While people of the Jewish faith were recently bringing in the New Year for Rosh Hashanah and reflecting inwards during Yom Kippur, I came across a couple of bizarre news stories. The first item was about a University of Tennessee student who wound up in the emergency room after allegedly giving himself an alcohol enema at a frat party. You can't make this stuff up. The very next story to come across my screen was about Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She caused a stir while visiting a synagogue on Yom Kippur in Chicago and some members of the congregation weren't happy. One man left the service upset because Bachmann was treated like an honored guest. He felt their rabbi missed an opportunity.
He (the rabbi) had an obligation to say that she was sitting with a congregation that values and celebrates tolerance, compassion, knowledge, and respect for individual rights, that we were gathered as a diverse community that welcomes everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, political affiliation or sexual orientation, and that the only things we do not tolerate are hate, willful ignorance and persecution of the 'other.' That's how we should have 'welcomed' this particular visitor.
It seems these two events happened almost simultaneously, or at the very least, they leaped into my consciousness like synchronized swimmers. My first thought was, "I am offended, on behalf of Jewish people." I'm not Jewish, but I used to answer the phone at the Jewish Community Center in South Carolina, so I feel a close kinship to the tribe. Yes, there are Jews in the South, as is evidenced in the film Driving Miss Daisy. Hollywood might fake Toronto for New York, but they'd never pretend Southern Jews were part of the diaspora without hard evidence.
I subsequently had a moment of news-induced kismet as two details of these stories collided in my mind.
First, the butt-chugging college student announced he was suing. Who is he suing? His lawyer isn't sure yet. Too bad he isn't a she, because Gloria Allred would have turned this into an issue about a woman's right to butt-chug in two seconds. Or maybe she would have sued the wine bottle company for felonious assault. The young man in question didn't stop there. He proclaimed he'd never "desecrate" his body with an alcohol enema, because he's "Christian."
I don't know what being Christian has to do with anything. Apparently God doesn't care about us getting drunk. He only cares how we get drunk. Jagerbombs? Yes. Shots? Yes. Mouth Funnel? Yes. Butt Funnel? No. That is NOT Christian, Daimon (See Matthew 8:31 for reference). Everybody knows the Lord drank wine at the Last Supper to make it crystal clear that alcohol is for "mouth drinking." Then He died -- but not from alcohol poisoning. Look it up.
In the case of Bachmann, I also don't get why anyone would storm out of a synagogue in the name of tolerance. I'm not a rabbi, but after answering phones at the JCC I know everything he does. Don't mix meat and milk, it ain't kosher, plus it's nasty. Don't eat pork, it gives you trichinosis and what not. Marry a Jewish girl and make your mother happy. Last, but not least, welcome controversial strangers to your place of worship without incident because it shows... tolerance. Maybe that was the rabbi's lesson.
Perhaps that's how we should all welcome butt-chugging. Let's not paint it with the same brush we do cigarettes, marijuana, prescription drugs, or any other recreational behavior we collectively decide to stigmatize. I can think of several reasons why butt-chugging is better than all other vices and should be treated with some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
1. You can get drunk and prove you're not homophobic at the same time.
2. You can't get lung cancer by chugging.
3. Who doesn't love doing Kegel exercises while getting drunk?
4. You can use the restroom and pour out a little liquor for your dead homeys at the same time.
5. If you're a sex addict, the phrase "getting hammered from behind" takes on a whole new meaning.
After reading the aforementioned news items I felt I owed it to myself to find out the latest about the presidential race, or what was happening in the Middle East, or any other "hard" news. I mean, do I really need to read yet another review of the iPhone 5? But there was really no hope once I fell into the search engine rabbit hole and came across additional examples of the type of hard hitting journalism that the media thrives on these days.
I learned that Honey Boo Boo and family now make more money than teachers -- and maybe even the president. But I wonder... With all that extra money will she lose her competitive spirit and resort to butt-chugging her special "Go Go Juice"? Either way I'll be tolerant, even if my greater instinct is to cleanse my soul with my Jewish brethren on Yom Kippur.