Saturday, June 22, 2024

Religion Is Marching Us In The Wrong Direction

May 27, 2024 by  
Filed under Community

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

You may need the salt shaker nearby — for a grain may not be nearly enough for you to take with the contents of this piece. 

I am well aware that the two best ways to lose friends is to discuss politics and religion. Since I harp on politics ad nauseum, this month I decided to go for the gusto and make you mad at me for bad-mouthing false religion as practiced by leaders of the evangelical movement and their political lackeys. 

The reason I am willing to lose more friends is that I see too many people blindly marching off in the wrong direction. They’re following the most irreligious person in America — and believing that if they don’t, they will not only lose some privileges but also lessen their chances of going to heaven. 

James Wise wrote back in 1936 that when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. My updated paraphrase is that religious heresy has come to America in the form of a man wearing an ill-fitting suit, selling Bibles, and carrying a golden staff — melted down from a bathroom fixture in his penthouse to herd his flock of nationalistic voters. 

I was baptized in Lane Metropolitan CME Church, in Cleveland in the mid-1940s. The values I learned there through the remainder of the 1940s and the entire 1950s have sustained me throughout my life. However, I would be less than honest if I didn’t say and write that I don’t recognize today’s religious teachings by pastors who have become apostles for politics by preaching religious heresy. 

If preachers who are multi-millionaires, own mega churches, mansions, top-of-the-line cars, and a growing number of private jets were not bad enough, now we have discount preachers supporting a candidate for POTUS and preaching the racist ideology of Christian nationalism. 

If we are not careful and fail to come to our senses, religious bigots will have us marching to our own ruin.

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