After thoughts and prayers didn’t work, the state decreed the nonexistence of God. As proof, they declared terrorism no longer a threat. “For what god do you strap a bomb on your chest and take the lives of the innocent and able-bodied?” The Cross-bearing political zealots accepted this, not realizing their God too was rendered an anachronism, and they were swiftly liquidated for their attempts to merge church and state.
With the death of God went all morals. Mass shootings increased. Gun reform was abandoned. Immigration was outlawed, and anyone who couldn’t prove citizenship by birth or command of the English language was shipped to whatever shithole country their skin complexion or dialect most resembled. Public health was sacrificed for strategic business plans. It was decided that court hearings were a waste of time: if deemed of no use to the state, one was shot on the spot.
The faithful shifted underground. We prayed in silence, as God isn’t moved by babbling words. We committed the Word to memory, hid it on our hearts after the Bibles, Qurans, Torahs, and others were burned.
We became one body under one God, with one unified hope: salvation from this tyranny.
“These are signs of the end times,” the oldest and wisest of us speaks. “‘For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.'”
Outside the padlocked doors, the chants begin. “Obsolete! Obsolete!” The echo of marching boots growing louder. “Obsolete! Obsolete! Obsolete!”
“How did they find us?” one parishioner screams.
“Stand firm!” our orator shouts above the rain of bullets. “For we know our God is able to deliver us!”
We huddle in a circle and put the youngest and smallest in the center, shielding them with our bodies, and we pray.
We pray until the skies open and we feel nothing.
The Twilight Zone episode “The Obsolete Man” presents to us a distant dystopian future that doesn’t feel quite so distant nowadays…