I have been reading in the Bible the section called “Acts of the Apostles” and how the Religious Right of their time persecuted them. 

Story By Joe M. Govea


The testaments tell us how, when the Christian Universal Church was first forming, the Apostles were able to convert thousands. It also tells us that because of this success, they were being persecuted by the Jews, the main organized religious group of that time.  They had a lot of influence within the Government back then.  

 I guess it did not help that Jesus had exposed the religious leaders of that group as hypocrites that were no longer serving God but themselves. They were using the laws of their religion to maintain authority over their followers. They enjoyed the position of importance and upper status amongst the people. They made a good living. Yep, it is all about the money, the same as it is now.  Jesus had exposed them as self-serving because they used religion to gain power and wealth. The Jewish leaders countered by claiming that Jesus had committed blasphemy by saying he was the son of God.  With their influence in the Government, they were able to have Jesus condemned and put to death. Organized religion can be immensely powerful.

 In the movie, the Book of Eli tells how the whole world got into a religious war. Many people died, and the entire world was in shambles. The Bible from which all mankind had been using to live their lives was blamed. The Religious Right had become the Government of the whole world. Of course, as it is now, everyone interpreted the Bible differently; thus, conflict of beliefs arose, which led to war!  After that war was over, the leaders of that time all blamed the Bible as the cause.  They then destroyed all the Bibles, so division would not happen again. All except one did not get destroyed and Eli had it. He was delivering it to a holy group of people who God had saved. Eli was being led and protected by the Holy Ghost as he walks across the country to deliver it. Another group, the bad guys, knew about that Bible and wanted it. Their leader knew the power and wealth he could have if he had that Bible. He knew all he had to do was wave that Bible, and the people would follow him as their religious leader. He could control the country with it. I will not tell you the ending, but it is a good movie. It shows how extreme religion can become if used politically. 

    What I am witnessing now is how some Evangelical leaders are working their way into getting control in our Government. This New Religious Right has taken a stronghold of the Republican Party. It appears they are working on making the Republican Party look like a religious organization.  That is scary to a Catholic like me and people of different religions and lifestyles. Even scarier is that they are standing alongside bigots and racist, the Alt-Right, to get this political power.  

 I hear what they preach. They always quote from the Old Testament, which contains the same laws followed by the Religious Right of Christ’s time. Those laws did not forbid owning slaves, and discrimination was acceptable.

 Often, I scroll through the channels on TV, and a lot of times, I like to stop and listen to some of the evangelical stations. I take interest and listen to what is being said by those protestant preachers. Most of the time, it is about verses from the old testament and what the Israeli’s experienced as God was forming the closed group of people from which the Messiah was to come. It appears to me that their sermons always stress Old Testament readings and how their congregation should live by them. All that is OK until some of them throw in an incorrect comparison of the Catholic Church teachings and Old Testament verses.  They tell their followers that Catholics are not true Christians. They say we worship idols, pray to Saints, and make other untrue statements about our faith.  

 Those Evangelicals, along with the President who also has a holier than thou mentality, stand alongside the racist and bigoted and are separating this country.  Looks like an Alt-Right union to me.  If they can get control of the Government, what would keep them to also discriminate against us Catholics and other people that do not believe like them? That was the way it was back in the 1800s.  It was the main motivator of why the Knights of Columbus, protectors of the faith, was formed. 

 The combination of Religion with Government is dangerous. It causes division. In America, we have people from all over the world, and they are not all Christian.   

 Many people have been drawn into supporting this New Religious Right mentality because of the abortion issue. You must understand suppression and discrimination against people is a bigger sin. To discriminate and suppress a person’s potential because they are different can kill the good character of a person.  God puts that goodness into each person’s being at conception. If that goodness is corrupted or turned off, that person begins to live a life of crime and sin. Who knows how ugly those sins could be? Worse, you can be held accountable for the cause of those sins and the loss of those souls to the devil. 

 We as a country should instead be working to combine our efforts on how we can instill into the children a way of thinking that will create law-abiding adults. That type of effort would unite everyone.  

 The Government’s job is to make laws that treat all the people as evenly and fairly as possible regardless of sex, skin color, and religious beliefs. It should instill the virtue of respect and appreciation of diversity.  

 Then, whether you know it or not, we would all be living under one of Jesus’s most important command, and that is to “Love one another as you Love yourself.”  

In Peace and Love to you all,

Joe M. Govea, a devout Catholic whose duty is to evangelize  

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