It’s funny, Dennett, but I was just talking about Catholics last night.
Your experiences match mine. I grew up being taught in church that Catholics are Satan’s minions and that the Pope is probably possessed by demons.
I experienced first hand how Evangelicals dismiss and condemn other Christians and how they wish to impose their faith on the nation as a whole.
However, I also lived in Montreal for a few years in the aftermath of the Quiet Revolution.
My business partner lived through it and told me all about it from his own personal perspective, having been raised as a French-speaking Catholic.
In Quebec, the Catholic Church really did control society with an iron grip. Parish priests ruled their neighborhoods, right down to deciding who was allowed to marry whom and who took what jobs.
The Church worked hard to keep French speakers subservient to English speakers and maintain a strictly stratified social system based on language and ethnicity.
Priests and monks viciously beat children in school every day. Sexual abuse was pervasive. My partner says that while he wasn’t diddled by priests, that most of his friends were, and that he always figured he lucked out because he was “ugly.”
So, while Evangelicals in the US strongly desire to run the country according to their religious beliefs, they aren’t unique.
Our founders wisely erected a high barrier between religion and the state at the beginning of our Republic.
I’m scared that it’s crumbling.