Mr. and Mrs. Bilvine
Mr. Albert Bilvine had been a man of deep faith and upheld an extreme conservative political ideology. His morals were abruptly strict and Mr. Bilvine would not bring himself even to watch a minute of the Discovery Channel as it proposed ideas of evolution in which he would always respond as changing the channel over to Fox News, "What a bunch of demonic blasphemy."
His wife was very much the same but more of a boisterous fanatic on the issues. Whatever Mr. Bilvine believed Mrs. Bilvine spoke with no chance of getting a word in otherwise. It was rumor once that Mrs. Bilvine got into a conversation with a young college student attending the university for a doctorate in psychology. Somehow the conversation led to a hypothetical in which Mr. Bilvine was inflicted with a brain injury causing everything he had believed to vanish along with his sanity. His behaviors were clearly out of line and he could no longer be considered a man of decency in this hypothetical scenario. Mrs. Bilvine responded to the young boys imagination saying, "Well first off that could never happen to my husband. If it were to happen I would commit suicide after burning all of my books in regards to religion. And I am a lady of decency and honor. Such things are too preposterous for me to think of. Be gone and bug someone your own age you shitless shrink."
I happen to be the very boy who talked to Mrs. Bilvine that day and found the aftermath ironically disturbing. But before I get into these details it is imperative to recall my interactions with the Bilvine's before their traumatic incidents. There are three distinct memories in which I find very fundamental for highlighting the extremities of belief systems. Though I have nothing against religion, and the likes, remember I still attend church, the Bilvine's case shows the danger of strict morals with no scientific basis. To me these anecdote's are so ironic that I have it in my mind that there is such thing as a higher power.
Incident One - Homosexuality
Danny Phillips was believed to be a homosexual and had been attending the same church that Mr. and Mrs. Bilvine had attended. There had been talk behind poor Mr. Phillip's back that he had been a fagot and a butt fucker. However no one ever approached him personally about such subjects afraid that they would offend him. Most of the congregation had a hunch that because of the way he walked and mannered that he was into other guys. One Sunday afternoon, not long after the Westboro Baptist church haters had a rally in the Twin Cities, Pastor Dave decided to approach the issue in his sermon. Pastor Dave said something like the following; "It came to my attention that the Westboro Baptist church had a rally in the cities recently. Though I don't condone the chosen acts of homosexuals, I also don't uphold the approach the Westboro church takes to the issue. It is clear to me that homosexuality is a sin and one that condemns homosexuals to hell. The homosexual lifestyle is as wrong as are other sins in the Bible. So if there are any homosexuals present I give you the opportunity to repent your sins before Christ."
Silence held the pews to their floor for a moment and the audience looked around. It was not long before Mrs. Bilvine stood up and pointed at Danny Phillips saying nothing. Her stance was that of a possessed nun with her hand and finger erect and her eyes as lasers. Danny, now flushed with emotion and embarrassment got up and left the church covering his sobbing face. The funeral for Danny was held the following week. Cause of death: drug overdose. Drug overdose to me was a nice aphorism for suicide.
Incident Two - Abortion
The second occasion of the Bilvine's belief system causing more demonic damage than good would be the abortion case that occurred not long ago. A young girl who had been diagnosed with some rare condition which increased her chances of death if she went through with her pregnancy consulted the church in order to advise her. She had been considering an abortion in order to save her life from this bizarre condition she was told of after conceiving. My interest in the matter was strictly for a passive psychological evaluation. I was not called upon to advise, but was still invited to attend the small meeting. As well as my presence, Mr. and Mrs. Bilvine came as well. There was me, the pastor, the young couple, and of course, the Bilvine's.
Pastor Dave kindly started putting in his religious doctrine spin on the issue, "I heard a story of a woman with the same ailment as you who went through with her child birth. She lived and her child is a full grown boy. It was a miracle and the boy became a successful entrepreneur. But the church will be understanding if you do decide to proceed with your abortion."
Mrs. Bilvine very upset with these remarks that eluded acceptance responded as if Satan herself were speaking, "Hell if the church will accept it. Abortion is a sign of the apocalypse which is soon to come. You are a sign of the Devil if you go through with this irrational and immoral procedure. The church will not approve and you will spend eternity in Hell. And that is the word of the Lord."
I couldn't believe her words so full of hate. The couple hugged each other and the girl started balling holding onto her man. Her hands formed fists as she grabbed onto his sweater tightly. Mr. Miller rubbed his wife's back clearly showing disapproval of what Mrs. Bilvine had said. His eyes were burning with a fervor of fear and hate.
I wish I would have said something. I mean I did say something, but I needed something more powerful than the word of God to prevent the unspeakable future that be ahead of these two. "Mrs. Miller," I interrupted the silence in the room, "I know that this is an extremely difficult time for you and for your husband, but, but I know that the condition you have leaves you with a ten percent chance of survival. You are likely not to survive and it would be difficult some burden for both your husband and child to go on without you."
Mr. Bilvine protruded like a judge the words, "You can't tamper God's plans with the devil of science itself. This man who speaks to you knows nothing of the Lord and will burn in Hell as well as you if you go through with your baby killing agenda. Let this blasphemy adjourn."
Several months went by and I had actually been so busy with classes I had forgotten to check up on the couple. I went to the library and looked through the newspaper archives and saw the young girls name in the obituary. I called her husband for a check up on his mental state and only got a disconnected line. His name soon turned up in a newspaper as well. His funeral was held a week after I had seen the girls name in the obituary. Come to find out the baby had also died in birth and the man's cause of death was a drunk driving accident. From what little the family said, it sounded like he hit the liquor pretty hard after his wife's passing. I guess that is what happens when you play with statistics. I never did like math.
Incident Three - Divorce
The church was very aware of the relationship between Mrs. and Mr. Right. In fact the congregation was very aware that their relationship was all wrong. See, Mrs. Right was the only person who ever showed her face at church. She had only wore a ring on her ring finger talking only of Mr. Right at fellowship. Brief things like, "He was doing good.", or, "He was taking care of the dog today." She was delicately fragile, skinny, and darkly bruised. She startled every time the sound of the organs began to play. And every time the congregation was asked to stand and repent their sins, Mrs. Right would begin sobbing and shaking uncontrollably.
One day when Mrs. Right was extraordinarily ordinary in her shaking and sobbing, Pastor Dave had a sermon in regards to divorce where he was very sympathetic, "In the case that there is an abusive relationship it is the responsibility of the church to help that person to either fix the abusive husband, or get the wife out of the situation entirely. And..."
Pastor Dave was interrupted by Mrs. Bilvine, with no surprise, "So Pastor Dave, you support whores and prostitutes who chose to get into disastrous relationships and fuck around getting nasty diseases, you support abortion in which mothers murder their precious children, and you support helping homosexuals through their difficulties and dirty lifestyles and all of this in spite of the word of the Lord? "
Strangely in regards to her answerless question, Mr. Bilvine responded loudly as he stood up, "Amen!!!"
The two of them left the church and the following week there was an arrest for a domestic abuse that quickly turned into a homicide. Another funeral followed the next weekend for the girl who was murdered by her abusive husband.
I am generally not a sucker for happy endings. However in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Bolvine I am very happy that things did end the way they did. Over the course of ten years these previous anecdotes occurred and the congregation diminished accordingly. I am unsure why I kept attending. But perhaps there were reasons that were coming from above as to why I continued to stay through all this demonic mayhem. I do believe in a higher power. However, I don't believe in the sort of Lord who hides as Satan behind a cloak of old people's clothes and perfumes like that of Mr. and Mrs. Bolvine. Though their story is sad for those who loved and knew the two dearly, I find it a happy ending.
I had finally received my doctorate's degree in psychology and was practicing as a research psychologist evaluating the degenerating brains of the elderly in a nursing home. Poor Mr. Bilvine had ended up in the same nursing home I had been allowed to study in. The brain trauma he had was so severe after his car accident that he would often talk of wanting to be a girl. He would ask me to do things in a high pitched little girls voice like, "Buy me a dress and put me on some lipstick." And he was very nonsensical: a completely different person in comparison to his church going days. Going against the privacy of the man I looked through his belongings and found loads of pornography both gay and straight, hermaphrodite and transvestite, and some bizarre fetishes as well. I figured something in his hypothalamus must have been altered seen he also had an unusually large appetite. Things became so bad that I ordered him to be put to rest before he jerked off and ate himself to death. He often asked me to leave after being fed by his attending nurse. When I left upon his request the whole home could hear this grotesquely provocative moaning. The degree of satanic decibels caused me to believe it was the sound of the Devil himself.
As for Mrs. Bilvine, she was found hanging by a rope above two books: one written by Bill O' Reilly and another by great story tellers of the past with good intentions: The Bible.