By David Glenn Cox
We live in a stoic world, we are a cynical people and who can blame us? Living in a plastic artificial existence, a world of special effects of Penn & Teller of David Copperfield and such. Blockbuster movies of wizards and goblins, space aliens and talking mechanical monsters. So then, who can blame us for becoming jaded?
Especially at this time of year with the crass commercialism of Santa, Rudolph and any other damn thing they can come up with to sell electric razors, toothpaste or Antonio Banderas cologne and now even boxes of condensed chicken broth. Just to imagine how this product is manufactured is enough to turn the stomach. But boxes of condensed chicken broth make the point exactly. A fraud, an imitation of a life that we are trying to pretend that we live, the microwaved home cooked meals just like mother used to nuke.
Irradiated meat, non-fat margarine with an ingredient list half of which you couldn’t pronounce let alone spell. A virtual smorgasbord of unfathomable chemistry that we use to replace churned cream because we are watching our waistline.
It would be easy enough to point the finger of blame at capitalism but pundits praise the bounty and shout, “Amen let us shout Amen! Hallelujah praise his name!” But what I want to talk to you about today my dear dear friends about is Jesus! I’m not content to just walk the minefields of politics, yes my dear dear friends lets step into the deep doo doo of religion or the lack there of. But before we do we must prepare ourselves and cleanse ourselves from the heathen religious beliefs that have convinced millions of us that if only we build a grander alter to God then by God its gonna be all right.
Friends! I want the congregation today to open their Bibles and with their Jesus loves you black magic markers pens to begin on the first page. To ask yourselves friends, what would Jesus do? Jesus would start by blacking out everything in the Bible that he didn’t say. Jesus wouldn’t get half way through it before he threw it down as nonsense. Now before you start gassing up them flaming crosses let me explain.
Try and use your stoic side, the side that says less filling not the side that says tastes great! And all you atheist out there in the crowd stop rolling your eyes, for brothers and sisters I was one with you! I walked among you. I have no intention of trying to proselytize I want you to pretend that this is all part of a made up Hollywood movie in a distant galaxy far far away and the parts of R2D2 and CPO3 will be played by flawed mortal humans.
In the Jewish tradition Rabbi’s (teachers/ Jedi’s) spoke in parables. You told them of your troubles and they answered you with another story about someone else in trouble. To make you understand that your situation wasn’t unique and our common troubles connect us in the human existence.
But these people were under the domination and oppressed by the dark empire. Their cities were occupied and their prophecies foretold of a savior who would come with the uncircumcised federation and with light sabers and space fighters to destroy the death star. Just like us in our 21st century boxed chicken broth society they were waiting for a Hollywood savior, a savior their corpulent religious leaders told them that was a coming, now open those checkbooks and show Jesus just how much you love him.
Instead they got a parable, Instead of a savior to destroy the death star they got a revolutionary, a Che Guevera who came with the sword of truth in hand to destroy not the death star but the religious orthodoxy.
So we begin our story with the young Che disappearing in the big city to be found talking with the Religious elders at the temple. The leaders are taken by his knowledge and his wisdom but what does this say as a parable? That he would listen and hear them out but also that these where the things a child would do and accept. The leaders admired his mind and his knowledge only so long as it agreed with their orthodoxy so that when they condemned him it would be known that it for his ideas.
We next find our young revolutionary walking the streets preaching that salvation is not found in the temple. But not only that he was preaching it to non-Jews! Time out; flag on the play that’s not allowed. In the filthy unsanitized biblical world it was considered unpious for a Rabbi to even have contact with these people let alone proselytize to them. Then he goes and recruits them as his chosen and refers to them as brothers! Greek, Samaritans being called brothers in the context of times and local traditions it could be considered nothing less than insanity.
Had he stayed there calling non Jews his brothers he could have been laughed off as a harmless nut. But then he went to the temple and despite all his talk of peace and love he goes all rainbow warrior on them. Sacking the merchants and the gift shop, merchants who where just trying to make sure you had all your religious needs available for your salvation at everyday low low prices. This guy goes nuts on them, perhaps they think, this guy is a red sympathizer with communist beliefs.
So with Carl Rove tactics they seek to trip him up, “Say there Che should we pay our taxes to the Vader?” In one sentence he blew up the death star, “Render unto Vader the things which are Vader’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” and the crowd said, “Oh, sh*t he’s done done it now!” A separation between church and state? You mean God doesn’t want my shekels and kopecks and denier? That God doesn’t care what corner of this forsaken mud ball I live on?
So then this left leaning hippie with communist sympathies goes out breaking dietary restrictions. “Say there Che you know, you’re not supposed to be eating that right now.” To which our hero replied, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Gosh that was profound wasn’t it? That’s Bible speak for why don’t you shut up and mind your own business. Clearly heresy and impolite to boot!
It says a lot about our hero it speaks to his character that he had infinite patience for those whom he thought he might could reach but to ideologues in love with religious rules and regulations he says stick it where the pharos can’t reach it. Then when he shows up at the temple, oh what did that scene look like? “Shhh, just ignore him and maybe he will go away.” Then he goes to read to them, “Just ignore him give him his five minutes and then he’s out of here.”