About the Time I (Almost) Found Religion

Say it Rah-shay By Aug 19, 2014 11 Comments

In which I see The Book of Mormon and wanted to go to church.

Selfie at the Walnut Street Theater

Why yes, I *DID* add a dark, blurry selfie of Pop and I before my pearl clutching began.

Rachee and religion go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.




Rachee and religion are not a thing. I have made my thoughts about religion well known; number 10 from this post sums it up quote nicely I must say. My thoughts are aligned with the wise sage Sargent Nicholas Angel, as portrayed by the wonderful Simon Pegg in the movie Hot Fuzz, “I’m open to the concept of religion, I’m just not entirely convinced by it.”


Gratuitous Simon Pegg.

Gratuitous Simon Pegg.

I appreciate those friends and family who practice certain religions. I have made an uneasy peace with the fact that Effin Guy is Catholic and more spiritual than I had first known. I have even held my tongue when The Bee speaks about going to church services and have offered to accompany her when she says she wants to go. I admire, even envy the comfort and peace that seems to come to those with spiritual faith but I still haven’t found a religion or faith which makes me want that change. The closest was a non-denominational church I visited shortly after separating from The Dad. It seemed when I attended that each week The Word was being spoken directly to ME but the pastor of that church moved and I never made attempts to reconnect.

My sister recently won a pair of tickets for The Book of Mormon and as she has seen the show three times already she gifted me with the tickets. Her enthusiasm was catching; I made plans to go with Pop and we excitedly made our way to the Walnut Street Forrest Theater (which is on Walnut Street) to check out the show. I went into The Book of Mormon sort of in the dark. For most shows I know the soundtrack, having had played them in band and orchestra in high school, watched a musical on television as a kid or because Sirius Radio had an awesome show tunes station. With BOM I knew that

  1. I would probably be offended as this show was from the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and the male half of the Frozen couple,Robert Lopez, who had something to do with Avenue Q, the raunchiest puppet show ever (my words).
  2. The show was about Mormons (duh).
  3. The Mormons would be assigned to Africa. This last bit was learned when I listened to Fresh Air with Terry Gross when the show first came out and she had Matt and Trey (cause we’re bests) on her show.
  4. There is a line, “I have maggots in my scrotum” which Buffy repeats. Like, a lot.

We arrived at the theater and the crowd was hype. The ticket takers, the ushers, even the dude selling water was excited. There was a scavenger hunt the day before in Philly and a few winners were present. There had been a Twitter contest a few It seemed that our section was full of people who were just TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY stoked to be seeing the show and it was serious fun vibe going on.

The show started and…I became the poster child for hand wringing and pearl clutching. I am not sure what it was that struck me as awful. It has everything I like about musicals. Catchy songs, dance numbers, jazz hands.

And then there was the stuff that just left me wide eyed and mouth wide open.

Rachee from Say it Rah-shay reacts to The Book of Mormon

A reenactment of my reaction to The Book of Mormon

Stuff like Hasa Diga Eebowai which, according to the show, translates into Eff you God!  *gasp*  I am not above swearing; I’m Nellie Fagg’s grandchild and Nellie Fagg swore like a sailor. There was copious amounts of cussing to go around, one character is even called General Butt F*ckin’ Naked. The idea of a cursing the lord – to song – just seemed  wrong.

Stuff like the running joke in which Elder Cunningham is unable to pronounce Nabalungi’s (Nah-buh-loon-gee) name correctly and continuously calls her things such as “Neosporin” “Nicki Minaj” and “Necrophilia.” Buffy suggested that this could be my own projection since people can never pronounce my name correctly and it’s been a struggle to get people to correctly say Rah-shay (I will even allow a Ruh-shay).

Stuff like the White Man as savior but only due to their incompetence and foolishness. This particularly peeves me. The White Man as saviors bothers me. That he is a fool, almost childlike in his ways bothers me more. It cheapens whatever is accomplished because I interpret it as society as a whole can only tolerate a Black character as hero when his foe is White Man The Fool. who is a fool person s as if to say that the only way a Black person is equal to a White is if the white person is a fool or not quite as smart.

Throughout the musical I gasped. I caught my breath.  I covered my mouth.  And I laughed and have been listening to the soundtrack.

In retrospect I think I got more upset because of the questions a light, fun night out has raised regarding faith and religion. I object to the Baptist upbringing that I was raised with which seemed more like a chore than comfort. I object to the religious offerings from well meaning folk and friends, some of whom are proselytizers making me regret talking to them. I have no idea of what I want but I do not that faith should not be a list of can nots accompanied by a list of do nots. I guess until I figure it out I will continue to work at being a good neighbor, a good parent and keep a kind heart. Oh yeah, and listen to a few songs which make me gasp and blush. And maybe kiss Effin Guy.  With tongue.

A lot of tongue.





I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.


  1. Carol Cassara says:

    Well, it's weird. Here's the thing: I'm not a prude, I do cuss and I don't believe in organized religion for me. But I was so offended by the lyrics of the songs I couldn't go to the show. Maybe it's just that I'm not a South Park fan. But mostly, I thought the lyrics were vulgar. This is not my usual response but it was vehement.

  2. I came back to see how you're doing after yesterday's post. Love your reenactment photo!

    I feel much the same about religion. I attended a candlelight vigil led by a Unitarian Universalist congregation last week. I realized, again, that there are definitely some things I miss by not having religion in my life and UU has little of the things that make me cringe. But I'm probably not ready to give up my own quiet form of a spiritual life in favor of even that community of faith.

    I'm practicing pronouncing your name. It doesn't seem so hard when you have it as a bold headline of your blog! Very pretty, too.

  3. Anne Wilson Banks says:

    So, you should go check out a Mormon worship, you will find it almost polar opposite of the show. I am Mormon, haven't seen the show, heard a few songs, and won't go because I can't stand South Park. Thanks for posting your thoughts!

  4. Jenn says:

    I too learned about the show from Fresh Air! I’m not easily offended, and I have on occasion laughed at South Park, however, I avoid blatantly making fun of or poking fun at other people.
    Religion is so far from my cup of tea that I might not see it just because of that.

  5. Danielle G says:

    it’s funny how separated some reactions are to the program. I haven’t seen the play but I hear that you either love it or hate it. You make me curious to see it even more now. Thanks for the extra bought of curiosity.

  6. Yikes. Doesn’t sound like my cup of tea. I’m not religious. I’m a Christian. Most people don’t see the difference, but I do.

  7. Hey Lady!!….Church and religion are NOT the same thing! Religion will have you caught up. Im all about a relationship with GOD and being the best person that I can be and being good to other people. I feel like that is what GOD would want!

  8. Jen St Germain Leeman says:

    I think I'd see it. I'm not super easily offended and Jon Stewart, who I LOVE gave it a great review. I think the premise sounds funny but sometimes if it's a little too "South Park-ed" it loses something in the translation.

  9. Hm, now you have me wanting to see it too! Your reaction sounds similar to what I think mine will be!

  10. Sandy Gram says:

    Thinkin I'll be skipping that one!

  11. Mama Harris says:

    Doesn’t sound like something I’d want to see, but I love the questions it brought up for you.

Your turn! Tell it to Rah-shay!