The quote from Voltaire also applies to those who aspire to rule over us, and perhaps even more so to those who say that all we need do to set ourselves free is follow them down whatever road. Holy men (and women), from Rasputin to Mother Teresa to Chairman Mao, are less interesting to me that those who canonise them; those with some overwhelming inner need to believe in "yogis and commissars", as Saul Bellow once put it. Many who reject the religion of their parents, and indeed more than a few who think themselves atheists, often end up finding some new age or secular political saint to fill the space left by their rejection of the prayers granny used to say to Padre Pio.
My recent poem Irish Parliament’s Last Remaining Holy Man Speaks On His Retirement is about a secular Irish political saint I believed in for many years. A man I sometimes wish I could still believe in. It would make life so much simpler. But I know too much. The poem is published today on the US based political website We Know What's Up, which is run by people who similarly know far too much.
You can read the poem here.