Sunday, July 22, 2007

MY FAVORITE JESUS!

So I guess this “God” that all the slower-witted villagers around here keep talking about really DOES hate the Gays.



That’s the only possible explanation for the death of Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Bakker) this week, but the continued foul existence of that other Messenger of the Lord, “Reverend” Fred Phelps – he of the “God Hates Fags” brigade – who, with his usual charm, just announced plans for a “Matthew Sheppard Burns in Hell” memorial statue in his home town of Toothless Idiot, Kansas.



The Kansans of course try to divest themselves of association with this kook, but nobody’s buying it. I simply adore how the people in some of these ghastly ‘burgs get on the defensive, sputtering in their Petticoat Junction accents that “we ain’t no hicks” or “we got nothin’ against the fags. Or the darkies either!” No wonder Kansas tried to vote against teaching Evolution in school; its citizens have no evidence it ever happened.

But you have to give Mr. Phelps some credit; at least he’s consistent. And, to be honest, he is only trying to live up to the true letter of the Bible. It’s not his fault that the authors of that over-long and badly written tome were homophobic, racist, misogynistic bastards; like the Nazis, Mr. Phelps is really only just following “orders”.

I must admit I am amazed when I hear someone identify themselves as a Gay Christian. It’s rather like being a Blind Race Car Driver – it’s possible, I suppose, but it’s probably going to end very badly.

Matthew Sheppard, for those of you without cable television or access to running water, was the young man murdered by a couple of in-bred rednecks he picked up at a local bar.



Granted, we’ve all made bad choices after a few Cosmos, but he certainly didn’t deserve to be crucified in some tacky cornfield someplace just because he had a taste for rough trade. Anyway, now that he’s no longer simply a college boy looking for a quick three-way, but an AMERICAN ICON-



-- he has become fair game for the Christian Wackos and as such we must simply shake our heads and wonder whatever happened to the kindness and love espoused by that blond haired and blue eyed Jesus we all used to see in our Sunday School coloring books.



Never mind that the actual historical Jesus Christ probably bore a closer resemblance to Shemar Moore-



than Brad Pitt –



both of whom coincidentally have ended up naked on the Internet.

No, I’m talking about the All American Jesus, the one the Born Again types say they know “personally”.



I was passing by the television room yesterday - trying to find those useless Servants of mine, most of whom have been hiding away from me while they try to finish reading the latest Harry Potter Book, which by the way ends with the discovery that Bruce Willis has been dead all along - and saw a piece of an interview CNN did with an attractive teenaged girl at one those combination Pep Rally/Brainwashing sessions the evangelical Christian movement holds every summer in whatever massive outdoor stadium has recently lost its license to hold sporting events.

The child, 16 if she was a day, raved on and on in the hot sun about her “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ -



- to the point where she finally fell over onto the ground and began to froth at the mouth. Clearly the poor thing was dehydrated and hallucinating, but I also couldn’t help but wonder if she saw this interview as being her potential audition piece for American Idol – The Christian Version. (Interesting to note all the Christians on that show, thanking God profusely, even though it specifically says in the "Good Book" that Thou Shalt Not Worship Idols....!!)

I must pause for a moment to reflect on this deluded young woman’s idea of a “personal relationship” with a man who has been dead for two thousand odd years. I’ve certainly heard of long-distance love affairs, having had a few of these myself here and there, but I think even the most romantic among you will agree that two millennia, not to mention Death, is stretching the point.

To me, a personal relationship involves AN ACTUAL PERSON with whom you share, at the very least, dinner once a month, the occasional phone call, perhaps a post card during an overseas trip. It doesn’t mean kneeling on the floor, murmuring vague pleas for a better job or a bigger car, and hoping that your “personal friend” won’t tell his Dad to strike you dead for masturbating.

Of course my dear Christian readers will argue that Jesus is REAL to them, and he speaks to them, and they can feel his presence nearby. Darlings, I’m SURE you can. In fact, I’m delighted that you do…it keeps people like you from talking to ME on airplanes. Back before science knew that the earth was round and gravity kept us all from hurtling off the planet and into space, the faithful called those feelings “the holy spirit”. These days it’s called a “disassociative disorder” and there are medications for it.

With all due respect to those who waste perfectly good Sunday mornings feeling their buttocks fall asleep on wooden benches while some loon quotes from an antiquated law book about how eating shellfish is going to send the diner to Hell – which, in the case of the Red Lobster caliber restaurants frequented by the average church-goer, is ALREADY true – if Somebody is dead for three days and then gets back up and blithely takes a stroll around the town square, trust me that Somebody isn’t the Son of God, that Somebody is a Zombie.



And we all know how you get rid of Zombies. You shoot them in the head.

Maybe that’s why the Christian Right are so adamant about their Constitutional Right to Bear Arms? Because deep down they know full well that it wasn’t the Power of Christ that made the Dead rise; it was radiation from some meteor shower, and one of these days it’s going to happen again…and we’re gonna need guns.



Actually the Sunday School Jesus isn’t my favorite Jesus. My favorite Jesus is the GQ Jesus, the sexy, buff one hanging on the church wall with that skimpy Versace-like loincloth he wears low on his hips threatening to fall off at any moment and give us all a view of his “Holy Trinity”. That’s the Jesus I want a personal relationship with. His cheekbones alone are worth five bucks in the “offering” tray, but how about those abs? If I had known crucifixion gave you stomach muscles like that, I’d have put a cross in the gym years ago!

But back to Tammy Faye.



She may have had her issues; granted, her style of make up and fashion could have used a little tweaking here or there, if only to keep from frightening the birds out of the trees. But she was certainly no worse in that department than some of the ghastly creatures I’ve seen on the few occasions I’ve ventured down to the Desert Hills Outlet Mall – strictly for research, mind you – with those horrendously inflated lips which seem to be all the rage these days. One does wonder exactly at what point these tight-faced women – and more than a few men – decided their ultimate fashion icon would be a Lake Trout?

Beyond a few misguided detours along the way –



-- notably her marriage to crybaby/closet case homosexual Jim Bakker and her arguably unwitting participation in the great PTL Scandal of the late eighties, wherein (shock, horror!) it turned out that God DIDN’T need a waterpark after all – Tammy Faye was for the most part a shining little beam of light in the otherwise grim, humorless landscape of Christianity. Not for her the perverse doctrine of “an eye for an eye”, a bit of Biblical inanity which I am particularly concerned about as it seems to have become the justification for an entire subspecies of Catholic-trained Hispanic teenage gang members to shoot each other and potentially cause serious problems down the road for our nation’s landscaping industry.



No, she was more of a “turn the other cheek” kind of gal, taking the satires and the slams and the crude jokes in her stride and indeed laughing ALONG with them. I think it’s safe to say that her huge fan base of “camp” loving gay men, the ones who continued to support her various show business ventures, all the way from a failed tv talk show through to a cabaret performance of what was perhaps too charitably called “An Evening of Entertainment with Tammy Faye”, are going to miss her.



If there were more Christians like Tammy Faye, I think maybe the world would be a better place after all. And although I don’t believe in a Heaven, I hope for Tammy Faye’s sake it has a makeup department.