According to the Republican-controlled legislatures in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Kansas, transgender Americans should start developing ninja-level bladder control skills, because whole chunks of the South and Midwest are now, officially, “No Trans Zones.” Thanks to new, “religious freedom,” laws in those states, we’re no longer allowed to enter the gender-specific restroom, changing room or locker room of our gender identity. We have to use the facility that serves the gender on our birth certificates.
In Tennessee, if the governor signs the bill that’s on his desk right now, we better not require any kind of counseling services, because Volunteer State mental health professionals will have legal immunity should they refuse to treat LGBTQ Americans for religious reasons. Oh, and in Mississippi, we probably shouldn’t bet our organ donor cards on getting or keeping a job, either. Because it’s okie dokie with the state if we get fired, or not hired at all, solely because of our gender identities.
What tourist attractions in those states would be worth developing a urinary tract infection to see, anyway? The National Museum of the Unibrow? The First Cousins’ Tunnel of Love in the, “Our Family Tree Doesn’t Fork,” Amusement Park? The Flannel Shirt Hall of Fame? The Stonehenge replica made up entirely of old pickup trucks and dead refrigerators?)
Let’s be honest. These laws have precious little to do with “religious freedom.” There’s not a single recorded case anywhere of a transgender individual interfering with, or preventing participation in any religious practice, sacrament, tradition, ritual or custom by any member of any religion. These laws are also not designed to protect America’s women-folk from being assaulted by crossdressers in public bathrooms. That’s nothing more than weapons-grade bullshit. There is not now, nor has there ever been, a spate of attacks by transgender individuals against women or girls in any venue. (Plus, does anyone seriously believe that a serial rapist will be thwarted from attacking a victim in a public toilet by a dress code?)
No, these laws have a single purpose – to ostracize transgender Americans and, ultimately, exclude us from participating in society. They are retaliation against LGBTQ Americans for winning the right to marry last year in the Supreme Court. The evangelical Christians want to make somebody pay for their defeat, and the “T” of the LGBTQ is the most visible and vulnerable subset of that community.
Now, I’m not a Christian, nor do I claim any special insight into God’s thinking on any given proposition. But I decided the other day to try to “go over the heads” of the evangelicals and reach out directly to their boss. I figured that, if there is anyone most of them should listen to, it’s the CEO back in the home office. So I wrote the following letter:
Have I got a deal for you! As you know, I’ve been a fairly noisy atheist since my IQ exceeded my height as a child. But I am willing to publicly and permanently renounce atheism and to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Forever and ever, amen. All You have to do is “Rapture away,” all of the evangelical Christians off the face of the Earth. Hoover them home. Commence, “the Big Suck.” Easy peasy. Or, you could smite the shit out of every last twisted, hateful one of those walking dog turds. I’m fine with either option. Let’s call it Deity’s Choice. And there’s an extra $1,000 cash in it for you if you saltpeter their hometown water supplies, and give a persistent rectal itch to any waiter or waitress who ever served an evangelical in a restaurant and didn’t spit in their food. (Okay, I may have a slight anger management issue when it comes to this subject. Please bear with me.)
You can spare the family pets, Lord. I’m not a monster. (Unless they have gerbils. They smell terrible and are the dirtiest creatures I’ve ever seen. Eighty-six the gerbils, as well.)
God, I know my offer already sounds too good to be true, but wait, there’s more! If You act within the next 48 hours and also send that drooling, malicious tumor Pat Robertson to an endless afterlife of cleaning toilets, naked, with his tongue, in the nastiest men’s room in the busiest gay bar on Earth – I promise to tithe 90% of my income every year for the rest of my life to the charity of Your choice. I’ll even spend all of my remaining summer vacations looking for attractive virgins to throw into volcanoes as human sacrifices to please you. (I have no idea why, but some folks down here have suggested that You might be into that sort of thing. Whatever. I don’t judge.)
This is a spectacular deal for You, Heavenly Father. Evangelicals and Robertson do horrible things in your name all the time and call it Holy Writ. This is causing an unprecedented exodus of Exodus fans from your churches. Young people, in particular, are running from organized religion like someone threw schnauzer poo in the hot tub at a Sweet 16 pool party. And the other marquee faiths are using every social media trick in the book to recruit new followers from the shrinking pool of the faithful. Having Robertson and the other God Nazis (no offense, Lord, the name just fits), hanging around Your neck like anchors makes it a lot harder for You to step up Your game at a critical time. (Hell, even the Amish are on Twitter now, for Your sakes!)
Look at it this way, God. Chalk outlining the evangelicals won’t really cost You anything. There are always more angry bigots and ignorant bastards eager to fill any holes in the asshole front lines. (And thanks to politics and the customer service departments of most cable and telephone companies, they never seem to have trouble earning a comfortable living, either. But that’s a conversation for another time.)
Here’s the bottom line: letting the Holy Haters, “fall off the back of a truck,” won’t matter a wit in the grand scheme of things. But I’m a pretty valuable catch, public relations-wise. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting I’m special or noteworthy in any way. You know better than anyone that I’m barely above below average in a lot of categories. (For example, I can’t wear horizontal stripes to save my life, and when I dance I look like I need to be heimliched.) But I have been devout in my godlessness for a long time. And, while more and more of Your former followers are entering the ranks of the inquisitive every day, very few atheists are abandoning reason to join the, “stop asking so many questions,” crowd of believing Christians.
I’m not going to lie to you, God. Losing the question mark from my daily life will be the toughest sacrifice I’ve ever made. Just not being able to raise my eyes skyward and ask, “Are You fucking serious, Lord?” when I encounter bad people spouting scripture to back up shitty behavior, will probably have me licking light sockets for the sweet release of death inside of three months. But I’m willing to make that sacrifice if it makes crap monsters like Pat Robertson ‘and the legion of zombie Trump Humps disappear.
So, God, thank you in advance for your help. And one last thing, just to tip the scales a bit more in my direction. If you act right now, I’ll throw in a set of hand-carved, imported steak knives and an authentic, brand new, Popeil’s, “Pocket Fisherman,”, absolutely free!
I hope you relate to this as much as I do.