I once saw a girl beaned in the head with a Bible.
Her attacker was a well-muscled star of our middle school football team, so his throw was hard, accurate, and had a bit of a spiral.
To be fair, the weapon wasn’t a full Bible, neither was it large. Someone in this guy’s group of cronies had procured a box of those miniature New Testaments kids are given in Sunday school, and brought them in his backpack with the intention of evangelizing—through force.
I noticed something was up that morning in the gymnasium, where the buses unloaded and students lounged in the bleachers waiting for the bell to ring so we could go to homeroom. With only one teacher—usually a distracted gym coach—on duty, it was easy to get away with mischief, and many of the students, hormonal and restless and facing another day of Algebra and cafeteria food, had mischief in their hearts.
Usually this manifested in mostly benign ways—spitballs, lewd shouts, or dropping someone’s clarinet case beneath the bleachers, so the unlucky student had to navigate the sticky darkness beneath to retrieve it. But on this morning it transformed into something more sinister.
From my seat across the basketball court, I noticed a few students stand up and begin moving at once. Without realizing at first what was happening, I watched as a pack of good old country boys surrounded a bunch of black-haired Goth kids—eyes heavy with liner—like a pride of lions might surround a herd of gazelles. By the time the prey raised their eyes, it was too late: they had been accosted by the words of Jesus.
Afterwards, whistles were blown and the ensuing fight broken up, but on my way to first period I saw a girl, walking alone, on the receiving end of a long pass. I knew little about her except she had dark hair that hung to her waist and a fascination with vampires. The Bible hit her in the back of the head and she whipped around in shock, blood drained from her face, tears pooling in her eyes.
Rumors spread throughout the day of assaults that continued across campus when no adults were around to see. I witnessed no others myself, but after lunch I found a few loose pages from the gospel according to John, with gold-rimmed edges lying in the mud. The words spoken by Jesus were printed in ink the color of blood. [Read more…]