A favorite of mine that I wanted to reprint is the "Pentecostal Zombies" trilogy; three short true stories of my dealing with pentecostal folks over the years:
PART I: "Pentecostal Zombies"
We all make mistakes, and one of mine was attending a private "christian/southern baptist" affiliated college upon high school graduation. It wasn't all bad, but the loons I encountered there will provide some nice story material in the future.
Although the school was supposed to be "baptist", the biggest religious influence in town (I later found out AFTER becoming a student) was "pentecostal". And with a fair percent of students being local commuters and pentecostal, you were sure to see lots of new students being sucked into that hogwash.
Even the manager/franchise owner at the part-time job I got in town was a pentecostal - and she was converting employees, one person at a time. One week, an assistant manager was a pretty cool person and had somewhat of a filthy mouth. The next week, she was speaking in tongues and loosely quoting the bible. Another assistant manager got transformed as well. The crazy bitch couldn't sink her talons into me, therefore, I was the spawn of Satan. Hiss!
Towards the later part of my second year at the school, I "came out"; first, to my best female friend/first friend I made before we became students (at a high school statewide event), Tanya. Of course she was accepting and nothing changed about our friendship.....
until one night when she returned to campus with Sara, another female friend of ours. They had been on a church visit - with "one of them".
The next day, both girls had dramatically changed everything about themselves. They stopped smoking cold turkey, and drinking, because it "destroyed your temple" they said. They no longer dressed casual - both would be wearing long dresses, and their hair was put up in a "bun" - which by the way, looks ridiculous on any woman. Although they were never particularly hateful towards me personally, they did ramble on with the tired "hate the sin, love the sinner" thing. It was a weird sight for the rest of our group of friends, as if Tanya and Sara had been bitten by a pentecostal zombie or something.
This went on for at least a week or so. "Love the sinner, hate the sin", "sha-la-ba-za-ca-la-ba" and all that other stupid speaking in tongues bullshit.
At one point, I thought the girls were playing a prank or something. It was just too ridiculous to be true.
Then magically, as if some secular fairy flown through the window and sprinkled "get some fucking sense" dust on them overnight, they were back to their old selves again. I welcomed my fag hag back with a cigarette, and we partied all night long.
PART II: "Pentecostal Zombies Part II"
Almost a year after that fiasco with my friends and their "pentecostal" phase, I had visited my former college town to visit Tanya, who decided to continue at this school.
Once again, she had been bitten by the pentecostal zombies, and this time, it was good old-fashioned congregation acting that reeled her in. She told me an older lady at the pentecostal church she was brought to had approached her and made some psychic prediction that Tanya seemed "lost", and needed to make friends with (their twisted version of) JC.
Tanya invited me to her new church that evening, and since we had got ahold of some pretty good weed, I thought I could use the entertainment. The church was a nice little drive from the main part of the college town, and was located by itself along the highway.
And side note: this time around, my friend remained secular, still partied and everything, although she attended this pentecostal church. Maybe the reasons she enjoyed going was because of what I was about to see with my very own eyes.
As everyone was socializing before service began, I noticed a couple familiar faces - my former manager, and one of the zombified converted assistant managers. A handful of college students and other people I recognized were there as well.
Unlike any church I had ever been to, this place had a rock band up front, complete with drums, bass and guitar, piano, and the whole shabang. In addition to standard hymns, several of the songs were up-tempo rock ditties.
If the music wasn't entertaining enough, the 1-armed preacher bumbled around to the music onstage. Two preteen girls in front of Tanya, her room-mate and I were doing the "butterfly", which was a popular urban dance at the time. So we didn't look conspicuous, our little trio joined in and bounced along with the congregation - like I was going to take a chance on being addressed or called out by that insane loud-ass preacher! It was bad enough we were in the back row, with me certainly looking suspicious and "new".
At some points, it got too weird for me. Some people were crawling up to the front stage and freaking out, some were shouting and shrieking, and a few were making weird retarded movements while they were walk-running through the aisles between pews, and talking jibberish.
After three'ish hours of this, we hads to go. They were still going apeshit to their music as we quickly slinked out the door.
PART III: "Right Nextdoor To Hell"
I was exposed to pentecostal zombies from day 1, as my original childhood/teen years neighbor in my longtime neighborhood was a kooky pentecostal lady named Marcy. She was always acting like she was medicated, and it wouldn't surprise me if she was. The rest of the family were pretty decent folks, and the son and daughter socialized with the rest of the neighborhood kids.
As I said in the last post, women can be gossipy bitches too, and my own mom got busted for running that gator of hers, when she noticed Marcy's huge weird blue and white "Miracle Whip" brand logo umbrella she was using for sunbathing (her husband was a grocery manager in town, so I assume that's where she got it; free tacky perk, or something like that). Mom poked fun at the umbrella to our neighbor on the other side of Marcy, and of course that no-BS woman repeated to Marcy what she said. Needless to say, she wasn't amused, but I thought it was fucking hilarious.
When I was a teenager, Marcy became creepier with age, and because I was the typical 90's teen into rock music and wearing t-shirts of my favorite groups, the nutty lady branded me a "Satan worshiper", and "a Satanist". She also based this on the fact I had slightly long hair at the time - so I wonder if that makes JC himself a "Satanist" too, because he looked like some long-haired hippie to me!
While my parents were away one weekend night, my younger kid brother and I noticed Marcy outdoors in her above-ground pool, and decided to play a little prank on her, and fuck with her mind. If she thinks I'm a "Satanist", dammit, I'm gonna give her "Satanist".
We opened the windows on that side of the house, played the KISS Destroyer album with the volume turned up real loud, and began flipping the lights on-and-off repeatedly in those rooms while screaming like banshees and ghosts. I can imagine Marcy's eyes probably fell out of their sockets, because she quickly jumped out of the pool, wrapped up in a towel, grabbed her shit, and took off like a thief in the night towards the back door, and slammed it shut.
We had some good times returning the harassing Marcy always gave us as kids. If you deal with fundies bugging you, try it sometime - it's fun!