Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pumping Jesus full of theological steroids.

Dear George,

I know you talk to God a lot, and that’s great, because as soon as the powerful enter into dialog with God, they shit into the nearest fan. The reason is quite simple. Ego drives the leader. Without it, he’d be just another drone. So when a leader starts talking to God, he does so with his ego and not his soul. As a result, the God he talks to morphs into the basest elements of his ego and the blood begins to flow.

Talking to God raises a problem I’ve touched on before—his son. The kid can be a real pain in the ass. During his time on earth he left a ticking time bomb that could easily blow up and put an end to your religious crusade just as it’s starting to pick up a head of steam. I’m talking about his Sermon on the Mount.

The religious right has been heroic in its efforts to reduce Jesus to a logo, a sort of virtual “godfather” with whom the powerful have a “relation” which is little more than an entry portal to the kick-ass Jehovah of the Old Testament. But, no matter how heroic their efforts are, that goddamn Sermon is still sitting there with the potential to really screw things up. Should it ever surface, peace and justice would spread over the earth like the bubonic plague, things would spin out of control and you could kiss your potential control of the world’s oil supply goodbye.

George, we’ve got to reposition Jesus, beef him up, and shoot him full of theological steroids. And I’ve got just the baby to do that.

In the ninth century, Charlemagne rammed Christianity down the throats of the Saxons of Northern Europe. This pissed the Saxons off and presented the church with a problem. The Saxons were a warrior tribe whose idea of a good time was cleaving someone from crown to crotch with a broad sword. It was obvious they weren’t going to take to a long-haired, peace-spouting hippy type who suffered the little children unto to him. Such a figure wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell with those bad asses.

So the missionaries did the only sensible thing they could, they rewrote the Gospels. The called it the Heliand, which in Saxon means “Savior”.[1] In this revised version, they transformed Jesus from a mealy-mouthed Prince of Peace into the warrior-chieftain of mankind. He was born in the Hill-Fort Bethlehem and grew up in the Hill-Fort Nazareth.

Taking this volume and employing some creative quoting out of context, we are able to recast the Sermon on the Mount. Here are just a few examples:

He said that fortunate too are the fighting men who wanted justice, and because of that suffer…men’s hatred and verbal abuse. To them is granted God’s meadow and spiritual life for eternal days—thus the end will never come to their
beatific happiness
.

Doesn’t this just have Iraq written all over it? In effect it says that the more you roil the waters and drive the opposition into a homicidal rage, the more you will be blessed.

But, it gets even better:

They listened to the Chieftain of the People giving law unto the
nobly-born. He promised them the heaven-kingdom and said to the heroes, “I can tell you also, My companions, in truthful words, that from now on you will be, for the human race, this world’s light, shining peacefully among men, over many peoples, bright and beautiful.

There is it George, The Theology of Empire! Christ has promulgated the Doctrine of Coercive Peace. He’s telling the “nobly-born” (Note, he ain’t talking to the poor and the oppressed as some so-called Christians would have us believe) to bring peace to the world whether it wants it or not.

With this doctrine, it would be no problem for your spinmeisters to convince the public what Jesus really meant when he said turn the other cheek was turn the other’s cheek with a fist full of knuckles.

Do you see what we have here? A macho Jesus who is gutting infidel terrorists with impunity. With this Christ in your back pocket you could lock up every drop of oil in the world, and you would have the theological moxie to totally discredit the very concept of peace.

Change the iconography; lose the white robe and give him a set of God-fearing desert fatigues. In place of a shepherd’s crook, give him an M16. And instead of riding into Jerusalem on an ass, have him enter standing in the back of a Humvee. He’d look great with a green beret cocked over his shaven skull.

God’s embedded with us, Big Guy, rolling across the desert in his Bradley fighting vehicle, blowing the heathen away as He brings His light to the oil rigs of the world. And you're right behind him, sucking up all the dust!

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones




[1] Murphy, G. Ronald, translator. The Hileand: The Saxon Gospel. USA: Oxford University Press.

11 comments:

Rent Party said...

This thing about the Saxon gospel is fascinating - I had no idea it existed.

Case Wagenvoord said...

I'm suprised the religous right hasn't dragged it out, though given their innate ability to butcher the Bible I guess they really don't need it.

Steve said...

You're hitting the nail right on the head, Case. Great column today, as everyday.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Steve,

Thanks for the feedback.

thepoetryman said...

Hell!
Someone get on the phone
To Hollywood! Oliver Stone,
Or maybe Quentin Tarantino
Or even Wes Craven, asap!
Have `em contact The Rock!
Start filming immediately!

Why the hurry, you ask?
Same reasons we went to Iraq.
There's money to be made!
Imagine the action figures
Stemming from such a charade?

The Happy Meals,
The trading cards,
Computer games’d be the best!
This Rambo-kick-ass-Jesus
Would easily trump all the rest!

Lust and greed, guns and bombs!
Brunettes and redheads and blondes!

Beautiful teeth, destruction,
Ass and asses, begat `n begot,
God, wrath and vengeance,
Thou shalt and thou shalt nots!

Now who can we get to play the blessed virgin?

Case Wagenvoord said...

TPM,

Glad I inspired you muse. The challenge would be casting Jesus. It's a shame John Wayne is dead.

Anonymous said...

One of the unforseen consequences of Charlegmanes attempt to democratise (sorry Christianise)the world, was over 250 years of pagan revenge in the form of the vikings.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Given the barbarity of the Crusades, I'd say the Vikings converted the Christians.

thepoetryman said...

"Given the barbarity of the Crusades, I'd say the Vikings converted the Christians."

Hooooo Agggghhh!

Iago de Otto said...

Old Testament! New Testament!
Old Testament! New Testament!
My sister! My daughter!
My sister! My daughter!
My sister and my --- wha'?

Aaarrgh! Kill! Kill! Kill!

No! Be nice! Turn the other ---
aaarrrrghghgh!!!! --- butt cheek and bend over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoah. Okay. I'm all right now.
Sorry about that.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Iago,

I think you just had a conversion experience. You've been saved!