I’m a little embarrassed writing this letter since I’ve never asked you for a personal favor.
But, this is different. I ask nothing for myself, but seek help for a man I’ve admired since childhood, a man whose motives have been misunderstood, who has been the victim for a vicious smear attack, and whose very name is often used as an epitaph.
George, I need your help in rehabilitating the reputation of Judas Iscariot. I turn to you because the Vatican has not responded to my repeated requests that they begin the canonization process.
I’m sure you find it strange that I, a Christian, should ask you, a Christian to help me with this. But, I assure you, there are compelling theological arguments for Judas’s rehabilitation. To wit:
God needed a crucifixion. Without it, the entire redemption enterprise was down the tubes. This meant he needed an engine to drive the crucifixion.
The Greeks have a word, ati. Its primary definition is “divine infatuation.” Its secondary meaning is “ruin.” For the Greeks, to be touched by the gods is to be driven insane.
Comes now poor Judas, a loyal follower of Jesus, quietly minding his own business when out of the blue—Wham!—God zaps him! And, in a fit of divine madness, he does what under normal circumstances would be anathema to him, he betrays Jesus.
Jesus is arrested and the redemption enterprise is salvaged. The deed done, God lifts the spell and Judas is confronted with the horror of his crime. Unable to bear the guilt, he hangs himself in remorse, thus making him the first Christian martyr and a candidate for sainthood.
George, I see a major marketing campaign in the making; I see sweatshirts, T-shirts and bumper stickers that read: “Canonize Judas Iscariot Now!” I see a blockbuster movie staring Russell Crowe as Judas, a man of upstanding virtue who willingly sacrifices his life to carry out God’s will. I see Angela Joelie as his long-suffering wife who mistakes his divine infatuation for a midlife crisis until the Angel of the Lord, played by Anthony Hopkins, appears to her in a dream. Nail Tom Cruise as Jesus, and you’d be talking box-office magic.
This should be enough to force the Vatican to reopen Judas’s dossier. Once they do, he will be a shoo-in for sainthood.
Hell, if PR flaks could get you elected president, they sure as hell can get Judas Iscariot canonized!