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Of God And Spirits
Book of Julia

Sp'yet 11, 251

And on this day a young woman of my district came to ask my guidance on the matter of her sexual orientation. For she found she was attracted to women rather than to men, and did not believe she had ever heard of such a thing in all the world. Nor indeed had I, and didn't know what to say when she asked what God would think of this.

And so I called upon the spirits for guidance and God himself came to us. And it was the one and only time I ever spoke to him in my life. And few have spoken with him directly at all since the time of Connor and Brigitte, not that I'm bragging.

And he said this kind of thing was not uncommon on other worlds, and imparted to us the subword "homosexuality." He said that about 8 or 9% of the people in the Universe were like that, while still others were "bisexual" and some even "asexual." In all, something less than 85% of the Universe's people, at least those whose species were of a sexual nature at all, were "heterosexual," which heretofore had been a subword to the Land, unused and unknown, because there is no need for an adjective of whose type no others were known. If the only color a people's eyes can perceive is blue, there is no need for either the word "blue" or "color." Likewise when I began today's entry I used the term "sexual orientation," two words that have always had meaning for us, but not when put together, until now. And he said it might be some centuries or millennia before our world's respective percentages of sexual orientation approached the universal norm, but that it would probably happen, though not necessarily.

And he said that in the beginning, on each world he always created a man and a woman (on those worlds where the dominant species would be of a sexual nature, and included just two genders). He said he supposed he was kind of old fashioned in some ways, such as in that the joining of man and woman had been the original idea, and he still rather liked it, and was pleased that most folks did, too. People were made to fit most naturally together that way, he said.

And yet, he said, he had given people intelligence, free will, imagination and creativity, individuality, and such things as all that. And he was always glad to see people use such gifts to come up with new ideas, consciously or subconsciously, even inherently- not by choice necessarily, but by design of Nature, which of course (as he said in the Book of Connor and Brigitte) takes its own course after he's set things up in the beginning. He likes to allow himself to be surprised sometimes, for true omniscience could be supremely boring at times, and so often adopts a laissez-faire attitude towards his creations, so that he may better enjoy them. And, he added, that they may better enjoy themselves.

And after all, he said, life is all about love. And as Peter Pumpkinhead said, any kind of love is all right.

And when I asked him who Peter Pumpkinhead was, he said it was a character, the object of a song from Earth in what many of them called their 20th century, and he gave me the lyrics as well as magical recordings of the song as performed by two different Earth bands. And he related a story that once, in the mid-21st century, two people had disagreed about which version was better, and they both realized that a lot of people had different opinions about that, and these two people wanted to build armies from the two sides of the issue and start a war to determine who was right. But no one else would have anything to do with that, because they thought it was a colossally stupid idea, and the two people didn't get the point of the song at all. Some people still thought less of people who had a different opinion than they did about which version was better, but for the most part people didn't care which version others preferred. Meanwhile, the two who had wanted the war killed each other over it. God said he sent them both to hell because he hates it when people completely fail to get the point of the very things they're making a big deal about and blowing all out of proportion. It's even worse when they're misunderstanding his own words, as he would comment on quite soon.

We listened to the two versions of the song, and I said I liked the first version better, but the second was okay too. The young woman liked the second a bit better, but said that was probably just because there was something about the singer's voice that appealed to her, because in essence the song seemed to be performed in much the same style in both versions. God said there were some songs by different bands on Earth, from different decades or even centuries, which were performed even more similarly than this, and sometimes some people could find it about impossible to tell different versions apart. As for this song, he said he liked both versions equally. He gave the young woman recordings of a few other songs by the second band.

And then he said, the point is that love is what truly matters. There are many things that people have suffered for on other worlds throughout history, things he wished hadn't happened as they did, but his general policy of noninterference had to allow the bad as well as the good in life, otherwise it would be pointless and hollow and people would be weak and take everything for granted and at least half-lack free will, and.... But I digress, God said. Homosexuality was one thing for which people had suffered, one of the things he wished people wouldn't suffer for, but eventually people started treating all people like people. Which was just as well, because the Special Place in Hell for people who completely misunderstood his words and intentions about things and then committed heinous atrocities in his name was getting way too overcrowded. That made him very sad and very angry, for there was little he hated more than when people did that kind of thing, whatever issue it was they were misunderstanding and abusing his name and words over, and all.

So anyway, he said, be yourself and do what comes naturally as long as it doesn't involve hurting people or anything. Be happy and try to make others happy. Love and be loved. Live your life. There's nothing wrong with you. Well, there are things wrong with everyone, but this isn't one of those things, so don't worry about it. And I hope no one causes any problems for people like you on this world, but they probably won't. Things seem to work out generally more positively than average on the Land than on other worlds. For various reasons. Still, Lucifer's always out there making trouble, so you never know....

The young woman asked God if he was sure there would be other people like her yet on the Land, for if there weren't, she'd never fall in love and would always be alone. God said he couldn't say for sure, for several reasons, including that people aren't supposed to know too much about their own destinies. He pointed out that as a general rule, on this world as on any other, there tends not to be one person who, above all others, is meant for one other person, above all others. There tend to be any number of people who would be right for any number of other people, some of whom will meet, some of whom won't, but hey, life's a funny thing, full of endless variety of situations and all... He pointed out, too, that some people are perfectly capable of going their whole lives never falling in love, never being with anyone in a romantic or physical relationship, and still being completely happy with their lives. Even if they're not asexual. Of course it's also true that some people never get the lives they want, and it's a shame. Or they don't get some aspect of the lives they want. He shrugged and said he was sorry he couldn't say more, couldn't say anything specific about her life or future, but that he loved her.

And she said she understood, and was much heartened by most of what he had said today, and she loved him, too. And we thanked God for his time and words, and gave him the praise he knows he deserves, of which he demurred, though of course he knew he deserved and always will deserve all praise. We said good-bye to him and he to us, and then he vanished.

The lyrics to "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" follow. (We had asked God what some of the lyrics meant, such as "Vatican," but he said anything we didn't get probably wasn't that important, anyway. We did, of course, get the overall metaphor for his son, but didn't comment upon it, to be polite.)

THE BALLAD OF PETER PUMPKINHEAD
by
XTC
or
Crash Test Dummies featuring Ellen Reid

Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
Spreading wisdom and cash around
Fed the starving and housed the poor
Showed the Vatican what gold's for

But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

Peter Pumpkinhead pulled them all
Emptied churches and shopping malls
Where he spoke, it would raise the roof
Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth !

But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

Peter Pumpkinhead put to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Plots and sex scandals failed outright
Peter merely said, "Any kind of love is alright"

But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?

Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you, and an awful lot like me!

But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkin?
Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead
Oh my, oh my, don't it makes you want to cry, oh!

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