Elsewhere This Week: Secret Keeper Girls and Cognitive Dissonance
The night kicked off as one would expect, with fun, energetic games and songs, before diving into the kid-oriented lessons and memorized Bible verses. The Virginia-based all-woman group One Girl Nation sang and helped out with the event throughout the night.
The first thing I noticed was the pink. It was everywhere—absolutely everywhere. The stage was covered by a large set featuring the SKG logo in bright shades of pink, and many of the girls in attendance, most of them skewing younger than 10, were wearing the color.
The second thing I noticed was the ableism. The theme of the evening was “choosing to be crazy for God,” based on a verse from 2 Corinthians (translation from The Message):
If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.
The idea is a common one in Christianity—separating yourself from people in the rest of the world by not going along with their sinful ways and being willing to be called a “freak” or “crazy.” However, the entire evening was based around the idea that being “crazy” was a choice that religious people made. Such an ethic contributes to the erasure of people who struggle with mental illness and the idea that they are genuinely “crazy.” This use of “crazy” erases people like me, who has found much solace and normality in finally treating an ongoing anxiety and depressive disorder and who took a Xanax shortly before attending the event.