Mengele was dead or Martin Bormann. We had no pictures, no tissue samples and no credible witnesses, but although one of those men did indeed survive the war, the belief never really was about the evidence, but about sustaining the holy state of denial and the profitable state of fear. After all we still have substantial belief that Jesus didn't really die or the Hidden Imam or Elvis. The Princess Anastasia cult may still have some hangers on. Denial after all, is faith and to be human is to have faith and the maintenance of faith often forces a choice between pain and denial; forces us to create other forms of reality where our heroes and loved ones live -- and sometimes our bogeymen. The loss of bin Laden is, like the loss of the Soviet Union, a setback for fearmongers, after all. Profiteers who even now are assuring us that revenge will be swift.
But Osama bin Laden is dead and time will only confirm that Osama bin Laden is dead and as the President said, he's not coming back, ever. Which is another way of saying that like Elvis, Jesus, Satan and the Buddha, he's always going to be with us.