I Left a Cult and They Followed Me Into the Government

Teresa Roberts
9 min readMar 6


I’m Scared of What’s Coming

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I never thought I’d live to see the day that the church would reclaim power over society again.

I know quite a bit about the history of religion and its impact on societies. I was also raised in a cult. My life improved after I left home and the church. I also know that many parts of the world have been nicer places to live since the church lost its all-encompassing power over societies.

Which church you might ask?

You name it. The catholic church? Most definitely with an iron fist. One of many hundreds of protestant churches. Those, too. Good lord, just pick one out of a hat and I’ll soon dig up some pretty disturbing historical content centered around their particular interpretations of God’s will for humanity.

Ugh. Not a pretty sight.

There have been wars fought between protestants and Catholics. Actual bloody wars where one religious group wanted to wipe the other religious group off the face of the earth because, you guessed it, their god had a personal vendetta apparently with the opposite group of believers.

Go figure.

Things kinda started to ease up in the western world after World War II. You know, we began to do away with some of our intolerant laws and become more inclusive. We were still far from perfect and peaceful as a species, but things were finally sort of headed in the right direction.

Churches were still part of the landscape of our cities and towns.

Perhaps there were more denominations than ever before, but people were doing their own thing more often than not. Many of us were just living our lives according to what suited us best. I might not believe that I had to be baptized but if you wanted to get dunked or sprinkled, I might think it was a strange practice but hey, it wasn’t for me to tell you what to do.

Then, BOOM!

One morning, I looked out my window and they were back. And, what they’re doing is so menacing that it takes my breath away. The fervency of the devout is not just raising its ugly head again. They are gaining power.

The taste of power feels so good on their tongues that it’s driving them bonkers.

Every morning, I open my computer to find another news story about yet another state passing a law that dictates morality according to one or another religious group’s definition of what they believe is acceptable behavior. It’s not surprising that these groups are often focused on sex. It’s been my experience that the religious are often obsessed with sex.

Usually someone else’s sex life.

Not that Christians would accept another churches interpretation of what constitutes godly behavior and what doesn’t, mind you. Oh, no. They would loudly debate any restrictions placed on them by another religious group that held differing views.

What? You’re telling us that we must wear a special kind of underwear.

That’s ridiculous. What? You’re saying that we must be conscientious objectors? Do you mean to say that we must give up alcohol to get to heaven or that eating fish on Fridays is a mortal sin? You’re crazy. Listen WE know exactly what god requires of us, AND what he requires of you, too, for that matter.

Come to one of our churches and we’ll instruct you in the will of god.

Here’s another great example. One which has caused a lot of strife between protestants and Catholics and even protestants and other protestants over the year.

Are you ready for it?

Do you really think you can go to heaven if you’re divorced and remarried? Lots of churches in the past, and some still today, did not condone divorce. After all, those were holy vows that you exchanged before the Almighty when you got married. Hold on a minute. Let me explain. Because, you see, the Bible clearly designates two types of unacceptable intercourse between a man and a woman.

Adultery and fornication.

Which one are you guilty of because either one will put your soul in dire jeopardy. What? You say you don’t know the difference between the two. Well, let me preach a sermon from my own personal pulpit that will set the record straight.

Fornication is sex before marriage.

The only acceptable sex is not just between a man and a woman as heterosexual Christians like to preach today, but also only between a man and a woman who are MARRIED to each other.

There was strong consensus in many religions of the past that even in marriage procreation was the only reason the two should have sex.

Birth control was outlawed. If you had sex and blocked conception, you were merely satisfying the lust of the flesh which is not the purpose of sex. And, if you’re not married and you’re having sex, you’re definitely sinning in the eyes of the church. Living with your lover outside of marriage was harshly prohibited. So much so that society at large looked down on those who chose to do so. So, very few people made that choice. Being shunned is no fun. And, don’t tell me it can’t happen here again, because it could.

After all, cultural expectations are far better at controlling human behaviors than laws will ever be.

Adultery, however, is when a married person indulges in sex with someone other than their spouse.

So, if you cheat on your husband or your wife, you’re an adulterer. Now that also means that if you’re married, there are no other sexual options left for you. After all, you took the vows in the church before god that you’d be faithful to your spouse until death do you part. A divorce can’t erase those vows. If you think you can sign a legal document provided by a lawyer and do away with your marriage in the eyes of god, you’re wrong.

Listen, the above rigid and intolerant views may sound bizarre today to even the most far right groups of professing Christians, but in the not-so-distant past they were hard — fast rules in society.

I grew up in a religious cult. This was what my father preached from the pulpit. According to his interpretation of the scriptures, there would be precious few Christians today. Divorce, sleeping with your lovers before marriage, living together out of wedlock has been normalized to such a degree that it’s difficult to find anyone who waits until marriage to have sex. The proverbial virgin is merely a mythical creature these days.

God would have trouble finding a virgin to carry his son in the modern world.

It’s equally difficult to find people who haven’t been divorced and remarried at least once. According to my father, if two people couldn’t find a way to solve their problems and chose to separate, they were still prohibited from remarrying. Only if their ex died could they consider such a thing. I knew at least a half dozen people who remained alone for years after separating from their spouses because they believed it would be committing adultery to remarry.

I can hear the indignant gasps already, by good Christians no less.

But hey, back in the day most of the rules that were laid down by preachers or priests were for heterosexual couples. They were kept so busy trying to keep heterosexuals from sinning by controlling their sex lives that they didn’t have much time to focus on gays or lesbians. I contend that once these old-fashioned rules were changed and divorce was normalized, Christians had to find someone else’s sex life to scrutinize.

Who better than the LGBTQ community.

I guarantee you that if anyone tried to coerce heterosexual couples to stay in unhappy marriages by passing laws prohibiting divorce as an immoral act, there would be an uprising from the devout.

Because divorce is now very, very common among Christians from all churches in our modern society.

I get a kick out of the sanctimoniousness of so many religious people who like to accuse society of allowing homosexuality to redefine the American family thus destroying a holy union that should be protected at all costs. Why?

Because it’s been heterosexual couples who have redefined the American family in order to allow and condone their own need for divorce and remarriage.

Children today simply do not experience the family in the same way they once did in the past. In fact, it’s so common for even Christian Americans to divorce multiple times that young children often don’t even know who to name as they’re relatives. Kids today have many moms and dads and their nuclear family is always changing. No wonder teachers have conversations with their students where the kids can’t name their family members according to brothers, sisters, half-brothers, and half-sisters, temporary brothers and sisters, mom and dad, mom’s boyfriends and dad’s girlfriends, and so forth and so on.

Trust me. It’s not the gay couple down the street nor the transgender person working at the hair salon who are confusing the children of the religious.

It’s their own moms and dads. Yes, the American family has been redefined. It’s nothing like it used to be. But it’s heterosexuals who have destroyed the family unit of the past days. Why? Because it’s easier to find another group of people to demonize.

Nobody wants to live up to their own harsh standards, so they set standards for OTHER people instead.

Those other people are the bad people. Now we can go into schools and clubs and the privacy of someone else’s home and set down the laws, requiring those other people to adhere to a set of standards that we claim were directives from a holy god.

This is just one example of how intolerant the religious can be if another religious group tries to define morality and sin for them.

There’s a thousand different definitions of sin. Church dogma is greatly varied. Every believer practices their own particular interpretation of what it means to be following the teachings of Christ as though they alone have stumbled across the truth. And they do NOT welcome the opinions of other churches.

It’s so much easier to rule than to be ruled.

I’m not sure why people NEED to rule others, but many do. Their desire to wield power is dangerous. They end up ruining people’s lives, even snuffing out their lives and feeling like they’ve accomplished something great for god. God told them what he allows and what he doesn’t.

They’re on a holy mission to make sure everyone else obeys.

That’s where we are once again. And I’m going to step out on a limb and predict a dire future. Things are just starting to heat up. We’re looking at a secular decline as religion begins to infiltrate the government. Furthermore, those who seek this power will stop at nothing to get what they want.

They believe they are on a holy mission.

Socially liberal people are not prepared for what is about to take place. They are bumbling along unaware that their ideology of inclusion and desire for social progress makes them fair game for the brutal, authoritarian tactics of these Christian soldiers who will do whatever it takes to win the battle for god and country.

I dread the 2024 election.

I’m scared out of my mind of what’s lurking around the corner. I feel the progress we made in the last century slipping away and it’s terrifying. Once it’s gone, it will take us years to regain what we lost. Even though history warns us, the inclusive ideology of the Democrats underestimates the lengths to which these rabid Christians will go to change an open society into a rigid, punitive, and political theocracy.

I never thought I’d live to see the day that the church would reclaim power over society again, but I’m 72 years old and it’s happening right before my very eyes.

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.



Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.