In the midst of surprising his Twitter followers with a surprise ticket giveaway to a sold out Harry Styles concert, comedian Elijah Daniel spoke with Billboard about his “Gayer” Bible. It only took the YouTube personality a combined 12 hours (in just two days) to write The Holy Bible … But Gayer. And within hours, Amazon briefly banned the novel, citing a copyright issue — though that didn’t stop Daniel from selling more copies on his personal website.
Speaking about the book’s now-viral concept, the son of a “super religious family” and pastor father explains to Billboard that he had this idea for a while. After tweeting out his pitch — and receiving subsequent online flack — the former one-day Mayor of Hell, Michigan felt he held enough controversy to follow through with his plan. Going through “all the controversial verses” in the actual Bible, Daniel changed characters and settings, using a Mad Libs approach.
“It’s just obvious” replies the writer on why he selected Rihanna to play the role of God. “I feel like everybody would expect a Beyoncé, but I just feel like Rihanna is the perfect fit.” Daniel looked back at some of the mogul’s most infamous clapbacks on Twitter, inserting them as replacement quotes for God’s passages.
Originally he decided to keep the serpent the same, but with the avalanche of press following the singer’s Reputation promo and its viral lead single “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor Swift became a no-brainer.
The two pop stars are far from the only gay icons or popular figures to grace the book: drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race play all the Disciples, the book’s dedicatee Ellen DeGeneres makes an appearance, as do Ryan Murphy, Ryan Seacrest and Shawn Mendes.
Expanding on why Donald Trump received the coveted role of Satan, Daniel asserts that No. 45 “wasn’t the obvious choice.” The writer continues his shade: “I feel like Satan in the Bible is a slick, tempting, good character, not just a [blob] of human waste. It’s more of a compliment to him than anything.” Still, Daniel remains hellbent on continuing his on-going anti-Trump narrative: He’s spoofed the current Commander in Chief in his 2016 erotic novel, Trump Temptation: The Billionaire and The Bellboy.
Although Daniel’s family is against his deconstruction of the Bible, the comedian is not ashamed of his seemingly sacrilegious actions. “I just remember growing up as a gay kid and that was the number one thing: the Bible says that ‘You can’t be gay’.” Hoping to make other LGBTQ individuals make light of this situation, Daniel concludes: “The Bible can’t send you to Hell, it’s just a book!”