Shock and Awe
Yesterday I received my issue of the New Yorker. Then I lost it. Actually I set it on the kitchen table and the kids moved it to the coffee table. After dinner I couldn’t find it until I saw the bright orange cover of this weeks issue peeking out from under the coffee table.
I really like the New Yorker, because the quality of the writing is what I aspire to. Obviously if you have read my blog you know that there is no way that you will be reading what I write in the New Yorker any time soon.
This week there were several articles that left me satisfied after reading them. But the most impressive was a little bit of satire from Ian Frazier. You can read it yourself here:Here to Tell You
Ian Frazier begins with a quote from Jerry Falwell from his autobiography. He tells us about Falwell’s father who “plays a prank” on a guy, he doesn’t like by cooking the guy’s cat and serving it to him. My thoughts continuously went to disgust over and over again before I could even get to the satire. How could a Christian preacher even think about publishing such a disgusting story? Wouldn’t publishing the sexual antics of his mother be just about as disgusting? Somehow I can imagine that they would draw the line there. When so-called Christians talk about what should and should not be published how could they come to the conclusion that this was acceptable?
Obviously I haven’t read the autobiography, and I don’t plan to. I don’t have the need to know how to get rich quick by preaching the word of God. Maybe Jerry has a reasonable reason to include this disgusting story in his autobiography. Maybe he tells us how he came to God after being raised by this evil father of his. But, the description in the quote suggests that Jerry found the story amusing.
My point here is that Ian Frazier does a wonderful job in this short satire and I hope you enjoy it as well.politics
HERE TO TELL YOU
by Ian Frazier
"There were times that Dad's pranks bordered on cruelty. One of his oil-company workers, a one-legged man he nicknamed "Crip" Smith, complained about everything. Dad and Crip's co-workers got tired of the old man's bellyaching and decided to take revenge. One morning Crip called in sick and Dad volunteered to send by lunch to his grateful but suspicious employee. Dad and his chums caught Crip's old black tomcat, killed it, skinned it, and cooked it in the kitchen of one of Dad's little restaurants. They called it squirrel meat and delivered it to Crip on a linen-covered tray. When Crip returned to work the next morning, Dad and his co-conspirators asked him how he liked his meal. They knew he would complain even about a free home-cooked lunch, and when Crip called it "the toughest squirrel meat" he had ever eaten, they were glad to tell him why."
--The Reverend Jerry Falwell, in "Strength for the Journey: An Autobiography
There were times that Dad's pranks bordered on what your out-of-control activist judges might call felonies. One of his employees was an effeminate fellow he nicknamed "Sissybritches" Jones, who had a live-in male homosexual companion for the purposes of sodomy. Ol' Sissy mentioned one day that since he and this guy he did sodomy with had been together for years, they had decided to go ahead and get married. Well, that did it, and so Dad and his friends decided to take revenge. This sodomite couple had an old black golden retriever, and because it was old it didn't matter if it died. Dad and the other dads killed it, doused it with kerosene, set it on fire, hung it up in automobile headlights for awhile, and then served it as dog meat on linen-covered trays in their little restaurants. When Sissy and the other one came around afterward and complained, Dad and his squad were happy to let them in on the joke. Then they shot and killed them both.
Of course, I'm exaggerating a little bit here. Every good story gets exaggerated some in the retelling, and there's nothing wrong with that. I seem to recall that the two men were not actually shot and killed, or not at that time. But I think the underlying point of the story remains the same, and it is this: First, we sometimes forget how much humor there is in the Bible. The Bible is full of wonderful, earthy humor, if not on every page, at least on many pages, particularly in the Letters of Paul. And, second, we should never lose sight of the fact that Jesus said--get out your Bibles, it's Matthew 10, verse 34--he said, "I have come not to bring peace, but a sword."
Note that Jesus does not say he came to bring a dagger, or a wooden club with pointed spikes in it. He specifies a sword. Why does he do that? Probably because the sword was the most advanced weapon of Jesus' day. And if we transpose this saying into our own era, if we wanted a weapon, none of us would be likely to reach for a sword. The verse could perhaps be better understood in our terms if it referred not to a sword but to an automatic rifle or shotgun sold out of the trunk of a person's car in a lumber company parking lot in Dothan, Alabama. When we see it like that we have a better idea of what Jesus was trying to say.
Now, some of the so-called cultural elites in Hollywood and Washington and Raleigh-Durham want to tell us that our long-standing traditions have become somehow unfashionable in the modern world. And don't kid yourselves--when they say that, they're really telling us they're right and we're wrong. They'll say, for example, that you can't blow up a bag of kittens with a shotgun, just because they themselves never did it for a harmless prank when they were young. Then these folks wants to turn around and put their values, or lack of values, on everybody else.
Once again, the answer I have for them is simple: Go back to your Bible. In the very first book, first chapter, twenty-sixth verse--read along with me--it says God gave man, quote, "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over all living things on the earth," unquote. What does this mean? If you said that it means you can bury an old black Chihuahua up to its neck in your yard and run over its head with a lawnmower, then you have been paying attention, because you are exactly correct. They key is that little word "dominion." When God uses that word he is saying, in essence, man can do to the beasts of the earth whatever he wants or feels like at any particular time.
This is especially true, by the way, regarding cats. I happen not to be fond of cats, and that includes secular-humanist catlike dogs such as Chihuahuas and golden retrievers. This is just a personal preference that I and most of my fellow pastors share. But when I or any other pastor am asked to perform a marriage of homosexual cats, or of homosexual cat-owning people--well, then I think the hour has come for a scourging of wickedness such as God used to do in the Biblical lands. I know you all are familiar with the story of the old black tomcat and the one-legged newlywed lesbian couple from Massachusetts. If you'd be interested to study it further, there's a copy of it on the pink sheet in your bulletin insert. After you read it you will see several phone numbers at the bottom that you can call.
But that's not what I'm here to talk to you about today. No, it isn't. I am here to tell you that I have never in my life been happier than I am right now. This evening, I actually shed tears of joy at the recent success of our efforts. And as I wept I also danced a little bit, not lewdly like on MTV, but with a couple crossover steps and a godly kind of hop, I felt so blessed. what miracles have been achieved!
Then I strutted for a while, and gave myself high fives in the full-length mirror in my office in the rectory. My son heard me and he came in, and we did some complicated handshakes that I could share with you all if you would like to learn them. Oh, last November was glorious for those who care, as we do, about the traditional, non-homosexual, one-man-and-one-woman-with-children-whose-paternity-can-be-verified family! (And by that I mean, of course, a family in which BOTH the man AND the woman were BORN a man and a woman, and can prove it--that is, they are still exactly the same sex as they were when they were born, and haven't had any of those operations that are all the rage, I'm told.)
By now, it may be obvious to many of you that I'm on the verge of hysteria. I split the back of my jacket in my gyrations before I came out here--those of you behind me would be able to see it if I weren't wearing this beautiful robe. Friends, remember our constitutional Federal Marriage Amendment! We have got to make Congress pass that thing! I believe in my soul that we will. And, before we do, we better remember to put in a couple of sentences about the requirement that you be born a man or a woman, et cetera. I honestly thought of that only just now.
Oh, I feel an unusual presence of administering angels. Truly the spirit has descended upon us tonight. I want you all to bow your heads, and take out your Palm Pilots and BlackBerries and cell phones and laptops, and then work and work them with all your strength, until the kingdom of us begins to appear.