God hates Rosie
Many Americans consider homosexuality a sin and believe that once gay men and women pass away, God hurls them into a pit of fire where they are tortured for eternity by a pitchfork-wielding monster. Shortly after September 11th, Jerry Falwell, a member of the Christian right, claimed that God had orchestrated the terrorist attacks to punish America for tolerating homosexuality. Outside the trial of those who brutally murdered Matthew Shepherd, a hoard of religious fundamentalists held signs with the words “God Hates Fags” written in bold letters. Republican Senator Jesse Helms said recently that AIDS was God’s way of punishing homosexuals. To be candid, I had never paid much attention to these kinds of people. Then, during a training event this winter, about twenty out of the hundred or so Washington University RAs indicated that they either “Strongly Agreed” or “Agreed” with the statement “Homosexuality is a sin.”
Now, it’s one thing when Jerry Falwell condemns homosexuality, but a bunch of RAs? Maybe, I thought, God really does hate gay people? And if Falwell was right, and the Lord uses his awesome powers to brainwash folks into flying planes into buildings when he’s upset about something, then determining exactly what he considers right and wrong is probably a good idea. I also happen to have several close friends and relatives who are homosexual and if God is planning on pitching their souls into some blazing torture chamber, I’d like to give them a heads up. So, last week I curled up with a good Gideon’s Bible and set off to find the Truth.
Well, sure enough, God hates fags. He’s quite clear about it, in fact. In Leviticus 18:22 he commands: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.” Strangely, God says nothing about lying with a woman as with a man, so lesbians might be off the hook. On second thought, it’s probably safer to assume he meant to include lesbians as well and just forgot or something. That means that God hates Eleanor Roosevelt, Dick Cheney’s daughter, and Rosie O’Donnell. Can’t you just picture God watching The Rosie O’Donnell Show on his little GodTV, fists clenched, seething with anger? “I can’t wait to throw you into the flaming pits of Hell, Rosie O’Donnell!” God must think to himself when her cheery face appears on the screen.
Reading further, I came across something else God hates. God hates pork-fried rice. In Leviticus 11:17 he says, referring to pigs, “Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch.” I never thought about it before, but isn’t MSG the perfect form of divine vengeance? Oh snap.it just occurred to me that footballs are made of dead pigskin! The New England Patriots, the WU football team, and anyone else who has ever made contact with that oblong ball has apparently purchased themselves a one-way ticket to Brimstone City. Incidentally, God also hates lobster bisque, crab cakes, and CheeseWiz. Consume these sinful delights, and prepare to know the torments of the damned.
I played football in seventh grade, so Leviticus stressed me out a bit. Nothing, however, could prepare me for what I read next. In Exodus 35:2 God says “.The seventh day shall be sacred to you as the Sabbath of complete rest to the LORD. Anyone who does work on that day shall be put to death.” Death? My mind immediately began racing back to all the Sunday nights I’ve spent studying. One of my residents volunteers at a homeless shelter on Sundays-little does he know that God wants him dead because of it.
God’s vast hatred extends to male-female relationships as well. In Leviticus 15:19, God forbids contact with menstruating women. Perhaps females on WU’s campus should affix a scarlet letter “M” to their shirts once a month so that we men might avoid a trip to the Hell Motel? In Deuteronomy 22:13, God commands that women who have had intercourse before marriage should be stoned to death. Well, there goes Cara Nussbaum. And what happens if these commandments are not followed? God makes it patently clear in Hosea 13:16 when he threatens to “rip pregnant women open and dash their little ones to pieces” for disobedience. God, it seems, isn’t just pro-choice; he’s a rabid abortionist.
I must concede that some of God’s hatreds seemed bizarre (I’m still warming up to the idea that shrimp cocktail could damn my immoral soul) but I was even more confused by some of the things he seems to like. The modern world considers it self-evident-that things like slavery and rape are sinful, but apparently they’re just fine with God. In Genesis, when Lot tells a bunch of rapists to “do unto my [virgin daughters] as is good in your eyes,” God calls him “just” and “righteous.” In Leviticus 22:28, God recommends acquiring slaves from surrounding nations. Maybe we should rethink the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act? Slavery, it seems, is God’s will.
Well, reading the Bible has sure cleared things up for me. I would suggest that other WU students, who are confused over issues of morality, simply thumb through its pages and locate the appropriate passages. I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to think that those who said homosexuality was evil were merely hiding their own values behind the word of God. I could not have been more wrong. The only mistake that the Falwells of the world make is not taking God’s message far enough. Let’s ban football and pre-marital sex and legalize slavery and rape. The Bible, after all, commands us to do so.
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