Why I Write and Write and Write About the Religious Right

I had a fairly close friend ask me the other day why I'm so preoccupied with the religious right. 

"Can't you write about something else?" 

Yes, dear friend, and I do. I write about long-term travel, philosophy, living debt free and alternative lifestyles, overcoming the restrictive limitations of cultural expectations, minimalism and more. I've even written two psychological murder mysteries and at least thirty plays, many of which have been performed on stage in front of  live audiences.

But, here's the deal. 

While everyone else gets sidetracked by all the other political issues, I've decided to keep my eye on the religious right. I know that's hard for most to understand either because they're religious and thus rarely speak out against religion on principle or they've completely forgotten how things used to be. 

We are currently living in one of the most permissive eras, worldwide, in the history of human societies. 

Most people simply can't imagine life without the privilege to divorce as many times and they want, sleep with anybody they want, marry anybody they choose, live with someone if they prefer, freely engage in biracial relationships, dress however they want and on and on and on. Women get to vote, build careers and use birth control to determine if and when they want to have children.

Although we have a long way to go, this is the best day and age to be a woman in many parts of the world.

I have lived under the oppressive rule of a religious cult. It sucked! It sucked to be a woman for sure, but it also sucked to be a boy growing up under such repressive circumstances. 

Today, however, is even more dire than our deep dark past. 

What we now have with the religious right in control of positions of political power is a carefully orchestrated plan to politicize their religious agenda. 

Right under our very noses, we are becoming a theocracy and people by in large are refusing to believe it’s happening. 

In the past we were controlled by the church through cultural expectations that everyone simply accepted without question. The church collaborated with the government from outside the political system. And, that worked like a charm, keeping the majority of people in line.

But then secular movements started challenging the social restrictions, many of which were founded in our religious institutions. 

Suddenly, people no longer were willing to appease the pope or the preacher. Thus, we had a period of social evolution led by secular thought that has destroyed many cultural restrictions and done away with some very harmful taboos.  During the last thirty years or so, there has been an insidious movement, often behind the scenes, to rectify the permissive society that we've become. What we're now seeing is the culmination of a carefully orchestrated plan by the devout to take back their country and to place their god at the center of everything.

The religious right is no longer willing to sit on the sidelines as their cross-eyed cousins once did, talking in tongues, handling snakes, beating their kids and oppressing their women. 

Watching the rest of Americans live their own lives as they please infuriates them. They're here to tell you that they're no longer a joking matter. They're serious. Dead serious. 

Furthermore, they're winning which is making them bolder by the minute. 

Hair raising public statements by politicians are becoming all too common. Recently, Bob Nononi, a Republican politician from Idaho, said in a public forum that maybe we should consider the death penalty for women who get an abortion. A North Carolina Republican politician, Mark Harris, has been known to belabor the archaic notion that women should be submissive to their husbands and that careers may actually be harmful to women and their families. 

Although these men may not receive majority support, the very fact that such outrageous statements are being made from within the political arena is shocking. 

In my day, those kinds of core beliefs were commonly proclaimed from the pulpit or the Vatican, but were not fearlessly espoused from the mouths of politicians. Yet, it gets even more preposterous. 

There are a fair number of politicians with a strong supporting base that actually believe that we're living in the end times and that Jesus will soon return to rapture the devout. 

With that in mind, they are keeping their collective eyes on Israel, the center of biblical prophecies in their esteemed estimation. There is a sense of high expectations that by moving religious zealots into political power, they will be helping to bring this much anticipated apocalypse to fruition. 

Ponder that for a minute if you will.  

So, as I told my dear friend, I will continue to write about the right and the harmful effects a society that is too serious about religion will inevitably inflict upon its citizens. If you want to dabble in it as an extracurricular activity, do so, but once you politicize your gods, I'll be on to you so quick it'll make your head spin. 

There's no way that I'm going back to the way things used to be. 

I didn't flee the radical religious cult that I was raised in only to encounter the same hatefully destructive people running the government. So I write.  It's a thankless job, but somebody's gotta do it. You can thank me later. 

People like me aren't a dime a dozen. 

We're rare. And, furthermore, we face a lot of opposition, not just from the religious right but all religious people who rather than join our cause become defensive about their own brand of religions, thereby missing the point entirely. They weaken my fight because they turn the discussion away from the religious right's scary political goals to focus instead on their own religions which they contend are better alternatives. 

Thus, the debate devolves into who are the real Christians rather than how do we protect ourselves from imminent danger. 

 Sigh … 

I kid you not, this often feels like a lonely battle, leaving me worn to the bone. I have an advantage, however. I left the aforementioned religious cult when I was barely eighteen years old. While the rest of you were enjoying liberal social lifestyles, I had to flee an oppressive upbringing first before I could sample such freedom. So, I know. Yep, I know firsthand what I'm talking about. 

If people can't or won't help me, so be it. 

Nobody helped me when I fled oppression the first time, but I persevered. I'll do it again if need be. I plan to win but if I don't, I'm going down fighting and writing and writing and writing. 

On that you can be sure.

Teresa Roberts is a myth buster. Her recently published book - Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales - can be purchased on Amazon.