Is God dead? That's the question that Time Magazine famously asked way back in 1966 when Time Magazine mattered. The answer then and now is no, God is not dead, but a lot of the people who believed in him are dead. Turns out not so long ago this was an enthusiastically Christian country. As recently as 2009, 77% of Americans told pollsters they consider themselves to be believing Christians. Then in just 10 years, over the course of the Obama administration, that number dropped by 12 points. Over the same period, the number of atheists and self-identified non-religious people in America jumped dramatically. And that was before COVID. Politicians used the pandemic across the country to close thousands of churches and throw Christians in prison for practicing their faith. There was the scene, for example, last fall in Idaho. Police arresting a congregation for singing hymns outdoors.
Socially distanced hymn singing outside. So what exactly was these people's crimes? The tape of that will be studied by future generations of historians to try and figure out what was going on. What did these people do wrong? Well, they publicly affirmed their belief in a power higher than government. That’s not allowed. Fewer and fewer Americans do that – or even think to. But that does not mean, and this is the critical point, that does not mean this has become a secular country. There are no secular countries, just as there are no secular people. Everybody believes in something. All of us are born with the need to worship. The question is what?
So, no, America has not lost its religion. It's just replaced its religion. What's dying is the faith that created Western civilization – Christianity. In its place is a new creed, and like all religions, it has its own sacraments, its own sacred texts. It's the cult of coronavirus.
Kathy Hochul is one of the high priestesses of this new faith. She's the governor of New York. No, no one voted for her as governor. And that seems odd for a politician, but it's typical for a faith leader. No one voted for Jim Jones either. Yesterday, Kathy Hochul held her first service as the leader of the New York Diocese of the Corona cult. Around her neck. She wore not a cross – that's yesterday's symbol – but instead a vaccination necklace. That necklace signified to the faithful gathered that Hochul is ascended to the select priesthood of those who have taken full intravenous communion. Listen to Bishop Hochul preach.
And I wear my vaccinated necklace all the time to say I'm vaccinated. All of you. Yes, I know you're vaccinated. You're the smart ones. But, you know, there's people out there who aren't listening to God, what God wants. You know this. You know who they are. I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say we owe this to each other. We love each other. Jesus taught us to love one another. And how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get vaccinated because I love you. I want you to live.
How do you show your love to one another the old way is to visit people, say, in the hospital as they died, that's no longer allowed. The new way to show your love is to get the vax. God himself wants you to take the vaccine. I need you to be my apostles, Hochul thundered. No one comes to the Father except through the shot. Sinners in the hands of an angry health care worker. At the pulpit. Kathy Hochul, not super bright as you may have noticed, seems suddenly transformed – a transfiguration if you will. Standing there, she wasn't merely a mediocre, unelected governor of a dying state with bad weather. No, Hochul was the vaccine messiah preaching the undying word of St. Anthony Fauci. Can I get an amen, ladies and gentlemen.
Now, it may sound unlikely to those of you used to the older faiths, but many are joining this new church. And for $39 right now on Amazon, you, too, can buy a sterling silver necklace that declares that you have been vaccinated – literally declares it just spells out in cursive "vaccinated." There's no mistaking what an incredibly good person you are. Everyone will see it.
You can also buy vaccination bracelets and vaccination pins and vaccination earrings, vaccination shirts, vaccination socks. It's all right on Kathy Hochul’s church gift shop. Go there today. And while you're shopping, be certain to pick up a Tony Fauci prayer candle. In fact, get two. All good, decent people have more than one.
For just $15 on Etsy, you can buy a patron saint of staying home prayer candle, that's a real thing. We read the reviews today. Here's one of them: "Love it! I think it may have to set up a little altar to place it on! There's a new convert. Here's another review from a woman called Kelly Hannan: "I put this in my office. I work in public health and this makes me smile every time I look at it." Of course it makes you smile, Kathy Hannan, virtue is its own reward.
Now, for those still making the tough transition from a traditional Western religion or religion about God to this new religion, which is not about God, it's really about you and only you and more of you. And you, you, you, you, you. You can pick up a masked nativity scene online, it looks conventional, but look closely, it features Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, all with their faces covered as they should be, even in a manger. They're masked just like you are. In this religion of narcissism, the holiest figures look exactly like you do. That's the point. We'll reach back 2,000 years and change the appearance of historical figures to look exactly like the people in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That's what this religion is about.
And speaking of babies, you’ll want to celebrate your children's baptism by vax by purchasing a sacred text to memorialize this moment. We recommend this age-appropriate Tony Fauci coloring book. This book promises, quote, hand-illustrated coloring pages starring your quarantine dreamboat. Not surprisingly, the reviews online are glowing. Everyone loves it. With one exception, of course, there's always an apostate. The kind of person burning stakes were created for. Here’s what that nasty, nonbeliever said in the snarkiest possible way: "There's a section at the back of the book where kids color numerous pages solid black to help Dr. Fauci cover up his involvement in the pandemic." Guess we know who to report to the religious police.
For the rest of us, though, there are Tony Fauci pins, Tony Fauci mugs, Tony Fauci Christmas ornaments. There's a cornucopia of Fauciana. It's all part of the practice of this young but growing faith. Soon the especially devout will set out on pilgrimages to Wuhan, China, where the very first miracle of pangolin to human transmission occurred. Some believe a visit to the wet market will heal them. And who are we to say that it won't? You're not going to hear Joe Biden doubting this new religion – Joe Biden is its chief apostle. He knows that the kingdom of Corona can exist right here on Earth and that it will endure forever. But first, everyone must convert. Every last person. This is an evangelical faith, it will be spread by the sword if necessary. Here's Joe Biden today:
REPORTER: How many Americans need to be vaccinated before getting back to normal? Like what is the percentage, total vaccinations that have to be deployed?
BIDEN: Well I think, look, I think we get the vast majority like what is going on in some industries and some schools. 97, 98%, I think we're god awful close. But I'm not the scientist, I think one thing's for certain, a quarter of the country can't go unvaccinated and us continue to not have a problem.
There he is getting another shot, another. Why not? It's not just once a year, no, not for the devout. Some people take communion every day. Joe Biden would like to see everybody on board with this program. Everyone believing wholeheartedly in this new faith. He has called for 98% of the United States of America to convert – to get those shots. One, two, three, maybe every Sunday. That's a lot. That's a big percentage of people. For context, according to the CDC – and we looked it up today – just 92% of American 2-year-olds are vaccinated against polio. And some say polio is almost as bad as Corona.
But here's the difference. Fighting polio was never a religion. It was just science. The whole project was overseen by a logical little man called Jonas Salk. Jonas Salk did not wear a vaccine necklace. He created the vaccine, but it never occurred to him to make jewelry out of the cause. No one lit candles in Jonas Salk’s name. Jonas Salk’s job was to stamp out a disease, and he did that. It never occurred to him to start a cult.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the September 27, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."