This interview first appeared in Christian Times, a weekly publication that covers contemporary Christian news and ideas.
Interview with Jezebel and Rebekah from the Gentempo Family Singers
Q. The Christian community first noticed you ladies based on your early dance work with the Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards) Dance Company. At the time you received some very public criticism from prominent members of that community such as Edna Card, who made accusations about what she considered to be inappropriate dancing during your annual Mayhem event. What was all that about?
A. (Jezebel) Ms. Card did indeed make some comments in her widely regarded blog that were hurtful. But there is a long history within the christian tradition of judgments made by so called "leaders" in the church who are afraid of new ways that people are expressing their love of all that is holy. So we understand it comes with the territory. (Rebekah) I think Ms. Card needs to get back in touch with the parts of her that she keeps hidden under those clothes from the 1890's she wears.
Q. When did you first make the acquaintance of Johnny Crashed and the Rednecks? And do you often find yourself trying to save souls of people like him?
A. (Jezebel) Mr. Crashed and I first became acquainted at Tucker's Pub in a little town called Normal, Maine. We were passing through, stopped there to play an open mic and Johnny and I struck up a conversation. (Rebekah) Jezebel's been dating Jesus for so long she forgot what a real man even smelled like! (Laughing) (Jezebel) Yeah like skunk! Although it turned out that he didn't really smell like a skunk. It was my first introduction to marijuana but at the time I suggested he try bathing in tomato juice. I have been called a bit naïve.
Q. Both of you have spent a number of years at Openly High Farm, home to Johnny Crashed. Based on the kinds of stories that get told about the place and it's inhabitants, did you feel safe?
A. (Jezebel) Well we always travel with The Lord so there is not much that scares us outside of Satan. And Mr. Crashed was always a gentleman with me, although one time I did get into his wood fired hot tub and as it turned out he was naked. But he told me that was how they did it in other countries to show respect for guests. So then I was fine with it. (Rebekah) If I had a nickel for every time that Redneck fella invited me into his trailer, I would be a rich woman. But I would just smoke his weed and read him the Bible. We both got what we wanted, but not quite.
Q. Let's talk about your unique upbringing traveling the back roads of America trying to save souls through song and dance. Is this country ready to accept salvation and redemption in a manner that doesn't come with fire and brimstone attached to it?
A. (Jezebel) We don't want to judge other people's spiritual expressions if we do we just become part of the problem. But in our hearts and the rest of our bodies we know that movement and music are two of the greatest gifts you can give a person, especially young people and we are comfortable that our God approves of how we go about things. But yes, a lot of folks won't accept our framework for saving souls and so they are unlikely to accept us as true Christians. But they aren't making the final judgment on that end of things, so we don't worry. (Rebekah) Some people should spend less time with their noses in the bible and more time watching Footloose. That movie set me free!
Q. Jezebel there have been rumors posted on many gossip websites about you and Johnny Crashed. Is there any truth to these rumors and are the two of you romantically involved .
A. (Jezebel) It is true that Johnny and I have become very close over the time my sister and I spent on the farm. And I have to confess that I did consider exploring a more earthly relationship then the one I have with Jesus. But Johnny is in a lot of emotional pain right now and I think the only way he could be ready for the kind of relationship that I need is for him to heal from the loss of his children. (Rebekah) I wish my sister would have a relationship with someone who was flesh and blood. Jesus is good for a lot of things that ail us, but he has yet to make Jezebel "feel like a woman" to quote Aretha Franklin. (Laughing)
Q. What about the whole issue of marijuana. Have your views changed since you spent time at Openly High Farm, which of course was the first marijuana farm in the state?
A. (Jezebel) Well if there is one thing we Christians know, is that any policy of prohibition is bound to fail. Just look to the Bible and the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. One all knowing, all powerful God, who has one rule to live by. Don't eat the apple! And the all powerful being only needs to watch over two people. And he still fails! I personally do not smoke but I do know that the good Lord has a purpose for everything. And I believe this plants purpose is to heal folks. Physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. (Rebeka) I have actually been smoking marijuana for about five years so the only that has changed for me is that I now get to smoke homegrown organic instead of that dirt-weed they smoke in other parts of the country.
Q. Finally, we're you able to successfully save any of the souls you came in contact with from Somewhere, Maine?
A. (Jezebel) Probably too early to tell. Truth is that some of the folks up there, Johnny and Mr. Redneck, for instance, just don't spend a lot of time thinking about getting their souls saved. Not because they aren't interested in salvation but because it takes a back seat to things like feeding your family, holding onto a piece of land, paying your bills, and trying to avoid getting swallowed up with seedier side of being a marijuana grower. (Rebekah) We aren't done yet with those folks either. Especially Johnny. Me and Jezebel were just talking about how we should convert to Mormons, become his sister-wife's, and get our own reality tv show! Plus them folks got a bigger stick up their asses about song and dance then us Christian folk do so we would be doing them a favor. (Laughs)