Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Nobody should be surprised that the ongoing move to abolish or at least amend the controversial lese majeste law is meeting with staunch opposition from many royalists, who hold an almost |god-like regard towards His Majesty and the institution of |the monarchy.
This is despite the fact that Buddhism - the religion that most Thais follow - teaches us to question everything, even the Buddha. Maybe this left some people with the need to have an unwavering faith in an almost divine-like figure.
The lese majeste law and widespread media self-censorship has ensured that society only consumes positive reports about the Palace.
Many royalists have been adhering to the King's teachings and beliefs, as well as sharing them with the public over the past few decades.
As in any monotheistic religion, a nemesis to God is needed, and while previously it was the vague idea of communism, it has now manifested as republicanism under the leadership of Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin, the ousted, convicted and fugitive former premier, has taken the form of a satanic figure, if not Satan himself, to most royalists.
As for the red-shirt devils who follow this Satan, they are being kept in jail, out of power, forced into exile or getting re-educated into becoming "believers".
The royalists don't just oppose Thaksin, they "hate" him, as Tul Sitthisomwong, a staunch lover |of the monarchy, told BK Magazine recently.
He said his fellow |"believers" are paranoid about Thaksin, and consider his little |sister, Prime Minister Yingluck, a threat to their "religion".
It appears as if they are all afflicted with Thaksinophobia - a belief that all evil in Thailand begins and ends with Thaksin.
Their faith in the monarchy is so strong that they consider any criticism directed at the Palace pure profanity. This is why they counter any moves to amend the lese majeste law with an almost religious zeal, like they did recently with rallies outside the United Nations headquarters and the US Embassy.
No "religion" is complete without a high priest, and they do indeed have many of them. These priests have access to the mainstream mass media and can ensure that their followers are updated and "properly" instructed.
With His Majesty's advancing age, the sense of uncertainty and fear is mounting, especially among the royalists. This is despite the fact that 99 per cent of the media content about the King is nothing but praise.
Perhaps they are looking for an existential threat to sustain their faith and conviction.
Therefore, it did not come as much of a surprise when Thammasat University law lecturer Vorachet Pakeerut urged those against the amendment to be |"reasonable". Vorachet is a key member of the Nitirat group of law lecturers, who in a fortnight will launch a public campaign to amend the lese majeste law.
However, I wonder if he has considered the fact that oftentimes, blind faith and reasoning do not mix.