Saturday, October 01, 2005

Here's The Thing

Let's say, for argument's sake, that the New Testament stories of the Last Supper are fairly accurate. Let's say that, in spite of all the magical nonsense, political propaganda and editing and rewriting, the basic story of that last Seder is true. Let's say that back in that day, a man named Jesus wanted to reform some of the practices of Judaism, and the theocracy in power was dead-set against him. Let's say that Jesus knew a ratfink mole from the tradition-bound theocracy had wormed his way into Jesus' band of friends. Let's say Jesus knew he would not be alive to honor another Shabbat after Passover. Let's say Jesus called his friends together so they could have their Seder together, knowing that Judas had sold him out. Let's say Jesus took a loaf of bread, said a prayer of thanks and passed it around, then took a chalice of wine, said a prayer of thanks and passed it around and then said, “Look, I know one of you has given me up to them, I even know who it is, but remember what we stood for, guys. Every time you eat and drink, think of me and then just keep on keepin' on.” Let's say Jesus said something like, “When you do this, remember me”. Here's the thing: There is not one single account that reports that Jesus said, “It's not kosher for you to eat bread and drink wine and remember me unless a guy in a dress gives you permission, says some mumbo-jumbo and decides whether you are worthy to think of me while having a teaspoon of wine and eating something called a wafer that doesn't even resemble stale matzo brei.” See…the thing is, Jesus never said that. All he said was, “When you do this, remember me.” So you know what? Why not just cut out the middleman? Whoever you are, if it feels right to remember a man who had integrity, wanted to fight injustice and wasn't afraid to die for his beliefs, then go ahead, have some supper, drink a glass of wine, and remember that man because all the stories say he was good, kind, just and honorable. And that is more than can be said for the pompous assholes in the Vatican who are more diabolical, self-serving and greedy than the worst fanatics who wanted Jesus dead.


starbender said...

I agree 100%

Barry Schwartz said...

I'm an atheist raised mildly Jewish, so I can look at the stories of Jesus and at the silly men in dresses and see that the silly men in dresses are exactly the sorts of ignorant leader that Jesus taunted and berated. The most amazing thing is that any grown human being can't see this, the ignorant leaders included.

It happens through dramatic reversal of the natural order of evaluation. The natural order goes objective observations and science first, written scriptures last. The excessively religious order goes nuances of written interpretations of written scriptures first, objective observations and science last. Then what you do is teach children the latter order, and so they reach adulthood with functional brain defects, prepared to live in and die in a defective society.

Barry Schwartz said...

I forgot to say the reason a mildly Jewish atheist can see this is that I never was taught any Christianity as a child, so I can read the gospels as if I were reading a novel.