Monday, February 27, 2012

Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God, and Brother Zeoli!

Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God: How I Grew up as One fo the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (Or Almost All) of it Back. New York, Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2007.
An interesting read, to say the least, for Marash Girl, who was raised in the sweetest of sweet United Armenian Bretheren Evangelical Church of Watertown. . . But what a surprise.  In CRAZY FOR GOD, on pages 237-38, Frank Schaeffer, in describing his entry into Hollywood film production, makes reference to Anthony Zeoli.  Wait a minute . . . Could this be the very Zeoli that told Stengaard that he liked his egg "with another one"?  Could this be the very Zeoli that Marash Girl had heard her father joke about all her life (see  Frank Schaeffer describes "a first generation Italian American old-time evangelist who had happened to be holding a tent revival in Philadelphia half a century before Billy (Zeoli) came to L'Abri.  Dad (Francis Schaeffer) had walked into Zeoli senior's tent revival when he was seventeen.  He heard Anthony Zeoli preach and discovered that there were other people out there also convinced that the Bible was the answer . . . so there was an unlikely yet special connection between Dad (Francis Schaeffer), the self-effacing hippie guru, and Billy Zeoli, the leisure-suited, luxury-car-renting big spender from  Gospel Films. . . "

The book is worth reading, especially for anyone who was brought up in an evangelical church and is concerned about the coming together of politics and religion in the United States. 

(Frank Schaeffer is the author many books, among them the humorous novel, Portofino, based on his experiences with his missionary family in Italy.)


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