The disease of the overly devout

If you study history, you will see a major flaw in law, order and the sense of democracy. It happens when a man or woman in power decides, on their own, that they have an authority derived from and anointed by a supreme power. With the reign of a living person codified by God, who could rightfully, morally or even politically challenge their preeminence?

When early humans couldn’t explain things like eclipses, earthquakes, floods or natural disasters, they created a belief system to keep sanity and order. People knew they had an internal consciousness, you know, those mental thoughts or even voices we all have. Now, it’s only natural to wonder about the origin, the source, of these mental maneuvers. Lacking the knowledge of how the brain works, these humans concocted imaginary, mysterious characters as the source, and that lead to the belief of some force or entity who controlled what was happening.

All Hands on Dick

Perhaps we started out with some beings or forces both divine and natural, like Sun gods, Earth gods, Moon gods or Water gods, and over time these were mashed up into one Supreme God. The conflict between the powers populating Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythologies not only gave the storytellers some drama, but also served as a basis for creating laws, rules, traditions and executions.

To have healthy crops, you might have had to sacrifice a young virgin woman to the god of agriculture. If a lousy growing season followed the sacrifice, the high priests claimed it was because someone must have sinned, or another god destroyed the crops and denied a good harvest for its own nefarious purpose. The people who controlled the narrative had to bend beliefs and rewrite history. If you only have one capital-G God, there is no other god to blame for the failures of the faithful.

But man, always needs conflict and a side to join. If you don’t belong to something, you are probably not worthy of life itself. Just ask Jesus. So, the authors of morals and religions needed to create a fear, a supernatural power that could match God and be the provider of all punishments. And don’t you know, along came capital S Satan and his Greek counterpart capital-D Devil.

The Latin/Greek word diabolos is the origin of the name devil, meaning an accuser or slanderer, but things go much deeper. The word diabolical means an extremely evil or cruel person befitting Hell. So now our supremely evil entity has not only immense power but also a home, HELL. In all religions, myths and folklore, Hell is the afterlife destination of evil souls, where they are subjected to brutal suffering, most often through eternal torture after death. You know, that’s powerful voodoo to slap on a young mind. If they do something bad, they will be tortured, for the rest of time. Little Johnny better eat his carrots.

Before we get lost in word spaghetti, let’s straighten out the reality of faith and religion. How was America created? Well, lots of our ancestors made their way to the New World to escape the ever increasing religious-based nationalism sweeping across Europe.

If you were a German Hutterer belonging to the Hutterites sect, a communal, ethnoreligious branch of Anabaptists with roots to the Radical Reformation of the early 16th century, you were harassed, persecuted and even burned at the stake. Many such folk came to America and are now part of the Amish and Mennonite communities.

Puritans and Quakers also came to America for religious freedom. Both of those groups believed in God and both had a desire to create a society that would purify the Christian religion. That word, “purify” is of special interest in this discussion.

The Puritans and Quakers waged persecution and harassment against the freedom seekers who voyaged to America. These were their weapons against people who didn’t go along with their definition of faith and “purification.” Ask the Salem witches how open minded the New England Puritans were.

I suffer a nasty, sour taste in the back of my mouth whenever I hear a politician and evangelical Christian talk about our “Christian-Judeo” values. I am not sure how the Jews, who don’t recognize Jesus Christ as their savior, were given membership into the club, but the agenda of the people who forced their power at the Supreme Court are the same sect who would have Christianity declared the official religion of the United States of America. Sorry, everyone else, we are in power, we are in control, and we’re being neither coy nor clandestine about it.

Last week, Colorado Republican and United States Representative Lauren Boebert said, “The reason we had so many overreaching regulations in our nation is because the church complied. The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church.” Boebert then amplified her outlier position with, “That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it, and I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk. That’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter, and it means nothing like what they say it does.” Okay, this pro-gun zealot and fire-breathing bim·bette has no idea what she is talking about, but she keeps getting elected.

Mitch McConnell, the “overreaching” government ruler who shaped the Supreme Court to end women’s rights, is now telling us that if the Republicans get back into power in the House and Senate, they will enact a nationwide ban on abortion and other rights you’ve been taking for granted.

Colorado Witch

The far-right controllers and the overly devout in the country want to make the United States of America a theocracy. They are the deep state you’ve heard about. And it won’t be the God of Moses or the God of Mohammed or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, it will be the God of the protestant flock, with only “acceptable” Catholics. Or maybe we just turn over our democracy to the Pope. There is a cancer on America, an understandable reaction to rapid change, but it’s going to kill democracy.

One of the things we keep hearing since the insurrection is that many of the people arrested and those who enabled them in Congress, are pledging loyalty to a man rather than the Constitution. They claim the “big lie” is true and will destroy America. Yes, that is stupid, but equally disturbing is that many of these people are also devout followers of Christian Nationalism. They see Donald Trump as a tool of Jesus Christ himself. They can throw him away now; they got what they wanted. If you select the people deciding the laws of the land (Supreme Court), you don’t need a big mouth fool to lead you (Donald Trump). They will make America God’s Place, if it fucking kills them.










  1. As I watched news coverage of the White Nationalists parade in Boston today, and dipped into your essay, I realized if we are to survive this wave as a nation, we are going to have to define our terms very early on, and stick to some respectful boundaries. First, it would be helpful to your point to avoid minimizing a belief in a Diety and the divinity of Christ when discussing the dangers of Christian Nationalists, which are better described as White Supremacists. The cake was baked ages ago on the influence of “Judeo-Christian” religious belief on our laws, and while the issues before us are certainly critical, they amount to how to fairly slice the finished product. Thou shall not kill, not steal, not put false Gods before me (such as dictators, fame and fortune) — these are ALL Judeo-Christian values. “Treat your neighbor as you wish to be treated” is perhaps the greatest Judeo-Christian ethic in the history of the human race. These are NOT bad ideas in and of themselves or bad ways to live — but it’s just not fair to equate all who believe in these things, and strive to live them, with those who twist the Bible and the teachings of Christ to serve their own ends. Simply describing them as “overly devout” does not get you off the hook. I am a Christian. Not a perfect one, but I won’t stop trying to be better. I am not a Christian Nationalist. To suggest all of us who hold out beliefs dear are “Christian Nationalists” is sloppy homework. What makes this any different from members of one group of people who see a different group as bad, just because they are different? What do you suggest as a substitute for the values you were raised with, whatever floats your boat? The shortcuts, snap judgements and stereotypes that have led us to this point as a country are beneath those capable of deeper thought. You are. It’s all hands on deck, friend!

  2. Anyone who gives credence to Congresswoman Boebert is an idiot, and anyone who takes her seriously as the voice of Christianity is in the same boat. May it sink — and not a moment too soon! Thanks for taking on this thankless topic. We need to begin to take seriously threats to our nation that wrap themselves in the flag — or in the robes of Jesus Christ. I like to think democracy is the best outgrowth of Christian thought — but not the way these activists pervert it!

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