Monday, December 11, 2006

All I Want for Christmas Is Götterdämmerung

By Kelly Jean Cogswell

798 words

The ten queers hauled off by death squads in Iraq earlier this month are presumed dead. Their murderers may be Sunni or Shiite. Who cares which? That's what religion gets you. A bullet in the back of the head -- if you're lucky. If not, torture first, then death.

Inside my heart I carry a rocket launcher and take out every church I see. Except the really pretty ones. Those, I just close off to worship.

Everybody else gets dust and rubble, an end to the spaces that sanction all those people busy interpreting, exclaiming, pointing their enlightened fingers, "I know what Jesus [Mohammad, Buddha, Wotan] really meant. It's them others over there that are wrong."

Who says so? You? A couple dozen others? A few thousand? Does God respond to majority vote? Why should you have the keys to the heavenly kingdom just because you're preaching peace and love and gay rights?

On Thursday, a council of Conservative Jews, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly, were kind enough to sanction commitment ceremonies for us queers. Does that make it okay now? Were we wrong before?

Politically, I suppose it's progress, so let's all take a minute to hoot and holler. But what I really want to say to those guys is fuck you.

I'm not like Mae West, getting a kick about being talked about. What are we, a new and different species? Do you suspect I keep my third head in the closet, my wings tucked under my armpits, a tail up my ass?

I want it to be over. Decide. Are we humans or animals? Under this democratic banner, are we equal or not?

I'm not surprised when we humans act like pigs. We share a lot of the same DNA as earthworms, why not boars? I'm sure there's a defender of religion out there saying "God's not the problem, it's the rotten human race, our self-serving tendency to shape God in our image. Don't blame God for the people that will use any tool at hand for evil. What about the good religion brings? Hope, endurance, forbearance, compassion?"

To that I say one big, "Phooey." I can find plenty of other sources of good. Including reason. Go Descartes.

For me, God, especially expressed in religion, is something I would like to see compressed into a square the size of a sugar cube, and blown back into space.

I don't care whether you believe in one God über alle, or a kind of Valhalla out there, a different god for every day of the week. Either way, you're playing with dynamite.

People that believe God is on their side hold a moral nuclear warhead in their hands. Religion's capacity for evil outweighs that for good. Especially, and always, when queers are concerned.

I say this as someone raised Southern Baptist, who for a dozen years believed I would be a medical missionary. As editor of The Gully, I tried to give voice to gay Muslims, gay Christians, any gay religious person you can think of, and for that matter, gay Republicans, too, because I believe queer activists should be everywhere.

But if I had my druthers, God would play no role on earth as long as humans lived there. The same day the news broke that God likes queers, or is at least okay with gay Jewish commitment ceremonies, I got an email saying, "God hates negroes." Death squads aim for fags in Iraq. Gay kids are homeless, electro-shocked, tortured. And why? God. God. God. Even the Dalai Lama condemns us.

Don't mistake what I'm saying. I know that embedded in religion, and our search for God, is a human urge towards the divine. We want to experience some part of life as holy, to have a sense of awe. Though probably apes do, too.

I even think it is good for our collective character to feel small, to be dwarfed by God or art or nature, and to embrace smaller beauty too, and god's still, small voice.

The thing is, we humans are never content with that. Especially in packs. The closest I came was at a Quaker meeting. I almost fell in love with the sunlight streaming through the windows, all those still, quiet people sitting around contemplating God in silence. But then they had to open their mouths, blab their banal revelations. And those are some of the good guys.

The thing is, we queers, at ten percent or less of humanity, will always be vulnerable, a statistical minority, and target when things go wrong. And gods are temperamental. Even when they're on my side, I'm scared. The worm turns.

So forgive me, if at the birthday of one god, I'm praying for Götterdämmerung, the twilight of them all.

Visit Kelly Sans Culotte at

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