editor's letter - issue 418


Being Christian is disgusting

Thanks to Benjamin Paley and Drasko Bogdanovic, this issue of fab offers sexy ways to clean up your look. But, as they remind us, itís often whatís inside that really counts. To that end, Max MacDonald and Bellini weigh in on internal cleansing. But a run-in with a blissed-out Jehovahís Witness in my building has got me thinking about spiritual cleansing. Faith seems to give people such enviable strength and contentment ó or at least a morally easy life of just following instructions.

The root of Western religion is the Old Testament, so that ancient document seems like a good place to start. But which version? The venerable text has been translated and rewritten innumerable times; at each handling the authorsí fingerprints and agendas have stained its pages. Just in time, a wonderful book arrives at the fab office: Being Gay Is Disgusting: A Modern-Day Paraphrasing of an Otherwise Uninteresting Book. As well as a snappy title, author Edward Falzon offers a new and very entertaining translation of the Old Testament, in simple language and with diagrams and charts to keep track of all that begetting.

Which brings us to pesky Leviticus, the section used by the religious right to hammer homos. Leviticus contains a multitude of prohibitions, so many that itís doubtful any sane person would attempt to follow them all, despite the dire and frequently violent consequences promised.

Fortunately, a lesser-known portion of Leviticus offers relief. While edicts against gay sexuality have survived the ages, few realize that sins can be atoned by offering sacrifices. Seems like an easy way to cure the winter blues. Iím reluctant to attempt the strenuous exertions needed to wash away my sexual transgressions, so I decide to start small and try to appease the Lord for having eaten oysters, worn cotton-blend underwear and paid homage to a pornstar who shall remain nameless (for his own protection ó what God does to false idols is horrifying).

I figure those sins are relatively minor, so I decide to try the uncomplicated Atonement for Accidental Sin. All I have to do is take a flawless young bull to church, pat it on the head, slit its throat, catch the blood in a jar, dip my fingers in the blood and flick it seven times on the curtains, smear some blood on the altar, cut all the fat and the kidneys out of the carcass and set them on fire, then take the remains outside and burn them.

Food Basics wonít sell me a live bull and the local Baptists are appalled, so my efforts are stymied. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, so I settle for frenziedly stabbing a pot roast, letting the blood fly where it will. I donít feel any more virtuous or cleansed, but the dog is delighted and the floor is licked clean. Falzonís point kicks in: ancient texts are unreliable and sometimes crazy-ass wrong. And in this case, disgusting. Inner cleansing is probably better achieved through some spirited sexual sinning.

Drew Rowsome



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