A friend of mine recently returned from a trip to the “Rusty Midwest Bible Belt” and gave me two refrigerator magnets he bought in a Church store.
I love the magnets! They speak to the real reason behind Christianity and the joke of the magnets reminds us about the perils of believing in the wrong thing and the danger in creating deep associations with politicians.
I also know there will be many people who will be intensely offended by the magnets. They will think that any sense of humor in the name of Christ is inappropriate and punishable. Those believers think Jesus was infallible. They have faith that if Jesus walked the earth today, he would carry a handgun to protect himself from the non-believers.
When I wrote, on February 25, 2007 — Jesus Found Dead in His Grave — the outrage from the Holy defenders was furious and hating. I found those comments curious because Jesus didn’t order his flock to attack dissenters or encourage them to bray into the night like colicky babies when their faith was tested:
With the Far Right Fundamentalists pressing their agenda into Iraq and Iran and even here on the Homeland in the Supreme Court and in the villages and the valleys, the middle class are beginning to see their precious personal rights are winnowing away in the sweaty palms of those who believe in blood and nails and those who worship the implements of death like crucifixes and spears — instead of loving each other just enough to leave people alone.
If the myth is unwillingly perpetuated into popular culture by the True Believers — sooner or later people, good people, will rise up and fight back for the right to be left alone and to think as they wish and not as others command them to think. One of the weapons the mighty ordinary wield against the Myths of the Believers is the scientific process.
Jesus can be funny. Let Christ have some humor. His followers might win more converts with a smile and laugh instead of a cudgel and a whip.