godhateswanking and other stories

This journal has been a bit high-brow lately, you know? Time for some light relief.

  • Yellow, university chaplain and all-round good egg, was going through some back issues of Christianity magazine when he happened across the problem page. Maggie, the Christian agony aunt, deals with her readers’ sexual problems, while strangely neglecting to deal with the most glaring problem suffered by her correspondents. Yellow found a letter from, and reply to, a lady who “can’t leave the little man in the boat alone”, who has been petting the pussycat, strumming the banjo and flicking the bean, if you take my meaning (I’m saying she’s been wanking a lot). Maggie knows that God doesn’t approve of that sort of thing, and suggests a number of interesting remedies.

  • Those of you who were watching the apotheosis of President Obama might have heard about the controversy surrounding Obama’s decision to ask Rick Warren to pray at his inauguration. Warren’s views are fairly typical among evangelicals. With regard to women, he’s a complementarian. He’s against gay marriage, abortion and so on. His views are quite different from those espoused by Obama. So what was he doing at the inauguration, and behaving himself too? bites_the_sun has the answer.

  • Dan Savage also runs a sexual problem page, although his answers tend to differ from Maggie’s. Savage reacts in a fairly direct way to the anti-gay mob. For example, he’s responsible for the new meaning of former Sentator Rick Santorum‘s surname. “Warren” is already a place where rabbits live, of course, so Savage has instead turned his attention to Saddleback, Warren’s mega-church. Savage is pleased to announce a new term, saddlebacking, which I’m sure will come in useful, especially to the people who write in to Christianity‘s problem page.

4 thoughts on “godhateswanking and other stories

  1. Hilarious.

    My beef about the gollum/warren gag is that it takes as its *premise* that RW “hates” gays. As far as I can tell, Warren’s primary offense (which leads to him doing odious things like supporting Prop 8, making offensive comparisons, etc.) is holding the view that is most prevalent among evangelicals: namely, that respecting Scripture as in any way reflecting the wisdom of God requires treating same-sex relationships as a separate (and problematic) case, not equivalent to hetero relationships.

    I’m not satisfied that holding this view alone should mark someone as “hateful” towards GLBT people.

    So the casual assessment of RW as hateful seems to me to come out of the same playbook I abhor when I hear Christians playing “snap” and looking for heresies, and when they find them, considering the individuals guilty of thoughtcrime and candidates for shunning.

    1. Oh, yes, not all evangelicals have what I’ve previously called a visceral reaction to gays. I know this because I didn’t have one when I thought gay sex was sinful. Still, their attitude just adds to the problems gays have, so it’s certainly right to criticise it.

      I’m not sure how many evangelicals are against gay sex purely because of a cool reflection on what the Bible says. The Bible has much more to say on divorce, for example, yet I don’t hear stories of people who’ve remarried being drummed out of evangelical churches, barred from ministry, and so on. As Warren himself said in his Beliefnet interview

      Oh, we always love to talk about other sins more than ours. Why do we hear more about drug use than about being overweight? Why do we hear more about anything else than about wasting time or gossip? We want to point that my sins are perfectly acceptable. Your sins are hideous and evil.

      I think that’s partly right, in that it’s easier to criticise the sin of a minority, but I also think there is a significant component of “gay sex is icky” to the evangelical attitude that gay sex is wrong, and that it’s very important that it’s wrong.

      1. Every time you masturbate God is dead and you are alone in an uncaring universe.

        Hmmmmm. Funny, but that doesn’t sync up at all with my own wanking. I would say any orgasm that leaves you feeling alone in an uncaring universe was not worth the effort.

        Setting aside the icon, your comment is nuanced and RW is very well cited. But I just want to repeat what I wanted my point to be: not that to criticize evangelical beliefs is wrong, not even that to mock them is wrong, but that to take them as evidence of hatred is wrong. Sounds like you would agree with me there.

        Help! Your discussion about the “visceral reaction” was worth looking up, but the link to a Gareth essay about Scripture doesn’t work anymore. Can you please point me to that essay?

        1. The icon’s from the Postmodern Imago Macro page, I think: it’s an adaption of the standard “God kills a kitten” one.

          I’m not sure whether RW hates gays. My impression is that educated evangelicals don’t (or at least, are bright enough not to say so), although some of their base probably does. Still, I’m not so concerned with emotions as actions. RW is educated and should know what his actions are accomplishing. Whether he hates gays emotionally, he’s making their lives harder.

          Gareth’s site is here. The inerrancy essay is here.

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