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This Ersatz Teen Queen's Longing For The Prince Of Peace, Or Merely A Piece.

By James DiGiovanna

JULY 6, 1998: 

A Heavenly Place, by Jaci Velasquez (Simon and Schuster). Paper, $10.

YOU KNOW WHAT I love best about Jesus? Just how perverted his followers are! (Please address all hate mail to That Crack-Smoking Whore Monger DiGiovanna, c/o Tucson Weekly).

The latest kinder-Christ sex kitten to appear on the horizon is Jaci Velasquez, who, according to her official bio, won the 1997 Dove Award for artist of the year, spent 36 weeks on the Heatseekers chart, and was voted Best New Artist by CCM and CRR. OK, I've never heard of any of that shit, but if it wasn't impressive why would it be included in her publicity packets?

Anyway, apparently she's a 17-year-old Christian music star, and judging by the pictures on the covers of her albums and book, she is one slinky vixen for God. They've got her made up and tressed out in the most come-hither ensemble since Heloise made Abelard lose his marbles.

Her book is your basic teen confessional, with the usual sexual longing and an unusual amount of cutesy religious sentiment. She goes on about her virginity, about her first kiss at age 15 from a Calvin Klein model (was it Marky Mark? We're left guessing...) and about how her current boyfriend is allowed to kiss her, but anything else is off limits because she's afraid that "if I feel that, I'm going to want more...."

She gets hotter when talking about the spiritual significance of sex, saying, "To share myself sexually with someone is to share the most intimate part of myself...to become what the Bible calls 'one flesh' with him."

But things really reach a fever pitch when she leaves fleshy men out of the picture entirely and talks about her sex fantasies with God himself: "Lord," she says, "use me in any way you can. Break me open like a flower in the rain, and pour your living water into my soul, and use me. I want to be a vessel you work through."

Yowza. There's some other stuff in the book about the importance of family; why girls should feel bad about the way they look, because even Jaci feels bad about that; and a brief chapter on God called "Making Him My Own." Central to the book, though, are the chapters on emotions, dating, and "The Fire Inside," i.e., frustrated, sweaty, teen-sex desires. From Jaci's longing-filled prose, I'm guessing she's going to be the next Christian music star to go bad girl. Lucky is the underwear model who gets to break open this flower in the rain and pour his living water into her soul.

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