NO smoking, NO drinking, NO swearing, NO dancing, NO card playing, NO movies, NO fooling around, NO NO NO NO NO

My family had some very very conservative Christian beliefs. We attended a fundamentalist Bible church that preached the  literal translation of the Bible.  I mean literal as in the earth was created in six 24 hr days. I think I from a very early age had a problem with some of the preaching. I remember distinctly our minister saying  "there were no dinosaurs" and the church would not hire a woman pastor nor have a woman on the board or as a deacon or in any position of power. Really? Some educated and Godly women of the church actually left over that belief. My Mom, who was raised Pentacostal had an even tighter view of the world. You know, "the world" that evil place that we are just passing through on our way to heaven. I remember lots of don'ts and no's. NO smoking, NO drinking, NO drugs, NO swearing, NO dancing, NO card playing, NO movies, NO NO NO. To be fair I do understand the concept of and truly believe that God gave us this one body, the temple if you will, and we are responsible for it. Even in the 50's and 60's it was obvious to most everyone with a brain that smoking and drugs were bad for you and sensible people would avoid them. The same thing with excess drinking, but didn't Jesus turn the water into wine? It always amazed me that all the teatotaling, non smoking Christians had no problem with lining up at the buffet table and eating themselves into heart attack city. I guess a fat temple is okay with the Lord. NO dancing? or movies or card playing? My Dad threw my boyfriend and me out of the house once for playing UNO. My Mom sent me with a note to the school that for religious reasons I was not allowed to dance in gym class. It was square dancing with girls for Pete's sake! I spent lots of time reading my Bible in those early days and never did find a passage that prohibited square dancing.. And boy, did I look and look.

As a teenager my boyfriend took me to the movies. The first movie I ever saw was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and I think I was already 18. Loved it! But an upbringing of NO NO NO does leave you with a bit of guilt. I remember a friend of my parents who was a psychiatrist once said, "Just because you feel guilty doesn't mean you are'". None the less I kept a record of the movies I had seen on an index card in my purse with the intention of eventually coming clean with my mother. Finally the day came that I had had enough of this silliness. I confronted my Mom."Mom, I want you to explain to me exactly what is wrong  with going to a movie? I will give you that there is a lot of junk out there but there is also lots of good wholesome entertainment.". I made her a deal. "Mom, I want to take you to a good movie of my choice. You watch it with an open mind and if you truly think it is evil I will not go to any more movies as long as I live under your roof." I took her to see "The Sound of Music" on the wide screen.

Dear Mom, of course not only was she convinced........she started crying "it looks just like Norway."
After that the younger ones actually got treated to Charlie Brown movies. It was a big step for Mom who had lived a very very sheltered life. She's been gone over 40 years now but I still can see her eyes well up as she watched the beautiful scenery and Julie Andrews singing and dancing through the birch trees on the mountain.

I never did smoke, do drugs, get into gambling and never went to prom  (so I still can't do even one required slow dance at a wedding). It is probably best though that Mom would never know that I do enjoy a glass of wine now and again. Preferably German Riesling. I think God and Maria von Trapp would approve.