(Transcript of sermon delivered by Reverend Wally McDougal).
My dear brethren and sisteren, thank you for attending tonight’s services. As pastor for the Church of Perpetual Rapture, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to welcome you and to explain our guiding purpose.
First, I’d like to express my appreciation to those members of our congregation who have opted to follow our “clothing optional” policy. It’s gratifying to see that so many parishioners have chosen to attend services in the way that Adam and Eve enjoyed their time in the Garden of Eden, namely buck-nekkid. If you want to believe all that misogynistic mumbo-jumbo about the apple and the serpent and the Fall and the Archangel Michael chasing them out of Eden with a flaming sword, feel free, but I’d like you also to remember that when Adam and Eve were in Paradise, they were naked and unashamed.
By the way, before I forget, Sister Osborne wanted me to remind you all that she’ll be holding a seminar on the phallo-phobic themes underlying the traditional Judeo-Christian ethos at 7 P.M. in the alcove this Wednesday night.
But where was I? Oh, yes. Brothers and sisters, whether you are repeat visitors to our little church, or first-timers, I want to welcome you with open arms. Feel free to be yourselves, with no expectations, no rigid rules to follow, no doctrines to obey. Whether you’re Christian or Jew, Atheist or Muslim, Buddhist or Jehovah’s Witness, you are welcome here. Believe in God, Vishnu, Allah, psychedelic mushrooms, or the image of the Virgin Mary in a baking pan of macaroni and cheese, it doesn’t matter to us here at the Church of Perpetual Rapture. What counts is what you do with that belief. Actions, not words, and the most important actions can be summed up in one word.
They say God is love, and that’s a good message, whether you believe in God or not. That’s optional at the Church of Perpetual Rapture. What counts is the love. In every faith, in every doctrine, in every philosophy ever crafted by man, the only true message is that one must love one’s neighbor, and that’s why we’re here. We are here to love our neighbors.
Multiple times, if at all possible.
Now, brethren and sistren, I feel compelled to bear my own testimony, if I may. I was once lost, wandering in the wilderness, despairing under the weight of the darkness of the Nixon Administration. And then I met my soulmate, the lovely Sister Osborne, and together with some other like-minded souls, we founded the Happy Earth And Last True Home commune, dedicated to the principles of making love, not war.
And we were happy, for a while, until the material world intruded and began pulling away our members; the tug of commercialism, the frustrations of life close to the soil, the problems of extraditions and statutes of limitations. However, the true principles of loving thy neighbor, good and hard and often still hung true, so the Happy Earth Commune became The Nature’s Retreat Resort, a haven for free-thinking, free-loving adult couples who want to explore and enjoy their sexuality in a comfortable, natural setting.
But that wasn’t enough. Oh, no. For as we talked with our guests and members, we saw that although peoples’ physical needs were being met, their spirits were still lacking. And so Sister Osborne and I dug deep into the texts of the great religious leaders.
We studied the Song of Solomon.
We studied the Tantra.
We studied the Kama Sutra.
We studied the works of St. Augustine who said, “Give me chastity, just not yet.”
And as we found our knowledge of the connection between spirituality and sexuality expanding, Brother Kirkstreit pointed out several advantages to becoming a tax-exempt institution, such as those which are offered to religious organizations.
And thus was born the Church of Perpetual Rapture. We adhere to only one commandment, one doctrine, one gospel precept.
Love your neighbor.
It’s that simple.
Well, enough of my pontificating. Judging by the way some of you are fidgeting in your seats y’all are just about ready to start putting our commandment into action. First, I do have a few announcements relating to tonight’s social.
The Kama Sutra club will meet next to the hot tub, as usual, right after services. If you don’t have your own exercise mats and lubricants, we’ve got extra.
The Sapphic Love seminar will be going on in the south alcove, for those of you wanting to get in touch with your inner or outer goddess. That starts at nine sharp.
For those of you who insist on feeling guilty about indulging yourselves tonight and who are seeking absolution, Mistress Lisa will be your confessor this evening. She’ll be administering the appropriate penance in the dungeon, beginning at 8:00 P.M.
Finally, as always, one of the keys to true spiritual enlightenment is safety and sanity. Condoms and other safer sex devices may be found all throughout the compound. Help yourselves.
I’d like to close our services with a little bit of humor. It’s a Sunday school class, and the teacher is indoctrinating the children in the usual claptrap, when she asks a question of the little tykes. She asks, “When someone goes to heaven, which part of the body goes up first?”
Little Michael raises his hand and says, “It’s the head, because that’s the part that lifts you up into the clouds.”
The teacher says, “Very good, Michael.”
Little Susie raises her hand and says, “It’s the hands, Teacher, because you hold your hands up to pray, and when you go up to heaven, you’re praying, too.”
The teacher says, “Very good, Susie.”
Little Dirty Johnny says, “It’s the feet, Teacher!”
“The feet, Johnny? Why do you say that?”
Little Dirty Johnny says, “Because I was hiding in the closet watching Mommy and the milkman and her feet were in the air and she was screaming, ‘I’m coming! Oh, God I’m coming!’ and if the milkman wasn’t lying on top of her, holding her down, she’d have gone right up to Heaven right then and there!”
Enough of this bullshit. Let’s get in touch with the divine within ourselves, and within our neighbors.
Hallelujah and Amen!
© 2008 J.T. Benjamin. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.