Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nail

[note: I was going to write about the sermon of the tenth plague today, but this came up instead. I guess I'll cover that sometime this upcoming week.]

I heard someone actually use the word "nail" in reference to sex recently. Can you believe that? This term is such an obvious reference to penis-in-orifice (doesn't really matter which one) fucking that it barely qualifies as a "double-entendre." Then there's the whole gender roles issue. Can a woman "nail" a man? How about another woman? How can we use outdated colloquialisms referencing phalluses to describe an act in which no phalluses are involved? Of course, the answer to this is that it doesn't matter. We're post-modern now. Words mean whatever we want them to mean. It doesn't matter that this expression is another holdover from the era of male dominance over women; an era in which the man is the subject and the woman is the object; not just in terms of sex, but in all areas of life. This is a medieval concept which is just now barely starting on the path to obsolescence.

Here, I also have to talk about gay marriage, at least this one aspect of it. Those who are in favor of prohibiting it (let's call them "fascists," 'cause it's shorter than "totalitarians" even though it's slightly less accurate) would claim that "changing the definition of marriage" would lead to "the destruction of Western Society!" They seemingly fail to realize that "the definition of marriage" even now is not singular. There is the Catholic Church's definition of marriage; each state in America has a definition of marriage that isn't necessarily the same as the others. The list goes on. Marriage used to be a property arrangement: an exchange of a person for property. Until probably the 60s, everyone's idea of marriage consisted of a man who would work eight hours a day and then come home to his wife who would stay at home submissively doing housework, cooking all meals, never allowed to deny the husband sex, yet never allowed to use birth control either... hm... also involved in the marriage were 7.5 children and a dog or whatever. Interracial marriage wasn't even legal throughout the entire country until 1967! You might say "well, the common denominator is that it was always one man and one woman." Of course, polygamy has been common practice throughout history and still is in many parts of the world. But the point is not who is involved in the arrangement; the point is that the nature of the arrangement has changed fundamentally over time and cultures. Legally, in the U.S., marriage is simply a contract (that happens to come with many privileges and responsibilities). I see no reason and can think of no other example in which we deny two individuals the right to engage in a voluntary legal contract that harms no one!

If you are against gay marriage, I have a question for you: do you even know any gay people? They're not Satan. They're human beings. They deserve the same rights as any other human being. (If you call yourself a "Christian") I bet Jesus is really proud of you for using words he never wrote to oppress and demonize people and compare them to criminals. Nice going, assholes!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I AM a terrist!?

The other day, I went to church for some reason, and the sermon was on the first 9 of the 10 plagues of Egypt. First of all, let's hear it for the ancient Israelites. What other ancient people group went through so much shit in their formative years? God really must have been on their side, yeah?

Anyway, we all know this story. The Israelites went to Egypt because Joseph's brothers sold him to some A-rabs who took him there, and through his supernatural ability to interpret dreams, he went from falsely-accused prisoner to 2nd-in-command of all Egypt in just 17 short years, literally saving the entire known world from starvation in the process! After the Israelites were in Egypt for a few hundred years, Pharoah enslaved them because [let's see how this logic works out here...] he was afraid that there were too many of them (I can just hear him now: "Those Ra-damned Jews! They multiply like rabbits!") and they would join the enemies of Egypt if there were ever a war and then escape the country? Ok, sure, that makes so much sense, let's just go with that. But all this time, the Jews continued to fuck like rabbits even during Pharoah's ultimately ineffective "no male Hebrew child left undrowned" program, until, one fateful day, Moses was born, the child who would one day lead Israel to follow the drinking gourd through the underwater railroad and into the promised land! But first, he felt compelled to kill someone for abusing a slave and out himself as a Jew, which led him to flee into even more of a desert than the one he was already in! Eventually, after having many adventures in exile with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, Moses took some shrooms and saw a bush that seemed to be burning and not consumed by the fire, but only because he perceived time more slowly than usual. The bush told him to return to Egypt and demand that the Israelites be released from slavery. He was startled, so he dropped his staff, which, of course, turned into a snake. Afterwards, when he finally went back to Egypt to demand that Pharoah LET HIS PEOPLE GO! Pharoah replied: "Hey, I remember you! You're the prick from the basket! What the fuck are you doing back here?"

Why did they get Charlton Heston to play Moses, anyway? We all know that Moses didn't really have very good public speaking skills. The one with speaking skills was Moses' brother Aaron, who, ironically, was played by Jeff Goldblum in that other movie.

But all that was just the background! Here's where the story gets interesting, and is, incidentally where the sermon started. Moses couldn't convince Pharoah that the voices he heard in his head were real, so God decided that the best way to melt Pharoah's cold, cold heart was through... plagues? Seriously? Yes... plagues. I mean, this is God we're talking about here. Couldn't he have come up with another way to convince Pharaoh to let the Israelites go? Maybe God had just come up with the idea the previous week and wanted to try it out on someone.

"Hey, Moses. You know what would really convince this Pharoah guy to let my people go? Plagues! We gotta go with plagues, bro. Trust me on this. It's gonna be fuckin' epic!"
And Moses might have replied, "Are you sure? Sounds a bit drastic. Can't you just like, actually change his mind? Without doing the plagues thing?"
"Nah! I don't do that sort of thing! It's not like I'm all powerful or anything! Here, let's dip your staff in the Nile and turn it into blood!"

Hmm... attempting to change the policies of a government through acts of violence... where have we seen that before? Doesn't any of this sound like terrorism to any of you!? Obviously, I'm not going to defend a civilization that enslaved an entire group of people for hundreds of years..... Anyway! Moving on! The sermon giver said that God used this incident to show that "He is always in control" and that He knows how to protect His own people even when He's pouring His wrath onto others. My, how comforting... But who knows, maybe the Israelites wouldn't have had the motivation to return to the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel if the Egyptians hadn't enslaved them. Of course, all of this stuff really, actually happened. They never would have exaggerated or stretched the truth and the story never could have changed over time since it was never written down until Moses was like, really, really, really, really old... This book was inspired by God, after all... right?

The preacher tied this all into modern life by talking about how he doesn't think "anyone in Washington knows how to fix the economy... but God does." Sure... how's he going to do that again? And how's he going to get that message to the people on the ground?

Looking at all of this further in depth, I think it's great that the modern American church is glorifying terrorism like this and is seemingly so thirsty for vengeance. It reflects so well on the message of Jesus, right? I can't wait for next week's sermon on the 10th plague!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009