The religious wrong

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Q: I was surprised you didn’t mention the hilarious article in USA Today about the latest crusade launched by the religious jackasses in the United States. Apparently some conservative Christian groups in your country are pressing big hotel chains to drop pay-per-view porn from their in-room amenities. The way things are going, you Americans will be coming up here to Canada in droves to watch porn and smoke pot. —Pervert In Strong Support Of Fuck Flicks

A: I feel terrible about missing the USA Today story you mention, PISSOFF. Sex is my beat, and this is an important story that somehow slipped past me. But I can’t be expected to catch every article in every newspaper about every crusade launched by religious jackasses in the United States. So numerous are our religious jackasses, and so numerous are their crusades, that to keep track of them I would need a squad of research assistants who did nothing but clip stories from American newspapers about our religious jackasses.

While we’re on the subject of America’s religious jackasses, I would like to share a few thoughts: First, someone needs to explain to religious jackasses that there are times when committing a small sin helps someone avoid committing a larger sin. Pay-per-view porn is a perfect example: Horny married men out of town on business who opt to beat off in their hotel rooms watching pay-per-view porn are less likely to trawl around hotel bars looking for horny married women out of town on business who might be up for a little adultery. Second, I’d like to offer an uncharacteristic (for me) defense of America’s religious jackasses. While the tireless efforts of our religious jackasses to remove porn from hotel rooms, ban abortion and pick on homos are annoying in the extreme, the actions of America’s religious jackasses seem positively benign when compared to, say, the actions of Saudi Arabia’s religious jackasses. At least our jackasses are only pressuring hotel chains to stop making porn available to horny businessmen. They’re not, a la Saudi Arabia’s religious jackasses, crashing airplanes into Marriott and Hilton hotel towers.

Third, you’re Canadian, PISSOFF, and you’re kinda smug about it. Yes, you’ve got fewer religious jackasses and you’ve got porn and pot and you’ll have gay marriage a lot sooner than we will in the United States. But you also have a lot of French Canadians up there. As far as I’m concerned, French Canadians and religious jackasses are six of one, half a dozen of the other. Fourth, the queen of England is visiting Canada right now, isn’t she? It’s so strange to turn on the TV and hear Elizabeth II being introduced as the queen of Canada. Do you Canadians sometimes forget that the queen of England is your head of state — or is her picture on your money a constant reminder?

Fifth, some of you may be wondering why I’m rambling on and on and not answering any other letters. Well, I’m writing this column on an airplane and thanks to Saudi Arabia’s religious jackasses, flying in the United States is a pretty nerve-wracking business. I’m no longer able to fly without swallowing six Xanax before I board the plane. This flight was delayed after some people who made “inappropriate comments” were removed by security — but they were only temporarily removed. The four men who made “inappropriate comments” were allowed back on the flight (!), at which point I swallowed six more Xanax and now, well, I’ve pretty much self-medicated myself right out of my mind. I’m hardly qualified to flip through SkyMall magazine in my current state, much less give advice to anyone.

Sixth, can we get back to the queen of Canada now? Some Canadians resent the fact that Elizabeth II is their head of state. Take Sheldon Guerton. A firefighter in Kamloops, British Columbia, Sheldon just so happens to be sitting next to me on this flight. (Sheldon and some other guys from Kamloops Fire & Rescue are off to New York City to represent their department at a memorial service for fallen firefighters. They’re big and strong and I trust they’ll save us all if the men who made inappropriate comments attempt to storm the cockpit.) “We’re our own nation,” Sheldon said, when I asked him about the queen of Canada, “and I don’t think we should have a foreign head of state. And the people should elect the head of state.”

I think Sheldon is being a bit shortsighted. While a head of state elected by the people is a nice idea (maybe we’ll even have one in the United States after 2004), the system does have its drawbacks. For instance, elected heads of state are able to exploit the trappings and ceremonial duties of head of state to the benefit of their political party. And if Canadians don’t want a foreigner to be head of state, well, there are other options. For instance, why can’t Canada invite a distant branch of the British royal family to emigrate to Canada and found a Canadian royal family? It’s archaic, I realize, but consider this: Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year just to go to London and stare at Buckingham Palace — a building that looks like a large post office — because the queen lives there. If a queen lived right next door, Americans would spend some of that money in Canada. So if you want your own head of state, import some royals, find an empty post office in Ottawa somewhere, start calling it “Maple Leaf Palace,” hire your queen a marching band, and start raking in the tourist dough. If French Canadians complain about being ruled by English-speaking royals, make marrying a French Bourbon a condition of sitting on the throne of Canada. OK, I think we have time for one more question:

Q: I am a freshman in college and a virgin. However, that is about to change. I have been going out with my girlfriend for several months now and we think we are ready to have sex. What do I do with the condom afterward? Do I throw it in the garbage in my room? Do I go to the bathroom and flush it down the toilet, even though this requires putting on a robe and walking down the hall to the bathroom with a dirty condom in my hand? Or do I throw it out the window and hope it doesn’t hit someone? — Condom Rookie

A: The only time in your life when you’re allowed to throw a used condom out the window, CR, is when you’re in college. And don’t you worry about hitting a passer-by: Anyone walking under the windows of a dorm knows they’re running the risk of being hit on the head with a used condom.

Dan Savage’s new book, Skipping Towards Gomorrah (Dutton), is on sale now. More info at

Contact Dan Savage at [email protected]

About The Author

Dan Savage

Dan Savage is a sex-advice columnist, podcaster, and author, and has appeared on numerous television shows. His sex advice column “Savage Love” first appeared in The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, in 1991. The column is now syndicated across the United States and Canada. He has published six books...
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