I was all set to get angry about this story .
"Please don't let them ruin Vermont before we get there," I muttered to Fellow Traveler as I summarized the article, about a new influx of politically and theologically conservative Evangelical missionaries to New England, trash-talking the liberal church tradition there and eager to manifest some new rightward-turning Great Awakening.
Take a combination of militant moral superiority and the annoying enthusiasm of a dog that won't stop humping your leg, and cross that with the knowledge that these same individuals want to disempower and marginalize me by any means necessary while destroying my family -- well, let's just say that I have serious issues with these sisters and brothers in Christ. I don't believe that their primary purpose is a sudden desire to save souls in New England; I think their goal is political and social domination of that region. Because in their jihadian heads, it's all the same thing.
While it gives me no pleasure to say this, two days ahead of All Saints Day: I would rather spend the rest of my life as a puzzling but accepted religiously observant oddity in an overwhelmingly and cheerfully irreligious society than spend one minute under the rule of a Southern Baptist or Orthodox Presbyterian vision of God's kingdom come to earth. And I will do everything I can as a citizen in a democracy to keep the latter from ever happening. And if it did anyway -- O Canada.
But I digress. Anyway, I'm reading this article, and I feel the smoke starting to curl out of my ears...but then I started thinking about Fellow Traveler's life in Maine. She spent about a dozen years there. She's got stories.
A picture developed in my mind. I saw an earnest young theological heir to Jerry Falwell or D. James Kennedy, re-wrapped in tats and a jazz patch in an attempt to appear hipster, standing at a Maine farm-field gate. I can hear the Mainer speaking to the eager young missionary.
"New church? Don't need a new church. Got an old church in town. Bean suppah Sattaday night."
And suddenly I was in a good mood again.