Monday, September 14, 2009
Left Behind part two( This will not make sense if you don't read the previous post so scroll down)
I can't go back to Armageddon anymore because I made the rookie mistake of writing down my real name on a raffle slip. The idiocy of this action will become clear in a minute.
It goes like this:
I sit down next to an Indian lady who begins to talk to me about the previous nights sermon. I'm again struck by how kind everyone seems to be, how inclusive. It really does make you want to be a part of whatever it is they're into.
I hear my dad's voice in the back of my mind. Don't drink the kool aid.
I told her that as soon as I got home from the last meeting I burned my rosary. Her eyebrows shot up.
"You need to talk to Pastor Seacrest." she said, and got up to go tell him about me. I could see them pointing at me from the stage. She came back to her chair and told me that he would find me after the sermon.
Then he began to jump around again and tell us how Satan was infiltrating America because it is God's chosen country. He is doing this through discouraging people from following the Ten Commandments, encouraging the widespread belief in evolution and through the gays of course.
"Nowadays, people fornicate with anything, we have bisexuals, we have men going with other men. 'ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES!'I don't remember any of THAT in the Bible. It's sick."
AMEN! yells the crowd.
"We have twelve year old girls, pregnant." The man beside me has taken off his glasses, tears are streaming down his face.
Then he talks for a long time about honoring the Sabbath, making us flip back and forth through the Bible a gazillion times. It's so boring my ass hurts. I want a cigarette.
This must be what Hell is like, and indeed, it does feel as if there is a tiny demon stabbing my ass with a pitchfork. I squirm.
The woman beside me gives me a slip of paper with her phone number on it and asks for mine.
"I can't really give that out," I say "My husband doesn't know I'm here. He's a Muslim." I whisper.
"Oh,"she nods. "Pray for him. Maybe this will inspire him later."
When it's over I'm disappointed. There wasn't one Beast on the Power Point today. It feels like I am never going to find out how to avoid the Mark of Satan after all. I've already decided that I won't be coming back. They keep dangling it like a carrot- the Devil's Mark, the Last Days, Jesus riding on a white horse carrying a glowing, holy AK47, but they never deliver the goods. I can't take it anymore.
Ryan Seacrest, you tease, you.
Then a man begins to dig in a floral basket for the names of the nights raffle winners. Here is where my downfall begins. I didn't think anything of it when I walked in the door, just signed my name to a raffle slip. I never, ever win contests of any kind, so it didn't occur to me that I would win, or that the preacher would announce my full name on the loudspeaker, or that I would have to go up in front of the crowd to collect my prize. Unfortunately, it wasn't the ipod. It was a book called "The Truth about Mary Magdalene."
Right, how fitting, a book about the whore.
He called me over to him after I won the raffle.
"I heard you are having some problems." He smiled down at me.
"Yeah, Listen, I'm definitely going to Hell. I don't love Jesus, I just can't. It seems so stupid to me."
"Well.....I'm glad you're here anyway. How did you find out about us?"
'I got this thing in the mail and I thought it would be entertaining to come hear about the Antichrist." I said.
"I'd love to get together with you and talk one on one about your issues." he says.
They are all this way, so genuinely kind and welcoming, but holding belief systems so judge-y and hate-y. It's really disconcerting. It strikes me, then, that I am just as judgemental of what they are all about as they are of me and mine.
"Yeah... I'm probably not going to do that, but thanks for the book." And I split, feeling profoundly uncomfortable that hundreds of people could now look my name up on the Internet if they chose and see me making fun of their Apocalypse Party.
Later, when I told Jeff about the raffle, he said "You outed yourself? Are you retarded? Now they're going to come kill us. What is wrong with you?"
"Yeah, I know. What an amateur move. Dude, I'm sorry, it's been great being married to you."
"Maybe they'll just kill you. You are the Muslim, after all."
"You are so mean."
"What do you expect? I am going to Hell, after all."