The Paper Journey Press in Wake Forest first published my short story, Old Time Religion, in 2004 in the anthology, Original Sin: The Seven Deadlies Come Home To Roost. Under the sin category of gluttony, this story won its special place in the book.
In truth, this story touches on many sins. I performed a reading at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC early in 2005. The story has been described as funny, dark, and the most disturbing story in Southern Fried Women.
If you've not had the chance to read Old Time Religion, you can purchase the book or download the e-book, Southern Fried Women, from Amazon.com or go to Satya House Publishing.com for more information on where to get it.
But my point is this: Although the story takes place in the 'sixties, it is not far removed from the congregations of today. I'm not saying these atrocities take place in every church, but I am saying every church is run by human beings. From the Pastor to the Deacons to the Praise and Worship leader to the Sunday School teacher to the Janitor. They're all human, and we need to remember that. Chances are, if you attend church, you belong to a wonderful congregation of folks who are nothing short of an extension of your own family. But every member has a responsibility to hold their pastor accountable.
Cults come in all shapes and sizes. Just last week someone told me her thirty-something son could not miss church unless he called an elder of the church and got permission. The church is local. It has a following of members that blend into the community like any other. The very idea of giving someone that kind of control over me, makes me want to scream.
It's old time religion all over again. A form of godliness ...
Keep your eyes open, people. Those wolves are always at our doors.
Blessings to you and yours.