Excellent analysis. I love the italics in your summation: "Nobody should be forced to do anything."
One observation: "...faith in ... force..." as a secular religion? Is a "secular religion" an oxymoron? I believe so. Perhaps a better characterization would be "superstition", as in the book, "The Most Dangerous Superstition", by Larken Rose. You will enjoy it
I see it all as a matter of identity.
Bottom line is that a disconnected sense of self from life is divorced from its inherent meaning and identity and thus seeks to make and validate a substitute which in many ways mimics or passes off as true but is revealed false by the fact of being backed up by force and based upon self-assertion.
This could be summed in the phrase, "what does it profit a man to gain the world if it cost him his Soul (awareness). But the Soul-less identity (those who assert a self-in-world exclusive or independent of Soul, cannot and will not understand anything greater and inclusive of themselves - excepting as invoked and called upon to validate its identity, and as an idea that can be wielded to support a self-specialness in which the 'other' is invalidated, attacked or denied so as to serve the exclusive interest of the asserted and believed 'self'.
The Soul is not a rational construct, nor the only concept to signify the movement of being that is - for the life of you closer to you than your thinking. And so the phrase 'your Soul is backwards. You are a Soul expression and as such you are Soul, and not a 'someone' who has a Soul.
Relating on Soul level (Soul contains and transcends the idea of levels), is an intimacy of presence.
Everyone to some degree is obliged to deny their Soul in order to enter the human experience. To cover and mask and in that sense 'lose' the spontaneous intimacy of presence for the adaptation to a world predicated upon the tacit usurpation and denial of Soul. Upon fearful and guilt distorted self definition of a coercive sense of self - called up to protect the pain of chaos and loss that serves the birth of identity within conflict.
I have written this sketch free of any moral obligation or coercion as a picture of a covering over and subsequent loss of an integrity that is innate to our existence and not the presentation and achievement of a set of rules, definitions or abilities.
The capacity to recognize that which resonates with the true of who you feel and know yourself can be obscured by a self-protective identity around un-owned fear - which can present itself in any number of shifting forms and justify itself to itself in its thinking, its asserted identity in persona and its reinforcement of physical, emotional and mental experience. But all of what is not true of you, requires effort to maintain and even though this learning can become as second nature, it is extremely taxing as an attempt to control life rather than be life in expression, and is exhausting and joyless, beneath whatever force of allegiance is still accorded to such an identity in hope of fulfilment and in fear of pain and loss.
If one becomes free enough of the right and wrong of a such carrot and stick mentality, one can recognize a more honest and direct relationship with one's own thought, belief and definition instead of being run by them as 'shadow power' that seems then beyond one's control or to trigger up the threat/victim mode that immediately abandons true reflection in conditioned reaction (that then acts so as to reinforce the fear-mind in others).
The fundamental result of splitting the mind is of a self-invalidation in which the lack of worth or 'bad instincts' is then projected out and away from what is now taken as the self onto the other. This apparently self-evident lack of worth seen in others provides the basis for such belief-expressions as the following quote"
3. It must be noted that men with bad instincts are more in number than the good, and therefore the best results in governing them are attained by violence and terrorisation, and not by academic discussions. Every man aims at power, everyone would like to become a dictator if only he could, and rare indeed are the men who would not be willing to sacrifice the welfare of all for the sake of securing their own welfare.
4. What has restrained the beasts of prey who are called men? What has served for their guidance hitherto?
5. In the beginnings of the structure of society, they were subjected to brutal and blind force; after words - to Law, which is the same force, only disguised. I draw the conclusion that by the law of nature right lies in force.
6. Political freedom is an idea but not a fact. This idea one must know how to apply whenever it appears necessary with this bait of an idea to attract the masses of the people to one's party for the purpose of crushing another who is in authority. This task is rendered easier of the opponent has himself been infected with the idea of freedom, SO-CALLED LIBERALISM, and, for the sake of an idea, is willing to yield some of his power. It is precisely here that the triumph of our theory appears; the slackened reins of government are immediately, by the law of life, caught up and gathered together by a new hand, because the blind might of the nation cannot for one single day exist without guidance, and the new authority merely fits into the place of the old already weakened by liberalism. (The Protocols of the Elders of Zion).
This constitutes a naked materialism that regards itself as honest - and it is true to its foundations - but they are false definitions of self, humanity and life, from which insanity and destruction logically and automatically proceed.
Here is another quote from an altogether different foundational premise:
From an idea of self as two, there comes a necessary view of function split between the two. And what you would correct is only half the error, which you think is all of it. Your brother’s sins become the central target for correction, lest your errors and his own be seen as one. Yours are mistakes, but his are sins, and not the same as yours. His merit punishment, while yours, in fairness, should be overlooked.
In this interpretation of correction, your own mistakes you will not even see. The focus of correction has been placed outside yourself, on one who cannot be a part of you while this perception lasts. What is condemned can never be returned to its accuser, who hated it, and hates it still. This is your brother, focus of your hate, unworthy to be part of you, and thus outside yourself; the other half, which is denied. And only what is left without his presence is perceived as all of you. To this remaining half the Holy Spirit
must represent the other half until you recognize it IS the other half. And this He does by giving both of you a function that is one, not different. (~ A Course in Miracles).
It is true that man cannot function without guidance - but in self-deceit we take fear-thinking to be our own independence and reject the inner knowing of a discernment that is entirely within the presence of the moment, rather than a seeming power that operates as if from outside and upon it - and whose cost is to lose awareness, appreciation and gratitude for living presence in exchange for a 'world' that is wilfully blind in protection of conflict from any true resolution. One doesn'thave to stop such a world to get off it - but merely to disengage of it enough to see one is not in it. Our focus of attention operates from beliefs and definitions that are mostly invisible to us but witnessed by their effect - which we call reality - and it does feedback as experience, but not necessarily reflecting what is true of us. Perhaps it was Socrates who is quoted as saying "an unquestioned life is not worth living", but this is saying to me that what is experienced as self and life is not our true worth but a kind of sleeping sickness from which to awaken and walk free of - as a result of looking within being shifted to an integrated and unifying perspective - which embraces and celebrates uniqueness and diversity as a signature quality of Creation - and not as a means to self-differentiate and dissociate or split from Creation so as to assert a power of judgement by which to coerce and control life itself to fit and support your thinking.
We are free to hurt ourselves until we wake up to that we do not want to make joy out of pain and pain of joy and thus release the mind from supporting futility to regain its natural function.
A further point arose in me while posting this here.
No one IS forced to do anything, but by our own (albeit often unconscious) choices as to what we accept and believe our self to be in relation to whatever arises as the current awareness.
The statement "Nobody should be forced to do anything." contains self contradictions. It can better be stated, 'no one need be forced against their will'. This is saying there is a way of communication in place of attempt of coercion - with the idea of communication expanding far beyond verbal mental concept. For life itself IS communication.
Later on this same subject was a comment