Archive for February, 2008

Don’t Do That

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Why is it that so many things that we like to do are considered sinful?

When I asked God about this she told me that I was doing to much listening to what other people said were sins. She told me that most things that were declared sins were done so because of some religion’s need to control people. One of the best ways to control people is by making them feel guilty and then offering to relieve that guilt.

You could stick to declaring things to be sins that most people don’t have an inclination to do, like murder, but then you wouldn’t drum up many customers for your forgiveness business. So a lot of what we ended up with on the lists were things that some priest or shaman didn’t feel much like doing themself but which they saw plenty of people around them having fun doing.

Of course the Puritans managed to take this to a whole ‘nother level, but God told me it was because their priests had issues. He declined to go into detail, though, and when I pressed her she pointed out that some people consider gossiping to be a sin.

God’s Nuts

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

I’d had kind of enough. I started venting to God. Why is it that every company that makes cookies with white chocolate feels that they must include macadamia nuts? I mean, I like macadamias well enough but generally I prefer my cookies without nuts. It’s a textural thing, I think, but that isn’t the point. The point is that you can get regular chocolate chip cookies, or chocolate chunk cookies, either with or without nuts and mostly without. But white chocolate? You’d better like not just nuts, but macadamia nuts.

God was actually looking kind of sheepish by the end of my short rant and I pushed him to tell me why.

It turns out it’s his fault. God’s always had a thing for putting inspirational thoughts into people’s heads, it’s just something he does for fun. But when you look back on things, a lot of what he’s put out there over the years has been either misreceived or misinterpreted. And there’s been a lot of personal prejudices that people have tried to pass off as the inspired word of God. (That’s how we get things like the Taliban or the Crusades.) So not too long ago, historically speaking, God felt like doing a little meme planting, just to, you know, pick up on an old hobby, but he was kind of afraid to try to push anything too important, less we end up with even more oppression and suicide bombers. So he decided to do something innocuous. He pushed out the idea that white chocolate cookies should have macadamia nuts.

He never meant that to be an exclusive thing. He just felt that both white chocolate and macadamia nuts were underrepresented in cookies and so he figured the combination of them would be unlikely enough that if it caught on he could figure it was due to his meddling.

So cookie makers, here’s the new word from God: You can use white chocolate and macadamia nuts in whatever combinations you want. They don’t always have to both be there. Got that? Thanks.

Sense and Sensuality

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Being single, uninvolved, and disinclined towards one night stands (not that there’s anything wrong with them), I don’t know how universal my views on sensuality might be. I was thinking about that the other day and decided that maybe I could get some insights from God.

I don’t know what I was thinking.

If you’ve been reading along for awhile you’ve probably noticed that God is pretty cagey about letting me know the specifics of what’s going on in other people’s heads. So while I was trying to find out some intimate details of my fellows in humanity, he spent the conversation shaking me down to see what I’d reveal about myself. Now even with God, who can obviously know anything about me that he wants, I’m somewhat cautious about what I actually say out loud. It just strikes me as a matter of being polite.

So we were talking and he was asking and we came around somewhere to the semantics of it, like conversations with me often do, and I brought up that the root of sensuality, both linguistically and physically, is in the senses. This led me to comment that one of the most sensual things that I’m able to do on my own is take a shower in the dark. For me, sight is such a primary sense that it tends to overshadow everything else, so shutting it out tends to illuminate everything else all the more. The spray of the water hitting flesh, the vaguely crackly sensation of bubbles popping in the lather,the smoothness of the tile against my bare feet. These all loom larger in the dark.

Of course, the taste of soap also seems to come up a little stronger in the dark, but I wouldn’t actually call that “sensual.”

God just sort of looked at me. He said that of all the things I’ve thought about and of all the things I’ve tried, that was it? A shower? He said that sometimes talking to me is like talking to a little kid. Sometimes the things that come out are things that have been festering in some deep dark back alley and sometimes what comes out is just so innocent and cute that he just wants to reach out and tousle my hair.

So I said to him, “Well there’s something to be said for blow jobs, too.”

Sex and Sentiment

Friday, February 8th, 2008

So St. Valentine’s Day is next Thursday. Normally I just tend to call it Valentine’s Day but God says she’d rather like it if I didn’t leave off the saint part and, well, who am I to argue.

St. Valentine’s Day is our national celebration of romance. Sure kids get to exchange “be my valentine” cards with just about anyone without any hint of romance, but that’s pretty much just to get them hooked on the idea and to let them feel a part of things while they’re still too young for romance of their own. I expressed that feeling to God and so she asked me just what my definition of “romance” was. Well, I leapt straight to the word “love,” but almost before I had it out I knew that that wasn’t enough. After all, we love our parents, but we certainly don’t romance them. Likewise our kids.

So then I suggested that romance is a mixture of love and sex, but that still doesn’t seem right; mostly because you can love somebody romantically without having sex with them. But I have to wonder if you can love someone romantically without wanting to have sex with them. I don’t like fuzzy definitions. I don’t like it when a supreme court justice says he doesn’t know how to define pornography but he knows it when he sees it and I don’t like it when we use words like “love” and “romance” without having clear definitions of what they mean.

But not liking it doesn’t get me out of it this time.

So is romance just love with sex? Certainly, when I’ve discussed “romance novels” with some of the women who read them they’ve admitted they’re a kind of “soft porn,” though without even the level of sex that comes with those things that actually admit to being soft porn. So could that mean that romance is sort of sex without the genitals? And if it is, is that what the nuns get when they marry Jesus? Well, I don’t know, and even though I asked, God wouldn’t say, so I guess I’ll have to muddle on with only the fuzziest definition for a while longer

In the Name of Doing Nothing

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Why is it that so much evil is done in the name of God? Everything from the Crusades and suicide bombers to Fred Phelps picketing soldier’s funerals with signs that read “God hates fags.”

It’s bad enough that God lets evil flourish in the world, but why would she allow it to be done in her name?

She told me I shouldn’t care so much what gets done in her name. Sooner or later, everything gets done in her name, so relying on what other people tell you is her will is a sure recipe for disaster. She told me that more people just need to get in touch with their own sense of right and wrong and to stop spending so much time worrying about what other people think is right or wrong.

She pointed out to me that the Bible is full of examples of her getting into people’s lives and meddling and that the end result is rarely any good. You don’t hear about her doing that too much in the last couple of millennia; she says she’s learned to just let people be, and that she’s a lot happier because of it. She thinks maybe the rest of us should try the same thing.