It was as a regular churchgoer that I met perhaps the greatest father figure in my life, well the ultimate father figure really: God the Father. I’m sure most of you had a crush on Christ, but the Holy Father was probably the first hot Daddy I ever encountered. He taught me that a hairy old bugger and a grumpy old bastard could still carry ultimate authority even when wearing a kaftan. The Heavenly Father was robust with dazzling eyes, lightning for thighs and a long flowing beard that was the most magnificent piece of manscaping you could ever imagine.

I spent my adolescence singing His praises. Literally. I started my writing career writing songs with the gospel rock group I performed with as a teen. We wrote our own material and I would sing in the church on weekends. As I spent the week doing abominable acts best left unreported here, I suppose I had a considerable amount to atone.

You might wonder how I could come before the Heavenly Father, prostrate myself before Him and praise Him, when I was actually an apprentice sex offender. Well it was easy. The Heavenly Father was hot. God was my first bear crush. I had no problem staring into the pictures of Him and thinking this was someone I to whom I could surrender.

The advantage about being a young boy writing love songs to God while actually being a prodigious homosexual is the pronouns are entirely in your favour. You could sing the sweetest songs and admit to the deepest desires while singing about ‘Him’ when I wasn’t referring to Him on Most High but the daddy bear at the end of the seventh pew.

Actually I think I sublimated my sexuality appearing to be writing hymns to the Hot Daddy in the Sky. I did this with my best friend at school who also turned out to be gay. We even went as far as writing a rock musical (it was the ’70s and we were young and gay and gifted, what did you expect?) We wrote a musical about The Prodigal Son who you might recall gets naming rights in the Bible story whereas I’ve always thought it should be called The Forgiving Father.

You see, that’s the hero of the story. Not the parasite offspring back home for another slice of fatted cow. Not the belligerent brother who had spent years suckling at its teat. It was the father who threw a celebration of the return of his long lost son while the rest of the world celebrated in his ruin. And that’s what Father has come to mean to me, what God would mean to me if I bothered to believe in Him: the place you could call home when the rest of the world would send you to hell.

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