I think Helios was the first of the major Greek Gods to receive a holy halo of goodness, coming naturally from his association with the Sun. Gradually poor old Helios was blended into the rampant transcending God, Apollo, who nicked the aura of Helios to form a sort of dual God (who of course starred in the fantastic original Star Trek episode, Who Mourns for Adonais?):
Obviously, this halo was stolen most notably by Sol Invictus, the Roman God, and then by the fully-transcendent Christian God, Jesus H. Christ, a sort of combination of Horus, Sol Invictus, and Apollo-Helios, who was never officially a "Sun God", just a "Son of God" (a pun memorably played upon in the original Star Trek episode, Bread and Circuses):
But neither of these original Gods is a patch on our modern Sun God wonder, who is now being photographed, without shame, under a halo of His very own:
I wandered around the Egyptian temples in Karnak and Luxor once, wondering how the Egyptian people could fool themselves into thinking that each new Pharaoh truly was a reincarnation of Amun, their major Sun God.
Surely they could not have been that deluded, I thought to myself. But now I think I know much better.
But why has the land which gave us the modern miracle of Star Trek, allowed itself to mentally regress so far back, by almost 4,000 years? Captain James T. Kirk, a true God if you ask me, if he came back again, would be truly ashamed of them. No wonder when he did come back, a few years ago, he preferred the company of whales.
Fortunately, the Egyptians were not always fooled by their Pharaohs. The one who took Sun worship to the extreme, Akhenaten, made them move their capital, and almost taxed Egypt out of existence. He claimed divine powers from the Sun, as in the photo below, in which he is praying for a bail-out:
After a period in which he was worshipped as a living God, the Egyptians eventually grew tired of Akhenaten's waste and profligacy and tossed him off his throne. But what's really remarkable is who he looks like, close up. Who does this remind you of?:
Out of Africa, indeed.
Surely there's got to be a Hollywood movie script in there, somewhere, involving the Starship Enterprise, time travel, and the rescuing of Akhenaten before the mob broke down his doors? And what better job for a former real-life Egyptian Pharaoh could there be other than US President?
If this plot-line does ever turn up at a movie house, near you, remember you read it here first.