The Committee on Intelligent Design

Giotto, portion of the Baroncelli altarpiece, circa 1334.
Giotto, portion of the Baroncelli altarpiece, circa 1334.

Recently, I was thinking about conservatives’ efforts to pass “religious freedom” laws that allow discrimination against gays. The debate surrounding that issue reminded me of comments Republican political candidates have made about rape, abortion, and Christian teaching. We’ve also been hearing a lot lately about intelligent-design theory. I wondered how all these different strands of Christianity fit together.

Well, late last night, I had a vision of God planning the creation of the world. As recounted in certain versions of the story, he was assisted in this task by archangels. In my vision, there were four archangels present with the Almighty at a meeting of the Committee on Intelligent Design. (I know that was the name of the Committee because it was written on a cloud behind the meeting table. It also said “Tuesday.”) The Committee specifically addressed those sexual issues that have been debated so intensely of late.

In case Megyn Kelly or anyone at Fox News wants to know, all the Committee members were white, though maybe “alabaster” would be a better word. God had a white beard, blue eyes, and a well-to-do English accent—which you should have expected if you saw his Son in Jesus of Nazareth. The archangels who spoke had American accents.

I felt inspired and wrote down everything I saw in my notebook. I’ve typed it all up below. The vision seemed real, but I remain skeptical, chiefly because I was very tired and I’d had a couple beers. Whether or not my vision was divinely inspired, I believe it provides a fair account of Biblical teachings on sexual morality. I believe it also offers a view of what intelligent design must have looked like, if the Bible is correct.

Meeting of the Committee on Intelligent Design: Tuesday, circa 4004 B.C.

Present:

God Almighty, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

The Archangel Michael

The Archangel Raphael

The Archangel Gabriel

The Archangel Uriel

God: Any questions about my plans for the reproduction of man and the institution of marriage?

Raphael: Well, Lord, I wondered about possible misuse of the sex faculty.

God: Such as?

Raphael: It seems that some males might seek to place their members into females when the females do not wish for that event. Now, recalling your earlier presentation on the senses and emotions, it seems as if such an occurrence would be unpleasant to the female. Perhaps we might adjust the design of mankind somewhat to prevent such incidents.

God: No. I’ll just make a rule against it.

Gabriel: Perhaps, Lord, you could put it on the list of “thou shalt nots” you mentioned to me earlier.

God: No, I’m saving that for the really big offenses, like taking my name in vain. I don’t want every idiot who stubs his—um, one of those appendages that goes on the end of the foot—yelling my name afterward. It’ll make me seem cheap.

Others: Yes, Lord!

God: And they’d also better make sure to observe the Sabbath day, which will commemorate the rest I’ll take after I finish making the world. I’m an omnipotent being who exists beyond space and time. I won’t have puny mortals failing to respect how hard my work is or my need to rest after doing it.

Others: Yes, Lord!

God: Now, where was I?

Raphael: A new rule for the sexual function, Lord.

God: Right. (Closes eyes, thinking.) The rule will be this. If a man takes a maiden by force, he must marry her. And pay a hefty fee to her father. Oh, and he can’t divorce her, either. [Deuteronomy 22:28-29.] That’ll make ’em think twice!

Raphael: But, Lord, I’m not sure that will help the victim.

God: What do you mean? The victim gets paid a nice fee and he gets to marry off his daughter. That’s fair compensation.

(Long pause.)

Raphael: Lord, you could just design mankind so that it impossible for a male to penetrate a female unless she is willing. That would settle the whole issue.

God: We don’t need that. I’ve made a rule!

Raphael: Yes, Lord, of course, but, well, how about you make it so that a female cannot be penetrated until she is of age for reproduction?

God (waving right hand dismissively): No need. Rule!

Raphael: Well, Lord, could you at least make it so that a female who is of age and is taken by force cannot become with child as a result? Perhaps some physical reaction that prevents fertilization of the egg.

God: That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard!

Raphael: Lord, I just—(God glares at him.) All right. I was wrong, Lord. I’m sorry. I have another question, though. (God looks at Raphael with impatience. The other angels lean back in their thrones warily.) Lord, what if a man penetrates another man?

God: That’s disgusting!

Others (except Raphael): Disgusting!

Raphael: Well, yes, Lord, of course. But what I mean is, maybe we should make that sort of thing physically impossible, or make sure no man wants to do that, or—

God: No, I’ll just make another rule. If any men do that, kill them! [Leviticus 20:13.]

Others: Yes, Lord! Kill them!

God: Anything else?

(All look at Raphael, who wears a blank expression. Long pause.)

God: All right, I think we’re done for now. Sing us out, fellas.

Archangels: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Repeat, repeat, repeat.)

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