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Tag: Trumpism

Quote of the Day: Is Evangelicalism a Solution to MAGA?

quote of the day

An excerpt from Paul A. Djupe’s article We Should Probably Stop Thinking Religion is a Solution to MAGA.

In his latest piece for the New York Times, he [David French] describes the “Rage and Joy of Donald Trump’s MAGA America.” It’s a neat argument, backed by his personal observations while immersed in the South, that MAGA supporters are not just angry about the state of the world and the leftist/globalist/whatevers they believe are wrongly in charge. They are actually pretty happy in the MAGA communities they’ve inhabited in the traveling circus following Trump around the country and in their local communities. The importance of that observation is this: they will need a replacement for that communal joy to encourage them to sever their connection to MAGA, not just steps that would defuse their anger.

That’s all fine with me in the sense that it’s worth studying more systematically to see if there’s something to it.

What I’m concerned with is his extension to religion and especially evangelicalism. The parallel he draws is this: “Evangelicals are a particularly illustrative case. About half of self-identified evangelicals now attend church monthly or less often. They have religious zeal, but they lack religious community. So they find their band of brothers and sisters in the Trump movement.” I’ve heard this sort of argument A LOT in the Trump years, trying to make the argument that church-involved people are the good, well-behaved ones who wouldn’t support Trump, while the non-attenders who still identify as religious/evangelical/whatever are the ones doing the objectionable thing in the news at the moment. The implication is that if those MAGA types could just get back to church (or in some other community), then the MAGA problem would be solved.

I’ve addressed this several times before in several different ways and I’m surely missing some posts, but let me say it again: church attendance is linked to Trump support.


What I think French and many others are missing is that church involvement is not the crucial dividing line here, but instead the kind of religious beliefs that the people hold are. This is a particular blindspot among some scholars of religion who think of American society as divided between church attenders versus those who are not. Of course there’s some of that, but if you really want to understand who is MAGA and who isn’t, you need to be thinking about apocalypticism. The people fixated on dividing the world into the forces of good and evil (demonic, embodied evil), see Christians facing rampant persecution, and foresee (yep, prophecy belief is a big part of this) a final battle ahead are on a different plane of existence from other people. And they certainly do feel warmly toward Donald Trump, anointed to be their savior.


David French laid out a thoughtful approach to thinking about how to deradicalize MAGA folks, but he’s wrong in his assumptions about the role of religion here. Among some, church involvement as it shows through apocalyptic beliefs is an accelerant of MAGA, not a replacement for it. The dividing line is clear. Those with religious beliefs that draw sharp lines between good and evil and feature elites who are making the case that Trump is the anointed ruler of America (and whose indictments are demonic) are the most dangerous and powerful support structures of the MAGA movement. We need to stop thinking that religion is the antidote – particular forms of it, like the New Apostolic Reformation, may be the cause of the problem.

Professor Paul A. Djupe directs the Data for Political Research program at Denison University, is an affiliated scholar with PRRI, the series editor of Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics (Temple), and co-creator of

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Do You Know the Words Pedophile and Democrat are Synonymous?

democrats are pedophiles
Meme provided by Jesus-loving Evangelical, Kyle Phoenix

Several days ago, a local Evangelical woman named Gracie Mae posted on a Defiance, Ohio Facebook group page a post calling on libraries to ban the book Drama by Raina Telgemeir. This post led to a flurry of comments. Surprisingly, most commenters were against banning books.

Kyle Phoenix, an Evangelical man and a Trump supporter, frequents the group, ever ready and willing to dispense to all who will listen hateful, bigoted, homophobic nonsense. But, hey, he loves Jesus. You know, that Prince of Peace guy; the man who said:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus commanded his followers to love their neighbors as themselves. Either Phoenix loathes himself, or he doesn’t care about Jesus’ commands.

Phoenix, as does most of his ilk, uses a fake name to protect himself from personal accountability for what he says. He demands all sorts of responsibility from others, but none for himself. Even Jesus can’t make him act as a good Christian should.

What follows is a brief interaction I had with Phoenix. All spelling and grammar in the original.

Phoenix: It’s amazing. Seems the 30% of perverts and paedophiles in Defiance County all inhabit this Fascistbook group based on the overwhelming support for pushing pornography and perversion onto kids. Oh but that’s right, it’s only “porn” if Adam and Eve are shown screwing one another, not Adam and Steve.

Well with a cult like St John United Church of Christ pushing heresy and blasphemy, and now the largest school system in the county, what else do you expect? So how soon until the Defiance Public Library System begins hosting drag queen story hour for kids so that grown men dressed in lingerie can twerk and teabag infants, toddlers and teens?

Bruce: Kyle Phoenix, 30 percent of the pedophiles and perverts in Defiance County? What evidence do you have for this claim?

Check out this series on my blog: Black Collar Crime Series.

1,000 stories, and adding more almost every day.

It seems churches are one of the most dangerous places for children.

As far as St John’s is concerned, Pastor Jim Brehler is a kind, compassionate man; a man who genuinely loves and cares for others. I’m proud to call him my friend. I’m an atheist, but I’d take Jim’s Christianity over yours 102 times out of 100.

What, exactly, have you done to help others, Kyle? Constantly haranguing people you disagree with puts a bad face on Christianity. Is it any wonder that Evangelicals are the most hated sect in America? Not for their beliefs, as much as their behavior.

Phoenix: Voting records, Bruce. 30% of the county votes for progressives and/or Demonrats. You are what you vote for. Don’t like the truth; change it. But I don’t expect someone to change who supports the party of murder and mutilation from conception to adulthood.

Phoenix: Oh by the way Bruce, I don’t read from biased sources on anything for the same reason I don’t read from the Satanic Bible. But you keep “blogging.”

Bruce: Kyle Phoenix , such a small, little, vacuous world you live in. BTW, I’m not a Democrat.

And that was that. I have had several dustups with Phoenix before, so I knew how this one would go. He has delusionally convinced himself that three out of ten people he passes on Defiance County streets are demon-possessed pedophiles and perverts. He is not interested in any evidence that challenges his false narrative. In his mind, Polly and I, along with several of our children, are murderers, perverts, and pedophiles.

There are local Republicans who are anti-forced birthers, and there are Democrats who say they are pro-life. Phoenix has a linear, black-and-white view of the local political scene; one that does not exist in the real world. For example, I told Phoenix that I was not a Democrat. I may vote Democratic, but I am not a Democrat. I am a liberal, a progressive, a socialist, and a pacifist. More than a few local Democrats hate my politics. Centrist, right-leaning Clintonian Democrats are common around here. We band together on election day because we know that Trumpism and right-wing Republicans are an existential threat to our Republic.

I am willing to work with people who are not like me; who hold different political values. Progress requires pragmaticism. However, for the Phoenixes and Gracie Maes of the world, politics is a religion-infused zero-sum game. If they can’t get their way, they are willing to burn our democracy to the ground.

Did you know Kyle Phoenix and his fellow arsonists appeared in the 1996 classic hit, Mars Attacks?

Video Link


Phoenix: Gee Bruce, how long did it take you to look up “vacuous” at … 20 minutes? 45? Or did someone else direct you to it? But nice try on the ad hominem though. Shows real effort to try to big words over the usual leftist idiocy of emotes and initialisms.

So let’s say I believe you’re not a Demonrat. I really don’t know too many other political affiliations that side with baby killers and paedophiles other than them and Marxists. But I suppose you could just be unaffiliated, but vote for evil time and again.

Bruce: Kyle Phoenix, no, I’m an educated man. I know words. You know, I read books and know how to use a dictionary. Unlike you, I know the difference between pedophile and Democrat.

I vote Democrat—two party system— but I am not one. Joe Biden was my fourth choice during the 2020 primary. Ditto for Clinton in 2016. Unlike you, I understand politics require pragmatism. My mother taught me well, and she was a raging right-wing, racist, George Wallace, Barry Goldwater supporting Republican.

You are featured on my blog today. Enjoy. 🤣 I’m sure all the perverts and pedophiles who read my blog will love my post.

Phoenix: Bruce is your asinine petulant “blog” some sort of a threat? Oooohhh … I featured you on my blog … oooohhhhh. Gee what’s next, threaten to shoot me with your Super Soaker if you see me in public? Write a sternly worded letter to the editor of the local rag about “raging right-wing racist Republicans” and lump me in with that rabble because you assume anyone not in support of your demonic filth of slaughtering babies and mutilating children MUST be part of the Low-T GOP?

Educated? Doubtful. Indoctrinated? Absolutely. Your “two party” mantra says it all. But that fits right along side over 97% of Ohioans – the same rabble who didn’t blink when tyrants like DeWine locked us up, muffled us, called blue collar workers “non-essential” … and the Demonrats applauded it all and cheered for more.

But hey I am glad you feel so empowered by taking truth and distorting it into lies. The great prophet Isaiah must have seen your blog when he wrote: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Hopefully the WaPo sees your stunning brilliance and offers you a job soon. As a correspondent to “fly over country – midwest division,” I am sure your brilliant piece of prose, ripe with immature emotes and fictional pablum, is just the sort of birdcage liner they’d love to have work with Taylor Lorenz, the Queen of Fiction and Doxxing.

God bless your efforts. I really hope this little petulant tirade piece helps with your therapy.

Bruce: Your response speaks for itself. I typically notify people when I mention them in my blog. Nothing nefarious going on here.

I will make you the same offer I’ve made to other locals who have similar political, religious, and social beliefs as yours. I will gladly, in person, publicly debate you on these issues; a good faith discussion about our disagreements. All I ask is that you use your real name.

Let me know. ❤️ So far, no one has had the courage to take me up on my sincere offer.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Did You Know I am a Traitor, Communist, Marxist, a Danger to America, and an Awful Writer Too?

adam stockford facebook

Last month, I wrote a post titled MAGA Mayor Adam Stockford Says Hillsdale, Michigan is a “Traditional Values” Community. Stockford is the mayor of Hillsdale, Michigan. Over the weekend, Stockford posted my article on his Facebook page. Of course, his MAGA-loving followers were quick to go for my jugular. One such neck-slitter was a retired soldier named Ronald Cook.

Cook made no attempt to interact with what I wrote, choosing instead to hurl invectives my way. I gave his comment and private messages the gravitas they so richly deserved. Enjoy! 🙂

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Here are several other comments left by Stockford’s devotees.

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All told, 90 people from Hillsdale read my post. Only three of them read more than one page. Not one of them clicked on the ABOUT page or the WHY? page. In fact, some of them couldn’t bear to finish reading my article. Yet, by reading one post about Adam Stockford and Hillsdale College, people such as Cook concluded I am a traitor, communist, Marxist, anti-American anti-Christ. And I am a bitter, piss-poor writer too. Let me give these fine folks a bit of the Bible: Answering before listening is both stupid and rude. (Proverbs 18:13)

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

IFB Pastor John MacFarlane Threatens Liberal Politicians, Overturning Roe v. Wade was Just the Beginning

first baptist church bryan ohio

Recently, John MacFarlane, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bryan, Ohio, warned liberal politicians that he and his fellow Bible thumpers are coming for them; that overturning Roe v. Wade is just the start. MacFarlane wrote:

Now, almost 50 years later, we can see where and how this country is divided.  It’s not about political parties and red v. blue.  We are a nation divided over the Bible and God, the One in whose image we are created.  And this division is getting deeper every day!  To call a ruling that supports life as cruel, outrageous, and heart-wrenching is egregious in and of itself.

Such statements from our national leaders ought to cause every blood-bought born-again believer to stand up and say, “This ruling isn’t the only change that’s happening.  There’s going to be more.  A LOT more!”

Is this devotional political?  Absolutely — and I make no apology for it.  The reason that it’s political is because the politicians have insisted on sticking their noses into issues of values, morality, and truth.  Rather than accepting what God says, they’ve chosen to go against it, forcing the Christians to rise up and to take some stands.  We MUST obey God rather than man.

Dear liberal politician, you have given the Christians no choice.  Edmund Burke’s famous statement is true.  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  It’s time for GOOD men and women – especially GOD’s men and women to arise and do the right thing!

MacFarlane is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preacher, a Trumpist who supports and defends every plank in the culture war agenda. Along with his fellow forced birthers, MacFarlane had the orgasm of a lifetime when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to effectively ban abortion. I suspect MacFarlane makes no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother; that, if he had his way, certain birth control methods and in-vitro fertilization would be outlawed too. MacFarlane’s goal is to facilitate returning the United States to the glory days of the 1950s; the days when abortion and birth control were illegal; the days when women were barefoot and pregnant; the days when blacks knew their place, Mexicans went back to where they belonged after picking our crops, and homosexuals never left their pitch-dark closets; the days when public school teachers led their students in prayer and read the Bible to them; the days when Joseph McCarthy spent his waking hours ferreting out commies; the days when IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the pledge and currency; the days when “Biblical” Christianity ruled supreme.

Based on what MacFarlane has written here, he either rejects or has a faulty understanding of the separation of church and state. The United States has a secular government. No amount of quotes from professional liar David Barton will change this fact. While it is likely MacFarlane opposes the Taliban and other extremist Islamic governments, he seems to be okay with Sharia law in America as long as it follows his interpretation of the Protestant Christian Bible.

MacFarlane says the Federal government should accept what God says in the Bible and govern accordingly. Of course, MacFarlane is quite selective about what laws, precepts, and commands he wants the government to follow. Not one Evangelical zealot wants the government to enforce all 613 Biblical laws. Does MacFarlane want the adulterers, fornicators, child molesters, and disobedient children among his congregation executed? Does he want atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Catholics, and all other non-Evangelicals arrested, tried, convicted, and executed? Shall I go on?

The Bible is a dangerous book in the hands of theocrats such as John MacFarlane. They must NOT be trusted with the reins of government. If theocrats are allowed to gain control, freedoms will be lost and people will die. When the MacFarlanes of the world say that overturning Roe v. Wade is just the beginning, we should believe them. If the January 6th insurrection has taught anything, is that MacFarlane and his fellow theocrats are dangerous and will use violence to achieve their goal of a Christian nation.

What, exactly, have Evangelicals been forced to do? I can’t think of one thing. No, what’s going on here is that Evangelicalism is in numerical freefall. NONES are on the rise. Young adults are leaving Evangelical churches in droves. Evangelicals have lost their dominance and control, and they don’t like it. So, instead of loving God and loving their neighbors as themselves — you know, the two great commandments — Evangelicals have turned to raw, naked political power to advance their agenda. How else can we explain so many Evangelicals voting for Donald Trump — twice?

Sixty years ago, Barry Goldwater said:

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

An unattributed quote says:

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

Make no mistake about it, the Christian nationalist horde is at the gate, and Pastor John MacFarlane is standing there with them. John is a well-respected pastor. By all accounts, he is a friendly, winsome man. But that doesn’t change the fact that he is promoting beliefs and practices that are materially harmful not only to me and my family personally but also to hundreds of millions of non-Evangelical Americans.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Bryan Hospital Overrun with COVID-19, Nurses Protest Mandatory Vaccinations


My wife and I live in a rural, one-stop light , two-bars/restaurants, one-convenience store/gas station community of 356 people in Northwest Ohio. We live on Main St, also known as Route 15, the connecting road between nearby Bryan and Defiance.

Ney has a post office, but no door-to-door delivery. Every resident has a PO box for their mail and packages. Every day or so Polly or I go “uptown” and retrieve our mail — mostly magazines, medical bills, and junk mail. Our medications come via mail, as do the Lionel O-gauge train purchases I make on eBay. Sometimes, a package will come through the post office from Amazon or one of the hat companies I do business with: Hats in the Belfry, Village Hat Shop, and American Hats. The post office is very much a part of the rhythm and flow of our lives.

The Ney Post Office is manned by a middle-aged postmistress, a friendly, talkative woman. Polly talks to her every time she goes into the lobby. Polly considers her a casual friend with whom she shares many things in common. Several days ago, she recounted to Polly the following:

A sign on the front door and on the service counter — which is covered with plexiglass — tells patrons that masks are required for entrance. Everyone who enters the small, suffocating building knows this. The “lobby” is 100 square feet or so, the PO box space, separated by a door, is even smaller. Three people in the lobby at the same time is a big crowd.

A male patron walks in the door. Unless he is blind, and he’s not, the man knows he must wear a mask while in the building. He deliberately chooses not to.

Postmistress: Sir, you are required to wear a mask when you enter

Man: I don’t read signs.

Postmistress: But, that’s what’s on the door.

In an act of toddler-like defiance, the man flips the sign off the counter onto the floor.

Man: I don’t read what doesn’t pertain to me.

And with that, the man turns on his heels and walks out of the building.

Polly has seen the same beautician for years, a winsome, talkative woman in her fifties. She always wears a mask when cutting hair, as does Polly. We try to wear masks when coming in close contact with others (though we no longer do so when our children and grandchildren are visiting). As the woman started cutting Polly’s hair, she asked Polly what vitamins she was taking for COVID. WHAT VITAMINS ARE WE TAKING FOR COVID? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? The woman went on to tell Polly that she was taking Zinc and Vitamin D. That’s right, the woman is not vaccinated. She works up close and personal with the public, and she’s not fucking vaccinated. Polly informed her that both of us were vaccinated and had also received booster shots. This woman will not be cutting Polly’s hair again.

Two of my closest friends — a friendship of 55 years — are presently in the hospital for COVID. Unvaccinated, both have respiratory problems. When admitted, their oxygen levels were in the 70s. The man also has pneumonia. The woman has numerous comorbidities, including diabetes. Her glucose level was almost 800 when she was admitted.

My friends went to ER earlier last week, only to be sent home with oxygen tanks. Why? The Bryan Hospital (Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers) is overrun with COVID patients — literally. There are no beds available, and hospitals in Toledo and Fort Wayne — having their own problems with COVID — are refusing transfers from the hospital. Some COVID patients are stacked up in the ER, waiting hours and hours for rooms to become available. (WTOL-11 news report on Williams County COVID outbreak.)

Last Sunday, Bryan Hospital nurses and their supporters gathered at the Williams County Courthouse to protest the hospital’s vaccination mandate. A hundred or so people showed up for the protest, waving signs sporting messages about FREEDOM and bodily autonomy. Several nurses were interviewed by WTOL News.

Sarah Pettit stated:

To force us to have something that we do not want is not the answer. You’re going to be short-staffed even more in these hospitals. Your communities are going to hurt because they don’t have the appropriate staff to take care of the community.”

When asked how nurses can keep themselves and their patients safe if they aren’t vaccinated, Pettit replied:

I think with diligent hand washing and masking and doing everything that we can to protect our patients, will help our patients and our community get better.

Yes, we will do everything we can EXCEPT be vaccinated. I am of the opinion unvaccinated hospital employees should be fired. However, this would cause a worker shortage for the hospital, so it is unlikely this will happen. Those who need the services of the Bryan Hospital will be left to wonder if the nurses and technicians caring for us are vaccinated, whether we will survive our surgeries only to be killed by a COVID infection we got from employees who only care about their personal freedoms. (Cue Mel Gibson and Braveheart.)

Another nurse, Brooke Gordon, the founder of Northwest Ohio Medical Freedom — which is only on Telegram — ignorantly said:

The word ‘safe’ around it I believe has been used as a shield to further push it, even though the evidence is not showing that it is providing safer environments or lesser transmission.

According to a West Bend News article, the “concerns” of the Northwest Ohio Medical Freedom group are as follows:

• The ads for the COVID-19 vaccine claim it is “safe and effective” but many are seeing the reality in their friends and neighbors that it is neither. VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) numbers have climbed since the release of the vaccine.  

• Local Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor RoseAnna Hollo of Deep Roots Wellness in Defiance, says, “I have seen an increase of adults presenting with severe symptoms following Covid-19 injections. I am concerned about the short and long term effects of this jab. I have been educating those affected on reporting to VAERS. I am of the opinion that this vaccine is not worth the risk in most circumstances and mandates are endangering the health of many.”

• Many healthcare providers, military, airline, and nearly every other industry are standing up to these mandates in the forms of walk outs, resignations, and lawsuits.

• Mandated vaccines are un-American. 

• Many have natural immunity, which has been shown to be robust and complete in the medical literature. 

To receive updates from the NWO Medical Freedom group, you will need to have the Telegram app on your mobile device. The link is 

NWOMFG consists of medical choice-loving people of all political leanings, gathering monthly to share how they can combat COVID-19 mandates locally and statewide, exemptions available, alternative treatments, and other helpful resources.  

Let this group’s stated “concerns” be a reminder that just because someone is a nurse doesn’t mean that they have a comprehensive understanding of science, medicine, reason, or common sense. And don’t even get me started on “Local Board Certified” Naturopathic Doctor RoseAnna Hollo:

Rose Hollo, a Certified Master Herbalist and Naturopathic Doctor-in-training holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts/Holistic Health from Union Institute & University, an M.BA. in Digital and Social Media, and a Yoga Teacher Level 1 Certification from Aura Wellness Institute and is an Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master. Her previous background is in the animal healthcare and rescue field, and was a certified PetMassage practitioner and Veterinary Technician. She saw how well natural treatments worked for animals and decided to research alternative therapies for herself after experiencing some severe health issues. 

I know her personally — a nice, friendly woman — but she peddles all sorts of pseudoscientific nonsense. And now she’s an anti-vaxxer, who just so happens to be a registered Democrat. Board-certified means she took online classes and got a certificate. Hollo is not a doctor, nor is she a nurse. Hollo is a promoter of woo, appealing to the fears of (primarily) local women. And her “advice” is helping fuel the spread of COVID.

Currently, Northwest Ohio has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state of Ohio. Williams County, where the Bryan Hospital is located, has the highest county infection rates in the state, and nearby Defiance, Henry, and Fulton counties are not far behind. COVID is everywhere. People are getting sick and dying. Yet, local residents, businesses, and schools pretend the pandemic is a myth or nothing to be worried about. No matter how many people get sick and die, all that matters to an overwhelmingly Trumpist, libertarian, Evangelical populace is personal FREEDOM (people like Rose Hollo are the black swans in the midst of a flock of white swans). Most of these freedom-lovers profess to be Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, yet they show no regard for their neighbors. You know, the people Jesus told them to love.

There was a time when local residents — Democrats and Republicans — understood the social contract we have we each other; that matters of public health and safety rise above partisan divides. Those days are over. Trumpism now has a firm, authoritarian grip on rural Northwest Ohio. Almost 7 out of 10 locals voted for Donald Trump in the last election, ditto 2016. Every state and local government is controlled by Republicans. Ohio, a one-time blue state, has been taken over by red-meat Republicans — lovers of Donald Trump, guns, and the Evangelical God. Current attempts to further gerrymander Ohio, if successful, will likely make 12 of Ohio’s 15 districts solidly Republican. JD Vance (a Catholic who talks like an Evangelical) and Josh Mandel (a Jew who talks like an Evangelical) — both of whom are anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers — are the leading Republican candidates to replace Rob Portman in 2022. Need I say more? Both of these men are running on Trump’s coattails, each trying to out-Trump the other. If elected, neither of them will represent the diverse people of Ohio. They are partisan hacks, religious extremists with theocratic tendencies. It’s hard to believe that there was a time when Ohio was a Democratic-leaning union state, a state that gave us august statesmen such as Howard Metzenbaum and John Glenn (and even Republican George Voinovich, for that matter).

Sadly, there’s no hope on the horizon for rural Northwest Ohio. Extremism rules the roost, and now Trumpists are intent on taking over local school boards and election offices. Quite honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that our six children and thirteen grandchildren live here, we would pack up our belongings and move away. Outside of having a few liberal/progressive friends, we have little, if anything, in common with the people around us. Good people, kind people, but people who have bought into all sorts of political extremism and conspiracy theories. Polly and I have to live here and get along with our neighbors, but since less than half of them are vaccinated, it’s hard not to think that they are out to infect us with COVID and kill us. And if they don’t infect or kill us, they hope to deliver us from our atheistic, communistic, socialist beliefs — by the barrel of a gun, if necessary. Theocratic tendencies and militia sentiments waft through the air, leaving us to wonder what will happen to us if these folks ever gain absolute control.

Maybe it is time for me to buy a gun . . .

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Bruce Gerencser