by C. M. Albrecht
I was just reading about a fellow who says God doesn’t allow him to trim his beard. That approach offers certain advantages. By not trimming his beard, a person could save considerable money on shaving cream, razor blades and after shave…and no razor burn.
But another school says God demands we cover our faces. It may be a good way to cover that untrimmed beard, but when I get really talking, I tend to sputter. With a raggedy beard and a mask, that could get messy.
Then there’s the matter of transportation. Some say God forbids us to drive a car but a horse and buggy is okay. That can have its advantages as well. Especially if you drink to excess. Horses are adverse to crashing into other horses, running over a pedestrians or running off the road into a river. On the other hand, horses are very high maintenance. Still, all things considered, it’s no doubt much safer than driving a car under the influence. Unfortunately the City gave me a citation for keeping a horse on my patio. We live in a condo. God will have to deal with the City and the Association now. (Lottsa luck there!)
Another school of thought, more modern, tells me God doesn’t mind if I drive a car. He just insists it be completely black. Trim, bumper; everything. I think maybe that’s where the idea for the Batmobile and KITT came about. I can barely afford gas let alone a new paint job, so that’s out, at least for the time being.
Others say God wants us to wear what Penn Jillette calls “magic underwear”. Magic underwear may offer some protection from Satan, but as for warding off a 9 mm slug, I’d feel better wearing a Kevlar vest, and besides, in those underwear it can be pretty tedious going to the bathroom for what we used to call Number Two.
Still others say God forbids us to eat pork. I have a sneaky feeling the beef growers’ association had something to do with that. Still others say God forbids us to eat meat at all. I’m not sure who dreamed that one up. I’m not sure what’s acceptable in the way of food and drink either, or just when it’s God’s will that I cook and when I cannot cook.
God forbids us to smoke, drink alcohol or even coffee, but He thinks it’s okay if we smoke, drink alcohol and coffee. We just shouldn’t do those things in excess. Did I hear that right? Confusing, isn’t it?
I’m told God commands us to worship on Sunday, but I’m also told He really meant Saturday. There’s a lot of confusion about what God considers to be the the seventh day of the week. I’m in a quandary there. Maybe the rules are different for some of us. Okay, while He may have different strokes for different folks, it’s probably safer in the long run to worship on both days. In fact, maybe, just to play it safe, we should worship every day.
He demands you wear a skullcap under your hat. I can see a point to that. If you doff your hat to a lady, God doesn’t have to look down on that bald spot you recently acquired. I’m told He insists you wear only black while still others swear He prefers colorful clothing. I try to work within the parameters of these precepts. I coordinate my black suit, for instance, with a burgundy tie, or one with rep stripes like dark blue, maroon and a thin strip of each, green and gold. I think I look pretty good in that, especially when I accessorize with a shirt.
I like God’s precept that we carry a dagger. In today’s world, that could be a lifesaver, especially if we’re assaulted by some Skittles wielding maniac.
I’m reminded of the guy who said: “Keep your nose to the grindstone, your shoulder to the wheel, keep your head down, your spirits up, put your back into it, use some elbow grease and keep a stiff upper lip. If you can do all that and still get anything done, you could star in your own reality show.”
(Actually I’m the guy who said that, but I’m trying to be modest because someone else told me God demands modesty.)
Obviously all this can be a real challenge to a person who wants to do the right thing. It’s hard to decide which church to go to or when to go to it. In my town there as many churches as there are taquerías and pizza parlors, maybe more. How are you supposed to get there (i.e. horse and wagon, Batmobile, or just any old car, or perhaps it would be better to ride a bicycle. Public transportation is not a good choice since on weekends and holidays most buses and trams run on a very limited schedule and you could easily need that dagger while killing time at a bus stop.)
I’m actually afraid to consider going out in public while wearing a veil with a dagger at my hip because some unimaginative person might get the wrong idea and think I’m about to take on a 7-11 in broad daylight before escaping in my Batmobile.
As it turns out, the untrimmed beard is out too. God may like it but my wife hates it. Since her fury is more wrathful than anything God has ever displayed in my presence, the choice is clear. Sorry, Father!