Note: I first posted this letter in a slightly different form last Christmas and have decided to make an instant tradition out of it. So, welcome to the second annual posting of Belacqua’s Christmas Letter. c.w.
Here we are again, up to our asses in Christmas, that wonderful time of year when everyone is stressed out because they are unable to attain the mandatory Hallmarkian joy the season demands.
What I really love about Christmas is how it reeks of irony. Organized religion’s greatest accomplishment is the reduction of Jesus to a plastic statue that glows in the dark. Thanks to the efforts of our clergy, we worship a reified icon and not his teachings. The deft manner in which the church has taken a rebel who railed against the society of his age and turned him into a symbol of meek obedience is awe inspiring.
Look at how they have upgraded him:
· Because Jesus said only those who become as children shall enter heaven, we are taught to obey our surrogate parent, the State.
· Where Jesus called the establishment of his time “hypocrites and vipers,” we are taught to say “yes sir” and “no sir”.
· Where Jesus trashed the temple, we are taught to make a fetish of private property.
· Where Jesus healed, we cancel health benefits.
· Where Jesus taught us to feed the hungry, we underfund food stamps.
· Where Jesus taught us to clothe the naked, we head for the Gap.
· Where Jesus preached peace, we bomb children.
· Where Jesus taught us to comfort the afflicted, we tell them their afflictions are their own fault.
· Where Jesus preached the humility that liberates, we practice the hubris that enslaves.
The manger sits in the shadow of the cross, but we are so blinded by the gaudy lights dancing across our multiple screens we see only a plastic crèche.
So, Merry Christmas, George. Keep praying to your plastic Jesus and let the madness roll on.