Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Bible has it all: sex, violence, heaven, hell, eternal damnation and eternal life. There's just one thing it doesn't have, and that's consistency.

See, the Bible is all about how amazing Jesus was. The son of God, the savior of the world, the light in the back of your oven. So how come most of the people living back then clearly didn't give a damn about him?

Sure, on a few occasions vast quantities of people came to hear him talk. Four thousand people turned up one time, five thousand people on another. But what about in between? I don't know about you, but if I see some dude reanimate a corpse, I'm not just heading back home afterwards to make sandwiches and drink beer.

Only twelve men followed Jesus for an extended period of time. That's it. Charlie Sheen's posse is bigger than that, but I guess Jesus didn't spill a lot of coke.

Jesus got four men to write books about him, you say. But is that impressive? My local library has a whole shelf of books just about The Brady Bunch.

Picture this: Jesus performed over forty documented miracles. Some were relatively minor, like walking around the countryside for six hours and coming back to find his parking meter still hadn't expired. He fed thousands of people with just two fish, and that was before Gefilte Helper. But some of his miracles could convince any skeptic, like walking on water.

I mean, you don't dispute walking on water. Criss Angel did it, but I'm thinking Jesus didn't have four thousand dollars to pay extras to stand around in swimsuits holding beachballs while remaining totally motionless and pretending they didn't see any plexiglas. If I'd seen Jesus walk on water, I'd have stuck with him. When he's put to death, though, literally a dozen people turn up. I can draw a bigger crowd up to my apartment by telling folks I'm making scones.

One religious website says people didn't show up because they thought they'd be arrested. Yeah, that makes sense. He brings folks back from the dead, but everybody stays away because they don't want a misdemeanor on their permanent record. It makes you wonder: Were these folks really convinced he was their savior? I mean, five thousand Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested, and their only motivation was that Wall Street sucks.

Even the dudes who wrote the Bible didn't go to the crucifixion. Mark copied the story from Matthew. Matthew copied from John. Luke copied from Mark. It makes the death of the biggest religious figure in the history of the world sound like my high-school Physics class.

Let's picture the scene in the average household.

HARVEY (reading a stone newspaper): Hey, Linda, remember Jesus? The dude who fed a bunch of people with two fishes and some bread, and turned water into wine?

LINDA: Sure I remember him. He cured Marvin's blindness! He was definitely the savior of the human race. What's he up to these days?

HARVEY: This is so sad. They're crucifying him.

LINDA: Oh. That is sad. (PAUSE) I say we go and give those goddamn soldiers a piece of our minds! We'll tell them that Jesus truly is the Son of God! When is it?

HARVEY: Tuesday.

LINDA: Oh. That's the same day Andronicus is staging the rhinoceros fight at the colosseum.

HARVEY: Oh, well. Maybe next time.

It's not just Jesus, either: nobody gave a damn about Moses, though he could perform miracles too. He parted the Red Sea. He purified water, which might have been impressive before we all got Brita.

God actually spoke to Moses through a burning bush. As he walked around, God threw food at him. Naturally people tagged along when he wandered into the desert, which is a crazy thing to do even when you have a cellphone and an Isuzu. Here's how the Bible says that turned out:

MOSES: Okay, people! God specifically told me to climb up this mountain to receive his eternal word. Got that? I'M BRINGING BACK A SPECIAL DIRECTIVE FROM GOD. I'll just go get it, and I'll be right back.

STEVE: Okay! We'll be here. (PAUSE) What the fuck? I didn't know it would take this long.

WANDA: I know! We ain't crazy. Hey, look -- some dude got a golden calf!

LINDA: Fuck Moses! I ain't never seen a golden calf.

Eventually Moses returned with the Ten Commandments.

MOSES: People! People! I have returned! And look: I have that message STRAIGHT FROM GOD!

THE ONE GUY WHO HUNG AROUND: They left. They're gone. Is that incredible? They're all dancing around that golden calf. That's goddamn loyalty for you.

MOSES: That totally sucks. Let's go kill those motherfuckers.

If Jesus were around today, I think he'd do a little better, given TV and the internet and all that. My friend Mario has half a million Facebook friends, but he performed a small miracle himself. He found me a hit of K when nobody else could even find weed, and I'd follow him into the desert for that.


jeesau said...

An instant classic! I especially like the names. I think my parents partied with those people in the 70s. Gefilte Helper = genius.

RomanHans said...

I never learned history, so when I write about something that happened a long time ago it inevitably gets stuck in the 70s. In my head cavemen always own Lava Lamps and serve a lot of Chex Mix.

Yet Another Steve said...

And who says the field of early Christian history and analysis is moribund? I defy them all!