If This Goes On—

Publication date:1940.02
Genre:Science fiction short story
Series:Future History
Preceded by:Requiem
Followed by:Let There Be Light
Wikipedia page

“If This Goes On—” is a science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein, first serialized in “Astounding Science‐Fiction” February, March issues of 1940.


The story is set in a future theocratic American society, ruled by the latest in a series of fundamentalist Christian “Prophets.” The First Prophet was Nehemiah Scudder, a backwoods preacher turned President and later dictator.
John Lyle, a junior army officer under the Prophet, is stationed at the Prophet’s capital of New Jerusalem. Devout at this point, he finds himself questioning his faith when he falls for one of the Prophet’s Virgins, Sister Judith. Together they seek help from an underground revolutionary movement called Cabal.