While I was absent, writhing in pain, I was roaming the corners of my mind and came across Jesus, boy was that a surprise…posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:58 PM Permalink …since I have made no bones about being an atheist. Much of what I recount here is still very hazy as the VA blew all the shipping dates for my pain meds, both slow-acting and instant-relief morphine, and by tomorrow I may not remember this at all.
I had just received my meds by UPS, taken them, and was kicking back waiting for them to start taking effect, so I was just kinda roaming around in the back rafters of my mind, you know, where all the bats are ensconced in their belfries, spiders create cobwebs for B-grade horror films, where waves of fog are rolling in, that weird bird-like sound comes echoing in along with the foghorns, and the sound of waves splashing up against the sides of a boat on their journey to the dark and distant shores.
I spend a lot of time there so I know my way around fairly well. You can imagine how surprised I was when I ran into Jesus Christ himself, what with me being such an avowed atheist and all. Obviously I could not pass up this opportunity to interview a deity, even one in whom I no longer believe. It went thusly:
Me: Jesus Christ!
He: Yes, that's me. What may I do for you?
Me: Uh…nothing really, I was just using that exclamatory Jesus Christ! as an expression of surprise and disbelief at meeting you here. By the way, what ARE you doing here? You surely must have heard that I am a nonbeliever, though it was not always so.
He: Yeah, I heard about that. It used to bother me when someone disavowed belief in me, my Pops, and that Holy Ghost guy, which was always confusing to me 'cause every time I hear someone saying, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…" I thought it was kinda redundant, seein' as how I am the Holy Ghost as far as I could figure it out from the sequence of events Pops had some clown write down for him. But that's not the reason I'm here.
Me: Well, no disrespect intended but just why the hell ARE you here?
He: I have decided that I am an atheist, too, and have come to commiserate with you and assure you that I feel the same way you do about many, many things.
Me: Wow. I've had my reasons for a long time, but whatever possessed you to dispossess yourself?
He: I just couldn't take all the hypocrisy of so-called "true believers" anymore. It's gone past the point of being just sinful and has reached the point of obscenities, bigotry, lies, misrepresentations of my teachings, and people using my name as the reason they hate someone of a different religious creed, nationality, political party, and even all the way down to where infants are being taught to hate others that differ from them in my name, and Pops knows that was never what this whole gig was about.
Me: Jesus, that's quite a revelation. Can you give me a few examples?
He: A few? Holy shit, there are thousands!
Me: Yeah, I figured that out a long time ago, but I don't have enough bandwidth to catalog the entire litany, so could you keep it short?
He: Well, I could start with Eddie Long, Jimmy Swaggert, Southern Baptists, the rabid religious right, as they refer to themselves, and those that profess to be Holier than thou when all their priests want to do is bend young men over and and show them extreme Holiness. I mean christ, man, I was a simple fucking carpenter. I walked and lived among the least of us, washed the feet of the ill and infirm, I fed thousands with a single fish and a loaf of bread and now those bastards want to teach their children to "eat the flesh" and "drink of the blood" of ME! I tried to teach people that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a moneychanger to pass through the gates of heaven and you see where THAT got me. Cannibalized by the masses at the behest of the wealthiest entities on earth! And, no, I don't mean banks! They're mere pikers when it comes to the wealth accumulated by churches. Especially the germ warfare, torturing, wicked, tax-evading, prime-property owning, silken gold brokaded-robed priests eating off real silver plates, drinking from real golden chalices, whose titular head lives in his own city - a fucking city! - filled with a vast fortune, the-worth-of-which-is-beyond-the-calculation-abilities-of-the-fastest-supercomputers-ever-invented, the Catholic church!
Me: Christ, Jesus, slow down man before you drive yourself right into an aneurism with a flow rate that makes the Amazon look like a placid mountain spring! I really had no idea that we had so much in common. Much of this is exactly what destroyed my faith in you and your Pops, and that other fella that's really you, too. If I were to start a Church of Bill would you accept a position on the board of directors? Do a little preaching? Lead by example?
He: Only if you agree to divest yourself of wealth, use the money collected by the church for the benefit of the donors, house the homeless, feed the hungry, treat the ill, aid the infirm, and do all the things these now worthlessly corrupt and evil "men of God" were supposed to do.
Me: Done! The Church of Bill is now open for business!
He: Great! Now, let's see, I know pops will help…
Me: We'll hammer out the details later, ok?
He: Absolutely! And may Bill bless you!
Me: Hey, thanks, man.