When the news of the murders of Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson spread on March 7th, I wanted to believe in a fluke that had nothing to do with sexuality. A carjacking gone wrong. A robbery. A scorned ex. Anything but another man angry about women choosing women. Not after Sakia, not in 2014 when so much information lies at the literal tips of fingers. So when I found out that the lead suspect was Britney’s father, I was disappointed that two more people had fallen victim to mythology.
The myth of the sinful, shameful homosexual is going the way of the Wooly Mammoth, partially because of climate change and partially because of hunters armed with books. Of course, the counter-argument is that homosexuality is becoming more widely accepted because we are nearing the end of days. Which shouldn’t be a bummer to people who love any version of an end-of-days god because he’ll be back, right? He’ll hold court (with the grumpiness of Judge Joe Brown) and choose who burns in hell and who pops champagne with the righteous. You’d think this belief in the final judgment would relieve the believers’ compulsion to get in everyone’s business, spread their disdain for said business, and generally spend more time worrying about victimless “crimes” than addressing the sins that actually hurt people (murder being the first one I can think of).
Alas and alack, faith is beyond understanding. So I’ve developed a list of alternatives to murder, just in case believers get all antsy for the bloodbath Apocalypse.
1. Get a forehead tattoo. It should say something really compelling, like “Adam and Eve, not Paul and Steve.” So as not to let the lesbians off the hook, get a tattoo right under that one that says “Adam and Eve, not Eve and Queen Latifah.” Your message will reach everyone you meet; you won’t even need to open your mouth. Imagine all the souls you’ll save with your silence.
2. Re-read your holy book. On a sheet of paper, make one column for yourself and one for your child. In each column, write all the applicable sins that are punishable by death. Worry about yourself.
3. Sign up for a gay dating site. In the photos section, upload pictures of your favorite scriptures that criminalize homosexuality. Send evangelical messages to the cutest members of the site. The theory is that if you reach the most popular members, your message will trickle down to the others.
4. Realize that you’re gay (by your own definition). You just identified cute members of a gay dating website. See #2.
5. Go to Kindergarten. There you will find a being most like the god you presently serve- a megalomaniac who chooses favorites, hits people, and thinks girls are yucky. Ask him to draw you a picture. Study it. After naptime, ask him if your interpretation is correct. I’m willing to bet my purity that it isn’t. In fact, I’ll bet my righteousness that no one understands the picture but him. Welcome to religion.
6. Kindergarten, Part Two. There will be a Great Teacher (usually a woman) who will tell you all you need to know to live alongside other humans: be kind, share, help those in need, say nice words, respect difference, don’t kill people with whom you disagree. Take notes.
7. Make up a new god. Create a god who cares about things other than romantic relationships. Create a god who doesn’t plan on killing their creations, whose only obsession is love. Create a god whose eyes are attuned to light rather than darkness. Create a god who, when you fall at their feet and cry, “I’m not worthy,” picks you up and says, “Don’t be silly. Of course you are.”
8. Join a support group for parents like yourself. Follow the rules of your holy book; separate the parents so that members of the same sex commune together for intimate rituals. Wash each others’ feet. Hold hands and pray. Cry together for your children. Hold each other when you are hurting. Call the group Guardians against Evildoers Seeking Healing in Turmoil (GAESHIT). Participate in GAESHIT when you are feeling especially murderous.
9. Out of nowhere, contract a rare cancer that aggressively attacks cells you never knew you had. Fight to live. Learn quickly that living with something you don’t understand is less frightening than the thought of losing the ones you love beyond understanding. Live to love.
10. Attack this column. Call the writer a sinner, a heretic, a blasphemer of the worst sort. Call the column dumb, disrespectful, condescending, naïve. Organize a national action committee to protect the right to religious hatred. Realize the difficulty of organizing a national action committee from behind bars. (Coming to America, “Taste the soup” voice) Ah-hah.