Manifesto: Lies We Learned in Sunday School
A Date Rape in August 1994
After he subdued, then violated me
I was grateful it was over quickly.
Then panic’s tremors shook my shameful rage:
Was I pregnant?
Did he give me a disease?
As I waited for the answers,
They told me to ask god for the strength to move on.
If prayers worked, I’d pray for the strength to rip him apart.
Ephesians 6: 10–20
When these men tried their best to break you,
When even you believe you have been broken,
Let your righteous rage rise up in waves
That wash over you,
Resurrect and revive you,
Baptize you Lady Lazarus.
Stand tall and seize the space your magnificence demands which they tried to deny you.
And as you glower down at these false prophets quaking with fear,
Anticipating your retribution, remember:
Neither mercy nor magnanimity is imposed upon you.
Did they ever extend such graceful courtesies to you?
John 11: 38–44
Luke Told us Mary Wanted It
Believers exalt the Virgin Mary whose womb god blessed with his only son.
They cite the hearsay of Luke to assert her consent.
Yet we never hear Mary’s version of events; rather, only that of Luke, who claims the angel Gabriel visited her to say:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.”
When the terrified girl asked how a virgin could conceive, Luke says that Gabriel said that:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
According to Luke, Mary acquiesced by telling Gabriel that she is “the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
But we all know the Holy Spirit has a long history of smiting the disobedient.
This was not the first or last time in our history when a man claimed he heard from another man who knew for certain she really wanted it.
No. Mary’s body wasn’t the site of a miracle.
Her body was a crime scene.
C. Christine Fair is a professor within the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She studies political and military events of South Asia and travels extensively throughout Asia and the Middle East. Her books include In Their Own Words: Understanding the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (OUP 2019); Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (OUP, 2014); and Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States (Globe Pequot, 2008). She has published creative pieces in The Bark, The Dime Show Review, Clementine Unbound, Awakenings, Fifty Word Stories, The Drabble, Sandy River Review, Sonder Midwest, Black Horse Magazine, Furious Gazelle, Hyptertext, and Bluntly Magazine among others. Her visual art has appeared in Awakenings, pulpMAG, and Abstract: Contemporary Expressions (forthcoming).