(Author's note: as this goes to press, I will be under general anaesthetic undergoing minor surgery. In the unlikely event that my heart mysteriously stops and I die on the operating table -- and the even more unlikely event that it turns out that the whole St. Peter-Pearly Gates-Escalator going DOWN scenario turns out to be What Really Happens -- I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for just about everything that's ever come out of my mouth. Thank you.)
Today, I'm going to ask you to give uptight fundamentalist Christians a break. No, I'm not talking about those new-agey, progressive "nice" Christians who practice genuine acts of compassion and welcome you into their hearts no matter how depraved your personal life.
I'm talking about the good old-fashioned hate-the-sin through hating-the-sinner kind.
In particular, I want you secular humanist types to stop trotting out that tired old line "Judge not, lest ye be judged" as the catch-all defense against any and all moral judgement levied against you and your demented ways.
First of all, I'd just like to remind you that most of your favorite activities wouldn't be nearly as much fun if there weren't someone out there telling you that they were evil, rotten, and morally wrong. Think that threesome with a pair of incestuous twin lesbians would be quite so titillating if it had all the moral taint of a trip to the dentist? I don't think so. And it's not just the extreme stuff. Every time you drink yourself stupid, every time you get head, every time you even think about what that co-worker of yours would look like naked -- the experience is made just a little bit sweeter because you know that out there, somewhere, an army of prune faced little old ladies is chiding "that's SICK SICK SICK."
But do you ever take a moment to thank them? Selfish ingrate.
And what's with this silly notion that the moral center of Christianity is forgiveness, anyway? If people had been forgiving back in the days of Jesus, then instead of Our Lord dying on the cross to offer salvation for all mankind, Jesus would have grown fat, lazy, and self-indulgent. He would have died on the toilet like Elvis.
That picture would have made a terrible religious icon.
Examine the elegance of the cross. The primal fear it instills as a wood carving, held aloft in the hand of a screaming priest. The way it dangles as a small gold pendant around the neck of an uptight college freshman, telling the world "ok, maybe you can feel me up, but I'm not touching your dick until we're going steady." As a simple geometric figure, it can mean a million things to a million people, a mirror for 2000 years of history. Compare this to a carved depiction of a 300 pound, whore-mongering Jesus, drowning in his own vomit. We'd all still be worshipping Jupiter.
And remember, the second coming is on its way. If Christians don't hold the line, if they aren't rigid and judgmental, and if they don't pass strict laws regulating everyone's behavior, who will be there to kill the next Jesus?
Or maybe it really was Elvis, and we're all doomed.
Previous day's column