There was this girl that I was seeing my senior year of high school. I vaguely knew her as a face in the halls before I started actually getting to know her my senior year. She had a rough couple of years that forced some maturity on her, while I floated along, an amiable dunce. <P>Before that school year began, she had gone through rehab, and came out, like many others, determined to further her recovery. And like many others before her, she was born again. <P>It was after classes started that I started to get to know her through mutual friends. Then there began the natural progression of us starting to hang out together more, and then lo and behold we were dating.<P>We were a "couple" for only a month when she started on me about going to church. Now I have never been a religious person, back then I considered myself an atheist (though that never really felt right to me, I didn't know what an agnostic was, and that's what I consider myself now), but she really wanted me to try going to church with her to see if it struck my interest. I like keeping an open mind about things, so I wanted to try, unfortunately I worked on Sundays, so I couldn't make it.<P>Now, with her being a rehab graduate (I hate that term, because you never really graduate), she was now a member of various 12-step programs, and one of her friends from church who was also in the program, introduced her to Club Rev.<P>Club Rev (short for Revelations) was her church's youth meeting that they held on Wednesdays, and was officiated, of course, by the youth pastor and his wife. Well, since I wanted to be more involved with my girlfriend's life (I'm sorry, but narcotics anonymous was out, I think she only went there because their stories were worse than hers), I agreed to go with her.<P>Before the service started (which was held in a renovated storage facility, though it still looked like one) everything seemed like normal church setting. I was introduced to the pastor, I ran into a few friends (on my second visit, my sister was brought by a couple of her friends). Then the service began, and the whole thing seemed more like a Christian dance club, only the music sucked.<P>I only went maybe four or five times, but as I went, things got progressively more bizarre. The people of this group were (well, I'll just put it lightly) celebrational. I think it was my third visit, this one girl (maybe 13 or 14) got so excited during a prayer, she was jumping and spinning until she fainted and fell, cracking her head on one of the lightstands. The second time I was there, when I saw my sister, during a prayer I turned to look at my sister, she had this "what the hell is going on here?" look on her face, a sentiment I shared. I have never seen a whole room of people act like that outside of a psychiatric ward. (yes, I have seen what it's like in a psychiatric ward, severe cases, and that was before Club Rev)<P>Well, my work schedule changed, so I now had to work Wednesdays and Sundays. No more church attempts with my girl for me. Can't say I was disappointed though. Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of it.<P>My girlfriend wanted to meet me for coffee and pie after I got off work one Wednesday night. (I was a lifeguard in high school, they liked keeping me late, mostly because I could keep kids entertained even at that late of an hour) She came and picked me up, she told me she had to get something from a friend of hers at Club Rev, she couldn't go that night for some reason or another, I never really got the whole story on that. I believed it because the youth pastor and his wife usually hung around with some of the kids after the meeting having bible discussions, or just general bs'ing.<P>I didn't think as I walked in the door, that I would be grabbed from either side, and dragged over to the stage. At first I thought it was some kind of joke, so I was going along with it. Then they tripped my feet, and laid me back first onto the stage. Then the youth pastor's wife splashed (holy?)water in my face, and the pastor was there with a bible and a cross, yelling in my face for satan to come out.<P>At first I was a little scared because I had no idea what was going on, but once I saw the other people standing around me holding candles and praying, I decided it was time to leave. I am 6 feet tall, and then I weighed a little over 200 pounds. I had just gotten out of wrestling season before my girl and I started getting serious, I wrestled at 190 weight class. When I started to move, the guys who dragged me in, tried to hold me down. One guy fell on his face because he missed me, overbalanced and slipped. The other guy got a hold of my arm and stood up with me, I just twisted my arm free and planted a hand on his chest to push him away. Then the pastor grabbed me around the chest from behind. All I had to do was duck, turn, and pop him in the chest as well to back him off. Nobody else came after me.<P>I stood there in the middle of everybody, turning a slow circle, looking each person in the face. Some were still praying, some looked away, others were staring in fear. I tried to think of something to say that would make them think twice about trying to do something like this to somebody else, but I couldn't. Anything I would have said would feed their belief that I and possibly many others needed to be exorcised.<P>I don't think I'll ever forget the fear I saw in the eyes of those people who were still looking at me that night. I did what I think any normal person would do in a situation where the find themselves restrained. At least I kept my cool. I could have lost it, and really lashed out, and ended up hurting someone. But that little bit of fighting I did just to get clear was more than enough for that handful of people to believe that the demon in me was fighting to stay.<P>My girl sat on the floor by the door crying. To this day, I don't know if she had anything to do with this. I walked out the door, she followed me. I think she was trying to apologize, and say she didn't know, but she was crying so hard and my desire to leave was so strong, I didn't understand what she was trying to say. Since I didn't know what to do or say, I just told her that it would probably be best to just leave me alone for a little while. I then walked away. <P>That was probably the longest, coldest walk back to my car I ever had. Literally, I was only wearing a pair swim trunks, a tank top, my letterman's jacket, and to date this, a pair of Nike aqua socks, and was about eight miles back to my car. In SW Washington State, early April is not the warmest time of year, especially at midnight, at least it wasn't raining. I had plenty on my mind to keep me going though.<P>When I saw my girlfriend at school the next day at lunch, I had her leave school early with me so we could talk about what happened. I took her in my car to my parent's house where we wouldn't be bothered for a few hours.<P>For the first forty five minutes she just clutched onto my shirt crying her eyes out. All I could do was hold her until she finished. Once she shed her last tear, and was ready to talk, she began to tell me why they tried to draw Satan out of me.<P>It was because I stopped going to Club Rev, and I hadn't accepted the Lord Jesus as my savior. They concluded after 5 visits to a midweek youth meeting, that since I wasn't down on the floor spasming like an LSD burn out on a permanent trip for the glory of the Lord, that I must be posessed.<P>They put a lot of research into their work don't they?<P>Needless to say, this did put a good wedge into our relationship, but we finished our senior year as a couple. Our prom date was probably the best date we ever had. After graduation, she went to school in another state. I joined the Navy to see the world. In bootcamp, I wound up being my company's protestant RP (religious petty officer). I tried accepting Jesus as my savior again, simply because before I was doing it for my girl, and this is something you have to do for yourself. All I found is that Christianity is not for me. <P>Christianity has produced a lot of great, caring, and wonderfully kind people. But the craziest, most deranged, and the most ignorant have all been devout Christians. The teenagers I've seen cause the most trouble, Christian. ("the Lord will forgive me for my mistakes, so I can do whatever I want" I heard people saying that when I was 15, and heard it again on a camping trip I took a couple of years ago from my bothersome youth group neighbors, I felt sorry for their counsellors, those kids were punks)<P>To say I'm a bit jaded towards Christianity is a bit of an understatement, but I think I have good reason to be.