Date 17: The Devout Christian & the Sex-Devils

Now, back when I was starting the blog, I was sent a huge amount of very strange dating sites by friends. Some of the most alarming ones came from from devoutly religious chums. They all thought it would be hilarious to hear an atheist's reaction to things like this -



...and came with stories about how their crazy cousin Edward had found his wife through them, and now the happy couple lived in a cult compound in the mountains of Nigeria. So, obviously, this was a rich mine of strangeness, and could prove hilarious to my readers, but I had kind of resolved not to do a religious one.

 Why? Well, apart from the fact I can't really afford a plane ticket to Abujah, I'm an atheist, and in my opinion, the sort of person who was using a site like muslim&single (Tagline: "Find Allah's match for you") or christianmingle (tagline: "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. - Psalms 37:4") was probably on there specifically because they wanted to avoid dating someone like me.

Then again, at the same time, that sort of Thirty Years War attitude of "You are of one belief, I am of another, therefore we must be separate" (and fight with pikestaffs) never really sat right with me. Could I date with a religious person? My track record seemed to indicate "probably".

The last two serious relationships I had were with devout catholics; I had become quite adept at finding a nice coffee shop near the churches of their choice, and sitting reading a book while they made their observance. There are a lot of things that religious people like - things like tradition, the Chronicles of Narnia and close harmony singing - that I'm also a big fan of.

I was mulling it over, when a Christian friend recommended a "really good" christian singles speed dating night. On a boat. What can I say, I'm a sucker for hanging around on boats, so, I went along. I realise this wasn't online dating in the classic sense, but hey, it's quite modern, and I had to send some emails to get the tickets and things, SO IT TOTALLY COUNTS.

So, anyway, speed dating. For those of you who aren't familiar with the process, you sit and chat with a person for three minutes, then a bell rings, and you rotate around the room. At the end of the evening, you mark people you'd like to see again, and the organisers pass out the emails/phone numbers of people who both said they were up for meeting again.

That's the normal chain of events. This one however, started with a sermon from a Minister from "Kingdom of God International", which seemed to have more than a touch of the televangelist about it. The man had that sort of silver helmet of hair normally found only on Republican senators in the USA, and the sermon was very, ummm, enthusiastic. It was odd hearing a sermon like this delivered in a broad cockney accent. There was also a Powerpoint about "Dating for Jesus".

I felt I was not only going to be saved, but that I might get be offered a teasmaid at a bargain price, too. At the end of the pitch, they handed out a flyer for his next dating event. It all seems pretty normal, until you get down to point five.



Yup, had I been "visited in the night by sex devils?!" The answer, of course, was not nearly enough.

Anyway, the speed dating proceeded relatively normally, and most of the ladies I met seemed lovely. There was no demonic attack, that I could see. At the end of the evening, I walked away with a couple of phone numbers, and later arranged to meet the girl I liked the most for a couple of drinks. We met at a pub near her work. She's an accountant for a very big firm, seemed perfectly normal - smart, funny, interesting.

So, anyway, we go to a bar near her work in Farringdon, and sit there in modern, urban London. After about five minutes, I broached the sex demons point, hoping she would say "Yeah, that IS odd! Crazy Yanks, eh?" and we'd carry on chatting about 21st century stuff.

Oh no. She went on to tell me about how she had personally witnessed a child she was babysitting be possessed by the Devil himself while she was a teenager. I asked her how she could be sure it was actually the Prince of Lies himself, rather than some minor cacodemon, and she replied "If you had heard the sounds he made, you would know".

It was so bizarre, I asked her if it was an elaborate joke. But no, deadly serious. By the third drink, she was telling me about how 9/11 was an inside job and about her recent suicide attempt. She was very keen on "Missionary dating" - converting a non-believer to date, which was part of the reason she was dating me. There had, to be fair, been a slide about it in the Cockney preacher's Powerpoint.

Needless to say, I walked away a little shell shocked. I mean, I'd known she was religious, but I'd thought she was more "Fun" than "Fundamentalist". Indeed, she was, it must be said, quite heavy on the "mentalist". It wasn't the date I'd been expecting, and I think most of my religious friends would have been as incredulous as I was. I made a call to my Christian friend, explaining that what he'd delivered me to. He responded that he'd had no idea about the sex-devils thing, and he'd been recommended the speed dating event by several people. 

I assume there were plenty of less, errm, "devout" folk at the event, and I know she's not representative of religious people in general - she's much more representative of my own supernatural ability to be put in a room with any number of women, and unerringly home in on the strangest one. Sometimes that's a blessing, sometimes it's a curse.

I still think I could date a religious person; just probably not someone so fundamentalist. So, anyway, needless to say, still a cold and blameless bed. Here's hoping for a visitation by the sex devils soon:)

9 comments:

  1. emmet said...

    A Chinese lady that I used to date said Fundamental was Fun and Mental. That was an Eastern philosophy I could believe at face value.

  2. Sarah said...

    At least you found out about her intentions on the first date... I was almost two months into a relationship before I found out he was dating me with the intention of converting me. The kicker? At the time I was a practicing Catholic from a devoutly religious family and spent just as much time at my church as he did at his. But apparently for the Baptist, being Catholic didn't "really" make me Christian. I may have snapped and fired off a few comments about how his religion was technically an offshoot of mine and Christ was the founder of Catholicism :)

    Since then, I've left the Church and am happier as an atheist than I've been in years. And now I'm dating a theist without any religious affiliations nor expectations that I share his belief in the existence of a higher power.

  3. Anonymous said...

    I LOVE YOU WILLARD. This is the best stuff ever.

  4. Anonymous said...

    Enough about the sexdevils already. I'm sure you've said your fair share of one-handed prayers already.

  5. Anonymous said...

    Have you seen this?

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/online-dating-history-loneliness/

    Thoughts?

  6. Tom said...

    Hello Willard,

    I am the author of the previous, somewhat terse, comment. In my earlier haste I neglected to say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog, which was rather rude of me. Please accept my apologies. I have delighted in your picaresque adventures in this world of which I know nothing and eagerly await each new date. I wish you all the very best of luck, and shall be sorry when the date of your twenty-eighth and last assignation comes. Here's hoping it will all have been worth it.
    Tom

  7. Anonymous said...

    Have you seen this?

    http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/14/trintme-a-classier-bang-with-friends-lets-you-find-facebook-friends-who-want-to-hang-out-not-just-hook-up/

  8. Ricky Martin said...

    Hi
    You can't see my link.

    Christian singles dating

  9. Helen said...

    So I've only just started reading your blog today (hooked by the way), being an 'atheist jew' too I think its possible to date a religious person but its got to be someone who is quite liberal about their religious beliefs, but then I guess one wouldn't last out with a religious person who is stuck with the idea of dating a believer, unless of course you meet a 'missionary'...

    I thankfully fell for, and married, a lovely man brought up in a Catholic community who is not religious and with a family who respect my beliefs. Otherwise the fact I was in no way getting married in a church or subsequently baptising my future children may have been (or become) a sore issue (suffice to say I dodged the I look forward to your baby's baptism comments from his friends at the wedding by smiling, I wasn't about to approach the 'why not?' question on that day!).

    Anyway following my mini rant/story, I hope by the end of my mammoth reading session of your blog there is a happy ending. I think I believe in internet dating but only so far as getting to know someone rather than dating straight away. Anyway worked for me now I'm shacked up with a husband :D.

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