I get a letter from a prestigious Mississippian

I got a letter from a professor at the University of Oregon in response to my last post. He and I are both from Route 4, Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, only he turned out better than I did as can be seen from the fact that he makes money as the head of the White Ebonics Department, whereas I stay home and write on my blog for nothing. Here’s his letter. He wrote to me in the simple language of our people.

Dear Snowy,

So what if God did order them Old Testament Jews to murder thousands of babies; and what if he did drown all but two of the worlds population of kangaroos and armadillos (and everthing else too) because Middle Easterners sinned back in Noah’s day; and what if he did say that if a man raped a woman, then that man had to marry that woman and listen to her bitch about it for the rest of his life? What you overlook is that God did a lot of good stuff too. Like there was that story about the man what God told to be a preacher, and that man didn’t wanna be no preacher, so God had a big fish (it weren’t no whale, it was a big fish) swaller him for three days after which the man decided he rather preach than to have to smell fish-breath everday. Now, that’s a good story.

Another story I like is that one about the man who got off his mule and beat it with a two by four (it was really just a stick, but I always picture it as a two by four) because the mule wouldn’t move, and that mule turned around and looked at him and said, “You dumbass. There’s a angel with a sword up ahead, and he’s waiting to chop you up into buzzard kibbles, so instead of beating me this way, good mule that I am, you oughta be thanking me for saving your sorry life.” Yessir, I’m partial to them animal stories, but they’re all in the Old Bible. In the new Bible, God got in touch with his softer side. For example, God said to love everbody else just as much as you love yourself. That means that if you have a toothache, and your neighbor’s wife has a toothache, and she can’t pay to get her toothache fixed because her husband’s job got sent overseas to Chiner, then you have to take her to the dentist with you unless you’re like Mitt Romney and need a new car elevator so you get all your vehicles in and out of your basement without having to put a hole through the foundation.

That loving your neighbor as yourself part of the Bible, that’s good, that’s real good because it cuts down on all the suffering in the world. For instance, if your neighbors are hungry, then you can’t go out and buy yourself no new TV until they’re all fed because you sure the hell wouldn’t go out and buy yourself that TV if you was hungry. No, sir. You would buy groceries first and maybe eat ‘em right there in the parking lot if you was real hungry, and this means that you’ve got to do that for other people too because if you don’t, you can’t very well say that you love them as much as you love yourself, and if you can’t say that, then you should be ashamed to show your face in church on Sunday. Like Jesus said, “By their works will you know them,” and in another place, “If you love me, keep my commandments,” and in a third place the Bible says that faith is okay, but it ain’t as good as love.

But you don’t never talk about none of the good stuff that the Bible says, and what I mean by that is the kind of stuff that Christians live by. You just make out like God’s worst than Hitler, and that don’t wash. So what you need to do is, you need to be damn happy that us Christians love everbody else as much as we love ourselves, cause what kind of a mess would this world be in if not for us making sure that everybody has got enough to eat, and everbody can go to the doctor when they’re sick, and poor kids have a chance to go to college if they want to? You answer me that, Mr. Athiest because that’s the kind of stuff that we Christians stand for, but I can’t tell what you stand for other than attacking those who spend their lives doing without luxuries because they’re so filled with love that they can’t stand to see no one going without the necessaries.


Dear Leroy,

I’m going to talk to you like you talked to me which was like one Mississippi boy to another, and what I’m going to say is this. When I was a kid, I too liked them animal stories, and I especially wanted me one of them talking mules—or maybe it was a donkey, I’m not too sure no more because I don’t never read the Bible no more. Anyway, when I got a little bigger, I got to thinking seriously about what it would mean to love my neighbor AS MYSELF, and I thought, holy shit, I don’t know nobody what does that, or even tries to do that because all the Christians I know live just like everbody else except that they go to church even when nobodys dead.

I asked my preacher about it, and what he said was that Jesus didn’t mean that everbody in the whole world was your neighbor. He just meant the people what you interacted with everday. I went away and I pondered about that for awhile, and it seemed to me that since poor people mostly interacted with other poor people, and rich people mostly interacted with other rich people, that his interpetration put all the responsibility for helping poor people onto the backs of the poor. I also reflected on the idea that most of the really poor people around where I lived was niggers, and everybody said that niggers didn’t need no help because niggers didn’t mind being poor. Of course, there was poor white people too, but everbody said they was lazy, so nobody helped them either except for taking them a basket of food at Thanksgiving, and that was only if the man and woman was married and had children. For these reasons, all the Christians I knew got to keep most of their money, which is pretty much how it is today too.

I sort of didn’t quite buy all that about nobody needing or deserving help because even if it was true, I thought you should still help their children even when it weren’t no holiday. Everbody I asked about it said that, no, it was up to their parents to do that, and if you did it for them, you would be encouraging their laziness. It occurred to me that when you added all of the reasons for not helping other people together, it pretty much meant that what Jesus said didn’t really have no effect. I went back to the preacher again to try to understand what the hell Jesus was talking about then, and what he told me was that what was true in Palestine way back in Jesus day wasn’t true in America today, because, unlike back then, America was the Land of Opportunity, and everbody who was willing to work for money could get all the money they needed. I doubted that Jesus would see it that way, but I also knew that I didn’t want to give my money away neither, and this meant that I never could be no real Christian, but then it struck me that that’s why faith is so wonderful. You don’t have to do nothing to get into heaven except to say, “I believe in Jesus, and I’m sorry for my sins,” and you will probably come out okay if you hold off on saying that until youre so sick that you didn’t feel like sinning no more no how.

I sort of liked salvation by faith because it gave me a crack at heaven that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, but it sure didn’t seem fair that one person could live like a sack of shit for eighty years and get into heaven on the basis of saying a single sentence during his last second of life, whereas another person could do his best to love everbody everday of his eighty years, and then go to hell because he was a Jew or a nonbeliever or else didn’t have time to say the necessary sentence before he died and therefore went to judgment without his sins being forgiven. I found such thoughts worrisome, but I sort of noticed that nobody else seemed to worry about them because the other Christians I knew seemed downright convinced that they was right with God. As they saw it, it was Communists, liberals, atheists, humanists, and godless professers who was going to be mighty sorry on judgment day, whereas they themselves was going to be glad to see Jesus, and he was going to be glad to see them too. That just didn’t set right with me, and it still don’t.

Truth is, them Christians struck me as being like the old time Pharisees that Jesus was always calling hypocrits, only they was worst than that because at least the Pharisees thought that they needed to do more to please God than to say they had faith and apologize for their sins. What I’m trying to say is that I didn’t see no conviction behind the Christian love for other people. All that Jesus meant to them so far as I could see was an insurance policy against hellfire, and that’s still how I see it, although I can’t hardly say what’s true for every Christian in the whole world, and no doubt some of them really do try to love everbody the way Jesus said, and I have no problem with that. But it don’t change the fact that almost ever last Christian I ever knowed took care of themselves first, and then if there was anything left over, they might give a little of it to church, but after the preacher took his cut, the rest of what little they gave ended up paying for air conditioning churches, attaching big old gyms to little old churches, putting teensy-weensy steeples on great big churches, and other such luxuries that had nothing to do with loving their neighbors as much as they loved themselves. Now, I can just hear you saying that Christians aint perfect, just saved, but its one thing to make any number of mistakes and then do your best to correct 'em, and its quite another thing to live your whole life through without ever making a serious effort to do what you say you believe is right.


Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Martin Luther King Jr’s claim to have “seen the Promised Land” was an ironic reference for a black pacifist given that the original Promised Land was inhabited by presumably lesser peoples that the Israelites set about enslaving or exterminating—by God’s command no less. Nearly three millennia later, we newly arrived Americans used the Biblical account to justify our own partial extermination of Native Americans and our enslavement of Africans. We called our belief that we, as white American Protestants, had replaced the Jews as God’s chosen, Manifest Destiny, and it allowed us to see others as either obstacles to our progress or tools for our use.

I once took a Sunday School class in which we studied these accounts in which God ordered the Jews to attack cities and kill every person and every animal (except for the young female virgins whom they sometimes got to keep for the victory party). It was a liberal church, and the liberal response to anything vicious, contradictory, or simply stupid about the Bible is: Oh, THAT part isn’t God’s word because it makes God look bad, but THIS part, the warm and fuzzy part about how Jesus loves us, and we’re all going to heaven (all we Christians that is), THAT’S most definitely God’s word. Not so for one old man, who sat there looking for all the world like Santa Claus in a three-piece suit, for he said, “I can only conclude that all those people and animals that God ordered to be killed must have somehow deserved it.”

The stores are already selling Christmas decorations in preparation for the one season of the year during which America talks about “Peace on Earth,” and I will admit that it’s good to have a respite from what the baby Jesus grew up to represent (“I came not to bring peace but a sword”). Jesus’ position on violence certainly reflects America’s approach to problem solving, and we take great pride in the fact that we’re the most Christian nation on earth, which I’m sure we are inasmuch as we are willing to forego necessities in order to buy Hellfire Missiles (“…he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one”). Our love for Jesus is so great that we even paid him homage when we named our favorite weapon, which we quite naturally use to kill those who don’t love him the way we do. Of course, some of them deserve it, I’m sure, but I can’t help but think that we deserve it too. After all, the biggest difference between us is that they kill for one god and we kill for another. Maybe whoever is left alive might finally have Peace on Earth. 

The lesser of two evils is still an evil

I shall vote…whimsically. I shall look at my ballot, and I shall see who is running because the only two I’ve heard about are the only two that the super rich want me to hear about (were talking a $2.5 billion campaign here). But shall I vote for Obama or Romney? Naaay, I shall not vote for the Lying Christian Nobel Peace Prize Winning Hit-Man in Chief or for the Lying Christian Foot-in-His-Mouth Buffoon Who Would be Chief. Perhaps, I shall vote for a Green, or a Libertarian, or a Communist (voting for a Communist sounds like great fun in this The Land of the Free and the Home of Brave where Communists used to be deported even if they were citizens). If an anarchist were running for president, I might even vote for an anarchist. I am really excited for me myself to find out who I shall vote for because I haven’t seen my ballot yet, so I only know who Mr. and Mrs. Worth A. Billion want me to vote for. 

You might say that I will be wasting my ballot if I don’t vote for Obama or Romney, but I will say that it is better to waste my ballot than to use it in support of endless war abroad and increasing poverty at home, and do I think either Obama or Romney has the vision, the integrity, or even the popular support to take this country in a new direction? Naaay! If Obama and Romney represent the crème de la escargot of The Land of the Free and the Home of Brave (sorry, foreigners, but we’re freer and braver than you, and we don’t mind saying so either), then we are truly, irretrievably, irredeemably, unremittingly, and forever more screwed, so let the few of us who aren’t too fat to do so bend over now and kiss our asses goodbye.