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May 27, 2024

True Believers

By Frederick Foote

Following the Trump presidency there was widespread social and political hostility towards the religious right. The post-Trump administrations instituted and maintained a system of Special Investigative Magistrates (SIMs) to provide a swift adjudication of charges against members of the religious right and their followers.

The religious right responded by establishing the Evangelical Court of America (ECA) to prosecute SIMs and others who opposed the religious right.

Twenty years after the Trump Administration, the religious right continues to be held in low regard; however, most conservative white evangelists have fled the country or gone underground. The last know ECA conviction was of SIM Marcus Gregory five years ago today.

SIM Gregory was one of the most efficient and productive SIMs in the history of the program.

The SIM Marcus Gregory Memorial is one of the most visited sites in Washington, D.C.

SIM Qualification of Marcus Gregory

Gregory, do you believe in a god or supreme being?
I believe in chance and the random nature of existence.

Do you believe in an intelligent force creating man and nature?
No, I believe in the random nature of existence.

Does your Random Nature of Existence God care about you?
I think not.

Why don't you believe in a God that cares for you?
Because the random nature of existence makes more sense to me.

Because there is no religion, gospel, church, ritual or rite associated with the belief in the random nature of existence.

Why is this important to you?
Because I avoid the restrictions and requirements of religion and the contest and conflicts within and between religions.

Any other reasons?
It is a simpler explanation than a religious-based God.

Anything else?
Some of our science seems to support the random nature of existence.

Do you have a need for human companionship?

Do you have a need for love?

Does your Random Nature of Existence God foster human companionship?
It could by making it clear that we only have each other to depend on.

Does your Random Nature of Existence God promote love?
It could promote love or despair. Love out of necessity and hopelessness out of futility.

Does your Random Nature of Existence God give you comfort in time of need?
In some cases, it might. If chance is the motor of existence even in the darkest moment there is a chance that we might succeed.

Does your faith in the Random Nature of Existence God ever fail you?
Yes. Uncertainty and doubt dog my actions and thoughts.

Would you pass your belief in your Random Nature of Existence God to your offspring and loved ones?
I would explain my beliefs to them and encourage them to make their own decisions about faith.

Do you feel an absence, an emptiness, a hollowness in you?
Yes, I sometimes think I do. I do.

Why do you think that is?
I don't know. It might be a need to find something infallible. It might be a need for some outside power to worship.

Have you answered these questions truthfully?
Yes. Yes, I believe I have.

In your own words, and without coercion, you have documented your rejection of religion and religious gods and your willingness to pass on your belief to others or at least make explicit your views to others. Is this correct?
Yes, yes that is correct.

And you have also expressed doubts about your system of beliefs. Is that correct?
Yes. Profound doubts. Beliefs change over time. How is one to know which belief is correct?

I find, based on your own freely given testimony, that your existence is a threat to religious faith, systems, and doctrines. Would you like to contest this finding or add anything in explanation of this finding?
I'm not hostile to religion. I'm more indifferent to religion. I accept your finding as reasonable based on the information I have provided.

Do you harbor doubts about the effectiveness of this process that you are currently undergoing?
Yes. Every human endeavor is subject to error and bias.

Based on our review of your life and history and this interview, I hereby appoint you Special Investigative Magistrate to find and eliminate True Believers. Do you accept this mandate?
I do with the understanding that I may have doubts about many of the actions I take in this role. I may come to reject and repudiate my actions a Special Investigative Magistrate.

That is as it should be. Take up the Sword and don the Sash of your position and be about your bloody works.
As you wish and as I will.

SIM Marcus Gregory's Trial of the Ellsworth Ezekiel Johnson Family

Ellsworth Ezekiel Johnson, do you know who I am?
A butcher. A cold-blooded killer of the innocence. You're a beast with no respect for age, gender or belief. Your hands are as bloody as your sword and sash. May God have mercy on your heathen soul.

Do my sword and sash have any other significance for you?
You're a government demon. You're a SIM, but you might as well be Nazi SS.

And by SIM you mean Special Investigative Magistrate. Is that correct?
Satan by another name.

Do you understand that this interview will determine your life or death?
No. You have no power over me. What happens here today is God's will.

Sir, are you a man of religious convictions?
I believe that there is one true God. I worship that God.

Does your belief in that God compel you to take action against those who provide or assist in abortions?
It is my God-given obligation to save the lives of the unborn who are powerless to protect themselves.

Sir, if you have taken any actions that have harmed or taken the lives of others in the name of your god, I now give you the chance to renounce such actions and to promise to never again to engage in such activities.
I'm staunch and unwavering in defense of the defenseless.

Sir, in the front row we have your wife Matilda, age forty-five, your daughter Sarah, age seventeen and your son Nicodemus, age five. Is that correct?
You are a vile vessel of suffering, but soon the tables will turn. Do what you will with us. We are under the protection of the All Mighty. Others will take up our banner.

Sir, if you renounce your religious allegiances and pledge to peacefully coexist with others you and your family are free to go. You will not be subject to any criminal prosecution for your past behavior. Do you accept this offer?
Satan, you are full of tricks and trials. However, I'll never deny my connection to my God.

Sir, there are seventeen suspected True Believers here. If you renounce your religious beliefs and pledge to peaceful coexistence, I will free all of them in addition to your family. Do you accept these terms?
Never. My God is with me. He comforts me He leadeth me --

Sir, is that a rejection of --
A denial of all that you stand for.

Sir, do you have any final words?
Matilda, Sarah, Nicodemus, I will soon be with my God, and all blessings will be mine. Do not grieve for me. Rejoice for me and carry on our work.

Ellsworth Ezekiel Johnson, I find and certify that you are a True Believer and sentence you to death by the sword. I will now carry out that sentence.

Matilda Rachel Johnson, have you observed the interview and execution of Ellsworth Ezekiel Johnson?
Our Father who art in heaven --

Ma'am, are you a woman of religious conviction?
Hallowed be thy name.

Ma'am, if you have taken any actions that have harmed or taken the lives of others in the name of your god, I now give you the chance to renounce such actions and to promise to never again to engage in such activities?
Thy kingdom come.

Matilda Rachel Johnson, I find and certify that you are a True Believer and sentence you to death by the sword. Do you have any final words?
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

I will now carry out your sentence.

The ECA Prosecution of SIM Marcus Gregory

Are you SIM Gregory, Special Investigative Magistrate?
I am.

And is this your sash and sword displayed on the table before you?
It is.

Have you worn said sash and used said sword in the execution of six-hundred or more True Believers?
Yes, I have.

Do you understand that you're a prisoner of the Evangelical Court of America?

And you understand you're on trial for crimes against God and his faithful?
I do.

And, do you wish to enter a plea?
No. However, I did duly and lawfully execute six-hundred and sixty-six True Believers. And, I have exonerated and freed twice as many accused True Believers.

SIM Gregory, do you have any words to say to those that you have slaughtered or their families and friends?
Each execution provides me with an intimacy with the executed. This intimacy nourished me in my moments of need and doubt.

You are an abomination. I find you guilty as accused of all charges and I sentence you to death by hanging. Do you have any last words?
Yes. Those who would sacrifice their fellow humans to save their own souls are a clear danger to their families, friends, and communities and as such should be eliminated. At one time I questioned this death-dealing philosophy. I now do genuinely hold and embrace this belief.

I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until dead before the next sunrise.
A fair fate for a True Believer such as I.

Article © Frederick Foote. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-04-22
Image(s) are public domain.
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