Dear Rabbi Getter:
I am writing to you because no matter how much I think about the question I am going to ask you I can never come to a reasonable conclusion. Please keep in mind that this is not a ruse or foolish joke but a legitimate concern of mine. As an evangelical Protestant Christian who is disabled, I really want to know if there is sex in heaven. Since there is no disease or suffering in heaven, I want to know if perhaps in heaven disabled people like myself will be able to have the physical intimacy and love that they could not enjoy in their earthly lives. This is a legitimate question and a real agony for me and many others who have been forced by disability to live limited lives here on earth. As if it weren’t bad enough to be disabled, but to be further hindered by a limp wienie just adds insult to injury. I hope you will take this letter seriously, and I will keep reading your column in hopes that my missive is chosen.
P.S. One of my good friends who is an avid angler wanted me to ask if you think that there will be fishing in heaven. Respectfully yours, Algonquin Stevens. Atlanta
Rabbi Getter inserted a sheet of paper into his electric Remington typewriter and set to pondering. The good Rabbi thought this particular question to be a unique one. As he once again read it he realized that he would edit out the “wienie” reference, but other than the fishing question being a bit goofy for his intellectual audience he felt that he could go with it. He only had to think for a very few minutes before he began typing.
Dear Mr. Stevens:
As I am sure you are well aware of, there exists a corporeal body and a spiritual body, or soul. This is stated clearly in the New Testament both in the book of John and in I Corinthians. When we die our corporeal bodies revert to dust, but our souls survive and hopefully travel to another place, that which we call heaven. I can tell you without doubt that there is love in heaven, but there is no sex. Sex is only possible through the physical, or corporeal body, which has gone away at the point of death, leaving only the spiritual body, or soul. Let me mention something that will possibly offer you some solace for your angst laden situation: since you have never been able to have sex one could make the excellent argument that you cannot possibly miss what you have never had. Once one accepts this premise it is logical to realize that indeed when you get to heaven you will have a leg up, so to speak, over the other inhabitants, who will likely be standing around missing having sex. I truly hope that this ecclesiastical explanation will suffice to assuage your concern and curiosity.
P.S. There is fishing in heaven but the fishing is very limited because the fish cannot reproduce, because there is no fish sex in heaven either. Yours Sincerely, Rabbi Getter.
As he always did the good Rabbi read over his answer several times to make sure it suited him; he always critiqued what he wrote.
“I feel a little odd quoting the New Testament”, he thought to himself, but decided since Stevens was a self-described Christian Rabbi Getter concluded that it was the correct approach. He smiled as he read through the part of his answer that essentially told Stevens that “you can’t miss what you never had”, noting that it was a pretty persuasive argument, and chuckled out loud at the fish sex reference. Rabbi Getter was not above inserting a little humor in his column.
It was Monday morning, so when Rabbi Getter finished the letter to his satisfaction he got dressed; every Monday at ten six of the local people of God gathered in the basement of the First Lutheran Church for a coffee klatch. They had been doing it for years and they all looked forward to it. Each week a different member of the group would be responsible for an informal program, pretty much just something to stimulate conversation and a little debate. Today was Rabbi Getter’s day to be the emcee and he thought he would just read the letter from Algonquin Stevens and his answer; Rabbi Getter’s column was syndicated throughout the Southeast in various newspapers. He had used his column many times before and it was typically well received, occasionally even garnering light applause, so he felt pretty good about it as he finished dressing and headed out to the church.
The Right Reverend Leroy Gillespie strode out of the little one- story brick parsonage of The United House of Prayer for All People and got into his 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity. As usual he had to crank the old car five or six times to get it going; there was something not quite right with the carburetor, but Reverend Gillespie had decided that as long as it would run he would not worry about it. He pulled up on the half inch chisel that was crammed down in the door to keep the driver’s side window from disappearing into the depths of the door, pulled the glass all the way up to the top and reinserted the chisel. The chisel worked fine but it would loosen up occasionally and the Reverend would have to make the adjustment. The meager salary that he drew from the church was barely enough to keep him and his wife in food and clothes, so getting a better car was not even a consideration, but he felt some pride in his creativity to keep the Celebrity going; for example, there was the time that the trunk key broke off in the lock. He had been able to get the trunk lid open but then he was faced with securing it. Reverend Gillespie was satisfied that a locksmith would charge several hundred dollars to fix the situation so he came up with an inexpensive alternative; he went down to the Ace Hardware down near Logan’s plant shop and for two dollars and fifty cents purchased a small hasp and four self- tapping metal screws. When he had gotten home he got his little cordless drill and attached the hasp to the trunk and inserted a small lock that he already had. He cracked the other three windows and headed down his driveway and took a left on highway 321, heading for the South Carolina line. It was 8:30 and he wanted to get an early start for a number of reasons: one, he wanted to get to the liquor store by the time they opened up at nine o’clock: two, it would be a lot more comfortable driving early in the morning since the Celebrity air conditioning had not worked for five years: and three, he needed to arrive at the Coffee Klatch first because he had a few things to do in private.
At first Reverend Gillespie had been honored that Rabbi Getter and the four other holy pastors had included him in their group, but that had been four years ago and it seemed to him that they kind of treated him as a second- class citizen, like what he was fixing to do right now.
“Ain’t no reason in the world that I have to be the one to waste my gas going to South Carolina to get six half pints of bourbon,” he thought to himself as he went through Gastonia and progressed toward the South Carolina line. Gaston County, where they all lived, was a dry jurisdiction, but South Carolina was very wet and not that far away. He could have gone to Mecklenburg County across the Catawba River east of Gaston County but it just made more sense to go to York; half pint bottles were not sold in North Carolina and for the purposes of the Coffee Klatch the smaller bottle was perfect. Reverend Gillespie thought back to three years in the past when Rector Doub of the Episcopalian Church of the Sacred Lamb had come up with the idea of having whiskey available at the Klatch. The remaining holy men immediately embraced the concept and the tradition began.
“Guess that’s why they call them ‘Whiskeypalians’,” Reverend Gillespie chuckled as he motored through the south side of Gastonia and neared the state line. “Like the old saw goes, if you find four Episcopalians together you’ll find a fifth,” he said out loud and broke out in a big belly laugh. Sometimes the gathering was okay, but lately Reverend Gillespie had started to feel like he was being taken advantage of. Of course the others reimbursed him for the bourbon and gave him a few dollars for gas but he still felt like he wasn’t being treated fairly. Like the other week when he had the program and talked for thirty minutes about Black History Month and the Celebration of Kwanzaa and two of them had fallen asleep, the Catholic Priest snoring loudly. Of course that had been after the half pints had disappeared but Reverend Gillespie had been more than a little put off.
“Don’t think they appreciate me enough,” he thought as he crossed the state line and saw the little white block building with the big red dot on the side, the way liquor stores in South Carolina were identified. “Reckon they treat me like their little nigger,” he said out loud, scowling as he thought of it. But then his face broke out into a big grin as he thought of his plan; he reached inside his coat pocket to make sure that he had not forgotten the ten twenty milligram Cialis tablets. He had been saving up for six months from his monthly supply to accumulate his stash; “Yep, them is gonna be a confused bunch of the Lord’s messengers,” he said out loud, as he parked the Celebrity and entered the red dot store.
It was ten o’clock and all of the attendees of the Coffee Klatch were present: Rabbi Getter, Rector Doub of the Episcopalian Church of the Sacred Lamb, the Priest of Sacred Heart Catholic Church Donald Greeley, the Reverend Zane Gray Morton of the First Methodist Church, the lesbian minister of Pullen Presbyterian Church Penelope Pruitt, and of course Reverend Gillespie of the United House of Prayer For all People. Reverend Gillespie had followed the pattern that had been set up fours ago: before the other ministers arrived he made the coffee, then set up six of the oversized coffee cups that the Lutheran Church provided. As he was getting things ready Reverend Gillespie started wondering why it was that they held the Coffee Klatch in the Lutheran Church and their minister was not a member, but then recalled that the Right Reverend Karl Mezezzers had been invited but had respectfully declined, citing that he had such a large flock to attend to and that he was a relatively new minister. But the Lutheran minister, to assuage any possible ruffled feathers, offered his church for the Coffee Klatch venue. It had all worked out okay.
As always for four years Reverend Gillespie had placed the six half pints of Evan Williams on the table, one in front of each space. Then, as was customary, he opened each bottle and poured approximately one third of the brown elixir into the oversized cup; then he placed the bottle in front of the cup. This amount in the cup allowed the men of God to have three cups of coffee/bourbon; it worked out quite nicely. However, this day there was a more than slight aberration in the routine; after he poured the bourbon in the five cups he dropped two of the 20 milligram Cialis pills into the cup and swirled a spoon around to make them dissolve quickly. As he finished his chore Reverend Gillespie had smiled to himself in anticipation of what was about to be wrought.
The four men and one woman of the cloth took their seats as Reverend Gillespie made the rounds filling up the coffee cups. After everyone got settled and had time to take a couple slugs Rabbi Getter rose and read the letter and answer from his regionally syndicated column. There were some chuckles interspersed as he read about the unfortunate disabled Mr. Stevens, everyone joining in except Penelope Pruitt, the Presbyterian minister, who cleared her throat several times and looked rather uncomfortable. But when the men laughed out loud at the end of the answer about “no fish sex in heaven” Reverend Penelope was able to chuckle a bit. The routine was for an open session after the emcee had finished; it was open to anyone who had something that the group might want to hear. After the Rabbi concluded, the Reverend Zane Gray Morton rose; he was holding a two page letter.
“As you all are aware I am a member in good standing of the Gaston County School Board”, he began. Reverend Morton was a tall lanky man with a big toothy smile and a sense of humor somewhat rare in a man of the cloth. “So happens we were forced to have an emergency meeting last week to take care of a rather unusual disciplinary situation. It involved the discovery of there having been a sexual liaison between one of the young English teachers at Ashley High School and a sophomore male student. This came to light when the now deposed English teacher wrote a letter to the young man; he took the letter to the principal, which prompted the meeting. As I said, the teacher has been dismissed, but we decided only to lightly chastise the young man; the consensus of the Board was that it appeared that the female instructor was the aggressor, and since I am familiar with the young lady in question, I must say that I may even have a little trouble turning it down, er, I mean resisting.” This last comment had the males giggling and even Reverend Pruitt smiling broadly. “So without further ado, I will now read the letter in its entirety; the names have been changed to protect the guilty,” Reverend Morton quipped, flashing his big toothed smile and then he began to read the letter.
Too bad nothing will work out…I’m horny, feeling sexy, and juicy I was told, looking the best I have ever looked.
Miss Connie has had to expel Cubby from her school. You had been given three chances to correct your behavior and each time you failed to do so. Three strikes and you’re out! You broke her rule when you were with other teachers in Miss Connie’s cloakroom. Miss Connie did not take any other students in her cloakroom while you were enrolled. You were getting special treatment as you were the favored student. You also disrespected Miss Connie when you failed to bring her a Valentine gift. Cubby was unavailable for telephone consultations on several occasions lately because you wanted to be other teachers’ pet! Miss Connie was at the lowest point in her life physically and mentally and you took advantage of that to further your education’. So it looks like you’ve enrolled in another school. I hope the new teacher has experience dealing with dickheads…oh excuse me, giant seven inch dickheads! Your grade will not transfer as I have given you an F, for fucked up asshole. Also know that you are not eligible for readmission to Miss Connie’s class!
P.S. Keep in touch”
As Reverend Morton finished there was plenty of laughter. “Sounds like little Cubby was involved with other teachers,” Rector Doub suggested. “What will happen with that?”
“Well the Board decided that without any proof of such nothing could be done; the student known as Cubby in the letter has totally clammed up,” Reverend Morton said, and with that took his seat.
Reverend Gillespie had started looking at his watch; his experience with the little pills was that one should allow about thirty minutes, and twenty eight had passed since everybody had started drinking.
Reverend Penelope Pruitt of Pullen Presbyterian Church was wondering why Reverend Gillespie was so infatuated with his watch. She had noticed that he was watching the other men very carefully and had not even glanced in her direction; this did not bother Reverend Penelope Pruitt one bit. Being the only openly gay minister in a small southern town had certainly been a challenge, but it had been one that she had reveled in. Shortly after her arrival at Pullen Presbyterian she had totally come out; this action had been helped along by the fact that by her count approximately seventy percent of her congregation was gay, so it was no big deal when she and her long time mate Loretta decided to have a big church wedding. Of course none of the ministers in the Coffee Klatch had attended, although she had personally sent them invitations. But she had been pleasantly surprised when only a few months after the nuptials Rabbi Getter had invited her to the Coffee Klatch and she had been a faithful attendee ever since. She had even gotten to like the guys, especially Rector Doub, whom she suspected was an active peter puffer, his glamorous wife seemingly doing a good job of the beard. She was watching the good Rector as she was thinking this and noticed that he kept pulling at the front of his pants. As she watched she thought she could see some movement there and then realized that the Rector of The Episcopalian Church of the Sacred Lamb was dealing with a full fledged boner. The Rector appeared very uncomfortable and was peering sheepishly around the room. Then Penelope saw that Reverend Zane Gray Morton was staring at his crotch where he had a pretty good pup tent erupting. She perused the remainder of the men and saw the same thing occurring with all of them with the exception of Reverend Gillespie, who, like her, was watching the other four men, except while she had a look of curiosity on her face Reverend Gillespie possessed a sly grin. As Reverend Penelope watched the grin on Reverend Gillespie’s face became a beaming smile which morphed into a deep belly laugh.
“Is there a problem, gentlemen?” Reverend Gillespie asked. The other males were looking at each other in wonderment and confusion. Rabbi Getter was the first to point out that Reverend Gillespie was the only male not afflicted.
“Gillespie, you know anything about this?” he said, looking at the black man accusingly.
“Naw sir, massa,” Reverend Gillespie said, getting up and doing his best Step and Fetch It impersonation. Then Reverend Gillespie moved over to where Rabbi Getter was struggling with his maleness and rubbed the Rabbi’s bald pate while reciting “I wish Cotton was a monkey, I wish Cotton was a monkey,” over and over.
Reverend Morton stood up, his prominent member forming a perfect right triangle with his tall frame. “Reverend Gillespie, what is the meaning of this?” he demanded. Reverend Gillespie approached Reverend Zane Gray Morton and turned his palms up and said in his best negro accent “sometimes it just beez that way.”
By this time Reverend Penelope Pruitt had pretty much put things together. Over the years she had noticed how it seemed that most of the grunt work had been shoved off on Reverend Gillespie; she had often wondered how long he would be able to take it, and she figured she was seeing the breaking point. She started laughing out loud as the men of the cloth stood around in their great discomfort; then she got up to leave. As she exited she saw that Reverend Gillespie was coming behind her.
“Seek emergency treatment if you have an erection for more than four hours,” Reverend Gillespie threw back over his shoulder, and, guffawing, he went over and cranked up his 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity and went home.