Sorry Charlie

Like a scarecrow in a melon patch,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.
(Jeremiah 10:5)

D-86ishtar louvreIt’s not cool to make fun of other people’s gods anymore. Now days we do the cultural sensitivity dance or you could get your freaking head cut off. If somebody wants to worship a banana peel, they can get 501(c)(3) status no problem. These days all gods are created equal, and you just can’t go around dissing some goddess because she has big thighs. If somebody wants to put a statue of Dweezle the Zit God in the city park, the city council better excavate the Ten Commandments to make room for it. This is America, after all, and we embrace religious diversity. Those frothing fundamentalist wackos who have the unmitigated gall to preach the superiority of their chosen deity are likely to find themselves at the butt end of a lawsuit and at the barrel end of a few high-caliber barbs. Now even the Pope wants everybody to play nice. Sheesh, talk about a party pooper.

White-GaneshaIt didn’t used to be that way. The boys in the Bible weren’t quite so squeamish about lowering the boom on the other gods. As far as they were concerned, those defective deities were decidedly deaf, dumb, and divinely disabled. Of course, these days we would gingerly refer to such undocumented demigods as prayer impaired, oracle-aphasic, or transcendentally challenged. These days we’d be required by the DDA (Deities with Disabilities Act) to provide them with ramp-access altars and special, blue permit metaphysical zones. Hell, Duke University even considered blaring the Arabic call to Zumba across campus once a week to keep folks from blowing up the cafeteria. We’re damned enlightened, man; we play nice with everybody.

But the Bible is refreshingly out of sinc with modern cultural norms. The writers of the Bible had exactly zero respect for any god other than the one and only Boss of the Burning Bush—and they made that point point-blank. The Biblical prophets had no problem with deriding the opposing team’s metaphysical mascots, lobbing epithets at them like Totemhead, Basalt Broad With the Big Boobs, or Fiend With the Phallus Fixation. Elijah once mocked the frustrated priests of Baal by taunting, “Where’s your god? Maybe he’s off somewhere taking a crap?” Those ancient prophets really knew how to diss a deity. It’s unlikely that any of them would be invited to an ecumenical prayer breakfast.

Sigh. Those were the good old days.

 Charlie Tuna


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