I will begin this important homily by thanking all the Beloved Sinners on Facebook who have faithfully complied with the Bible’s teaching in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, and taken the time to wish a very happy birthday. Nevertheless, I must remind you all that the Scriptures make it clear that simply being nice to the Wisest and Most Humble Christian Teacher in history isn’t enough: 1 Corinthians 9:14 makes it clear that “those who spread the Good News should earn their living from the Good News” (or at least it does if you search through little-known fundamentalist translations until finding one you like), and anyone who doesn’t immediately recognize this as a command from god to send me something of immense value is clearly nothing more than an apostate liberal. Even if, as some of you correctly noted, it isn’t really my birthday, since I was of course born on a leap year. Which makes me a virile youth of only 23, and explains not only my radiant vigour, but also the obvious appeal I have for young people everywhere – especially those who send unsolicited emails from the Ukraine requesting marriage.
Meanwhile, I must tell you all that I have extremely busy advising an old friend of mine, Colonel Gaddafi, or as he prefers to be called for reasons of brevity, “The Brotherly Leader and Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”. Now, before anyone jumps to any unwholesome conclusions, I am indeed perfectly aware that he is foreigner (and consequently am always most diligent about washing my hands after we’ve spoken), but let’s not forget that he also hates homosexualists and Osama bin Laden, makes billions of dollars a year from oil, and is personally responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. Which means that were he not foreign he could well be a member of the Bush family. And besides, how could anyone who looks like this not deep-down really be a member of an Anglican schismatic group?
In fact our relationship goes back to 1986, when St. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya. A small explosive device of only a couple of megatons happened to hit one of Gaddafi’s daughters, allegedly killing her, and the President’s office understandably contacted me for ethical guidance in the wake of this minor collateral event. Of course I was quite easily able to put everyone’s minds at ease, since the child had clearly already been born, and I’ve always maintained that the Bible makes it quite clear that killing a child is only sinful if the infant is not yet born. After that – as opponents of Obamacare are making quite clear – you can do what you like. Especially if the child is poor, or not white.
Having resolved matters at this end, I was then requested to contact the wackiest thing to come out the desert since Wile. E. Coyote cured his obsession with that annoying bird in the hope that my sapiential counsel might help prevent a reoccurrence of the events which led up to this unfortunate misunderstanding. And believe me, My Beloved Sinners, our meeting was initially quite tense, since - as anyone who has ever tried reasoning with the Archbishop of Sydney’s younger brother can testify - psychopathic dictators are not used to listening to anything other than their own praises.
Still, after a little while I was able to shift the subject to a topic of great interest to him; namely that of disciplining his country’s citizens or, as he prefers to call them, his “children”. It just so happened that I had brought with a quantity of material by none other than little James Dobson, and you’d better believe there was no way Muammar could resist peaking at anything called “Dare To Discipline”. From there it was only a short step my thrilling retelling of the famous Dachshund incident, after which it was clear I’d made yet another convert. Although not even I can deny that the way the Lion of Libya afterwards kept chuckling over the phrase “whipping the wiener” was just a tad creepy.
Even so, as a result of our epoch-changing meeting I can with confidence reassure any who may be worried about events currently taking place in that charming. Since that day I know for a fact that Gaddafi has been an enthusiastic devotee of Dr. Dobson’s parenting style, and what we’re seeing today is nothing more than a loving father teaching his willful and rebellious offspring that there are such things as “boundaries”, and that these need to be respected. Sure instead of a firmly administered spanking he’s using Kalashnikovs and some strange fluorescent chemicals which melts skin, but that’s really just a small matter of logistics. The principle is the same, and it’s one I wish every parent would embrace: nothing teaches a child to love you like thrashing them to within an inch of their life. Or on occasion a little bit beyond. It’s really just a matter of plain common sense, isn’t it?
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.