Dec 6, 2015

Bible Beefcake

When I was a kid, our church forbade any books except the Bible.  My parents were more lenient, permitting comic books and Scholastic Book Club selections, but the Bible had an advantage -- you could read it anywhere, during choir practice or Sunday school or a screaming hellfire sermon, and the adults would pay no attention -- or they would think you were especially devout, as you got your quota of beefcake, bonding, and sex.  Not to mention violence.

1. Beefcake.  David looks like a veritable Conan the Barbarian, wearing only a loincloth, wielding a magic sword as he stands over the slain Goliath.  And who knew that Cain assaulted Abel by kicking him in the crotch while they were both naked?

2. Bonding.  David and Jonathan had a love "surpassing the love of women."  That is, their homoromance far surpassed hetero-romance.  If only David didn't insist on bring Goliath's head along on their dates.  And why did Joseph reject women's advances to spend all of his time schmoozing with the Pharaoh ? (Photo below is Donny Osmond in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).

3. Sex.  After the Flood, Noah was lying around drunk when his son Ham "uncovered his nakedness."  But to "uncover" someone's "nakedness" means doing more than sneaking a quick peek, and God got so upset over the incest that He decreed that Ham and all of his descendants (the Africans) should be slaves.  The Biblical support of slavery caused the first chip in the edifice of my fundamentalism.

Fast-forward a few thousand years to the New Testament, and Philip the Apostle sees an Ethiopian eunuch on the road, invites him to spend the night in his tent, and in the morning baptizes him.  Eunuchs are castrated, unable to have sex with women.  So who do they have sex with?  Just ask Philip.  (In 1986, my roommate Alan used the story of the Ethiopian eunuch to try to get with my boyfriend.)