Devangelist Erika Rae

When I was a freshman at the Christian college, a guy I knew got busted for a beer bender down the street in the Taco Bell parking lot. In addition to being tortured at the hands of his so-called friends for passing out drunk in his dorm room (they shaved a full half of his body, down the middle from crown to eyebrow to hobbit toes), the school administration saw fit to send him to AA—despite the facts that 1) he was 21 years old, 2) it was the first time he had ever tasted alcohol in his life and 3) it was lite beer.

While I think that subjecting a guy to the 12-step program who had only recently lost his virginity to the six-pack was a bit much, I have to say that I am grateful in the final analysis.  To this day, he is my only link to the program, which I have since then adapted to my own needs.  For as any recovering Evangelical knows, some of the things taught to us in our childhood–however ridiculous or absurd–are never fully put behind us.

It’s time to do some recovery, people.

Over the coming weeks, I will be your Devangelist as we tackle the steps to recovery in order to help you—me—all of us get past some of the crazy baggage we carry from our more fundamentalist days.

Here is a little sneak peak at some of the soul scathing issues we will be addressing:

*”The Illuminati, US Presidential candidates for the Antichrist, and Disney”, or, “How Evangelical conspiracy theories trashed your social reputation for all time”

*Drinking alone to avoid getting caught and sent in for a talk with your pastor…not the healthiest of choices

*Anger toward God as a misplacement of anger toward that one counsellor who caught you masturbating in your camp bunk and ratted you out to your parents

*Princess Bride is not the only movie you are allowed to watch without guilt

*How loving your gay friend enough to tell them they were going to hell was, in retrospect, a really crappy thing to do

*”Naming and Claiming” your way to prosperity – WTF?

*Why getting “Hot for God” instead of that cute girl you used to sit next to in Sunday school was actually kind of weird

Sure, you can spend bank on a shrink if you want. That is, if you feel the need to pay a perfect stranger to listen as you explain just what the hell you were doing trying to cast demons out of your unsaved grandmother or why every time you make out with your boyfriend you remember that you were pledged to your daddy first. Or you could tune in each week with people who understand and giggle your way to self-repair. And by “giggle”, I mean hold your chest tightly with both arms and rock rhythmically to the sweet siren call of insanity.

So, join me, your Devangelist, over the course of the next several weeks as we dig into your debatably evolved cranium on the illusive quest to recovery. Introducing the Devangelical Survival Program. Recovery…has never been so awkward.

One more thing: instead of 12 steps, my program only has 11 – if not for any other reason than “eleven” rhymes with “heaven” and I clearly still have issues.

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Go to Step One