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Eugene Weekly : Living Out : 10.28.10




We Need an Exorcist

Let’s give a boot to the demons

By Sally Sheklow

Our country is possessed. We’re inhabited by a vicious demon. An evil spirit within has turned us against ourselves. America’s self-evident truth that we’re all created equal has switched to an ill will that has us trashing and bashing and driving our young to suicide. The Devil makes us do it.

We’re promised equality under the law, but our laws don’t protect Americans who are lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender. Our pledge says we’re “one nation indivisible,” but 10 percent are legally divided from the rest, unequal and unprotected. With one face we purport to be the land of the free while our other face denies the basic freedom to be ourselves. It’s enough to make our heads spin like some 300 million pre-exorcized Linda Blairs. 

We the people, who once declared ourselves endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, now find our own voice chanting — in eerie, distorted reverb — bizarre curses like “One man, one woman,” “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” and “God hates fags.” And everywhere the persistent, “That’s so gay.”

Then we’re shocked when another teen jumps off a bridge.

This is the work of a monstrous succubus who has taken up residence in our national soul and enshrined itself in our federal laws under the guise of the Defense of Marriage Act and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and kept our U.S. Senate from passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. All Beelzebub’s doing. 

Each time our high courts rule discrimination unconstitutional, our collective bed starts bouncing wildly around the room and our dresser drawers inexplicably fly open and slam shut willy nilly. These special effects come courtesy of The Evil-Doer who holds American hearts in a fiendish grip. The sacred teaching to love each other as ourselves appears no match for Mephistopheles.

But Satan has a weak spot. Like any playground bully, our tormentor intimidates and overpowers to hide his own shortcomings. His vulnerability is his fear of exposure. 

To give the Devil his due, The Ruler of Hell has accomplished a lot. He’s wreaked havoc on our souls, wrought death and suffering and much gnashing of teeth.

Meanwhile, all his railing and provoking puts the Devil in the limelight. He’s exposed himself. In the disinfecting light of day, people see The Truth. Out in the open, demonizing queer people looks silly. Most Americans love our LGBTQ sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, classmates and co-workers. Gayness is no more a threat than straightness. We see it now — The Prince of Darkness is a fraud.

Beware, Lucifer! We’re climbing the staircase wielding weapons of purification. We have the Constitution. We have the Declaration of Independence. We even have the holy word of God. Our families, friends, and neighbors are with us. We will drive you out.

But stand back, everybody. 

When we finally purge our country of the Devil, when we rid our laws of discrimination, when we once and for all proclaim the full and equal humanity of everyone — look out! That’ll be an awful lot of pea soup.

Sally Sheklow has been a part of the Eugene community since 1972 and is a member of the WYMPROV! comedy troupe. Her column, which began at EW in 1999, also runs in several other newspapers and magazines around the country and Down Under.