After watching the History Channel’s ratings-buster series “The Bible” (which concludes tonight, Easter Sunday) and being a former Lutheran Sunday School teacher-turned agnostic, I ‘ve had a hankering of late for some Old Time Religion.
But with a Modernistic Twist.
Point One: Despite what the Bible Belt thinks, God Loves Us. Gays I mean.
Because He/She/It created us or, more specifically, the DNA that makes us who and what we are.
Though, as I said, I was a Sunday school teacher three lifetimes ago, and still like to think of myself as an amateur Biblical historian, I don’t believe there’s some Heavenly Being up there answering our prayers about winning the lottery or saving a dying child’s life. Aren’t we presumptuous as God’s creatures to even think that? My take is that once whatever primal creative force got things going (maybe aliens from some far off universe), It looked around before leaving and said, “O.K., baby, now you’re on your own.” But that doesn’t negate the fact there was some creative force to begin with, a force that made space for us.
As for good old time religion’s views of homos and the guilt trip it creates in so many Catholic and Jewish and Muslim gay men, guys, you have to look at stuff like Leviticus from a practical perspective. Semites were wandering, nomadic tribes, dependent on one another for survival, and viewed the family unit as sacred. So a very practical, essential need, the need to propagate and have kids to tend the donkeys and harvest the wheat and carry on the race, morphed into religious dogma. Anything that threatened that family unit, like a guy getting it on with another guy instead of making babies, or women wrecking marriages as adulterers, well, it’s a no-brainer why such practices were forbidden.
Nor do I think hedonism and spirituality are irreconcilable. What’s wrong with testing every pleasurable sensation the human body can experience, alone or with someone? Isn’t that exalting the Force who created it too?
But what I think is the supreme irony of religion is how many times gays are beaten, brutalized, maimed, killed or marginalized in the name of Jesus, a man whose cardinal commandment was “Love (no, not in the venal sense, queer boy) one another.”
And, yes, I think it’s something that we gays need to practice more among ourselves and not just demand from Straight Society.
Now, what about Jesus?
Here I go again, taking the Express Train to Hell. Having read up on the historical Christ (one of my best sources was a book given to me by a nun I worked with), I know that chances are a Palestine Jew of the first century would not have been homosexual nor openly exhibit homosexual tendencies. (They probably got their rocks off just kissing and hugging one another anyway.) But let’s fantasize a moment, shall we? (Don’t worry, I’ll get Francis I to give you dispensation for reading this, I promise. And you won’t go blind.)
If He were bi, Jesus, would He have been a lucky motherfucker! Twelve hairy, beary fisherman (look at all these hunky Palestinian men on the news), including His Boy, Johnny, plus Mary Magdalene as an occasional break from the men (how erotic is getting your feet washed with a woman’s hair, huh?). Christ, it would have been like having your own roving sex club! And that’s not counting the groupies that were sure to follow Him and his “men.”
Sacrilegious aspersions aside, according to scripture, Jesus was Man and God. If so, wouldn’t he have, or shouldn’t he have experienced as human an activity as sex? If there were any meager vestiges of the real life Jesus left in the Gospels, collectively the world’s greatest fairy tale with all its copycat parallels to pagan religions – like a virgin birth or resurrection – to get people to buy into what was a Jewish cult, those vestiges were sanitized and myth-ified. Just like Jesus’ depiction as a tall, lean Scandinavian by Renaissance painters (doesn’t the Jesus in “The Bible” series look like Jeffrey Hunter who played The Man back in the ‘60’s?). In reality, he was probably 5 foot, five, dark and swarthy. My other theory is that Jesus was an alien. Look again at the immaculate conception, the miracles, the resurrection, the ascension into heaven. Read space ship.
About the only facts that may attributed to an historic Christ according to Biblical scholars were his many proverbs including, again, the ultimate Commandment, “Love One Another.”
One thing the Gospels didn’t gloss over or sugar coat was His passion for S and M and bondage. You have to admit Jesus must have been the ultimate masochist.
Yikes! Please, no marks!