Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Speaking of addictions - cigarettes, caffeine, marinated raw broccoli – I was convinced to join Facebook a few months ago. Since I drank the Kool-aid (to mix my metaphors), I update my status often, trying to be clever and smart in less than 140 characters (thank God Blogger doesn’t limit me like that – whew!), play endless games of Scrabulous, Pathwords, and Scramble, eye nervously my climb up the WordTwist ladder, and have reconnected with many old friends, most notably camp pals and high school buddies.

Some of you may know or recall that I was raised as a fundamentalist Baptist. That’s right – YOU ALL are going to hell while *I*? Am not. In the interests of full disclosure, I might be, as I have backslidden and since been baptized Episcopalian. Not only do I take Communion with a bunch of lax Anglicans, but I am friends with several Jews and many homosexuals (some of my best friends! I swear!), and guess what? All I want for them are happy and fulfilling lives, much as I want for all my other friends. (Sigh. YES. Even the Roman Catholics). I support gay marriage, am vehemently pro-choice, and think our government needs to be more concerned with poor, starving people HERE and less concerned with terrorists, dictators, and tyrannies (oh my!) THERE.

All of which puts me firmly in the minority of my high school pals.

In a timely coincidence, a friend (who was raised an Orthodox Jew but no longer practices) recently recommended Daniel Radosh’s Rapture Ready: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture. The focus of this book is targeted directly at my high school buddies’ demographic, so accurately it’s eerie. The debate about "Christian contemporary" music, the God-themed parks and scare tactics and zealous conversion efforts, they're all there, and more. Radosh is an honest and introspective writer. I am alternately wistful with nostalgia and irate verging on enraged as I read.

And I would love to step outside the box, as it were, and ask my friends what they think of it, but since they all scatter Bible verses liberally throughout their pages, and speak reverently of the lunatic itinerant preacher who scared the bejesus out of the entire school my seventh-grade year by invoking, with shouting and much spittle, the demons of Satan and took us all for an allegorical ride on the Hell-evator, I am fairly certain that they all still firmly believe in the Kool-aid, so to speak.

And so, for the first time in twenty-five years, I awake at night in a dark house and check that other people are still there, sleeping peacefully in their beds, making sure my sweet boys haven’t been Raptured away, leaving me to handle the Antichrist and Armageddon on my own.

***********

*Luke 17:34 (KJV)

10 comments:

Sarah Louise said...

A friend of mine went to the Creation Festival this weekend and was appalled at the commercialism--Christian t-shirts n'at! Cuz like all those bumper stickers, you have to let folks know where you stand...eek.

I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't admit that I'm pro-choice very many places, since I am good friends with a woman who has those bumper stickers (you know which ones I'm talking about) on her car. I like you, would love to have a conversation out of the box with some of my more conservative friends. Glad I have you. (Grin.)

I might put that book on hold when I'm at work today.

Your last line is so poetical. I less than three you, doll.

HEATHER said...

Honey, I live in the buckle of the bible belt and those hard-shell Baptist and Penticostals are all around me. I do not post about being pro-choice, or having gay friends and a gay family member because, I am pretty sure they would come drag me out of my house and burn me at the stake.
So I get where you are coming from!
But honestly, with you having four kids, I thought for sure you were a Catholic! ;-)

Shirty said...

It's safe to assume those two men in one bed are gay, right?

Badger said...

Oh dude. You won't be on your own. You'll be in damn good company, in fact!

Sarah O. said...

Lordy, if liberals are heathens, Hell's awfully full.

Sarah Louise said...

If I wasn't at work right now, Shirty's comment would have me guffawing.

kim at allconsuming said...

What?

Joke said...

No, Purgatory's awfully full.

[eye roll]

-J.

P.S. As someone who went to the University of [State in the Very Middle of the Bible Belt] I had huge fun discussing Scripture with the more stalwart Baptists, et al. But you could have probably figured that out.

Velma said...

I recently found myself appalled to find that one of my closest friends had labeled herself "Republican" on Facebook. I don't even know where to go with that, you know?

catsteevens said...

I went to a pre-k/daycare place that was run by fundamentalist Baptists. They scared the hell out of me.

Then I suffered through 12-years of private Catholic school. With nuns and all. Wacking rulers on my knuckles.

Even after all that, I don't drink the Kool-aid anymore (unless it's spiked with vodka).