Parting Glances: How's It Hangin' Big Guy?

BY CHARLES ALEXANDER

Like people, words can be outed. Take the noun "testimony" for example. It's closet meaning goes back to biblical times, and the quaint family values custom of holding and swearing an oath on the balls (testicles) of one's father.

"So help me, JHVH! I swear this oath of promise to love, care, and protect my 25th plural wife on my father's bodacious, low-hanging, ever-fecund, circumsized family jewels."

(With their enthusiasm for male bonding, it's a custom the Promise Keepers -- you do remember these religious zealots, don't you? -- might have revived and added to their repertoire of male biblical bonding techniques. "You bless my biblical set. I'll bless yours.")

Who has and who hasn't balls is too often religious history in a nutshell. Take for example the curious legend of Pope Joan, who supposedly got in male drag and was elected Pope John Vlll in the auspicious year of 855.

You won't find Joan in The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, but her story goes that her brief reign as Catholic Prelate ended when she somehow got pregnant. (Oh, no. Not another, virgin birth!)

The Church says the pope business is all nonsense. Which is well and good, except for the fact that hidden away in the Vatican Museum is an unusual chair made of aubergine marble. A candidate for the papacy was asked to sit on it. A special feature is its centered, sizable hole that allows for a deft fondle, a sanctified grope for the truth, as it were.

According to Catholic scholar Peter Stanford in his book, "The Legend of Pope Joan," this papal commode was used to make sure that an elected pontiff was a well-hung he and not a virginal she. (It was a matter of sitting down humbly and getting up heavenly.)

Equally cunning is St. Peter's papal altar. It's decorated with eight pudenda carvings, the work of sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. Pope Urban lll requested these flesh flowers in stone -- female genitalia -- as a thank you for the successful pregnancy of his favorite niece. (Whether these items distract the occasional straight celebrant is another matter.)

You show me your pudenda. I'll show you mine.

Then there's Joan of Arc, who led Catholic France to victory, but was tried for treason and heresy by the Church and burned at the stake. Her treason was not that she was a victorious militant female, but that she wore male clothes. A -- pun, fully intended -- cross dresser!

Apparently testes and how they are hanging well, or not hanging well, is back again in the news, this time on the contemporary scene in the USA. The cover story of last week's Newsweek is titled "Who's Killing America's Sperm?" Subtitle One: "The sudden rise in male infertility is a scary national crisis."

Subtitle Two: "And we can't blame it on Trump -- or can we?" The article concludes, "It's an inconvenient message, but the species is under threat, and that should be a wake up call to all of us." Yes! Let's blame Trump. (Instead of you know who.)

It's damn obvious that very, very few Americans have the balls to impeach him.

{TAGLINE Connect with Charles Alexander at Charles@pridesource.com}.

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