Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Conversion tales

I love conversion stories. The Pitch Weekly profiles regular TfK pincushion Connie Morris, in Unnatural Selection:
Her freshman year, Connie dated the star basketball player, whom she refers to in the book as "Jeff Opner." They were "the hottest couple in school" and moving fast. Jeff bought his 14-year-old squeeze an engagement ring, and they dreamed of "a fairytale wedding." With the prospect of marriage, Connie decided it was time to punch her V-card.

"One winter night, in front of his fireplace (with his parents in the next room!), I gave way to nature and lost my purity," she writes. "We became soul mates as well as playmates."

For two years they played in Connie's father's basement, but their engagement wouldn't survive Jeff's graduation in 1977.

Newly single, Connie moved on to an affair with one of her high school teachers, who was "blonde, blue eyed, muscular ... and married with small children." Their lack of discretion exposed the liaison, and the affair ended abruptly when the man's wife interrupted a rendezvous, banging on the door, screaming his name and leaving Connie hiding in a closet.

Morris also recaps her drug abuse in the late '70s and early '80s, sounding like a washed-up rock star as she recalls dropping acid and snorting "heroine [sic], angel dust, speed and cocaine."

For a year, she spent nearly every night passed out in somebody's van or on a stranger's floor, according to the book. Although she still had plenty of sex, her partying friends were more like brothers and sisters. "Hound-like sexual behavior would have ruined it," she writes. "Several of them were eventually killed in accidents or shot in drunken brawls. I could tell you numerous stories of how close I came to being one of them, dead and spending eternity in Hell."

Connie graduated from high school in 1979. Before the ceremony, she writes, she dropped acid before crossing the stage to receive her diploma.

"While debating the evidence present in proof of God's omnitude [sic], I wondered out loud how he (the instructor) could explain away (which is what he was trying to do) the way God changes people," she writes in her memoir. "'For instance,' I was half playing as I continued, 'I used to be a heavy drinker and abused drugs, but my relationship with Jesus radically changed my desires and even physical addictions. How do you suppose that could happen without a sovereign, all-powerful and loving entity?'

"Some girl from the back spoke up in a 'valley-girl' accent," she continues. "Chirping like an irritating bird, she said, 'Well, maybe it was a transference of addiction.' At first I was upset that she would belittle something so miraculous, likening my relationship with Jesus to my relationship with sin. But then I guess I was addicted to Jesus. I needed him worse than I needed drugs. I considered it a good thing to be addicted to serving, loving, worshipping, and examining Jesus. I had to have Him, for without Him I preferred death."
Read the whole thing, it's classic. Seriously, if you want to know about how she hears voices, etc., etc., this is a nice review of her controlled weirdness.