The Crucifixion of Christ, American Style
Information Clearing House
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 20:47 EDT
"For God so loved the world..." he returned his only begotten son to the land where he shed his grace on thee.
Vindication for the faithful, rejoicing for the true believers, it was the second coming of Christ - and he was coming to America. Not to bring Armageddon, but to save mankind from Armageddon.
Jesus will make his first appearance at the intersection of the streets appropriately named "Liberty" and "Church" in New York City, located at what has come to be known as "Ground Zero."
Lower Manhattan was virtually shut down as millions of the faithful and curious flooded the streets to get a glimpse of the second coming of their lord and savior.
Even the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading as the crowds swelled from the Battery to midtown Manhattan. The joy and hope that Christ was bringing was palpable - breathtaking, you might say - in the near carnival-like atmosphere that was created in lower Manhattan.
Songs like "Jesus Is Just All Right With Me," "Amazing Grace" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" played from loudspeakers where the Twin Towers had once stood. American flags and crosses were everywhere.
Martin Luther King's "dream" was now a reality, as black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, "red staters" and "blue staters," even atheists and agnostics, all joined hands in love and friendship at this celebration of the second coming of the Prince of Peace.
The media frenzy was unprecedented.
It was "all Jesus all the time": round-the-clock coverage as priests, rabbis, and even an ayatollah appeared as expert commentators to explain what this all meant and what we should think.
Mel Gibson, who produced the film "The Passion of the Christ," was interviewed on so many television stations the joke was he must have a double. A female CNN reporter facetiously asked if the handsome Gibson's identical twin was married.
The night before, the new Pope, Benedict XVI, gave a rare interview with Mike Wallace from the CBS News show, "60 Minutes." And for good reason: This was to be "the greatest story ever told."
On vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush read a brief statement, calling the second coming of Christ a "miracle of faith," and formally welcoming him to America. Bush ended his remarks by declaring, "Let freedom reign and God bless America."
Christ had chosen to begin speaking at 8:46 a.m., the precise time when, on September 11, 2001, the first plane smashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
The clock in the corner of the TV screen read "Countdown to Jesus" as the minutes and seconds ticked away. It looked a little like we were about to launch the Space Shuttle, one reporter noted.
At exactly 8:46 a.m., there was a sudden, immediate, "deafening" silence, almost as if the world had ended. Then Jesus Christ appeared alone before a massive bank of microphones, placed just two blocks north of Ground Zero on a little street appropriately named "Trinity Place."
Looking much as he did two thousand years ago, the longhaired, bearded Jesus Christ, shabbily dressed in a robe and sandals, began to speak in a soft voice.
"Shalom, salaam and may peace be with you," he offered.
"I, Jesus of Nazareth, use this sacred ground to symbolize where over four years ago, at this exact moment, man's inhumanity to man was broadcast live for the entire world to bear witness to.
"Those who committed these barbaric acts thought of themselves as 'believers,' but only a believer in Satan could commit such a heinous act," said Christ.
The applause rang out like booming thunder, echoing off the skyscrapers along the narrow streets of lower Manhattan, and down the section of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes. Shouts of "hallelujah, hallelujah" sent goose bumps up people's arms. The faithful were not crying; they were sobbing. Some people fainted.
For the viewers at home, in the corner of TV screens a small woman provided sign language for the hearing impaired.
Christ continued. "But I come before America today, for she is the greatest danger to world peace since Genesis.
"To suggest that God, our father, would ever be on the side of an America - or any country, for that matter - which attacks poor, defenseless, impoverished people out of revenge, fear, ignorance or greed, contradicts everything I stand for today and, more importantly, died for two thousand years ago."
On the streets and watching at home and at work, the American people were in "shock and awe" at this blunt criticism from their lord and savior.
A few cheered, but Christ's condemnation of America's response to the evils of 9/11 and of their President, Bush - the born-again man of faith, leader of the greatest country on earth - drew immediate and harsh disapproval.
Christian conservatives went on the attack, charging that Christ was wrong to criticize Bush while he was fighting the evil forces of Satan in his divinely inspired worldwide crusade on the war on terror. Christ, as one remarked, seemed to speak with a French accent, and sounded a lot like a bleeding-heart liberal.
Fearing that Christ's message might undermine troop morale in Iraq and Afghanistan conservative Republicans launched an urgent campaign to - as they term it - "swift-boat" Christ.
"Swift-boat" is a new verb in the American lexicon, meaning "to smear in the name of truth, justice and freedom."
A Conservative evangelical group from the Bible Belt was quickly formed, named "The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth."
Using only their first names, Peter, Paul, James, John, Andy, Phil, Bart, Matthew, Simon, Thad, Tom, along with their spokesman, Judas, appeared together on Fox News to, as they stated, "set the record straight."
They all claimed to have ancestors who served with Jesus back in the Middle East, and stated that his message of "love your enemies" was outdated and dangerous in these troubled times, when terrorists and evildoers lurk around every corner and can strike at any moment.
"George W. Bush is a strong and sincere proponent of Christianity, a strong advocate of using military force to attack - even pre-emptively attack - our enemies. Notice that I say 'attack,' not 'love'," said Judas.
Vice President Dick Cheney, appearing with former Georgia Senator Zell Miller before a uniformed military audience in Texas, suggested that Jesus' "love your enemy" message was a thinly veiled liberal euphemism that meant Christ wants to cut the defense budget and reduce the federal funding for the body armor badly needed by our brave young men and women in harm's way.
"Let he without sin cast the first spitball," Cheney mocked, to a standing ovation from the troops.
The American media, which loves simple soundbites to always entertain and sometimes inform, played Cheney's clever spitball line over and over ad nauseum.
One enterprising young Republican trademarked the term "Let he without sin cast the first spitball," embroidered it on t-shirts and is selling them on eBay, along with a scowling "have you hugged a terrorist today" teddy bear wearing a little turban.
On his daily radio program, Rush Limbaugh - the lord of the airwaves, the voice of the people, his excellency in broadcasting, revered by millions of "ditto heads" - asked whether the wounds Jesus suffered during his crucifixion had possibly been exaggerated.
According to Limbaugh: "Thorns can only cause flesh wounds, and nails in your hands and feet are not lethal."
Nails, Limbaugh went on with a chuckle, "should be an occupational hazard for Jesus Christ, the carpenter from Nazareth . "What's next, Christ building houses for the poor, along with the second most annoying liberal, that other bleeding heart carpenter, Jimmy Carter?" Limbaugh mocked .
Immediately after the show, on sale at www.rushlimbaugh.com were steel-toed workboots adorned with the American flag, a pair of "thorn-resistant" "holy" garden gloves, and a box of Band Aids with tiny red crosses should the gloves ever fail.
On his program, radical preacher and firebrand television evangelist Pat Robertson referred to Christ's "meek shall inherit the earth" remark as "communist infiltration and extremism."
He suggests, like Limbaugh, that the liberal Christ is soft on the freedom-hating Islamic evildoers who detest our values.
Robertson went so far as to say that Christ was dangerous, and posed the question "perhaps someone needs to take him out before he brings on Armageddon?"
President Bush, speaking to new Marine recruits at Paris Island, praised the Lord Jesus and thanked him for his sacrifices. The President, who speaks to God regularly, insisted, however, that God also put him on this earth during these dangerous times to do his will.
"Christ is my brother," Bush emphasized, "and brothers often have differences of opinion, that's all. Christ believes in turning the other cheek; I prefer an eye for and eye. Or, as we say in Texas - dead or alive," he said to applause from his troops.
"Semper fi," shouted Bush.
Bush declared, "Jesus has never been elected to any public office. I come to work every day as your Commander - in-Chief with war on my mind. Christ speaks of peace this and love that... all kinds of dangerous messages in the post 9/11 world, when we have been attacked by the evildoers who can't stand our freedoms," Bush said, to a standing ovation.
Bush ended his speech by reciting his own version of "The Lord's Prayer":
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And never forgive the terrorists,
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into appeasement,
and deliver the U.S. from evil. Amen.
The Democrats, eager to dispel rumors that they will forever be irrelevant, have got into the act." .
Fearing that the compassionate Christ might be pro-life, they have set out to - as they term it - "Bork" Jesus.
Like "swift-boat," "Bork," taken from the name of the rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, has also become a verb meaning "to publicly destroy the character of those opposed to the Democrats' single issue of abortion."
Teams of lawyers paid for by the Democrats, many of whom, opponents allege, have never read a Bible, sworn on a Bible or seen a Bible except in a motel room, are now scouring the Bible to determine whether Jesus, two thousand years ago, may have had an inappropriate relationship with Mary Magdalene and engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.
Former President Bill Clinton advising the Democrats, as an expert in this area, stated emphatically, "Jesus did not have sexual relations with that woman!"
With Clinton's declaration, Democrats ended the investigation and went back to their fund raising.
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal stepped in and was sharply critical of Christ's message that "the love of money is the root of all evil and that it would be easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."
Greed, according to the Wall Street Journal is good; greed works; greed is what made America great.
They added that "to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" suggests that Christ is in favor of raising taxes to fund liberal social programs and increase handouts to welfare mothers.
Jewish groups, fearing that Christ - who was, after all, born in Bethlehem, Palestine - would be sympathetic to Palestinian suffering and thus would oppose increased military aid for Israel, labeled him anti-Semitic.
When reminded Christ was born Jewish they amended the label to "self-hating Jew."
Catholics, fearing that this time around not only would Christ clear the temples, but the churches too, were quietly distancing themselves from their lord and savior. With sky-rocketing insurance premiums caused by the lawsuits stemming from the church's sex scandal, Saturday Night Bingo is needed now more than ever and must not be interrupted.
President Bush's press secretary has denied reports suggesting he was the source of the leak that begs the question "when did Christ stop beating his gay wife."
Sensing blood in the water, the Republican spin machine revved up to full throttle.
Ann Coulter, the "angelic"-looking "Republican Party Doll," appeared on The O'Reilly Factor in a pure white dress with a Victorian collar, her Rapunzel-like blond hair gleaming; under the set lighting. O'Reilly, complimented Coulter saying she reminded him tonight of "Glinda, the good witch of the north in the Wizard of Oz." However, some critics suggested she sounded more like the "wicked witch of the west" when she said: "...with his sandals, long hair and beard, Christ bore an eerie resemblance to Osama bin Laden." O'Reilly said nothing but nodded his approval.
But the coup de grace for Jesus was when Judas, the spokesman for "The Twelve Veteran Disciples for Truth," approached the Justice Department with evidence that the Middle Eastern - born, bearded Christ, who speaks Arabic and is in the US illegally, is a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda.
Judas charged that Christ was not the son of God, but rather the son of Allah.
With silver selling today at about $16.81 an ounce, thirty pieces of silver - about $504 - just doesn't buy what it did two thousand years ago. So Judas opted for his "fifteen minutes of fame" instead.
He is scheduled to appear on "Oprah" tomorrow, "Larry King Live" at night and "Good Morning America" the next day.
President Bush has invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, for some spiritual guidance. Judas, it is expected, will assist the President in "clearing brush" at his sprawling Texas compound this Easter weekend .
All suggestions regarding book deals and movie rights are referred to Judas's agent at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills.
With Christ-approval numbers now in the single digits, and with compelling evidence from the "disciples for truth" that Christ is a member of Al Qaeda, he was arrested under the provisions of the US Patriot Act and whisked off to an undisclosed location.
The indigent, penniless Christ was represented in court by a public defender who appealed Christ's incarceration all the way up to the US Supreme court.
Justice Antonin Scalia, who is of Italian ancestry tracing back to ancient Rome, when speaking for the court refused to hear the appeal. In a tersely worded opinion for a unanimous court, he stated: "We wash our hands of this case."
The High Court, however, then overturned the twenty-five-year sentence of former WorldCom (MCI) C.E.O. Bernard "Bernie" Ebbers, declaring that his rights under the 8th Amendment, prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment, were violated.
Ebbers was immediately released back into society and received a hero's welcome in his hometown. Signs of "Give us Bernard" appeared everywhere.
Outside the court at Christ's hearing, one lone supporter of Christ held up a sign that read "crucify the sinless, and set the guilty free." He was immediately arrested.
Accompanied by his legal aid lawyer, Christ was returned to the courtroom from his undisclosed location, along with two other prisoners.
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, he looked gaunt and sad at his circumstances.
His public defender angrily referred to this proceeding as a "high-tech crucifixion." The public defender was immediately cited for contempt of court.
Christ never spoke during the brief hearing, except when the judge asked him if he had any final words before sentencing.
"Yes, your honor. Father, forgive them, once again, for they know not what they do."
Jerry Ghinelli writes essays exclusively for Information Clearing House and contributes his time and efforts as a private citizen, with the hope of encouraging readers to think more broadly about the important issues that threaten the peace and security of the world community. Positive feedback should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website for more information.