Today we have a guest post from Salma Gundi, a seminary student. In the spirit of Screwtape, she imagines what Tapeworm might say to a woman in Christian leadership in the Bible belt. Just remember: "One little word shall fell him."
You don't know me. But I know you. The Boss assigned me to your zone before your birth. And I've contemplated you ever since.
I came to exist prior to the garden—even prior to the universe. I've covered countless territories over millions of years. But the Bible Belt? Daunting. Could my kind survive here? Although you outnumber me, my kind lurks everywhere you turn. I can't reproduce like you. But don't worry. I far surpass you in beauty, brains, and confidence.
I move at lightning speed—you see me only when I let you. And when I do, I have you rapt in insecurity. Like when I saunter past your pew ten minutes into a sermon in a red silk Bebe wrap-around and Christian Louboutins. Your husband's mind wanders far from the pastor, and even further from you. All you can think about? Your husband's eyes on my waist, hips, legs. And other parts.
You think I’m one of you. Ha! You're no match for me. I don't eat. I don't sleep. I don't need a doctor. And I never quit. Only one thing can destroy me—I try not to utter his name.
I have you right where I want you, you home-schooled mouth-breather. I can't read your mind. But I can guess your thoughts. How? I watch you gorge on chocolate ganache and Funyuns. I study you having perfunctory sex with your husband, as he fantasizes about me and my red bottoms. I see you spend $300 on a pair of Ray Bans because you feel like a loser. I listen to you gossip in the fellowship hall under the guise of bless-her-heart babble. I never miss your Bible study sessions.
You hear my voice inside your head, and think it's your own. You think your pea-brain can craft such artistry? I've watched you long enough to know what you want to hear. Sometimes I think you'll figure me out. Nah.
I construct your fears. I chew over your obsessions. I hover beside your restless head. I whisper in your ear while you sleep. When you awaken you can hardly swallow. Sucker. You'll believe almost anything I say.
Your husband may leave you. But I never will. At your service, I will stay by your side until you expire. (I can help you get there—a carbon-monoxide-filled garage—a bottle of Paxil—a vertical slit to the radial artery.)
I love a thousand and one things about you. Like your outrage over same-sex marriage. The more you chide homosexuals, the less you see your bigotry, carnality, cupidity, and stupidity. Who needs a brain when you have a husband to think for you? And just as your red-white-'n'-blue panties unbunch, I'll find another way to distract you. Seven more things I love about you:
1) Unbelievers would come out of the wall to attend church, but for your Bible-Belt-Nut-Job Ideologies.
2) You use his name as an excuse to behave like an a**.
3) The rest of the country and the world hate you.
4) You don't care.
5) You named your son "Christian."
6) He's anything but.
7) Because your sorry pathetic version of Christianity resembles nothing of Jesus (shudder). I know because I met him.
As for the Bible Belt? Picnic. I'll put in a good word for you with The Boss. Maybe he’ll put you on the payroll.
We'll talk soon.