An American Christian Chapter XV — Super Bowl Sunday

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

The following has been written in screenplay format and includes various Sundays' memories at Church while in GTC. Some instances depicted happened years apart, but all accounts did occur between 2002 and 2006. This is based on journals from that time period and the collected memories of some of those involved.

The storytelling reflects the author’s thought process and belief structure at the time, which does not reflect who he is now. It also shows the technology and popular culture of the time period depicted. You will read a reference to a NEXTEL phone, World of Warcraft, and HDTV. Yes, this author played WoW and is still an unabashed dork.

If you have not been following along with the writing, it is recommended that you read Chapters 1–4 first as they provide context, characters, and setting for the following story.

*Lift was the college-aged service held at the Centralia Community College on Saturday evenings.

PART 1

INT. PROTAGONIST’S BEDROOM — MORNING

ALARM GOES OFF. IT’S 6 AM

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Ughhhhh… No! No, no, no, no. It can’t be time to get up already. Why? Why did I go to bed so late? Why does Lift* have to start so late on a Saturday night? Why do I have to be the one to break most of the equipment down and take it back to the church? And why, why did I let them guilt me into getting pie at Shari’s AFTER all of that? I’m broke! I still live at home! I have $60 to my name! When did I get home? 12:45 am? When did I go to bed? It would have been so much easier if I didn’t invite Craig to live with me this year. We don’t even get along. At least the Super Bowl is today; that’s something.

…Of course, I’d enjoy football a lot more if it wasn’t a reason to test everyone’s masculinity in the program. The guys that are open about not being into it are constantly demeaned and harassed. Wow. What a ridiculous measure of someone’s manhood: How much they enjoy football.

Ok, ok, stop complaining. I’m up. Let’s get this over with.

EXT: CHURCH PARKING LOT — 7:15 am

THE PROTAGONIST LOCKS THEIR VEHICLE AND LUMBERS TOWARDS THE BACK DOOR OF THE CHURCH. THEY FEEL EXHAUSTED AND FRUSTRATED.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

I don’t see Devon’s car yet. Did I finally beat him here? No, he probably parked over by the GTC offices or went back home for breakfast.

People will start showing up soon. I need to hurry before I get dragged into something.

I also need coffee. I should have stopped at Starbucks on the way. Not that it’s any different. The coffee here is just expired beans that Starbucks donates to our foodbank, Clothes ‘n’ Loaves. I can’t believe we all act like the muffins they donate aren’t stale. And the church sells them! Well, they ask for “donations.”

Whatever. At least it’s something, and I don’t have to pay for it.

INT: CHURCH, UPSTAIRS

THE PROTAGONIST, COFFEE IN HAND, ENTERS HIS OFFICE IN THE CHURCH JUST OUTSIDE THE BALCONY AND SANCTUARY.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Good. Devon isn’t here yet. I’ll turn on some worship music and close the door. When he comes in, He’ll think I’m praying and leave me alone.

THE PROTAGONIST SETS UP HIS POWERBOOK AND TURNS ON HIS DEVOTIONAL PLAYLIST. JASON UPTON’S SWOONING VOCALS FILL THE ROOM.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

People will start showing up soon. Pastor Ben is concluding his sermon series on evolution today. Finally. I wonder how much of this He’s actually studied? I’ve always had questions about it, but this is even more confusing. It just doesn’t make sense. He makes it sound like all scientists are just atheistic idiots, but he never backs up anything he says with any real science. Just stuff other Christians have said.

Ha, I should count all the times he says “hold the phone” in his sermons. Maybe make a list of all his idioms and keep a tally. Man, I’m bored.

Eva is probably here now transferring his notes to PowerPoint. I’d sit with her, but I know Devon will come up and scold us if I do. He is so weird around her. He always comes up here like he expects us to be making out or something. Like, He’s going to jump out and say, “aha!”

I wonder what his mood will be like today? The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, so he and Pastor Ben will probably be pretty jovial. I could probably get away with a few extra jokes here and there so long as I pretend I’m just as excited.

INT: CHURCH SANCTUARY

PEOPLE ARE SHOWING UP. THE PROTAGONIST, WHO RUNS THE SOUNDBOARD IN THE EMPTY BALCONY WITH EVA, IS WALKING THROUGH THE SANCTUARY CHECKING THE LEVELS.

Beth Jones:

(saccharine and smiling)

“Good Morning, Protagonist! How are you?”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Uh-oh. She’s going to ask me to change the song. Any time there’s even a hint of an electric guitar, she tells me to change it. It’s just Hillsong, for crying out loud. Just let people enjoy the music! It’s not even loud!

Beth Jones:

“Hey, could you change the song? — “

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

I knew it! Every time!

Beth Jones:

“ — just to maybe something less wild?”

Protagonist:

“Sure, sorry, it must have slipped through on the playlist.”

Beth Jones:

“That’s ok, how’s your mother?”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Still divorcing my Dad, no thanks to you and Pastor Ben.

Protagonist:

“She’s good.”

Beth Jones:

“Oh, that’s so good to hear! Ok, I’ll let you go change that song!”

BETH JONES LEAVES THE PROTAGONIST TO SPEAK TO A FEMALE GTC STUDENT ABOUT HER MODESTY BECAUSE THE NECKLINE ON HER BLOUSE IS TOO LOW.

THE PROTAGONIST GOES BACK UP TO THE BALCONY TO CHANGE THE SONG.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

I better check the mute on Pastor Ben’s mic, I don’t want him taking a leak again with it on, pumping his urination sounds into the sanctuary.

Where’s Eva? I’m sure Devon has her cornered somewhere. I’ve got ten minutes before service starts; I’ll go to my office. I can hear everything he says and does if I open my window.

THE PROTAGONIST RUNS INTO NOAH IN THE UPSTAIRS HALLWAY ON HIS WAY TO HIS OFFICE.

Noah:

“Hey Dude, I was looking for you. Clark and his buddy are back. I need your help escorting people across the street. I’m afraid they might get violent this time.”

Protagonist:

“Man, again?! What is with these guys? Don’t they have another church they can picket?”

Noah:

“I’m sure they will soon. They only just got into Ray Comfort.”

NOAH AND THE PROTAGONIST WALK DOWNSTAIRS AND OUT THE FRONT DOORS. PASTOR BEN IS WATCHING, ARMS CROSSED, FROWNING.

TWO MEN, HOLDING SIGNS THAT SAY “WHORE OF BABYLON” AND “ — — CHURCH IS THE GREAT WHORE” ARE STANDING IN THE STREET, ACCOSTING CHURCH PATRONS WHILE SCREAMING ABOUT HERESY.

EXT: FRONT OF CHURCH

Noah:

“Hey, Clark! Guys! We Love you! Could we talk over here, out of the street? We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

CLARK AND THE OTHER DISSENTER IGNORE NOAH AND CONTINUE TO YELL. SOME OF THE FEMALE GTC STUDENTS ARE NOW CROSSING THE STREET FROM THE GTC OFFICES TO THE CHURCH.

Clark:

(red-faced and angry)

“You’re all WHORES! The SLUTS of the church! God will DAMN you to HELL for your Jezebel spirits! You are all Ben’s prostitutes!”

Noah:

(calmly)

“Ok, man, let's talk, come on.”

PASTOR BEN CONTINUES TO STARE AS NOAH TRIES TALKING TO THE DISSENTERS.

PEOPLE ARE VISIBLY SHAKEN. THEY ARE ESCORTED INTO THE CHURCH BY MALE GTC STUDENTS. NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO SAY. DEVON’S WHEREABOUTS ARE STILL UNKNOWN.

INT: CHURCH SANCTUARY

SERVICE IS BEGINNING.

Lauren Jones:

(standing at her keyboard, enormous smile, visibility excited)

“Alright, everybody! Let’s stand and worship the LORD!”

LAUREN PLAYS THE KEYS EXCITEDLY AS CONGREGANTS SHUFFLE TO THEIR NORMAL PLACES. DEVON APPEARS LATE FROM THE BACK OF THE STAGE AND BEGINS TO DRUM. KAREN BEGINS PLAYING THE PIANO. THE BACKUP SINGERS BEGIN TO WORSHIP LOUDLY WITH THE MIC HELD FAR AWAY. THE BASSIST, A HIGH SCHOOL KID, TURNS HIS AMP DOWN AFTER A GLARE FROM BETH JONES.

Lauren Jones:

“I know some of you have had a rough week! I know some of you didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning! But you’re here! And GOD is here this morning, amen?!”

MOST OF THE CHURCH SHOUTS “AMEN” IN REPLY WITH ENTHUSIASM.

WORSHIP RISES AND FALLS IN TEMPO BEFORE ANOTHER PASTOR COMES UP TO ASK EVERYONE FOR TITHES AND OFFERINGS.

Eva:

(dryly)

“Well, Protagonist, did you bring your tithes today?”

Protagonist:

“Yeah. All six dollars of it. Good thing I got coffee here this morning, or I’d be in Hell for sure.”

EVA CHUCKLES QUIETLY JUST AS DEVON APPEARS BEHIND HER AND THE PROTAGONIST

Devon Jones:

(stern-faced, but trying to cover it up)

“What are you guys laughing about?”

Eva:

“Oh, nothing.”

Devon Jones:

“Sure sounded like something. I hope you’re paying attention up here.”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

It would be a lot easier to pay attention if you weren’t constantly creeping up behind us.

Devon Jones:

“Protagonist, we still watching the ‘Hawks crush it tonight at your place?”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Crap. I forgot I invited all the guys to watch it at home. Why did I do that? It’s not even live. We have to watch a DVR’ed version because we’ll be in Church again later tonight when it starts.

Protagonist:

“Yep. Tell the guys to bring pizza.”

Devon Jones:

“Sure thing, bro. See ya.”

DEVON LEAVES THE BALCONY WHILE ANOTHER CHURCH MEMBER IS RECITING THE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

Eva:

(whispering sarcastically)

“Well, that sounds like fun.”

PASTOR BEN COMES UP TO FRONT, CARRYING THE LIGHTWEIGHT, WOODEN PULPIT WITH HIS ENORMOUS BIBLE ON TOP.

Pastor Ben:

“Good Morning, Church. Let’s get through this last part of the series so we can beat the Baptists to lunch.”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

I forgot about that one. I really should start writing these down.

THE SERMON CONTINUES, AND THE FIRST SERVICE EVENTUALLY LETS OUT.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

OK, the first service is done. I’m going to lay down in my office until the second one starts—two and a half more hours, and I can actually relax.

PART 2

RIGHT AFTER THE PROTAGONIST LAYS DOWN ON THE COUCH IN HIS OFFICE, HE HEARS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR.

Jeremiah:

“Yo man, you in there?”

Protagonist:

“Yeah, dude, come on it.”

Jeremiah:

“Hey, you want to get some lunch after church and come back here to play some WoW? I’ll buy the Starbucks and Goldfish crackers.”

Protagonist:

“Yes, please! Let’s just get out of here for a bit.”

THE SECOND CHURCH SERVICE GOES OFF WITH LITTLE COMPLICATION. THE PROTAGONIST DOESN’T ENCOUNTER DEVON A SECOND TIME, WHICH IS UNUSUAL.

AFTER THE SERVICE, THE PROTAGONIST HEADS STRAIGHT BACK TO HIS OFFICE WHERE HE FINDS THE GAME BOX FOR WORLD OF WARCRAFT OPEN WITH ART FROM THE BOX SITTING ON HIS DESK. A STICKY NOTE HAS BEEN CAREFULLY PLACED ON TOP OF IT FROM DEVON JONES.

The art for the box in question

Note:

“Hey bro, why do you have garbage like this hidden in your desk? -Devon”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

(a wash of cold panic rushes over the Protagonist)

Ah, crap. Ffffffffuu… ugh. What was he doing in here? He knows it’s a game, Jeremiah is his best friend, AND he plays it with me! Why was he going through my desk during church? What was he looking for? God, It’s minimal cleavage, not porn. It’s a freaking fantasy game. It’s not like it’s full of sex or anything. He doesn’t seem to have a problem when we’re blowing each other’s heads off in Halo or Ghost Recon.

I feel sick. I don’t want to play this anymore. I’m throwing this box straight in the dumpster. Why did I keep it here anyway? If I’d just left it at home. Where’s Jeremiah? I need to talk to him. He can help mitigate this. I’m going to hear about this all night. I have to avoid Devon. I can’t deal with this right now.

Seriously, why was he going through my stuff? Was he looking for something just to get upset about? If I ever did this, he’d kill me. Awesome. This week is going to suck now. I’ll get to feel shame and embarrassment every time he’s around, wondering when he’s going to drop the hammer on me. It’s a game.

It’s all a game to him.

JEREMIAH ENTERS AND INFORMS THE PROTAGONIST THAT DEVON ASKED HIM ABOUT IT. JEREMIAH ASSURES THE PROTAGONIST THAT IT’S OK, AND DEVON WON’T BRING IT UP AGAIN.

THE PROTAGONIST HAS DOUBTS ABOUT THIS.

Jeremiah:

“Don’t worry about man. Let’s get some lunch and stuff and come back and play.”

Protagonist:

“He likes you, though; he was in here looking for something. Something to get upset about.”

Jeremiah:

“Maybe… he told me he needed a pen, and he just happened upon that. I talked to him about it, though. It’s not a big deal.”

Protagonist:

“There’s pens sitting on my desk in a cup, right there next to the sticky notes he used. Trust me. He was trying to find something else.”

Jeremiah:

“Dude. For the Horde.”

JEREMIAH AND THE PROTAGONIST LEAVE THE CHURCH FOR LUNCH AND RETURN.

THE HOURS PASS AND BEFORE LONG, GTC STUDENTS BEGIN RETURNING TO THE CHURCH FOR THE OBLIGATORY PRAYER MEETING BEFORE SUNDAY EVENING SERVICE.

INT: CHURCH

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

It’s almost 5 pm? I better start some worship music before I get marked late. Pastor Ben will rush the service tonight. I know he wants to watch the game more than anyone. I think this is the only time I’ve been glad to have my life interrupted by the NFL.

THE PRAYER MEETING BEGINS, AND THE PROTAGONIST STAYS IN THE BALCONY, ALONE. HE CAN SEE DEVON LOOK UP AT HIM EVERY SO OFTEN. HE’S MAKING SURE THE PROTAGONIST IS DOING HIS PART. THE PROTAGONIST IGNORES THE LOOKS AND PRETENDS TO PRAY, BUT HIS MIND IS EMBROILED IN ANXIETY. HE CAN’T FOCUS.

THE PRE-SERVICE PRAYER MEETING CONCLUDES, AND THE GTC STUDENTS DISPERSE AND PREPARE FOR THE EVENING SERVICE. THE PROTAGONIST HEADS DOWNSTAIRS TO MINGLE, SO HE ISN’T LATER CALLED OUT FOR BEING ANTI-SOCIAL.

PASTOR BEN STOPS HIM.

Ben Jones:

(upbeat and smiling)

“Hey-hey, Protagonist! I heard you’re hosting tonight! Are you excited?

Protagonist:

“Oh yeah, I mean, they had an awesome season. They earned this”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Please don’t ask me about stats or second-string players. I did my best to memorize all the first-stringers.

Ben Jones:

“Hey, I wanted to ask you —

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Uh-oh, here it comes. Just ask me about Shaun Alexander. I know him. He spoke at Generation Conference last year… Actually, he was super weird about purity stuff. Like, he was WAY too into it.

Ben Jones:

“ — do you think your dad would let me use his truck next weekend? I need to move some — ”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Why does he always ask me this? He talks to my dad. He has his number. I guess it’s always to borrow something or get free advice on a project, though. Now that I think about it, he only ever talks to either of us when he wants something. At least he’s not asking me to stand up during service to quote Monster’s Inc in character again. That was humiliating. Why did I agree to that?

Uh-oh, it looks like he’s wrapping up. I should start nodding.

Ben Jones:

“Ok great, see you, buddy!”

BEN GIVES TWO QUICK, LIGHT JABS TO THE PROTAGONISTS ABDOMEN

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

WHY!? Why does he fake-punch me every time!

…Jesus, I’m sorry. I know I should change my attitude. Please forgive me. I’m an idiot.

I’m such a jerk. I hate myself. No, wait, I shouldn’t think that. It’s not ok to think like that. Why am I like this? Why am I angry and sad? I don’t want to be around people right now, but I know I’ll get in trouble for trying to avoid everyone. Why do I have to pretend to be ok? I’m not ok. Am I? No. Wait, is this depression? No, that’s not real. That’s only for people who don’t have Jesus. I must be harboring some secret sin in my heart. That’s it. It was the game art. I’m just a pervert. I’m just being convicted.

Phew… my hands are sweaty and tingly… shake it out, shake it out…uh-oh, I can’t take deep breaths. Not this again. Why does my chest feel cold? My mind is racing. Jesus, please help me. Oh boy… ok, I need someone happy around me. I need to be away from the crowds of people. I need air. Go outside. God, I can’t breathe! I need something affirming and happy. NO! I should only need God’s affirmation! Oh no, it’s dark out. Ohhh, it’s so much worse now. Ok, I’m going back inside.

AS THE PROTAGONIST PROCEEDS TO HAVE A PANIC ATTACK, HE RUSHES BACK INSIDE AND BACK UP TO THE BALCONY. SERVICE IS BEGINNING, AND HE WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MISS IT.

INT: CHURCH BALCONY

Eva:

(a look of concern)

“Are you ok? You look pale and sweaty.”

Protagonist:

“Yeah, I was just outside. I’ll be fine.”

THE SERVICE BEGINS WITH LAUREN JONES PLAYING THE KEYBOARD AGAIN.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Worship. Yes. That’s it! If I press into worship, I’ll feel better. It’s worked before. It was all just conviction! Whew, the Holy Spirit is mean sometimes. This feeling sucks. Concentrate on your breathing. Calm yourself down.

AS THE PROTAGONIST BEGINS TO WORSHIP MORE, HIS ANXIETY SUBSIDES. SOON, WORSHIP ENDS, AND THE PROTAGONIST HAS ONCE AGAIN BRUSHED OFF A PANIC ATTACK THINKING IT WAS BECAUSE OF HIS OWN SECRET SIN.

BEN JONES RUSHES THROUGH HIS SERMON, AND CHURCH LETS OUT 30 MINUTES EARLY.

PART 3

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Great, we’re out early. I need to rush home and straighten everything up. Maybe Dad already did. I’ll beep him.

THE PROTAGONIST PULLS OUT HIS NEXTEL FLIP PHONE AND PAGES HIS FATHER.

(Nextel phone beeps)

Protagonist:

“Hey Dad, are you there?”

Father:

“Yep. What’s up? You finished with church already?”

Protagonist:

“Yeah, it just ended. Pastor Ben rushed through it because of the Super Bowl. I just wanted to let you know that we’re all on our way.”

Father:

“Ok, sounds good. I’ll be going to bed soon anyway, but you guys have fun. Oh wait, do you want me to pick up a pizza?”

Protagonist:

“No, that’s ok. I asked Devon to take care of it.”

Father:

“…oh. You didn’t tell me Devon was going to be there. Well, I’ll definitely be in bed when you get home then. I can’t stand that guy. Even when you were kids, I couldn’t stand him. He’s a bully.”

Protagonist:

“I know, Dad, it’s complicated. I’m sorry.”

Father:

“I know, just don’t listen to his crap, ok?”

Protagonist:

“Ok. Hey, before I forget, Pastor Ben wanted to know if he could borrow your truck next weekend…”

THE PROTAGONISTS GRIMACES KNOWING THIS IS A POINT OF FRUSTRATION.

Father:

(sighs)

“Sure. That’s fine. He could have asked me himself, you know. Geez, I stopped going to that church because there were just too many painful memories of your mom and me there, but he doesn’t seem to care. Just so long as he can keep borrowing tools, right?”

Protagonist:

“I know, I’m sorry.”

Father:

“It’s ok. I’ll see you when you get home.”

THE PROTAGONIST SHEATHS HIS PHONE AND DRIVES HOME.

SOON, DEVON, AND FIVE OTHER GTC STUDENTS ARRIVE AT THE PROTAGONISTS HOUSE. THE FIRST PAPA MURPHY’S PIZZA IS PUT IN THE OVEN, AND THE DVR’D GAME BEGINS TO PLAY. THE LIVING ROOM IS SMALL, AND EVERYONE IS CRAMMED IN THERE. THE KITCHEN IS IN ANOTHER ROOM CONNECTED ONLY BY AN OPEN DOORWAY.

GTC Student #1:

“Hey man, where’s your Dad? He’s not going to watch this with us?”

Protagonist:

“No, he went to bed. He gets up super-early.”

GTC Student #2:

“Oh man, are we being too loud?”

Protagonist:

“No, he can’t hear anything in his room. He doesn’t care.”

Devon Jones:

“Tell him thanks for us. This new TV is sweet!”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

That’s right. Devon had no interest in coming over when he was invited until I told him my Dad invested in a new HDTV. He’s literally here because of the television. And Craig is only watching it here because Devon is. This is weird. I wish this were over.

At least I know Devon will make us skip through the half-time show. Man, he went off when Justin Timberlake accidentally ripped Janet Jackson’s top. He did a whole sermon on it. A whole sermon for half a second of a boob. He gets way too aggro about purity. If it were anyone else, he would say they were over-compensating for something… Like he did about Shaun Alexander. Whoa, what the crap?

THE KITCHEN TIMER GOES OFF, AND THE PROTAGONIST GOES TO RETRIEVE THE PIZZA AND START ANOTHER ONE. HE IS VISIBLY AND AUDIBLY OBSTRUCTED FROM EVERYONE IN THE LIVING ROOM. HE REQUESTS THAT THEY DON’T PAUSE THE GAME.

THE PROTAGONIST SEES HIS FATHER IN THE KITCHEN.

Protagonist:

“I thought you were asleep? Are we too loud?”

Father:

“No, I was just reading. You’re fine. Is your pizza done?”

Protagonist:

“Yeah, I was just coming to get it. You want a slice?”

THE PROTAGONIST BEGINS TO SLIDE THE PIZZA OUT OF THE OVEN AND DROPS IT FACE DOWN ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR. HIS FATHER STIFLES A HEARTY LAUGH. THE PROGAONIST PROCEEDS TO PICK UP THE PIZZA AND CLEAN IT OFF AS BEST HE CAN.

Father:

(chuckling quietly)

“Are you going to give them that pizza?”

Protagonist:

“Dad. They’re a bunch of guys in their 20’s. They don’t care… I’m also not going to tell them.”

THE PROTAGONIST SERVES THE FLOOR PIZZA, AND THE GAME CONTINUES. THE THIRD QUARTER STARTS AFTER SKIPPING THROUGH HALF-TIME. A COMMERCIAL FOR BEST BUY COMES ON FEATURING THE CHRISTIAN ROCK BAND, P.O.D.

GTC Student #3:

“Hey, look, it’s P.O.D.!”

Devon Jones:

“Great, a bunch of tattooed freaks out there pretending to be Christians. Look at these idiots! They‘re disgusting! Way to represent Christ.”

Protagonist:

“Yeah, I often judge people based on their appearances too. That’s what Jesus did.”

THE PROTAGONIST SPOKE WITHOUT THINKING THROUGH HIS THOUGHTS.

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

Oops. Too far.

DEVON WHIPS HIS HEAD TOWARDS THE PROTAGONIST, EYES BURNING WITH RAGE, FACE BEAT RED. GTC STUDENT #3 GIVES A WIDE-EYED “I’M SORRY” LOOK TO THE PROTAGONIST. THERE’S NO COMING BACK FROM THIS ONE.

Devon Jones:

“Let’s go talk in the kitchen.”

THE GTC STUDENTS ARE SILENT WHILE THE TV PLAYS ON. DEVON AND THE PROTAGONIST WALK TO THE KITCHEN OUT OF EARSHOT OF THE REST.

DEVON BEGINS TO WHISPER-YELL AT THE PROTAGONIST ABOUT SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY. HIS EYES ARE WIDE OPEN, FACE STILL RED. HE’S POINTING AT THE PROTAGONIST, TELLING HIM HE NEEDS TO FIX HIS ATTITUDE AND GET HIS HEART RIGHT.

HOW DARE THE PROTAGONIST, A THIRD YEAR, TRY TO EMBARRASS DEVON, A LEADER, THE LEADER, LIKE THAT. THE PROTAGONIST IS REPEATEDLY TOLD HE NEEDS TO GET HIS HEART RIGHT WITH GOD. HE IS TOLD THAT HIS ATTITUDE ISN’T BEFITTING OF A REPRESENTATIVE OF GTC. HE IS TOLD THAT WHEN HE REBELS AGAINST HIS LEADERS, HE REBELS AGAINST GOD. THAT REBELLION IS AKIN TO WITCHCRAFT.

HE IS TOLD NEVER TO QUESTION DEVON’S INTENT AGAIN. HE IS TOLD NEVER TO DISAGREE WITH DEVON AGAIN PUBLICLY. HE IS TOLD TO SPEND SOME TIME IN PRAYER.

DEVON TELLS THE PROTAGONIST TO GO BACK IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH HIM AND ACT AS NOTHING HAPPENED. TO NEVER BRING IT UP AGAIN AND TO NOT TALK ABOUT IT WITH THE OTHER STUDENTS.

EPILOGUE

THE GAME IS OVER, AND PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE HOUSE. DEVON HAS LEFT, AND ONLY TWO STUDENTS REMAIN.

GTC Student #3:

“Dude, I’m sorry. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything when I saw those guys. Sorry if you got in trouble.”

Protagonist:

“It’s all good.”

GTC Student #3:

“You were right, by the way.”

Protagonist:

“I don’t know about that.”

GTC Student #3:

“Well, don’t let it bother you. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow. I got Monday club again for missing too many punctuation marks on my last scripture test.”

Internal Monologue, Protagonist:

(mentally slaps forehead)

I forgot I have to supervise Monday Club tomorrow. That means to be there at 6 am for everyone's weekly punishment, I need to get up at 5 am. It looks like another night with only 4 and half hours of sleep.

END.

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This account will explore the toxic traits of American Evangelicalism from a first hand perspective of those that attended an unknown Master’s Commission.

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An American Christian

An American Christian

This account will explore the toxic traits of American Evangelicalism from a first hand perspective of those that attended an unknown Master’s Commission.

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