Baptistic Jihad

It’s a little known fact that I grew up in a Mormon household in a very non-Mormon part of the country some like to call The Bible Belt, or what I like to remember as The Bible Shall Be Shoved Down Your Throat Or We Shall Whip You With a Belt.

My family lived not five miles from the biggest Baptist church on earth, a plantation-esque compound covering over 2,000 acres of quality Shelby County real estate. It’s a big mother fucking building, brimming with countless Southern socialites who love to hate Mormons.

And who doesn’t love to hate Mormons? I know, I know. I’ve got scars from here to the promised land bearing testimony to the fascist nature of religion in general, specifically to the fact that I wasn’t allowed to say “masturbate” and “I’ve tried it” in the same sentence until I’d safely secured a degree from BYU.

But when you’re eight years old and you’ve been taught from day one that Folger’s Crystals are made from the beans of the devil, you haven’t got much to defend yourself against leagues of Bible-toting third grade missionaries who believe that God himself has told their pastor that Mormons are evil.

I was the sweetest little evil thing you ever did see, what with my pigtails, my food storage and my heavenly underwear.

Part of the problem stemmed from my mother forcing me to attend an annual two-week Bible bazaar at the local Baptist church � a dreaded, brutally oppressive religious poop fest known as Vacation Bible School. What in God’s sacred name was my mom thinking, sending her Mormon daughter to a consummately insane Baptist seminar, her precious little lamb to the slaughter?

Instead of making new friends and brushing up on my Bible stories � I used to love the one about the guy who managed to get two of every single animal on the planet onto one wooden boat, what planning! � I spent the entire two weeks running away from Roger Whitman, a nine year old badass Baptist who would pretend to warm his upper body on the stove of the kitchen play set and then chase me with his hot Satan Hands.

When we weren’t playing “Soak the Sinner,” an outdoors sport in which all the righteous Baptists got to spray the lone Mormon with a garden hose, I was learning glorious little tunes of spiritual propaganda, most of which taught me that Jesus loves me, this I know, for the correctly translated Baptist version of the Bible tells me so.

I think I make a better former Mormon than I would a former Baptist. There are just so many oats to sew.