JESUS NATION SEX REBEL, mini-chapter 38
38. THE PARTY
Joshua Grant’s house was in a gated community by the beach. Surrounded by a high wall. Entry boxes every fifty paces. A liveried guard took Adam’s invitation, photographed him and Eve, spent a minute at a keyboard, and then let them through. A line of cars waited behind them. Marble driveway. As they stepped on to a winding path leading past a rockery to the front steps, Adam noticed that the marble here was scuffed, to fit in with the rustic raggedyness of the rockery. Recycled marble. They reached the front steps. Smooth and polished marble again. But bordered with post-modern aluminum strips. Shiny marble texture of Grecian columns. Pillars of pugnacious slenderness. Bracing the rococo stucco of the structure. Ceiling painted in a Michelangelo fashion. So true-to-form that it was no doubt meant as a mock-heroic parody. Levels of intellectual sophistication here that interfered with formatted opinion.
They entered. Man in livery taking their coats. Showing them through the door to a big entertainment area. A living room opening on a patio with a pool lit from inside. Many well-dressed men and women. More than well-dressed: sumptuously dressed, as if at a Monte Carlo casino. Women with makeup. Eve was shocked. Female Beloveds never wore makeup. Only V-dolls did. In fact, makeup was how you could tell a V-doll; red lipstick was mandatory for them. Here the women all had that V-doll look, except they didn’t, because they didn’t look poor.
Eve had not known that Blesseds could wear makeup, because she, a mere Beloved, never mixed with Blesseds. The only time she had met Blesseds was when she appeared on Rachel’s behalf in front of her Patriot Board. The privileged Females at this party went even further than makeup: they all had something special and expensive in their hair. Jewelry. Tiaras.
Here it was, the big gap between the Blesseds and the Beloveds. Here was power, the power she aspired to, concrete and palpable. Here was the new ruling class, dressed up in their elite refinery. Here there might be actual Men of the Gospel present. Here was a part of Jesusland that she had heard of, but never seen. Here was the concrete outcome of the Reformation.
This was what it looked like, face-to-face, close-up, this Reformation that had started so deceptively slowly, under the Great Communicator Reagan, now seen as the earliest precursor of the Reformation. It found more momentum during the years of Bush the Rock, under whose leadership the Church began to invade the State, and many new faith-based programs were funded that seeded the take-over of the State by the Church. For example, programs that encouraged abstention from sex in order to deal with pregnancy before marriage.
But the great change, of which these people were the instigators and now the beneficiaries, had come very recently, with the Great Attack, which spawned the Reformation itself.
Just think back a year, Eve recalled, and you would not recognize the country today. They used to say there are no atheists in a foxhole. Well, now the whole country was in a foxhole. After the monstrous shock and the total horror of the Great Attack, everyone got religion big time, and this religion was of a specific kind and a special intensity – loud, demonstrative, and ultra-conservative. Everyone started to pray. Suddenly praying was more popular than fast food. If Muslims could pray five times a day, so could Christians.
In this revivalist atmosphere, countless demonstrations had taken place all over the country, culminating in the great Family Values March, when more than ten million people flooded the outskirts of the Wound of Washington in a march to heal the wound that united everyone, from Jews for Jesus to Southern Baptists to the American Legion to the National Rifle Association.
SODOMY CAUSES TERRORISM.
ABSTINENCE MAKES GOD SMILE.
CONDOMS ARE SATAN’S INVENTION.
THE ONLY SAFE SEX IS MARRIED SEX.
FELLATIO AND CUNNILINGUS PUT THE DEVIL’S TONGUE IN YOUR MOUTH.
JOIN THE WAR ON SEX IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM.
These were some of the slogans of the Reformation. Sex, like drinking, became illegal before the age of twenty-one. Any youngster caught at it was publicly flogged and sent to prison until he or she was twenty-one. Under-age sex had been more or less stamped out, because there were always teenagers willing to inform on their friends.
Those who weren’t swept up in the tide of the Reformation left the country: a brain drain of scientists, academics and liberals to Canada and Europe. Good riddance, the Men of the Gospel said. The nation was purifying itself of secular humanists, lesbians, feminists, atheists, pagans and hedonists.
If there were any moderate Christians left, they kept their beliefs to themselves, because it got positively dangerous to have any other kind of belief than a literal belief in the Bible, especially after the establishment of the thousands of Patriot Boards. A Non-Sanctioned Notion could get you and your family into serious trouble.
The Great Attack was the singular and defining event that scared the entire population out of its wits, that drove the prevailing ethos to the far right, that catapulted the land into the sweeping tide of the Reformation, when the country reinvented itself and ushered in the Reformed Constitution of Jesusland, and the formerly bifurcated politics -- the bother of a partisan, bickering two-party system -- congealed into a single expression: the Hallelujah Party. Thus was born the United States under God: the USUG, a united, mighty hammer, and a universally feared empire. Its strongholds dotted the globe. Permanent garrisons of Special Forces -- Crusaders for Christ – stood ready to be deployed in a matter of hours to stamp out the slightest insurgence anywhere in its far domains.
Things had gotten so scary that the president, for example, was now always airborne in a flotilla of high-flying jets. The White House was the White Jet, fueled in mid-air, never landing until the next president was elected and sworn in at a secret airstrip, where the new president took to the air, and only returned to earth when his term was over.
Puritan values were paramount. Any other values were regarded as dangerous and undermining, and therefore Non-Sanctioned and open to prosecution. The Family Values Act and the various Patriot Acts legislated compliance from everyone, and the Bureau of Behavior Design and Management enforced all behavior protocols, which governed everything from dating to work to school to church to family life.
And here she was, at a party where she was bound to meet some important members of the powerful elite that ruled the new America.