During the most recent episode of “The Last of Us” podcast, Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin dissected why David’s character is so dangerous. Druckmann pointed out that David is convinced of the Christian belief that “everything happens for a reason,” the idea that everything happens according to God’s will, and also an obnoxious catchphrase that some religious folks like to chirp at people when they get diagnosed with cancer or experience a death in the family. 

“It’s becoming too much,” Druckmann said. “And I think he let faith kind of override it.” There is a danger in blind faith, and while Druckmann agrees there can be a positive side to having faith because “you can maintain hope in these extraordinary circumstances,” David’s theocratic way of living is no way to build a society. “He hasn’t prepared for the winter in the way that Jackson has,” he said, acknowledging the differences between the practical approach of Maria and Tommy in the Jackson commune compared to David’s terrified legion of followers banking on the promise that “He shall provide.”

Mazin commented, “I believe very strongly in the separation of church and state, not only because it’s important to protect people who are of religious minorities, but because religion doesn’t do a good job of running a state. I believe religion does a terrible job of running a state.” And he’s not wrong. The Republican party has been trying like hell to turn America into a theocratic country, and the more they succeed, the worse off things become. Hell, my wife and I personally had to flee a red state for our own safety because too many Bible-inspired laws were passed where I was previously living, and that’s without a mushroom zombie apocalypse.