Daily Kos honored me by posting an article that refers to my essay on the Sin of Onan. I was understandably flattered by the reference - even though it took me and others to task for our views sexual morality:
Do not send your seed through the fire to Molech becomes "God's worried about where your penis has been." Pagan temple prostitutes aren't going to heaven becomes becomes "God's worried about where your penis has been." Onan, spiting his dead brother, becomes an example of becomes how God's worried about where your penis has been.
The words hit me like Puget Sound surf. How can anyone dispute such a cleverly stated argument? Your doctor might ask where your penis has been. Your psychoanalyst might want to delve into the topic. Even your girlfriend or wife - unless she has learned from those realistic Europeans - might raise a fuss about where your penis has been. But as the author delicately implies, God would not concern himself with anything so crude.
Kos (rhymes with "rose") and other popular writers are trying to help the rest of us attain a more sophisticated understanding of God. For sure, He is eager to hear their insights, but it is silly to think God cares about petty human foibles. If anything, he smiles at them and finds them entertaining.
When you think about it in that light, the amazing thing is that some people, at least in rural parts of America, still take seriously what Jesus said about God being our Father. They have the idea that fatherhood means that he takes a personal interest in us, cares about what we do and that it matters to him what kind of person we become. Evangelical Christians (and, I am ashamed to admit, even certain Catholics) cling to that outdated concept of God.
We should update Jesusí prayer by invoking Our Grandfather who art in heaven. Much more accurate to view God as a remote, doddering figure who enjoys seeing young people have a good time. In my homilies I try to convey that liberating message:
Jesus came to show us what really matters is how you feel inside. The important thing is to get in touch with yourself, get comfortable with and accept yourself just the way you are. When Jesus said to repent, he meant to stop all that negative thinking. As today's Gospel states, "Then I will say to myself,'relax, my soul, you have things stored up for years to come; eat, drink and do not worry.'" (Luke 12, 19)
Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History
Stem Cell Research: Teaching of Bible & Catholic Church
Germaine Greer on Birth Control
Boston Globe's Misleading Article on Catholic Church