Don’t get me wrong–Christ was a fabulous cat. But I’m getting a little sick of hearing his name all the time, aren’t you? For Christ’s sake, he’s getting even more airtime and face-time than the Grim Reaper’s trusty, shade-wearing, slick-visaged sidekick Psy (at least here in Korea, where you can’t take two steps without seeing that smug multimillionaire’s mug grinning satanically at you from some insipid ad in a shopwindow).
Anyone who gets crucified is worthy of at least a nod. Kindly remove your L. A. Dodgers cap, close your eyes, and make a cross against your chest with your hand (as they say in the U. K., “spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch”). And bona fide Christians who buy into the church’s line that Christ’s having died millennia in advance for their yet-to-be committed sins, thus absolving them of guilt or punishment if they guzzle his holy Kool-Aid, admittedly get a really good deal. Narcissistic delusion has its benefits, if not its charms.
But first let’s turn to some of the things the putative savior supposedly said, extract them from history’s petri dish, and place them gingerly on a slide under the microscope for scrutiny before we jump on the bandwagon of zombified, swaying, closed-eyed, arm-waving believers and intone “hallelujah” while drooling all over ourselves in a state of unbridled bliss fit for an incontinent infant.
“I am the resurrection and the life.”
Yeah? Says who? Anyone who goes around making such megalomaniacal announcements has definitely been spending a little too much time in the cuckoo’s nest. Without trying to sound too cruel, let’s be briefly relieved “He” was crucified before he had time to reproduce. (Not that, unfortunately, the world isn’t now replete with such solipsistic monsters who think the sun shines from their behinds on the rest of us with its own special, signature scent.)
Speaking of monsters, you say you were resurrected? Guess what? So was Frankenstein (the creature, not the creator). I don’t see anyone making out any checks to organizations tooting his monotonous horn: Please give generously to the Church of Latter-Day Mutants.
“Only as a little child can you enter the kingdom of heaven.”
That’s like having a sign at an amusement park that reads, “You must be this short to go on this ride.” So basically you’re telling us we should all just be a bunch of immature weenies who refuse to take responsibility for our own lives and disposable souls. I write that not as one who has won the annual limbo dance of low self-esteem year after year, but as somebody who prefers to subscribe to what empirically resembles the truth instead of the fantasies fed me by the Walt Disney Corporation and makers of Hallmark greeting cards.
And what about the unborn? Don’t they get to go to heaven too? Or are they condemned to the same inferno as all those poor thrashing sperm cells and hapless seamen suffocating in knotted condoms as they sail against their will down the winding pipes that lead either from or to (which is it?) the head animated by Terry Gilliam during the rousing credits of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”?
[Incidentally, the above paragraph is not intended as a sop for pro-lifers; I doubt they’d ever forgive me for writing so many nasty things about their main man anyway, despite that being the lynchpin of all his teachings–the one thing he definitely got right. Heck, that’s why they killed him! (Oh, excuse me–that’s why we killed him. Yeah, you were there too–remember? I saw you at the salad bar.)]
“The meek shall inherit the earth.”
There’s another whopper for everyone to ruminate on while they’re waiting for the interminable church service or fulsome Christian internet broadcast to end. Really, Jesus? And when is this big miracle going to happen? I don’t know about you, dear reader, but whenever I’ve been meek I’ve gotten nothing for my efforts but a big steaming foot-long shit-submarine sandwich. In fact, I’ve got my whole life to prove it. (That’s something of an exaggeration, but it makes a better punchline than a more nuanced sentence would.) Thanks to you, Jesus, I never fought back against the bully who pushed me over his buddy’s back while the latter was hunched down behind me out of sight on the playground in elementary school just because I was the new kid and didn’t watch the right television shows. Instead, I ran away like a coward and never confronted them afterwards.
Inherit the earth? Hardly. As a result of my refusal to confront my antagonists, I was traumatized for life! Feel better now, J. C.? (Although to be fair, one of the bullies’ ilk later evolved slightly and drifted away from their subculture enough for us to become friends; not that he became a paragon: he went on to bully another kid who was too goofy and effeminate for his homophobic standards for him to condone.)
“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Not that most rich men would probably want to go there anyway if they’re just going to be surrounded by a bunch of shrieking tots picking each other’s nose. As Jesus’ spiritual forebear (and, in my view, intellectual superior) Buddha pointed out, discussions of the afterlife are neither here nor there and are a complete waste of time, since nobody really knows what happens to us after we die besides the obvious, and when you think about it, who the hell cares? It ain’t worth losing sleep over because in all of human history, not one of billions of people who’ve come and gone has ever figured it out. Maybe that’s the point.
But when it comes to the heaven that can be enjoyed here on earth, the richest people seem to be doing mighty well. They can enjoy amenities most of us will never be able to sample, not that that necessarily makes them better people or even more deserving, considering what a lot of them have had to do to make their money (“see no evil,” etc.). In case you’re still not convinced, who would you rather be, some poor homeless person living out of a trash bag and an origami hut of scavenged newspapers on Fifth Avenue, or Mick Jagger?
According to the gospels, Jesus did turn water into wine, which was thoughtful of him. (Beer would have been better.) Still, I would have chosen to hang out with Dionysus instead, since he was more of a chick magnet. Who wants to join a group of twelve dudes? They all want to talk to Mary Magdalene, but she’s too busy getting her feet washed by Jesus.
“Want me to check the oil too, ma’am?”
I’ve heard that Jesus may well never have existed after all, but don’t feel too bad–neither did Dionysus. Existence is not a pre-requisite for being cool. If he didn’t, that would help explain why the world is so full of horror, violence, cruelty, murder, and much, much more. We don’t have to go to hell; we’ve saved a step by building it here while we wait. We don’t crucify people anymore; we just blow them to kingdom come with incendiary bombs.
For my money, when it comes to imaginary deities (if you’ll excuse the redundancy), I’m more nostalgic about the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy than I am about Jesus. And Santa Claus has become the most popular mythological character of all time, even though he’s an obese abuser of reindeer who sold out to Coca-Cola a long time ago (hence the change in outfit from kelly green to bright red and white–looo-zurr!).
And now, just in case he did and still does exist, “Lord, please forgive me, for I have sinned.”
Now that that’s all taken care of, where did I put that bottle of whiskey and drone joystick?
See you in heaven or hell, depending on which day of the week it is we run into each other.