What word describes a person who blindly (unquestioningly) follows a government or religion? I am looking for a specific word that I came across recently but have since forgotten what is was and where I found it. It is similar to zealot in definition but it is not zealot or any of the synonyms typically presented in a thesaurus. I believe the definition more emphasized the unquestioning aspect rather than the fanaticism.
One obvious contender is fanatic, and the related adjective fanatical:
1 A person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.
Much to the chagrin of my room-mates, come election time I will roam around extolling the necessity of voting with the zeal of a religious fanatic.
The extreme right wing religious fanatics truly scare me beyond belief.
Wesley's eyes glint with a religious fanatic's zeal.
(Definition and examples from Oxforddictionaries.com)
You could also describe such a person as a slavish adherent / slavish supporter [of something].
I think you might have been looking for "ideologue."
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideologue Definition of ideologue 1: an impractical idealist : theorist 2: an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology
The word "devotee" is suggestive of unwavering (and perhaps quasi-religious) personal commitment.
acolyte (originally one who assists a priest, but later a follower)
MW lists synonyms as:
follower, adherent, convert, disciple, epigone, liege man, partisan (also partizan), pupil, votarist, votary
A word I have not heard in many years but that I believe applies to many in our current political climate (garnered from Merriam-Webster online) :
In the context of the definition of "apparatchik" (a term English speakers borrowed from Russian), "apparat" essentially means "party machine." An "apparatchik," therefore, is a cog in the system of the Communist Party. The term is not an especially flattering one, and its negative connotations reflect the perception that some Communists were obedient drones in the great Party machine. In current use, however, a person doesn't have to be a member of the Communist Party to be called an "apparatchik"; he or she just has to be someone who mindlessly follows orders in an organization or bureaucracy.
But in my experience, it's rarely used as in He/she is a sheep. It seems more common to use as a plural noun (maybe because sheep tend to follow as a flock). It also seems to be used in simile forms: follow/obey like sheep.
I would suggest "unquestioning" as the adjective you seek.
"Zealous" is associated more with eagerness than blind faith (and "blindly faithful" is an appropriate adjectival phrase), but could still work; "convicted" is perhaps a little archaic for modern use, but I'll note it anyway.
Bear in mind, though, that the society that originated these words viewed faith in authority - divine or secular - as an unequivocal good.
Inclined to lay down principles as undeniably true
I believe dogmatic is the word you are looking for.
[Oxford Online Dictionary]
I think the word idolatrous pertains more specifically to the question at hand; with a specific definition in terms of unfettered and uncriticising devotion to something.
Confirmation bias is the term I learned from my brother-in-law. It described someone who blindly follows the beliefs of a group, such as a political party.
I don't see fascist here, and I would think it deserves consideration. The Elusive Definition of 'Fascist' is a pretty deep -- and interesting -- dive.
protected by Mitch Apr 4 at 19:01
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