Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Your body is a temple. Not literally of course, unless you're the leader of some strange cult I've not yet heard of. But if you are among the vast majority of people who don't host Sunday services within themselves then you can take the phrase, "your body is a temple" more figuratively.
What I mean by that is that your body is a special thing. And whether you believe it was created by God, Allah or random cell mutation (all of which are pretty spectacular if you think about it), it's good to appreciate it and take the best care of it that you can, don't you think? If God gave you a car would you put sugar in the gas tank, stink up the interior with cigarette smoke and let the paint get all chipped and bubbly? One would hope not.
Eating vegetables and fruits and lovely colorful foods makes you feel healthy and happy. Eating a diet heavy in the bodies and milk products stolen from unhappy animals doesn't. It's pretty easy to figure out if you think about it. Am I a little preachy on the subject? Sure, but that's kind of a personality trait of mine. ; )
And eating less food means you'll be healthier and sharper as well. I was a pretty skinny guy. If I had been a heavy guy who ate meat at every meal I probably would have fallen off the cross......hey wait a minute.....no, no, no, you see the point I'm trying to make. That would have been messy and cumbersome and darned hard to depict in an oil painting.
And alcohol: not a bad thing as long as it's in moderation. I was actually quite fond of wine, back in the day. Or according to bar and restaurant owners in Galilee, I was quite fond of water and would order it by the gourdful while all my friends snickered. But the thing is, I didn't go crazy with it. A little bit of it and it's a nice fermented grape juice that helps you digest your dinner. Too much and you're burping your way through The Beatitudes the next day.
So go forth and get healthy because healthy people are happy people and happy people are nice people and nice people make other people happy. It's a big contagious love fest. Yeah, baby!!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Please stop asking me to do trivial things like opening jars of pickles or helping you shoot a basketball through a hoop. Like I’m supposed to drop what I’m doing and run to God every 10 seconds saying, “Quickly father, there’s one of your flock who needs a really good parking spot now!”???
Open up a newspaper. There are lots of much bigger things going on that I need to attend to. And apparently I’m very backed up. Do you really expect me to take a break from floods, earthquakes, wars and famines to clear up your skin in time for your big date Saturday night? There are creams for that my friend. Seek, and you shall find them.
And while we’re on the subject, please stop crediting me every time your favorite team wins a game. Because chances are people rooting for the other side are now wondering why I forsook them. I didn’t. I was ignoring all of you. Call me when you have something important to discuss.
Because if you give me credit every time you lose a little weight or find extra change in your pocket, then you’ll also have to start blaming me when things go wrong. Pretty soon you won’t be able to stub your toe or catch a cold without thinking, “Jesus hates me!” – see how crazy-making that is?
Now run along and stop being so neurotic.
A Thousand Smooches,
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Oh please, will everyone stop hitting other people over the head with their religious beliefs?! At what point did I say, “Go forth and annoy the hell out of people”?
I never meant for my message to be that I was the only guy who knew what was going on. Last time I checked I wasn't an arrogant person. I was actually pretty selfless. OK it could be construed as arrogance that I'm saying that about myself, but you know what I mean.
Dig this: all religions basically have the right idea. And there have been lots of cool teachers. Gautama Buddha, cool guy. Muhammad, cool guy. Me, cool guy (and snappy dresser). We’ve all said some good things and I suppose we’ve all made some mistakes as well. For instance I probably should have rethought my friendship with Judas. Oh well, you live and learn. Or in my case, you get betrayed and crucified. But I digress...
Good words are good words are good words. So stop knocking everyone else's and try actually following the ones of your chosen guy (or gal). Chances are it all boils down to the same message: Be nice. Do good things.
And don’t try to classify killing people who believe differently from you under “good things”. You are not fooling anyone. Especially not me.
Sorry to burst your bubble if you were having fun thinking of your religion as better than everyone else’s, but hopefully this knowledge will make you happier.
At the very least it should make you stop trying to convert people on public transport.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Apparently “speaking in tongues” has become all the rage. There are certain churches you can go to where they’ll practically guarantee you’ll be able to do it by the end of the first service.
I feel the need to clear something up here: “Speaking in tongues” is a miracle and by definition it doesn’t automatically happen just because you joined some church where everyone else is doing it. It’s actually a very rare thing. Joining a church where everyone expects to speak tongues is like joining a church where everyone expects to part the Red Sea (although admittedly that’s a lot harder to fake). Three words here: Emperor’s New Clothes. Don’t start faking it just because everyone else is doing it.
Also – (and this is important. Pay attention) – Speaking in tongues was never supposed to be people just making strange babbling noises, over-using the tongue action (of course) and going “goo gee ga ga bo bee bah la la la la la la”; it means spontaneously speaking in an actual language. If someone you know suddenly breaks out in ancient Sumerian, you'll know you’re in the presence of a bona fide miracle and should waste no time in touching the hem of their cloth. But as I’ve said, it’s very rare. So if you end up somewhere where everyone does it, chances are it’s just a bunch of silly people trying to act cool. They’re all faking it but no one’s going to admit it. If you start copying everyone around you, you are in danger of babbling like an idiot just to fit in. Hang back, my friend.
Next time you go to one of those speaking-in-tongues churches, try just shouting out the lyrics to Lady Marmalade then fall backwards as you’re screaming, “Mocca chocolata Ya Ya” and writhe a bit on the floor. It will have the same effect but probably be a lot more fun.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I was talking to this guy once, and he didn’t know I was Jesus (I was wearing glasses), and he said that when Jesus comes back he’s going to lead an army of the righteous and take vengeance on lots of evil doers, blah blah blah. I don’t remember all the specifics of what he was saying, but I do know I heard the word “smite” several times. So basically this guy thinks that I'm going to come back and open up a can of whoop ass on people.
Like Rambo Jesus.
Just as an FYI, I’m not planning on doing anything of the sort. I mean, hello, have we met? This is Jesus here. I’m the guy who was talking all that love-thy-neighbor, turn-the-other cheek stuff. What, did you think I was just saying those things because I knew they would make good sound bites one day? Get this: I actually meant them.
You know that guy who gets along with everyone, even the people you can’t stand? I’m that guy on acid.
Loving you from here,
Monday, September 13, 2010
I've always found it baffling just how the cross became the symbol for me. Perhaps I'm a little sensitive about it, having been nailed to one and all; but that particular shape represents arguably one of the worst days I ever had.
In a way I can see the rationale behind its' proliferation; it's simple, it represents my sacrifice, and anyone can draw it - so yes, it's a bold, recognizable symbol of Brand Jesus; but it was also, you know, the instrument of a remarkably unpleasant execution.
What if I had been hanged? How would a representative gesture of that have been worked into the genuflexion? What if I had been stoned to death? Would you have had to mime dodging rocks as you recited the Lord's Prayer?
What if I had died in my sleep, been trampled by horses or succumbed to an advanced staph infection? Where would any of you be then? Come to think of it, it's awfully convenient that I died on such a handy shape, isn't it?
Sunday, September 12, 2010
In Medieval Europe people did lots and lots of paintings of me. In fact that's pretty much all anyone painted at the time. Me, me, me. If I hadn't been Me it might have seriously gone to my head.
Lots of the paintings were very pretty. Some of them were on stained glass which looks extra glamorous. But for some reason a whole fad emerged where people started painting me as a blue-eyed blonde.
In Gothic paintings depicting Biblical scenes, there I am with my flaxen hair and baby blues. Probably the first person who did it was just being innovative and slightly abstract - the one guy who was daring to think slightly outside the box; but Medieval art was nothing if not perpetually derivative and soon everyone started deriving from the whole blonde thing.
Newsflash people: I was born in the Middle East. A little place called Bethlehem, remember? Lots of kings, donkeys and even a little drummer boy showed up - surely this rings a bell? Get out a map and look where that is. In that particular area of the world people are Semites. Generally speaking we are dark-eyed, sandy skinned, with long flowing dark hair (and beards). And yet the Medieval Europeans felt the need to give me a total re-do. I mean, please. Did they honestly think I was this lone Nordic guy walking around Jerusalem all white on white in my cotton robe? ......Hey everybody! Let's go to the marketplace and watch that Albino guy shouting about compassion!
That's more like it, baby!
I assure you, I was not a blonde. I was dark and slightly mysterious looking with big brown eyes that could make you cry. I was a Semite. ......That means people who are against me are also Anti-Semites! Ha! Put that in your loincloth and shake it!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It's come to my attention that lately there have been museums cropping up everywhere that try to make it look as if the world is only 6000 years old. Apparently someone armed with the book of Genesis and a pocket calculator added up all the ages of the people mentioned and arrived at this date for the creation of life, the universe and everything.
First of all, one word people: Allegory. The writers of the bible had to keep everything succinct so that church services wouldn't last 4 months a session. Secondly, if there had been Tyrannosaurus Rexi charging around the streets of Jerusalem, I probably would have been a little reluctant to preach in market places wearing just a robe and a scanty pair of sandals. And you better bet I would have brought up The Dinosaur Problem in the Sermon on the Mount.
Science doesn't negate spirituality. It's actually quite the opposite. Science is like rummaging through God's sock drawer and discovering clues as to what color slacks he wears. (Again: Allegory. Please don't start building a religion around socks).
Having said all that, I do find the concept of the creationist museums wonderful in a Funky Art Installation kind of way. And Lourdes doesn't have all those cool rides for the kids.
Relieved to have not been a raptor-wrangler,
Friday, September 10, 2010
OK, please will everyone stop freaking out every time they think they see my face in wood grain on a closet door or on a piece of toast? Sometimes things just look like other things and it should be amusing at best but that's where the show ends. I once saw what looked like a rabbit in a sack of grain but I didn't organize a pilgrimage to it, ya know what I mean? I said, "Oh look, a bunny!" then I went on with my day.
Also not all bearded guys are automatically me. That's way too much pressure. That face in your breakfast cereal could just as easily be any of the guys from Z.Z. Top. Or even just some actor from a miniseries about me.
Now relax and go eat your breakfast.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Dear Mormons: What the Sam Hill do you have against coffee? Coffee is good. Coffee makes people nice. If you want to rage against something, why not vodka & Red Bull? Ever had three of those and then tried to sleep? Up all night drunk and tense? That's some evil stuff.
But coffee is nice. Have some. And stop acting like such freaks.