Wednesday, 9 January 2008

48 - Religion: Tony Hendra

From “The Catholic Sex Index” by Tony Hendra, “National Lampoon”, December 1974

Originally a theological term used to describe the sexuality of God-made Man, referring to His love for all mankind and in particular for His Apostles, this function of the term being most accurately expressed in the time-honored salute, "Ecce Homo." Now debased to mean simply the love of one person for another of the same sex and by extension the perversion of the procreative act between them, and therefore a de facto mortal sin, homosexuality has recently been the object of some courageous and stimulating new thought, at least as it applies to members of the male sex. Cardinal Benedetto Colone, Dean of the Sacred Office of the. Impious Vulva since 1847, has; argued convincingly that the Redeemer's spiritual love for his disciples may in fact have been mirrored a corporal'-that is to say, a carnal one; although for reasons of discretion, no mention is made of such episodes in the New Testament, Christ's admonition to His Apostles at the Last Supper (an all male gathering), is quite distinct: "Take, eat, this is my body." In addition, both He and subsequently his disciples refer clearly to the fact that He will "come again" and that there will be a "second coming," the verb "to come" having the same ambiguity in Aramaic as in present-day English. All indications, argues Cardinal Colone, are that Christ practiced and intended his disciples - and, of course, their successors through Apostolic succession - to practice a physical as well as a spiritual love for mankind. Not only does this view tend to correct the previous, somewhat Monophysite emphasis on Christ's purely spiritual love, it also explains the Church's hitherto only partially understood demand that the shepherds of her :flock refrain from sexual contact with women.

Basically the act of placing Bishop Peter anywhere other than in Sister Mary Vulva, as in the anus, in the mouth, in the naval, in the ear, in the armpit, in the nostril, in the hand, in a hole, in a fruit, in a missal, in an altar rail, in a candle-stick, in a lavabo set, in a thurible, in a crosier, in a monstrance, in a reliquary, in a sanctus bell, in a tabernacle, anywhere. Long considered the unforgivable sin, sodomy is now the subject of intensive theological research designed to show that for an extremely small numb r of people in very specialized vocations who have the training to cope with its inherent dangers, sodomy may after all be less a sin than an obligation.

While American humour is often charcterised as being heavily Jewish, most of the writers for "National Lampoon" were Irish Catholics. This means there are a higher then usual numer of jokes about the IRA, but actually less about religion. Tony Hendra came from England, and even he was Catholic. In fact it is Hendra who writes many of the humorous pieces about Catholicism over the years. In later years he would write a serious book about a monk who was a deep spiritual influence upon him.
Homosexuality and Jesus are long standing topics which keep clashing up against each other. In 1967 Hugh Montefiore, the Vicar of St Mary's, stirred up controversy when he said "Why did He not marry? Could the answer be that Jesus was not by nature the marrying sort?" Hmmmmm?
Also there has long been talk relating to Jesus and St John, "his beloved disciple", "he whom Jesus loved" - which is just how rumours get started, yes?

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