A friend of mine once described the Old Testament God as a “ubiquitous fascist,” an apt description if ever there was one. Since there probably is no God–luckily–instead we’re left with a bunch of megalomaniacs who think that they’re God. If I were a believer, I’d be even more outraged than I am that a relative few fallible human douche bags have the gall to think they deserve to occupy a place of omnivorous omniscience and omnipotence in the absence of an immortal who’s qualified for the job on an eternal full-time basis.
If I may digress for a moment, last night I had a dream in which my wife Jina’s pastor, whom I think may actually be a closet heterosexual (shhh! Please don’t tell Jesus! I’m sure he’d be heartbroken to lose one of his innumerable groupies), told me that he doesn’t like being in well-lit places and prefers the dark. Maybe all of Jina’s religious browbeating and feverish speaking in tongues while she’s lying in bed next to me like Linda Blair in The Exorcist had somehow penetrated my subconscious and she was directing the dream like William Friedkin.
The thing is, unless I’m doing something that requires light, such as reading, or it’s daytime, I also prefer being in a darker atmosphere, as it suits my temperament more than glaring fluorescent forcible cheerfulness highlighting the veins in my skin and turning me into one big squinting X-ray. So I thought maybe the pastor, who resembles a cross between (not a literal cross) Dale Carnegie, Adolf Hitler, and U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (I couldn’t resist saving him for the punchline), was merely humoring me so that I’d “see the light,” so to speak.
Homophobic cheap shot at his expense notwithstanding, I’m always impressed with how obsessed my wife is at the “unnaturalness” of gays, the usual mean-spirited excuse given by Christian televangelists and Republicans in Congress to rationalize their loathing of a whole class of people, which all too often is overcompensation for longings that are later exposed by their own participation in gay sex (hello, Reverend Ted Haggard!).
As we all know, sex is “supposed” to be for procreation alone (which, if you take that two-word phrase as complete, means parthenogenesis, a feat I’ve read that sharks are capable of, God bless ’em). So in other words, anyone out there who’s just having sex for fun–whether you’re gay or straight–cut it out. Thanks. Now you can be saved. Praise the Lord. Amen.
(Ahem.) The other day my wife said that if you play Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign mantra “Yes, we can” backwards, it comes out as “Believe in Satan,” or something like that.
“No, it doesn’t!” I said, trying it out on paper just to prove it. “It’s ‘Na keew say,’ which doesn’t mean anything.”
Yet she insisted she was right, as she always does. She’s still obsessed with the idea that the U. S. government has plans to coerce everyone in the country to have a computer chip implanted subcutaneously, and told me that I should rescue my paltry retirement savings before they take the money away. (Genuine though her paranoia is, this could also be a convenient ploy for her to seize hold of said money in practiced gold-digger fashion.)
“We tried to beat God into him, but it didn’t work.” So says the father of Virgil Starkwell, the failed bank robber played by Woody Allen in Take the Money and Run, disguised with his wife in Groucho Marx fake-nose-and-mustache-and-glasses. (Woody Allen once said that his real-life mother bore a striking resemblance to Groucho Marx. I thought he was joking until I actually saw her in the documentary Wild Man Blues, and sure enough, she was Groucho’s female doppelganger.)
What rankles is the certainty that so many strict believers have that they’re right. (Jina describes herself as a born-again; I feel sorry for her mother, having to give birth to a full-grown adult like that. It must have been painful.) I’m married to Big Sister. There’s no chance in hell I could ever be born-again. I once went to visit a college friend of mine a few years later, only to find the feisty, exuberant, if also at times insufferably pretentious, literary cynic and punk rock fan had undergone a dark night of the soul that led him to the verge of suicide, only to become a BAC (born-again Christian).
This may sound cold, but at the time I felt he probably should have gone with the suicide instead. In fact, I still feel that way. At least that way his dignity would be intact.
And, to wax even meaner, my wife would have saved me a lot of trouble if she’d committed suicide back when she first threatened to when I told her I didn’t want to marry her. Sure, I’d have felt guilty about it afterwards, but at least I wouldn’t be married to the goddamned lunatic. I had no idea at the time that a person’s beliefs could become such a disease–and a contagious one at that (as a nod to the overused Christian sheep metaphor, why not call it “ovine spongiform encephalitis”?).
What’s wrong with having a sense of wonder, with admitting you don’t know the ultimate purpose of life, death, or the universe, or even who or what created it? These epistemological questions are best left to scientists to attempt to answer, instead of people who think they already know why everything is the way it is (in other words–at least if you’re talking about nowadays–completely fucked).
Better still, why not leave them unanswered, in the province of poets and philosophers?
The human ear is shaped like a question mark with a vagina in the stem. What you listen to deeply determines what your brain gives birth to.
In other words, creation resides in your mind.