Holy Battle in Battlecreek
by Elroy Willis - September 21, 2006
BATTLECREEK MICHIGAN (EAP) -- Boycott threats from thousands of angry Christian mothers convinced Kraft Foods to remove the letter V from its boxes of Alpha-Bits cereal last week, according to an anonymous inside source at the mega-sized food conglomerate.
"When told to keep it a secret, I just couldn't do it," the source said.
"Upper management told us that most people wouldn't even notice the letter was missing because they don't really pay attention while they're eating, so most people around here were willing to cover up what was going on, but I couldn't keep quiet."
"I ended up telling one of my teacher friends and he told some other teachers and parents, and now the truth is exposed."
The trouble began when thousands of Christian mothers banded together into a group which calls itself "Mothers Of Morality," or MOM for short. The leader of the group, 42-year-old Diane Rutlidge, was eating breakfast last month with her young daughter when her daughter suddenly screamed in horror at the letters 'DEVIL' in her cereal bowl.
"She actually wet her pants and was almost late for the bus because she had to go change," Rutlidge said.
Rutlidge says she doesn't want that ever happening again, so she rounded up all the women from her church and other local churches and went on a crusade, gathering up thousands of signatures that she then sent to Kraft Foods.
"Waking up with the DEVIL or his name staring you in the face isn't a very nice way to start the day. Not for me, not for any MAD mothers like me, and certainly not for any of our innocent children," was the closing paragraph in the petition, according to Rutlidge.
She says she's also a member of "Mothers Against Demons," MAD, which pickets and boycotts movies and TV shows which have demonic characters portrayed in them, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter.
"I'm a MOM, I'm MAD, and I'm proud of it," she says.
"Some of us MAD mothers are also MADD members and against drunk drivers, so I guess you could call us triple MAD. Some of us are also members of "Mothers Against Drugs," which makes us four times as MAD as some of the lazy liberal Christian mothers who just sit by and watch their children being perverted by demons on TV or in their cereal or from drug pushers at their schools."
"They turn a blind eye, but MAD mothers like us are actually doing something about the problems."
Opponents and concerned teachers claim that without the V, the word SATAN could still be spelled, and say that Rutlidge and people like her are being completely ridiculous.
"She could simply quit buying Alpha-Bits or pick out the Vs if she's so afraid of them," they say.
Rutlidge says her MAD group's next move is to get up a petition to boycott Campbell's Soup to get rid of the offensive letter V in its Alphabet soup.
"Soup or cereal, it's all the same to us. If the Devil can pop up in a bowl right in front of you or your children, then it's got to go," she said.
"We'll boycott Chicken Noodle soup too, if we have to, to show them we mean business. I don't think they want that happening."
"Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to take out some of the vowels, like the I or U, so our kids won't be able to see the word 'LUCIFER' in their bowls," says Joseph Angstrom, a vegetarian home-schooler who uses Alphabet soup to encourage his children to eat healthy and learn how to spell at the same time.
"This must be a joke," said Luey Ramsfield, a New York kindergarten teacher who uses Alpha-Bits cereal letters in his class to teach his students how spell and have fun at the same time while they're having their morning milk.
"When they spell a word correctly, I let them eat the letters as a treat. If the V is taken out, I won't be able to teach my kids how to spell 'LOVE' or 'GIVE'," he said.