When I was eight years old, my dad tried to teach me how to fight. In classic 50’s-dad fashion, he never paid any attention to me—and suddenly he wanted to turn me into Floyd Patterson.
He took me into the backyard.
“C’mon, son,” he said. “Hold your fists up like this.” His fists in my face were so huge they blocked out my view of our house behind him.
My dad was six-foot four, and weighed about 240 pounds. (I say”was” because, old now, he’s shrunk.) I was three-foot nine, and weighed about .004 pounds. I was so skinny that, for Hide ‘n Seek, I’d squeeze into the space between a doorjamb and a closed door. (And lemme tell you: that’s no place you want to be when some moron starts trying to use the deadbolt.)
“Stand like this,” said my dad, doing something I couldn’t see behind his Volkswagon-sized fists. “Hunch up your front shoulder, see? You protect your face that way.”
I hunched up my shoulders, and almost blinded myself with a clavicle.
“You gotta get tough,” my dad said. “You gotta learn to defend yourself.” I had no idea what he was talking about. No one was trying to beat me up. Except him maybe, if things kept going the way they seemed to be. I held up my fists for him, though. They looked like olives on the ends of toothpicks.
“Now bob and weave!” I immediately thought of a guy named Bob, knitting. What kind of guy knits?
“See, like this,” said my dad. He bobbed and weaved. It wasn’t pretty.
He punched me on the shoulder. “See? See how I jabbed you there?”
So I clocked the bastard, and knocked him out. Who the fuck did he think he was playing with?
(See? Now that’s an example of exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in “I, the Comfortably Cursing Christian.”)
Speaking of me being a Christian, and fighting.
As you may know, lately, on my blog, I’ve become (again) The Christian Guy Who Writes About Gays and Christianity.
Many people like what I have to say on that issue. Many people don’t.
I got, like, six emails yesterday, from people wondering why I “keep” writing about that subject.
You know why I write about gays and Christians as often as I do? I mean, you know, besides the fact that it’s ripping the church apart like the pants of a fat man kneeling for confession? Because of my friends. That’s the whole reason. I have always had gay friends in my life. And they’ve always been … well … friends to me.
I’m not good at a lot of stuff in life. But I’m exceptional at being loyal to my friends. When it comes to that one particular personality characteristic, I’m … canine, basically.
I’m loyal to my friends, and I’m loyal to God. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anybody tell me, or anybody else as long as I’m within earshot, that those two don’t belong in the same room together.