Saturday, 21 February 2009

Rapture Ready


I've been banging on about Christers quite a bit of late, and I haven't finished yet. I know that the WBC are far from representative of all Christians, and we should be grateful for that. The kind of Christianity I was involved with as a teenager - the US-style Born Again variety as cultivated in the 1970s UK - is also far from representative, but it's the kind I know best and loathe most, so I'm about to have a go at it. There are many other branches of which I have no experience. I have a friend who was brought up among Plymouth Brethren and her description of their precepts makes the Taliban sound frivolous. Anyway, here's another diatribe.

I mentioned The Rapture earlier. The idea here is that pretty soon (it's been 'pretty soon' for quite some time now) all us Born Again, Showered in the Blood of the Lamb Christers will be assumed into Heaven, leaving the rest of you poor saps to fend for yourselves during the reign of the Antichrist. If you go here you can learn all you need to know to avoid being left behind with the unrighteous after the Rapture. The answerer of these FAQs knows God almost well enough to deputise for him, and The Lord has as many opinions, views, action plans and guidelines as any party steering committee. Let me give you a taste of what you need to be doing or avoiding in order to shape up.

Is jerking off OK? Guidelines on spanking the monkey are scant, but it seems you can probably get away with it so long as you don't think as you do it. If you fantasize, you might be committing adultery in your heart, which is every bit as bad as doing it for real, except of course there will be no possibility of unwanted pregnancy, transmission of STDs or even knowledge on the part of the object of your fantasy that you have knocked one off while thinking of him / her. That makes no never mind in God's eyes, though. Try wanking without fantasizing. Or try not wanking at all. You probably can't last either course for long, so you are stuffed - one more thing to feel guilty and grovel to God about.

What if you fear that your son is growing up a bit of a pouf, playing with barbie dolls instead of killing toy soldiers and beating up his buddies like a normal boy? 'Just calmly explain that God loved him so much that He made him a little boy—just like Jesus.' You might want to say this out of earshot of your little girl. Have an answer ready in case he gets all excited and wants to know where this little boy Jesus made him is. 'Then take him out and let him pick out a special new toy to play with—just for him.' And pray to Jesus he doesn't go for Tiny Tears or My Little Pony. If he does, ' ...this is a great time for Dad to spend some alone time with his boy doing something special. Some great and prominently [sic] male activities are fishing, hiking, hunting, building a model, cutting the grass…' Oh, please! When do these innocents get it through their skulls that butch activities (don't you just love to watch a man mowing the lawn!) won't make anybody straight if they are not already? In my experience, and that of dozens of other gay men of my acquaintance, all attempts to involve us in sports and model making and playing at fighter bombers and all that dreary stuff were doomed to frustration - we just didn't give a shit, and no fatherly or school-masterly threats and blandishments could change that.

There are no guidelines on the site for parents who are worried about a daughter growing up butch. 'Just calmly explain that God loved her so much, He made her a little girl, just like...' well, who? Thank God girls don't matter so much, huh?

Did Adam have a navel? This is classified under 'silly questions' and the writer is commendably honest here: 'There is no way to verify if he actually had one or not.' True, true. But if God made Adam from spit and clay, like, why would he have bothered with a navel, right? Duh! The question of whether or not Adam had nipples, and if so why, is not addressed. (Nor why God needed spit.) There was no immediate practical application for them, but perhaps God already knew that six thousand years later we would see the development of the velvet tit clamp as yet another fleshly temptation to be avoided on the path to heaven. Truly, God loves us.

Of course, homosexuality is top of the Born-Again God's hate list, and... oh, sod it, we won't go there again, not today.

Finally, let me give you an example of what God does like, just in case you are getting the impression he's just a curmudgeonly ole Crosspatch who's like, totally no fun! Below is a nice young man playing the sort of music it appears God can never get enough of, so start singing along now, if you know what's good for you.


Fionnchú said...

The strictures on what's mislabelled (in the true biblical context) onanism that you cite remind me of the Catholic ones that limit the extraction of semen. Technically-- and canonically-- the only permissible way to get the spunk is to somehow scoop up what's left after proper intercourse, if such was needed for fertility treatments. Which themselves get you out of what's natural into what's artificial anyhow. This all loops into some tautological theological perpetuation.

As my religion teacher in h.s. told us, for the truly observant believer, the only acceptable act is one "open to the possibility of conception," even if it's as miraculous as Sarah getting knocked up by Old Abe in her 90s.

Sorry to hear about your statements here proving inadvertently again the damning inability of readers to discern satire, but that again does play into stereotypes as persistent as those which these deluded folks peddle themselves. Keep up the good fight. Wheels within wheels indeed.

P.S. The word verification of "savishe" sounds as if Google's making swishy fun of this whole thread.

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks for the comment. After the age of 20, nothing I ever did sexually came anywhere near the possibility of conception!

Was flabbergasted that people did not see I was sending the Phelps crew up, but as you say, there's no reason why anyone who truly believes all that should see any reason to imagine I was other than serious.

'Savishe'... isn't that something to do with raw fish?

Fionnchú said...

"Ceviche": marinated raw fish served in little tortilla cups! Buen provecho para tú comida... con "los platanos Cristianos"!

Yewtree said...

The thing about getting potentially gay little boys to do butch things reminded me of this (and as you say, where does this all leave us butch grrls?)


Yes, it was Bedford Park the vision came from -
De Morgan lustre glowing round the hearth,
And that sweet flower which self-love takes its name from
Nodding among the lilies in the garth,
And Arnold Dolmetsch touching the spinet,
And Mother, Chiswick's earliest suffragette.

I was a delicate boy - my parents' only -
And highly strung. My father was in trade.
And how I loved, when Mother left me lonely,
To watch old Martha spice the marmalade,
Or help with flower arrangements in the lobby
Before I went to find my playmate Bobby.

We'ld go for walks, we bosom boyfriends would
(For Bobby's watching sisters drove us mad),
And when we just did nothing we were good,
But when we touched each other we were bad.
I found this out when Mother said one day
She thought we were unwholesome in our play.

So Bobby and I were parted. Bobby dear,
I didn't want my tea. I heard your sisters
Playing at hide-and-seek with you quite near
As off the garden gate I picked the blisters.
Oh tell me, Mother, what I mustn't do -
Then, Bobby, I can play again with you.

For I know hide-and-seek's most secret places
More than your sisters do. And you and I
Can scramble into them and leave no traces,
Nothing above us but the twigs and sky,
Nothing below us but the leaf-mould chilly
Where we can warm and hug each other silly.

My Mother wouldn't tell me why she hated
The things we did, and why they pained her so.
She said a fate far worse than death awaited
People who did the things we didn't know,
And then she said I was her precious child,
And once there was a man called Oscar Wilde.

"Open your story book and find a tale
Of ladyes fayre and deeds of derring-do,
Or good Sir Gawaine and the Holy Grail,
Mother will read her boy a page or two
Before she goes, this Women's Suffrage Week,
To hear that clever Mrs Pankhurst speak.

Sleep with your hands above your head. That's right -
And let no evil thoughts pollute the dark. "
She rose, and lowered the incandescent light.
I heard her footsteps die down Bedford Park.
Mother where are you? Bobby, Bobby, where?
I clung for safety to my teddy bear.

John Betjeman

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks for that, Yewtree. Had not read it before. It is so strange to me that same-sex friendship and desire should exercise people as much as it does. ''My Mother wouldn't tell me why she hated
The things we did, and why they pained her so.'' Wonder if she knew herself?


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