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When Thea Deley was growing up, she was told a lot of strange things by Protestant leaders. From a Sunday-school teacher proclaiming that only Satan worshippers used a particular brand of toothpaste to a minister making a special home visit to tell her that she couldn’t become a member of the clergy because God didn’t want women preaching, Deley was raised deep in a religion that she started questioning at a young age. Now she has taken her personal evolution from believer to blasphemer and turned it into a comedic one-woman show titled Jesus Loves You! (but hates me).

“That experience of being raised in a pretty conservative Christian family could really warp a person’s sense of reality,” explains Deley. “As an adult, I’m just trying to poke fun at stuff so that it doesn’t have so much power.” And she does this by playing ten characters, as well as showing spoof commercials for products like a No Sins Too Small Stoning Kit.

Using humor, Deley works through her anger and sadness about the distance that religion created with the rest of her family, and she hopes to help others who were raised in similar situations. “There are all these estranged families out there because of religious differences,” she says. “If my show in any way can make some of those estranged people feel supported or feel not alone, then I’ll feel like I’ve done something worthwhile.”

Deley’s one-woman show, which is intended for a seventeen-and-up audience, plays at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street. Tickets are $15, $12 for students, and available at the door or online at For more information, visit
Sat., Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m., 2013


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