“My faith was shaped when I was a small child, and I was told that God loves everybody. When I got older, they started adding stuff on. I am not so big on the add-ons.
The church I grew up in had a retired missionary with an unconventional point of view. He was very much a ‘God loves you’ person and not a ‘You can’t wear makeup because Jesus won’t love you’ person. One Sunday he got up and told us a story that was given to him as a lesson by the missionary who trained him.
The church had a strong missionary connection in Swaziland, and they went and told some African tribe that Jesus only wants you to have one wife. The leader of the tribe had two wives at the time, so he said, ‘But I have two wives.’
The missionary was very stern about it and said, ‘No, Jesus only wants you to have one wife. You can only have one.’
So the missionary went off and came back after some days, and the leader of the tribe said, ‘Your Jesus is a good fellow, and I listened to what he had to say, and I have solved the problem. I now have only one wife.’
He had killed his younger wife.
He killed her because it was the logical thing to do. Because she had been his wife, she had no value to anyone else. She would’ve been ostracized, no man would’ve wanted her, no one would’ve hunted for her, she would’ve had no food, and no one would’ve spoken to her. Killing her was an act of kindness. From his perspective, the missionary had told him, ‘Jesus wants you to kill one of your wives. Which one are you going to kill?’
So Ed told us the story and said, ‘You need to understand that you have to be very careful when you talk with people about the rules.’ He also told us about the woman who came into church, came down in front of everyone, accepted Jesus, did all of those things, and it was a beautiful thing. Then the ladies in the church came to congratulate her and welcome her into the church by telling her she couldn’t wear make-up and those earrings had to go. They never saw her again.
So, when I turned 18 and went off to college, one of the first things I did was get my ears pierced three times, shave my head and dye my hair bright blue.”