I Was A Teenage Fundamentalist

Drive-by! My old church now offers drive-by sermons. They even got parishioners to drive round the block and into the driveway, so commuters would get the idea. The new minister figures it's time to apply the principles of modern marketing to the gospel message.

It's so hard for us Gentiles, not having a word for "Feh".

You have to understand about this church. I was born again in the treehouse, in 1981, at the age of ten. It didn't feel any different, so I was born again again at twelve and again again again at fourteen. After that I just gave up.

My teen angst rebellion meant rejecting the values of my good, decent agnostic parents for a virulently anti-feminist, anti-abortion, bible-belt fundamentalism. I would strike up conversations with the people next to me on trains so as to invite them along to bible study. I took notes in sermons. I led Friday night Fellowship. When we led a Fellowshipper to Christ, we'd high-five each other in the carpark and squeal: "Kids in the kingdom!" and "I bet Satan's pretty pissed off right about now."

Ah, Sydney Anglicans. A friend of mine from this church had her first orgasm in a wet dream at thirteen. She realised she had been impregnated by the Holy Spirit and was bearing the second coming of Jesus in her virgin womb. Her biggest worry was having to tell her mother.

We were locked in Holy War with the pentecostals down the road at Pastor Phil Pringle's Christian City Church. He said you weren't a real Christian until you'd had a Vision or Spoken In Tongues. We called him Fruit Tingle, but he had the last laugh. His church is now a thriving international ministry, and ours is... drive-by.

It's like a joke but not a joke. We had this rule, that penetration was sex hence sin, but up to and including oral, wasn't. Our ex-pastor stands accused of having had oral sex with a parishioner when she, the parishioner, was fourteen. The bishop allegedly knew but hushed it up. Both were named in the Wood Royal Commission. The same bishop that blessed me at my confirmation. The same pastor that anointed me at my baptism. My best friend staunchly defends them both. What to believe?

Drive on, commuters. Don't stop, and whatever you do, don't get out of the car. Keep your eyes on the road. Take care.

Tuesday, 23 September 1997. Do you want fries with that?
Raze | Re Raze | Pre Raze