About a month ago, I was standing on campus handing out condoms with labels that read “Save the Wood.” It was my ever-clever membership campaign for Sierra Club. A fine gentleman came up to me and handed a couple condoms back to me and told me he didn’t need them- which was quite brazen, I thought.
“Don’t you think you’re encouraging pre-martial sex?”
And this is how I met John. He asked me a couple questions about my religious beliefs as I continued to hand out rubbers to strangers. He seemed particularly concerned that I did not believe in heaven or hell, and my ideas about premarital sex were quite liberal. After 10 minutes, he left and said he would check out Sierra Club. Yeah, right, dude.
But he did. And afterwards we had a long conversation about our individual beliefs. He’s an evangelical christian, which I nearly had a “virtual baby” over. According to John, if you get a hard-on, you’ve had sex, and thusly have sinned. Additionally, very few people get into heaven because we’re all filthy adulterous sinning thieves. And if he had to console a woman who had just had an abortion he would simply say, “It’s not the first time you’ve killed someone” because technically she (and everyone else) has killed Christ too.
In short, we have very few things in common, except that we both find the Flying Spaghetti Monster hilarious. (personally, I think it’s the creation of pretentious atheists who love picking on scrawny christians. So dick.)
Because John came and checked out my tree-hugging crew, I was obligated to check out his bible-thumping crew: Campus Crusade for Christ. As soon as I walked into the meeting, there was a huge banner and those flags you see at used car dealerships. It was a Christ Carnival. Walking towards the front of the room, I was greeted by literally every person I passed. At last I found John and he told me that I could sit next to Holly. Well I sat down, and within five minutes, Holly moved her shit to another seat. She could smell my heathenism, and it smelled like Origins’ ginger perfume, burrito, and pheromones.
The meeting started off with everyone standing (now I remember why I disliked church: you just can’t casually sit and bear it. There’s all sorts of sitting-standing-kneeling-standing involved). So the Crusaders have their own house band, and John’s the drummer. Everyone sang along to a couple songs about loving Jesus, the guitarist frequently interjecting things like “All together now! Jesus we love you!”and “We are not worthy!”
Then my favorite part: Prayer Points!
And this is not something you cut off your Jesus Wheaties box and mail in for a free t-shirt. Prayer points were things you should pray for, in groups. So I found three random dudes to pray with. One guy introduced himself as “JC” and I couldn’t help but say “Oh! Like Jesus Christ!” He didn’t seem to get it. When JC suggested that I take the “help sinners bear fruit in Christ” bullet point, I politely asked the skinniest christian to do it for me, being that I was new and all. Pretty much this is the script for prayer points:
“Dear Lord, I just want to thank you for your grace, and bringing me to you, Father. I want to pray for ___(Insert Prayer Point)____. Father,_____________. Dear Lord, we are nothing in your glory, Father,” etc. etc.
After prayer points, there was a speaker on how to live an evangelical lifestyle and how to convince unbelievers to come to the christian community. He gave an outline of questions to use to engage unbelievers, and god damn it, it was the same script John used to get me there in the first place! So much for going as the open-minded atheist. I was duked.
After the speaker, there were some more prayer points. And more singing.
Now it’s two hours later, and really, I’ve had all the Christ I can take for one evening, so I tell John politely that I have to leave. Later he would email me to thank me for coming out and to invite me and a guest to “35,” one of the Crusade houses for a potluck dinner. I plan on asking my atheist other if he would like to go to the epicenter of organized evangelical Christianity, a plate of vegan tacos in hand.