Read J.R. Hayes’ “The Atheist”
If you bought a deluxe physical or digital edition of Pig Destroyer’s Book Burner — the best album of the year!!! — you’ve probably already read “The Atheist,” a short story by vocalist J.R. Hayes which expands upon some of the album’s themes and explains its title. Give yourself a pat on the back for being cool from the get-go.
For everyone else: you can now read the story in full over at Cvlt Nation! To further entice you: the story is about a man trying to survive as an atheist in a dystopian United States ruled by a pastor named John Hammer. In other words, if you listen to metal, it’s right up your alley. Here’s an excerpt describing what happens after Hammer is elected President of the United States:
“Mere days after the inauguration, a Constitutional Amendment was rushed through Congress proclaiming Christianity the national religion. The Supreme Court upheld the Amendment with a vote of 5 to 4. President Hammer urged all of the Christian denominations to unify beneath the wing of his almighty ‘American Church’. And damn if they didn’t. That was a crazy time. You couldn’t open your goddamn eyes without seeing a cross or a flag. Or a flag with a cross on it. Or a cross with a flag draped from it.
“The education system was dismantled. The libraries and universities were burned to the ground in great orgies of righteous violence. Society began to break down along religious lines. Communities rebuilt themselves around the local churches. 12 hour work days followed by 4 hours of mandatory worship kept the people focused and supervised. Sex was only allowed for the purpose of conception and had to be conducted in the presence of scriptural experts and Church ‘physicians.’ 20% of all male infants are taken by the church for immediate indoctrination. They are ‘educated’ at secret locations and will end up having no knowledge of their birth parents. Most will end up serving as Book Burners, some will become personal bodyguards for Church officials. The really twisted ones will end up as Choirboys. To have your son seized by the Church in this way is considered a great honor.”
I know what I would do if I lived in such a world: immediately apply for a job as a Church physician.
Read the rest of the story here!